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Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother (2011 Remastered Version)

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Atom Heart Mother (2011 Remastered Version)

Pink Floyd

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Appearing after the sprawling, unfocused double-album set Ummagumma, Atom Heart Mother may boast more focus, even a concept, yet that doesn't mean it's more accessible. If anything, this is the most impenetrable album Pink Floyd released while on Harvest, which also makes it one of the most interesting of the era. Still, it may be an acquired taste even for fans, especially since it kicks off with a side-long, 23-minute extended orchestral piece that may not seem to head anywhere, but is often intriguing, more in what it suggests than what it achieves. Then, on the second side, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, and Rick Wright have a song apiece, winding up with the group composition "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" wrapping it up. Of these, Waters begins developing the voice that made him the group's lead songwriter during their classic era with "If," while Wright has an appealingly mannered, very English psychedelic fantasia on "Summer 68," and Gilmour's "Fat Old Sun" meanders quietly before ending with a guitar workout that leaves no impression. "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast," the 12-minute opus that ends the album, does the same thing, floating for several minutes before ending on a drawn-out jam that finally gets the piece moving. So, there are interesting moments scattered throughout the record, and the work that initially seems so impenetrable winds up being Atom Heart Mother's strongest moment. That it lasts an entire side illustrates that Pink Floyd was getting better with the larger picture instead of the details, since the second side just winds up falling off the tracks, no matter how many good moments there are. This lack of focus means Atom Heart Mother will largely be for cultists, but its unevenness means there's also a lot to cherish here.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Atom Heart Mother (2011 Remastered Version)

Pink Floyd

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1
Atom Heart Mother Suite (2011 Remastered Version)
00:23:41

Peter Bown, Engineer - David Gilmour, Composer, Guitar - Roger Waters, Composer, Bass - Pink Floyd, Producer, MainArtist - Norman Smith, Producer - James Guthrie, Masterer - Joel Plante, Masterer - Richard Wright, Composer, Keyboards - Nick Mason, Composer, Drums, Percussion - Alan Parsons, Engineer - Ron Geesin, Composer, Arranger - John Aldiss Choir, Vocals

2016 Pink Floyd Music Ltd. 2011 Pink Floyd Music Ltd., marketed and distributed by Parlophone Records Ltd., a Warner Music Group Company

2
If (2011 Remastered Version)
00:04:30

Peter Bown, Engineer - Waters, Composer - David Gilmour, Guitar - Roger Waters, Vocals, Bass - Pink Floyd, Producer, MainArtist - Norman Smith, Producer - James Guthrie, Masterer - Joel Plante, Masterer - Richard Wright, Keyboards - Nick Mason, Drums - Alan Parsons, Engineer

2016 Pink Floyd Music Ltd. 2011 Pink Floyd Music Ltd., marketed and distributed by Parlophone Records Ltd., a Warner Music Group Company

3
Summer '68 (2011 Remastered Version)
00:05:28

Peter Bown, Engineer - David Gilmour, Guitar, Vocals - Roger Waters, Vocals, Bass - Pink Floyd, Producer, MainArtist - Norman Smith, Producer - James Guthrie, Masterer - Joel Plante, Masterer - Richard Wright, Composer, Keyboards, Vocals - Nick Mason, Drums - Alan Parsons, Engineer

2016 Pink Floyd Music Ltd. 2016 Pink Floyd Music Ltd., marketed and distributed by Parlophone Records Ltd., a Warner Music Group Company

4
Fat Old Sun (2011 Remastered Version)
00:05:23

Peter Bown, Engineer - David Gilmour, Composer, Drums, Guitar, Vocals, Bass - Pink Floyd, Producer, MainArtist - Norman Smith, Producer - James Guthrie, Masterer - Joel Plante, Masterer - Richard Wright, Keyboards - Alan Parsons, Engineer

2016 Pink Floyd Music Ltd. 2011 Pink Floyd Music Ltd., marketed and distributed by Parlophone Records Ltd., a Warner Music Group Company

5
Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast (2011 Remastered Version)
00:12:59

Peter Bown, Engineer - David Gilmour, Composer, Guitar - Roger Waters, Composer, Bass - Pink Floyd, Producer, MainArtist - Norman Smith, Producer - James Guthrie, Masterer - Joel Plante, Masterer - Richard Wright, Composer, Keyboards - Nick Mason, Composer, Drums, Noises - Alan Parsons, Engineer

2016 Pink Floyd Music Ltd. 2011 Pink Floyd Music Ltd., marketed and distributed by Parlophone Records Ltd., a Warner Music Group Company

Album Description

Appearing after the sprawling, unfocused double-album set Ummagumma, Atom Heart Mother may boast more focus, even a concept, yet that doesn't mean it's more accessible. If anything, this is the most impenetrable album Pink Floyd released while on Harvest, which also makes it one of the most interesting of the era. Still, it may be an acquired taste even for fans, especially since it kicks off with a side-long, 23-minute extended orchestral piece that may not seem to head anywhere, but is often intriguing, more in what it suggests than what it achieves. Then, on the second side, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, and Rick Wright have a song apiece, winding up with the group composition "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" wrapping it up. Of these, Waters begins developing the voice that made him the group's lead songwriter during their classic era with "If," while Wright has an appealingly mannered, very English psychedelic fantasia on "Summer 68," and Gilmour's "Fat Old Sun" meanders quietly before ending with a guitar workout that leaves no impression. "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast," the 12-minute opus that ends the album, does the same thing, floating for several minutes before ending on a drawn-out jam that finally gets the piece moving. So, there are interesting moments scattered throughout the record, and the work that initially seems so impenetrable winds up being Atom Heart Mother's strongest moment. That it lasts an entire side illustrates that Pink Floyd was getting better with the larger picture instead of the details, since the second side just winds up falling off the tracks, no matter how many good moments there are. This lack of focus means Atom Heart Mother will largely be for cultists, but its unevenness means there's also a lot to cherish here.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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