Customer Reviews

54
4.3 out of 5 stars
Saucerful Of Secrets
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:£9.95+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 24 November 2006
Still my favourite Floyd album, although that may be as much nostalgia for 1968 and teenage. Interestingly, this is more a patchwork than many people realise - and not just for the lone Syd Barrett track. If you check out "Relics," you will see that the two Rick Wright tracks were recorded BEFORE Interstellar Overdrive, i.e. they were done for the "Piper" sessions but not used (being uncharitable, one might think that the combined Barrett-Waters egos wouldn't let poor little Ricky get his songs on the first album). "Set the controls" used to be my favourite track, but nowadays I find that "Remember A Day" and "See-Saw" are my favourites. So, the two best (or at least favourite) cuts on my favourite Floyd album were left off their debut. Hmmmmm. I think they would have improved "Piper".
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 18 March 2012
A Saucerful of Secrets is the 2nd Album by Pink Floyd, and for me is a huge step in the right direction. Fans of "More", "Ummagumma", "Atom Heart Mother" and "Meddle" (All of which I would recommend) should all find lots to love in this album. This album was released in 1968 and marks a transitional point in Pink Floyd's career, from the Psychedelic Pop sound of Syd Barrett to the sometimes lengthier Psychedelic Rock and Space Rock songs that the band would be releasing up until the release of Dark Side of The Moon in 1972.

Pink Floyd 1968:
Roger Waters - Bass, Vocals
Rick Wright - Organ, Piano, Vocals
Nick Mason - Drums, Vocals
David Gilmour - Guitar, Vocals
Syd Barrett - Guitar, Vocals

Lets go through the album Track by Track:

1. Let There Be More Light (*****)
A Great opening track written by Roger Waters and a great summary of Pink Floyd at this time. Roger's Bass and Nick's Drums thrash it out allowing space for Rick's Farfisa organ noodlings to give the track great atmosphere. The Vocals on this track are performed by Richard, David and Roger and are panned all across the stereo spectrum. Rick's organ accompanies the vocal melody as it does in songs such as "The Embryo". The song really picks up into a chorus section with some great Hammond organ work from Rick Wright and hard drumming from Nick Mason. At approximately 3:30 the song drops into a droning psychedelic solo section that shifts in dynamics reminiscent of "Careful with That Axe, Eugene". Roger and Nick always manage to keep the songs grounded not matter how off the wall David and Rick go. A perfect start to an almost perfect album.

2. Remember A Day (*****)
Next up we have another of my favourite tracks off the album, and one of two Rick Wright compositions that appear on the album. This song has an undeniable energy in the drums and piano that is beautifully written and arranged. This is also the first we hear of Syd Barrett on this album, playing the slide guitar. Rick's vocals are catchy and panned hard right for a lot of the song that adds to the eerie effect of this track even if it is effectively a pop song. This song has been performed live once, and not by Pink Floyd but by David Gilmour's solo band in 2008 on ...Later with Jools Holland after the death of Rick Wright.

3. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun (*****)
Space Rock has been taken to a new level with this song, as has Roger Waters. This is the first song where he really stepped into his own, leaving behind the Syd Barrett inspired compositions. The song has a dark and mysterious atmosphere throughout. The repetition of the Bass / Vocal melody and the Toms played with Mallets give a hypnotic effect to the track allowing David and Rick to indulge in their sparse improvisation that defines post-Barrett Pink Floyd. This set a new standard in what Pink Floyd could do sonically which was topped again by the performance of this song on the live portion of "Ummagumma" which in my opinion is the best official live Pink Floyd release. This song leaves you wanting more and more

4. Corporal Clegg (****)
Just as you think the Syd Barrett influence has been whittled out, Rogers Water's Corporal Clegg brings back a very 60s and very happy Psychedelic Pop mood, complete with Kazoo played by David Gilmour. Nick's Drums keep this song upbeat and happy throughout. Roger's bass also keeps the song plodding along. Vocals are allowed to take over in this track will great harmony parts being sung by David, Rick and Nick. This Track ends up being quite chaotic but enjoyable none the less and it's impossible not to wear a huge smile after listening to this song.

