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Graham Slee View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2015 at 2:30am
Originally posted by RichW RichW wrote:

Yes, Waters' words (a more apt description than 'lyrics' perhaps) on The Final Cut are very cutting
indeed. Especially in the wake of the recently ended Falkland's war.
Serious, heavy & earnest music, superbly played & recorded.
Look forward to your Floyd journey list Graham.


OK, here goes.

Like many an early 70's working youth it was almost obligatory to own a stereo to be "like one's pals" and then to own the then 'trending' albums. I did the first part but found my own way regarding the second part.

My initial introduction to Pink Floyd has a lot in common with many others in that I bought a copy of Dark Side of the Moon. Musically the stereo system I had was considerably bereft so I didn't "get off on the music", but I found the lyrics intriguing. I got the feeling that the music was somehow taking the urine out of "the establishment" and even out of a popular UK TV comedy: "Are You Being Served". The lyrics on the other hand were unique and to a youth still "wet behind the ears" little made much sense, but I suppose they were laying down some foundations of an enquiring mind. I mentioned the word prophetic in an ealier reply. A prophecy - probably too religeous a word, so let me call it premonition (a description I note Water's uses) - is about a future time and what it will be like. I think anybody who listened with such intent as I did who cannot see that much of it came to be must be in a different world. Words like dark forebodings were not used casually, but I think I'm right in saying that "cuts" of meaningless trash recorded from passing members of the public were dubbed onto "Brain Damage" (without actually checking to get my facts right), as if to make the point that people would be too interested in "small things" to take any notice of any "warning".

Wanting more of what Pink Floyd offered I scoured the record shops of Sheffield and found a couple of albums: Relics and A Nice Pair. What a contrast! It just didn't sound like the same band. I had one of those moments where you go "I've just blown £4 on trash" (a lot of money back then). The difference was that these earlier works were under the leadership of Syd Barrett. At the time just one track stood out as being close to the Pink Floyd I knew from Dark Side, and that was Interstellar Overdrive from the £1 "discount" Relics. Great on a Haffler quadrasound system by the way.

The very next release was Wish You Were Here. This felt like a very difficult album for me, I wasn't sure if I wanted to follow Pink Floyd anymore. Watching the story of Wish You Were Here on TV more recently I now realise it was very difficult for the band too. They had a difficult time getting it together, and had to bring in Roy Harper from another studio to perform Have A Cigar because Water's couldn't do the range. I can understand them wanting to pay homage to the burnt out Syd Barrett, but not being a Barrett follower (too young) I just didn't get it. By this time Floyd were too detached from a northern audience, whereas Roy Harper wasn't (I was able to attend one of his concerts in Sheffield, but couldn't afford to ever see the southern centric Floyd). Perhaps because of this album I ventured into different avenues of progressive musicians.

Because of the 70's progressive "culture" I found myself biding the time through night long "journeys" listening to a much wider range of music - often played on portable equipment of dubious quality - but boy did it sound good. Whilst there I discovered more Pink Floyd material, and one in particular: Meddle which I found fascinating, especially the full side track Echoes. Another one which was highly ammusing was Ummagumma. Had it not been for these I doubt I would have had anymore interest in the group.

As the 70s drew on I was introduced to another Pink Floyd album which suitably impressed me and I have the copy I bought to this day - that being Animals. I consider Animals to be the closest thing to Dark Side of the Moon that they'd done to that time. Again there was the criticism or anti-establishment lyrics which the older generation (like mum and dad) found so insulting. I suppose it could have been taken that way, but today we see a very different picture of that "safe" establishment, and I think Floyd were right to bring it up. As for the plastic pig above Battersea power station, I think that stole much attention from the album's intent - a good marketing trick but you either followed Pink Floyd for who they were, or you followed somebody else.

Because shortly after that time my life took on a much different route I think this is a good place to stop what I'll call part one of my Floyd journey.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DaveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2015 at 11:13am
Interesting take with which I mostly concur.

