- The Piper at The Gates of Dawn (1967)
- A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)
- More (1969)
- Ummagumma (1969)
- Atom Heart Mother (1970)
- Meddle (1971)
The early members of The Pink Floyd included:
- Syd Barrett – electric guitars, acoustic guitars, slide guitar, lead vocals
- Richard Wright – Organs (Farfisa/Hammond/Lowry), piano/tack piano, electric harpsichord, electric piano, backing vocals
- Roger Waters – bass guitar, slide whistle, vocals
- Nick Mason – drums
|Arnold Layne||2:56||Vocals: Syd/Rick
0:00: Pulsing twang guitar-driven psychedelic groove and harmony vocals.
1:30: Organ solo.
1:45: Pulsing groove resumes with verse.
|Candy and a Currant Bun||2:46||Vocals: Syd/Rick
0:00: Groove based on rhythmic, accented chords, spoken-sung chorus.
1:08: Echoey feedback guitar and organ solo over looser uptempo groove.
1:48: Rhythmic chords resume, ends with echoey loops.
|See Emily Play||2:55||Vocals: Syd/Rick/Roger
0:00: Exotic organ lead over mid-tempo groove joined by verse, various piano/synth/harpsichord interludes and ornaments, slide guitar glisses.
1:29: Organ solo over feedback guitar groove texture.
1:57: Verse groove resumes.
Pink Floyd's first full-length LP, "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn", further developed their psychedelic style and began to incorporate even more improvisatory jams and abstract sound textures. Nonetheless, they still managed to retained a sharp sense of humor, and their vocal performances present some very interesting sides to their (or Syd's) personalities.
Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
|1||Astronomy Domine||4:11||Vocals: Syd/Rick
0:00: "Control room" sounds, staccato guitar pulse dominates with harmony vocals, chromatic guitar/synth descending harmonies.
1:35: Textural interlude with multiple guitar leads, interspersed with "Control room" dialogue.
3:10: Verse resumes, ending with held chant and organ ornaments.
|2||Lucifer Sam||3:07||Vocals: Syd
0:00: Based on a "spy-theme" riff, uptempo chorus.
1:30: Tremolo bass solo, verse, chorus.
2:18: Guitar and organ ornaments, final chorus.
|3||Matilda Mother||3:08||Vocals: Syd/Rick
0:00: Slow falling harmonies, somewhat staid, then wry chorus.
1:23: Syncopated bass riff/vocal sounds under organ solo, verse returns.
2:30: Coda based on held vocalise and bass solo.
0:00: Dissonant organ/textures.
0:15: Playful verse with some exotic ornaments, becoming strummy/psychedelic.
1:35: Organ/drums solo, harpsichord/guitar solo.
0:00: Textural and exotic vocal noises in mid-tempo rhythm.
0:17: Bluesy piano over drums/bass vamp.
1:44: Subtle guitar-driven rave-up joined by organ, joined by vocal shouting.
3:05: Relaxing into organ-based harmony joined by vocal noises, climax into coda.
|6||Take Up Thy Stetho-
scope and Walk
0:00: Drum intro into playful chant with psychedelic lead guitar, wild guitar solo joined by competing organ/bass.
1:30: Insistent bass groove, panning effects.
2:39: Rising chromatic vocal chant back into playful chorus.
0:00: Loose, chromatic heavy metal riffing with psychedelic guitar ornaments, high bass pulses, stabbing organ leads to free-form groove.
2:17: Textural interlude with dense organ chords and skittish guitar, guitar starts loose rhythm, picked up by drums/bass but still fairly free-form, low riffs joined by echoey guitars.
6:12: Pulsating organ harmonies (panning) with reverb-ey guitar noises, layers of falling organ lines duel with guitar.
8:40: Guitar starts rhythm leading back to opening riff but with wild panning, free-form coda winds down to hand drums.
|8||The Gnome||2:14||Vocals: Syd
0:00: Brief rhythmic pulse leads to playful, strummy verse with light percussion.
0:57: Organ/celeste joins 2nd verse with vocal layers (whispered).
|9||Chapter 24||3:42||Vocals: Syd
0:00: Exotic synth and textural cymbals with lullaby verse joined by piano figures/bass ornaments.
1:48: Brief synth solo rejoined by verse.
2:49: Layered harmony vocals in coda .
|10||The Scarecrow||2:11||Vocals: Syd
0:00: Hand percussion rhythm joined by synth line.
