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Atom Heart Mother

365 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

UPC: 077774638128 original recording not remastered

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In the grand, color-bending tradition of psychedelic experimentalism, Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother takes as its title an inscrutable phrase and under the title launches a similarly inscrutable--or at least dense--musical concatenation. The title suite features French-horn-led brass melodies riffed on by David Gilmour's guitar and the rhythm section, all of which veers into choral passages that recall György Ligeti's vocal works and then almost atonal pulses of keyboards that mask reams of audio snippets swirling underneath. And then there's some moody folk from Roger Waters, an almost Kinks-ish rambler from Richard Wright, then more moody folk (this time from Gilmour) on "Fat Old Sun," and, to close, the spirited melodic runaround of "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast." There's a range of emotion here, from doleful to crazed to humorous (especially the dramatized comments on macrobiotics in the closer). Atom Heart Mother was a spotlight ahead for Pink Floyd, showing the extensions of form the band would engage in so successfully on Dark Side of the Moon just a few short years later. --Andrew Bartlett

1. Atom Heart Mother: Father's Shout/Breast Milky/Mother Fore/Funky Dung/Mind Your Throats Please/Remergence
2. If
3. Summer '68
4. Fat Old Sun
5. Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast: Rise And Shine/Sunny Side Up/Morning Glory

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B000002U9W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (365 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,833 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

197 of 206 people found the following review helpful By Alan Caylow on September 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Reportedly, Pink Floyd themselves don't think very highly of their 1970 album, "Atom Heart Mother," aka "The Cow Album," with the band members on record having especially dismissed the 24-minute instrumental title suite, as well as the 13-minute instrumental-with-sound effects finale, "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast," as "absolute rubbish." Which leads me to one conclusion: artists are WAY too hard on themselves. The reality is, Pink Floyd have *nothing* to be ashamed of for this fine disc. I've always loved "Atom Heart Mother," and it still remains one of my personal favorite Floyd albums. By this time, Pink Floyd had gotten even more experimental with their music, and, having been influenced at the time by the "symphonic rock" leanings of such contemporaries as The Who, The Kinks and Deep Purple, the Floyd decided to take a crack at it themselves, and came up with their instrumental magnum opus, "Atom Heart Mother," co-written with avant-garde composer Ron Geesin, who had previously worked with bassist Roger Waters on the film soundtrack to "The Body." The main section of this big classical/rock hybrid sounds like music for a western movie (which guitarist David Gilmour says was the original idea), decorated throughout with odd string & brass flourishes, occasional changes in tempo, and haunting choir voices (courtesy of the John Aldiss Choir). There's also an excellent funky little Floyd jam right smack in the middle ("Funky Dung"), and another section for experimental sounds & effects ("Mind Your Throats Please"). Does it all hold together? To MY ears, definitely.Read more ›
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 29, 1999
Format: Audio CD
While many consider Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall as the pinnacle of the Pink Floyd enigma, Atom Heart Mother was the album that, while retaining the wash of Sixties psychedelia, began to experiment with themes and concepts. The title track, intended originally as the theme for a western, is a massive undertaking of production and arrangement. Though it sounds sloppy by today's standards, for 1970 it was far ahead of its time. It moves through the various sections seamlessly, creating a mood of temporal dislocation. The cello parts are particularly fascinating-this is the only piece of music that has ever made me cry, it was just too beautiful to stand. Images of earthen pleasures and astral journeys to where stars have no names, this song represents an extraordinary talent for leaving the right spaces between the notes. "If", the second track, offers an almost pure and innocent look at the fear of oncoming madness ( a fear which would be later realized). The song is very laid back and touching. "Summer `68" is somewhat cheesy at times, though the trumpet sections are full of repentant anguish at succumbing to the pleasures of flesh (a groupie). Very bouncy, but still manages to be dark and Floydian. "Fat Old Sun" is my favorite of this album. Though badly recorded and mixed, the images of freedom in childhood, blissful endless summer where the twilight is eternal is about as mellow as you get. The guitar solo at the end is killer (listen to the bass line-its one of Water's best). "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" is kind of silly, though the voice of Alan making breakfast on morning glory seeds is just perfect. The song is somewhat rushed, but the last segment, Morning Glory, is fantastic. Can't even describe the feeling it gives me. Although flawed at times, Atom Heart Mother still stands as one of the most innovative albums ever written. The ultimate psychedelic fantasy.
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88 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Leach HALL OF FAME on June 4, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I've been a Pink Floyd fan for years and track down all their obscure stuff just like every other fan. This album usually falls through the cracks when Pink Floyd's massive canon of work is reviewed. Too bad, because this album is truly groundbreaking.
Listen to such magic as Summer of 68, which uses some nice horn work. The title track is a sprawling opus mixing classical, rock and funk with great effect. My all-time favorite is Fat Old Sun, which just might be the best PF song ever. The guitar track in this song is quite simply mindblowing. Even better then Comfortably Numb, in my opinion. The album is rounded out by the acoustic beauty of If and the fun Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast, which has great percussion work by Nick Mason.
Any serious Floyd aficianado already has this album, but budding fans need to pick it up. Besides, you newbies have to give yourself a break from The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon, anyway!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Justin on April 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Among my first Pink Floyd albums were Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, and Animals. Once I listened to this album, I was astonished that I had never heard of it before.

I would almost rate this album to be better than The Wall (by far their best album, and in my opinion, the most incredible created of all time) but it would have to be much longer (if it was a double-cd album, I'd have a much harder decision!).

Still, this is plenty long. With only 5 songs, it weighs out at over 52 minutes! The first song alone is 23 minutes long! You will, as I have, fall in love with these songs - "Fat Old Sun" and "Summer of '68" are some of my favorite songs of all time.

If you've heard other Pink Floyd, such as Ummagumma or Meddle, you may have heard a very abstract form of Pink Floyd (synthesizers and songs that almost drain on, sounding more like sounds than written music). This album takes a step away from that with some of the most musical PF on any cd.

I own every single Pink Floyd album ever created, and this is probably my 2nd favorite. I strongly urge you to buy a copy, it is necessary for any classic rock fan!
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Curse words are everywhere. Is that good? or bad? or does it even matter?
Not sure why you posted this here, but I'll bite.

Words have no power over us but what we give them. People who try to limit someone's vocabulary in any way are petty power-tripping fools. I use most swear words very liberally, because most of them are extremely versatile and descriptive. ... Read More
Aug 2, 2012 by Alabaster Jones |  See all 2 posts
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