A Saucerful Of Secrets
Let There Be More Light
A simple story of a "close encounter of the third kind," which takes advantage of the power of stereo recording in the first minute.
The members of the band saw the "space rocker" image of early Pink Floyd as a rope around their necks, something that would not let them do anything any other way.
On the original recording, Gilmour and Wright share the vocals, which is worth noticing, because it is definitely not a frequent thing in the history of the band, especially when the author is Roger Waters.
Remember A Day
This kind rememberance of the simplicity of childhood was originally meant to be included on Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, where it would be named Sunshine. However, some sources say Sunshine was the working title for Mathilda Mother. It is sure that it was Syd Barrett who recorded the guitar, even though the song was finished after he left the band. The song is sung by Rick Wright.
Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
Of course, Pink Floyd performed this simple hypnotic song, the name of which was taken from a 1967 William S. Burroughs quotation, with Syd, who played the guitar. It is known that Syd managed to record some parts of Saucerful Of Secrets and also that David Gilmour finished his work. The song could easily be the only one in the history of Pink Floyd to be recorded by five members of the band. The lyrics, written by Waters, were supposedly taken from a Chinese poetry book.
At his own request, Syd did not play on this Waters' early anti-war song.
The suffering veteran, who is the main character of the song, was probably inspired by Captain Clegg, a character from the 1962 horror film Night Creatures.
The kazoo solo is possibly the only one in the history of popular music.
A Saucerful Of Secrets
In the late phases of the recording, Syd was already out of his mind. The band tried to record a few simple pop songs, neat enough to be performed live. The result was this 12 minute instrumental piece, divided into four parts, the names of which first appeared on Ummagumma. It is not sure when one part ends and the other starts, but they more or less correspond to these parts of the track:
The first part, called Something Else, the result of the struggle to "do something new some new way" is based on Gilmour's rapid dulcimer and, according to Gilmour, represents preparations for war.
Syncopated Pandemonium (3'59") is Mason's wild drumming, originally recorded on tape and later overdubbed with Gilmour's guitar. Gilmour made these crazy sounds by rubbing the neck of his guitar against the microphone stand... This part is meant to represent the battle itself.
Storm Signal (7'02") represents the "fall of the cross" and features more synth-generated sounds.
The last part, Celestial Voices (8'39"), played on the organ, features dreamy vocals which can be considered calming, although the part is meant to be a requiem.
The song structure was designed by Mason and Waters, both former students of architecture, who "drew the blueprint of the track." David Gilmour was credited as co-author for the first time, but his name was misspelled as Gilmore. Also known as The Massed Gadgets Of Hercules (which was originally meant to be the song's title also on Ummagumma).
Another song by Wright, probably co-written by Syd Barrett. The working title was "The Most Boring Song I´ve Ever Heard Bar Two."
The only song by Syd Barrett on the album and also his sole vocal contribution. The song is not a blues and it is not played by a jugband, as one could guess from the name, although Syd brought a Salvation Army orchestra to the De Lane Lea studio and told them to "play whatever they want." That is how the cacophony at the end of the song was created. The lyrics reflect Barrett's schizophrenia, especially the four lines that follow the "false ending."
It is the only song whose mono and stereo version significantly differ (the latter features more guitar and different vocals and the Canadian version from the Nice Pair double album has a different, elsewhere unheard stereo mix).
|English version by:|
Vít Benešovský, Jan "Johnny" Petrus