portrait of this blog's author - by Stephen Blackman 2008

Thursday, October 26, 2017

On this day in music history: October 25, 1969 - “Ummagumma”, the fourth album by Pink Floyd is released (US release is on November 10, 1969). Produced by Pink Floyd and Norman Smith, it is recorded at the Mothers Club in Birmingham, UK on April 27, 1969, Manchester College of Commerce in Manchester, UK on May 2, 1969 (live tracks), and Abbey Road Studios in London in June 1969. The nine track double album by the UK progressive rock band consists of four tracks from their then current live set list and five newly recorded tracks in the studio. The albums’ title comes from a Pink Floyd roadie who describes it as a euphemism for “sex”. Though the album is well received by fans and critics, though the band themselves later admit to not being fond of it, feeling it to be to be “excessive” and “a failed experiment”, especially the studio half. The original LP cover art features a photo of the band with a picture hanging on a wall of them in the same pose but with everyone in a different place. The photo is also notable as it shows a copy of the “Gigi” soundtrack album on the floor next to guitarist David Gilmour. The US and Canadian covers is airbrushed white on subsequent re-pressings (over copyright concerns). The cover art is eventually restored when it is reissued on CD. Reissued numerous times over the years, the album is most recently remastered and reissued on CD in 2011. It is also reissued as a double vinyl 180 gram LP set in 2016, replicating the original UK album packaging. “Ummagumma” peaks at number five on the UK album chart, number seventy four on the Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

The third of the five Floyd Albums I bought upon release and a favourite on the turntable back then but sounds rather hackneyed and trite and full of cliche now. I left them at 'Meddle' and didn't buy 'Dark Side . . .' for reasons we have discussed elsewhere. 
'Careful with that Axe Eugene' remains a favourite despite it's dated appeals now and rumour has it we were at 'Mothers' in Birmingham when it was recorded but I have no memory of this (sic!) I am almost certain we saw them at Alley Palley back in the day but would need to check the detail . . . . . it's a long story!

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