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Pink Floyd - Ummagumma CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.48 | 1627 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars 2 words for you... INSANE. yes pink floyd can easily be compared to insanity, for just a year before this record was made they lost their key member, syd barrett, to sevre schizophenia. Also their music has always been known to rot your mind with the intense psychadelia, random sound effects such as bike bells and rubber ducks on piper, UFO's and trumpets on a saucerful of secrets, and strange spanish men and aborigini drumming techniques on more.

Ummagumma is no exception to the rule. If anything pink floyd have excelled themselves this time, for the first time i listened to this album i thought i had lost my mind. 2 discs of mindless racket. sounds good to me. There are very few lyric based tracks on the album. The album seems to follow the concept of a continous instrumental based pieces with "sysyphus" lasting over 15 minutes long. this song sounds like something out of a horror film with the mean sound effects and the melodramatic piano pieces which, if a band was to play these days would seem very over the top and embaressing. look out matt bellamy. If you listened to this in 1969 you would be freaked out by how much music has changed. if you are listening to this at any other time you are wishing it could be the 60's once again. i hope this type of music is never forgotten.

The only lyrical based song on the album, "grantchester meadows", is a solo piece by roger waters on the acoustic guitar. similar to the style of his songs such as "if" and "cirrus minor", and a prelude to songs of dark side, animals and the wall. the only "normal" song on the album. or so it would seem if there wasnt a humming bird singing throughout the song and a few minutes of a crazy man trying to swat a fly at the end. Which leads fantastically into the long and pointlessly titled "several species of small furry animals gathered in a cave and grooving with a pict". over five minutes of insane rambling and alien creature jibberish. i would advise anyone not to listen to this too much if you want to keep your sanity.

Ummagumma keeps to the psychadelia but also stretches furtur into the progressive rock with the brillilant, "the narrow ways", full of a mix of mellow plucking and thundering riffs. The album ends with "the grand visiers garden party" which is a very experimental track using different guitar effects and drum solos. this album takes a few spins to get into but once you get into it, you will never forget how good it is. Sadly Ummagumma was discarded from echoes, the best of pink floyd and this album seems to be very understated because it isnt as famous as the later work. this is real floyd at its best.

but we're not finished yet. Ummagumma marks as pink floyds first double album. A forty minute live album with 4 tracks is also included, as if the studio album wasnt already value for money, you get even more for your buck! The live album includes double length versions of "astronomy domine" (without syd on vocals for the first time) and "set the controls for the heart of the sun" which experiments with lengthy drum pieces and the famous gong bashing from roger.

The higlights on the live album are a revamped version of "a saucerful of secrets" which drops the mellow piano pieces and sound effects to make way for speedy drum pieces, insane guitar sounds and a winning harmony to finish with. The best part of the album is the very first version of rare song "careful with that axe, eugene" and this is the best version you can find. The best nine minutes you will ever hear. This song starts off with simple guitar riffage and seems like any other floyd song until the beautiful twist comes in half way where roger starts screaming like a girl in a horror movie.

listening to this feels like you've died and gone to heaven, but then they realise it wasnt your time so they sent you back home to enjoy Ummagumma once again. Whilst Dave and Rick provide their usual amazingness and excell themselves in experimental sound, Nick and Roger are the real stars on this live album with the intense screaming and gong thrashing backed up by the most speedy and energetic drumming in their carreer.

And if thats not enough for you then this album comes in a pretty little boxset with a hossing poster of the band. w00t. Ummagumma WILL scare and destroy you.

frenchie | 5/5 |


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