Saturday, June 29, 2013

a saucerful of secrets

Pink Floyd expanded and contracted with the innovative space rock of this artful psychedelic evolution.  In the wake of the success of their classic debut 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn'the band found themselves increasingly disturbed by the erratic behavior of front man Syd Barrett.   During live performances he might detune his guitar or he might simply stand with his arms at his side and stare blankly out into space.  Interviews didn't fare any better.  They began sessions for 'A Saucerful Of Secrets' at EMI Studios on Abbey Road in London and continued at De Lane Lea Studios on Kingsway.  In late 1967, David Gilmour was brought in as a second guitarist to fill in the gaps left by Barrett.  As the sessions continued, the band played a few gigs as a five piece with Barrett occasionally taking part in the proceedings.  Picking up the different members on the way to a show at Southampton University the rest of the band decided to save themselves the trouble and not stop and get Barrett, signaling the end of his tenure with the band he started.      

With their primary songwriter out of the picture, the rest of the band began composing material that could fill out their album.  The lengthy title suite was pieced together from several different songs (I. "Something Else",  II. "Syncopated Pandemonium",  III. "Storm Signal", and  IV. "Celestial Voices") and mapped out in what Gilmour describes as an "architectural design".  Producer Norman Smith refused to take part in the recording of the track, dismissing it as "noise".

The album featured Roger Waters on bass guitar, percussion, and vocals; Richard Wright on piano, organ, mellotron, vibraphone, xylophone, vocals, and tin whistle; David Gilmour on guitar, kazoo, and vocals; Nick Mason on drums, percussion, vocals, and kazoo; and Syd Barrett on acoustic guitar, slide guitar, guitar, and vocals; with producer Norman Smith on drums and backing vocals; and The Salvation Army (The International Staff Band) on "Jugband Blues".  

'A Saucerful Of Secrets' went to number ten in France and nine in the UK.  The album cover was designed by Hipgnosis.

'Scream Thy Last Scream / Vegetable Man'
were Barrett compositions that were recorded during the sessions; but not included on 'A Saucerful of Secrets'

'Apples and Oranges' was released as a single during the recording of 'A Saucerful of Secrets'; but it never charted.

'Paint Box' was the b-side to 'Apples and Oranges'

"It Would Be So Nice" was another non-album single that didn't chart.

"In the Beechwoods" was a Barrett composition that was not used on the album.

"Sunshine" was another Barrett song that didn't make the final cut.

'Under Review' documentary

'A Saucerful Of Secrets'

full album:

Side one
1. "Let There Be More Light"   (Roger Waters)  vocals by Richard Wright, Waters, David Gilmour 5:38
2. "Remember a Day"   (Wright)  vocals by Wright 4:33
3. "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun"   (Waters)  vocals by Waters 5:28
4. "Corporal Clegg"   (Waters)  vocals by Gilmour, Nick Mason, Wright 4:13
Side two
1. "A Saucerful of Secrets"
I. "Something Else" (3:57)
II. "Syncopated Pandemonium" (3:07)
III. "Storm Signal" (1:34)
IV. "Celestial Voices" (3:19)"  
(Waters, Wright, Gilmour, Mason) Instrumental, wordless vocals by  Gilmour, Wright 11:57
2. "See-Saw"   (Wright)  vocals by Wright 4:36
3. "Jugband Blues"   (Syd Barrett)  vocals by Barrett 3:00

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