ALBUMS REVIEWS

A recollection of albums’ reviews as published in the press at the time of their releases …

Arnold Layne/Candy and a Current Bun (UK/US: 10.03.1967)

« This is the group that creates such an impact on stage with its visual effects — flashing lights, colour slides, and so on-Must say that, aurally, this doesn’t Strike me as very psychedelic.But it Is an unusual disc, with an off-beat weird lyric and blockbusting sound. Great organ work, twangs and a spine-tingling buflfL With all their publicity, they could well hit with this.Flip: A jogging jaunty best, underlying fuzz guitar and mid-tempo pace. Solo Is part sang, parr whispered, with strange oscillating chanting. More like psychedelia. »

« Psychedelic Pink Floyd », New Musical Express, 18 March 1967

« Le nouveau groupe dont on parle... et qu’on ne se prive pas non plus d’ecouter. Un disque très, très bien fait et une publicity habilement axée sur le psychédélique, il n’en fallait pas plus pour éveiller la curiosity. Un disque qui accroche fort bien avec Arnold Layne et qui intrigue et amuse avec Interstellar overdrive. Mais ne nous affolons pas ! Malgré leur habileté, ces themes sont pourtant loin de valoir, par exemple, ceux des Beatles. Et Overdrive, entièrement instrumental, n’est en somme qu’une sorte de musique concrete, pour films — toujours un peu naifs, hélas ! — de science-fiction. Sachez, oh lecteurs de « Rock & Folk » probablement préoccupés par d’autres styles, qu’il se crée dans le domaine de la musique fantastique des choses autrement plus délirantes dans certains de nos conservatoires et laboratoires d’enregistrements. Mais achetez toujours le Pink Floyd ; cela vous aiguisera I’appêtit, a petites doses. »

« Disques», Rock & Folk, June 1967

See Emily Play/Scarecrow (US 16.06.1967)

« I felt that on the Pink Floyd’s last disc, the psychedelia in which they specialise didn’t really come through but, golly, they’ve made up for it on this new one. It’s crammed with weird oscillations, reverberations, electronic vibrations and fuzzy rumblings. Surprisingly, somewhere amid the happening, there’re also a pleasant mid-tempo tune that’s appealingly harmonized. Should register! Flip: An interesting track, with fascinating harmonies. Medium-paced, with a clip-clop rythm and flute lending an old-world quality. Nice acoustic work »

« Melody survives Pink Floyd’s happening », New Melody Maker, 17 June 1967

« Excitement as expected. Some rather good controlled vocal work but so easily expected. Actually this is the group’s best so far and it builds ell enough to be a substantial hit. The insane ental phases later on are  clever and certainly different. Very well done, gents. Flip: More good ideas but lirically stronger than the melody (…) »

« The Pink Floyd », Record Mirror, 16 June 1967

« See Emily Play is one of those hard to predict outing's that could hit in a grand manner or fall flat. Judging from reaction in England and first impressions here, the electronic gimmickry and weird goings-on that break up the unusual ballad-rock song make it tend toward the hit category. May break wide open. Catchy middle-eastern novel ballad couplet »

« Newcomers Picks », CashBox, 12 August 1967

Apples & Oranges/ Paintbox (1967)

« Psychedelia, with a hint of the tongue-in-cheek, to my mind. Certainly there are some more good and progressive ideas here—song is about a supermarket shopper, basically. Very fast set of lyrics most of the way. An obvious hit; exciting. Flip: I’ll play it again and then make up my mind! »

« Singles Reviews », Record Mirror, 18 November 1967

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The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)

« This is a very fine debut album for the English quartet. They get full sound value out of their instruments perfectly ordinary ones producing listenable avant garde rock. On their 9:42 Interstellar Overdrive, organ and guitar intermesh exquisitely and are not used to produce a mere reproduction of other groups’ sounds. The remaining eight tracks are off-beat rock and lads employing control freakout bridges. A simple I endearing jazz number Pow R. Toch (sic), with ina laughter and a rock bridge See Emily Play should have been a hit but Bland Dulla wouldn't play it. In sho there is some terrific mu: here that the discriminative buyer could beat the rush »

« Pink Floyd », Crescent, April 1967

« Syd Barrett takes 10 of the 11 composing credits, is lead guitar and vocalist on this new-sound-seeking album, which varies the music from outer-space (Astronomy Dominé) to Arabic (Matilda Mother) to Jazz (Pow R. Toc H.). The rasping guitar is much to the fore, and the vocals ire largely distorted. Shouts and raving laughs came in suddenly, and there is some raving organ from Rick Wright in Muddy Waters' Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk. And one very long track, Interstellar Overdrive, takes up most of side two with its weird, extra loud overtones. Nicky -Mason’s drum effects on Scarecrow are good, too. »

« Pink Floyd; The Piper at the Gates of Dawn », New Musical Express, 2 September 1967

« Philippe Rault vous en avait déjà parlé dans le numéro 9. Ceux qui crient à la mort des groupes n’ont qu’à écouter ce 30 cm qui vient de paraître en France : si les Beatles restent toujours au sommet par l’étonnante dose de sensibilité qui imprègne leurs interprétations, Pink Floyd et Soft Machine sont là pour faire avancer le mouvement, véritable avant-garde de la pop music, passionnantes tentatives de synthèses entre les différents courants qui animent la musique moderne.

Il existe chez le Pink Floyd une certaine dose de sophistication — du moins en disque — qui leur évite de tomber dans le délire gratuit, ce piège tendu aux bousculeurs de barrières. Mais ils n’oublient pas non plus le « beat », l’émotion, les couleurs sonores capables de chatouiller l’oreille entre deux orgasmes. Chaque pièce est soigneusement élaborée et l’intelligence musicale persiste au sein des résonances démoniaques, dans les fulgurances électroniques, les stridences cuisinées. C’est peut-être moins sérieux que les recherches de la musique classique moderne (bien qu'on y cultive abondamment le « n’importe quoi », contrairement à ce que le smoking laisserait penser) mais en tout cas, c’est plus rigolo.

Le problème, d’un Pink Floyd, pour moi, c’est de rester pop. Car cette musique ne passe pas tellement en radio. Les Beatles, aussi dingues dans leur genre, n’oublient jamais la mélodie qui accroche, aiment le bon sirop, tellement bon que l’on souhaite aux Pink Floyd et Soft Machine d’en trouver la recette. A moins que, précurseurs courageux, Pink et Soft ne préparent, dans leurs extrêmes audaces, l’avènement de nouveaux Beatles. En attendant, écoutez Astronomy dominé »

« Disques », Rock & Folk, January 1968

« The psychedelic images of the group really comes to life on this LP, which is a fine showcase for both their talent and the recording technique. Plenty of mind-blowing sound - and the whole thing is extremely well performed »

« The Pink Floyd: « The Piper at the Gates of Dawn » », Record Mirror, September 1967

It Would be so Nice/Julia Dream (1968)

« My copy bears a message saying that it’s a specially edited and shortened version for broadcasting purposes. Despite that, it still runs 32-minutes, so goodness knows how long the ordinary shop-sold copies will last! However, you get far more than just excess time on this disc !

The main body of the performance is a Kink’s-like jogging good-time, bu all manner of other effects are thrown in for good measure—a pulsating voluminous chorus, tempo changes, crashing cymbals, fuzz guitars. In fact, it ends up sounding like a psychedelic « Teenage Opera ». But I’m not being derisive—there's a catchy melody line, an absorbing lyric and a fascinating sound. Could well be a sizeable hit!»

« All Happening Floyd », New Musical Express, 20 April 1968

« This arrived In specially shortened form (for deejays) but even so, sounds like a very big hit to me. Just about everything thrown into the backing arrangement . . . and the song is good, In every way. Nice rolling so and, plenty of surprises and a compact production from Norman Smith. Actually, I think It’s the best they've yet produced »

« It would be so Nice », Record Mirror, 20 April 1968

« Ça risque fort de vous plaire à condition que vous n’ayez jamais entendu A Day in the Life des Beatles »

« Disques », Rock & Folk, April 1968

A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)

« Pink Floyd presents an encore of psychedelic trickery, complete with twilight zone twangings, weird noises and other bits of electric monkey business. Remember a Day, Corporal Clegg and « A Saucerful of Secrets », a 12-minute excursion, highlight the group's graduate course in trip music aimed right at the FM listener and the thriving underground market. May even surface for some pop play »

« A Saucerful of Secrets », Billboard, 17 June 1968

« Taking Let There Be … as a sampler, this instantly impacts itself as a truly inventive barrier-breaking group performance. The avant-garde writers have already raved about it—and certainly it’s way ahead of the singles style of this somewhat under-rated outfit. Particularly on the instrumental side, they launch of ten-savage waves of sound — mostly beautifully constructed and of splendid power. This is music to listen to, dig deep into . . . forget it as background sounds for a party. Very highly commended »

« A Saucerful of Secrets », Record Mirror, 3 August 1968

« The Floyd have, through continual electronic experimentation both in the studio and on stage, evolved a distinctive sound. Let There Be More Light fully exploits this, and is as superior to the other tracks as Side One is. In my opinion, to Side Two, on which the title tune Saucerful Of Secrets is long and boring and has little to warrant its monotonous duration. See Saw, which is better, is somewhat unimaginative nevertheless, and Jugband Blues has nothing new.

There seems to be Increasing Instances of basically good tracks being ruined by the now mandatory bit of extended psychedelic electronics, which unless constructive and well engineered (as in the case of Vanilla Fudge) means nothing and gets nowhere and is getting as corny as Italian suits. Pink Floyd fans will probably find the album worth buying for side one alone »

« Pink Floyd: A Saucerful of Secrets », New Musical Express, 10 August 1968

« Already picking up strong play on progressive rock stations, Pink Floyd could have a chart album on its hands with this set. The English group (a quartet) has very successfully ventured into the area of almost pure psychedelia opened up by Jefferson Airplane and produces an eerie outer space sound. Most commercial piece is a vocal, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, followed closely by the title song (instrumental), and Let There Be More Light »

« Album Reviews », CashBox, 10 August 1968

« Already picking up strong play on progressive rock stations, Pink Floyd could have a chart album on its hands with this set. The English group (a quartet) has very success-1 fully ventured into the area of almost pure psychedelia opened up by Jefferson Airplane and produces an eerie outer space sound. Most commercial piece is a vocal, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, followed closely by the title song (instrumental), and Let There Be More Light »

« Album Reviews », CashBox, 10 August 1968

« The Pink Floyd were in the forefront of the self-consiously psychedelic rock movement in Britain as it developed over a year ago; they had to their credit a couple of promising singles (Arnold Layne and See Emily Play) and a fairly impressive first album « The Piper at the Gates of Dawn ». Syd Barrett (vocals and lead guitar) displayed a minor talent for writing as well as a not insubstantial ability to prepare special effects and production work. If much the Floyd did was based on gimmicks, Barrett at least had a keen ear that rather successfully structured gimmicks into a sort of pleasant « psychedelic chamber music ». Unfortunately the Pink Floyd's second album, « A Saucerful of Secrets », is not as interesting as their first, as a matter of fact, it is rather mediocre. For one thing Barrett seems either to have left the group or to have given up actively participating in it: only one Barrett composition is on the new album (Jugband Blues), and it hardly does credit to Barrett's credentials as a composer. With Barrett gone we are left with the work of bassist Roger Waters and organist Rick Wright. Waters (who wrote a couple of dull tracks on the first album) is an uninteresting writer, vocalist, and bass player. Let There Be More Light and Set the Controls for the Heart of The Sun are boring melodically, harmonically, and lyrically. The production work is not as glittery as the first album's, and the instrumental work is shoddy and routine; yet both tracks run some five minutes, two examples of unnecessary length in rock.

Waters' Corporal Clegg at least has the virtue of brevity, as well as not sounding like it was written in a drugged stupor, but its unoriginal melody is much too Beatley for these post Sgt. Pepper days. Rick Wright, whose organ playing is generally capable if not inventive, has also contributed a couple of songs to Saucerful. Remember a Day itself is inoffensive, but features some rather miserable bottleneck guitar, second rate piano, and empty-sounding acoustic guitar work. Here, as throughout, Nickie Mason's drumming is busy and ineffective. Wright's See-Saw is a ballad scored vocally in a style incongruously reminiscent of Ronnie and The Daytonas.

The album's title track is eleven minutes of psychedelic muzak, hardly electronic music, but hardly creative rock either. There's a lot of interesting noise, and at times one almost is tempted to take the whole conglomeration as a significant experimental probe.

