Pink Floyd – More

pinkfloyd-more-lprecord-417578

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.

7 thoughts on “Pink Floyd – More

  1. I love the soundtracks that The Floyd did for lesser known movies. They were approached by Stanley Kubrick to provide the soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odyssey and Kubrick wanted to use the track Atom heart Mother but to cut it up and place the segments where he saw fit to which Roger Waters told him to go spit and the plans fell through on that one. I’m sure he regrets it to this day. The soundtrack albums such as More and Obscured By Clouds:La Vallee along with the 1968 film The Committee and 1970’s Zabriske Point showcased a different side to The Floyd in that the albums weren’t a conceptual follow through and more of a pastiche of songs for just an album. There was no set pattern or type of theme to them other than they were the songs that showed up mostly in part on the film’s score. The soundtrack to More did spawn a few songs that made it to their live sets in 1970/71 Main Theme which was performed at the beginning of 1970 to huge delight of French fans and Cymbaline that made it’s way through till the end of their 1971 tour in much longer forms including some great surround effects in the middle but dropped for the subsequent Eclipse suite (DSOTM) in 1972. Green is the Colour was on its own at first then conjoined to be the intro piece to Careful with that Axe, Eugene as the two were merged to create an ethereal montage of sound that took you from a peaceful country English glen to a searing and disturbing ominous cloud of darkness in Careful with that Axe, Eugene. Yes the movie was horrible and the acting beyond campy and schlock about drug use and being in Ibiza whilst doing heroin with a completely bad yet cult status film altogether. Sadly the song Seabirds did not make it to the album for some reason which can be heard in the background during one scene and found on the large boxset compilation “A Treeful of Secrets” but only as the clip from the film and not an actual studio piece. Cymbaline appears with different vocals ion the film and sung by what sounds like Waters which also doesn’t show up that way on the record. So the album has some quirks to it but overall I’m loving this album for all it’s worth. As much as I am a true start to finish Floyd album fan the pre-Darkside material is extremely different and brilliant than their super stardom records from ’73 onward which were brilliant in their own rights but didn’t have that same early raw energy that the latter did..

    1. I had to buy The Works comp just to get a version of Embryo, so there must be a few other gems as you mention locked away in the vaults. More is one of those albums I can listen to in Winter or Summer, whereas other records seem like winter to me, bleak and depressing (but always in a good way). Great comment by the way. I’m going to now do a little more research.

      1. I’ve been gathering their live shows for years now. Audio and video. The new 27CD boxset is stuff for the most part I’ve had for 20years now lol. Maybe theirs will be in better quality lol. As always most welcome and great review too! Always up for trades, you can find my email on the meet Progbeawr page if you like and wanna know more about my collections.

      2. If you really try you can source out the original album that Embryo was on. It was only partially completed when the band went on hols and they put it on the shelf till the got back but in the meantime, harvest records released an album Picnic: A Breath of Fresh Air with a family down by the beach all wearing gas masks! They put that song on there without the band’s permission so naturally when they got back and saw this the album was recalled but not before a few good numbers made their way in to people’s homes! So it is available but they never did complete it by adding the electric guitar parts or any percussion to it so to speak. So the version on Works is what was on Picnic. All the same but be fun to have a vinyl copy of that album eh?

        1. Years back I bought Relics on vinyl and a few other rarities, but didn’t know about picnic. 500 bucks later I’m sure. All I know about Works is that the group didn’t approve Embryo’s release

          1. Same reasons again but under different label and pretenses and a wad of money I’m sure. Right?! $500 or more later and you too can own a really beat up copy of Picnic! lol. I don’t have one for that reason alone! I remember wayyyyyyyyyyyyy back I saw a huge boxset of Harvest records quote unquote Best of over a ten year period and saw opn the back a painting of The Floyd in Romanesque gowns like they were Ceasar type figures and thought that’d be cool to have till I saw the $200 price tag on it and said yeah let’s look at the used tape section! lol.$15 and 7 cassettes later I was happy lol. That’s why whenever I see Yard sales I have to peruse the vinyl juuuuuuust incase and they have no clue what they’re selling for a dollar or less!

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