Pink Floyd - Ummagumma
NME.COM feature on Pink Floyd - Ummagumma album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.
Release date: 01 March 2003
Tracklisting click track to read more
- Astronomy Domine (Live) (1994 Digital Remaster)
- Careful With That Axe Eugene (Live) (1994 Digital Remaster)
- Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun (Live) (1994 Digital Remaster)
- A Saucerful Of Secrets (Live) (1994 Digital Remaster)
- Sysyphus (Part 1) (1994 Digital Remaster)
- Sysyphus (Part 2) (1994 Digital Remaster)
- Sysyphus (Part 3) (1994 Digital Remaster)
- Sysyphus (Part 4) (1994 Digital Remaster)
- Grantchester Meadows (1994 Digital Remaster)
- Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict (1994 Digital Remaster)
- The Narrow Way (Part 1) (1994 Digital Remaster)
- The Narrow Way (Part 2) (1994 Digital Remaster)
- The Narrow Way (Part 3) (1994 Digital Remaster)
- The Grand Vizier's Garden Party (Entrance) (1994 Digital Remaster)
- The Grand Vizier's Garden Party (Entertainment) (1994 Digital Remaster)
- The Grand Vizier's Garden Party (Exit) (1994 Digital Remaster)
Oh By The Way
- Dec 11, 2007
Classic '60s British spook-rock reissued
- Sep 4, 2007
...the clinical readings of such guitar-laden pomp fests as [B]'Mother'[/B] are so similar to their vinyl ancestors as to be rendered virtually pointless. ..
- Apr 28, 2000
Thorgerson also created sleeves for Biffy Clyro, Led Zeppelin and Muse
Mason steps in to fund the shop where he bought his first kit
Singer ties the knot with his long-time fiancée Laurie Durning
Pink Floyd - Ummagumma: Wikipedia Album Entry
Ummagumma is a double album by Pink Floyd, released in 1969 by Harvest and EMI in the United Kingdom and Harvest and Capitol in the United States. Side A is a live album of their normal set list of the time, while side B contains individual compositions by each member of the band recorded as a studio album.
The album's title supposedly comes from a Cambridge slang word for sex, commonly used by one of Pink Floyd's friends and occasional roadie, Ian "Emo" Moore, who would say 'I'm going back to the house for some Ummagumma'. However, some band members have since stated that the word was "totally made up and means nothing at all". In footage of the band rehearsing for a Royal Albert Hall appearance in 1969, one of the band members can be heard, off camera, quietly chanting the word "ummagumma".
Although the sleeve notes say that the live material was recorded in June 1969, the first disc of Ummagumma was recorded live at Mothers Club, Birmingham, on 27 April 1969 and the following week at Manchester College of Commerce, on 2 May 1969; the second disc included four solo segments, one half-side of vinyl each by, in order: Richard Wright, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, and Nick Mason.
The band had also recorded a live version of "Interstellar Overdrive" (from The Piper at the Gates of Dawn), intended for placement on side one of the live album. The track was dropped at the last minute, some say to maintain the sound fidelity of the record, but numerous test pressings with the original track list were given to friends of the band, including John Peel. Other sources have claimed that the song was dropped because of a conflict over the music publishing rights. (It would have been one of only two songs on the record to include Syd Barrett as a writer.)
The cover shows the members of the band, with a picture hanging on the wall showing the same scene, except the band members have switched positions. The picture on the wall also includes the picture on the wall, creating a recursion effect, with each recursion showing band members exchanging positions. After 4 variations of the scene, the final picture within picture is the cover of the previous Pink Floyd album, A Saucerful of Secrets. The latter, however, is absent from the CD release; instead, the recursion effect is seemingly ad infinitum.
The cover of the original LP varies between the British, American/Canadian, and Australian releases. The British version has the album Gigi leaning against the wall immediately above the "Pink Floyd" letters. At a talk given at Borders bookstore in Cambridge on 1 November 2008, as part of the "City Wakes" project , Storm Thorgerson explained that the album was introduced as a red herring to provoke debate, and that it has no intended meaning. On most copies of American and Canadian editions, the Gigi cover is airbrushed to a plain white sleeve, apparently because of copyright concerns; however the earliest American copies do show the Gigi cover, and it was restored for the American CD edition. On the Australian edition, the Gigi cover is completely airbrushed, not even leaving a white square behind. The house used as the location for the front cover of the album is located in Great Shelford, near Cambridge.
On the rear cover, roadies Alan Stiles and Peter Watts are shown with the band's equipment laid out on a runway at Biggin Hill Airport; a concept proposed by Nick Mason, with the intention of replicating the "exploded" drawings of military aircraft and their payloads, which were popular at the time.