But as the chaos settles reassuringly into a banal organ-cum-religious chorus final, one realizes that the Pink Floyd are firmly anchored in the diatonic world with any deviations from that norm a matter of effect rather than musical conviction. Unfortunately a music of effects is a weak base for a rock group to rest its reputation on ó but this is what the Pink Floyd have done »

« Pink Floyd: A Saucerful of Secrets », Rolling Stone, 26 October 1968

« This is the music to listen to, dig deep into … But forget it as background sounds for a party. Very Highly »

« A Saucerful of Secrets », Record Mirror, August 1968

« Sommes-nous sur « La planète des singes » ou dans « L'odyssée de I'espace an 2001 » (sic)? Je n'en sais rien, mais pour s’évader, pour s'envoyer en I'air, la musique des Pink Floyd, il n'y a rien de tel. Ayant peu écouté nos compares Wright, Gilmore, Waters et Mason, je ne comprenais pas I'engouement qu’approuvaient pour eux mes amis Koechlin, Boursier et Hackenbuch* Cette fois, ça y est je suis convaincu dès la premiere plage, Let there be more light. II est conseilié de regarder le recto de la pochette tout en écoutant I'album, peut-être y découvrirez-vous quelque mystère, comme moi »

« Disques », Rock & Folk, December 1968

* Journalistes de « Rock & Folk »

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Point me at the Sky/Careful with that Axe, Eugène (1968)

« Point this at the chart and let it fly! Cynics who maintain the Floyd are a spent force should prepare to masticate their syllables. They have successfully isolated a strain of pop production that is both infectious and imaginative. The riffs are old but the sounds and thoughts are new.

After several plays the lyrics are still little obscure, working on the assumption they mean more than the introduction which simply talks about building a flying machine and taking off. "'Idden depth,” that’s what I suspect is behind this Floydian hit. »

« Plumbing the 'idden depths' of Pink Floyd », Melody Maker, 14 December 1968

« After an unexpectedly subdued ballad-type opening, the Pink Floyd brings out all its various psychedelic gimmicks— muffled echo vocals, reverberating twangs, jet stream effects and sundry oscillations and distortions.

The overall effect is quite shattering—a positive wall of conflicting sounds, among which you can pick out a walloping beat and a commercially catchy riff phrase. There are also several tempo breaks, when the routine assumes an air of almost pastoral tranquility.

Apart from the excessive volume, I found it intriguing and absorbing —quite the best Floyd single to be issued for some long time »

« Great Floyd », New Musical Express, 14 December 1968

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More (1969)

« At least the Floyd haven’t deserted the music that brought them fame … This is a sophisticated psychedelic LP with everything' from noisy rock (The Nile Song) to some neo-Jazz numbers. Pretty songs here too. and it must be great for stoned listening, although there are enough records like that already. 

But, they've tried very hard and mostly this LP comes off well — should sell. Yet it does lend to sound a little dated »

« The Pink Floyd: « More » », Record Mirror, 21 June 1969

« The Pink Floyd group—Waters, Wright, Gilmour and Mason— have written between them some very varied and unusual sound tracks to accompany the film « More ».

Strong drum beats with overriding startling melodic sounds dominate Main Theme; raving blues-rockers are Nile Song and Ibiza Bar. Quicksilver is weird, out of the world music, and there are birds singing (as well as the Floyd) in Cirrus Minor. There are Spanish sounds, folk sounds and jazz sounds —-all interesting»

« Spanish, Folk and Jazz Floyd» »,  New Musical Express, 21 June 1969

« Barbet Schrœder, metteur en scène de « More » ; « J'ai dû baisser le volume de la musique. Sa qualité « tuait » littéralement certaines scènes. » Voilà, il ne reste qu'une chose à faire pour tous ceux qui ont vu « More »: courir s'acheter la bande sonore du film et l'écouter à pleine puissance. Quant à ceux qui n'ont pas vu le film, qu'ils sachent bien que ce n'est pas une condition indispensable pour apprécier le nouveau chef - d'œuvre (c'est le mot, c'est le mot) des Pink Floyd. « More» est un disque stupéfiant de qualité, et Pink Floyd est certainement l'un des groupes (LE?) les plus mûrs du moment. Cela commence par des gazouillis d'oiseaux et continue par la musique de quatre jeunes gens qui n'ont plus grand-chose à apprendre pour ce qui est du maniement des instruments et de l'écriture musicale. Différent de l'album précédent (« A saucerful of Secrets») parce que celui-ci est, ne l'oublions pas, une musique de film, donc adaptée à des situations qui ne sont pas nées dans l'esprit des Pink Floyd, et qu'il a fallu malgré tout se plier à certains impératifs, « More » (et c’est là qu'il faut féliciter Barbet Schrœder d'avoir laissé au groupe une liberté aussi totale) n'en reflète pas moins parfaitement l'esprit dans lequel les Pink Floyd ont toujours conçu et joué leur musique: technique d'une rigueur sans faille mise au service d'une imagination délirante. Le mariage impossible de la folie et de la raison (Main theme en est la parfaite illustration). Une réussite totale, aussi bien dans les parties chantées que dans les instrumentaux (écoutez David Gilmour jouer le blues à la manière de... Pink Floyd — « More blues » —, c'est assez étonnant; écoutez Rick Wright, tout seul avec son orgue Quicksilver, ça ne l'est pas moins), réussite due à quatre musiciens qui, à leur immense talent, ont le bon goût d'ajouter un refus constant de tout ce qui pourrait sembler facilité ou vulgarité. Il est toujours difficile d’affirmer qu'un disque est indispensable, c'est affaire de goût et celui-ci a bien peu de chances de trouver une place dans la discothèque d'un fan d'Eddie Cochran ou d’un autre de Joan Baez. Mais on dit que les amateurs de pop-music ont l'esprit large, alors... si ces quelques lignes pouvaient donner l'idée à ceux qui ne les connaissent pas d'écouter, simplement d'écouter, les Pink Floyd, il est certain qu'ils ne le regretteraient pas»

« Disques », Rock & Folk, September 1969

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Ummagumma (1969)

« A truly great progressive LP from the Floyd. The mixture of psychedelia and classical patterns has transformed their music and on this double-LP set they present a two-fold approach: Record One is a ‘live’ recording made in Birmingham in June*, and the other disc is the studio album. Both are tremendous with little or no difference in sound quality. They explore and investigate sounds, music, gimmicks, to their fullest extent, but they always remain faithful to the progressive approach - there are no pseudo -R & B or white blues tracks here. Everything is beautifully recorded with a clean precision. Certainly the best and most important record Harvest have put out. Tracks range from the musically beautiful, to tilings like Roger Waters Several Species of small furry animals gathered together in a cave and grooving with a Pict »

« Floyd still a truly progressive outfit », Record Mirror, 8 Novembre 1969

* In fact, recorded on May

« Tellement attendu, cet album ! Les amateurs du Pink Floyd sont de plus en plus nombreux et, comme les Soft Machine, le groupe est en train de passer du statut de formation underground à celui de formation populaire. Oh I ce n'est pas encore le grand succès, mais les moments les plus difficiles, ceux où l'on se demande si l'on va pouvoir continuer, sont aujourd'hui passés. Le public, extrêmement fidèle, du Pink Floyd lui permet désormais de vivre plutôt que de survivre. Quand les États-Unis entreront dans la danse, ce qui, logiquement, ne devrait plus tarder, le groupe aura la satisfaction d'être parvenu au succès sans avoir jamais fait la moindre concession. C'est une chose qui compte peu. sans doute, dans un milieu où la compromission est presque une institution (pourquoi presque?), mais il y a encore des gens qui y attachent de l'importance. Les Pink Floyd, par exemple Bon. Ummagumma est une œuvre en deux parties, très différentes l'une de l'autre, également intéressantes. Le premier disque, enregistré en direct dans un collège de Birmingham (eh I oui, l'Angleterre est bien loin, un autre monde), est d'une qualité absolument exceptionnelle. Les quatre morceaux ont déjà été enregistrés par le Pink Floyd, et l'étonnant est que leur version « en direct » soit encore supérieure à celle réalisée en studio. Et il y a encore des gens pour prétendre que le Pink Floyd n'est pas un groupe de scène! Il serait bien vain de vouloir faire un choix parmi ces quatre titres et de prétendre que l'un d'eux est supérieur aux autres. Toujours, sans la moindre petite faille, sans ces petits relâchements ou approximations auxquels échappent rarement les performances en public, le Pink Floyd enchante l'oreille et l'esprit. La musique du groupe possède cette formidable qualité d'être constamment mélodieuse, de savoir s'aventurer AILLEURS sans prendre pour ce faire le parti-pris de l'agression. Jamais cette musique n'est choquante pour l'oreille, pour cette raison, sans doute, lui refusera-t-on le qualificatif sacré de « révolutionnaire ». Et pourtant, quelle démonstration de la façon dont il faut savoir aller plus loin est le second disque de ce double-album I Disque qui permet à chaque membre du groupe de s'exprimer à son tour, en tant que compositeur et en tant qu'interprète. On dit toujours d'un groupe soudé que sa musique est le résultat d'une somme d'oppositions et d'influences réciproques, mais on a rarement l'occasion d'entendre chaque membre dudit groupe exposer ses idées personnelles. C'est ce qu'ont fait les Pink Floyd ici, chacun d'eux ayant composé à sa propre intention une petite œuvre. Des quatre morceaux, le plus original est sans aucun doute celui de l'organiste Rick Wright, la plus forte personnalité du groupe. A lui seul, son « Sysyphus » résume le Pink Floyd tel que nous le définissions plus haut: parfait équilibre de l'aventure et du classicisme, constance de la beauté. De Wright viennent ce goût des splendeurs et de leurs déchirements, tout ce qu'il peut y avoir de dramatique dans certains climats propres au groupe. De lui vient également la rigueur parfois sévère d'une musique dont l'impact et la richesse sonore laissent parfois oublier combien elle est pensée, élaborée. Le bassiste, Roger Waters, fournit, lui, l'élément chanson-pop. Son thème est une fort belle mélodie, de facture très classique. Le guitariste David Gilmour semble bien être, au sein du groupe, celui qui apporte cette petite touche « spatiale» si particulière, si indissociable du son du Pink Floyd. Il fait de plus la démonstration de son excellent jeu de guitare, fondu dans la couleur générale, plus une ponctuation sonore qu'un solo au vrai sens du terme. Nick Mason, pour finir, est au même titre que le précédent, l'un des artisans de l'aventure spatiale du Pink Floyd. Son jeu de batterie s'y prête d'ailleurs fort bien, peu technique. tout entier axé sur les grondements et les roulements étouffés des toms, marquant un tempo lâche et fort avare de ses cymbales. Batteur peu fait pour les exhibitions individuelles (seul Wright l'est, en fin de compte, dans le groupe) Mason est, au même titre que ses compagnons, un créateur de climats et un chercheur du son avant tout. Tout ceci est évidemment un peu schématique èt ne tient pas compte des possibles influences réciproques, par exemple, pas plus que de tout ce que Syd Barrett avait pu apporter au Pink Floyd. Il paraît néanmoins évident que si chaque membre du groupe a décidé de s'octroyer un morceau, ,c'est parce qu'il avait des idées à y exposer, dans ce morceau. La leçon de l'histoire et de ce magnifique album est que les Pink Floyd, pris dans leur ensemble ou séparément, restent toujours des Pink Floyd, profondément marqués par leur appartenance à l'un des groupes les plus passionnants de ce temps »

« Disques », Rock & Folk, December 1969

« Waters’ tranquil Grantchester Meadows is a thing of permanent beauty and the whole set can be recommended as an example of exploratory thinking at its best »

« Album review », Melody Maker, 8 Novembre 1969

« Their individual offerings on the second album are still unmistakably Floyd, but presented in four different styles … »

« Album review », Disc & Music Echo, 11 Novembre 1969

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Atom Heart Mother (1970)

« Are we to presume from Atom Heart Mother that the Floyd are concerning themselves with man's eternal conflict with machines, and of the contrasts and gulf between the extremes of the two, or is it just that it makes a funky title ? And-that the maternal moo cows on the cover make for a pretty pastoral scene.

The evidence inside tends to suggest that the Floyd aren't being flippant; Atom Heart Mother being the title of the album's major work and one of the Floyd's most grandiose compositions to date. Spread over the whole of side one and split into six movements, glorying In sach Floydian titles as Breast Milky and Mind Your Throats Please, it is a mixture of contrasting themes; from pastoral to 21st century schizoid electronics, the latter bearing the mark of fifth composer Ron Geesin.

Opening with trumpets In a Westernlsh theme, leading into whinnying horses and revving motorbikes» it develops Into a typically expansive Floyd piece which passes through electronics Into a gentle soothing passage. Eerie voices — the John Alldiss Choir — coast over a wasteland before a glorious section of funky soul, superb organ and tight guitar, that would give Booker T. a run for his money. Couldn't be anything else but Funky Dung!

