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.