Obscured by Clouds


Obscured by Clouds
Obscured by Clouds
Studio album by Pink Floyd
Released 3 June 1972
Recorded 23–29 February and 23–27 March 1972, Château d'Hérouville, Hérouville, Île-de-France, France
Genre Progressive rock
Length 40:30
Language English
Label Harvest/EMI
Producer Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd chronology
Meddle
(1971)
Obscured by Clouds
(1972)
The Dark Side of the Moon
(1973)
Singles from Obscured by Clouds
  1. "Free Four"
    Released: 3 June 1972
Pink Floyd soundtracks chronology
Zabriskie Point
(1970)
Obscured by Clouds
(1972)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau C [2]
George Starostin 12/15 stars (8/10) [3]

Obscured by Clouds is the seventh studio album by English progressive rock band Pink Floyd, based on their soundtrack for the French film La Vallée, by Barbet Schroeder. Some copies of the album refer to the film by its English title, The Valley. The LP was released in the United Kingdom on 3 June 1972 on Harvest/EMI and then in the United States on 15 June 1972 on Harvest/Capitol. The album reached number one in France[4], number six on the UK Albums Chart[5] and number 46[6] on the US albums chart (where it was certified Gold by the RIAA in March 1994).[citation needed] In 1986, the album was released on CD. A digitally remastered CD was released in March 1996 in the UK and August 1996 in the US.[citation needed] The cover of Obscured by Clouds is an out-of-focus film still of a man in a tree.

Contents

Overview

At this point in their career, the band were not new to scoring movies. They had already scored the films The Committee in 1968 and More in 1969.

The band were already working on The Dark Side of the Moon during this period, but production was interrupted when the band travelled to France to score the movie. Nick Mason refers to the project:

"After the success of More, we had agreed to do another sound track for Barbet Schroeder. His new film was called La Vallée and we travelled over to France to record the music in the last week of February... We did the recording with the same method we had employed for More, following a rough cut of the film, using stopwatches for specific cues and creating interlinking musical moods that would be cross-faded to suit the final version... The recording time was extremely tight. We only had two weeks to record the soundtrack with a short amount of time afterwards to turn it into an album."[7]

"Free Four" was the first Pink Floyd song to get significant airplay in the US, and the second (after "Corporal Clegg" from A Saucerful of Secrets) to deal with the death of Eric Fletcher Waters, Roger Waters' father.[8]

In a snippet of interview footage that appeared in the 1974 theatrical version (later released on VHS and Laserdisc) and subsequent "Director's Cut DVD" versions of Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii, Roger Waters stated that early UK pressings of the album contained excessive sibilance (a loud high-frequency sound most apparent on "s", "sh", and "t" sounds which often causes distortion). As Waters says in the film, the sibilant distortion was caused by "a bad cut", meaning it came from a poor quality tape-to-disk transfer during mastering. The sibilance problem was corrected in later pressings.

Obscured by Clouds was the second Pink Floyd album to feature the VCS 3 synthesiser as stated by EMS Archives.[9]

Live performances

Pink Floyd opened some shows in 1973 with an extended jam based on the pairing of "Obscured by Clouds" and "When You're In", accompanied by smoke and a light show.

"Childhood's End" is the only other song from the soundtrack to find its way to the stage. It made several appearances in Europe starting on 1 December 1972 and at the start of the band's March 1973 tour of North America, usually with an extended instrumental passage.

"Wot's... Uh, the Deal?" saw revival as part of David Gilmour's set list during his 2006 solo tour. One of these performances features on Gilmour's 2007 DVD Remember That Night and also the vinyl version of his 2008 live album Live in Gdańsk.

Track listing

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. "Obscured by Clouds"   Gilmour, Waters Instrumental 3:03
2. "When You're In"   Gilmour, Waters, Wright, Mason Instrumental 2:30
3. "Burning Bridges"   Wright, Waters Gilmour, Wright 3:29
4. "The Gold It's in the..."   Gilmour, Waters Gilmour 3:07
5. "Wot's... Uh the Deal?"   Gilmour, Waters Gilmour 5:08
6. "Mudmen"   Wright, Gilmour Instrumental 4:20
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
7. "Childhood's End"   Gilmour Gilmour 4:31
8. "Free Four"   Waters Waters 4:15
9. "Stay"   Waters, Wright Wright 4:05
10. "Absolutely Curtains"   Gilmour, Waters, Wright, Mason Instrumental 5:52

Singles

  • "Free Four"/"Stay" (1972, U.S. only release)
  • "Free Four"/"The Gold It's in the..." (1972, Italy only release)

Personnel

Pink Floyd
Additional personnel

Sales chart performance

Year Chart Position
1972 French Albums Chart 1[4]
1972 UK Albums Chart 6[5]
1972 Billboard Pop Albums 46[6]

Notes

  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Album review at Allmusic. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
  2. ^ "Album review". Robert Christgau. http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_album.php?id=2773. Retrieved 4 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Album review". George Starostin's reviews. http://starling.rinet.ru/music/pink.htm#Clouds. Retrieved 4 July 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Infodisc - Pink Floyd - Obscured By Clouds". www.infodisc.fr. http://www.infodisc.fr/Album_P.php. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  5. ^ a b "Chart Stats - Pink Floyd - Obscured By Clouds". www.chartstats.com. http://www.chartstats.com/albuminfo.php?id=3074. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  6. ^ a b Billboard chart peak position at Allmusic. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
  7. ^ Mason Nick; Inside Out: A personal History of Pink Floyd
  8. ^ Mason, Stewart. Song review at Allmusic. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
  9. ^ Hinton, Graham. "EMS: The Inside Story - The Users". Electronic Music Studios. http://www.ems-synthi.demon.co.uk/emsstory.html#users. Retrieved 4 July 2011. 

References


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