Ummagumma review by Pink Floyd

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  • Released: Oct 25, 1969
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 7.9 (24 votes)
Pink Floyd: Ummagumma

Sound — 10
Ummagumma is a 2 disc studio and live album which consists of Pink Floyd going through their transitional period. It features alot of experimental pieces such as Rick Wright's "Sysyphus" (parts 1-4) and Roger Waters "Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict" (I thought 'Set the Controls For The Heart Of The Sun' was a long title). This is a sure album to have if the Floyd is your #1 band.

Lyrics — 10
Disc #1: 01. Sysyphus (Part 1) - a doomsy, powerful instrumental with booming drums. 02. Sysyphus (Part 2) - one of Rick Wright's best piano pieces. Possibly the best instrumental on "Ummagumma." 03. Sysyphus (Part 3) - a very experimental track. Sounds like tools being used for drumsticks and an out of tune piano banging around. Has the little screechy voices used in "Embryo." Decent song. 04. Sysyphus (Part 4) - this track in particular sounds very, very familiar to "Quicksilver" from Music From The Film More. 05. Grantchester Meadows - a beautiful acoustic song. Could be the best track on the album. One of the 2 songs with lyrics. Would have fit in very nicely on "Atom Heart Mother." Wonderful tune. 06. Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict - cool title. Another experimental track and a timeless Pink Floyd classic. Has the little animal voices screaming and the Pict at the end ranting and raving. 07. The Narrow Way (Part 1) - a very beautiful track. The best early song by David Gilmour in my opinion. The second best instrumental on the album. Should be more recognized and is very underrated. 08. The Narrow Way (Part 2) - a very loud, bizarre guitar riff but cool anyways. Very un-Gilmour. Cool instrumental track. 09. The Narrow Way (Part 3) - the best song overall on the album in my opinion. A catchy song. Another underrated, unrecognized track. One of my all-time favorites. 10. The Grand Vizier's Garden Party (Part 1) - a track by Nick Mason which has his wife Lindy on the flute. Too short. 11. The Grand Vizier's Garden Party (Part 3) - all drumming by Nick Mason that is very cool yet experimental. Great track. 12. The Grand Vizier's Garden Party (Part 4) - a reprise of Lindy Mason's flute solo. Too short, just like the first part, but I couldn't think of a better way to close the album. Disc #2: 01. Astronomy Domine - a live version of the legendary Syd Barrett written song. The first time David Gilmour performs the song until "Pulse." 02. Careful With That Axe, Eugene - a classic Pink Floyd song. One of the 2 Pink Floyd songs that give me cold chills (the other is the guitar solo on "Time"). The best track from the live album. 03. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun - the best drumming performance by Nick Mason on the entire live album. Similar to the Saucerful Of Secrets version. Great version. 04. A Saucerful Of Secrets - the best version of this song. Better and more exciting than the Saucerful Of Secrets version. Great performance.

Overall Impression — 10
It is a very worthy Pink Floyd album because of the fact that it features some rare studio material from the early Floyd days. If it were stolen from me, I would definetly buy another. It does not relate to any other Pink Floyd album at all except maybe for More. The best tracks are "Grantchester Meadows," "Sysyphus part 2," "The Narrow Way Part 1," and "The Narrow Way Part 3." Every song is a keeper though and that is why it is a very worthy album.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    the piper
    If anyone has noticed, most of the die hard fans of Pink Floyd who DON'T think Roger Waters was Pink Floyd have listened to some of thier most uncommon albums such as this one and much more of the old ones. The others that think Roger was the band have only head The Wall, which lots of the songs aren't very good or Dark Side of the Moon which is overrated to an alarming degree.
    hardest floyd album to get into, i reckon, apart from perhaps 'the final cut'. 'the narrow way part III' indeed awesome
    It deserves an 8. The live disc is spectacular and the studio disc although its more of just wild experimentation is interesting and I think its worth hearing any band unleash a crazy experimental side.
    A hard album to really get into since the songs are all so different. The live portion of the album really made this for me!
    lol it's funny how few people know that the live disc is not actually live...they just recorded the songs in studio and added the audience cheering after.
    Johnny Blade
    I am a huge floyd fan and i quite like the live disc. but the second disc is too strange 4 me
    I watched live videos of Careful With That Axe Eugene, A Saucerful of Secrets and Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun 1 night then the next day I went in search for this album, didn't end up buying it due to the fact that I paid $20 less for A Saucerful of Secrets & The Final Cut then I would have if I bought this album
    ...but apples&oranges, this album doesn't deserve a 10! The live Disc is indeed spectacular, but of the studio side, only about 1/4 of the sound is worth listening to. a 10 out of 10 album is something you love forever and can listen to start to finish countless time. i'd give the live disc a 5, the studio disc a 2...maybe a 2.5, so i think it deserves 7.5!