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Roger Waters - Music From The Body (with Ron Geesin)* CD (album) cover

MUSIC FROM THE BODY (WITH RON GEESIN)*

Roger Waters

Crossover Prog


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Cluster One
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Great Album Cover!

"Music From the Body" is more of a documentary soundtrack, than a proper musical soundtrack as such. In fact there seem to be more sound effects (including burps, farts, inhalation/exhalations and knee slapping) than music at times! There are a few decent musical pieces on the album worth noting (primarily those written by Waters), but in general after the novelty of the humourous sounds have worn off, you will not want to listen to this album often.

The majority of the pieces are written by Geesin (about 75% of them) and are eclectic to say the least. Stringed instruments feature prominently, and some funk and even soul influences can be heard on the odd tune. Waters often worked on soundtracks but they were frequently of a symphonic nature, rather than documentaries - More, Zabriskie Point, Obscured By Clouds and even Dark Side/Wizard of Oz ;-)

In general, the following points about "Music From The Body" are important/noteworthy in a FLOYD context:

- The (very) eccentric Ron Geesin and Roger Waters team up for the first time here. The album was actually recorded in 1968, but didn't see the light of day until 1970. Their next (and only other) collaboration would be the FLOYD's Prog Rock masterpiece "Atom Heart Mother" (Geesin co-wrote the AHM suite, and conducted the orchestral parts).

- How can you not appreciate song titles like: 'Lick Your Partners' and 'More Than Seven Dwarfs in Penis-Land'???

- Waters writes 'Breathe' here, a precursor/early version of the classic that would end up on "Dark Side". It sounds nothing like what it would eventually, but the opening line is still "Breathe in the air..."

- Waters uses multiple female back up singers for the first time on 'Give Birth to a Smile'. Post-Floyd, Waters' trademark solo sound almost always included female back-ups.

- There are a couple tunes with 'Embryo' in their title. A foreshadow of the classic live FLOYD jam 'The Embryo' no doubt.

- Waters' tunes 'Chain of Life', 'Breathe' and 'Give Birth to a Smile' are soft little acoustic pieces along the lines of 'If' or 'Pigs on the Wing', and very worth adding to your collection if you are a WATERS solo fan.

All in all, a very comedic and surreal album, but definitely FOR COLLECTORS/FANS ONLY 2/5 stars

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Send comments to Cluster One (BETA) | Report this review (#41813)
Posted Saturday, August 06, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Eccentric to say the least. Yet, it's also a fun - if non-essential - listen. Waters' songs touch upon themes that would pop up in later compositions, and highlight mid-period Floyd's fascination with folk-tinged tunes. Geesin is a mad genius, and his creative use of bodily sounds makes most modern-day avant garde artists sound like The Carpenters.

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Send comments to mburkhardt (BETA) | Report this review (#49565)
Posted Friday, September 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars This strange but not unlikely solo album from Waters is just what you expect from that period of time from the Floyd crowd. Somewhere stuck between Ummagumma's studio album, the Soundtrack of More and Atom Heart Mother, this album is close to all three. And this album is much more than just an offshoot or anecdote; it is a bit of one more a cornerstone on which Floyd built its foundations to their superb later career.

Sound collages reminding you of Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast or Several Species, can only invite you to think of those albums, but the actual "pure songs" are more in the style of More. Collab Ron Geesin (heard in Atom Heart Mother) contributions are also very evident since he wrote the majority of the tracks, but this can be critically and artistically (and very happily) linked to the Pink Floyd universe. From the cello tracks to heavy electronically dominated ones, and the sung by Waters ones, be ready for a severely tripped journey inside your own body. Maybe one of those albums best listened to under psychotropic substances, but never sure to come back to the surface entirely either, there are times when this album is so brilliant that it should actually gets its fifth star. But the album is not without flaws either, and the soul choirs in the closing track (this is a typical Waters trademark to be found often in future Floyd albums) are one such example.

But certainly not to be under-estimated are the contributions of Geesin and by listening to this album, one can easily understand what set apart Atom Heart Mother (and to a lesser extent Ummagumma which came before this album) from the rest of their discography. One hell of UFO, which every proghead must hear.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#78310)
Posted Tuesday, May 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
soundsweird
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Bought this back in the early 70's; regarded it as a humorous oddity. Each time I listen to it, though, I get something new out of it. I later bought several of Ron Geesin's solo albums, and found them to be original and fascinating, although uneven. I pulled this CD out the other day, and enjoyed it more than ever. It doesn't sound much like Pink Floyd, because most of the tracks were written by Geesin (who was a "fifth member" on "Atom Heart Mother"). Geesin plays many different instruments, and there are a number of sound effects as well. Waters contributes a few short songs (the vibe is a bit like "Grandchester Meadows"), and the last song features all four members of Pink Floyd. Unfortunately, that's the worst track on the album, with a simple and repetitious chorus sung by female backup singers. Keep in mind that this is a soundtrack album to a movie about the workings of the human body. Most people would say that this music sounds best when one is under the influence of mind-altering substances, so look for it if you think the adjective "weird" is a good thing...

