Poll: How do you rate Pink Floyd's "Atom Heart Mother" album?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Johnny Reb, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. Norco74

    Norco74 Forum Resident

    Love it! Side 1 is literally symphonic prog while side 2 acts as a counterweight and gets you back to the realm of PF as we know it.

    Many bands of that time tried the symphonic experience but not all have suceeded. If it survived 47 y, there's a fair chance that AHM will still be a discussion topic in 50y from now.

    RW and DG can have their personal opinion about this album and that is from an artist perspective. The audience seems to have another opinion about the finished masterpiece.
  2. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Not bad - some good/great moments, but overall so-so

    Summer '68 is one of my favorite pre-Dark Side Floyd tunes, and Fat Old Sun is quite nice, too.

    The main theme of the title track is glorious, but the track as a whole is far too ponderous.

    I have no use for If and Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast.
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  3. Marvin

    Marvin Forum Resident

    Clearly one of their best... (and far superior to Meddle).

    I'd rank it somewhere from 3 to 5 in their catalog. Behind Dark Side and Wish, in a tier with Ummagumma and Animals.
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  4. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Enjoy the title track, Fat Old Sun, and about half of the closing track which I tend to listen to via an edit I made that omits the less musical parts.
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  5. smorrison

    smorrison His Master's Voice

    Solid effort. I love "Fat Old Sun", especially the guitar solo on David's Live In Gdansk.
  6. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic Machine wrapped in butter.

    London, England
    Four days of the week, I'd put this as my favourite Floyd album. Loved it since I first heard it at 13. It's magnificent, ambitious, daft, atmospheric, unique, and as many other adjectives as that, but can't think of them. The three 'solo' songs in the middle are a great indication of each of their strengths, and the two lengthy songs are admirable in many ways.

    Uniquely, if it is true that Mason is the mastermind of 'Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast' then this is the only Floyd album I can think of where the weakest song was written by Roger Waters.

    My love for the title track increased tenfold after seeing Gilmour perform it live in 2008. It was heavenly.
  7. lennonfan1

    lennonfan1 Forum Resident

    baltimore maryland
  8. Instant Dharma

    Instant Dharma Forum Resident

    East Bay, Ca
    For me the weakest song is Summer 68. But then again Ricks songs are always the weakest for me.
  9. Ignatius

    Ignatius Forum Resident

    I sort of agree with your opinion. Haven't listened to it for many years.
    As long as you're not putting down the cover art. I will abide no insult to The Cow.
  10. Scope J

    Scope J Forum Resident

    A pretty solid effort - worth recommending

    I prefer the band version
    of the title track.
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  11. Thievius

    Thievius Blue Öyster Cultist

    I voted 'A Pretty Solid Effort, Worth Recommending' but nearly voted for 'One of their best, Essential' because I love it so damn much. But then I had to remember how it took me a few listens to "get" this album. Plus it suffers because PF had so many other colossal albums that Atom Heart can't quite compare to them.

    If I look at Wish You Were Here or Animals, there isn't a single tune I can point to as a misstep, but on Atom Heart Mother I can point to Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast which sounds like an experimental Ummagumma holdover. Its too long, there's less song and more noise, and its just a waste of 13 minutes.

    However, the title track's western theme is very strong. As is Summer '68 and Fat Old Sun (and yes - "If"). It pains me it can't quite hang with the big boys, but I love it very very much.
  12. Sci-Fi Kid

    Sci-Fi Kid Forum Resident

    Lindenhurst, IL
    Would have liked a poll option somewhere between "clearly one of their best", and "pretty solid". I do feel it's essential, though, so went with the former.
    I think each Floyd fan's favorites are heavily influenced by their age & where they jumped in, and there's no wrong answer.
    When I "progressed backwards" from DSOTM & WYWH in high school, my mind was blown by Atom Heart Mother. As a trombone player I instantly fell in love with the AHM Suite. Side 2 was just a wonderful bonus.
    I understand Waters & Gilmour not being huge fans. I'm guessing it due to Geesin getting writing credits for what they deem their original material. I, however, am a big fan and am really looking forward to my Oppo UDP-203 arriving in the mail this week so I can break it in with the quad version of AHM off Devi/ation.
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  13. Rne

    Rne While my balalaika gently sobs.

    Essential (once again).
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  14. Runicen

    Runicen Forum Resident

    I had to go with "Not Bad." It's grown on me because "If," "Summer '68," and "Fat Old Sun" are indispensable, but the title track and "Alan's..." still seem like experiments that don't quite go anywhere.

    That said, the title track does have its moments. In a decade, I'll probably love it. :crazy:
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  15. bhazen

    bhazen Beatles Diehard

    Newcastle, WA
    Maybe my 2nd-favourite Floyd record (after Piper.) At least in part because it's so redolent of when they were still an enigmatic cult act ... when I loved them the most. (Gilmour and Waters' latter-day dismissals of the record are coloured by their understandable preference for the later albums that made them multimillionaires. But it must mean something that I can still connect with their pre-Dark Side output so well, while I rarely play the big Seventies warhorses now.)

