Ummagumma discussion thread

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Ummagumma discussion thread

Post by The Silver Lining » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:07 am

I don't think there's any albums where so many people disagree about so many different things as this one.

- Some people loathe it, others think it's a brilliant piece of experimental work.
- Some people prefer the live disk, others prefer the studio disk.
- Each of the studio album songs individually has a lot of haters and "likers".
- The lack of concept is no problem to some people, to other people it is a complete deal breaker.

Personally, I don't think it is a great album when you compare it to Pink Floyd's other albums, but I love listening to it. The dynamics are quite amazing, going from utter insanity in Sysyphus to beautiful, simple music in Grantchester Meadows, to a nice (and fairly crazy) rock song with The Narrow Way. I really don't like Nick's part on the album, but other than that, I think it's a superb listen. Sysyphus is definitely my favorite song on the album.

The live disk is something I don't really care for. I think Live in Pompeii has the same things to offer, with much better performances and sound quality.
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Re: Ummagumma discussion thread

Post by Straw » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:03 pm

The studio side is near unlistenable, to me anyway. The live side is what makes this album one of my favourites.

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Re: Ummagumma discussion thread

Post by Artisan » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:02 pm

In my wrong little opinion...
The live side is perfect. Best part is the ending of A Saucerful Of Secrets (Celestial Voices? Can't remember the subtitles).
The studio side is iffy. Better than disc 2 of The Wall but by how much? The Narrow Way is great, and Grantchester Meadows is good, but the rest I don't like.
It doesn't have Hey You on it, so I listen to the album occasionally.
Probably far towards the bottom of my rankings, but I still enjoy it from time to time.

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Re: Ummagumma discussion thread

Post by Alec Taylor » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:30 pm

The live side is outstanding. I can see the comparisons to Live at Pompeii, as they have similar track listings. Pompeii has better sound quality and "Echoes", but it also has "Seamus" and not "Astronomy Domine". And the Ummagumma version of "Careful with That Axe, Eugene" will always be the prime version. I found a bootleg of "Interstellar Overdrive" that came from the same shows as the others but was left off due to space constraints and put it back on there myself, and it really rounds out the live side nicely.

The studio side is spotty. I love "Sysyphus" (or at least the first two parts), and "The Narrow Way" is pretty cool too. It's always reminded me of "Rain in the Country" from Zabriskie Point (which I actually heard before this one). "Grantchester Meadows" is alright, but drags on way too long. The other two annoy me.
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Re: Ummagumma discussion thread

Post by Dyolf » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:37 pm

The live portion is excellent and serves as a rare glimpse into the early post-Syd Floyd as a live band. The studio side, although is now regarded as being rather crappy, is a thing of its time. It's experimental. It's quirky. It's a bit of a mess. It's all these things but it had to be done. Personally I only ever listen to "The Narrow Way".
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Re: Ummagumma discussion thread

Post by quicksilver » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:47 pm

I pretty much echo Dyolf thoughts. The Narrow Way and Grantchester meadows are good. They also recorded The Embryo around this time and I wonder why that wasn't included.
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Re: Ummagumma discussion thread

Post by Dyolf » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:53 pm

quicksilver wrote:I pretty much echo Dyolf thoughts. The Narrow Way and Grantchester meadows are good. They also recorded The Embryo around this time and I wonder why that wasn't included.
I believe the version of "The Embryo" or "Embryo" (whichever it is) included on Works was only a demo and not meant to be released. At least that's what I have in the depths of my memory. I couldn't say where I read / heard that.
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Re: Ummagumma discussion thread

Post by Lady Floydian » Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:15 pm

The Embryo was actually meant to be released, as they did it a lot on tour in 1970-1971, and they weren't known for doing songs live that either weren't already on that album or weren't going to be part of an upcoming album, but much like The Travel Sequence, it ended up getting shelved for something else, though what that something else was, I'm not sure. It's a shame it never saw the light of day, not properly anyway, because I have more than a few blistering versions of it, particularly when they performed it on the BBC in 1971 (part of the Meddled bootleg).
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Re: Ummagumma discussion thread

Post by The Silver Lining » Wed Sep 23, 2015 7:40 am

I'm curious, LF... Did they never play any songs live, and then decide to simply not use them for an album because the crowd ended up not liking them much? I know that they often changed and optimized their songs a lot (such as pretty much all songs on Animals), but I don't know of any songs that were simply dropped out on grounds of "not good enough".

