Exposé Online banner

Various Artists — A Saucerful of Pink
(Cleopatra CLEO 9551-2, 1995, 2CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-03-01

A Saucerful of Pink Cover art

With all of these recent tribute releases, there seem to be three types of covers: those which stay true to the original (or at least attempt to), those who take the original concept and try to improve it while remaining true to the spirit, and lastly, the innovators, taking the old song into completely new directions. What makes A Saucerful of Pink special is that it contains mostly the latter, and while not everything on the album is totally successful, one has to at least recognize that it represents an attempt to innovate.

The album begins with Psychic TV's rendition of "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun," adding power and intensity while remaining true to the original spirit. Also along these lines is Furnace's dark and mysterious delivery of "Hey You." Moving well beyond the basic ideas, we have tracks like "One of These Days" and "Interstellar Overdrive" by Spahn Ranch and Spiral Realms respectively, that inject a heavy electronic character into the originals, drastically and successfully altering their trajectories. Even more out of character is Leather Strip's demonic rendition of "Learning to Fly" and Alien Sex Fiend's mutant techno version of "Echoes." Nik Turner does a fine job with "Careful with That Axe, Eugene," the opening part being faithful to the original, while the anticipated climax hits with a squealing sax and throws the remainder of the song into choppy electronic turbulence. Eden's take on Syd Barrett's "Jugband Blues" brings it up to date and adds the power that seemed to be missing in the original, while EXP's "Saucerful of Secrets" is a more faithful take on the original, replete with Nick Mason styled drumming.

Exploding abruptly in a techno-trance firestorm, Penal Colony's cover of "Young Lust" is, if nothing else, interesting. Yet it, and several other tracks here (Controlled Bleeding's "Another Brick in the Wall," Pressurehed's "Let There Be More Light," and Melting Euphoria's "Point Me at the Sky") sound like they were thrown together without much respect to the essence of the original, and in the case of the latter two, the playing is quite sloppy, and the vocals range from uninspired (Pressurehed) to downright horrible (Melting Euphoria). Other artists include Sky Cries Mary, Farflung, Electric Hellfire Club, Din, Ron Geesin and Helios Creed.

So, like all tributes, and all compilations in general, featuring bands with varying artistic visions, there's some good and some bad, and plenty that are hovering somewhere in the middle. Most of the artists here tend to pull the songs in a more techno or neo-psych oriented direction, and overall I'd have to say the better material outweighs the marginal stuff, though it might help to have a programmable changer anyway.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 9, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): David Gilmour, Sky Cries Mary, Helios Creed, Farflung, Nik Turner, Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett, Various Artists, Roger Waters, Spiral Realms, Melting Euphoria, Nick Mason

Latest news

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Steve Howe - Homebrew – This new CD is a collection of guitar pieces and song writing ventures by the noted Yes guitarist which covers a span of over twenty years work from several solo and band projects. Almost completely...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues