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4.3 out of 5 stars
145
4.3 out of 5 stars
Atom Heart Mother [Discovery Edition, digipak]
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 21 June 2017
great old pink floyd cd delivered in new unused condition
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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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HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 2 November 2016
Emerging from the Syd Barrett-led 60ts phase – PINK FLOYD started the new decade with the frankly bizarre "Atom Heart Mother" – a late 1970 album that signalled the new more Prog Sound to come but in "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" held onto the lunacy of old.

And you have to give them credit for the name "Atom Heart Mother" and the whacky utterly unforgettable artwork – a lone moo-moo staring out at us from a field wondering what in God’s name is that man doing pointing a camera at my posterior when I’m just trying to graze some grass here pal? Curiouser and Curiouser...

Always a task trying to find a decent vinyl copy original – the length of the LP at just over 52 minutes did for its fidelity too. But all of that is thankfully part of the past because this 2011 James Guthrie and Joel Plante CD Remaster is a massive improvement on a dog’s ear of a recording (relaunched January 2016 on Pink Floyd Records). Here are the Holy Cows and the Funky Dung...

UK re-released 8 January 2016 – "Atom Heart Mother" by PINK FLOYD on Pink Floyd Records PFR5 (Barcode 5099902894027) is a straightforward 5-track reissue CD using the Remaster from 2011. It's once again housed in a gatefold card digipak, has a stickered sleeve (on the outer shrink-wrap) with the new catalogue number PFR5, a 12-page colour booklet with photos and lyrics and the same barcode as the 2011 issue (52:06 minutes). The original album gatefold is the centre pages of the booklet while the lyrics (never on the original) are now featured over new photographs of shovels and a pair of boots and other useless and pointless images. It looks nice for sure but informs you of nothing – no history – no liner notes – no updates or insights. It’s a damn shame that 2016 wasn’t used as a way to pump up the booklet into something special from their laughable 'discover nothing' from our 'discovery' editions of 2011. In fact you could argue that this 'Pink Floyd Records' 2016 reissue is in itself 'corporate' – the very thing they raged so much against on "Animals" and "The Wall" in 1977 and 1979.

The original version of this Remaster was released 26 September 2011 as a 'Discovery Edition' single CD on EMI/Harvest 50999 028940 2 7 (Barcode 5099902894027) – this 2016 version on Pink Floyd Records uses that 2011 remaster and the same artwork. The 'Discovery Edition' sticker is gone as is the horrible 'green and blue Ds' reinvented CD artwork that came with the 2011 issue – that's thankfully been replaced on the CD with the front album cover artwork.

1. Atom Heart Mother (Suite):
(a) Father's Shout
(b) Breast Milky
(c) Mother Fore
(d) Funky Dung
(e) Mind Your Throats Please
(f) Remergence
2. If [Side 2]
3. Summer '68
4. Fat Old Sun
5. Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast
(a) Rise And Shine
(b) Sunny Side Up
(c) Morning Glory
Tracks 1 to 5 are their 5th album "Atom Heart Mother" – released 10 October 1970 in the UK on Harvest SHVL 781 and in the USA on Harvest SKAO-382. Produced by PINK FLOYD and NORMAN SMITH – Recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London in 1970 – it peaked at No. 1 in the UK and No. 55 in the USA.

PINK FLOYD was:
DAVID GILMOUR – Lead Guitar and Vocals
ROGER WATERS – Bass, Guitar and Vocals
RICHARD WRIGHT – Keyboards and Vocals
NICK MASON – Drums

Guests: JOHN ALLDIS CHOIR on parts of "Atom Heart Mother"

Mastered by JAMES GUTHRIE and JOEL PLANTE at Das Boot Recording Studios in Tahoe in California in 2011 - the original 1st generation master tapes have been given a thorough going over (Guthrie is a Sound Engineer associated with the band since 1978). In fact - each song feels like these experts have spent a staggering amount of time worrying over every single nuance - because the audio result is truly impressive. That 2011 remaster has been reused for the January 2016 reissues.

The entirely instrumental Side 1 six-part suite "Atom Heart Mother" runs to 23:42 minutes and typically fades in with mad brass and a droning synth note. Avant Garde artist RON GEESIN being the fifth accredited writer along with the four boys in the band – gives us a cornucopia of sounds - cars starting up – engines turning over – until it all settles down into a "Meddle" like duo of Richard Wright on Organ and Gilmour on Guitar. The clarity as Gilmour solos over that brass and lone organ is impressive – and as the still unidentified leading lady of the John Alldis Choir comes sailing in – you can so hear where Mike Oldfield got some of his more orchestral ideas for "Tubular Bells" and "Ommadawn" from. When they fade out and we’re in "Funky Dung" – the Remastered Wright/Gilmour combo of Organ and Guitar is superb and certainly more muscular than I’ve ever heard it - and I still can’t make out what the Kate Bush-mad chanting voices are saying (very cool though).

