Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Amazing Pudding

The Amazing Pudding  18:03
Performed live 18 January 1970 * Unrecorded
     (written by Mason, Gilmour, Waters, Wright)


This was an early version of the Atom Heart Mother Suite. It is markedly different from the later version of the piece in one important respect: all the instrumentation is performed by the four band members. To really get an idea of what this track is like, one must imagine the Suite and then remove from it all the orchestral instrumentation (strings and the like), all the brass, the choir (replacing it with Dave's vocal), and the taped sound effects. This does create a different sound. In addition, this early version ran five or more minutes shorter than the recorded version from later the same year. Work probably began on this piece in November of 1969. Following in the tradition of the track A Saucerful of Secrets, the band got together, fiddled about, and threw ideas around until a piece began to develop from all the different parts. The title came about because the piece was a kind of 'pudding' of everyone's different ideas linked together. The band premiered The Amazing Pudding at Croydon on 18 January 1970 (though the official premier was in Paris five days later). They subsequently went into the studio to lay down the basic tracks before going on an American tour in May, at which point they asked friend and composer Ron Geesin to superimpose 'something grand' over the basic tracks while they were gone [see the Atom Heart Mother entry for details]. After returning, they finished producing the album, then performed the newly embellished piece – complete with brass ensemble and choir – at the Bath Festival on 27 June 1970, and subsequently on the BBC Radio One programme 'Peel Sunday Concert' on 16 July under the new title Atom Heart Mother; thus The Amazing Pudding ended its half-year existence.

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