Song titles on the back are laid out slightly differently in British vs. North American editions; the most important difference being the inclusion of sub-titles for the four sections of "A Saucerful of Secrets". These subtitles only appeared on American and Canadian editions of this album, but not on the British edition; nor did they appear on original pressings of A Saucerful of Secrets.
The inner gatefold art shows separate black and white photos of the band members. David Gilmour is seen standing in front of the Elfin Oak. Original vinyl editions showed Waters with his first wife, Jude, but she has been cropped out of the picture on most CD editions. The uncropped picture was restored for the album's inclusion in the box set, Oh, by the Way.
The album was released in the United Kingdom on 25 October 1969 and then in the US on 10 November 1969. The album reached number five on the UK album charts and number 74 on the US album charts, marking the first time the band reached the top 100 in the US. The album was certified Gold in the US in February 1974 and Platinum in March 1994. In 1987, the album was re-released on a two CD set. A digitally re-mastered version was released in 1994 in the UK and 1995 in the US.
The CD edition includes a longer version of "Sysyphus"—extended to 13:26, with the movements lasting 1:08, 3:30, 1:49, and 6:59. The original "Part 1" of "Sysyphus" was split into two tracks and called "Part 1" and "Part 2". "Part 2" on vinyl became "Part 3" on CD, and "Part 3" and "Part 4" were combined into the CD's "Part 4" (the original "Part 4" begins with the lengthy orchestral thud.) "The Narrow Way" and "The Grand Vizier's Garden Party" were also split into their three parts for easier navigation.
# In the "Weird Al" Yankovic mockumentary, The Compleat Al, Al is trying to describe the synchronicities between famous rock albums and "ancient astronauts". He holds up an Ummagumma LP and jokingly says, "Remember this? Well, I did a little research and found out that "Ummagumma" is actually an ancient word for: 'We're running out of ideas for songs, help us.'"
# MFSL announced their plans to release Ummagumma on their ultrasound series, but later withdrew those stating that the master tapes were below quality.
# After Pink Floyd's 16 May 1970 performance at The Warehouse in New Orleans, the equipment shown on the rear cover of Ummagumma was stolen. The remaining concerts on this US tour were cancelled. After the theft, and the Grateful Dead's drug bust after their 31 January 1970 performance, also at The Warehouse; New Orleans was shunned by most rock bands for the first half of the 1970s. The Grateful Dead would not play in New Orleans for another 10 years. Pink Floyd wouldn't play there for another 24 years.
# The original intention of the band with the live album was to release those songs and then stop playing them. However, with the popularity of the album, the public kept wanting to hear songs from the live album, and so they stayed in their set lists for some time.
# Part 3 of "The Grand Vizier's Garden Party" is among the shortest Pink Floyd studio recordings ever released. Only "Stop", which was 0:30, from The Wall, and "A New Machine (Part 2)", which was 0:38, from A Momentary Lapse of Reason, are of equal or shorter length.
# This album, More, Atom Heart Mother, and Obscured by Clouds were the only Floyd studio albums to not be represented on Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd
# The sequencing of the studio album later inspired the arrangement for the Minutemen double album Double Nickels on the Dime.
"What was your inspiration for The Narrow Way (on Ummagumma) your first major Floyd composition?"
"Well, we'd decided to make the damn album, and each of us to do a piece of music on our own... it was just desperation really, trying to think of something to do, to write by myself. I'd never written anything before, I just went into a studio and started waffling about, tacking bits and pieces together. I haven't heard it in years. I've no idea what it's like." - David Gilmour - Sounds "Guitar Heroes" Magazine, May 1983
"What do you think of your early records like Atom Heart Mother and Ummagumma today?"
"I think both are pretty horrible. Well, the live disc of Ummagumma might be all right, but even that isn't recorded well." - David Gilmour — Der Spiegel No. 23 - 5 June 1995
"When you listen to Ummagumma, you get the feeling that each one of you is doing his own music, not caring much about the others."
"That's right. I can't be precise, but we were very individualistic at the time." - Nick Mason — March 1973
"The back of Ummagumma comes from something Nick Mason did". - Storm Thorgerson - Guitar World - February 1998
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Lime and limpid green, a second scene
A fight between the blue you once knew
Floating down, the sound resounds
Around the icy waters underground
Little by little the night turns around
Counting the leaves which tremble at dawn
Lotus's lean on each other in yearning
Over the hills a swallow is resting
(waters, wright, mason, gilmour)......(instrumental)
Icy wind of night, be gome.
This is not your domain.
In the sky a bird was heard to cry.
Misty morning whisperings and gentle stirring sounds