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37 of 37 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

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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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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beuatifully Bonkers, 18 May 2007
This review is from: Atom Heart Mother (Audio CD)
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 Breakfast) and lush (fat old sun) it serves as something of a curio in it's disjointed layout. Famously the band themselves have dismissed it as rubbish, but perhaps that has more to do with the fact that they are now in their 60's and, like anyone of advancing years, may be slightly embarrased about their more adventurous youthful experimentation. It is also David Gilmour's first really overt contribution to the Floyd sound. I can quite happily listen to this album from beginning to end which is not something you can say about many albums being churned out at the moment, and fat old sun never fails to put a smile on my face. In a word....interesting. Suck it and see.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atomic!, 1 Oct. 2011
By 
Dudley Serious - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Some may have still lamented the loss of Syd Barrett at this stage of Floyd's career but Atom Heart Mother (AHM) represented a significant departure from the psychedelic rock of early Floyd towards the moonlit majesty of their 'seventies heyday. Themes and signatures appear that would appear in later albums. Travelling between rocky, funky, folky, orchestral, abstract, AHM set the template for the Floyd of the future. Gorgeous as it was, the original (I mean vinyl) release suffered from a slightly deflated production, so that when for example the choir flooded in, it was more of a ripple than the wave intended. This brush-up maintains the integrity of the original plus the tidal wave we always wanted (but didn't know at the time). One might say Pink Floyd came of age with AHM. Now it has a fully realised production to match its innate quality and musical ambition. And the lovely moo-cows on the sleeve remain in full effect. Enjoy this early classic.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An almost forgotten masterpiece., 7 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Atom Heart Mother (Audio CD)
It may seem unapproachable at first. Listen to it only a second time and you realise that "Atom Heart Mother" certainly has some of the most unique moments in the Floyd's history. The title track is a collaboration with Scottish composer Ron Geesin. It is a piece of beauty, 24 minutes long, experimental albeit its distinctive main theme, incorporating an orchestral brass section and a choir, a bit of a secret masterpiece that never really made it, perhaps because it's not "Just Floyd".

The original B-side is dominated by 3 solo compositions of Waters, Wright and Gilmour. Despite the fact that all three are some of their stronger ones, Richard Wright is the undisputed winner with "Summer 68", perhaps one of the best Floyd compositions ever. Waters' "If" seems like an early template for "Good Bye Cruel World", and Gilmour's "Fat Old Sun" is a lovely, rather sweet tune with his favourite pedal steels. Both, Waters' and Gilmour's tunes have become regulars in their later solo shows.

The album closes with Roadie Alan's "Psychedelic Breakfast" which might have been considered ground breaking in 1970, but these days is at best a piece for the rock museum. The sounds of a geezer frying eggs and praising marmalade just don't do it after sampling of random sounds has become an art in its own right.

Despite its unnecessary finale the "Cow Album" is a great one. It is often forgotten in the praise for classic Floyd albums although it is absolutely awe inspiring, very Floyd in the 70s, and ultimately Abbey Road.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bonkers (and all the better for it), 20 Dec. 2006
This review is from: Atom Heart Mother (Audio CD)
Atom Heart Mother for me is a real curio amongst the Floyd back catalogue, and is one of those albums that, although far from perfect, is amazingly rich and varied and I still play it fairly regularly. From the sprawling title track (containing one of Gilmours finest guitar solo's) to the mellow but sinister 'If' ('please don't put your wires in my brain..') the gorgeous 'Fat Old Sun' and the franky bizarre 'Alans Psychedelic Breakfast'. This is an album that newcomers to Pink Floyd should approach with caution, but with perseverance you will be richly rewarded.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They don't make 'em like this anymore..., 26 July 2005
This review is from: Atom Heart Mother (Audio CD)
This is a superb album - it tails off a bit with the last track, but really it stands or falls with the epic title track. The band were helped out with brass and choral arrangements on this by (avant-garde composer) Ron Geesin, and I think they succeed brilliantly. I've heard a lot of rock musicians attempt to use orchestral instruments alongside a rock band (e.g. Deep Purple, Zappa, Malmsteen, Metallica etc.) but I don't think anyone has done it as well as the Floyd do here.
The piece has six named sections, but it moves in many surprising directions within those. One of the highlights for me is the long choral section which gradually increases in pace and strangeness until a Hammond organ enters to introduce the "Funky Dung" section and leads into a crystal clear Strat solo from David Gilmour. Funky Dung? Emphasis on the adjective, not on the noun!
The remaining songs seem like something of an afterthought after that giant rock symphony, but they certainly don't let the album down - If and Fat Old Sun are the highlights. So, a great album. Not necessarily the best place to start if you're new to the Floyd (I'd say go for Dark Side of the Moon instead), but a firm fan favourite.
In case anyone's wondering what an "Atom Heart Mother" is, here's the story. The name of the album came about by chance, when the band were phoned by their record company, asking if they'd decided what to call the new album. They hadn't thought of a title yet, but beside the phone was a newspaper with a story about a woman who had had some sort of atomic pacemaker fitted - and there was the headline: "Atom Heart Mother".
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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 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Not much to add but..., 3 Sept. 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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atom Heart Mother 2011 version, 30 Sept. 2011
By 
Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen (real name) (Thread rehab facility 37) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
OK, so another version of a cd that has been released 3-4 times before, one of which I have, and what is new?

Well this is a hard one to put my finger on, so let me attempt to help clear up a few things. First the gatefold sleeve is an improvement over the jewel case, although I can see why it annoys a lot of folk. It is a bit fiddly getting the cd out, some of these gatefold sleeves can be tighter than others. Same outer image, new inner one-an outtake from the same photo session used for the Meddle album though. The artwork is a halfway house, neither truly inventive nor a faithful tribute to the original, so there is a sense of being cheated. The artwork that came with the last cd version had a menu card and was a solid stapled booklet, all reduced somewhat for this. This is why I have docked it one star.

The sound quality, well this is the tricky part. It definitely sounds better, not sharper, not louder, but more musical overall, more vinyl. In an A/B test it was difficult to actually nail down the difference, I simply preferred the new version. I thought about how to describe it for a while and try and think of an analogy to compare it to. Here goes-the new version has more inner detail, the sounds are no sharper than previously, it is just that the instruments sound more realistic, the acoustic guitars more obviously hollow wooden boxes with vibrating metal strings over them, the cymbals sound more genuinely metallic and rich decaying realistically, the sound of the drum heads is cleaner, Rogers bass has a deeper plummy tone and all the instruments are better separated. I was really impressed with the separation of the voices in the choir and the sound of the brass section, which really zings in this version.

If it was a tv the new one is HD the old is not, the shapes are the same , the colours are the same, but the textures are better, especially the brass, in the new one. It sounds mercifully free of any compression nasties.

Overall not a day night difference, but if you are a fan of hifi and love Floyd this is an improvement.
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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 500 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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