A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)

     After Pink Floyd's early success, lead member Syd Barrett began to have apparent drug and mental issues.  Syd's childhood friend David Gilmour joined the band on guitar and vocals and  the remainder of the year would see Syd moving out of the band's sound and David and Roger becoming the primary songwriters.
  • Roger Waters – bass guitar, percussion, vocals
  • David Gilmour – guitars, vocals
  • Richard Wright – piano, Farfisa organ, Hammond spinet organ, Mellotron, vibraphone, xylophone
  • Nick Mason – drums, percussion
  • Syd Barrett – electric and acoustic guitars, vocals ("Jugband Blues")
     Pink Floyd's first single for 1968 (in April) is nowadays largely disowned by the band members, as this record was apparently an attempt at charting a hit single (and leaves out the more "challenging" elements of the band's style).  It does, however feature David Gilmour's first lead vocal performance on the B-side.
It Would Be So Nice
Vocals: Rick/Roger/David
(David on Gtr)
0:00: Opening chorus fanfare, playful/whimsical march verse with various textural/humorous ornaments, bridge with added echo effects.
1:21: Chorus, March, Bridge.
2:52: Chorus vamp fade out.
Julia Dream
Vocals: David/Roger/Rick
(David on Gtr)
0:00: Pastoral flute-like Mellotron and acoustic guitar under somewhat morose/plaintive verse.
1:06: Synth bridge.
1:25: Verse resumes, leads to distant fade out with weird echoey samples.

     Most of the lead vocals on Pink Floyd's second full length, "A Saucerful of Secrets", were shared between Rick and David, with one song each from Roger and Syd.  On this record, their sound moved towards "exploratory jamming" sequences, bookended by thematic opening and ending sequences (much as is done in jazz).  The title track, "A Saucerful of Secrets", sees the band approaching longer, cinematic forms, possibly inspired by programmatic classical music forms (however with abstract textures firmly in mind).  The last song, "Jugband Blues", would include fairly avant-garde sound collage elements and feature Syd's last contribution to the band.
A Saucerful Of Secrets
Let There Be More Light
Vocals: Rick/David/Roger
(David on Gtr)
0:00: Syncopated bass groove with cymbals, hypnotic ethnic organ (panning).
1:15: Dirge chant/organ rhythm alternating with chorus with chromatic tail.
3:25: Guitar solo over dirge groove, rhythm varies dynamics as second guitar and organ joins in background.
Remember a Day
Vocals: Rick/Syd
(Syd on Gtr)
0:00: Slide guitar/piano over slow triplet rhythm, then faster march rhythm with verse, alternating with relaxed piano/acoustic guitar interludes.
1:38: Relaxed bridge with strummed guitar and tremolo piano, then back to more verse groove with slide guitar noises, bass ornaments and vocal effects.
2:42: Vocal verse/piano interlude structure resumes interrupted by another bridge cadence (3:09), ending in wah wah guitar solo and vocal ornaments.
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
Vocals: Roger
(David and Syd on Gtr)
0:00: Theme in bass, supported by vibraphone/low drums, vocal joins bass and theme modulates, joined by synth.
2:14: Vamp on "heart of the sun" fragment with Farfisa organ solo.
3:15: Full theme returns in bass joined by seagulls and vocals, vibes, etc, modulation.
4:12: "Heart of the sun" vamp with more synth and bird sounds, tribal drums, brief ending guitar solo.
Corporal Clegg
Vocals: David/Nick/Rick
(David on Gtr)
0:00: Heavy guitar riff over lumbering drums with chiming 2nd guitars, sneering/mocking vocals.
0:44: Bridge, leading to chorus with sympathetic harmony vocals and wah wah guitar accents.
1:22: Oompah march with kazoo theme.
1:48: Opening guitar and sneering vocals return.
2:25: Chorus, kazoo oompah, collaged voices and bugle calls, ending in noise texture.
A Saucerful of Secrets
Vocals: David/Rick
(David on Gtr)
0:00: Something Else: Textural percussion rumbling, rattling, joined by eerie organ/piano string strums, eventually adding some distant guitar textures, growing in intensity with tremolo bursts.
3:58: Syncopated Pandemonium: Tribal drums and dissonant low piano accents/processed slide guitar textures, various concrete effects and more varied piano cluster accents.
7:05: Storm Signal: Low rumbling joined by eerie organ layers, rattling chimes, rumbling fades, siren call.
8:37: Celestial Voices: Slow, somewhat processional organ harmony, with subtle dissonant textures in high register, joined by choir vocals and additional synth layers, developed with brief slide guitar ornaments near the end, ending on major key cadence.
See Saw
Vocals: Rick/David
(David on Gtr)
0:00: Acoustic guitar and organ driven triplet rhythm, then brief interlude with even accents, then back to triplet groove with layered vocals and organ, panning, echo effects.
0:50 2nd verse with added organ, piano ornaments, panning. echo effecs.
1:43: Bridge with lighter textures.
2:20 Verse triplet rhythm, accent interlude, triplet rhythm, panning, echo effects.
3:09: Bridge, fade out.
Jugband Blues
Vocals: Syd
(Syd on Gtr)
0:00: Acoustic guitar with playful vocal, percussion, reverb effects.
0:38: Heavier accents in rhythm with castanets.
1:05: Brass figures (S.A. band) enter over new accented rhythm, joined by "lala" choir, becoming a collage of drones/brass band and guitar.
2:23: Acoustic guitar and voice with reverb.

     The last single from 1968 in December is notable for including "Careful With That Axe, Eugene", which would become a staple of their more jam-oriented live shows during these early years.
Point Me at the Sky
Vocals: David/Roger/Rick
(David on Gtr)
0:00: Organ-driven hymn, psychedelic guitar groove with various vocal filters.
1:18: Hymnal texture resumes, then groove with added slide guitar.
2:07: Relaxed texture with bass lead, returns to psychedelic groove, reverbs out.
Careful with That Axe, Eugene
Vocals: Roger/David
(David on Gtr)
0:00: Bass octave vamp with vibraphone ornaments, cymbals, organ lead, joined by guitar swells, eventually becomes pulsed groove, screams and keening become distant guitar howls.
3:30 Guitar arpeggios develop a brief harmony progression over pedal bass, eventually dynamics level out.
4:58: Ends with vocalizations over cymbals.

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