Monday, April 12, 2010

An Hour with Pink Floyd (1970)

Pink Floyd were an English rock band who earned recognition for their psychedelic music in the late 1960s, and as they evolved in the 1970s, for their progressive rock music. Pink Floyd's work is marked by the use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album cover art, and elaborate live shows. One of rock music's most critically acclaimed and commercially successful acts, the group have sold over 200 million albums worldwide, including 74.5 million certified units in the United States, making them one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

Pink Floyd were formed in 1965, and originally consisted of university students Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Richard Wright, and Syd Barrett. The group were a popular fixture on London's underground music scene, and under Barrett's leadership released two charting singles, "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play", and a commercially and critically successful debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. In 1968, guitarist and singer David Gilmour joined the line-up, and Barrett was removed due to his increasingly erratic behaviour. Following Barrett's departure, bass player and singer Roger Waters became the lyricist and dominant figure in the band, which thereafter achieved worldwide critical and commercial success with the concept albums The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, and rock opera The Wall.

Wright left the band in 1979, and Waters in 1985, but Gilmour and Mason (joined by Wright) continued recording and touring under the name Pink Floyd. Waters used legal means to try to keep them from using the name, declaring Pink Floyd a spent force, but the parties reached an out-of-court settlement allowing Gilmour, Mason and Wright to continue as Pink Floyd. The band again enjoyed worldwide success with A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994), and Waters continued as a solo musician, releasing three studio albums. Although for some years relations between Waters and the remaining three members were sour,

Back in 1969 Ummagumma was quickly followed by 1970's Atom Heart Mother. The band's previous LPs had been recorded using a four-track system, but Atom Heart Mother was their first to use eight tracks of audio. An early version was premièred in France in January 1970, but disagreements over its direction prompted the arrival of Ron Geesin, who worked for about a month to improve the score. Production was troublesome, with little creative input from the band, but with the aid of John Aldiss the album was eventually completed. Gilmour is generally dismissive of Atom Heart Mother and once described it as "a load of rubbish", although in 2001 he said it "was a good thing to have attempted, but I don't really think the attempt comes off that well". He performed the title track with Ron Geesin, in 2008. Waters was also critical of parts of the album, once even claiming he wouldn't mind if it were "thrown into the dustbin and never listened to by anyone ever again." Norman Smith was given only an executive producer credit, his final contribution to the band's discography. Atom Heart Mother was massively successful in the UK, and was premièred at the Bath Festival on 27 June 1970.
This rare film was made when the band was on US tour in fall of 1970. It was for the most part shot on video and shot inside the studios of San Francisco public television station KQED.
1970 performance tracks are as follows:
Atom Heart Mother...
Grantchester Meadows...
Green Is the Colour....
Careful With That Axe, Eugene....
Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
This was made in a time when Pink Floyd was still a great band and very must into experimenting with sound.

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