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

A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.66 | 1702 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars Is it sacrilegious for a Pink Floyd addict to detest this?

I am a massive Floyd fan and would bleed 'Dark Side of the Moon' if you cut me, but this is the worst excuse for an album I have come across from this band. Worse than 'The Final Cut?' Well, I may draw the line there, but this is still a detestable album. Why? I will give you two reasons; Syd and Barrett. The man was a raving nutter as we all know, but he can't sing a note to save himself, that droning monotone voice is enough to make you want to pickle your granny, and before I get lynched by a pack of Floyd freaks, of course Barrett was an iconic figure, but he produced some questionable material and questionable albums, including the abysmal self pitying debut solo effort who's name escapes me at the moment. Also Waters was absolutely wrapped up in his own cerebral cortex on this effort. The music is so lacklustre, it is heart wrenching, and although Barrett only is allowed to sing on the last track, his influence is prevalent.

What are the highlights on such a mediocre album? Perhaps we have to start with the obvious, the compelling Roger Waters' masterpiece 'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' that has a hypnotic groove that draws you in with dark overtones and a riveting bassline. I always loved this. 'Let There Be More Light' is certainly a fabulous track with a spacey guitar feel and very moody keyboards from the incomparable Wright. Floyd can pruduce brilliant epics such as 'Echoes' and 'Shine On', but 'Saucerful of Secrets', running for a tortuous 12 minutes, is mind numbing and dull. Trimmed down it is OK, but how many spacey guitar runs and Dracula organ do we need? 'Ummagumma' provides better versions in any case. The Floyd were always better live and it seems in the studio at this stage of their careers, the four walls of a booth were stifling their creativity.

These tracks save this album from the one star bomb, but the other tracks are truly forgettable. The dreadful caterwauling of Waters' 'Corporal Clegg' is the type of puerile nonsense I am talking about. A psyched up weird thing that sounds like bubblegum now or the pale shadow of The Beatles. Listen to those kindergarten lyrics by Waters: "Corporal Clegg had a wooden leg, He won it in the war, in 1944., Corporal Clegg had a medal too In orange, red, and blue, He found it in the zoo. Dear, dear were they really sad for me? Dear, dear will they really laugh at me? Mrs. Clegg, you must be proud of him. Mrs. Clegg, another drop of gin." Does anyone really care about this anymore? In its time it probably knocked all the hippies off their heads, but now it sounds dated and obsolete.

The album has not dated well and the flower power psychedelic sounds are nauseating and at times Waters' vocals are akin to a cat scratching its claws down a blackboard; 'See Saw' is the idiot child of 'Sgt Pepper' and really is ear cringing wallowing beyond comprehension. The lyrics are childish and Wright is off with the fairies on this. "Marigolds are very much in love, but he doesn't mind, Picking up his sister, he makes his way into the seas or land, All the way she smiles, She goes up while he goes down, down, Sits on a stick in the river, Laughter in his sleep, Sister's throwing stones, hoping for a hit.." Obviously an overdose of magic mushrooms for Wright who wrote this one.

'Jugband Blues' is Barrett's paean to a love interest with his lack of songwriting skills on display: 'And I never knew the moon could be so blue, And I'm grateful that you threw away my old shoes, And brought me here instead dressed in red, And I'm wondering who could be writing this song.' OK. I rest my case.

Contrary to popular belief, not everything Floyd touched was pure gold, in fact some of their early material stinks like yesterday's diapers, and unless you were stoned to the hilt, you would have thought this album was a yawnfest. People pretend to understand it, but there is no thread of reason throughout. I realise Floydians will gush over this album, simply because it is iconic Floyd with the legend in his own mind, Barrett in all his insane glory, but just because it is iconic and from the psychedelic 60s does not necessarily mean the actual music is any good. Well, now I have released all that anguish I can move on to a better album from Floyd; take your pick, this effort is a bottom of the barrel doped up Saucerful of Secretions!

Collectors Only!

AtomicCrimsonRush | 2/5 |

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