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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beuatifully Bonkers
I think that people judge this album a little too harshly in general. There are some interesting ideas on here and some rather lovely "proper" songs . It is very different from the later output so at the risk of offending anyone, it's not for the mullet and denim jacket floyd brigade in general, but I personally love it. Equal parts playful (Alan's pscyhedelic...
Published on 18 May 2007 by Lord Percival Lesmond Bovis III

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Under-rated and leaning to a future
"Atom Heart Mother", is a undeservedly bashed record in their canon. The title track is an ambitious, epic instrumental with orchestra that is a precursor to the bands signature tune "Echoes". Side two is generally formless, compiled of just a number of frankly average songs and a couple of standouts in the shape of "If" and "Fat Old Sun". Overall, the production is...
Published on 1 Jan 2008 by Mr. M. A. Reed


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not much to add but..., 3 Sep 2011
This review is from: Atom Heart Mother (Audio CD)
Not much to add but I just wanted to say that I really love the title track in all its 25 minute glory. I think Floyd/Roger Waters have have gone on record saying that they find it highly embarrassing now, which I think is a shame.There's nothing else quite like it and that's something to be proud of in itself - I think it's a bit like 'Bohemian Rhapsody' in that respect - you might not like it but at least it's different and originality is becoming a rare commodity in this world! I think it's beautifully orchestrated and it sweeps you along if you play it loud and just let it work its magic!

Like a lot of other reviewers here, I find the descent into whimsy that is 'Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast' a bit underwhelming - it reminds me a bit of 'Revolution 9' at the end of The White Album - you kind of expect so much more, especially since there is so much hype. Anyway, if I want whimsy I'll listen to Syd's solo albums - in the words of Carly Simon, 'nobody does it better!'

Anyway, the fat old sun in the sky fell long ago......Thanks for reading, so long and goodnight!

PS: My original review was for the album - not for any particular package thereof! I listen to it on original vinyl - it rocks!

Helwyn :-)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `The Cow Album' - still good after all these years, 13 May 2011
By 
The Guardian (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Atom Heart Mother (Audio CD)
AHM is a true original which breaks all the rules and represents Floyd at their quirkiest and most inventive. It's possibly Floyd's most enduring pre-DSOTM collection with a character all its own. The original vinyl album had a similar structure to its follow-on, `Meddle:' one side devoted to a long symphonic concept moving seamlessly through several sections (i.e. `Echoes' on `Meddle'), and the other side a collection of songs which stand well in their own right.

The 24-minute symphonic title track owes a great deal to Kent-based avant-garde composer Ron Geesin, who at the request of Roger Waters conceived and arranged all the brass, orchestral and choral parts at the centre of the piece. Waters and Mason underpin the main theme with a slow-tempo rhythm over which Geesin's brass section lays its cowboy-western theme. The piece then moves seamlessly through several movements including a truly sublime choral section and a short funky jam from the band to return, symphonic style, to the main theme in conclusion. The whole works better than it should, and is all the more remarkable for its time in having virtually no lyrics (the choir is simply used as an instrument for sound). The result is a unique listening experience and in a way beautiful, with fine contributions from Wright and Gilmour, demonstrating here for the first time he was by now a vital member of the band with a great and maturing creative talent. A comparison with `Echoes' recorded only months later is instructive in demonstrating the evolution of ideas which led to some of Floyd's greatest musical innovations in the 1970s, when the band functioned as a productive unit working together.

The original `side two' of the vinyl album kicked off with Roger Waters' `If', an acoustic guitar piece somewhat reminiscent of `Grantchester Meadows' in musical form but with the more sinister theme of potential looming mental instability: an early indication of the direction which finally came to maturity in the underlying thematic preoccupations of DSOTM. Dave Gilmour lays over some sublime electric guitar to beef-out the final section of the song.

Rick Wright's `Summer of 68' is possibly the best thing he ever wrote. It continues the laid-back mood with a jaunty upbeat rhythm overlaid with a fine melody supporting poignant lyrical musings about the lack of depth and meaning in an opportunistic one-night stand with a `groupie' whilst on tour: "I hardly even like you, I shouldn't care at all...tomorrow brings another town, another girl like you...just tell me, how do you feel?" The final section fills out with a blast of brass over the rhythm to echo the style of the symphonic title track.

Dave Gilmour's `Fat Old Sun' is a slow, lazy and richly-textured song and classic Floyd, again picking up towards the end with electric guitar over Waters' and Mason's slow insistent rhythm section. Nice.

