You shouldn’t expect every musician to make the same classic album every time they walk into the studio. Nobody has a perfect average, and you’re bound to want to switch things up and give your listeners something different that they wouldn’t normally expect from you. It’s always nice when it works, but the downfall of these albums is shocking given the pedigree at work here.
These aren’t just some of the worst albums by rock and roll standards… they may be some of the worst records released by mainstream artists. You’d expect that for someone who was a flash in the pan, but hearing him come out of bands we know can get a lot more stings. Even though we want to cheer on these bands most of the time, there are times on each of these records where you’ll start to wonder why you thought these bands were good in the first place, either going in a new direction that nobody wanted hearing or deepening one’s own cynicism that it is difficult for us to care.
Then again, no band can be stuck like this forever, and most of these bands were able to bounce off these, coming up with more classic records down the line and leaving them in the past. For a few brief moments though, he felt like all the magic they had created over the years had been harnessed for good.
There is clearly a clear separation in the Pink Floyd discography between their psychedelic sounds and the gods of progressive rock. Around the time Syd Barrett left the band, you can hear the band trying to come to terms with their loss in any way they can, whether it’s on long tangents or writing songs that attempt to capture the same kind of fancy that Syd might. Progressive music is about taking risks, and before we had songs like Echoes, we had to give everyone the right to be weird on Ummagumma.
While the first half of this record plays like a pretty decent live record with songs like Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, the back half is where it all gets thrown out the window, with each band member contributing their own avant-garde rock piece. in the mix. It may have been on their minds after playing different shows with Frank Zappa, but the actual music here is the wrong kind of experimentation, as songs like Sysyphus and Several Species of Small Furry Animals sound like the band trying to make noise rather than write a real coherent song.
Even though David Gilmour’s contribution on this album is a decent look at avant-garde sounds, he also doesn’t have many warm feelings towards this record, thinking they haven’t had enough time. in the studio to actually do something decent. Losing Syd wasn’t going to be easy, and that’s essentially the value of a growing pains album spanning almost an hour and a half.