Musical Rarities, Part XI: Two from Floyd

| May 15, 2021

Finished another 4,500+ mile trip west of the Rio Grande somewhat over a week ago. And longtime readers probably know what’s next: yeah, I’m about to wax semi- ignorant eloquent regarding some music that helped pass the time on the road. (smile)

Here are two tunes from Pink Floyd I listened to on the trip that I thought TAH readers might enjoy. The first is truly a blast from the far past – in multiple versions. It’s from the band’s “classic lineup” period (after their first leader, Syd Barrett, left the band due to personality issues very likely brought on by “excessive use of heavy chemicals.”) It first appeared on the band’s 1971 album “Meddle”, where it was the introductory track.

The tune IMO marks the beginning of the band’s post-Barrett classic period. (The band’s first post-Barrett release, “A Saucerful of Secrets” isn’t entirely post-Barrett; it contains one Barrett composition, and Barrett also plays guitar on a second track. The studio portions of the second and third albums by the band released after Barrett’s departure – “Ummagumma” and “Atom Heart Mother” – though commercially successful have been later been called unworthy by members of the band. Finally, their 1969 release “More” was a film soundtrack vice a normal studio album.) IMO it is the first example of the distinct musical style the band employed throughout the 1970s, resulting in what are now regarded as some of the finest progressive rock albums ever made (“Dark Side of the Moon”, “Wish You Were Here”, “Animals”, and “The Wall” – although IMO “Animals” suffers in comparison with the other three).

The tune is a rarity in several respects. First, it has a double-tracked bass riff – both Waters and Gilmour played bass guitar on the tune. Second, the bass riff was processed using time delay, producing the distinctive “quarter-eighth-quarter-eighth” note pattern. Third, the tune features one of the few examples (and possibly the only example) of the band’s drummer, Nick Mason, providing lead vocals – though his original spoken vocal was done in falsetto, then was modified for the recorded version by both ring modulation and half-speed playback to produce a menacing effect. Fourth: the apparently violent spoken lyric was something of an inside joke by the band, aimed at a then-popular BBC disk jockey who exasperated many by babbling incessantly vice doing his job of playing music (see this linked Wikipedia article for details).

Finally, the song has the distinction of being the only Pink Floyd to be performed and recorded live at an ancient Roman amphitheater in Pompeii (yes, that Pompeii) twice – separated by an interval of roughly 45 years. Pink Floyd performed and recorded the tune there for their “Live from Pompeii” film in 1971. David Gilmour then performed and recorded the song in the same venue for his film and CD of the same name in 2016. Videos for both are included below – along with an IMO exceptional version from Pink Floyd’s “Delicate Sound of Thunder” tour DVD that was recorded in mid-1988.

 

 

 

 

The 1988 video from “Delicate Sound of Thunder” – the second one above – also contains another inside joke by the band. It was recorded during or perhaps shortly after the band’s rather messy legal wranglings with its second former leader – Roger Waters – after Waters’ departure from the band. (Waters objected to the remaining members continuing on as Pink Floyd and tried to stop them from doing so via legal action. He failed.) When Pink Floyd used the famous “flying pig” image from the Pink Floyd album “Animals” in their stage show to support their first post-Waters album, Waters claimed copyright infringement regarding the use of that image.

As a result of Waters’ objection, the band altered the version of the flying pig used in their stage show. They did so by adding tusks and also adding . . . well, let’s just say there wasn’t any doubt whatsoever that this new version of the Pink Floyd flying pig was a boar. (smile)

. . .

The second tune is an instrumental originally released on the band’s post-Waters album “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” in 1987. This version is live, from their “Delicate Sound of Thunder” CD/DVD/BluRay set (the 2019 remix). I consider it somewhat of a rarity because even though it was the B-side to one of their singles (“Learning to Fly”) I can honestly say I’ve never heard it on the radio.

Like the band’s background singers for that tour (they’re on the clip), the tune is also IMO absolutely gorgeous. I’d personally rate it as one of the band’s finest instrumental pieces, perhaps even their absolute best such tune. Enjoy.

 

(Note: The source video above consists of three tunes that segue into each other seamlessly; “Terminal Frost” starts at approximately 1:35. The video above is the longer source clip, set to start at that point.

However, while I’ve figured out how to embed a Youtube clip so that it begins at a particular playback time, I haven’t yet “broken the code” regarding how to embed one so that it stops at a given point in playback. The vocal beginning at about 7:53 in the above video isn’t a part of “Terminal Frost”; it’s technically another tune.

If you want to listen to the entire clip, start the clip and then simply put your cursor over the frame; a movable time slider and playback controls will then appear. Then simply slide the time slider left to 0:00 and release it to play the entire clip from the beginning.)

 

FWIW: the saxophonist on the tune is a fellow named Scott Page. His background is also rather interesting – he’s a bit more than your average talented session musician. See the link at his name if you’re interested.