5. A Saucerful Of Secrets (*****)
Seeming like a continuation of mood from "Set The Controls..." its hard to see why "Corporal Clegg" was placed where it was, as you get a huge contrast from song to song. This track shows the band at their experimental peak. This song features a huge sonic wash of Guitar and Organ and Piano that leaves you stunned. The start of this track sounds apocalyptic and is the darkest territory the minds of Pink Floyd have ever wandered. 4:00 Minutes in everything drops out aside from a drum loop that repeats continuously, as the rest of the band hammer out their instruments, creating the most eerie music ever heard, especially considering the rest of the music being made in the 1960s. "Chaotic" is one of the only words that spring to mind, closely followed by "awesome". 7:00 Marks another shift in direction as the deepest rumble occurs followed by dissonant organ sounds and "clanking" sounds which are equally as hypnotising. By 8:30 the greatest piece of music ever created has now been discovered in the form of "Celestial Voices" the fourth part of this song, although it is effectively the same chords for the remainder of the song, they build and build into the pinnacle of epicness, with wordless vocal harmonies and mellotron added more and more. The best version of this song is considered to be that on "Live at Pompeii".

6. See Saw (***)
The final Rick Wright composition of the album as out of place as "Corporal Clegg" but nevertheless a good song, it has a similar vibe to "Remember A Day" but doesn't quite match musically. This is the weakest point of the album so far and will always live in the shadow of the 5 prior tracks.

7. Jugband Blues (****)
The only Syd Barrett composition that features on the album is an odd one, as can be expected. This song is not to my taste as much as the other songs on the album at first, although has great moments as the song progresses. Featuring a big band, parts of the song are reminiscent of "Atom Heart Mother" and the Left to Right panning of the entire track is rather hypnotic. This song and "See Saw" are good songs but would have benefited being at the start of the album, letting to mood take over with "Set The Controls..." and the Title Track.

This is a great album, recommended for all fans of Pink Floyd, especially those curious about the band in the early days, but for those new to the band, Try "Live at Pompeii" and "Dark Side of The Moon" to get you started.

Happy Listening
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Pink Floyd's second album features new member Dave Gilmour on guitar and vocals on most of the tracks but also contains some leftovers from the Barrett era prior to the onset of Syd's mental problems, so Syd is given equal billing as a member of the band: ergo, Pink Floyd is credited as a five-piece. The management and the band actually considered having the more reliable (and better musician, let's face it) Dave replace Syd onstage, and keeping Syd on as the principal creative songwriter in the background.

The decline and departure of Syd from Pink Floyd seemed to force a new creativity to the surface in Roger and Richard in particular, and here their songwriting skills began to emerge into the sunlight. This band obviously had a future as not just the Syd Barrett Backing Group. Although Dave Gilmour's songwriting here extends to only a part-credit on the title track, the energy and new dynamism he injects into the Pink Floyd bloodstream is palpable in many of the songs.

The format of ASoS resembles the debut `Piper': lyrical songs (plus Roger's rather harsh and cynical `Corporal Clegg') with two longer space-rock pieces, the title track and `Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' both of which became extended live-on-stage set-pieces for the band until 1973.

The final song on the album is 'Jugband Blues'. Composed and sung by Syd, it's the quintessentially quirky Barrett piece and leaves the listener with his departing words "...and what exactly is a dream, and what exactly is a joke?" And what exactly is international success, Syd? Answer: Pink Floyd without you onboard, as time would prove.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
It soon became apparent that Syd Barrett's tenure in Pink Floyd would be a short one due to his declining mental state. Dave Gilmour was brought in and essentially the band evolved with Barrett finally leaving both for his own good and that of the bands. So is this a transitional record? Well in many ways the answer is yes. Its intent soon becomes evident on Roger Waters' opening track Let There Be More Light which immediately has a more progressive rock feel to it than anything on Piper. Remember a Day was written by Richard Wright and has a nodding acquaintance with psychedelia but then Waters weighs in with one of the group's most endearing and moody pieces "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun.

