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Pink Floyd - Ummagumma CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.48 | 1641 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars "Aye an' a bit of Mackeral settler rack and ruin ran it doon by the haim, 'ma place. Well slapped me and I slapped it doon in the side and I cried, cried, cried..."

Don't tell me that you don't enjoy 'Several Species Of Small Furry Animals' (off UMMAGUMMA) - it's so much fun! Back in the dark days of the mid-seventies, when HiFi systems were comparatively rare and many of us played psychedelic albums on portable record-players (in Dutch we called them pick-ups!) my friends and I loved the Floyd for all of their far-out sounds... On THE PIPER there was this guy who went "Boo-hoom, shh shh!"; on ATOMHEART MOTHER there was one notorious instance of bacon-frying; and UMMAGUMMA was famous for the bloke who noisily descended a flight of stairs and swatted a fly. Ah, wond'rous days! UMMAGUMMA's outrageously fake animal noises enchant me still, and 'Grantchester Meadows', which precedes them, is definitely one of Roger Waters' most delightful pastoral tunes. (Grantchester Meadows is an area of lush greenery along the River Cam, between Cambridge and the picturesque village of Grantchester.)

A pity that the remainder of UMMAGUMMA's studio album seems so uninspired. The solo contributions from Gilmour, Mason and Wright are all eminently forgettable. Wright's dire 'Sisiphus' is notable only for a single brief moment when the composer (ahem!) plays a bit of piano. Nick Mason's 'Garden Party' may even be the greatest waste of vinyl in EMI's distinguished history.

Undeniably, UMMAGUMMA's live album has proved more influential, particularly the dreamlike, organ-dominated middle sections of songs like 'Astronomy Domine' and 'Set the controls for the heart of the sun', when the drums are silent (or virtually silent). If I'm not mistaken, such moments really had an impact on Krautrock, and on the first five years of activity on the ECM label: Norwegian guitarist Terje Rypdal's gorgeous first albums (from 1972 and 1973 respectively) and American bass player Barre Phillips' masterpiece MOUNTAINSCAPES (1976) must have been inspired by the Floyd's trance-like soundscapes.

fuxi | 2/5 |


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