Pink Floyd - Saucerful of Secrets

Discussions about Pink Floyd and Solo Official Album CDs and DVDs.

Rate This Album

5 - Best
25
29%
4
27
32%
3
19
22%
2
12
14%
1 - Worst
2
2%
 
Total votes: 85

oldperfume
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Re: Pink Floyd - Saucerful of Secrets

Post by oldperfume »

Considering they had just fired their "Resident Genius" this is a damn good album. "Let there be more light" is very Syd-esque & "Remember A Day" is vintage. "Corporal Clegg" DRIPS of Syd Barrett. The title track is great w/ the choir & is tamer than the live version but after what this band went thru with Syd, I think they did pretty good.
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Re: Pink Floyd - Saucerful of Secrets

Post by Jacek »

A Saucerful of Secrets is another of my all-time favorite Floyd records. It's amazing to me that, although they were edging out their frontman at the time, following a successful album full of his songs, they still managed to come up with a masterpiece right away, without significant input from Syd (Resident Genius indeed!!). Of course, Jugband Blues is an unbelievably poignant piece, and one of my favorite of all of Syd's songs (us Syd fans know that they're almost all absolutely top-class, so that's saying a LOT!), and his contributions to the others are most welcome.

But a studio album of this caliber cannot get five stars on one song alone; all the other songs shine as well - perhaps not quite as brightly as Jugband Blues (or most of Piper, or Syd's solo material), but very brightly indeed anyhow. The only iffy song is See-Saw, which I enjoy sometimes and not other times, but it's still a song written by Rick Wright, and the way he crafts his music is so different and interesting that even if I don't always enjoy the song, I can still delight in its bizarre structure and the way it clicks together despite it. The title track, too, doesn't always hit the spot - but man, when it does...

The other true juggernauts, though, are the chaotic & wonderful Let There Be More Light and Corporal Clegg (kazoo, and one of their most badass riffs, in the same Pink Floyd song? oh hell yes), the haunting jam Set the Controls, and Rick's early masterpiece Remember a Day. The creativity, energy, and experimentation all carry over from Piper; it's just that the major songwriting duties shifted (and, very much to his credit, Rog comes up with something considerably more compelling for his piece than his very fun & catchy but too-straightforward Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk). Furthermore, the album flows very well when listened to from start to finish, despite the hodgepodge of styles.

It'd take them until Meddle to rise again to the level of brilliance displayed here, but of course by then our boys were doing something very different, and in the albums following this one but preceding their next out-and-out masterpiece, they're working towards it - rather like OBC, I find this to be an album that shows very clearly just what this band was capable of right from the get-go: all of the members, not just Syd!

5/5
Last edited by Jacek on Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pink Floyd - Saucerful of Secrets

Post by Jimi Dean Barrett »

This record has too much sentimental value for me to give a rational review! I tried last year to write a review of it. Although they are my own words, I don't talk like this in real life. There is nothing in this review you didn't know, you are going to want to smash me in the mouth as some point reading it but I voted it 5. It's safe to say music journalists the world over can breathe a sigh of relief for their job security!

Here goes:

This was the second album I bought after DSOTM in 1990. I also bought Relics at the same time on vinyl. I was going to buy PATGOD but the cover photograph put me off compared to ASOS cover of... whatever the cover of ASOS is?
Had fun looking at photograph on the back and thinking Nick Mason was Roger Waters....
Never had the lyric sheet and this was before the big remastering job.

LET THERE BE MORE LIGHT

This stands up with One Of These Days and Astronomy Domine as one of the best opening songs on any Floyd record. It was criminally missed out on Echoes compilation.
The lyrics tell a story more clearly.
It's as if Syd's lyrics are about finding out about something happening and Roger Waters lyrics are about been told about something they read?
One of the greatest chorus of the sixties, up there with A Hard Days Night and the others noted for chorus'. Despite the fact that the lyrics change in the second chorus
Pretty cool but muddy sounding produced vocal arrangements.
Favourite lyric "The outer lock rolled slowly back/The servicemen were heard to sigh/for there revealed in flowing robes was Lucy In The Sky".
A good flurry of organ overdubs and guitar meandering before ending like a machine with the tune turned off, just clanging once like footprints walking away.

REMEMBER A DAY

Debut song written by Richard Wright! My favourite Rick song "Paintbox" got used as the the b-side of their third single that failed to chart "Apples And Oranges" (don't worry my old friend Mr Tudor will bring up to speed!)
Not sure if it's a track left over from PATGOD with just more Gilmour dubbed on? If they had this at the time I would gladly take this over "Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk". Excellent contrast on this side of the album.
A fusion of the prog drums and the sensibility of pop, whilst at the same time trying to keep the Syd standard flying. Rick wrote brilliantly.
Could have done with another voice singing with him though.
David Gilmour if he's on here just doing sliding with a lighter. Syd did that!
"Hide from your little brothers gun/Dream yourself away"
And didn't I just...