The closer `Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast' has been described by members of the band in later years as `absolute rubbish.' This is too harsh: it's interesting and different, and at the time of first release caused much amusement in the listening audience (I know - I was there). It's a studio piece in three musical sections, formed around short episodes voiced by Alan (one of Floyd's road crew) as he prepares his breakfast complete with sound effects, following a night of - we can only imagine - some psychedelic mind excursion courtesy of exotic chemical substances. It's a somewhat downbeat closer and interesting in its historic context in that it illustrates the experimental and think-out-of-the-box mind set of Floyd at the time, before they settled on projects of themed songwriting which led to the greater commercial success of the DSOTM and WYWH period.

AHM is a fine album and still, after 40 years, eminently listenable with some great music. It has a more mellow feel than some of Floyd's other offerings and hard-driving rock numbers are absent, but it's none the worst for that and is, at heart, quality stuff.

The album's title was, reportedly, taken from a newspaper headline about a woman being fitted with a new kind of hi-tech pacemaker, spontaneously chosen by Roger Waters and with no direct relevance to the content of the music. It was a good choice, though. The improbable cover photo of the cow was, of course, a stroke of genius and forever marks the album out as distinctive and immediately recognisable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Personal favourite!, 5 Mar 2011
This review is from: Atom Heart Mother (Audio CD)
There is something very special about this album, something very special indeed.

Atom Heart Mother is not as celebrated as latter Floyd works but I have always been drawn to their earlier, trippier and experimental period and for me this album is just fantastic.

Not a conceptual album as such Atom Heart Mother is a pastoral, psychedelic masterpiece made up from the long AHM suite and a series of shorter songs that sit very comfortably alongside the main piece.

I recommend listening to this early in the morning, just as the sun is rising - no better accompaniment to the start of a new day.........then, go get yourself a nice cooked breakfast....

thoroughly recommended
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You may like it or not - I love it, 10 Jan 2011
By 
Jiri Schwarz (Prague, Czechia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Atom Heart Mother (Audio CD)
The record I'll choose if I was to take a single one on a desert island (my choice throughout the last 4 decades). To me, the relief and "mindwash" in times of sorrow.

I don't see why some say it is conceptual. I think there's no common motif of the tracks (neither philosophically, nor musically - in contrast to the later albums of Dark Side, Wish You Were Here, Animals and Wall). Anyway, it is a collection of masterpieces. The 1st side of the original LP is occupied by the sole monumental AHM suite (all group members being co-authors), side 2 is reserved to a more traditional song-writing by individual PF members.

The AHM suite cannot be compared to anything else I've heard. Although being so long, it attracts you from the very beginning to the very end. The sound backbone of the record is the essential sound of PF of the early 70's (already the typical sounds of the keyboards, David Gilmour's guitar, and notably, the accurate, sensitive and well recorded Nick Mason's drums) which is here already devoid of the harmonies and arrangements used previously by Syd Barrett (I think the last LP on which we can musically trace Syd was Ummagumma - of course, spiritual heritage of Syd remained, as quoted on Wish You Were Here). The typical feature of the AHM suite are the contrasts of soothing harmonies and weird disharmonies, the contrasts of very calm, peaceful or contemplative parts with epical parts or even the slightly pompous finale (reminding of a happy-end of a drama). The contrasts are boosted by the incredibly sophisticated usage of the choir (wonderful voices so well corresponding to the sound) and horns. It is this unscrupulous ease of mixing the choir a brass arrangements (not at all trendy) with the rock'n blues backbone of PF's music that makes this album so outstanding and different to anything in PF's career.

The triad of the songs on side 2 of the LP) are simply 3 more pearls. If is a quiet acoustic tune (sung in a rather frustrated and shivering voice - asking "If I go insane, please don't put your wires in my brain" - ). Summer '68 is a decent Wright's nostalgia of the fast loves of the Hippie days, with brilliant keyboards. Fat Old Sun is a very fragile tune. The last track - Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast is well defined by its name. It employs some tapes of musique concrete, as we know it e.g. from Ummagumma). You can feel the exhaustion of the last night's trip, with the relief of the bacon crackling on the pan and the WC splash while the sun is rising.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Revisited, 16 Sep 2007
This review is from: Atom Heart Mother (Audio CD)
I don't usually read or write reviews as they drive me to distraction. Many people reviewing vintage albums and TV do so from today's perspective and miss the point entirely. I.e. 'Isn't that Monty Python great?!'. New fetishism.

I bought the vinyl of this when it first emerged and am now buying the CD having forgotten for 35 years what an influence both this album and Meddle had on a young teenage me.