0:27: Playful verse/guitar chord harmony.
1:32: synth solo over acoustic guitar/bowed bass/hand perc.
0:00: Playful/wry chromatic vocal with odd psychedelic effects and guitar chord accents.
0:47: Harpsichord, piano enters verses.
1:28: Tempo slows to a march.
1:51: Abstract percussive textures/noises/chimes becoming subtly rhythmic and joined by cymbals, weird stuttering vocal sample.
Pink Floyd's final single for 1967 (November) was "Apples and Oranges".
|Apples and Oranges||3:04||Vocals: Syd/Rick/Roger
0:00: Hendrix-ey fuzz guitar verse into harmony chorus with piano/vibe ornaments.
1:15: Bridge with held harmonies, vibraphone-led interlude with distant high choir and cymbals.
2:20: Guitar groove resumes, ending in scat and feedback.
|Paint Box||3:48||Vocals: Rick/Syd/Roger|
0:00: Exclamatory acoustic guitar accents into psychedelic crooning grooves, chromatic falling harmony leads to saloon piano ornaments with harmony vocals.
2:52: Piano-driven guitar vamp with chorus moving away.
After Pink Floyd's early success, lead member Syd Barrett began to have apparent drug and mental issues. Syd's childhood friend David Gilmour joined the band on guitar and vocals and the remainder of the year would see Syd moving out of the band's sound and David and Roger becoming the primary songwriters.
- Roger Waters – bass guitar, percussion, vocals
- David Gilmour – guitars, vocals
- Richard Wright – piano, Farfisa organ, Hammond spinet organ, Mellotron, vibraphone, xylophone
- Nick Mason – drums, percussion
- Syd Barrett – electric and acoustic guitars, vocals ("Jugband Blues")
It Would Be So Nice
(David on Gtr)
0:00: Opening chorus fanfare, playful/whimsical march verse with various textural/humorous ornaments, bridge with added echo effects.
1:21: Chorus, March, Bridge.
2:52: Chorus vamp fade out.
(David on Gtr)
0:00: Pastoral flute-like Mellotron and acoustic guitar under somewhat morose/plaintive verse.
1:06: Synth bridge.
1:25: Verse resumes, leads to distant fade out with weird echoey samples.
A Saucerful Of Secrets
Let There Be More Light
(David on Gtr)
0:00: Syncopated bass groove with cymbals, hypnotic ethnic organ (panning).
1:15: Dirge chant/organ rhythm alternating with chorus with chromatic tail.
3:25: Guitar solo over dirge groove, rhythm varies dynamics as second guitar and organ joins in background.
Remember a Day
(Syd on Gtr)
0:00: Slide guitar/piano over slow triplet rhythm, then faster march rhythm with verse, alternating with relaxed piano/acoustic guitar interludes.
1:38: Relaxed bridge with strummed guitar and tremolo piano, then back to more verse groove with slide guitar noises, bass ornaments and vocal effects.
2:42: Vocal verse/piano interlude structure resumes interrupted by another bridge cadence (3:09), ending in wah wah guitar solo and vocal ornaments.
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
(David and Syd on Gtr)
0:00: Theme in bass, supported by vibraphone/low drums, vocal joins bass and theme modulates, joined by synth.
2:14: Vamp on "heart of the sun" fragment with Farfisa organ solo.
3:15: Full theme returns in bass joined by seagulls and vocals, vibes, etc, modulation.
4:12: "Heart of the sun" vamp with more synth and bird sounds, tribal drums, brief ending guitar solo.
(David on Gtr)
0:00: Heavy guitar riff over lumbering drums with chiming 2nd guitars, sneering/mocking vocals.
0:44: Bridge, leading to chorus with sympathetic harmony vocals and wah wah guitar accents.
1:22: Oompah march with kazoo theme.
1:48: Opening guitar and sneering vocals return.
2:25: Chorus, kazoo oompah, collaged voices and bugle calls, ending in noise texture.
A Saucerful of Secrets
(David on Gtr)
0:00: Something Else: Textural percussion rumbling, rattling, joined by eerie organ/piano string strums, eventually adding some distant guitar textures, growing in intensity with tremolo bursts.
3:58: Syncopated Pandemonium: Tribal drums and dissonant low piano accents/processed slide guitar textures, various concrete effects and more varied piano cluster accents.
7:05: Storm Signal: Low rumbling joined by eerie organ layers, rattling chimes, rumbling fades, siren call.