    Atom Heart's virtues are diffuse; its flaws evident; yet the sum of those attributes somehow add up to prime stereo entertainment of the immediately post-psychedelic era. I tend, like a fair number of people I am guessing, to play the album on Saturday or Sunday mornings. The title track is a great way to ease into wakefulness. (One of the very few albums I would put on if feeling hungover, back in those days.) "Summer '68" and "Fat Old Sun" fit in well with the general mood, wearing their various Beatles, Beach Boys and Kinks influences colourfully. "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" is more programmatic ambience a là the title piece, but I do love "Sunny Side Up" with its dreamy slide guitar -- and the sound of Alan washing up reminds me to get on with my own day. But it's "If" that stands out to me now, as the moment Roger connects with his Muse: the way people separate from each other, madness, regret, etc. -- his first really vulnerable, heartfelt lyric, and a rather affecting track.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  16. Rufus McDufus

    Rufus McDufus Forum Resident

    Twickenham, UK
    Along with Obscured By Clouds, bits of Meddle, this is the album I now listen to most. I'm completely overplayed on all the others.
  17. The Bishop

    The Bishop Forum Resident

    Clearly one of their best, and a fantastic stepping stone between Ummagumma and Meddle.
  18. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV Forum Resident

    Gilmour: "a load of rubbish. We were at a real down point ... I think we were scraping the barrel a bit at that period... dreadful... Atom Heart Mother sounds like we didn't have any idea between us".

    Waters: "If somebody said to me now – right – here's a million pounds, go out and play Atom Heart Mother, I'd say you must be f*cking joking".

    Gilmour and Waters are correct here.
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  19. Nielsoe

    Nielsoe Forum Resident

    Aalborg, Denmark
    Prior to the 2016 vinyl rereleases I was an early Floyd novice (except from Piper) and I most say I much prefer this to ie Dark Side. I would probably still consider Meddle my favourite but Atom isn't far behind. Also I find More to be underrated. So I voted essential to Floyd fans which it absolutely is.
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  20. yesstiles

    yesstiles Forum Resident

    Good stuff!
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  21. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Member Of The Midnight Society

    Greater St. Louis
    A pretty solid effort. Summer '68 is one of Wright's best songs.
  22. Chrome_Head

    Chrome_Head Forum Resident

    Los Angeles, CA.
    Well, I just picked up an old Harvest edition of this on LP used at the record store literally days ago, and was wondering when we were going to get to this one.

    Just spun both sides over yesterday and today (and I've also listened to the 90's CD for years). Here are my thoughts:

    I think the basic idea of the title song is sound and interesting. I like Gilmour's overall theme, I like the "Funky Dung" section quite a bit. I like less what the choir is doing in some parts here. But I like what the band is doing on the long title track.

    Sounds like Ron Geesin did what he could with it (I believe he had to dub the choir and orchestra over a pre-recorded Floyd track?).

    "Atom Heart Mother", the song, has an epic grandeur as a long track that paves the way for "Echoes" a year later or so. The live version on the recent "Early Years" box set is cool.

    Side B is where this album tanks a bit for me. I've always liked Waters' "If", though it's a bit of a throwaway. Same for Wright's "Summer Of '68"---pleasant but not too memorable, which I think also adequately describes Gilmour's "Fat Old Sun" (though Gilmour has a nice rocking solo at the end of that one).

    "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" I never feel like I got much of a handle on, and it was a track I would often just skip on the CD. Listening to it today, it reminds me a bit of the Grateful Dead in parts, and there are some pleasant-enough musical moments on it but plenty that doesn't make a lasting impression, IMO. And that is just how I would describe this album.

    However, I like the pastoral vibe of it enough to have bought it again once again on LP.

    Naturally, I chose has some good moments, but overall so-so.
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  23. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    NYC Man
    Something of a mixed bag, but much better than "so-so" overall, so I voted "A pretty solid effort - worth recommending"

    My breakdown goes like this:

    "Atom Heart Mother" - an interesting experiment even if it's not the best thing they've ever done. It's a bit awkward in a couple spots. Overall I like it, though, and there are some gorgeous sections. Some parts actually approach the magic of "Echoes". Sometimes it seems more like a Mike Oldfield piece.

    "If" - underrated ballad in my opinion. It's unusually folky and country-influenced for Floyd, but it also has a unique morose quality to it.

    "Summer '68" - another underrated tune in my opinion. Cool psychedelic pop with a nice, mellow, lilting feel, with the driving horn chart as a pleasantly quirky contrast.

    "Fat Old Sun" - forget just calling this one underrated. This is easily one of my favorite Floyd tunes period, although there are live versions of it from this era that I like even more.

    "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" - an experiment that doesn't work overall--the spoken word and sound effects bits are a waste of space, and it's extremely disjointed. But the musical ideas aren't bad as three song fragments in need of further development, and Gilmour's middle section is particularly nice.
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  24. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo No music, no Life

    I didn't give it much attention growing up, so I decided "not to vote" to skew it!

    When it really comes down to it, I'm a huge fan of Meddle, Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here & Animals.

    "The Wall" has it's moments with some killer tracks, but overall find it a bore.
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  25. nojmplease

    nojmplease Forum Resident

    Not an album I come to often, but I have a special place in my heart for Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast. It's the perfect laid-back Sunday wake-up song. I'm surprised at all the hate it is getting here. "Breakfast in Los Angeles...Macrobiotic stuff...Toast, coffee... marmalade, I like marmalade."

    The title track is too long for its own good, and the other three tracks are pleasant but a bit too low-key.
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