41 years ago, Pink Floyd released their fourth studio album, Atom Heart Mother. Before the music could mystify, the naming of the album itself was subjected to myths, the most popular being that Roger Water’s named it off a headline from the 16th July edition of Evening Standard.
They could’ve called it ‘Landmark’ too, because it happened be the first quadraphonic Pink Floyd release. And that was a beautiful change; you realize midway through the song suite on the first side what a brand new trip this would’ve been for the kids in 1970. It still is in 2011.
In ways, this album was only a continuation of Ummagumma, the previous album, with its incorporation of song suites and standard songs on opposite sides. In the guise of standard songs, Atom Heart Mother served up Roger Waters’ country classic, If, that would become his concert staple for years after that. Likewise, Fat Old Sun was David Gilmour’s bluesy imagery, to be appropriated for later concert dates.
Personally, I love Alan’s Psychedellic Breakfast the best; a pseudo-sensory perception of roadie Alan Stiles preparing and eating breakfast. The song is further divided into three parts, each with their own elaborate title. It was just so whimsical, that concert renditions of the song had regular pauses for band members to eat and drink their breakfasts alongside.
And that is exactly how some things never grow old, because repetition makes certain concepts seem more real. We just count the years and celebrate the history like it happened yesterday.