SET THE CONTROLS FOR THE HEART OF THE SUN

Second song from Roger Waters and a regular staple in his solo live shows (seeing as he's too embarrassed to play Corporal Clegg)
Better lyrics though. "Witness the man who waves at the wall/Making the shape of his question to heaven"
The seagull sound effcts give an unwelcome comedy angle to the song.
Roger Waters: It needs something trippy in the background to add to that other world vibe caused by Rick and Nick's keyboard and drums?
Norman Smith: Seagulls! That's what you need lads! I'll put some seagulls on it!
Roger Waters: Has Alan Parsons got that job here yet?

CORPORAL CLEGG

This is one of my favourite Roger Waters songs. It's satire matches The Fletcher Memorial Home, it rocks harder than Money, it has better lyrics than compared to Another Brick In The Wall and musically it's more structered than STCFTHOTS.
Yes, Roger could have made a packet suing Noel Edmonds for the Blobby Theme, and which came first? Corporal Glegg or Pictures Of Matchstick Men?
"Corporal Clegg/Umbrella in the rain/He's never been the same/No one is to blame."
The kazoo/tape loop/military impression skits is an ending to rival Bike and makes you want to play side 1 again! (Unless you've got CD in which case...)

A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS

A friend and I once listened to it tripping, after the first side took us into space and er... we never made it to the drum solo. Out of bad trip paranoia not because of the music. I was sitting very still because then a ragdoll couldn't float out of the record player and drag me in (and if you nick that for a Dr Who story, I will kill you, as it's my TV drama series that will never get made!) even though it was my friend who blinked first and demanded to switch it off!
"Drawn out as a diagram" according to the books. And impressive and radical it must have seemed to the newcomers to psychedelia (who popped up after the year before's excess became more controllable) but if you've ever played in a band with a guitarist who has a delay pedal, then you'll know how exciting it was too make rather than listen to.
But don't press skip yet, because here is one of Rick's organ and mellotron codas that saves the second half of ASOS from an outright dull start.
That said, the live version from "Umma Gumma" is one of my favourite Floyd tracks which also should have gone onto Echoes. The ASOS version comes third behind the version from Live At Pompeii footage.

SEE SAW

"The Most Boring Song I've Ever Heard Part 2"?
I still loved Robert Wyatt for appeared in a magazine saying this was one of his favorte songs. The mellotron at the end of the verses is effective. And the tempo changes could have been handled better.
The percusive middle eight just seems like another half song tacked on.
But Rick's found his voice and sticks to his theme of being in love with er... his sister.
"Picking up his sister he makes his way to the seasaw land/all the way up she smiles/ she goes up as he goes down"
Or did he mean the idea of everyone being brothers and sisters?

JUGBAND BLUES

PAGOD ended with the maddening cheery Bike. Second album, Barrett returns for his only song. Recorded as a potential single (WTF!) if ASOS was a Stately home on a guided tour, as you come to the exit of See Saw, you'd see some bricks from a wall have been knocked out and there is a secret room hidden. That room is Jugband Blues, but before you can ask "Wait a minute! What's the story with that room?" you've been usherd out of the building with a souvenir bookmark and a "have a nice day" greet.
It's like Syd has so much to say he has outrun the music and the other band members, even outrunning his own ability to write and perform it's so out there... The Salvation Army Brass band being personally told by Syd to "Play what you like" add weight to the theory Syd was also kicked out for wanting two girl saxophonists in the band! The song melts into the outer space they spent the first four songs trying to reach and then ends with Barrett isolated on a strumming guitar. He's not playing as the party has ended. He's playing unaware that the party has abandoned him into the garden whilst he was studying his acoustic.
"And what exactly is a joke?"

FULL TIME REPORT:

If the side ones of Floyd records were athletes, then whilst DSOTM and WYWH would out in the lead with ASOS keeping pace with them over the more chart successful albums.

The album is 24K Floyd and everything you could want from a Pink Floyd album in the 1960's. In fact compared to the next two album
ASOS for me, is their last greatest 60's album. On an equal with PATGOD.
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Re: Pink Floyd - Saucerful of Secrets

Post by David Smith »

Always found this album kind of average. Its not that that i think any of the songs are bad (although Corporal Clegg comes fairly close) but aside from Jugband Blues i've never felt any of them are real stand-outs. Let There Be More Light definitely left an impression on me at first though, i used to love it, but it's not an album i go back to very often save for the last song (which is truely brilliant). Part of it may be due to seeing Live In Pompeii a good few times, and the versions of Saucerful and STCFTHOTS on the album just don't live up to it for me. Oh, on that note you guys heard Dave's beautiful version of Remember a Day that was performed in memory of Rick Wright?
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Re: Pink Floyd - Saucerful of Secrets

Post by Wolfpack »

There is a difference between the 'Shine On' CD and the remastered CD with the lyrics booklet.
I think the 'Shine On' CD has a bright sound, while the booklet CD sounds almost as muddy as the 1980s CD.
By luck, I was able to buy the 'Shine On' CD as stand-alone. Later I bought the booklet CD and I was very disappointed.
However, at least he 'Shine On' CD has a slightly altered 'Jugband Blues'. The acoustic piece ("And the sea"...) comes in faster and maybe misses a few seconds at the beginning. I guess this was a crude way to apply "noise reduction": cutting out the part that has mostly tape hiss.