After the indulgence of Side 1 - Side 2’s "If" comes as an Acoustic relief – Roger Water's delightfully upbeat "...if I go insane...please don't put your wires in my brain..." lyrics feeling like 1977 and not 1970. The audio on Gilmour's guitar is beautiful and even the background Richard Wright Organ/Piano playing is more evident. Richard Wright then stumps up "Summer '68" which feels like the kind of pretty song that would have not been out of place on 1972's "Obscured By Clouds" or even Kevin Ayers 1971 Harvest Records LP "Whatevershebringswesing". The brass and piano are loud and open for all the right reasons. Gilmour vocals his own "Fat Old Sun" but I've always felt it was not a great song. The album ends on the nutty 13-minutes of "Alan Psychedelic Breakfast" where someone babbles on about liking Marmalade and Porridge as they potter about in a kitchen before keyboards take over. After the musical interlude - it returns to our still unidentified hero warbling this time about 'breakfast in Los Angeles' with 'macrobiotic stuff'. It's fun but that's about all and you can't help thinking that they would have been better just allowing those lovely Acoustic Guitars in the centre passage simply play out the album (music boys - remember).

"Atom Heart Mother" is part genius, part knob and very much an example of an experimental time and a label prepared to let their artists go a bit bonkers for the sake of their art. But at least on this 2011/2016 CD Remaster - you can now hear it. And that faucet tap dripping that looped on the Side 2 run-out groove as your needle went over to the label can now be heard too. Moo moo indeed...
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 November 2016
The band have been rather critical of this old gem, but I rather love it - there is something very 'English' about this, from its daft cover to its brass bands and string ensembles.

The album has some beautiful shades of light and dark which make it very endearing and an album which I am happy to revisit on a regular basis.
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on 10 January 2011
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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 26 January 2010
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 November 2016
The band have been rather critical of this old gem, but I rather love it - there is something very 'English' about this, from its daft cover to its brass bands and string ensembles.

The album has some beautiful shades of light and dark which make it very endearing and an album which I am happy to revisit on a regular basis.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 November 2016
The band have been rather critical of this old gem, but I rather love it - there is something very 'English' about this, from its daft cover to its brass bands and string ensembles.

The album has some beautiful shades of light and dark which make it very endearing and an album which I am happy to revisit on a regular basis.
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on 29 December 2011
Like many Floyd fans, Atom Heart Mother wasn't the the "Gateway" to Pink Floyd's mind bending effects for me, it was the more familiar Dark Side of the Moon, played in its full sonic glory on a high-end stereo system a couple of doors down the hall my freshman year of college back in the late '70s. I wasn't even familiar with any of their other works up to that point, but by the time I graduated I had most of their studio work somewhere on vinyl or on tape. Atom Heart Mother was a relative late comer to my Floyd collection, a used copy at that. At first it was something I tended to play when I got burned out on the "Big 4" albums everyone knows about.

As the years have gone by I am still addicted to their music, but I have reassessed the relative merits of their different albums. Perhaps this is due to overexposure of their biggest selling albums on Classic Rock stations, or perhaps I realized how full of themselves they had gotten by the time "The Wall" hit the record stores and the airwaves. Don't get me wrong, they are all good records, but this is supposed to be about "Atom Heart Mother". It is Pink Floyd (Post Syd) in their childhood and early adolescence as a band, experimenting, exploring, and trying to make sense of their music, but before greed, cynicism and darkness started to corrode their souls.

The opening Suite, which spans the entire first side of the album starts out with pompous trumpets and tumbling and tumultuous sound effects before breaking into the main theme. From there the instrumental theme take a more serious and melancholy turn, which then dissolves into David's signature psychedelic guitar work the big brass gradually layering on before coming to a crescendo.

The music then shifts to Rick's keyboarding, with medieval chants bringing up images of an ancient Castle or Cathedral haunted by the ghosts of rulers lost to the mists of time before it starts to refocus, then dissolves again into a simple keyboard and guitar duo playing to bits of the main theme, then gradually bringing in back the other elements, including some Karate like chants before the main theme gathers full force again before once again dissolving into Chaos bordering on insanity culminated by an explosion of sound effects.

Once this is cleared away the main theme starts to reassert itself, at first like disconnected pieces in a cubist painting, before gathering its strength and emerges as brass, which then recedes and reemerges a pure organ and cello, then the other elements start to reassert themselves in turn and builds, with a rich chorus signaling the grand finale.

While the rest of the album can't match the pompous and mind-bending glory of the Atom Heart Mother Suite, side 2 has its share of gems. If is an intimate and heartfelt exploration into fear for one's sanity, a recurring theme in their later works. Summer 68 and Fat Old Sun are mellow, easy to listen to love songs. The finale, Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast is a mood piece pure and simple. It really doesn't have a point, but as filler it isn't too bad, its basically the band just playing around, but it ends on a bright note as a counterpoint to the sometimes dark and pompous first side of the album.
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on 18 March 2016
Brilliant quality and service
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