It's not without its cliches but, as a whole, stands as testimony to a constantly progressing group. Side two gives expression to the gentler Individual facets of the group;

If by Roger Waters, Summer '68 by Richard Wright and Fat Old Sun by David Gilmour vying with each other for prettiness. Wright's is the most beaty. and a shade Beatlesish with its strident trumpet breaks. Another group composition, Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast in three parts, concludes the album and contains some nice moments from piano and acoustic guitar. I think, though, that I could have done without « Alan » talking to himself, washing, pouring his coffee, crunching his breakfast and listening to his Rice Krisples going snap, crackle and pop »

« Funky Floyd: most grandiose work to date », New Musical Express, 10 October 1970

« In august grandeur the new Pink Floyd LP now floats before us. Superlatives become meaningless in the face of the awesome compositions and musicianship on display here. « Atom Heart Mother », a suite filling side one is as important to rock music as « Sgt. Pepper », « Tommy » and « Wheels Of Fire ». It represents a total integration of rock and operatic principles using a chorus and brass choir as part of the group. Their addition is not an augmentation, and that makes an important difference. And the main theme towers in Mahler-like power and intensity. Side two consists of four group compositions all of varying texture. Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast successfully blends music and sound effects to create an early morning atmosphere. One of the top LP's of the year. »

« Album Reviews », CashBox, 24 October 1970

« The most mature and finished piece of music the group has yet produced … The work has plenty of shifts of tecture, but maintains a mood of superb relaxation »

« Album Reviews », Melody Maker, 10 October 1970

« At one time, Pink Floyd was far-out, freaky even. Their work in the electronic capabilities of rock was more advanced than most people recognize. Their use of a third, rear, sound source anticipated quadraphonics. And their music, if it wasn't memorable, reached into the limits of their experimentation. Most other groups, when they thought in terms of electronics, thought only of painful feedback. Pink Floyd used sounds no one else thought of and could make them lyrical besides. Their last album, « Ummagumma », while a bit drawn-out, had all their best elements. « Atom Heart Mother » is a step headlong into the last century and a dissipation of their collective talents, which are considerable. Side one is a suite, almost a symphony. It has a lot in it. They use orchestral elements and a choir. The best that can be said for it is that it's craftsman-like and that in spite of its many parts, it's an entity. But that's all.

It turns out to be an Impressionist orchestral sketch of (I think) a morning that includes some rock elements. As Impressionism, it's occasionally effective, but on a very imitative level. The beginning does sound sunrisey. And, there are sounds that draw pictures. But, as a whole it's awful schmaltzy and a little vapid.

Side two is generally worse. If is English folk at its deadly worst. It's soft and silly. Ditto Fat Old Sun. The only redeeming feature on this side is the last cut, Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast and then only partially so. The part is not the music, but the integrated Arising and Breakfast sounds. I was listening through earphones, and so three-dimensional and realistic were the sounds that I took off the phones to see who was breaking in. I couldn't believe it to be part of the record. Once I got over that, though, it was the same insubstantial melange as the rest of the record. If Pink Floyd is looking for some new dimensions, they haven't found them here.

Try freaking out again, Pink Floyd »

« Pink Floyd: Atom Heart Mother », Rolling Stone, 10 December 1970

« Atom Heart Mother still has that mysterious, intangible feel that has always been the essence of Pink Floyd music, but it is one of these rare albums that gives more than it demands ans has a rich, gentle atmosphere »

« Album Reviews », Sounds, 10 October 1970

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RELICS (1971)

« Being a bizarre Collection of Antiques and Curios from England's foremost underground group. Of especial interest: their first-ever single (unreleased here) Arnold Layne, both sides of their Britain-only single Julia Dream and Paint Box (the latter side so totally into the feeling of A Day In The Life, that it's incredible), and a song previously unreleased anywhere, Biding My Time. All these among the best tracks ever recorded by Pink Floyd. Plus a glittering array of more well known songs: See Emily Play (their first single here), Careful With That Axe, Eugene, Remember A Day, and much, much more »

« Album Reviews », Cashbox, 17 July 1971

« Superb collection of the mysterious Floyd’s hit singles and best album tracks at a reasonable price. The fantastic See Emily Play, Arnold Layne, Careful With That Ax, Eugene and loads more. In fact, a total of about 51 minutes of music adds to the bargain. A definite requirement for all »

« Pink Floyd Relics », Record Mirror, 5 June 1971

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MEDDLE (1971)

« One can’t help but feel that Pink Floyd are so much sound and fury, signifying nothing. Their achievement has been to create a space rock sound, which revolves around the use of electronic effects combined with the usual musical instrumentation of four-piece rock bands, i.e. drums, guitar, bass and organ.

frequently, they have utilised this concept to good effect, right from the early days of Interstellar Overdrive and Astronimo Domine (sic)  to the Atomic Heart Mother (sic) and “ Ummagumma " album, but how much of this, in fact, has been pure effect?

Stripped of the sense of ethera the music hardly stands up as more i h a n competent rhythmic rock, while even the use old electronics and spacey atmospherics is not as adventurous as they may teem at first hear-i n e , especially when considered alongside such as ' Zero Times ’’ by Tonto’s Expanding Headband.

" Meddle ” exhibits all their faults, as well as their most successful points. The first side is taken up with songs, us opposed to long instrumental pieces, and it's in this area that they most expose themselves to criticism. Since Syd Barrett left there has been no one in the band able to cope with the sort of pithy statement that is necessary to the live-minute pop track, which undoubtedly explains why they have ceased to work to the single format. The vocals verge on the drippy, and the instrumental work-outs, which rely heavily on Dave Gilmour's guitar, are decidedly old hat. Listen to " One Of These Days it’s a throwback of " Telstar " by the Tornados..

The second side, Echoes  Is the one where the concept comes in. It encompasses the whole side, starts olf with a passage of asdic pings and lots of soaring guitar before settling into a genuinely funky organ riff, and then there is introduced some wind effects and the sound of cawing rooks (or it could be cows; that's how it comes across). It follows on with the beautiful cello set against further use of the asdic, before the whole piece crashes out in a crescendo of volume and rattling cymbals.

Far out, you may say. Not really. Although there appears to he some continuity in the work — the asdic echoes; get it? — my basic impression was of a series of effects without any underlying depth. Interesting, even aesthetic, thev may be but superficial ultimately. like background nones in a Radio Three play. When there is little real musical substance to sustain those effects, how can the result be anything hut a soundtrack to a non-existent movie »

« Pink's Muddled Meddle », Melody Maker, November 1971

« Marvellous long-awaited album from a recluse group that maintains its high regard with every release. Typically professional use of studio effects, plus excellent musicianship. 'Fearless' is a superb track featuring electric guitar picking, steady drumming and an ascending base line. Terrific blend of acoustic guitar and electrics and added Liverpool football chanting to end it. Pastiche howlin' blues includes doggy wailing on 'Seamus'. The whole of side two is taken with the symphonic scale of Echoes. From mood to mood, rhythm to rhythm, an expertly devised musical life-cycle that will take you down, back up, in, around, through and leave you on your way into outer space. Their best album yet »

« Pink Floyd Meddle », Record Mirror, 13 November 1971

« Floyd have done it again; something I thought would be difficult after the brilliance they showed with the Atom Heart Mother Suites a piece of musical mastery that took great courage to put on record, and evert greater courage to perform live — which they did successfully. On the second side of this album we hear Echoes, which in many ways is more important than Atom Heart. Side one is really three themes. One Of These Days and A Pillow Of Wind are linked to each other by the haunting wind (also a feature of Echoes, producing a continuing element), with gentle use of instruments including both acoustic and electric guitar, interplaying well. Days is more forceful, with Gil-mour showing off his guitar techniques. Fearless is on its own in many ways, with an almost country ish guitar and a variety of moods, with the football crowd chanting « You’ll never walk alone » totally relevant to the theme of the lyrics. Then San Tropez and Seamus have a feel of blues mixed with jazz. The former track shows much of Wright’s keyboard expertise and a more mellow Gilmour. The latter features howling dogs.

Now to Echoes — a zenith which Floyd have been striving for but only partly achieved last year. The introductory sound effects, giving the impression of a submarine underwater, provide a backcloth for the instrumentation — the effect then emerging and becoming wind. But It Is more than that.

Before, I had regarded Nick Mason as a solid consistent drummer, but now he shows a lot more flair, and Gilmour, Wright and Waters all contribute strongly to the piece. The music is grand, a good -ex*~ ample being the guitar bridge between th vocals, In what seems like a two part harmony, at the beginning. They use a similar technique in the arrangement to that used on Heart, building the music up, then easing it down, and neverletting the sound go empty, maintaining a compelling Interest.

The middle part is a strong rock structure, with Gilmour cutting through hard, while Wright works around the theme. The effects, sometimes comparative to an electric cayotte, bring back the opening mood. It fades out at the end, rather than leaving you In limbo — which always makes me feel frustrated.

The important thing is that Floyd have created dramatic music without having to draw off the strength of full brass and a choir. The wind is used as the choir, and the effects of the organ soar and hold like an orchestra, with a deep bass synthesised sound like a viola.

Though this piece. Echoes, is not as adventurous In structure as Heart, I feel it is more significant because they’ve done it on their own. An exceptionally good album »

« Floyd « Meddle » to good effect », New Musical Express, 13 November 1971

« Pink Floyd’s is the kind of music that sort of creeps up on you, starting softly, slowly, innocently, until all at once you’re enmeshed in the most sensuous kind of rock music. It’s basically instrumental and rightly so, as all four members are master musicians. When vocals are used, as on A Pillow of Winds, they become striking counterpoint to the music. Standouts: One Of These Days, and all 23l/2 minutes of Echoes, both of which allow plenty of space for David Gilmour’s superb guitar and Rick Wright’s electronic organ. A real treat »

« Album Reviews », CashBox, 23 October 1971

« Le nouvel album du groupe était très attendu : dans quelle direction le Pink Floyd se dirigerait-il après l'incursion dans la musique symphonique, singulièrement « pompier » de « Atom Heart Mother »? « Meddle » répond en partie, et en partie seulement, à cette attente. S'il semble marquer un retour à des conceptions musicales moins prétentieuses, il n'en continue pas moins à entretenir l'ambiguïté en proposant d'une part une face, constituée à partir de chansons qui rappellent celles de l'album « More » et d'autre part une face faite d'une seule pièce, «Echoes», qui elle est proche du climat de « Saucerful of secrets ». Il y a de toute façon dans ce disque moins d'académisme que dans le précédent, grâce surtout à des moments d'intensité dramatique fascinants. Si Ton excepte la guimauve de « St-Tropez », rien n'est réellement décevant. Si ce n'est plus un groupe «en avant» qui joue, s'il n'y a plus non plus une « urgence » de cette musique, elle n'en continue pas moins à conduire par sa résonance diffuse, son charme particulier, dans des régions extasiées de la conscience, du rêve, avec cette succession incantatoire de figures sonores qui se désagrègent progressivement à l'image des éclats lumineux du light-show. Il y a dans « Echoes » des instants d'une beauté sublime, esthétisante certes, raffinée, mais qui exerce encore souvent un pouvoir d'envoûtement.Ce qui reste remarquable, c'est la cohésion du groupe, la fusion de chaque instrument dans la masse suivant les grandes vagues qui transportent les sonorités dans un flux et reflux continu, jusqu'à l'évanouissement et le retourdesvoix. Il y a sans doute plus que du savoir-faire dans ce groupe, même si le recours à la chanson, qui fit d'ailleurs et avant tout son succès avec la musique du film « More », rend parfois sa démarche suspecte. 

Peut-être est-ce simplement un désir de ménager « intelligemment » à l'intérieur de l'œuvre des instants plus faciles, aisément commercialisables, ne serait-ce que par leur découpage en courtes séquences. On est loin de la folie, de l'expérimentation, de la démesure de la première époque, on se trouve en face de remarquables techniciens qui savent avec brio dessiner de nouveaux espaces, de nouvelles architectures avec une assurance de professionnels »

«  Disques », Rock & Folk, Décembre 1971

« Pink Floyd has finally emerged from the Atom Heart Mother phase, a fairly stagnant period in their musical growth, marked by constant creative indecision. They tried to cover for it by putting a particular series of subliminal sound effects on the Atom Heart LP, and by dragging in huge, unwieldy brass orchestra sections to their concerts. Nothing short of disaster on both counts. Their new album. Meddle not only confirms lead guitarist David Gilmour's emergence as a real shaping force with the group, it states forcefully and accurately that the group is well into the growth track again. The first cut, One Of These Days (I'm Going To Cut You Into Little Pieces) sticks to the usual Floyd formula (sound effect-slow organ build-lead guitar surge & climax-resolving sound effect), but each segment of the tune is so well done, and the whole thing coheres so perfectly that it comes across as a positive, high-energy opening. 

Next, we have a series of ozone ballads like Pillow Of Winds and San Tropez. Pleasant little acoustic numbers hovering over a bizarre back-drop of weird sounds. 

A clever spoof entitled Fearless leads up to a classic crowd rendition of Rodger's & Hammerstein's « You'll Never Walk Alone », the perennial victory song for the Wembley Cup Final crowd in England. And, to round off side one, a great pseudo-spoof blues tune with David Gilmour's dog Seamus taking over the lead « howl » duties.

