Pink Floyd was formed in 1965 in London, England but the guitarist and singer David Gilmour only joined the group two years later in 1967. Before he became a member the group had experienced some moderate success especially in their country with the inventive tracks composed by Syd Barrett.
But it was after the groundbreaking album “Dark Side Of The Moon” released in 1973 that the band achieved global stardom and became one of the best-selling groups in the history of music.
Over the decades the band released 15 studio albums and among the fans there is a lot of discussion about which era is the best one. It turns out that even the band members are not big fans of everything Pink Floyd did. David Gilmour revealed in an interview with B. Pinnell back in 1988, that there are two albums that are not among his favorite ones. Rock and Roll Garage selected what the musician said about them throughout the years.
The 2 Pink Floyd albums that David Gilmour is not a big fan of
“Atom Heart Mother”
Released in 1970, “Atom Heart Mother” was the fourth Pink Floyd to featured David Gilmour. Even though it was the third one without Syd Barrett, Gilmour believes the band was still trying at the time to find a musical path to pursue. Talking with Mojo magazine in 2001, he said it might have been Floyd’s lowest point artistically.
“We didn’t know where we were going in terms of recording. But we were pretty good live. We were very good at jamming. But we couldn’t translate that onto record. Gradually, a direction revealed itself to us. A line that began with the ‘Saucerful of Secrets’ track all the way to ‘Echoes’, via the long piece ‘Atom Heart Mother'”.
“That was a good idea but it was dreadful. I listened to that album recently. God, it’s shit, possibly our lowest point artistically. ‘Atom Heart Mother’ sounds like we didn’t have any idea between us. But we became much more prolific after it,” David Gilmour said.
Ever since it’s release, the album became a cult-classic for the fans of the band. Besides the title-track, “Summer ’68”, ‘Fat Old Sun” and “Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast” are songs that are often remembered.
As pointed by The Word magazine in 2008, David Gilmour once said: “All I’ve ever tried to do is play music I like listening to. Some of it now, like ‘Atom Heart Mother’, strikes me as absolute crap. I no longer want or have to play stuff I don’t enjoy”.
He performed a track of the album live on his solo career
But in 2008 he performed the track at the Cadogan Hall in Chelsea and included “Fat Old Sun” on the setlist of several solo tours he did over the decades.
He talked about that song with Uncut in 2017 and recalled how easily it was written. “It’s one of those songs where the whole thing fell together very easily. I remember thinking at the time, ‘What have I ripped this off? I’m sure it’s by the Kinks or someone.’ But since whenever it was – 1968, ’69 – no one has ever yet said, ‘It’s exactly like this.’ It’s a nice lyric, I’m very happy with that,” David Gilmour said.
It’s not only Gilmour who is not a big fan of “Atom Heart Mother”. The band’s co-founder Roger Waters also said many times he thought they could have done better at the time.
Released in 1969, one year before “Atom Heart Mother”, “Ummagumma” is a double album with original tracks recorded in studio and live versions of previously released songs.
During the last years, the band’s drummer Nick Mason even created his own group named after the track “Saucerful Of Secrets” to tour. They perform those tracks from the first albums that are not often played by Waters and Gilmours when they are on the road.
Even though the album is praised by many fans and has other famous songs, Gilmour is also not a big fan of the record. Talking with Rolling Stone in 2011, he described that era of the band and said that many times they inspiration was not very accurate for what they were doing at the moment.
“We were fairly brave, and would put anything on a record that amused us one way or another. But in some of those moments we were floundering about. (We) didn’t have our forward momentum very clear, and inspiration might have been a bit thin on the ground at times,” David Gilmour said.
The band was still trying to find a musical path
Even though it was his third album with the band and the second one without Syd Barrett, the musician said that the group was still trying to figure out the direction they would go musically.
In an interview with John Edginton back in 2001 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage), he said that his guitar style was very different from how Syd Barrett used to play. Also stated that at the beginning he had to adapt to the band. But the group also had to adapt to his playing to make everything work.
“In the beginning I had to quickly adapt to them. Play stuff that I had no clue what I was doing, it was probably dreadful. It was also excruciatingly embarrasing to the extent that I used to mostly play with back to the audience.”
“I was very embarrassed and nervous about what I was doing. Also, I didn’t feel so sure of myself, I didn’t know what to play. I had to try and play on these songs. (Also these) sort of templates that the band and Syd had been playing on for some time. I was conscious that I needed at some point try and make it more my own,” David Gilmour said.
At the time of it’s release, the track “A Saucerful Of Secrets” reached number nine in the United Kingdom charts. But did not chart in the United States.