8:37: Celestial Voices: Slow, somewhat processional organ harmony, with subtle dissonant textures in high register, joined by choir vocals and additional synth layers, developed with brief slide guitar ornaments near the end, ending on major key cadence.
(David on Gtr)
0:00: Acoustic guitar and organ driven triplet rhythm, then brief interlude with even accents, then back to triplet groove with layered vocals and organ, panning, echo effects.
0:50 2nd verse with added organ, piano ornaments, panning. echo effecs.
1:43: Bridge with lighter textures.
2:20 Verse triplet rhythm, accent interlude, triplet rhythm, panning, echo effects.
3:09: Bridge, fade out.
(Syd on Gtr)
0:00: Acoustic guitar with playful vocal, percussion, reverb effects.
0:38: Heavier accents in rhythm with castanets.
1:05: Brass figures (S.A. band) enter over new accented rhythm, joined by "lala" choir, becoming a collage of drones/brass band and guitar.
2:23: Acoustic guitar and voice with reverb.
Point Me at the Sky
(David on Gtr)
0:00: Organ-driven hymn, psychedelic guitar groove with various vocal filters.
1:18: Hymnal texture resumes, then groove with added slide guitar.
2:07: Relaxed texture with bass lead, returns to psychedelic groove, reverbs out.
Careful with That Axe, Eugene
(David on Gtr)
0:00: Bass octave vamp with vibraphone ornaments, cymbals, organ lead, joined by guitar swells, eventually becomes pulsed groove, screams and keening become distant guitar howls.
3:30 Guitar arpeggios develop a brief harmony progression over pedal bass, eventually dynamics level out.
4:58: Ends with vocalizations over cymbals.
Pink Floyd's moody rock experiments gave them the opportunity to score the first of several films. The film "More" was produced in 1969 and a full length LP was released by the band in the same year. A somewhat unfairly overlooked album, "More" essentially builds on the atmospheric and modern classical tendencies of their previous album, "A Saucerful of Secrets", while amping up its psychedelic rock grooves. The film itself is concerned with the exotic effects of heroin on a German tourist who becomes involved in a caper with an American girl. The director's intent was to use the score as a combination of film background music and source music.
- Roger Waters – bass guitar, tape effects, percussion, backing vocals
- David Gilmour – acoustic, electric, slide, and flamenco guitars, percussion, lead vocals
- Richard Wright – Organs (Farfisa/Hammond/etc), piano, vibraphone
- Nick Mason – drums, percussion
0:00: Bird sounds, panning.
0:58: Strummed guitar rhythm in falling harmony with somber vocals, organ swells, reverbed vocals.
2:35: Unaccompanied organ harmonies with bird sounds, joined by contrasting high textures from distant guitar/synth.
|2||The Nile Song||3:27||
Vocals: David (no organ or piano from Rick)
0:00: Heavy guitar chords and big drums in lumbering groove, shouted vocals.
1:02: Bridge, back to verse.
1:48: Bridge with distorted guitar solo.
2:29: Verse, outro solo with adhoc vocals.
0:00: Panned vibes over pastoral/rustic bass/acoustic guitar groove, joined by crooned verse, punctuated by syncopated guitar cadences.
2:47: Electric guitar solo (doubled).
|4||Up the Khyber||2:13||
Instrumental, (no guitar from David)
0:00: Tribal drums with bass pulse joined by accented piano clusters (panned).
1:00: Organ lead joins, panned textures, ending with sped up tape effects.
|5||Green Is the Colour||2:59||
0:00: Acoustic guitars in a pastoral groove joined by recorder, relaxed vocals.
0:52: Piano joins rhythm section.
2:09: Piano solo.
0:00: Relaxed groove over bongos/acoustic guitar/piano, followed by soaring chorus.
2:24: Scat solo (panned) joined by tremolo organ, then back to verse with added drums.
3:00: Pulsating organ leads, piano ornaments added, various textural modulations over bongos (without guitar).
Instrumental (bongo and penny whistle)
0:00: Tribal bongo drums with distant penny whistle approaching and departing.
0:00: Gong shimmer (panned) joined by patient organ chords.
1:09: Insistent bass and drums groove enters, flanged synth textures.
2:02: Synth theme, eventually joined by textural guitar ornaments, theme developed on various synth voices.
4:52: Drums fade out.
0:00: Heavy guitar groove with lead solo, verse, relaxed cadence, repeat.
1:30: 2nd guitar solo, back to verse groove with added guitar lead in background.
