Pink Floyd's first UK number 1 album was released in 1970. This was the band's first recording with an orchestra, the title track 'The Atom Heart Mother Suite' taking up a full side of the original vinyl release. In the grand, colour-bending tradition of psychedelic experimentalism, Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother
takes as its title an inscrutable phrase and under the title launches a similarly inscrutable - or at least dense - musical concatenation. The title suite features French-horn-led brass melodies riffed on by David Gilmour's guitar and the rhythm section, all of which veers into choral passages that recall Gyorgy Ligeti's vocal works and then almost atonal pulses of keyboards that mask reams of audio snippets swirling underneath. There's some moody folk from Roger Waters, an almost Kinks-ish rambler from Richard Wright, then more moody folk (this time from Gilmour) on 'Fat Old Sun' and, to close, the spirited melodic runaround of 'Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast'. Pink Floyd offers a range of emotion here, from doleful to crazed to humorous (especially the dramatised comments on macrobiotics in the closer). Atom Heart Mother
was a spotlight ahead for Pink Floyd, showing the extensions of form the band would engage in so successfully on Dark Side of the Moon
just a few short years later.
Released: 2016 (reissue)
Label: EMI Records