With no idea of where they were heading, Pink Floyd explored the possibilities of writing and recording film soundtracks, which would have seemed a logical decision considering that at the time the band had lots of ideas but little knowledge in how to write a decent pop song, which meant that just because you have a cult following doesn’t mean you sell a lot of records. Recorded in mid 1969, More was the official soundtrack to the European film of the same name, an obscure rarely seen artefact made during the height of the hippie era. And while the movie floundered, the album itself actually made it into the Top Ten in England, quite astounding really considering its contents.
The album begins with “Cirrus Minor”, an atmospheric piece that quells the listener into a false sense of ambient security (especially all those bird noises), but as soon as the listener is lulled into a state of eternal quiet, “The Nile Song” comes crashing in, to rudely awaken him, or her, from their blissful slumber. And what a ruckus it is. Peace is restored with “Crying Song” while “Up The Khyber” has the band in full Thelonious Monk mode, along with a few modern electronic effects added on here and there. Roger Water’s “Green Is The Colour” is an exquisite, dreamy number, while “Cymbaline”, another Waters tune, offers slight clues as to what he would go on to write for Dark Side Of The Moon, just a couple of years later. Side one ends with “Party Sequence”, an instrumental not even worth writing about, since it isn’t really a proper song, just an energetic bongo workout.
We can relax again with the calming “Main Theme”, which, being an instrumental means absolutely nothing, though it does contain a few worthy moments, particularly Rick Wright’s organ playing and David Gilmour’s thoughtful, restrained guitar. “Ibiza Bar” has the group attempt to resurrect their Syd Barrett days (unsuccessfully I might add), before the brief incidental “More Blues”, on which Gilmour plucks away atmospherically on his guitar in laconic fashion.
The seven minute “Quicksilver” is all inoffensive sci-fi organ and serves as a sort of musical intermission (i.e. toilet break), followed by Gilmour’s extremely brief but delightful “A Spanish Piece”, a tune which the title alone should be enough to cast an image into the reader’s mind. We end with “Dramatic Theme”, another instrumental which doesn’t really go anywhere probably because it didn’t have any where to go to begin with.
What we have here is a fine collection of songs by a band struggling with its own identity. In the aftermath of Syd Barrett’s involuntary departure, the rest of Floyd were determined to succeed yet unsure of in which direction they were going. More was simply another stepping stone on that initial path to true musical glory. That it would take them a few more albums to get there was unknown to Waters, Gilmour, Mason and Wright at the time, however once they had arrived, there would clearly be no turning back.