Pink Floyd, Atom Heart Mother

Dan Epstein

By Dan Epstein

on 06.08.11 in Reviews

Atom Heart Mother (2011 - Remaster)

Pink Floyd
Regaining their artistic focus

Though long since disowned by Roger Waters and David Gilmour, 1970's Atom Heart Mother remains an important Pink Floyd milestone for a number of reasons. For one thing, it topped the U.K. charts shortly after its release, a major victory for an act that had by now turned its back entirely on the pop marketplace. For another, it showed them thankfully regaining their artistic focus after the studio flailings of Ummagumma. Atom Heart Mother also contains some of the best original songs the band had written in years — though they pale in comparison to what would come later, Waters's "If," Rick Wright's "Summer '68" and Gilmour's Kinks-y "Fat Old Sun" form a tuneful mini-suite that casts a wistful glance back at the psychedelic era they'd just exited, while laying the melodic groundwork for the song-oriented triumphs to come. The album itself is mostly remembered not for its songs, however, but rather its extended experiments: The side-long title track — an orchestral collaboration with avant-garde composer Ron Geesin — and the meandering "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast," which comes complete with frying, eating and gulping sounds best experienced via the album's original quadraphonic mix. While the latter track remains an amusing-at-best period piece, "Atom Heart Mother" still holds up as a pretty hypnotic listening experience.