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A Saucerful of Secrets

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
$6.99 $0.81

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Capitol original recording UPC: 077774638326

A Saucerful of Secrets is an uneven album that could glibly be called Pink Floyd's sophomore jinx, though it's a bit more complicated than that. The problems behind the band's second outing can be summed up in two words: Syd Barrett. Or rather, the absence thereof. The creative force behind Floyd's first distinctively baroque collection is credited with just one track here ("Jugband Blues") and the occasion marked the beginning of his decades-long withdrawal from public life, battles with mental illness, and burgeoning cult legend. What's left is essentially the first album by the "classic" Floyd lineup, though they're understandably a long way from their focused 1970s prime (as witnessed by the 11-minute title track); the dense sound and effects collages that are mere seasoning on later Floyd records are too often the whole point here. Roger Waters barely hints at his later glories on "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun," a would-be stellar journey that's ultimately rather pedestrian. An album that seems alternately driven by a genuine experimental spirit one moment and creative panic the next. --Jerry McCulley

1. Let There Be More Light
2. Remember A Day
3. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
4. Corporal Clegg
5. A Saucerful Of Secrets
6. See-Saw
7. Jugband Blues

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol / EMI
  • ASIN: B000002U9Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,556 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Alan Caylow on January 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Released in 1968, Pink Floyd's second album, "A Saucerful of Secrets," shows the band in a transitional period. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Syd Barrett was ousted from the band due to his LSD use & erratic behavior (though the Floyd still allow him a final appearance at the album's end). Taking Syd's place was singer/guitarist David Gilmour, while bassist Roger Waters picked up the bulk of the songwriting duties, along with a pair of contributions from keyboardist Richard Wright. Some have criticized "Saucerful" as being a mixed bag, but I say that's total nonsense, because I've always loved this album. Roger Waters branches out as a songwriter very well with his trio of trippy psychedelic rock songs, "Let There Be More Light," "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun," and the very amusing "Corporal Clegg" (representing the first of Waters' various war-themed songs, though this particular tune is done with humor, including a solo on kazoo). Richard Wright delivers a fine pair of atmospheric songs, "Remember A Day" and "See-Saw." But the big centerpiece of the album is the 11-minute title track, an avant-garde, three-part instrumental in which the Floyd give the listener the aural equivalent of a war. The first part is the tension build-up, the middle section is the war (with drummer Nick Mason's tribal percussion loop, Gilmour running his guitar up and down a microphone stand, Waters repeatedly smashing a gong, and Wright pounding his piano senseless), and the final part is the release, the calm after the battle. It's an amazing piece, one of Pink Floyd's best, and it points in the musical direction that the Floyd would take on future releases.Read more ›
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By W. Wilson on September 27, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Pink Floyd's second album always suffered from sonic problems.

While the recording was done at EMI Studio's Abbey Road from January 1968 to April 1968, the same studio where 'Piper' was recorded, the band's arrangements became more complex, especially in the case of Rick Wright's two songs.

James Guthrie's remastering of 1968's 'A Saucerful of Secrets,' to these ears, sounds like nothing short of a rebirth of the album 43 years after its release.

Consider "Remember a Day" and "See-Saw," the latter which has tracks for piano, bass, drums, vocals, etc. and mellotron, plus assorted other instruments. Yet every song here benefits in some way from the remastering. "Corporal Clegg" sounds more menacing and bizarre than ever.

"Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" still sounds eerily mystical, but the experience of listening to it seems more personal. The same is true for the title track.

Syd Barrett, who had contributed so much to the band's first record, is now relegated to the final, famous track, "Jugband Blues," which opens with "It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here/And I'm most obliged to you for making it clear that I'm not here."

This is the third version of this album I've bought. Hearing this cleaned up version really is a treat.

Two minor nits: I'm a bit disappointed upon pulling out the disc from its digipack that the powers that be didn't reprint the striped "Tower" label. That would have been a nice touch.

The other drawback is it's a digipack.

On the plus side, the CD comes with a 12-page booklet and lyrics, some of which I still contest; for example:

"Marigolds are very much in love/But he doesn't mind.
Read more ›
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Interstellar on December 8, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I am a very BIG Pink Floyd fan and i have to say this is THE greatest album they've ever done (or ever will do)! I have nothing but great things to say about this album, and if i were to write them all down here i'd be here for years! Listening to "Remember" a Day and "See-Saw" really depresses me, because of Rick Wright's waning lyrical contributions in later years. He has the ability to write the most beautiful songs. *sigh* Oh-well. The rest of the album is equally fantastic. Starting with Rogers "Let There Be More Light" with its dark mysticysm. "Set The Controls..." and its menacing undertones. "Corporal Clegg"; (fabulous manic guitar Syd),Waters first scoff at war. "A Saucerful of Secrets"; winding, falling, climax of sound. And finally Syd's "Jugband Blues" a song so hauntingly sad he almost makes you want to cry. I miss you Syd
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31 of 40 people found the following review helpful By directions on February 1, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Its sad that people who are listening to "Wish You Were Here" don't know who the song is referring to. Being a Syd fanatic, I tend to focus on the first two albums. By the time of Saucerful of Secrets, Syd Barrett was being edged out of the band because of his erratic behavior (such as writing a song called "Have You Got it Yet?" and constantly changing the chords to frustrate the other band members). This was not the end of his career as he did two quite brilliant solo albums and still paints to this day. However, by the time of Saucerful of Secrets, David Gilmour has been enlisted as the singer and Roger Waters took over the creative control. On a song by song basis:

1.Let There Be More Light-dark, somber, very heavy, prog rock starts here.

2.Remember a Day-whimsical ode to childhood, obviously inspired by Barrett

3.Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun-Performed live during the Barrett era but obviously a Roger Waters song-absolute classic

4.Corporal Clegg-"Corporal Clegg earned his medal in a dream"-anti-war without being preachy. Another classic

5.A Saucerful of Secrets-Close to avant-garde classical. Another prog rock inspired masterpiece.

6.See Saw-Too close to Remember A Day to be original

7.Jugband Blues- Syd's last work of genius. The only song he sang on Saucerful but he claims to have guested on guitar on a couple of others-To some a self diagnosis of schizophrenia but lines like "I'm greatful to you for making it clear that I'm not here" are jabs at his by now former bandmates as well.

Anyone who considers themselves a Pink Floyd fan and has not heard this and the first album, "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" is missing out.
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Topic From this Discussion
A Saucerful of Secrets
I don't think there will be a 40th anniversary edition of Saucerfull of Secrets, sadly. It'd be a great time to finally make "Scream Thy Last Scream" and "Vegetable Man" available to the common buyer
Jun 26, 2008 by L. Ricciuti |  See all 4 posts
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