2:30: Outro solo, fade out.
0:00: Slow, reverbed electric guitar blues over organ and rhythm section.
0:00: Ambient noise, revving textures.
0:37: Resonating drone swells (panned), joined by scattered vibraphone ornaments, staccato noises, organ harmonies becoming somewhat melodic, swelling cymbals and vibraphone chords, then led by pulsing organ textures.
6:35: Fade out with fragments of slide guitar.
|12||A Spanish Piece||
0:00: Acoustic guitar in a flamenco style with Spanish-accented vocalizations (David), processed.
0:00: Bass octave riff and cymbals groove joined by restrained slide guitar ornaments, guitar highlighted as bass and drums fade out.
Later in the same year the band released their first double-album, "Ummagumma", which contained one live disc and a second disc of studio pieces, each quarter of which was written and performed by a single band member.
This record featured Pink Floyd's first true "magnum opus", the title track "Atom Heart Mother". The Wikipedia entry provides excellent background on it's genesis, but the most interesting thing to me is that this piece involves the blending of choir and orchestra to the band's more "jammy" style.
- Roger Waters – bass guitar, acoustic guitar and vocals on "If", tape effects, tape collages
- David Gilmour – guitars, vocals, bass and drums on "Fat Old Sun"
- Rick Wright – keyboards, vocals on "Summer '68"
- Nick Mason – drums, percussion, engineering on "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast"
- EMI Pops Orchestra (brass and orchestral sections co-composed by Ron Geeson and conducted by John Alldis)
- Haflidi Hallgrimsson on cello
- John Alldis Choir
- (Alan Styles – voice and sound effects on "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast")
|Atom Heart Mother|
|1||Atom Heart Mother Suite||23:41||0:00: I. Father's Shout: Low
organ drones, joined by layers of brass fanfares coming together.
1:24: Main theme and groove with melody in brass, then a collage interlude of galloping, guns, brass fragments, then back to theme.
II. Breast Milky: Theme starts in bass and organ, string solo lead, drums
accents enter as organ develops.
3:56: Slide guitar solo, joined by brass layers, then piano.
|5:22: III. Mother Fore: Relaxed organ vamp supports a soprano vocal adlib, joined by additional vocal soloists, developed, eventually becoming dissonant, drums re-enter as vocal accents become more pronounced, ending on held chord.|
IV. Funky Dung: Organ chords lead into somewhat-funky slow jam, soon joined
by guitar solo ornamented with organ stabs.
12:21: Synth drone enters leading to modulation and guitar fade out, groove becomes more accented as rhythmic, percussive female vocal chants enter, electric piano ornaments.
14:29: Harmony and choir cadence joined by brass.
14:56: Brass main theme from I. returns.
V. Mind Your Throats Please: Dissonant organ rhythm joined by eerie drones,
howling noises, dissonant swells, backwards tape (?), distant plucked tones,
voices, eventually leading to sparse organ and synth ornaments.
18:01: Fade in of various rhythmic fragments from before (collaged).
19:11: Brass main theme with rhythm section, leading to reprise of II (organ/bass w string solo).
20:45: Relaxed slide guitar solo.
VI. Remergence: Second electric guitar joins for melody, brass ornaments
added, slides become more textural.
22:11: Choir and brass theme (reprise of III choir elements combined with brass theme), ending in held cadence.
0:00: Finger-picked acoustic guitar with gentle vocals, bass enters on 2nd verse, joined by subtle sound effects.
1:24: Slide guitar solo and organ enter under lively bass, joined by piano as 3rd verse resumes, hihat in 4th verse.
3:16: Slide guitar returns with added piano accompaniment, 5th verse.
|3||Summer '68||5:29||Vocals: Rick
0:00: Piano rhythm leads to playful ballad, supported by bass/hihat/organ harmonies.
1:12: Acoustic guitar-driven chorus with layered harmony vocal adlibs, joined by brass ornaments.
2:12: Verse resumes with more rhythmic energy (drums/piano), chorus, etc.
3:29: Brass layers dominate cadence, leading to bridge with acoustic guitar and piano under vocals, harmony adlibs, return to brass cadence.
|4||Fat Old Sun||5:24||Vocals: David
0:00: Distant church bells, strummed guitar and relaxed vocals with distant slide guitar harmonies, joined by organ harmonies, restrained sustained harmonies in chorus, drums enter, etc.
