Pink Floyd-MORE (cassette via Harvest Records, Spain)
Believe it or not, but this is one (early and hopefully more adventurous) Pink Floyd album that I've missed out on all these years. For good reason of course. After all, I've been brave enough to listen to OBSCURED BY CLOUDS and figure that if that Floyd film soundtrack elpee could be that boring maybe this one was no diff. But then again, since MORE was recorded when Floyd was still trying to shake the ghost of Syd Barrett from their collective psyches and go whole hog psycho-commercial maybe there was a spec of self-respect and talent still embedded in them. And you know what, I'm right (again).
I never did see this film which starred Mimsy Farmer straight from her success in RIOT ON SUNSET STRIP (making me wonder if there was some sort of connection between the soundtrack to that one and the one to MORE since both originally came out on the Tower label here inna US of Whoa) but Michael Weldon's review in PSYCHOTRONIC sure made it look interesting with its portrayal of teenagers lost in a haze of European heroin usage, free love and mental breakdown. Floyd's soundtrack does convey a certain amount of that feeling in their typical late-sixties hazy one moment and terrifying stabs at emulating "serious" avant garde composers the next.
Actually a whole gob of various Floydian trademarks can be discerned from British blooze wannabeisms to proto-krautrockian moves to even a little imitation Cecil Taylor on "Up the Khyber" that sounds good in its own fake jazz way. Of course that's along with the spooky organ/mellotron-laden musique concrete and even a very decent hard rockin' "Nile Song" that sure makes those similar moves from ten years later sound rather effete in comparison. There's even some authentic-enough sounding Spanish flamingo music (don't write in, I'm using a Leo Gorcey-inspired malapropism in order to liven this dud review up a bit!) with some strange dialogue tossed in! And to put the frosting on the balls, even the tracks I've heard prior on various John Peel sessions are noticeably different enough in their original form even if those Peel seshs always did have a more immediate, urgent sound. Put 'em all together and I just wonder what the movie was like even if I think it's just another of those European experimental knockoffs that nobody who doesn't wear a beret would understand in a million years!
Maybe this one is the last real Floyd album since UMMAGUMMA was more or less the group on an avant jerkoff and ATOM HEART MOTHER seemed to me like the first of the Floyd as post-psychedelic prog schlogger albums. Or at least this might be the last one that the serious fans of late-sixties psychoterror took to heart before those later albums drove 'em all into the arms of the Jem catalog in search of that krauty esoterica which seemed to carry on the psychedelic fearmongering for quite a long time. The spirit of Syd must have lingered on this far if MORE was to have this much life (which is only half-life but enough for me) and energy in its sound especially given how those later Floyd albums were almost like the National Anthem for the 1972 pilled out Sopor Generation.
Before I tune out, I ought to tell you about the packaging that EMI's Espana division did on this thing. For once the brains at that label did good with the cover taking up the entire front rather than just shrunken down and slapped on without care for quality or aesthetics like many companies would have done. Definitely a nice touch even if I originally thought it was the soundtrack album to the Hayley Mills vehicle THE MOON-SPINNERS with that windmill. The actual cassette has a label on it unlike the American variety which used to have printing that would easily rub off like a crayon. Another feather in EMI's sombrero. Even better is that on the part of the case which actually holds the cassette the EMI and "Hispa Vox" (which I assume is a Spanish-only subsidiary) logos are embossed making this a rarity in just about anybody's cassette collection. It just goes to show you that you learn something new every day, and in your case it just might be what an anal-retentive obsessive I can be when I really want to!
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