Is there someone compiling such information? A Pink Floyd database?
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Re: Pink Floyd - Saucerful of Secrets

Post by TheLazenby »

The fact that both "Corporal Clegg" and "Jugband Blues", both goofy songs with loud, crazy, unconventional solos, can be on the same album endears this disc to me.

But yeah, I find the original "Saucerful" to be rather pathetic in comparison to the Ummagumma version. Actually, the four live tracks on there trump the originals every time.
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Re: Pink Floyd - Saucerful of Secrets

Post by danielcaux »

The live versions have more dynamics going, they truly developed the songs there; but the original "Set The Controls..." is still a very pleasant "chill out" tune though. Very relaxing and spacey, similar in tone to Cirrus Minor.
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Re: Pink Floyd - Saucerful of Secrets

Post by moom »

danielcaux wrote:The live versions have more dynamics going, they truly developed the songs there
I'd prefer to have a mixed title track - the studio opening, then the live second section, then studio for third and also fourth with a bar of choir, which would then segue into the live outro. :)
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Re: Pink Floyd - Saucerful of Secrets

Post by Wolfpack »

TheLazenby wrote:But yeah, I find the original "Saucerful" to be rather pathetic in comparison to the Ummagumma version. Actually, the four live tracks on there trump the originals every time.
I find the original 'Saucerful' rather good. The beginning is very scary and the ending is very peaceful. I find the 'Ummagumma'-version much like a stripped down live performance for which choices have to be made in what can be played and what not. The ending with Gilmour's loud "aaah"-chant is sensational, but it's less peaceful than the original. There's less contrast. If having to choose, I'd prefer the original anytime. Same for 'Astronomy Domine' and 'Set the Controls'.

The only live track that I find better than its studio version(s) is 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene". Even better than any other live version I've heard.
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Re: Pink Floyd - Saucerful of Secrets

Post by princessDungan74D »

I think this is one of Pink Floyd's most underrated album. Its pretty cool album filled with very odd and interesting. I love the songs like "Remember A Day" and "See Saw". Set The Controls For The Sun is a pretty interesting song with interesting back ground music and lyrics.
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Re: Pink Floyd - Saucerful of Secrets

Post by Apparatchik »

I was able to purchase a vinyl copy of the mono version of this record. It is an interesting contrast from the stereo. The organ and guitar are higher in the mix and the effect on some songs is quite startling. It was really like hearing a new record. Compared to the chaotic room of shimmering tunes that is Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Saucerful of Secrets is like a colder twilight reflecting on what was and what was to be.

Standouts for me:

Set Controls to the heart of the Sun: The original stereo used to put me to sleep. This version is such a contrast. Now I know why Jeff Jarrett called it a beautiful song. Mason's drums contrast off Wright's organ to create a real spacey effect. The bass provides propulsion that moves along. A fine track,

Saucerful of Secrets: This track becomes more grotesque to my ears than the stereo. It is harsher and lurches along like Frankenstein's monster. I like it, but the version on Ummagumma is still the best.

Seesaw: Wright's organ and mellotron? really stand out in this track. It's a haunting contrast to the title track and a great lead in to Jugband Blues.

Peace
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Re: Pink Floyd - Saucerful of Secrets

Post by BrianW »

In advance of the exhibition 'Syd Barrett - Art and Letters' here is a teaser:

What do the lyrics of See Saw mean?

No they are not random gibberish words - in fact the best lyrics that Rick Wright ever wrote.

At the exhibition information will be displayed which explains all...

But for the moment I will be happy to get your comments and to guide you in understanding what these lyrics were about...

So - how do you interpret this song?

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Re: Pink Floyd - Saucerful of Secrets

Post by drafsack »

Its their most flowery album with none of the dark undertones of Piper
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Re: Pink Floyd - Saucerful of Secrets

Post by Wolfpack »

drafsack wrote:Its their most flowery album with none of the dark undertones of Piper
Does 'Jugband Blues' have no dark undertones? And 'Remember a Day' and 'See Saw'?
'Corporal Clegg' is a precursor of the later war trauma songs, on 'The Wall' and 'The Final Cut'.
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Re: Pink Floyd - Saucerful of Secrets

Post by moom »

Wolfpack wrote:
drafsack wrote:Its their most flowery album with none of the dark undertones of Piper
Does 'Jugband Blues' have no dark undertones? And 'Remember a Day' and 'See Saw'?
'Corporal Clegg' is a precursor of the later war trauma songs, on 'The Wall' and 'The Final Cut'.
I'd say Piper is way more flowery.