3:20: Distorted electric guitar lead based on vocal melody, bass becomes more lively, church bells.
|5||Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast||12:59||0:00: I. Rise and Shine:
Concrete recordings, layered and echoed "thought" dialogue.
1:01: Rhythm section accents enter under match sounds, piano/hihat, electric guitar lead joins, followed by organ lead, guitar fades out.
3:18: Held organ chords with kettle whistling, dialogue and concrete sounds, distant radio.
|4:30: II. Sunny Side Up: Acoustic guitars rhythm/lead as noisey breakfast proceeds, joined by slide guitar textures/lead, ending in crackling cooking sounds/dialogue.|
|8:18: III. Morning Glory: Chord accents in slow harmony joined by 2-piano melody with organ/bass/drums, modulating, distant electric guitar joins with scattered dialogue fragments, ending in final kitchen sounds/dialogue.|
"Meddle" saw Pink Floyd perfect the compositional tendencies first developed in "Atom Heart Mother" and pretty much draws to a close the "early" period of Pink Floyd. The epic "Echoes" somewhat sums up everything the band had become capable of in a singe LP-side-long track, going from one extreme (pastoral harmony) to another (ambient sound design).
|1||One of These Days||5:55||0:00: Wind, echoed bass accents
(on 2 basses) becoming a pulse, joined by synth stabs and reversed cymbals
2:05: Slide guitar enters with brief bass drum fanfare.
2:47: Echoed bass fragments in fast, chopped rhythm with synth stabs, sirens, backwards guitar noises, bass drum fanfares.
3:36: "One of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces..." (Nick, processed).
3:42: Main bass-drive groove resumes with full drums and slide guitar solo, organ and piano accents.
4:50: 2nd slide guitar joins, ending in winds, segue into...
|2||A Pillow of Winds||5:13||Vocals: David
0:00: Rustic acoustic guitars, pedal steel guitar and fretless bass, with soft harmony vocals, joined by subtle, held organ chords.
2:12: Modulating instrumental bridge, joined by hihat drums.
3:00: Back to main theme, vocals resume, followed by instrumental fade out.
0:00: Big guitar chords with ascending ornamental riffs, country rock cadences and soft vocals.
1:17: Relaxed groove with swelled slide guitars.
1:50: Main ascending guitar riff resumes, choir intermittently surfaces, groove relaxes briefly before returning to country rock cadences.
3:21: Relaxed groove, this time with more piano, ascending riff resumes and develops, cross-fades with choir ("You'll Never Walk Alone" by a Liverpool stadium crowd).
|4||San Tropez||3:43||Vocals: Roger
0:00: Lively mid-tempo groove with jazz rhythm section, acoustic guitar and piano, somewhat retro-lounge feel.
1:15: Slide guitar solos.
1:46: Verse resumes.
2:24: Piano solo, fade out.
0:00: "Front porch" acoustic guitar blues with dog barking/howling, piano ornaments, harmonica.
0:47: Piano solo with accented guitar rhythms, etc.
|6||Echoes||23:32||Vocals: Rick, David
0:00: Echoing "pings" joined by low piano chords, organ ornaments and swells, building with distant slide guitar.
1:09: Electric guitar solo enters with 2nd organ, bass.
1:54: Drums enter and signal cadence, guitar solo continues over verse section.
2:42: Cadence, then 1st harmony vocal verse over shuffling groove.
3:44: Winding guitar-driven cadence.
4:12: 2nd vocal verse, drum ornaments.
4:56: 2nd Winding guitar cadence.
5:24: Guitar solos over verse chords, winding cadence repeated with slide guitar solo.
7:02: More open rhythm vamp with organ solos/accents and guitar solo, solo gradually becomes more howling (abstract), extra guitar layers.
10:38: Groove crossfades into ambient sound design: howling drones with layered siren/bird calls (reverse-wired wah-wah guitar).
13:18: Echoed pulses enter as bird/rook calls become more dense.
14:35: Crossfade into organ drone harmony, joined by echoed pings from opening and low organ chords, cymbals.
16:05: Muffled electric guitar rhythm enters, more low organ chords.
17:05: High organ solo line begins, joined by tom-tom accents.
18:14: Ostinato figure in stereo guitars with low sliding chords, then back to muffled groove with heavy guitar slides.
19:12: Verse resumes as before.
19:56: Cadence, repeated.
21:18: Open verse rhythm with light organ and guitar interplay lines, eventually replaced by rising noise harmony, pings.