A Saucerful Of Secrets

Pink Floyd

Capitol Records, 1968

http://www.pinkfloyd.com

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/07/2005

After the child-like psychedelia of The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn and the subsequent acid meltdown of lead singer Syd Barrett, one wondered what would happen to Pink Floyd. Would they suffer a similar musical meltdown, or would they be able to rise above the tragedy and come out stronger?

With the addition of guitarist David Gilmour to the fold, the answer seemed to be the latter, as my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 A Saucerful Of Secrets proves to be a strong second outing from the group. Admittedly, it is a bit of a change of pace, especially coming from Barrett's almost prose-like style of writing, but it is a welcome addition to Pink Floyd's musical menu.

Granted, it seems like only the mid-level Floyd fans give this disc the attention it deserves, while hangers-on worship the popular discs to the point of oversaturation. Yet A Saucerful Of Secrets proves to hold its own surprisingly well, especially with the lineup and minor stylistic changes. Tracks like "Remember A Day" and "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun" are probably the best remembered, and rightfully so, as they are two strong outings that demonstrate the true power of the re-vamped lineup. Likewise, Barrett's lone contribution to the disc, "Jugband Blues," does not feel out of place here; rather, it almost serves to act as a bridge between the two musical worlds that Pink Floyd was trying to straddle.

Yet the standout track on this one, to my old ears, proves to be "Corporal Clegg," a track which does seem to act as the true mid-point between the variations of Pink Floyd. A bit of a child-like sing-song combined with solid musicianship make this track, undoubtedly, one of the least appreciated yet among the best that Pink Floyd has ever recorded.

This isn't to say that A Saucerful Of Secrets doesn't take some getting used to; the nearly 12-minute title track tries to build on the psychedelia created one album prior on "Interstellar Overdrive," yet this time it doesn't quite catch on like it should. It's not a bad track, but it's not as praise-worthy as one might expect.

Looking back today, nearly 40 years after it was recorded, one can see the beginning of the road that Pink Floyd would travel to get to such classics as The Dark Side Of The Moon. A Saucerful Of Secrets was only the first step on that road, but it turns out to be a solid one.

Rating: B+

User Rating: B-


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© 2005 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Capitol Records, and is used for informational purposes only.