Atom Heart Mother
One of the many unorthodox things about this album is the cover art. Pink Floyd wanted something completely unrelated to the content, something "normal, ordinary, but not too much, because that would make the album indistinctive at the shops." Storm Thorgerson and his Hipgnosis design group accomplished the task excellently. After some thinking, Storm decided to get into the car and take a picture of the first thing he runs into. By chance, he drove past a meadow full of grazing cows... The beauty's name is Lulubella III. and its owner claimed that he had recieved a payment of L3000 for the picture. Storm rejected that, saying he did not know why he should pay so much money to some farmer for his "damn cow..."
Atom Heart Mother
(Father´s Shout; Breast Milky; Mother Fore; Funky Dung; Mind Your Throats Please; Remergence)
The whole A-side contains just one song, that was recorded with the help of Ron Geesin, with whom Waters had recorded the soundtrack to The Body. He was more or less just left alone at the studio and told to record "something big" with hired musicians. Geesin hired a cello player with whom he had collaborated earlier, ten string instrument players and a choir of 20. After he found it impossible to conduct such an orchestra all by himself, John Aldiss took over the task.After all the work Geesin admitted that the final record sounded a little bit better than the demo and wanted to record the final version as soon as possible (finally with the band), because studio time was very expensive. When Pink Floyd performed the song for the first time, Waters announced it as "The Amazing Pudding." It had no official name until the band were the guests in John Peel's show on the radio. Peel asked them, what the name was and the confused Pink Floyd chose the first suitable newspaper headline they saw (it was about a mother who had her pacemaker run by an "atom engine".)
The live performances had to be played without the hired musicians and the song's length varied depending on the length of various solos and improvisations. Eventually, the song could be from 13 to 40 minutes long.
The individual parts on the album start at: 5'19", 10'09", 15'25", 17'44" a 19'45".
The simplicity of the opening lines or the acoustic guitar at the beginning don't prepare the listener for the feelings of loneliness and insanity the song eventually expresses. It is one of the first reflections of the impact Syd and his departure from Pink Floyd had on the rest of the band.
Although Pink Floyd rarely performed the song live, it was released as a single in both the US and Europe. Later, Waters performed it on his The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking and Radio K.A.O.S. tours.
Although Rick Wright was never too sure about himself as a lyricist, he can definitely be proud of this song. It is one of those in which the author fully opens to the listener.
The string opening was created on one of the first synhesizers. Its sound accompanies Wright's singing and Gilmour's deeper vocal.
Fat Old Sun
Gilmour wrote this purely English song as a sort of a sequel to Waters' Grantchester Meadows from Ummagumma. It is full of soft music, from the chiming bells at the beginning to the acoustic guitar and quiet drums. It could well be the softest and most sensible song Gilmour has ever written.
Alan´s Psychedelic Breakfast
(Rise And Shine; Sunny Side Up; Morning Glory)
13 minutes of completely non-musical sounds named after Alan Stiles, one of the roadies, who is heard performing his morning rituals in this song.
One of the main keyboard riffs was later used on Profiles, the sophomore solo album by Nick Mason. Short portions of music mix into the sounds of Alan washing himself and frying bacon. The use of many non-musical sounds later became a sort of a Pink Floyd trademark. It was when refering to this song that Waters stated that he could not see any difference between music and other sounds and that "if a water tap makes that beautiful sound, we just record it." However, no other Pink Floyd song features so many of these sounds.
The song could be a hint of what the unrecorded album titled Household Objects could have been like. It was meant to contain sounds of anything but musical instruments.
The piece was only performed live once, in 1970 in Sheffield. During the show, roadies, hidden in the backstage, fried bacon and propelled the smell to the audience through the ventilation...
Parts 2 and 3 start at 4'29" and 8'18".
|English version by:|
Vít Benešovský, Jan "Johnny" Petrus