Exposé Online banner

Pink Floyd — Atom Heart Mother
(Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDCD595, 1970/1993, CD)

by Michael Draine, Published 1994-05-01

Atom Heart Mother Cover art

Back in the heyday of symphonic rock, it was natural for Pink Floyd to take an occasional stab at "serious" composition, their most assiduous attempt being this 1970 album's daringly abstract, twenty-three minute title track. Floyd sidekick Ron Geesin's uncredited brass and choral arrangements lend form and momentum to the alternately dissonant and lyrical piece, but it's David Gilmore's liquid glissando guitar that sustains Atom Heart's hypnotic plateaus. The three enervated ballads that ensue underscore the still-unhealed loss of Syd Barrett's songwriting skills. Roger Waters' "If" and Gilmore's "Fat Old Sun" were only to be effectively realized live (as documented on the 3/10/71 bootleg, Atom Heart Mother Goes on the Road), while Rick Wright's "Summer '68" portends the bitter, cynical tone of later Pink Floyd. The thirteen minute "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" consists largely of aimless musique concrète, but concludes with an uplifting, melodic coda of disarming warmth, innocence and charm (terms which would not often be applicable to the band's darkening musical vision). The benefits of Mobile Fidelity's gold Ultradisc treatment include an uncommonly lifelike kick drum sound, vivid stereo imaging, and the capture of Gilmore's seductively lush, mellifluous slide guitar in all of its sublime ethereality. While Atom Heart Mother remains a decidedly minor Pink Floyd opus (significantly, the group chose to omit it from the Shine On box set), the brave, if inflated, experimental spirit displayed here provides a striking contrast to the space-rock Barnum & Bailey the group has become.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 3, 1993 releases, 1970 recordings

Related artist(s): David Gilmour, Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, Ron Geesin, Nick Mason

Latest news

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Happy Rhodes - Many Worlds Are Born Tonight – Happy Rhodes is now at her eighth studio album, and it is her first to be released on a label other than her own Aural Gratification. Not that signing with Samson is exactly a move to the majors. This...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues