CK Retro Review: More (Soundtrack) by Pink FloydPosted: December 16, 2013
Pink Floyd’s first foray into a full-length soundtrack also served as their third album. 1969’s More was the film, for which the band concocted an interesting blend of spaced-out folk songs, thundering rockers, and their trademark innovative instrumentals. It’s not so much of a step up from the previous year’s A Saucerful Of Secrets as it is a holding pattern, notable for providing David Gilmour with the chance to step forward as the lead vocalist.
13. “A Spanish Piece”- Some deranged flamenco-style guitar and a Spanish accent by David Gilmour that must have been an attempt at comedy. I guess you had to be there.
12. “Party Sequence”- Ah yes, the old bongos-and-penny whistle ploy.
11. “The Nile Song”- Cream and Jimi Hendrix seem to be the main influences here, with the Floyd doing their best power trio impersonation as Rick Wright sits one out. But the song comes off as mere imitation and the dreamy words are out of place within the blunt-force music.
10. “Quicksilver”- To their credit, Floyd pulled off these avant-garde tone poems much better than most of their rock brethren (see The Beatles “Revolution 9” for an example of how not to do it.) That said, I’m not sure that this one brings anything revelatory to the table.
9. “Up The Khyber”- This instrumental is the rare songwriting co-credit for Wright and drummer Nick Mason. The pair concoct a wild, free-form jazz duet that’s has the effect of a frenzied nightmare.
8. “Ibiza Bar”- Just a shade better than “The Nile Song” in terms of showcasing the band’s heavier side. The lyrics are nonsensical, but you can’t really hear them above the crunch of the music, so no sweat.
7. “Dramatic Theme”- Pretty much the same as the “Main Theme,” only a little bit shorter in length.
6. “More Blues”- For a band named after two blues artists, their recorded output contained very few pure forays into the genre. Hendrix again seems to be the benchmark on this track with a stop-and-start rhythm. Good thing Gilmour is one of the few guitarists who can approach that lofty standard.
5. “Cirrus Minor”- The minor-key folk contains some acoustic guitar from Gilmour that isn’t too far off from the work he would do on “Is There Anybody Out There?” many years later. Not much going on lyrically, but the organ work by Rick Wright in the second half of the song song that plays against some dissonant countermelodies in the background is a nice, subtly spooky touch.
4. “Main Theme”- This instrumental picks up steam as it goes along. Once the gong fades into the background, Roger Waters and Mason churn out a moodily insistent rhythm at which Gilmour and Wright poke and tear at random intervals.
3. “Crying Song”- An interesting mood piece that sneaks up on you with its unassuming power. Even though it comes on as a soft folk song, there is something unsettling in it. Maybe it’s Wright’s vibraphone or Gimour’s placid vocals, but the feeling lingers that something wicked is going to break the spell, even though it never does. Nice slide work by Gilmour at the end as well.
2. “Cymbaline”- Little by little, bits of more conventional songcraft were beginning to sneak into the Floyd repertoire, as on this piece, perhaps Waters’ best set of lyrics to this point in the band’s career. He combines symbolically threatening imagery with a few references to the mundane daily life of a rock star. Yet even in a typical verse-chorus structure, the band doesn’t lose its experimental edge thanks to Mason’s echoing bongos and Wright’s sumptuous organ bed.
1. “Green Is The Colour”- Giving the mystery and spookiness a rest for a moment, Floyd goes for straight beauty here and nails it. Gilmour sings in a high, ethereal voice that suits well Waters’ lyrics about an idyllic, sun-dappled beach. In the instrumental run-out, Wright plays soulful piano runs while a tin whistle, played by Nick Mason’s wife-at-the-time Lindy, provides a lovely tinge of nostalgia. Pretty and poignant.
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