Posts Tagged ‘Richard Wright’

“The Narrow Way (Parts 1-3)”

Of anyone in the band, David Gilmour had the most trepidation about creating an individual experimental piece for the studio disc of Ummagumma. And he ended up with the best thing on the project. The three-part suite repurposes an existing tune for the rustic opener, but Gilmour’s guitar steamrolls through the middle portion before landing on a George Harrison-ish bit of space-twang for the climax.

The official video for ‘Careful With That Axe, Eugene’ by Pink Floyd recorded live in Brighton and originally released on the ‘Ummagumma’ album.

From 1969, Ummagumma was the band’s first double album and has one of their most iconic cover images. Ummagumma is an eclectic mix of both live and studio recordings.

Ummagumma

The album was re-mastered in 2011. Go to http://www.whypinkfloyd.com for more details.
UMMAGUMMA, the 1969 album from Pink Floyd celebrates its 46th anniversary today.
Using a unique concept, the first disc is a live album taken from their set list at the time and the second contains solo compositions by each band member. A double album by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd. It was released on 25 October 1969, through Harvest Records. The artwork was designed by regular Floyd collaborators Hipgnosis and features a number of pictures of the band combined to give a Droste effect.

Although the album was well received at the time of release, and was a top five hit in the UK album charts, it has since been looked upon unfavourably by the band, who have expressed negative opinions about it in interviews. Nevertheless, the album has been reissued on CD several times, along with the rest of their catalogue.

Although the sleeve notes say that the live material was recorded in June 1969, the live album of Ummagumma was recorded live at Mothers Club, Erdington Birmingham on 27th April 1969 and the following week at Manchester College of Commerce on 2nd May of the same year as part of The Man and The Journey Tour. The band had also recorded a live version of “Interstellar Overdrive” (from The Piper at the Gates of Dawn) intended for placement on side one of the live album, and “The Embryo”, which was recorded in the studio before it was decided that the band members each come up with their own material.

The studio album came as a result of Richard Wright wanting to make “real music”, where each of the four group members (in order: Wright, Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason) had half an LP side each to create a solo work without involvement from the others.Wright’s contribution, “Sysyphus”, was named after a character in Greek mythology, usually spelled “Sisyphus”, and contained a combination of various keyboards, including piano and mellotron. Although initially enthusiastic about making a solo contribution, Wright later described it as “pretentious”. Waters’ “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict” contained a variety of vocal and percussion effects treated at various speeds, both forwards and backwards, and was influenced by Ron Geesin, who would later collaborate with both Waters and Pink Floyd. Waters’ other contribution Grantchester Meadows was a more pastoral acoustic offering and was usually played as an opening to concerts over 1969. Gilmour has since stated he was apprehensive about creating a solo work, and admits he “went into a studio and started waffling about, tacking bits and pieces together”,although part one of “The Narrow Way” had already been performed as “Baby Blue Shuffle in D Major” in a BBC radio session in December 1968. Gilmour said he “just bullshitted” through the piece. He asked Waters to write some lyrics for his compositions, but he refused to do so. Mason’s “The Grand Vizier’s Garden Party” featured his then wife, Lindy, playing flute, and Mason playing a seven-minute drum solo

The cover artwork shows a Droste effect featuring the group, with a picture hanging on the wall showing the same scene, except that the band members have switched positions.The cover of the original LP varies between the British, American/Canadian and Australian releases. The British version has the album Gigi leaning against the wall immediately above the “Pink Floyd” letters. At a talk given at Borders bookstore in Cambridge on 1st November 2008, as part of the “City Wakes” project, Storm Thorgerson explained that the album was introduced as a red herring to provoke debate, and that it has no intended meaning. On most copies of American and Canadian editions, the Gigi cover is airbrushed to a plain white sleeve, apparently because of copyright concerns; however, the earliest American copies do show the Gigi cover, and it was restored for the American remastered CD edition. On the Australian edition, the Gigi cover is completely airbrushed, not even leaving a white square behind. The house used as the location for the front cover of the album is located in Great Shelford, near Cambridge.

On the rear cover, roadies Alan Styles (who also appears in “Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast”) and Peter Watts were shown with the band’s equipment laid out on a runway at Biggin Hill Airport. This concept was proposed by Mason, with the intention of replicating the “exploded” drawings of military aircraft and their payloads, which were popular at the time.

Song titles on the back are laid out slightly differently in British vs. North American editions; the most important difference being the inclusion of subtitles for the four sections of “A Saucerful of Secrets”. These subtitles only appeared on American and Canadian editions of this album, but not on the British edition; nor did they appear on original pressings of A Saucerful of Secrets.

The inner gatefold art shows separate black-and-white photos of the band members. Gilmour is seen standing in front of the Elfin Oak. Original vinyl editions showed Waters with his first wife, Judy Trim, but she has been cropped out of the picture on most CD editions (with the original photo’s caption “Roger Waters (and Jude)” accordingly changed to just “Roger Waters”). The uncropped picture was restored for the album’s inclusion in the box set

Pink Floyd
David Gilmour – lead guitar, vocals, all instruments and vocals on “The Narrow Way”
Nick Mason – percussion, all instruments (except flutes) on “The Grand Vizier’s Garden Party”
Roger Waters – bass guitar, vocals, all instruments and vocals on “Grantchester Meadows” and all instruments on “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict”
Richard Wright – organ, keyboards, vocals, all instruments and vocals on “Sysyphus”