Friday, July 23, 2010

Pink Floyd 3: More

Somehow, despite nothing suggesting blockbuster record sales, Pink Floyd managed to get the attention of a French director who wanted them to compose the soundtrack to his latest film. More is generally described as a “cautionary tale” about the perils of heroin addiction, and it’s highly likely that the only people who’ve bothered to watch it in the past forty years are Floyd fanatics.
“That’s to be expected,” you remark, “but what about the music?” Well, on this album the band (identified on the cover as The Pink Floyd) are still finding their way. “Cirrus Minor” opens with bird sound effects and a spooky melody sung over acoustic guitar and a squeaky organ, before “The Nile Song” comes blasting in. It’s a very rocking song, with a great guitar sound and a powerful vocal; it’s just too bad that the lyrics are so stupid. “Crying Song”, by contrast, is very gentle, built around another acoustic guitar and vibes, and with a subtle slide solo. It points the way to their patented style, as does “Green Is The Colour”. Unfortunately, the two are separated by “Up The Khyber”, a two-minute drum solo decorated with dissonant keyboards. The very well constructed “Cymbaline” shows Roger Waters growing as a songwriter, matched by David Gilmour’s voice.
The remainder of the album—starting from the bongo-driven “Party Sequence”, which closes side one—is mostly instrumental, with just one real song. “Main Theme” goes nowhere for the most part, rambling over a spy riff. “Ibiza Bar” is a variation on “The Nile Song”, with some interesting Beatlesque harmonies buried underneath. The aptly titled “More Blues” is a slow distraction, mostly led by Gilmour while the band joins in from time to time. Rick Wright’s “Turkish delight” organ approach takes up the bulk of “Quicksilver” (subtitled “Water-Pipe” on the label), a meandering nightmare along the lines of “A Saucerful Of Secrets”. The album’s nadir is “A Spanish Piece”, wherein what could be a showcase for gut-string guitar is torpedoed by an ethnically offensive vocal. At least it’s short, and you can always skip to “Dramatic Theme”, which is an extension of “Main Theme” but with more guitar.
It was, after all, a soundtrack, so they were concentrating more on moods than songs, and More remains one of the lesser Pink Floyd releases. Which is too bad, since some of the tracks, especially those on side one, are perfect for laid-back listening. The band was concentrating more on live performances anyway, and had constructed a few suites built from old and new songs that showed off their musicality much better than their albums could. Their dominance of the format was still a ways off.

Pink Floyd Original Motion Picture Soundtrack From The Film “More” (1969)—

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