Monday

Pink Floyd

The Complete Zabriskie Point Sessions - 1969

The six year span of Pink Floyd's career between Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Dark Side of the Moon is a meandering, often treacherous stretch of road. That's not to say that it didn't show some signs of promise, and here and there, occasional glimpses at the brilliance that was on the horizon. Commissioned to record ambient sections of soundtrack music for Michaelangelo Antonioni's film Zabriskie Point, the band took full advantage of their studio allowance to not only record a wealth of material that would signal a shift toward pastoral folk of Meddle and Obscured By Clouds, but to demo rough sketches of tunes that would turn up on Dark Side of the Moon a couple of years later. With the effects of their acid-drenched Syd Barrett period still lingering, it's not surprising that a few brief slices of self-indulgence pop up here and there, but overall The Complete Zabriskie Point Sessions is an exciting listen, if not a completely captivating one from end to end. Had the fat been trimmed and a few overdubs thrown on for good measure, these sessions would have resulted in their first great album of the post-Barrett Floyd. On it’s own terms, it’s still an essential document in tracing the evolution of one of psychedelic rock’s all-time greats.

9 comments:

JBL said...

Say, JR, don't you mean 6 years between Piper & Dark Side?
While that road is a meandering one, and essentially traverses two completely different bands, there is much to be enjoyed there- Meddle, the short songs from Atom Heart Mother, and about half of Obscured by Clouds...

Zabrieskie Point is to my ears cut from the same cloth as "More", with a bit less hippie freakout & more pastoral jamming.

I had some of this already from the whatever anniversary edition of the soundtrack released about a decade ago--but even some of the stuff from that sounds different here.

One side note, I don't know if you've seen it but Zabrieskie Point the movie was awful--even for a Sixties Artifact it was incoherent and ugly.

As always JR, you're giving us the good stuff. Thanks.

JR HeatWarp said...

Bah! 6 years indeed. Thanks for the fact checking, JBL. You're always keeping me on my on top of my game.

I'll need to get a copy of the More soundtrack AND try take another shot at wrapping my ears around Atom Heart Mother. I figured they'd sound similar to this since they're all of the same period.

As always, thanks for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

While writing the Nucelus comment, I listened to Zabriskie Point. It came across my way several times, but I never tried it, because I couldn´t believe there was anything worthy from Pink Floyd I didn´t know by now. What a mistake.
Your right, with a little bit of spiffing up this could make one of the better Floyd albums. I would trade every song from the second side of Atom Heart Mothers for this.
Especially the piano/vibraphone sketches are very nice. I always thought "Us and them" being to long for a song with so little substance on Dark side of the Moon. In most listening sessions the album ended here for me. Here (Track 2, Piano sequence) it just glides by and time doesn´t matter.
Thanks for posting.

Manfred

Anonymous said...

Lovely stuff. Thankyou. x

Anonymous said...

The link appears to have expired. Would it be possible to upload it again? I am rediscovering early PF...

Thanks
D

JR HeatWarp said...

Thanks for the heads up on the expired link, D. I'll re-up this one within the next few days, so do stop back!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for re-uploading the files. Just downloading them now...

D

AMP said...

Thanks a lot for this. I also picked up that anniversary OST when it came out. Heart Beat Pig Meat snice! Can't wait to check this out.

Anonymous said...

Any PF record up to 1972 is certainly worth listening.
In fact More and Zabriskie Point OST/Sessions are some of my favourites. I also like the Obscured by Clouds very much.
Regarding the ZP sessions: absolutely fantastic sound quality, until then only the bad sounding OMAY YAD B-LP had some outtakes from that period. Sadly the so called Fingals Cave and the different, even more ambient sounding One One is not featured on this brilliant collection here. If so, this would simply be perfect...

Thanks for all the great "alternative" postings (Beefheart, Dylan ...)

mike-floyd