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Send comments to soundsweird (BETA) | Report this review (#102704)
Posted Tuesday, December 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Ok what a strange album....much like Water's ' Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Grooving In A Cave With A Pict' from the Ummagumma works, Music from The Body has something extra, a little more special. Must be Ron Geesin's influence perhaps or the fact that this was the birth of DSOTM. There is a huge concept feel to the album, no matter how much Waters may despise the conceptual creation and output of his music, he has to admit conceptually he is " Top Dog" in that department. This is immature, naive and totally experimental yet has all the creative force one would expect from one of the greatest prog artists of all time.' Give Birth To A Smile' ably backed by his own band is the nicest touch on this melancholic psychedlic brunch of an album!

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#109101)
Posted Saturday, January 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Fun idea, but basically thats it, the music ain't that great. Some really good effects, but thats it. It may be funny once in your entire life to hear this, but let's be honest it's not the kind of album that would be a great buy.

Maybe I'm being to harsh, it may be my own fault that I really don't like soundtracks, and this being a soundtrack doesn't help at all. I believe that it's probably great to see the movie with this sound. Yet, not really the kind of material you should listen.

As I'm seeing it looks like a little overrated, yet it has occasional nice moments, anyway the name says it all, don't expect to find anything "rocky" in this.

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Send comments to FenderTramp (BETA) | Report this review (#262140)
Posted Saturday, January 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars This "musical" document is quite close to the below average Roger part from "Ummagumma". I am of course biased by this album since I was almost born with it and I never could stand the studio outtakes.

The problem with this first solo album, is that there aren't any thrilling songs nor parts. Just a succession of lousy (very short) items. One song reaches the four minutes mark!

The whole of the stuff represented here does sound more as a soundtrack. But not a great one at all. I am looking at some good moments here, but I honestly can't find one. Pure boredom and unskilled songs.

At times, some of the early Floyd is gaining your senses but for such a very short period of time that is it is almost useless. Can you imagine that there are some twenty-two tracks available for forty minutes of "music".

Very few colleagues commented this "work". I guess that there is a reason for it. I don't like this album at all. There is no creativity, no emotional part, and no superb instrumental section. Actually, there is nothing in here. Only a painful succession of VERY short and weird useless musical moments.

One star.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#263381)
Posted Friday, January 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars This is still, unfortunately, the only one album featuring Ron Geesin currently on PA. I hope he will be added soon.

Said so, this is more the effort of this ecleptic musician than of Roger Waters and this is, I suppose, the reason of its low rating. Who is looking for Pink Floyd music of any kind will find only "Sea, shell and stone": just two minutes of acoustic Waters in a form that we'll find more than 10 years after on The Final Cut.

This was the soundtrack of a hippy documentary about the human body, featuring all the things that are usually omitted from a normal documentary, including making sex (the Director and his secretary filmed in infrared), [&*!#]ting, becoming old, birth, death and so on. In this environment the opening track has a sense. "Our song" is made by piano and all the kind of sounds that can be produced by a human body, including farts of course. Everything put into a sort of ragtime. It's followed by the already mentioned "Sea Shell and Stone" which fades out to the real beginning of the soundtrack.

From "Red Stuff Writhe", Geesin's cello starts what can be considered a psychedelic symphony. We are following, in the movie, the evolution of the human body. Each short track is strictly related to the movie, as a soundtrack has to be.

"Chain of Life" is one of the few non-instrumentals. I guess the music was written by Geesin and Waters contributed with lyrics and voice even though some passages may remind to things like "Set the controls for the heart of the sun".

But it's in the instrumentals like "The Womb Bit" that the efforts of both the two authors are evident.

When there is cello or strage choirs like in "More than Seven Dwarfs in Penis Land" it's surely Geesin's stuff. Listen to any of his solo albums and you'll understand why I say so.

The closing track "Give Birth to a Smile" reprises the melody of Sea Shell and Stone, but it's played and arranged by the whole Floyd band. The unique credited effort of the reminders of the band to the album so it deserves a mention.

The album can be enjoyed together with the movie or alone. Only having seen the movie can help to appreciate it more. For me it deserves 4 stars, but requires several listens. For fans of psychedelia and hippyness with more than a touch of eclectism.

