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Pink Floyd - A Saucerful of Secrets
Label: Capitol Records
Release: 1968

Tracklisting:
Let There Be More Light
Remember A Day
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
Corporal Clegg
A Saucerful of Secrets
See-Saw
Jugband Blues
A Saucerful of Secrets - Pink Floyd
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As quickly as it started in 1967, the PF brand of light psychedelic music was already on it's way out the next year. SydBarrett was already on his way out - he wasn't around much for these sessions, and he didn't come back. Enter then, the man from the dentist's chair himself. Guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour comes in, and the band start to plant the seedsof change - the songs here are noticeably darker than they were on Piper. But it was going to take time for the band to change without their distinct frontman, and as a result, some songs here do suffer from being a bit amateurish.

This isn't true though, of the A-star early PF classic that opens the album - "Let There Be More Light" can sometimes beoverlooked in favour of some of the more famous songs from this album, but it's fantastic. Beginning with a stunningopening bassline and going through some spacey verses and choruses, before culminating in a great close-out solo, it's a nigh-on perfect composition - great work all around.

None of the others really come close to that opening smasher - Wright's "Remember A Day", with Syd Barrett, is generallyunmemorable - a pretty poor effort. "Set the Controls For The Heart of the Sun" though, does come close to "Let There BeMore Light", with it's hammering, repetitive bassline and whispered mood - although this song would, much like the othermajor work on here, come to the fore when performed live.

"Corporal Clegg" though, again, doesn't really build on this. In fact, it's pretty much cack. Unmemorable, boring, childlike rock stuff that even their followers in the psychedelic genre (Lost Chord-era Moody Blues) were already doingbetter. Really, really poor - it sounds so disjointed and...well, it doesn't make any sense. I docked 2 points for thatnightmare.

I also docked another point for "A Saucerful of Secrets" - the song itself isn't actually bad by any means. But it's a lotlike "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" - it's a song that can only really be listened to live, and this studio version doesn't do the song any real justice - I do enjoy the lighter, choral ending to this version, though. The album does pickitself up towards the end though - Wright's second effort, "See-Saw", is a lot better than the first effort. It has evenless of a melody than "Remember A Day", but it's just a great, dream-like song. The general poor quality of the production does actually contribute here - i'm not sure if this would sound so good if it was extremely well-produced.

And finally, we have "Jugband Blues". The only song written by Syd on the entire album, it's well...pretty solid, yes. Alot like his solo work, in that it's solidly uneven. Which is, of course, when dealing with Syd, perfectly ok. It's ratherdisjointed, but that ending is excellent. Nice way to close out the album - although it was kind of an "up yours" to theother boys in the band.

All this gives the album a 6. Not bad - but it could be better. Doubtless, works like "Corporal Clegg" and "Remember A Day"would be better if they'd been arranged a bit better - as it is, a lot of the stuff here sounds very disjointed, and doesn'treally do much. They'd get better, of course, but this first effort proves that it didn't all come at once for Floyd, and it's a typical transition album. 6.

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