You might know more though, since you have heard a lot of bootlegs. :)
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Re: Ummagumma discussion thread

Post by Dyolf » Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:46 am

Well The Embryo does share a lot of elements with Echoes....
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Re: Ummagumma discussion thread

Post by Straw » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:37 am

Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict not only has the stupidest name in history, but is probably the stupidest song in history.

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Re: Ummagumma discussion thread

Post by Lady Floydian » Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:31 am

The Silver Lining wrote:I'm curious, LF... Did they never play any songs live, and then decide to simply not use them for an album because the crowd ended up not liking them much? I know that they often changed and optimized their songs a lot (such as pretty much all songs on Animals), but I don't know of any songs that were simply dropped out on grounds of "not good enough".

You might know more though, since you have heard a lot of bootlegs. :)
Off the top of my head, no. I don't think editorial decisions like that were left up to the crowd anyway; I think if the band themselves didn't like it, irrespective of what the audience thought, they'd shelve it. Going through the setlists of their earlier concerts, you see songs that were turned into other songs (In 1969, they toured with a suite called The Man and the Journey, which later became parts of Ummagumma, the rest comprising parts of earlier albums.), but I don't see anything that outright never saw the light of day beyond that.
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Re: Ummagumma discussion thread

Post by Straw » Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:52 pm

This page (http://www.setlist.fm/stats/pink-floyd-13d6adc5.html), which I think I have posted on here before, is a really good recourse for that kind of exact question. I think its pretty reliable too, I have no reason to believe it isn't.

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Re: Ummagumma discussion thread

Post by Lady Floydian » Wed Sep 23, 2015 3:36 pm

Straw wrote:This page (http://www.setlist.fm/stats/pink-floyd-13d6adc5.html), which I think I have posted on here before, is a really good recourse for that kind of exact question. I think its pretty reliable too, I have no reason to believe it isn't.
Well, for more recent concerts I can see its usefulness, but if we're talking about concerts from 40 years ago, unless you were there or own a bootleg of the show, you're not going to know the setlist in order to upload it.
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Re: Ummagumma discussion thread

Post by Straw » Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:38 am

Lady Floydian wrote:
Straw wrote:This page (http://www.setlist.fm/stats/pink-floyd-13d6adc5.html), which I think I have posted on here before, is a really good recourse for that kind of exact question. I think its pretty reliable too, I have no reason to believe it isn't.
Well, for more recent concerts I can see its usefulness, but if we're talking about concerts from 40 years ago, unless you were there or own a bootleg of the show, you're not going to know the setlist in order to upload it.
Most of them provide sources, and I don't think the staff would just allow people to add random songs without a source.

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Re: Ummagumma discussion thread

Post by quicksilver » Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:21 pm

Straw wrote:This page (http://www.setlist.fm/stats/pink-floyd-13d6adc5.html), which I think I have posted on here before, is a really good recourse for that kind of exact question. I think its pretty reliable too, I have no reason to believe it isn't.
The list seems to be pretty solid. The only glaring oversight I found is that the list ignores Raving and Drooling and You 've Got to Be Crazy in '74 & '75 and mistakingly lists them Sheep & Dogs. Not the end of the world but definately an oversight for a list that someone went to great detail to catalog. The combination of those songs upsets the total number of times played.
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Re: Ummagumma discussion thread

Post by Alec Taylor » Wed Jul 13, 2016 10:15 pm

I just want to say that, while working on Coral Condensation (パート 11), I made myself more familiar with "Sysyphus" (since it was the basis for "wright1"). I just want to say that the first half of "Sysyphus (Part II)" is some absolutely fantastic piano work. It sounds like it would be right at home on some compilation CD of classical piano music.
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Re: Ummagumma discussion thread

Post by Artisan » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:15 am

I do agree on the first half of Sysyphus 2. I wouldn't have minded if that style took up the whole thirteen minute run time. Now I like formless noise generally (because even I can play that), but I just feel that it doesn't work on the rest of the song. I just expected more from Rick, I guess. His solo piece should have been a lot better. It's an interesting experiment, and I don't think I can call it a failed one... but I still stand by my review in the "worst songs" thread. Still miles better than... well, I don't need to say it.

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