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Pink Floyd - A Saucerful Of Secrets CD (album) cover

A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.67 | 1709 ratings

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Bonnek
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
4 stars A Saucerful of Secrets is the first in a series of 6 uneven releases where Pink Floyd would find their own true voice after the rather mainstream debut. During that process, the mix of their strong personalities and originality would produce music of pure genius alternating with unfocussed and self-indulgent drivel.

Despite its obvious flaws I've always enjoyed this one a lot. It has a very dark and moody feel that flashes me right back to those rainy winter afternoons when I was 12 and playing this weird record on constant repeat together with Umma Gumma. Let There Be More Light, the title says it all. It's one of my favourite early Floyd tracks and a defining space-rock track: eastern tinged melodies, dark sound effects, pulsating bass, dazed vocal melodies and spacey guitars. What a departure from the debut. Welcome David Gilmour.

Remember a Day is a Richard Wright song featuring his known hesitant melancholic vocals. It has a very romantic mood, not as strong as the opener but still very charming. Next on is Set the Controls, the ultimate space-rock track, again with a very eastern melody and Nick Mason's invigorating percussion serving as an entrancing base for the sonic outbursts from Gilmour and Wright. Every live version of this track is better then the embryonic form that it still has here, but nevertheless it's a landmark moment, hugely influential on both kraut, progressive electronic and space-rock.

Corporal Clegg would have fitted better on the debut. It's still fun but it has none of the visionary power of the preceding tracks. The title track is the most experimental moment on the album, not as good as The Heart of the Sun but very powerful in its live version on Umma Gumma. See-Saw is the second Wright track but it's less captivating then the first. Jugband Blues is an enjoyable track from Barrett but it pales greatly against the ground-breaking music that preceded it. It's a tough conclusion, but I very much doubt if anyone of us would be marvelling at the Floyd right now if Syd had been able to stay in the band. Who knows.

It's sure not the most consistent album in music history, not by a long stretch. But this is from 1968 and back then, Pink Floyd was pretty much inventing everything they did while they were doing it, without any examples to emulate, without anyone to advise them but their own stubborn will to explore and create music history.

Bonnek | 4/5 |

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