Echoes, a 23-minute Pink Floyd aural extravaganza that takes up all of side two, recaptures, within a new musical framework, some of the old themes and melody lines from earlier albums. All of this plus a funky organ-bass-drums segment and a stunning Gilmour solo adds up to a fine extended electronic outing. « Meddle » is killer Floyd from start to finish »

« Pink Floyd: Meddle », Rolling Stone, 6 January 1972

« Pink Floyd has written and produced this sure-fire chart winner in their own unique style. LP features unusual sound effects, an entire side entitled Echoes, the 30's-style San Tropez ans a raunchy vocal workout on Seamus. Heavy FM play a certainty »

« Records », Billboard, 30 October 1971

« A side of surprises from the Floyd on this album, and on the other side a really effective and well-executed piece of music called Echoes. It's one of the most complete pieces of Pink Floyd music they’ve done, starting slowly with a repeated bleep, and introducing one by one Rick Wright's organ, Dave Gilmour’s guitar, Roger Waters’ bass, and Nick Mason’s drums until it builds to the first vocal piece. The opening section has a very full sound, with rolling electronic sounds that seem far away. The image is made clear in the verse which refers to being in a cave and hearing the sea away in the distance. It builds from there through a number of moods to the conclusion, using a lot of ideas but using them all with great subtelty — all worked in to a dense but clearly defined pattern. On side one, we have the surprises. “One of these Days” starts with the sound of wind, builds from an almost jaunty bass pattern to a full Floyd sound, and then winds down again to fade on the sound of the wind. “A Pillow of Winds” uses a pattern of acoustic and electric guitars to create a very slow and peaceful mood over which the vocal floats gently. “Fearless” is also heavily guitar-based, with a simple rhythm, and a beautifully husky vocal, and it ends with the Liverpool football crowd singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, which leads into Roger Waters’ “St. Tropez”, a bouncy little tune which is almost reminiscent of the Kinks at times. A very relaxed, very complete album from the Floyd, and I think one ’that will keep revealing more of itself for a long time as you listen. »

« Pink Floyd Meddle », Sounds, 13 November 1971

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OBSCURED BY CLOUDS (1972)

« One of the pioneers of pop soundtrack music with 'More' and extracts from 'Zabrlskie Point’, Pink Floyd’s now one is all music from the French film ’La Valee’. It’s not billed as a soundtrack, probably because the picture is by a little-known director (here anyway), Barbet Schroedor, no well-known acting names, and is not yet set for release. But with this music, they'ro already half way to a good film. The music stands up very well on its own too, the only clues that it is all from a film being some curious titles like ‘Wots . . . Uh The Deal', and a strange* little song on the last track, as usual for the Floyd, the music’s highly .evocative, with or without a film. The prevailing mood is dreamy, with melting, liquid vocals and the Instruments creating a floating feeling »

« Floyd still floating on film », Record Mirror, 17 June 1972

« What can you say about the ’Floyd that hasn't already been said—they’ve been aid on the musical couch too many times. An amazing album, very much n the “Meddle” style; less of the beautiful psychedelic imagery of « Ummagumma », more funk, as typified by the chunky passages on Atom Heart Mother and Echoes, on the « Meddle » album, here developed by Childhoods End, where Dave Gilmour’s guitar has a definite bluesy feel, and “When You’re In” which has an enormous majesty about it.

‘The Gold It’s. In . sounds uncharacteristically commercial—it’d probably make a good single, believe it or not. ‘Wot’s ... Uh The Deal” has that relaxed slightly distant feel of recent ’Floyd acoustic numbers, sounding as if Roger Waters is standing on top of a hill, singing across a valley. (Gad, wha't imagery!)

And yet, there are still examples of those familiar soaring whirling ’Floyd numbers, just to dispel any doubts some may have that “they’re becoming too commercial.” The title track, “Obscured By Clouds,” blasts through your head with a penetrating burring bass background and aural sunbursts, synthesised for some dark sinister corner of the solar system. It’s very good, too.

That last sentence rates a mention in pseud’s corner— sorry, but translating sounds into words is a bit superficial anyway. “Asolutely Curtains” has the same whirling organ sound as on “Careful With That Axe Eugene,” on “Ummagumma.” Like the “More” album, it’s the musical soundtrack to a film, called “La Vallee” which, from the cover shots, looks as if it’s set in New Guinea »

« Pink Floyd Obscured by Clouds », New Musical Express, 17 June 1972

« La musique du film « La Vallée » de Barbet Schroeder, comme pour « More » que l'association du groupe anglais et du réalisateur français avait conduit à un immense succès commercial. Le film raconte l’histoire d'un voyage à la recherche d'un paradis terrestre, « la vallée », l'histoire de cet échec. Le film, présenté à Cannes, fut pour tous une énorme déception:    la rencontre filmée en direct des personnages du film avec les habitants d'une tribu de la Nouvelle-Guinée laissait espérer plus que cette plate illustration. Le film se termine, frustrant, sans qu'aucun souffle ait pu en habiter les images. On pourrait dire qu'il en est de même avec la musique du Pink Floyd. Le groupe anglais a composé une musique «vide » et terne, dépouillée de toute vérité extérieure : de la musique pop anglaise banale par un groupe qui ne le devient (dans ce disque) pas moins. Barbet Schroeder n'a que très peu utilisé cette musique, pour le générique, pour le dernier plan ; quelques bribes dans le corps du film. Ce que l'on entend le mieux c'est d'ailleurs ce qui est le morceau véritablement Pink Floydien, « Obscured by clouds », où le travail sur les sons, le déplacement d'un son saturé d'un canal à l’autre rappellent les meilleures compositions spatiales du groupe. Le reste, chansons courtes, mélodies, harmonies, étale mièvrerie et ennui. La mauvaise gravure du disque (saturation) ne faisant qu'accentuer le caractère négligeable de cette musique de film. Il est sûr que les inconditionnels du groupe lui trouveront des résonances cachées, alors que cet album n'est que le résultat d'un contrat rempli sans passion »

« Disques », Rock & Folk, July 1972

« « here are still examples of those soaring whirling Floyd numbers, just to dispel any doubts they’re « becoming too commercial ». The title track blasts through your head with a penetrating burring bass background and aural sunbursts, synthesized for some dark sinister corner of the solar system » »

« Obscured by Clouds », Disc & Music Reviews, 17 June 1972

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THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON (1973)

« Pink Floyd proved that space rock was more than a fad. With each release, they further developed the form instrumentally. Now, they are fully into the sound effect as music in and of itself. But this new LP also features six vocal cuts, out of a total of ten—in the past, only occasionally did they hit the singin’ trail. David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Roger Waters get some harmonies together that should bring them their widest audience yet. About to begin a new U.S. tour, they should hit new heights on all fronts »

« Album Reviews », CashBox, 10 March 1973

« To use an old Dylan quote, « OK, what else can you show me ». Pink Floyd are so good at what they do that it seems churlish to knock it, but when you compare the effect they have now with the marvellously innovative position the Floyd enjoyed in ’67, it’s no wonder they’re becoming a little taken for granted. All their albums are well worth hearing, all of them are yet further proof of their superior mastery of instruments, production. And yet, the cumulative effect of the last few Floyd albums, magnificent though they were in their own right, seems to me to be getting less and less. Even listening to Dark Side Of The Moon in the perfect setting of the London Planetarium wasn’t enough to forestall a feeling of aural déjà vu. We all know that the Floyd are unsurpassed at creating space - like effects — music to fly through space by, and they can still leave Silver Machine standing. But it’s difficult to agree with Roger Waters’ quote that “It’s much more different to anything we’ve ever done before.” To me, Dark Side Of The Moon has little of the awesome climax of Atom Heart Mother, rather less cohesion and invention than Meddle and considerable similarity to Obscured By Clouds, the film soundtrack on their last album. Still, they are the best group »

« Haven't we heard all this before ? », Record Mirror, 10 March 1973

« Since their performance of this work at the Brighton Dome last year, when, due to technical hitches, the piece fell apart half way through, the structure of « Dark Side Of The Moon » has developed considerably. Like an aircraft, or spaceship, it has been die subject of numerous modifications to enable lift-off. The result is what is apdy described by one of the cuts as The Great Gig In The Sky.

Musically this album is not simularto the style formulated with first, « Atom Heart Mother » and then « Meddle », though thematically it’s stronger — on the most worldly of subjects: madness. « I’ve been mad for tucking years » says a voice as Nick Mason’s heart-beat drum starts Speak To Me. Bum-bum, bum-bum . . .

That in itself is an over simplification, because close inspection of Roger Waters lyrics in Breathe or Money reveal ties with the causes of lunacy or death from overwork, and to the separation of races or classes in Us And Them.With die possibility of sounding a little high faluting, « Dark Side » is about life and the result is not too pretty a picture, particularly as suggested by Eclipse.

Probably this is Floyd’s most successful artistic venture. Not only are the lyrics statements of opinion, usually quite discernable, but they’re enhanced by some clever tape and sound effects. And there are hideous mad-man laughs frequently recurring.

The music from Speak To Me oozes gracefully Into the melody of Breathe, with die vocals swaying in a wondrous relaxed magic, to be followed by the hi-hat running assbcula-tion of Mason. Then the airport ! announcement, and footsteps I from speaker to speaker, and you fed you’re “On The Run”.

A roar of thunderous electronics preludes, with clock ticking, Time. Which follows | a metronome tempo through-I out, with some startling synthetisiser effects that would not be misplaced during a half hour with Dr. Who. Although one may find musical similarities with the two previous sets, there is doubtless a development in form. and structure, such as the way Time reeks of thick chords and the way the simple foundation is buht with the female backing vocals. Or through a reprise of Breathe, and a gradual, unobtrusive transgression to that melody with Rick Wright’s pretty little piano lines, fluttering until the guitar creeps in. Here the structure becomes overworked because the basic simplicity of the bass line is completely repetitive, but because of the magnificent voice of Clare Torry it avoids losing one’s attention — which probably would have happened. Floyd, it would appear, are now widening their scope to provide new focal points. In the same way as these ladies boost the vocals, the sax blows of Dick Parry create an alternative lead to the guitar or keyboard. But the door of musical influences is slightly qjar, to allow In “Us And Them” and a vocal peak which is more akin to the Moody Blues than the Floyd.

That piece is preceded by a long instrumental build, designed for late-night listening and coffee-drinking, with the sax drifting around in the saucer. But I’ll bet by the time you’ve got to eating your After-Eight you’ll have spilt a lot of the beverage.

Though the band climb : slowly through “Brain Damage” and “Eclipse”, they i once again reached a climax, . and in a most annoying way they chop it.

“There is no dark side to the I moon really, as a matter of fact,” informs a voice, “it’s all dark”. Bum-bum, bum-bum, bum-bum »

« Floyd: the great gig in the sky », New Musical Express, 17 March 1973

« Pas un exemple n'a fait mentir l'axiome selon lequel un groupe a le droit de faire un faux-pas dans sa carrière. En revenant quelque peu sur le passé du Pink Floyd, on constate que le groupe n'a fait de réelles erreurs qu'en enregistrant la bande sonore du film « Obscured By Clouds», et quelques plages de « More », assez douteuses : tout cela était par trop éloigné de l'essence de la musique du groupe. Ce travail, effectué sur commande, échut aux musiciens parce que leur musique semblait a-priori idéale pour renforcer les images de films, mais il se trouve que nombreuses sont les séquences d'un film, nombreuses et brèves doivent être les illustrations musicales. Pink Flovd. c'est justement le contraire. C'est une musique lâche, qui s'étale et s'épand à l'infini. 

La musique de Pink Floyd, la vraie et la meilleure, la voici, dans ce « Dark Side Of The Moon », suite de longues chansons qui s'enchaînent intimement. Musicalement, du moins, car les textes ne possèdent entre eux aucune relation évidente, encore que « Eclipse », le dernier morceau, soit apparemment un résumé des mots et des idées énoncés précédemment. (« All you see/ All you touch » provient de « Breathe », « All that you buy, deal » de « Money », etc...). « Et tout ce qui est sous le soleil est en harmonie/ Mais le soleil est éclipsé par la lune », conclut le tout.

« Dark Side Of The Moon » est bien entendu ce morceau que le Floyd jouait en première partie des concerts donnés en France il y a quelques mois. Très prometteur en public, il gagne encore à être écouté en disque car les authentiques trouvailles, les surprises dans les arrangements sont alors réellement audibles. La rigoureuse progression de l'amplitude des fréquences du VCS3 dans « On The Run »; le délicat piano de Richard Wright («Time»): le punch les chœurs féminins en général (et surtout l'exploit solitaire de Clare Torry dans « The Great Gig In The Sky»). Les cuivres ne sont plus ces trop lourdes fanfares comme celles de « Atom Heart Mother », mais principalement des soli qui aèrent les morceaux et leur donnent un nouvel élan (« Us And Them » et « Money »).

