Pink Floyd
Atom Heart Mother


4.0
excellent

Review

by e210013 USER (137 Reviews)
January 13th, 2020 | 22 replies


Release Date: 1970 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A less loved album of Pink Floyd. Still, it represents a turning point in their career.

“Atom Heart Mother” is the fifth studio album of Pink Floyd and was released in 1970. The line up on the album is David Gilmour, Richard Wright, Roger Waters and Nick Mason. The album had also the participation of Alan Styles, Haflidi Hallgrimsson, John Alldis Choir and Philip Jones Brass Ensemble as guests.


As many of we know, Pink Floyd was an English prog rock band formed in Cambridge in 1965, which achieved the international success with the psychedelic and the prog rock music. Their work was marked by the use of philosophical and political lyrics, musical experimentation, innovative album covers and elaborated shows. Pink Floyd is one of the most influential and commercially successful prog rock bands, having sold over 200 million albums around the world.

The band originally consisted of Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Richard Wright and Syd Barrett. Initially they became popular in the late 60’s in London’s underground scene. Under Barrett’s leadership, they released a successful album, “The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn”. David Gilmour joined the band in 1968, months before Barrett’s departure from the band, due to his state of mental deterioration, aggravated by drugs. In the end of the 60’s they released, “A Saucerful Of Secrets”, “More” and “Ummagumma”. “Atom Heart Mother”, which is the subject of this review, was released in 1970.

Gilmour described “Atom Heart Mother” as “a load of rubbish... we were scraping the barrel a bit at that period” and Waters said that if anyone was foolish enough to ask him to perform it now, he would tell them unequivocally: “You must be ***ing joking”. And yet, “Atom Heart Mother” marked the moment that Pink Floyd came in from the cold of their post-Barrett era and found the way forward and towards everything we now remember of them best for. Not simple psychedelia or mere prog entertainment, but a clearly thought-out. It’s faltering, enticing, yet gloriously individualistic.

“Atom Heart Mother” can be divided in two parts. The first and the last tracks are the lengthiest and the collective efforts of the band and the third, fourth and fifth tracks are the individual efforts of the musicians. “Atom Heart Mother” was the first recording of the band with a full orchestra in collaboration with the avant-garde composer Ron Geesin.

The title track is the lengthiest track and occupies the entire side A of the vinyl disc. It’s an orchestral piece. This is an excellent, interesting and original instrumental piece where the connection between the band and the orchestra is very good. It’s probably the lengthiest instrumental track made by them. “If” is a simple and beautiful ballad, very melodic, pleasant and relaxing, almost played on the acoustic guitar. “Summer ‘68” is a beautiful song more complex and interesting than “If”. Here we have the contrast of the soft piano with the bombastic trumpet. It’s the most energetic track. “Fat Old Sun” is a typical Gilmour’s song. It’s a peaceful, beautiful and relaxing ballad. “Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast” is the other lengthiest instrumental piece. It has sound effects and dialogues between each part, made by the then roadie Alan Stiles, a Pink Floyd roadie who appeared on the back cover of “Ummagumma”, preparing, discussing and eating his breakfast. It’s a funny piece with good instrumental moments. It’s a great instrumental track.

The art cover of the album was designed by Hipgnosis and it was the first not to feature the band’s name on the cover or contain any photographs of the group anywhere. It would be a trend mark for the group. The album’s cover is one of the most enigmatic of all in the music history. The most famous bovine of the rock appears on the album’s cover. The cow, named Lulubelle III was photographed in a rural farm in the English countryside by Storm Thorgerson, who is an English famous graphic designer known for his works for prog rock bands like Pink Floyd, 10cc, Dream Theatre, The Mars Volta and The Cranberries. He said his work was inspired by Andy Warhol’s famous “cow-wallpaper”. Curiously, the record company paid to the property owner about a thousand pounds for the image rights of the animal. And even more curious, the property became a tourist attraction, and Lulubelle III a true celebrity in the show business world.