Corporal Clegg sees Waters turning to the military stage - somewhere he would inhabit many times in the future. The title track lasts for almost 12 minutes and gives Gilmour his first co-writing acknowledgement. It's a strange concoction of sounds, almost experimental in nature but with some strongly layered textures and an impressively understated choral ending. The album concludes with another Wright composition "See-Saw" and Barrett's "Jugband Blues" - his final effort for a band that was growing up fast.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 13 December 2001
Fans of later Floyd may find this a bit of a curates egg. Saucerful of Secrets catches the transition from psychedelia to prog rock. Syd Barret's sole writing contribution - the remarkable 'Jugband Blues'- appears to describe psychological disintigration, assisted by a Salvation Army band. Suffice to say, it sticks out like a sore thumb amongst Wright and Water's psychedelia by numbers (See Saw, Remember a Day) and the songs which would act as a template for their subsequent work (Set The Controls For The Heart of The Sun, Saucerful of Secrets). That said, the contrasting writing styles make a refreshing change from the monomania of later albums. Definitely worth having, but probably not an ideal time purchase.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 25 May 2001
A transitional album on which the band moved from Barrett's relatively concise and vivid songs to spacy, ethereal material with lengthy instrumental passages. Barrett's influence is still felt (he actually did manage to contribute one track, the jovial "Jugband Blues"), and much of the material retains a gentle, fairy-tale ambience. "Remember a Day" and "See Saw" are highlights; on "Set The Controls for the Heart of the Sun," "Let There Be More Light," and the lengthy instrumental title track, the band begin to map out the dark and repetitive pulses that would characterize their next few records.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2000
This album marks the introduction of David Gilmour following the sacking of Syd Barrett, although Syd's ghost haunts at least three of the albums seven tracks. 'Let there be more light' promises a more weighty Floyd sound and is a great opener. However, the way is quickly lost with the somewhat wishy-washy 'Remember a day'. 'Set the controls for the heart of the sun' once more promises to lift the album but it is followed by the dire 'Corporal Clegg' (which foretells 'The Wall' some twenty years in the future!) The title track shows just what a band the new Gilmour, Mason, Waters, Wright combo have created with one of the best psychedelic tracks I know. You've definately got to turn the lights off for this one. Then comes the awful 'See-saw' which just has no place on the album, before finishing with 'Jugband Blues', sung by Syd and the finest song on the whole thing.
AN ALBUM TRYING TO FIND A VOICE - A BAND TRYING TO FIND DIRECTION.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2000
The band's first effort after the departure of Syd Barrett, this is a suprisingly good album. A bit hit and miss maybe, but the strong numbers outweigh the weak.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
The patchwork nature of "A Saucerful of Secrets" reveals a band in a quandary over the mental demise of their erstwhile frontman, Syd Barrett. Roger Waters hadn't yet seized the role of band visionary, but did contribute three songs to Rick Wright's two.
As on their debut album, Pink Floyd journeyed into space, but whereas Barrett's space twinkled with cosmic explosions, the Barrett-less Floyd probed darker, silent, barren reaches. Take the title-track, at over ten minutes the album's centrepiece. "Interstellar Overdrive" it isn't. Much of it consists of keyboard drones punctuated by vaguer sounds that give it an eerie quality. A middle section featuring a tumbling drum pattern breaks it up, but overall the track is an example of style over substance. For me, it is partly successful, intriguing but not breathtaking.
Of Waters' songs my favourite is the first, "Let There Be More Light", though after the lively opening bass riff the slow, deliberate chant of the verse reveals that the band have lost some of their lustre. "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" seems to be widely popular, but is not one of my favourites, its hypnotic melancholy being a little too long and repetitive. "Corporal Clegg" by contrast makes you sit up, if rather uncomfortably.
I like both of Wright's songs. Barrett's lingering presence flickers across "Remember A Day", courtesy of his distinct guitar contribution. This is another eerie track, though Wright is these days embarrassed by it. "See-Saw", with its flowery explosions of sound is perhaps the one song that wouldn't sound out of place on "Piper".
The last word goes to Barrett with his "Jugband Blues". Ironically, his clipped diction ("It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here") has never been more lucid on record. But of course he has to leave the scene with a pointed, unresolved moment ("And what exactly is a joke?").
"A Saucerful of Secrets" is an album I return to occasionally, often to remind myself of the title track. Odd and mysterious.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 9 July 2011
If Ever there was a more moving song - tell me! Remember A Day is the song of my teens, "Why can't we reach the sun? Why can't we blow the years away?" Then - Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun - mind blowing Floyd by Roger Waters. Now we need to pay homage to Jugband Blues - thank you Syd Barrett. Magically a saucer full of secrets. For me their best album. Marlene
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Meddle [Discovery Edition]
Meddle [Discovery Edition] by Pink Floyd (Audio CD - 2011)


 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.