La prise de son est intégralement fantastique et la production de ce disque aisément la meilleure de tout ce qu'a fait le Floyd à ce jour. Une pièce comme « Money » semble anodine sauf lorsque l'on écoute la précision du mixage des voix, des guitares wa-wa ou rythmique, du saxo et des vibratos : tous ces sons, dont (53S deux ne se mélangent ni ne se ressemblent, se répondent dans chaque temps de la mesure, donnant à la chanson un impeccable équilibre rythmique.

La même remarque aurait pu être faite pour « Great Gig », où Wright joue de l'orgue Hammond et du piano. T out cela parfaitement en place et réglé à la fraction de seconde, n'empêche cependant pas une urgence certaine de se manifester de-ci de-là, notamment dans les chorus de David Gilmour. (plus incisif que (« Any Colour You Like »). D'autre part, les rythmes, les couleurs des épisodes de ce « Dark Side Of The Moon » varient suffisamment pour ne pas risquer de lasser. Un moment de véritable folie électro-acoustique aurait été le bienvenu, mais l'œuvre est en elle-même si bien composée, et réserve tant de surprises que l’on n'en ressent pas vraiment la nécessité. Voix féminines solistes, saxophone, écho à la Terry Riley («Any Colour You Like ») : immense est l'éventail des sonorités utilisées. Toutes se justifient, jamais une trace de surcharge, d'effets artificiels ou de longueurs. La certitude retirée d « Ummagumma » était que chacun de ces musiciens avait des idées intéressantes, mais la musique du Floyd n'en bénéficiait pas immédiatement (sauf en ce qui concernait les anciens morceaux, régénérés). « Atom Heart Mother» et «Meddle» vinrent ensuite, et l'on fut déçu de ce qu'ils ne concrétisaient pas réellement les promesses d'« Ummagumma ». C'est que ce n'était là qu'essais, étapes vers l'œuvre longue, logiquement structurée qu’est « Dark Side Of The Moon ». Longues dans l'espace sont les mesures de la musique du Pink Floyd, longue dans le temps a été - et sera - l'évolution de cette musique. Les membres de ce groupe ne sont pas des techniciens, ni même des instrumentistes virtuoses, mais des compositeurs instinctifs, qui travaillent davantage les sonorités que les techniques de l'écriture musicale. Leur système d'harmonisation (chevauchement d'accords ou de parcelles d'accords), leur procédés rythmiques (il s'agit rarement de marquer le tempo, plus souvent d'accompagner les mélodies par une recherche sonore de percussion - cf. «Time»), tout cela, malgré les apparences, est en fait beaucoup moins complexes  que fait un groupe comme Ves, par exemple. Mais c est justement la simplicité de sa musique qui est la cause du succès remporté par le Floyd : parfaitement harmonisées, séduisantes, élégantes, ces mélodies planantes ont un aspect Grande Musique qui apparaît nettement plus « sérieux » que le rock des Stones. Et ce n'est en aucun cas diminuer les mérites de Pink Floyd que d'affirmer cela. L'important est qu'il continue et! progresse magnifiquement dans la voie qu'il s'est lui-même tracée, voie suivie par des dizaines de groupes qui, ne possédant pas toujours le bagage technique suffisant, ont compris qu'il pouvaient néanmoins exprimer la musique qu'il y avait eg eux, et faire partager leurs émotions à tous ceux qui veulent se laisser emporte/ dans un monde éthéré»

« Disques », Rock & Folk, April 1973

« I don’t care if you’re never heard a note of Pink Floyd’s music in your life. I’d unreservedly « The Dark Side of the Moon » to everyone. Accept the reviewer’s inherent arrogance, but accept also that in every sense of the word this is great music »

« Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon », Sounds, 10 March 1973

« Le dernier disque de Pink Floyd remplira de joie, et les fans inconditionnels du groupe, et ceux qui, aux recherches de sons spatiaux, préfèrent les défonces plus simples du rock n' roll. On pouvait reprocher aux derniers enregistrements du groupe de chercher à s’intéresser à un public sophistiqué et délicieusement dans le coup. L'esthétisme avec un grand E et le son avec un grand S étaient les principaux soucis du Floyd. Un snobisme certain les poussait à tenter des expériences diverses, comme des musiques de film ou de ballet ; Pink Floyd cherchait peut-être à donner des lettres de noblesse au mouvement underground auquel ils appartinrent il y a quelque années, ils ne se rendaient pas compte que le circuit « culturel » dans lequel ils se mouvaient les étouffaient petit à petit et les faisait prisonniers à jamais d’un intellectualisme de bon ton. Pink Floyd amorce maintenant un nouveau virage, c’est du moins l’impression que l’on retire à l’écoute de « Dark side of the moon ». Leur musique reprend du muscle et Gilmour ou Wright n'hésitent pas à prendre des soli rock tandis que Mason et Waters retrouvent la simplicité des tempos qui swinguent.

Parallèlement, les expériences passées n'ont pas été oubliées, la recherche du son, la perfection de l'enregistrement, les divers effets électroniques se retrouvent tout au long de ces dix morceaux, mais ils ne sont plus l'argument majeur de cette musique, tout au plus la signature, le coup de patte final qui différencie Pink Floyd d'un autre groupe. Deux morceaux ressortent immédiatement à la première écoute, ce sont les superbes Money » et Us and Them. Pour les enregistrer, les Floyd ont d'ailleurs fait appel au saxophoniste Dick Parry qui leur prête une main secourable et son sax beuglant. Les Floyd semblent bien chercher à renouer avec la musique rock. C'est bien réjouissant car électronique plus zim boum boum cela donne un bien bel album. Espérons qu'ils ne s'arrêteront pas là »

« Sasha Reins à choisi: Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon », Best, May 1973

« One of Britain's most successful and long lived avant-garde rock bands, Pink Floyd emerged relatively unsullied from the mire of mid-Sixties British psychedelic music as early experimenters with outer space concepts. Although that phase of the band's development was of short duration, Pink Floyd have from that time been the pop scene's preeminent techno-rockers: four musicians with a command of electronic instruments who wield an arsenal of sound effects with authority and finesse. While Pink Floyd's albums were hardly hot tickets in the shops, they began to attract an enormous following through their US tours. They have more recently developed a musical style capable of sustaining their dazzling and potentially overwhelming sonic wizardry.

The Dark Side of the Moon is Pink Floyd's ninth album and is a single extended piece rather than, a collection of songs. It seems to deal primarily with the fleetingness and depravity of human life, hardly the commonplace subject matter of rock. "Time" ("The time is gone the song is over"), "Money" ("Share it fairly but don't take a slice of my pie"). And "Us And Them" ("Forward he cried from the rear") might be viewed as the keys to understanding the meaning (if indeed there is any definite meaning) of The Dark Side of the Moon.

Even though this is a concept album, a number of the cuts can stand on their own. "Time" is a fine country-tinged rocker with a powerful guitar solo by David Gilmour and "Money" is broadly and satirically played with appropriately raunchy sax playing by Dick Parry, who also contributes a wonderfully-stated, breathy solo to "Us And Them." The non-vocal "On The Run" is a standout with footsteps racing from side to side successfully eluding any number of odd malevolent rumbles and explosions only to be killed off by the clock's ticking that leads into "Time." Throughout the album the band lays down a solid framework which they embellish with synthesizers, sound effects and spoken voice tapes. The sound is lush and multi-layered while remaining clear and well-structured.

There are a few weak spots. David Gilmour's vocals are sometimes weak and lackluster and "The Great Gig in the Sky" (which closes the first side) probably could have been shortened or dispensed with, but these are really minor quibbles. The Dark Side of the Moon is a fine album with a textural and conceptual richness that not only invites, but demands involvement. There is a certain grandeur here that exceeds mere musical melodramatics and is rarely attempted in rock. The Dark Side of the Moon has flash-the true flash that comes from the excellence of a superb performance »

« Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon », Rolling Stone, 24 May 1973

A NICE PAIR (1973)

« For all those Pink Floyd fans who weren’t around to catch their meteoric rise to fame from the beginning, this two record set of their first pair of LP’s, « The Piper at the Gates Of Dawn » and « A Saucerful of Secrets », is just what the doctor ordered. All the goodies that highlighted the group’s initial successes like Lucifer Sam, Flaming, Pow R. Torch, The Gnome, Jugband Blues, Remember A Day, and The Heart Of The Sun, are present on this specially priced package. At once you’ll realize the high energy and interstellar sounds that have distinguished the band from the beginning. A fine LP »

« Album Reviews », CashBox, 8 December 1973

« A nice pair... Je crois qu’on peut le dire : « The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn » (1967) et « Saucerful Of Secrets », deux classiques de la belle époque réunis en un double-album avec présentation superluxe. Le premier n’était plus si facilement disponible, le second l’était davantage, car Pathé s’était empressé de le ressortir après l’énorme succès de « More », fin 69. Replongeons donc au cœur des années hip de Londres, intense bouillon de culture d’où sortirent mille nouveaux univers : Pink Floyd ne joue plus « See Emily Play » et Syd Barrett crée « Astronomy Domine », met le groupe sur ses rails en signant huit des dix morceaux de « The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn », lesquels n’ont pas vieilli d’un pouce. « Interstellar Overdrive » et « The Gnome » feraient même un sacré bruit s’ils paraissaient aujourd’hui pour la première fois. Avec le recul, c’est surtout le rôle de Syd Barrett dont on conçoit l’apport: Barrett apparaît davantage que par le passé comme l’initiateur, celui qui imprégna Pink Floyd de cette faculté de transmettre l’infiniment beau et l’infi-niment terrible; de visiter les espaces. En d’autres termes, c’est à l’héritage de Syd Barrett que Pink Floyd doit l’amorce de sa réputation de « groupe planant » …

« Saucerful Of Secrets » vaut surtout par son côté historique, car ce fut l’ébauche directe de « Ummagumma ». Comparées à ce dernier, les versions de « Set The Control For The Heart Of The Sun » et de « Saucerful Of Secrets » ont pris quelques rides : elles sont plus imprécises et moins denses. Plus de Syd Barrett et un David Gilmour pas encore parfaitement intégré expliquent le désarçonnement, passager musicalement, très profond humainement en ce qui concerne le départ de Syd, car la cassure mar qua longtemps les trois autres. Et puis « Let There Be More Light » et « Remember A Day » sont, eux, vraiment impeccables. Et d’ailleurs, il n’est pas très loyal de désavouer la version originale d’un morceau en se référant à sa forme enrichie, retravaillée et définitive. Il n’est pas bien utile de s’étendre longuement sur le contenu de morceaux que beaucoup doivent connaître par cœur, et qui rappelleront ces années pas si lointaines où Pink Floyd était un groupe underground. Mot oublié aujourd’hui, parti sans laisser d’adresse. Après les rééditions des Beatles, des Stones et de Jimi Hendrix, celle-ci tentera peut-être les autres, « ceux qui avaient cinq ans quand les Stones chantaient « Carol », s’ils sont curieux d’entendre un peu ce qui se jouait, huit ans avant Slade »

« Disques », Rock & Folk, February 1974

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WISH YOU WERE HERE (1975)

« You needn’t be psychic to be able to predict the courses taken by most rock bands; indeed one of the overriding features of rock’s mainstream is in its universal predictability. « Dark Side Of The Moon » is celebrating its 128th week in the charts; a top twenty staple since its appearance at number one in March 1973.

Yet for all its colossal and continuing worldwide sales and its garnering for the Floyd of new, hitherto, unexploited record buying markets including many first-time pop record purchasers « Dark Side » must have become something of an albatross.

The extent of its success left the Floyd slightly bewildered and in a position of unenviable obligation; the record had sold world-wide – they were thus committed to two years of touring with it. How could they possibly retain any interest in the project ? Consider it. 

Nowadays most `major` albums may take in excess of six months intensive recording; millions of playbacks, countless hours dwelling on the slightest chord change.

Quite often, by the time the album actually hits the racks the band is already bored with it – and frequently already involved with the embryo of its successor. As it happens, « Dark Side » took over a year in the making. « It was a good package » offered a reluctant Dave Gilmour when asked why he thought the album had sold so well. This was reflected by the attitude of most of the people I`ve talked to since who bought it. With one accord their opening line has been « yeah … well it`s really well produced isn`t it ? » I honestly think that the Floyd themselves have never regarded it as a major work. They`re also aware of a faction that operates in response to all bands of their level – the unselective Fan Syndrome which readily scarfs up virtually anything dubbed `Floyd`. 

They`re also aware of the motivation of intellectual snobbery/reflected glory; wherein it is supposed that the Floyd are an `intelligent` group – respectable enough to make the crossover from Great coatland to the coffee table – and therefore, by association, the buyer also feels himself to be `intelligent`.

