Atom Heart Mother (17:10)

Cover of Dark Side of the Sky

From Dark Side of the Sky and 78 other releases

“Atom Heart Mother” is a six-part suite by progressive rock band Pink Floyd, composed by all members of the band and Ron Geesin. It appeared on the Atom Heart Mother album in 1970, taking up a whole side of the record. It is Pink Floyd’s longest uncut piece (the later “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, though longer, was split among two sides of Wish You Were Here.) Pink Floyd performed it live between 1970 and 1972, first touring with a brass section and choir, and later without.

Recording began with the drum and bass parts, recorded in one take for the entire suite, resulting in an inconsistent tempo throughout the song.

The song was the last Pink Floyd composition which was credited as being co-written by someone outside the band prior to 1979 (not counting Clare Torry’s contribution to “The Great Gig in the Sky”, for which she has been retroactively given credit due to a settlement with Pink Floyd).

Stanley Kubrick wanted to use this track for his film A Clockwork Orange; however, the band refused permission.

When Roger Waters heard David Gilmour playing the guitar parts for this track, he said that he thought it sounded like the theme song from the western film The Magnificent Seven.

The working title for this piece changed a few times during the composing and recording process. When the first main theme was composed, David Gilmour called it “Theme From an Imaginary Western”. The first working title for the six-part piece was “Epic”, written in Ron Geesin’s handwriting at the top of his original score. Later it was changed to “The Amazing Pudding.” (This was used as the title of an independently produced Pink Floyd fanzine which ran from the mid ’80s to the early ’90s.

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