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#330903)
Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
Buh
4 stars First off, this is a Ron Geesin album (with Roger Waters), so let's get that straight right at the beginning.

I bought this because I enjoyed Geesin's work on the Atom Heart Mother Suite, and this was not disappointing at all. Bizarre but enjoyable all the way through.

Ron Geesin gives us a musical tour through the body, with songs ranging from beautiful cello pieces to spanish guitar based songs, to a cappella screaming. All the songs are slightly overlapped, so there's really never any down time. The worst parts of the album, I'd say, are Roger Waters' songs. Some of them are good, but they are all very samey with the melodies, and most of them are acoustic ballads.

This is one of the most atmospheric albums I've listened to, and despite it's oddness and overall obscurity, this is definitely worth a listen!!!

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Send comments to Buh (BETA) | Report this review (#456092)
Posted Friday, June 03, 2011 | Review Permalink
1 stars Wow, talk about a letdown. I had known of this record for about 15 years before I stumbled upon "Music from the Body" in a cd store. The anticipation on the way home was huge. Not so much music and plenty of effects from the leader of Pink Floyd and a cowriter on Atom Heart Mother. Most of the music that is here is in short tracks with only one clocking in at more then four minutes. I gets the impression that this could be for a music class and not a proper album A major disappointment probably the worst recording in my collection.

1 star

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Send comments to tdfloyd (BETA) | Report this review (#1031378)
Posted Tuesday, September 10, 2013 | Review Permalink
Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Even Syd would approve...

There are a lot of negative review of this album across the web. What the hells not to like here? This is an excellent album that sounds like a lost title from late 60s Floyd, arguably the most "progressive" period of the band's existence. Certainly their most fun from a psych adventurers' standpoint. For me there is some personal nostalgic bias at play. This album was always in the rotation back when a certain friend and I would wile away endless summer days and night swimming in copious amounts of THC. There is no denying it was magical. Things happened that to this day I cannot comprehend. We are all magical beings until we become inhibited and responsible. Of course most of us grow up at some point. And yet a piece of music like this can transport you back a few clicks with ease and without regret.

This collaboration between Ron (Atom Heart) Geesin and Mr. Waters is an absolute winner. Recorded in the heady days of early 1970 it is a treasure of the first Floyd wave mindset, when they were still capable of having fun and trying weird things with no thought of commercial potential. This album is the product of Ron and Roger striking up a friendship at a dinner party and becoming golf mates. Ron had written much of the music but he needed someone to sing some vocal oriented tracks for his film project. Who better than this weird new friend? Eventually the guy would become a big star and swear off music like this, Ummagumma, and even the glorious Atom Heart Mother. But Roger's opinion of this slice of youthful endeavor is only a sad reflection of himself, not of this music. We, his fans, know better.

Alastair: Did you enjoy working with Roger? Ron: Yes, very much.

Alastair: Would you have liked to have worked more with him? Ron: Yes, I think we were a potentially lethal team.

Alastair: Do you have any thoughts on Roger's music today? Ron: Not much. I can't stand the Bob Dylan-ish American accent, or the meddling in politics. He's got plenty of money coming in, so he should make pure expressionist pieces and not try to conform to some imagined acceptability factor.

-Ron Geesin interview by Alastair McLean

Go Ron! The music of "The Body" is a pure treat for those who love the albums like More, Ummagumma's studio side, and Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast. This has all the avant-garde doodling of Breakfast and craziness of "Several Species of Small Furry Animals" mingling in a puddle, and yet manages much more. Off the wall cello breaks, Italian sounding piano bits, and of course the Floydian feel of Grantchester Meadows Roger. The Roger we knew and loved. The acoustic haze of Roger and the crazy ideas of Geesin will of course appeal to the young "inspired" Floyd fan, but I found this album holds up nicely even for an oldster. There are good melodies on display in some of these tracks. There are clues to the future Roger brilliance to watch for, like when he utters the line "Breathe in the air" on this album's "Breathe." There are the Floyd themselves guesting on a track, and soulful female background singers that will surely remind you of Pros and Cons. There are simple spring songs not unlike Roger's "If" and there is Geesin's love of collage music, stereo panning, and flat-out experimentation. The album is a self-contained afternoon off the rails, when you're drooling for a slab of Pink Floyd moments that never actually happened. Except they did, here.

Far from a throwaway title to be ridiculed by the masses, "music from The Body" is a first class psychedelic gem and a successful smoothie of progressive ideas from two acclaimed musicians in their young hearted days. Don't be cynical. Remember a Day.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#1156942)
Posted Wednesday, April 02, 2014 | Review Permalink

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