The irony was that under close scrutiny « Dark Side » is as obvious as any Uriah Heep album; I mean, titling a track Brain Damage is hardly a masterstroke of subtlety, but to preface it with demented rantings ? Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is twofold. Threefold actually.

I would assess the results of « Moon`s » success thus: 

A) The fact that it accrued the Floyd a wider cross-section of potential purchases of any subsequent albums meant that the pressure on them to adopt a `safe` middle course became greater than ever. They must have felt a tremendous pressure to have to try and repeat the « Moon » formula (whatever that may be) – which is why, one supposes, they went through a period of token rebellion by embarking on a possible follow-up recorded entirely on coal scuttles, rubber band etc.

B) Roger Waters – whose lyrics always seem to have been marked by strong elements of morose melancholy and angry-young-man protestations – began manifesting the increased cynicism felt by the band at the nature of their `success`. Perhaps nobody on that level who is really honest with himself figures that his talent really justifies the extent of his adulation.

Thus, during one of the new pieces performed on the last English tour, “Gotta Be Crazy” – a cynical modern-day survival kit detailing our conditioning to twisted values – he comes out with the lines « Gotta be sure, you gotta be quick/Gotta divide the tame from the sick/Gotta keep some of us docile and fit/You gotta keep everyone buying this shit ».

c) The fact that the band were saddled with having to perform « Moon » – a project they were not 100% satisfied with in the first place – over and over for two years began to have an adverse effect on their morale and their instrumental abilities; the fact that « Wish You Were Here » has taken even longer to make than « Moon » seems to suggest that for at least part of the time they were really at a loss for new ideas. Furthermore, even apart from the abortive « Households Objects » project, they made two or three other abortive stop-starts.

They were – as you probably know – bootlegged on last year`s tour. “British Winter Tour `74” comprised the three new numbers showcased therein – Raving And Drooling, Gotta Be Crazy and a 22-minute tribute to Syd Barrett, Shine On You Crazy Diamond.

After having seen them perform these on two successive occasions at Wembley all I could conclude was that « Moon » had finally cauterised the last vestiges of The Element Of Surprise supposedly typified by the band.

Though – as the bootleg reveals – the quality of their performances improved immeasurably towards the end of the tour, I couldn’t help but feel that as a last desperate uninspired measure they’ve finally succumbed to recycling the more obvious musical bits of « Moon », coupling them with Waters` lyrical protestations which were often rendered insincere through the use of some rather obvious and hackneyed imagery.

It is therefore with genuine pleasure that I can tell you that « Wish You Were Here » belies all expectations of it being a certified stiff.

It is by no means a mightily challenging radically experimental album, but where « Moon » seemed flatulent, morose, aimless and sometimes positively numbskull, “Wish You Were Here” is concise, highly melodic and, in a pleasingly (and perhaps deceptively) simple fashion, very well played. In particular, there are carefully, thoughtfully executed solos from Dave Gilmour (mostly within a kind of blues idiom) and Richard Wright.

The cover, like the album, is clean and positive. Where Hipgnosis’ « Dark Side » sleeve seemed to bear little relation to the contents, and to be pictorially rather sombre, their « Wish You Were Here » package is amusing and imaginative.

The outer sleeve is devoid of graphics. The front is a colour photograph, singed in the top right hand corner, set on a white background. A pair of Sicilian-looking managerial types are shaking hands in a deserted Los Angeles film lot. The one on the right is on fire.

The backside – another colour photograph on a white background – this time with sand seeping through a small rent in the border, is a Magritte-inspired montage of a pinstriped bowler-hatted executive with transparent wrists and ankles and an eyeless, mouthless face partially in shadow, standing on a sand dune with one foot on the de rigeur rock `n` roll fibreglass briefcase, offering a transparent copy of the record in his right hand.

he inner sleeve is faced with a similarly laid-out piece of surrealism – a row of poplars photographed at ground-level fronted by a large red airborne chiffon scarf within which the body of a woman can be vaguely detected. The reverse carries a small picture (again, Magritte inspired) of a diver, having entered the waters of the Red Sea without a ripple. Surrounded by sleeve credits and the lyrics.

According to Richard Wright, Storm and Po`s (that`s Hipgnosis`) intention had been to carry through the idea suggested by the title in a pictorial fashion – i.e., that “Wish You Were Here” is a stock postcard phrase that invariably means the exact opposite.

Which is why all the pictures are supposed to represent impossibles – the splashless dive, etc.

EMI`s Brian Southall offers up more logical explanations: “The faceless man in the desert is a record executive; the split with the sand coming out of it is supposed to represent the slipping away of the sands of time.

“The photograph of the guys shaking hands is supposed to represent earth, wind and fire, the trees with the bit of red rag is to fill up white space.”

The package comes in black shrink-wrapped plastic with a sticker of a mechanical handshake over a stylised landscape. One hand is metal, the other plastic. This is supposed to represent the affiliation of the earth with the machine, the elements (represented by plastic??) shaking hands with the automaton.

Within, the theme is exploited by three thematically linked tracks after which the album closes with a restyled reprise of side one`s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.”

“Welcome To The Machine” is also thematically linked to the dumped “Gotta Be Crazy” which was about Keeping Up With Progress, ruthlessness catalysed by warped materialistic values.

Literally, “Welcome To The Machine” is an acidic view of the record business as a mechanical conveyor belt, where the unsuspecting “artiste” is regaled by bullshit managers playing on his bullshit conditioning: “Welcome my son, welcome to the machine/What did you dream? It`s alright we told you what to dream/You dreamed of a big star, he played a mean guitar.”

The track opens with Wright knocking out a series of overdubbed cybernetic rhythms as Gilmour handles the vocals with an eerie, keening hopelessness whilst providing acoustic guitar accompaniment to Wright`s synthetic string fills.

Like most of Waters` songs, “Welcome To The Machine” exudes an atmosphere of pre-destined doom. “The Machine” is doubtless intended to have associations outside of the record business. Roy Harper opens the second side with the next step, “Have A Cigar” musically a relative of “Money.”The lyrics are a pastiche of Heavy Manager Rap: “Come in here, dear boy, have a cigar…/ Well, I`ve always had a deep respect, and I mean that most sincerely/ The band is just fantastic, that is really what I think/Oh by the way which one`s Pink?” Gilmour plays an incisive Texan-style guitar outro leading into an inspired idea for a link; his closing notes suddenly become transmuted to sound as if they`re coming from a tinny radio speaker. An unseen hand changes stations through a miasma of static and atmospherics, the tail end of a radio play, a burst of orchestral music, before settling on a fading, distanced acoustic guitar piece.

The Unseen Figure waits for the tune to come round again, picks up his own acoustic guitar and begins playing along in counterpoint – traditionally the way that most young guitarists learn to play.

The melody evolves into the title track, “Wish You Were Here,” another Waters opus to tedium and routine and ultimate hopelessness.

The side closes with the third verse of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” – Waters doing his “Eugene” bass part.

Personally, I don`t find the lyrics as offensive to The Memory Of Syd as colleague Nick Kent, although the odd simile jangles a bit – “When you were young you shone like the sun…now there`s a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky” – however they may be compensated for with lines like “you wore out your welcome with random precision.” Against all odds “Wish You Were Here” easily outdistances “Moon” in terms of the context of Floyd music – to which I`ll admit, again, that I`m not a great subscriber. I enjoy the playing, the blending of the instruments, more on this album than on any of its predecessors; it makes for very pleasant listening.

I doubt, however, that my affection for it will increase with the passage of time and repeated plays; indeed, already, just in the course of writing this review I am beginning to find parts of it slightly melancholic, a little depressing.

But then I doubt many people will ever have to approach it from my particular viewpoint.I still find Waters` political stance disturbing. There`s a real and bitter fervour in “Welcome To The Machine,” “Have A Cigar” and “Wish You Were Here.” As there was in “Gotta Be Crazy” and “Money.”

To say that his lyrics can sometimes be “obvious” is perhaps unfair. “Obvious” in terms of what?

“Umma Gumma” never was intended to be the serious enfant terrible of psychedelia. That was only the sum of the claims people made for it. So why shouldn`t Waters be “Obvious”? It`s very easy to end up panning a band for the nature of the claims made for it by The Fans.

However, the real question is whether Waters – if he really feels these things so strongly – is better deployed utilising the pop medium, possibly stirring millions of people`s imagination, or whether he should be out on the streets physically changing things. Do you therefore bring about changes from infiltrating The System and working from within a context people will understand (at risk of being tainted by that system) or do you cut yourself loose and work from a practical guerilla basis?

The irony must surely be that the Pink Floyd are making money out of criticising the machine that makes them money. Perhaps, as an artist, one`s role is simply to illuminate one`s realisations to the masses – it being up to them to decide whether or not to bring about changes. But, on the other hand, if you stand in a position of influence and wealth…and if you really care … »

« How Pink Floyd learned to stop worrying and make another album », New Musical Express, 20 September 1975

« Without Pink Floyd we would not have the European sci-fi multitudes (Hawkwind, Can, Amon Duul II and all their little friends) to kick around. They were the first to explore the upper reaches of the chemical heavens, and their commercial and artistic superiority, if ever it was in doubt, was brutally confirmed by « Dark Side of the Moon ». That 1973 album has now sold over 6,000,000 units worldwide ó 3,000,000 in the U.S. alone. Advance orders for their followup (two years in the making) topped 900,000, one of the largest advance figures in Columbia's history. Talk has it that the waiting period was prolonged by the band's own paranoia. To release anything would commit them to a competition with their own past that they could not hope to win. If so, their fears have been realized.

By their own admission, Pink Floyd will never bring home any blue ribbons for their instrumental abilities. Their mastery of their tools peaks at competence. The illusion of complexity that caused their drooling legions to make wild claims of high-art accomplishment was actually nothing more than the skillful manipulation of elements so simple ó the basic three chords everyone else uses ó that any collection of bar hacks could grind out a note-for-note reproduction without difficulty.

One of the things that made DSOTM so striking was that it showed them at full recognition of their limitations as musicians. In the past Pink Floyd has often conceptually outdistanced their minimal technical skills, but everything on that record seemed perfectly calculated never to cross the line. The combination of elementary but flawless playing and correspondingly tasteful studio effects created a kind of spacey mood music that suddenly made sense to people who couldn't have been persuaded to buy one of their previous albums at gunpoint. But most of the music on this album seems determined to picture Pink Floyd as just another conventional rock & roll band, ignoring their strengths of self-analysis in order to gain entry to an arena in which they aren't equipped to do battle. The cardinal offender is David Gilmour, by most counts the most technically efficient. No championship guitarist, he nonetheless had enough intelligent ideas to maintain the group's ultra important link to the bedrock demands of their mass audience. He oversteps his bounds in several places on Wish You Were Here, however, indulging in protracted solos that present him as just another competent guitarist who thinks with his fingers instead of his head.

Gilmour plays a nice acoustic duet (with himself tracked through a radio) as an intro to the title tune, which has vaguely pleasant echoes of Loudon Wainwright in its stark approach. It's the most successful song on the album until the full band makes its grandly faceless entrance, at which point the number immediately nosedives to ho-hum level. After all the time they've devoted to molding their shortcomings into something uniquely workable as a band, Pink Floyd should know better than to turn around and imitate the transparent, traditional rock-band methodology to which they supposedly present an alternative.

Crucial to the process of learning to live with their limitations was the full integration of the studio as an instrument, an option they exercised far more effectively than most of the competition. But here, where they're bent on playing it straight so much of the way, the effects become accentuated to a point where it all sounds overlaid. This doesn't complement the music, it fights it, and the effects sound gimmicky. The overall sound loses the occasionally breathtaking dimensions that made DSOTM such a grabber for people who'd never considered Pink Floyd anything more than random space noise.

Shine on You Crazy Diamond is initially credible because it purports to confront the subject of Syd Barrett, the long and probably forever lost guiding light of the original Floyd. But the potential of the idea goes unrealized; they give such a matter-of-fact reading of the goddamn thing that they might as well be singing about Roger Waters's brother-in-law getting a parking ticket. This lackadaisical demeanor forces, among other things, a reevaluation of their relationship to all the space cadet orchestras they unconsciously sired. The one thing those bands have going for them, in their cacophonously inept way, is a sincere passion for their "art." And passion is everything of which Pink Floyd is devoid.

