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Pink Floyd - Ummagumma CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.48 | 1641 ratings

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2 stars Pink Floyd took a cue from Cream when they put together Ummagumma. Like Wheels of Fire, it features one disc of new studio material and one of live intensity. Unlike Wheels of Fire, the studio material isn't very good. The first part is the live section, which rocks. Astronomy Dominé is longer, louder, and better than the original. Careful With That Axe, Eugene is a fun little instrumental that makes it's only official appearance here. Set the Controls For the Heart of the Sun and A Saucerful of Secrets both sound great, with extended sections that give mainly Wright and Gilmourt the spotlight.

The studio half is, sadly, vastly inferior to the live side. Small Furry Animals and is one of the last whmsical Floyd tunes (they started getting deep and usually depressing soon after this). It's no classic, but it's a fun ditty to come back to from time to time. The rest of the album is devoted to individual compostions, which foreshadows tracks on Yes' Fragile and ELP's awful Works. Of these, only Wright's Sysyphus is worth listening to, as it demonstrates his considerable skill which was largely wasted at the hands of Roger Waters. Waters' acoustic "Grantchester Meadows" is decent but completely forgettable, while Gilmour's use of symphony on Narrow Way comes close to being a good track, but it still fails to excite. Mason's Grand Vizier's Garden Party is by far the worst of the individual compositions; it is uninspired, dull, and the only even decent parts are the winds at the start and finish.

Ummagumma's live half is a great snapshot of the band at the tail end of their psychedelic pre-prog days, but the studio material (funnily enough the band's first concrete transition into full prog) is incredibly flawed and even its best moments are easily forgotten. Things would start improving vastly for Floyd, but this remains an album only for established fans, and even then you'll probably only want it for the live stuff.

Grade: D

1800iareyay | 2/5 |


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