℗ 2016 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Pink Floyd Music Ltd., marketed and distributed by Sony Music Entertainment
The first half with the live recordings is pretty good, classic psychedelic Pink Floyd. Now the second half is basically just an experimental noise compilation with only two actual songs mixed in. I’d suggest just sticking with the first half.
One of the first albums I bought and was really most attracted to album cover and subsequent alone time listening the entire repertoire of songs being played...even then at my youthful age I knew I was listening to a musical experiment...it was a fun time indeed...😎
This is actually a beautiful example of the saying "United we stand, divided we fall". Pink Floyd is a fantastic band, but having each of the members compose nearly 15 minutes of music (if you can even call it that) by themselves was not the brightest idea these musicians ever came up with. Great band when composing together... utter crap when they do something like this... The only redeeming qualities of this album would be the first half of their live performances and maybe some of Gilmour's work on the second half of the album. Everything else will just dilute any favorable opinion you may have of Pink Floyd.
This album is of a weak point in Pink Floyd's history. On one hand, or should I say disc, there are amazing live versions of four of their early songs; Astronomy Domine, Careful With That Axe, Eugene, Set the Controls For the Heart of the Sun, and A Saucerful Of Secrets. On the other LP there is all new studio work that each member writes by himself, each making about 15 minutes of music, or in some cases, noise. Here I will rate all the songs. Disc 1: Astronomy Domine (Live) 7.5/10: My favorite song from their debut album has now been extended 2x (note that Syd Barrett is not in this version) and is very interesting, to say the least. Although in my opinion, the studio version is better, as it is shorter and less boring (especially in the middle), it still is very well made. Careful With That Axe, Eugene (Live) 9.5/10: The B-Side of the non-charting single Point Me At The Sky was made to be a live track, and it was until 1973. This far exceeds the studio version, in which it is longer and more suspenseful. If you want the studio version, get it on Relics, and if you want a re-recording of up, look up Zabriskie Point. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun (Live) 8/10: They really like extending their songs when playing live! Again, far exceeds the studio version without a doubt. A Saucerful Of Secrets (Live) 9.5/10: I can't put into words how much better this version is. There is less noise, which I like, but the last part, Celestial Voices, is extended and sounds so much better, with David Gilmour singing instead of a choir. This isn't only better than the studio version, but in my opinion is probably the best version I've listened to so far. Disc 2: Sysyphus 2/10: This is the worst Pink Floyd song that exists. Every part of it, especially part 3, is horrible. I know it's supposed to sound like the torment of Sysyphus (look up his story) but it's just so bad. You cannot put this under rock or any genre, even classical. This is Richard Wrights solo composition by the way. Grantchester Meadows 10/10: I love the peaceful quality of this track by Roger Waters. Definitely the best off of this album. Several Species of Blah Blah Blah: 3/10: The other Roger Waters composition is hilarious at best. The sound effects of animals making noises and scurrying along with the Scottish accent makes for something I can't even consider a song. But it's not as bad as Sysyphus. The Narrow Way 7/10: You have to give credit to David Gilmour for trying to make the most normal composition on this album. But even though the 1st part is nice and peaceful, it gets overshadowed by the hard rocking section known as pt 2. Then, there's the song that is the only one to have lyrics besides Grantchester, which is pt 3. Although many people like this song the best off of Ummagumma, I don't like it at all. The way he says the words sound weird and it's pretty boring. The Grand Vizier's Garden Party 4/10: Using only percussion and tape loops of percussion, Nick Mason pulled off a composition, that again, I cannot call a song. In fact, when listening to part of it on my earbuds, I thought that the speakers broke. Pretty Good Album, nonetheless, and if this is the worst one, then we have a good thing coming the rest of the way.
Split between a live album and an experimental album, umaguma comes off as schizophrenic. This is where the band was trying to find a footing without Syd Barrett leading them. Still, the live tracks are the real reason this album is awesome. Astronomy Dominate is way ahead of its time as well as Careful with that axe Eugene. The studio recordings are a bit lackluster in a lot of parts however. All in all it's still one of my favorite of the early Floyd era. If only for the live tracks.
This is a funny story about the Pink Floyd Song Embryo. I was listening to the song Embryo one day and my sister said "is that music from the Nightmare Before Christmas"? And I said no, It's Pink Floyd. I guess that song kind of does sound like the song Jack Skelington sings after he gets shot down on christmas eve. ever since then the song Embryo has reminded me of Nightmare before Christmas.
The 36 minutes of live songs is worth the $9.99. If you aren't aware, the rest of the album is solo work from all 4 musicians. Roger's work is the strangest, but I've somewhat grown to like "Several Species of Small..." and "Grandchester Meadows" is not bad. "The Narrow Way pt. 3" is very good. I like Rick and Nick's work as well, but it's a bit strange considering the lack of singing or variety. Overall, as a fan of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Saucerful of Secrets I can strongly recommend Ummugumma.
Pink Floyd is my all time favorite band and Ummagumma is the only album I hate by them. This is hands down their worst work; most of it is just obnoxious noise. The Narrow Way Pt. 3 is the only enjoyable track on the album. It's interesting to see how the band could've evolved after four albums but fortunately they recognized their mistake and moved their efforts elsewhere. After this we get Atom Heart Mother a much better piece, then again, anything is better than Ummagumma...