Wish You Were Here is about the machinery of a music industry that made and helped break Syd Barrett. (They even farm out a vocal to Roy Harper, an obscure but respected British singer/songwriter for whom the machinery has never quite worked, to add that authentic measure of defeated cynicism.) Their treatment, though, is so solemn that you have to ask what the point is. If your use of the machinery isn't alive enough to transcend its solemn hum ó even if that hum is your subject ó then you're automatically trapped. In offering not so much as a hint of liberation, that's where this album leaves Pink Floyd »

« Pink Floyd: Wish you were here », Rolling Stone, 6 Novembre 1975

« This album is light years better than « Dark Side of the Moon ». There isn’t the grandiose pomposity of Moon, nor is there the bombastic power. We’re not dealing with songs on a record any more but environments, creations of mood through specific textures of sound »

« Pink Floyd: Wish you were here », Sounds, 6 September 1975

« From whichever direction one approaches « Wish you were here », it still sounds unconvincing in its ponderous sincerity and displays a critical lack of imagination in all departments »

« Pink Floyd: Wish you were here », Melody Maker, 20 September 1975

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ANIMALS (1977)

« There’s not a redundant note or slack moment to be found on « Animals ». From the otherworldly sequence of Dogs, through the aggresive, fragmented instrumental break in Pigs, the whole album is immaculate, controlled and to the point »

« Pink Floyd: Animals », ZigZag, March 1977

« At times the shocks come as staggeringly as Johnny Rotten gobbing at his audience, an uncomfortable taste of reality in a medium that has become increasingly soporific. Perharps  they should rename themselves Punk Floyd »

« Pink Floyd: Animals », Melody Maker, 29 January 1977

« One of the most extreme, relentless harrowing, downright iconoclastic hunks of music this side of the Sun »

« Pink Floyd: Animals », New Melody Maker Maker, 12 February 1977

« Alors là, quel frelon les a piqués, nos quatre anti-héros ? Et quel venin les a transformés en quatre bêtes sauvages ? « Animais » est un disque de haine comme jamais cette musique n’en a engendré, au moins depuis le premier MC5 et le « Home » de Procol Harum. Que j’aille en enfer si je me trompe.

Oh certes, les musiciens sont bien les mêmes que ceux de « Dark Side Of The Moon ». Seulement maintenant leurs jolis bidules électroniques sont branchés à fond sur un sale courant de violence motivée. Mais, ma parole, ces trois morceaux et demi ne sont même pas construits. On dirait qu’ils jouent live, c’est aussi neuf et libre et spontané qu’« Ummagumma », tous quatre s’arrachant du fond des tripes le fond du crâne. Et ça crache, divine surprise.

 Rien à voir avec la face cachée de la lune, « Animais », et non plus seulement la face cachée du bizness, mais bel et bien la figure entière du monde, triste, et des gens, sales, selon Roger Waters qui en a marre des chiens, des porcs et des moutons. Vous savez ça, la colère du calme, la révolte du faible. Waters s’est fendu de quatre petits textes terriblement méchants, franchement vengeurs. Résultat: la musique a subi le choc comme une éruption, les quatre hommes sont tombés d’accord pour le hurler comme on s’y attendait peu, ou pas. Chance. Le disque s’ouvre en traître sur une courte mélodie chantée par Waters avec une belle guitare tranquille, « Pigs On The Wing », à la façon de « Wish You Were Here », le morceau. On est à peine dégelé que déjà ça dérape, dans les grandes largeurs : « Dogs ». Dix-sept minutes d’un majestueux délire intrumental comme le Floyd ne s’en permettait plus, au moins depuis « Meddle ». Gilmour mène le drakkar, cravachant sa guitare tel un courrier pressé, les autres autour de lui en escorte aux abois, Mason surtout, qui commence à cogner pis qu’un sourd. L’ampleur que prend « Dogs » sur la fin dépasse infiniment les espoirs de « Welcome To The Machine », et c’est vraiment stupéfiant d’écouter les Floyd au diapason de leur monstrueux propos.

La face deux démarre sur « Pigs ». Inutile d’insister, suivez le trait. Waters et Gilmour clament en duo le refrain guerrier, plus besoin de Roy Harper, plus de cigare, plus d’ironie : la guerre, vous dis-je. A outrance. On ne reconnaît plus les quatre intellectuels grands maîtres en planerie. Cette boucherie, Pigs, c’est Stalingrad en musique, avec les orgues de Staline tenues par Richard Wright. Et on enchaîne sous les bêlements de moutons, « Sheeps », encore dix grandes minutes en crescendo, avec dès le début une dérision démesurée de tous les tics floydiens, bandes enregistrées, nappes de synthés, batteries en écho, basses hypnotiques et guitares en Larsen mélodieux. Mais soudain, rondement, la célèbre ordonnance bascule, la belle mécanique s’enraye, et du marasme s’échappent les vrombissements les plus infernaux. Le rifT de guitare final surtout, qui est une scie dans la chair des moutons. Alors, les plaintes ne savent plus émouvoir, ni la dernière sentence de Pigs & The Wing attendrir quiconque. Pink Floyd a pris le mors aux dents, c’est le monde à l’envers: enfin honnête. Bestial »

« Disques », Rock & Folk, February 1977

«  For Pink Floyd, space has always been the ultimate escape. It still is, but now definitions have shifted. The romance of outer space has been replaced by the horror of spacing out. This shift has been coming for a while. There was « Dark Side of the Moon » and Brain Damage, « Wish You Were Here » and the story of founding member Syd Barrett, the « Crazy Diamond ». And now there's « Animals », a visit to a cacophonous farm where what you have to watch for is pigs on the wing. « Animals » is a song suite that deals with subjects like loneliness, death and lies. « Have a good drown », they shout dolefully as you drop into the pit that is this album (…) What's the problem? For starters, the sax that warmed « Dark Side

of the Moon » and « Wish You Were Here » has been replaced by a succession of David Gilmour guitar solos -- thin, brittle and a sorry substitute indeed. The singing is more wooden than ever. The sound is more complex, but it lacks real depth; there's nothing to match the incredible intro to « Dark Side of the Moon », for example, with its hypnotic chorus of cash registers recalling the mechanical doom that was Fritz Lang's vision in « Metropolis ». Somehow you get the impression that this band is being metamorphosed into a noodle factory. Maybe that shouldn't be surprising. Floyd was never really welcomed into the Sixties avant-garde: space rock was a little too close to science fiction for that. But the extraordinary success of « Dark Side of the Moon » (released nearly four years ago, it's still on the charts) culminated almost a decade of ever-expanding cult appeal and gave the band an audience that must have seemed as boundless as space itself. The temptation to follow through with prefab notions of what that audience would like -- warmed over, spaced out heavy-metal, in this case -- was apparently too strong to resist.

Even worse, however, is the bleak defeatism that's set in. In 1968 Floyd was chanting lines like: « Why can't we reach the sun? / Why can't we throw the years away? ». This kind of stuff may seem silly, but at least it wasn't self-pitying. The 1977 Floyd has turned bitter and morose. They complain about the duplicity of human behavior (and then title their songs after animals -- get it?). They sound like they've just discovered this -- their message has become pointless and tedious. Floyd has always been best at communicating the cramped psychology that comes from living in a place like England, where the 20th century has been

visibly superimposed on the others that preceded it. The tension that powers their music is not simply fright at man's helplessness before technology; it's the conflict between the modern and the ancient, between technology and tradition. Space is Floyd's way of resolving the conflict. Of course, space doesn't offer any kind of real escape; Pink Floyd knows that. But spacing out is supposed to. (Spacing out has always been the idea behind space rock anyway.) « Animals » is Floyd's attempt to deal with the realization that spacing out isn't the answer either. There's no exit; you get high, you come down again. That's what Pink Floyd has done, with a thud »

« Records Review », Rolling Stone, 24 March 1977

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ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL (PART 2) (1979)

« While Pink Floyd have left us all open-mouthed at what must be the singles comeback of the decade, is there no one who has bothered to subject the sentiments of the song to closer scrutiny? Do listeners not think that there is a slight element of superficiality in Floyd’s deft foisting of all society’s problems with adolescents on.ro teachers? Society at large has created cur educational system, has determined our often ridiculously inadequate curricula, and has failed dismally to show any real interest in the job and life prospects of your average non-academic adolescents (’cos most of them aren’t lucky enough to become rock superstars, you know). Within this system, many teachers are doing their utmost to make school reasonably endurable for the kids.

Floyd, with their geriatric eyes on the proverbial quick buck, choose the easy targets, when anybody with a morse* of common sense can see that it’s our capitalist society (so deveriy manipulated by moneymakers such as Floyd) which is at the root of all the disillusionment and disaffection.

“ We don’t need no education,” chant the crafty old lags — no, of course they don't need no education.

And what of the kids (do I detect cockney accents? Floyd are really so street nowadays) who sing the same refrain? They're unlucky enough to find themselves in a society where educational credentials become more vital every day, where rock superstars can survive but kids without CSE’s can’t. Ironic, isnt’it ?

Meanwhile the teachers are getting more frustrated, the kids are getting more disillusioned, and Pink Floyd are getting richer and smugger. Pathetic  »

« The other side of The Wall », Melody Maker, 29 December 1979

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THE WALL (1979)

« The Wall is slide-ruled and sliced in pure early ’70’s fashion and as contemporary and necessary as a pair of faded loons. From no little Floydian experience, I can assure you with confidence that this is the worst Pink Floyd album ever »

« Pink Floyd The Wall », Sounds, 1 December 1979

« Quite obviously, « The Wall » is an extraordinary record. I’m not sure whether it’s brillant or terrible, but I find it utterly compelling »

« Pink Floyd The Wall », Melody Maker, 1 December 1979

« A rock musician’s equivalent of the tired executive’s toy, a gleaming, frivolous gadget that serves to occupy midspace. It’s misplaced boredom»

« Pink Floyd The Wall », New Musical Express, 1 December 1979

A COLLECTION OF GREAT DANCE SONGS (1981)

« The correlation between Pink Floyd and dance music seems about as direct as that between Ron Barassi and china-painting. (However. Rock Hudson is reportedly keen on embroidery). Floyd for dancing? Great for staring into the open fire at 3 a.m. when nearly all the party guests are gone, for looking out the window at the distant hills (or nearby Housing Commission flats! and reflecting on Life, but dancin’? ... Yet that is the title of the six-track Floyd album now-released. It's a minor Rest-of Pink Floyd, with ‘One of these Days, Money, Shine On You Crazy Diamond. Sheep, Wish You Were Here, and Part 2 of Another Brick in the Wall.

The version of "Money" is a new one. recorded this year, but the others are the originals from Floyd albums dating back to « Meddle » in 1971

The inside sleeve bears lots of jolly pictures oi people kicking up their heels, but perhaps the secret lies in the superb cover photograph. which shows an elegant lady and tuxedo-wearing gent in dance posture, firmly anchored to the ground by a number of ropes and solid tent-pegs.

« Pink Dancer », Sounds, 8 December 1981

« Exactly what form of body movement goes with Pink Floyd is anyone’s guess. That slow, steady, rocking motion that you see in people falling asleep on buses, I sould think.

« Records», New Musical Express, November 1981

THE FINAL CUT (1983)

« The important parts sound suspiciously like outtakes from an Alan Price LP, broken up by crashing thunderstorms of quasi-orchestral melodrama … Truly, a milestone in the history of awfulness »

« Pink Floyd: The Final Cut », Melody Maker, 19 March 1983

« Underneath the whimpering mediation and exasperated cries of rage it is old, familiar rock beast: a man unhappy in his work »

« Pink Floyd: The Final Cut », New Musical Express, 19 March 1983

« Monsieur Roger Waters, artiste nouvellement recyclé dans l’industrie médicale vient de mettre au point un nouveau système qui, nous le pensons, va révolutionner le monde clos de la psychanalyse ; le principe est basiquement simple : permettre au patient d’extérioriser ses problèmes psychiques, non plus par le biais du divan mais par celui du studio d’enregistrement que les praticiens censés n’omettront pas d’installer dans leur cabinet ; ainsi, mis en musique par d’habiles musiciens professionnels engagés pour la circonstance, les dits-problèmes posés sur le vinyle peuvent permettre au malade d’embrasser une carrière discographique. Monsieur Waters, artiste universellement reconnu vient d’expérimenter avec, nous en convenons, quelques facilités le nouveau procédé sur sa propre personne : baptisant par commodité le résultat du nom de Pink Floyd, un groupe de rock dans lequel il brilla au cours des années 70, le génial entrepreneur a su. en deux faces format trente-trois tours, concentrer tout le désespoir que son auguste cerveau a magnifiquement su emmagasiner durant les trente-cinq années de son existence tourmentée ; Auparavant, pour le précédent volet de son traitement, il aura essayé le procédé cinématographique mais, bien que le résultat connu sous le nom de « The wall » fut un remarquable succès tant artistique que financier, l’envergure de l’opération ne permet pas de l’étendre au commun des mortels. Gageons que cette nouvelle méthode disco-théra-peutique remontera un franc succès parmi une frange de public avide de sensations fortes. (...)