I think the thing with Floyd Mk II (i.e post Barrett) is they were not very prolific songwriters.. at least until Waters got into his stride. & therefore a bit inconsistent & even lazy if Mason is to be believed.

Albums tended to be patchy. Meddle for instance, Echoes is still a track I really enjoy & One of these days - the rest sounds like outtakes from a different album. DOTM was probably the 1st album that was consistent and good too. Wish You Were Here although it sounds consistent has for me only 2 outstanding tracks... Shine On Part 1 & the title track. The rest sounds like filler. Animals I think is a very underrated album, I still enjoy it. I started losing interest in them after that. I don't get the Wall... I mean I understand what it's about but it doesn't resonate with me. However, there are gems to be found throughout their career & I've always loved Gilmours guitar playing. Some of their early stuff  is really good, I like the Pompei film, Masons energy was quite a revelation compared to the rather plodding drum tracks in later stuff.

I've seen them I think 4 times, the last being the Division Bell tour and it was always an event.

I should also say that though I didn't particuarly like the heavy lyrical content of the Wall (or even a lot of the music) I think Waters' solo album Amused to Death is brilliant.

Despite all that, still one of my top bands ever
 

Dave

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote miT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2015 at 12:40pm
Graham, I really must thank you. Not only for a journey into your past and your outstanding audio creations but also for this forum. I can think of no other AV related forum that affords "less travelled" music fans like myself the opportunity to learn from the experience of others without fear of belittling! And thank you to everyone else who has contributed so far; Floyd has obviously been an important part of the most influential period of growing up for many of you so I will definitely try my hardest to do them justice.

In view of all the responses, I thought I'd briefly clarify something. The reason for my Floyd interest is because while my music tastes have always been eclectic, I haven't looked deeply into artists of the past, even some of my favourites (although I naturally have big collections of them). My music journey has now taken me to the place where I want to start filling in some holes in my collection. The likes of BB King, Eric Clapton, Eva Cassidy, etc are easy because a greatest hits album is a springboard but where do you start with Floyd? Thanks to everyone here, now I know.

I had the opportunity to start this morning on my way to work (thank you 4g+YouTube+Aux in) and listened to DotM and the start of Wish You Were Here. I completely understand why they are recommended; on a decent system, DotM must jump out at you from all directions! So far I like most of what I hear but I'd need to listen at home to focus on the lyrics. A few tracks have stood out particularly but I can't tell you which due to driving. I shall give the other recommendations a (digital) spin over the days ahead.

ICL1P - Thanks again for the WHF link. I had a quick read through and now understand what people mean about needing to listen to the whole album(s). Life in London rarely permits such indulgences but when I complete my new system, I will ensure I start!


Edited by miT - 20 May 2015 at 12:44pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morris_minor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2015 at 5:58pm
This thread's whetting my appetite for delving more into Floyd. I've only got DSOTM (vinyl and SACD) and The Division Bell (on vinyl). So lots more to discover . . .

And, yes, whole album listening is important. Another plus point for vinyl - the effort to skip around between tracks is just too much (for me at least) . . . 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2015 at 9:06pm
Originally posted by miT miT wrote:

without fear of belittling!


Yes, that is an important rule here, and it's because virtually all audio forums are so incredibly evil...

On one I am described as a buffoon. I guess it takes one to know one... (intended as a dig at other audio forum members in general Clown)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LOINER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2015 at 9:25pm
Originally posted by Graham Slee Graham Slee wrote:

Yes, that is an important rule here, and it's because virtually all audio forums are so incredibly evil...




Not just audio forums
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DaveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2015 at 9:57pm
Yup.. the whole internetz is evil... however it does have stuff like this Wink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJZYG5qwHHI

The standout track from The Wall & this is worth checking out for a guitar masterclass & a flavour of what a latterday Floyd show was like.  I was at one of those nights in Earls Court, mostly with my chin on the floor  - gobsmacked i think it's called. My mate however left at half time, he said it was Censored. Takes all sorts. Notgreat vid quality, there used to be a better version around that fell foul of copyright laws..aah well!


Edited by DaveG - 20 May 2015 at 9:57pm
Dave

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