Conclusion: Despite the unfavorable opinions of Waters and Gilmour, I think this is a very important transitional album for Pink Floyd. We can say that “Atom Heart Mother” is an album with many progressive features and that turned out to be the real turning point in the band’s music. These changes would culminate on their next studio album “Meddle”. “Atom Heart Mother” can be considered a true classic Pink Floyd’s album. From its epics and calming tracks, to its memorable and original Thogerson’s cover of Lulubelle III, it should be recognized as a great album, by any Pink Floyd’s fan and critic. However, as a transitional album, like “A Saucerful Of Secrets” was, I wouldn’t recommend it, to anyone that intend to be introduced to the Pink Floyd’s music. “The Dark Side Of The Moon” or “Wish You Were Here” are the right places to start, but “Atom Heart Mother” remains, definitely, a must have for any decent musical collection.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



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Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
January 13th 2020


2822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

After "Islands" of KC, my second choice, as an album less loved by fans and critics, is "Atom Heart Mother". It was also one of my first purchases of PF and I always liked it. I think it has a very special place in their career and on me too. Somehow, this was the album were the band started to move from Syd's era to the new era. That change would be completed with "Meddle". Besides, "Atom Heart Mother" is also a very special album due to its history, as I explian on my review, a review even more informative than usual.

It's always a pleasure to revisit a Floyd's album. As a great fan of them and after 129 reviews by me and with only a review about one album of them, "The Wall", it's fair that I dedicate more time to them.

As always, your comments are welcome.

TheGamer
January 13th 2020


14 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Interesting informative review.

GhandhiLion
January 13th 2020


7888 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

>wall

Digging: The Tubes - The Tubes

e210013
January 13th 2020


2822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@ Gamer

Thanks man.

e210013
January 13th 2020


2822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@ Ghandhi

Very different but but also very good. Thanks for comment.

Zig
January 13th 2020


2014 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review, although the third and seventh paragraphs are too much got up with their previous events and all artwork background. It should have been more focused on the music. Nevertheless, good work.



Boa semana, amigo.

Digging: Teizo Matsumura - Symphony No. 1

wham49
January 13th 2020


5192 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I always dug this version of PF, the early 70's pre DSOTM were really trippy and chill



as always good show e

CaliggyJack
January 13th 2020


3514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"If somebody said to me now – right – here's a million pounds, go out and play Atom Heart Mother, I'd say you must be fucking joking."



~Roger Waters

e210013
January 14th 2020


2822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@ Zig

I know that. That is the reason why I mentioned on my first comment this is a review a bit more informative than usual. I think the story about the cover of the album is amazing and very original. That is the reason why I spent so much time writting about it. I think it's delicious.

Boa semana para ti também, amigo.

e210013
January 14th 2020


2822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks wham.

e210013
January 14th 2020


2822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Precisely Caliggy. Thanks for your comment, pal.

Divaman
January 14th 2020


4922 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Hi e. I agree that this was probably an important transitional album for Gilmour and Waters, but as much as I love Floyd, I've always this one almost unlistenable. Good review, though.

e210013
January 14th 2020


2822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks my friend.

TheNotrap
January 15th 2020


13466 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

World's most famous cow. It's been a while since I've heard this album.



Nice work mate.

Digging: White Stones - Kuarahy

e210013
January 15th 2020


2822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, World's most famous cow. Almost as famous as the band, lol.

Yeah, this isn't an album we check all days. It's the same with me. So, this is one of the reasons I reviewed it. It deserves not to be forgotten.

Thanks bro.

Pangea
January 15th 2020


3737 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i can't remember any other song but the t/t is amazing

Digging: Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d city

wham49
January 15th 2020


5192 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

have to remember Alans psych break

e210013
January 15th 2020


2822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, Pangea, wham is right. Besides the title track, "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" is the other remarkable track on the album. It's a delicious psychedelic track.

TheIntruder
January 15th 2020


459 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good informative review as usual. The story of the cover is nice. Great to see a review of this one. Have a pos.

e210013
January 15th 2020


2822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, bro. I'm glad that you liked it.



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