Que vous dire de plus: Wright est parti, des invités sont venus appuyer les maigres instruments, le son est superbe, ce disque est malsain et sublime, je préfère encore acheter « suicide mode d’emploi » : j’ai moins de chance de me rater; fans du Pink Floyd, SVP : n’abusez pas de ce disque : il est dangereux »

« Disques », Best, May 1983

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NOT NOW JOHN/THE HERO’S RETURN (PART I+II) (25.04.1983)

« With a Sixties-style soul-chick chorus bleating « Fuck all that! » in the background, and guitarist David Gilmour pile-driving power chords throughout, Not Now John qualifies as one of the most ferocious performances Pink Floyd has ever put on record. In the context of The Final Cut, it is something of an oddity; for while the music has an innate architectural power that pulls one ever deeper into the album's conceptual design, the performances and production are generally distinguished by their restraint — even the fabled Floydian sound effects are reduced to the occasional ticking clock or whooshing bomber. »

« Pink Floyd: Not now John », Rolling Stone, March 1983

WORKS (US: 18.06.1983)

« The important parts sound suspiciously like outtakes from an Alan Price LP, broken up by crashing thunderstorms of quasi-orchestral melodrama … Truly, a milestone in the history of awfulness »

« Pink Floyd: The Final Cut », Melody Maker, 19 March 1983

« Underneath the whimpering mediation and exasperated cries of rage it is old, familiar rock beast: a man unhappy in his work »

« Pink Floyd: The Final Cut », New Musical Express, 19 March 1983

« Monsieur Roger Waters, artiste nouvellement recyclé dans l’industrie médicale vient de mettre au point un nouveau système qui, nous le pensons, va révolutionner le monde clos de la psychanalyse ; le principe est basiquement simple : permettre au patient d’extérioriser ses problèmes psychiques, non plus par le biais du divan mais par celui du studio d’enregistrement que les praticiens censés n’omettront pas d’installer dans leur cabinet ; ainsi, mis en musique par d’habiles musiciens professionnels engagés pour la circonstance, les dits-problèmes posés sur le vinyle peuvent permettre au malade d’embrasser une carrière discographique. Monsieur Waters, artiste universellement reconnu vient d’expérimenter avec, nous en convenons, quelques facilités le nouveau procédé sur sa propre personne : baptisant par commodité le résultat du nom de Pink Floyd, un groupe de rock dans lequel il brilla au cours des années 70, le génial entrepreneur a su. en deux faces format trente-trois tours, concentrer tout le désespoir que son auguste cerveau a magnifiquement su emmagasiner durant les trente-cinq années de son existence tourmentée ; Auparavant, pour le précédent volet de son traitement, il aura essayé le procédé cinématographique mais, bien que le résultat connu sous le nom de « The wall » fut un remarquable succès tant artistique que financier, l’envergure de l’opération ne permet pas de l’étendre au commun des mortels. Gageons que cette nouvelle méthode disco-théra-peutique remontera un franc succès parmi une frange de public avide de sensations fortes. (...)

Que vous dire de plus: Wright est parti, des invités sont venus appuyer les maigres instruments, le son est superbe, ce disque est malsain et sublime, je préfère encore acheter « suicide mode d’emploi » : j’ai moins de chance de me rater; fans du Pink Floyd, SVP : n’abusez pas de ce disque : il est dangereux »

« Disques », Best, May 1983

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A MOMENTARY LAPSE OF REASON (1987)

« Ok, so is there a message in the waffle ? The record starts with the sound of a man rowing a boat … Is this blob called Dave Gilmour, a kind of Chris Rea with an amusement arcade manager’s haircut, telling us we are but minnows in the constants stream of wet stuff that is our experience ? Or is he saying we would be better off as eels with big biceps ? »

« Pink Floyd: A Momentary Lapse of Reason », Melody Maker, 17 September 1987

« Neither progressive nor regressive, they just appear to have stopped. Death-rattles, no matter how elegantly arranged are still terrible things to hear »

« Pink Floyd: A Momentary Lapse of Reason », New Musical Express, 17 September 1987

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THE DIVISION BELL (1994)

« Is this still really Pink Floyd? That seems to be the question, as it has been since Roger Waters left the band in 1985 to dip deeper into the sci-fi soup. Waters has since missed no opportunity to slag his former band mates as incompetent fakes. He would suggest that he was Pink Floyd, although judging from his overwrought, concept burdened solo albums, that notion should be put to rest. The debate on the current Floyd centers on the band's use of hired guns, songwriting professionals brought in to shore up a sound that otherwise might not be Pink Floyd enough. 

What makes this criticism superfluous is that much of the great music of rock & roll has been written, or augmented, by outside talents. For every Lennon-McCartney or Prince, there have been 10 examples like Leiber and Stoller, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Holland-Dozier-Holland or Phil Spector. It should concern no one too much that in the absence of Roger Waters, who had been Pink Floyd's chief songwriter, the band sought outside help.

What is of concern is whether the music of the post-Waters Pink Floyd stands up to the band's best work — « The Dark Side of the Moon », « Wish You Were Here », « Animals », « The Wall » i « Meddle ». Unfortunately, « A Momentary Lapse of Reason » (1987) and the live « Delicate Sound of Thunder » (1988) were only sporadically successful at achieving the stunning aural power of Pink Floyd's previous work. Their new album, « The Division Bell », ironically enough, seems to cry out for someone with an overriding zeal and passion — in short, a nettlesome, overbearing visionary like Roger Waters.

« The Division Bell » is a quieter, more atmospheric and contemplative Pink Floyd, with lyrics so opaque and inert one cannot hope to plumb their meaning. Of course, no Pink Floyd album would be complete without a concept, and « The Division Bell » seems to be about that old standby failure to communicate. Even through the vagueness of the lyrics, one gets the feeling the band is firing broadsides at Waters. On Lost for Words, for example, David Gilmour sings: « So I open my door to my enemies/And I ask could we wipe the slate clean/But they tell me to please go fuck myself/You know you just can't win ». And so the war continues.

The album also gives off the uncomfortable whiff of middle-age and graying sensibilities. Gilmour, who has become Pink Floyd's de facto leader, in particular seems bored or dispirited. His guitar solos were once the band's centerpieces, as articulate, melodic and well-defined as any in rock. No longer. He now has settled into rambling, indistinct asides that are as forgettable as they used to be indelible. Only on What Do You Want From Me ? does Gilmour sound like he cares.

Another problem with the album is its length. At more than an hour, it is too long and quickly exhausts its few fresh ideas. The band seems to be padding at every opportunity. Consequently, « The Division Bell » will satisfy only the most ravenous Pink Floyd fan (…) »

« The Division Bell », Rolling Stone, 16 June 1994

« Is this still really Pink Floyd? That seems to be the question, as it has been since Roger Waters left the band in 1985 to dip deeper into the sci-fi soup. Waters has since missed no opportunity to slag his former band mates as incompetent fakes. He would suggest that he was Pink Floyd, although judging from his overwrought, concept burdened solo albums, that notion should be put to rest.

The debate on the current Floyd centers on the band's use of hired guns, songwriting professionals brought in to shore up a sound that otherwise might not be Pink Floyd enough. What makes this criticism superfluous is that much of the great music of rock & roll has been written, or augmented, by outside talents. For every Lennon-McCartney or Prince, there have been 10 examples like Leiber and Stoller, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Holland-Dozier-Holland or Phil Spector. It should concern no one too much that in the absence of Roger Waters, who had been Pink Floyd's chief songwriter, the band sought outside help.

What is of concern is whether the music of the post-Waters Pink Floyd stands up to the band's best work — « The Dark Side of the Moon », « Wish You Were Here », « Animals », « The Wall » i « Meddle ». Unfortunately, « A Momentary Lapse of Reason » (1987) and the live « Delicate Sound of Thunder » (1988) were only sporadically successful at achieving the stunning aural power of Pink Floyd's previous work. Their new album, « The Division Bell », ironically enough, seems to cry out for someone with an overriding zeal and passion — in short, a nettlesome, overbearing visionary like Roger Waters.

« The Division Bell » is a quieter, more atmospheric and contemplative Pink Floyd, with lyrics so opaque and inert one cannot hope to plumb their meaning. Of course, no Pink Floyd album would be complete without a concept, and « The Division Bell » seems to be about that old standby failure to communicate. Even through the vagueness of the lyrics, one gets the feeling the band is firing broadsides at Waters. On Lost for Words, for example, David Gilmour sings: « So I open my door to my enemies/And I ask could we wipe the slate clean/But they tell me to please go fuck myself/You know you just can't win ». And so the war continues.

The album also gives off the uncomfortable whiff of middle-age and graying sensibilities. Gilmour, who has become Pink Floyd's de facto leader, in particular seems bored or dispirited. His guitar solos were once the band's centerpieces, as articulate, melodic and well-defined as any in rock. No longer. He now has settled into rambling, indistinct asides that are as forgettable as they used to be indelible. Only on What Do You Want From Me ? does Gilmour sound like he cares.

Another problem with the album is its length. At more than an hour, it is too long and quickly exhausts its few fresh ideas. The band seems to be padding at every opportunity. Consequently, « The Division Bell » will satisfy only the most ravenous Pink Floyd fan (…) »

« The Division Bell », Rolling Stone, 16 June 1994

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THE ENDLESS RIVER (2014)

« Pink Floyd’s fifteenth and final LP is more postscript than swansong, a curate’s egg that will no doubt sell like spacecakes, but which feels like an inglorious, anticlimactic way to bring down the curtain – however belatedly – on one of the biggest bands of all time. They’ve died as they lived – with a long, slow exhalation of sustained keyboard chords and icily-precise guitar solos – yet there’s no escaping that, for the most part, « The Endless River » sounds like what it is: a collection of spruced-up outtakes from 1994’s « Division Bell ». 

On those limited terms it works well enough, and it’s interesting from a certain geeky perspective, but it’s never quite as satisfying or substantial as you want it to be. At one point, Stephen Hawking turns up to remind us of the importance of communication, yet what the band themselves are trying to get across remains frustratingly unclear. If « The Endless River » is intended as a tribute to the late Rick Wright, perhaps it should’ve been issued as a posthumous solo album, because as the final word on Pink Floyd, it feels like a lightweight coda from a truly heavyweight group. The exception is Louder Than Words, the album’s only conventional song, which nicely sums up their tumultuous 49-year existence: « We bitch and we fight, diss each other on sight … but this thing we do is louder than words ». A shame, then, that they’ve decided to bow out on a whisper. »

« A lightweight coda from a truly heavyweight group », New Musical Express, 3 November 2014.

​

« It was bassist Roger Waters' lyric: « Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way ». But guitarist David Gilmour and keyboard player Richard Wright sang that line on 1973's « The Dark Side of the Moon », then proved it in a creative relationship that survived Wright's forced resignation during sessions for The Wall and the subsequent rupture of the Floyd itself. « The Endless River » is Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason's generous farewell to Wright, who died in 2008, built from unissued music the three made together for 1994's « The Division Bell ».

A suite of mostly instrumental moods and fragments, The Endless River rolls like a requiem through familiar echoes. Skins is a trip back to the jungle-telegraph sequence in 1968's « A Saucerful of Secrets »; the piano figure in Anisina is a stately variation on Wright's indelible intro to Dark Side's Us and Them. The effect is inevitably cinematic, a fluid rewind to the Floyd's early film scores. One piece, a suspense of glacial electronics and elegantly searing guitar, is rightly titled It's What We Do. Louder Than Words, the closing vocal track, is undercut by slang in the first lines. But when Gilmour sings, « The beat of our hearts/Is louder than words », it feels, again, like hanging on – with grace. Wright was the steady, binding majesty in the Floyd's explorations. This album is an unexpected, welcome epitaph » 

« Pink Floyd: The Endless River », Rolling Stone, 7 November 2014

THE ENDLESS RIVER (2014)

ABOUT FACE (1984)

« David Gilmour est sociétaire du Pink Floyd depuis seize ans. Son goût pour les sustains sans fin et les échos spatiaux est devenu une des marques du fameux groupe anglais. Parce que celui-ci a décidé de rester en sommeil jusqu'à la fin de 1985, David Gilmour est aujourd'hui le premier membre du Pink Floyd à tourner individuellement à travers l'Europe, en compagnie de quelques bons musiciens venus de Bad Company, Manfred Man ou de chez Van Morrison.

En 1978, Gilmour avait publié un premier album solo. About Face, son deuxième album, le voit entouré de Jeff Porcaro aux percussions, Pino Palladino à la guitare basse, Ian Kewley aux claviers et d'invités comme Steve Winwood et Ray Cooper. Ce besoin des rockers de sortir un jour ou l'autre de leur groupe et de faire une musique à la première personne n'est pas récent. Rares cependant sont les grandes productions qui ont surgi de cette démarche. About Face ne dément pas ce constat. Les textes et les musiques sont signés par Gilman sauf All Lovers Are Deranged et Love on the Air, dont les paroles ont été conçues par Pete Townshend. Les arrangements sont évidemment sophistiqués et affinés, et certaines ballades sont assez belles. Mais tout cela n'est guère passionnant. Ni nouveau »

« « About Face », de David Gilmour », Le Monde, 14 April 1984

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