—–

OK, that’s it for now. In another nod to the band:

“Home, home again
I like to be here when I can . . . . “

Category: Pointless blather, Who knows

Comments (14)

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  1. KoB says:

    Wonder how much of some of our hearing loss stems from blasting these tunes thru the big speaker systems we all loved in the days of our youth? Anybody else remember the logistics and co-ordination it took when the troops would hang those speakers in the barracks windows and have those tunes blasting across the entire Kaserne? Pepperidge Farms may remember…so will many of those that had the overnight CQ duty.

    Thanks for the flashbacks Hondo. Still got the original polyvinyl carbon discs of these tunes.

  2. David says:

    ‘One of These Days’ is pretty much the only Floyd song I tolerate. Water’s Palestinian dick-sucking rendered this group about as acceptable to me as Jane Fonda. Far as I know, his Palestinian name is Fuk’ueem.

    • FuzeVT says:

      So I Love PF. I was in high school from 86-90 from so I wasn’t around for their hey-day, but I bought all the albums and put them on 90 minute cassettes – fun! My first CD I every bought was Animals (so poo on you, Hondo. “Animals doesn’t hold up. . .” Nya!)

      So the point is, I never saw them in concert. Well, in 2018 Rogers Waters was coming to DC while I was still in Quantico. Despite my misgivings (because of his anti-Israel stance), I decided to go. As we got closer to the event, I kept hearing more and more about how he was using the opportunity to spout his filthy BDS rhetoric for the entire concert. Because I’m military, I had bought the insurance for the tickets in case I couldn’t go. Glad I did, because I didn’t go.

      Fuck you , Roger, for ruining the music!

      • Hondo says:

        Might want to re-read what I said about “Animals” above, FuseVT.

        I didn’t say it was bad album or “didn’t hold up”; I said it wasn’t quite as good as the other three I named. In fact, “Animals” was (and is today) considered an exceptional progressive rock album.

        However, most consider “Dark Side of the Moon”, “Wish You Were Here”, and “The Wall” significantly better. Those three are considered all-time greats by most, and any of the three would be hard to match. IMO “Animals” falls short of equaling any of them; YMMV.

        But FWIW: “Animals” also had one of the coolest images and (though absolutely accidental and unintentional) most memorable bits of promotional publicity in history. Really: how often does a flying pig buzz a major international airport? (smile)

        Edited to add: here’s some more trivia about the album and the famous flying pig.

        https://web.archive.org/web/20110611194316/http://www.pinkfloyd-co.com/disco/animals/animals_trivia.html

  3. Devtun says:

    Top five Pink Floyd LPs:

    1. Animals
    2. Darkside of the Moon
    3. Wish You Were Here
    4. Meddle
    5. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

    Honorable mention: The Wall

  4. Sparks says:

    Thank you Hondo. Good driving music.

  5. MarineDad61 says:

    Hondo,
    Thanks to an older brother with a bedroom record player,
    I am likely the youngest person alive (at age 59),
    to fully know, understand, and appreciate
    Black Sabbath’s 1st 4 albums.

    While mid-70s Jr. High classmates were picking up on the likes of Kiss,
    This button shirt Converse sneaker TI-30 calculator nerd
    was all over Black Sabbath, Zep, Deep Purple, James Gang, Aerosmith, & Montrose.

    I then shoved Boston up the Kiss Army’s collective asses.

    Too young here for Meddle, but just in time for Wish You Were Here,
    and than that previous prism looking album. 🙂

    From Black Sabbath (I)(1970)

  6. Bim says:

    I saw Roger Waters perform “The Wall” at Boston Garden a few years ago, and it completely blew me away.

    Me, I’m a bit tilted towards their last, very under-appreciated album The Final Cut and “When the Tigers Broke Free” is on occasional rotation in Bim’s Dad Taxi and beer retriever. It’s only available on the extended cut version, and Waters is a bit of a opinionated douche, but he did nail some of his spoken word tunes.. .

    https://youtu.be/E_5DRKZI1Ow

  7. FuzeVT says:

    Interesting tidbits about PF live at Pompeii:

    A lot of the footage they shot there never made it back to London. It was lost somewhere in between and never seen again. It is for that reason that they focus mainly on Nick Mason (the drummer) in that video. That is because that’s all the footage they had. The other shots of the mixers, etc. where shot later.

    In the One of these days video linked above, you see Nick Mason lose a drum stick at 4:42 seconds. Seamlessly, he grabs another. It’s probably something that happens all the time to drummers, but it’s funny that it was caught on camera, in this case.

    The DVD you can buy for this is pretty cool. It has the completed movie they made and released but it also has the footage of just the film shot of the songs. If your a Floyd fan and you haven’t seen it, it’s worth the investment. If your not a Floyd fan, find it streaming somewhere.

    • FuzeVT says:

      Note: I mention most of the footage being of the drummer – in this case, I meant in the One of these Days video. They have more footage of the other members for other songs.

  8. ChipNASA says:

    I love me some PF.
    I didn’t hang around in the thread too long because I was afraid I’d get a contact high, from my own fat cells.