I love it but would not recommend anyone new to Floyd to make it their first purchase, however, I have tended over the years to buy the 'in' stuff then look back at many bands beginnings and finally enjoy their earlier works more than the present days. Love this album or not it's part of why Floyd were so suvccessful - enjoy.

Hope I've not driven anyone to distraction by this review.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underated and brilliant, 23 Jun 2004
This review is from: Atom Heart Mother (Audio CD)
First heard this album in 1974 and have loved it ever since. I seem to recall reading that Kubrick wanted to use some of it on his film A Clockwork Orange, but Floyd refused. I think this is one of their best albums.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Floyd album..., 26 Jan 2010
By 
Mark Shackelford "mark shackelford" (Worthing, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Atom Heart Mother (Audio CD)
Atom Heart Mother came into my life when I was a teenager - and is part of the mythological "Golden Era" of English Rock Music - along with "the Yes Album", "the Court of the Crimson King" and "The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other".
Each of these albums defines the era (late 60s, early 70s), when the bands were exploring completely new possibilities - with new technology, excellent musicianship and the (apparent) freedom to do what they wanted without restraints from the marketing departments.

Atom Heart Mother evolved from the Floyd's earlier [and wonderful] psychedelic albums ("Piper at the Gates of Dawn" and "Saucerful of Secrets") and delivered a glorious exploration of technical possibilities - mixing orchestral pieces, soaring wordless vocals, a rock band (love Mr. Mason's drumming) and assorted tapes of trains, horses, motorcycles etc - into a logical, coherent piece.

I have lost count of the number of times I have listened to this (and worn out several LPs and a couple of CDs in the process).

The title track lends itself to listening in a gentle environment - low lights, a few beers (or other restful concoctions) - and epitomises everything that was glorious about that era.

The three "little" tracks that follow are some of the Floyd's most delightful tunes, quite unlike anything that followed - but summing up those glorious halcyon Summer days of our youth. Perfect soundtrack to those lazy days punting down the Cam to Grantchester...

No comment on Alan's Breakfast - sort of breaks the spell...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars eccentric, 29 Oct 2009
By 
John McGuire (Glasgow) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Atom Heart Mother (Audio CD)
This shocked and excited me as a 12 year old in 1970. Still great fun all these years later. Buy and enjoy some great british lunacy and great music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Days of future past, 2 Aug 2008
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Atom Heart Mother (Audio CD)
This album captures the positive and experimental aspects of the sixties Floyd before they found fame and fortune with Dark Side Of The Moon and became increasingly gloomy and angst driven. The first track is their longest single suite with added brass, cello and choir orchestrated by Ron Geesin. This is followed by three songs, 'If' is an acoustic number by Waters,'Summer 68' is a funky tune by Wright and 'Fat Old Sun' has a great guitar solo at the end by Gilmour. The album finishes with a long soundscape full of Floydian sound effects in 'Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast' which has snap, crackle and pop in abundance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just My Review....., 25 May 2001
This review is from: Atom Heart Mother (Audio CD)
Appearing after the sprawling, unfocused double-album set Ummagumma, Atom Heart may boast more focus, even a concept, yet that doesn't mean it's more accessible. If anything, this is the most impenetrable album they released while on Harvest, which also makes it one of the most interesting of the era. Still, it may be an acquired taste even for fans, especially since it kicks off with a side-long, 23-minute extended orchestral piece that may not seem to head anywhere, but is often intriguing, more in what it suggests than what it achieves. Then, on the second side, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, and Rick Wright have a song a piece, winding up with the group composition "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" wrapping it up. Of these, Waters begins developing the voice that made him the group's lead songwriter during their classic era with "If," while Wright has an appealingly mannered, very English psychedelic fantasia on "Summer 68," while Gilmour's "Fat Old Sun" meanders quietly before ending with a guitar workout that leaves no impression. "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast," the 12-minute opus that ends the album, does the same thing, floating for several minutes before ending on a drawn-out jam that finally gets the piece moving. So, there are interesting moments scattered throughout the record, and the work that initially seems so impenetrable winds up being Atom Heart Mother's strongest moment. That it lasts an entire side illustrates that Pink Floyd was getting better with the larger picture instead of the details, since the second side just winds up falling off the tracks, no matter how many good moments there are. This lack of focus means Atom Heart Mother will largely be for cultists, but its unevenness means there's also a lot to cherish here.
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Atom Heart Mother [Discovery Edition, digipak]
Atom Heart Mother [Discovery Edition, digipak] by Pink Floyd (Audio CD - 2011)
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