Pink Floyd – Obscured by Clouds (1972)

The period between 1969 and 1972 is often overlooked in the history of Pink Floyd, as it fell right between the Syd Barrett era of the band and the post-Dark Side of The Moon era. However, it was during this period that the band were evolving musically and developing a different sound from their earlier releases. One of the albums from this period that stands is “Obscured by Clouds”, an album that was released in 1972 which also served as the soundtrack for the French film La Velle. This album is significant historically because it was on this album, as well as their previous release Meddle where the world got a glimpse of the progressive rock sound that would make them global superstars, in fact the band had already started recording “Dark Side of The Moon” during the recording of Obscured by Clouds. The band by this time were clearly moving away from the more experimental psychedelic sound of the Syd Barrett era and were beginning to experiment with a more rock sound that included the prominent use of guitar, as well as dreamy “space” like keyboards. The band did a good job on this album weaving together these two key components of their newer sound, especially on the instrumental tracks, with David Gilmour’s space-like guitar screeching over the top of some beautiful organ and keyboard playing by Richard Wright. This album also sees song-writing credits shared on seven of the ten tracks, suggesting that at this stage there was still creative harmony amongst the band members, before Roger Waters took more control over song-writing on future releases. The standout track for me on this album is “Wot’s…Uh the Deal?” with it’s beautiful flowing melody accompanied by gentle piano, as well as a scorching lap steel guitar solo. A song that in my opinion is one of the Floyds best ever songs and definitely one of their most beautiful melodically. All in all this album is a solid effort with some quite beautiful moments amongst a couple of weaker tracks, while as an album it does not discredit the bands reputation in anyway, sitting nicely alongside their more well known albums. “Obscured by Clouds” is well worth a listen if you are an avid Floyd fan, and could also be a good place to start if you have heard “The Wall” and “Dark Side of The Moon” but would like to explore more of Pink Floyds music.

– Sam

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