Saturday, March 6, 2010


More  43:52
Soundtrack from the film
Studio recording late March 1969 
* Released July 1969

Film Details
Directed by Barbet Schroeder
Produced by Jet Films
Starring Mimsy Farmer and Klaus Grünberg
Music played and composed by Pink Floyd

Recorded in France, over eight days in late March
Produced by the Pink Floyd
Cover by Hipgnosis

UK: Columbia SCX 6346 Reached #9 on the UK charts
US: Tower ST 5169 Reached #153 on the US charts

More was Pink Floyd's second full movie soundtrack, but the first to be released. This was also the first record produced by Pink Floyd. At this period the group was still finding its new direction and taking whatever opportunities came along. And as Rick Wright said, "Films seem to be the answer for us at the moment." In early 1969, the band was approached by French filmmaker Barbet Schroeder to produce the soundtrack for his new film to be released later that year. They accepted immediately when they discovered what he was willing to pay them.

Dave Gilmour: "We also did the music for More. We hadn't done film scores before — but they  offered us lots of money. We wrote the whole thing in eight days from start to finish. We wanted to break into big time movie scores so we said 'Okay' and he gave us six hundred quid each or something and off we trotted and we did it... Later we did Obscured by Clouds for the same guy. We would have done almost anything in terms of film... we wanted to have a go at it."

Work began on the soundtrack in late March and finished eight days later. Information from this period is scarce, but the recording was probably done in France (but possibly London), and supervised by Barbet Schroeder.

Roger Waters: "We did the More soundtrack as a sort of personal favor for Barbet. He showed us the movie — which he'd already completed and edited — and explained what he wanted; and we just went into the studio and did it. I don't really like working under that sort of pressure, but it can help you by focusing your ideas. We did 16 tracks for More in 5 sessions, which for us is silly — and we suffered from it. Actually I quite like it, though we'd like to put that one down."

Sixteen songs were indeed recorded, the thirteen released on the album and three additional songs which appeared in the film only: Seabirds, Hollywood, and Theme (Beat Version). More information on these songs can be found in their separate entries.

Dave Gilmour did all of the lead vocals for the entire album, as well as the unreleased material. He commented on how soundtracks were different from standard albums.

Dave: "[Soundtracks are] contract work. You start in the studio without anything, and you work until you come up with stuff. You chuck things down and ask, 'How about something like this?' Then you work on it a bit. It's not the same process as making your own music for yourself — much more hurried, and less care tends to be taken."

One anonymous Floyd associate provided a different view of the recording in a quote that is probably utterly apocryphal: that the inspiration for More was provided by "Gilmour basically stoned out of his box, going into these dream sequences." Rick and Nick also commented on the recording.

Rick Wright: "Doing the music for films is very challenging — it means that we have to express facts and scenes in music. And financially it pays off, and so leaves us more time on our own to develop our own individual ideas."

Nick Mason: "It was a really good exercise, as Barbet Schroeder, the director, was a really easy person to work with."

Pink Floyd were undoubtedly chosen to do the music for the film because of the connection between their reputation and its subject matter. Since its inception, the band created music which was considered ideal listening material for those experiencing chemically altered states (even though only one of the group was likely to have been inspired by these experiences). Even after Syd Barrett left the group, and partially because of his inspiration, the band continued to make music that was well suited to psychedelic mental states into the mid-1970's. Some have even claimed that they provided the aural equivalent of an LSD trip.

More was a film intended to document the dangers and delusions of the emerging youth culture, and to identify its Achilles heel: drugs. Set in Paris and the Canary Island of Ibiza, off the Mediterranean coast of Spain, in 1964-5, it follows the story of Stefan (Klaus Grünberg), a naive German student out to experience life and adventure. He falls in love with a girl deeply involved with the radical drug-oriented scene, and is drawn into her lifestyle, passing through the 'gateway drug' of marijuana and eventually becoming addicted to heroin. After a break-up with his girlfriend, he accidentally overdoses and dies in a back alley.

Rick Wright: "[The film] said the right things about drugs; I'm sure that if it were saying the wrong things about drugs we wouldn't have done it."

The film certainly makes a strong statement, and the latter third of it makes for depressing viewing. However, the interesting thing about Rick's comment is that in the movie, the music of Pink Floyd is shown as being very much a part of the drug-oriented lifestyle that eventually led to Stefan's death. Whether Schroeder is condemning the whole scene (though he does seem to view LSD in a more positive light), or just issuing a warning of the dangers involved, is never totally made clear. One thing that is apparent, though, is his courage in making a film that was critical of an aspect of the youth revolution at a time when anyone who voiced a word of caution was often labeled a 'downer' or someone who just didn't understand.

Dave Gilmour: "More had rather a bad reception; probably because of the dialogue — they were saying things like 'Groovy man, let's get high.' Schroeder was a foreign director and, though he spoke English, he didn't know the subtle difference between what slang was acceptable and hip and what wasn't."

Rick Wright: "We didn't really like the film. It's hard to say what I thought of our music in More since I didn't see it with the film, but apparently it works quite well. As an album I don't really much like it."

The film was definitely intended for a cosmopolitan European audience, as it slips in and out of English, French, German, and Spanish easily (though not too frequently), with no subtitles. In France over the years, it has become somewhat of a sixties cult film, comparable to Easy Rider in the US. The setting of Ibiza is particularly apropos, as this is the 'hippie island paradise' where Syd Barrett and Rick Wright received 'a heroes welcome' on their 1967 vacation there.

What follows is a more detailed plot summary of More, together with the order in which the songs appear in the film, and what scenes they form the background of.

It is 1964. Stefan Boitner, a German student, has finished his studies and is setting out for Paris to "burn all the bridges, [and] all the formulas." (Main Theme) Upon arriving in Paris, he visits a bar (Ibiza Bar) where he meets Charlie, a hustler but essentially a good person. Charlie takes Stefan to a party (The Nile Song) where he meets beautiful Estelle Miller from New York (Seabirds and Theme (Beat Version)). Charlie warns Stefan away from her, but he visits her apartment the next day. There she teaches him to smoke pot and they make love (Cymbaline). Stefan discovers she used to take heroin, and tells her not to do it again. Estelle says she is leaving for Ibiza, and asks Stefan to come with her. He has business to attend to with Charlie (disposing of the loot from a theft they made when desperate for money) and she goes on ahead, telling him to ask for a Dr. Ernesto Wolf when he gets there. He takes a boat a week later. Finding a bar (Hollywood), he asks for directions to Dr. Wolf's. Arriving at the address he is given (A Spanish Piece), he finds that it is a hotel owned by Wolf where Estelle is staying, though she hasn't been seen in two days. He finally locates her at Wolf's residence, and is suspicious of her relationship with Wolf, though he is many years her elder. Estelle invites Stefan to a party (Party Sequences), where they smoke pot and he becomes paranoid, thinking she is having an affair with Wolf. She denies it, saying he is like a father figure to her.

The next day, Stefan persuades Estelle to move into a friend's house on the other side of the island which is vacant, partly to get her away from Wolf. She steals away from Wolf's house in the middle of the night, stealing some money and 200 doses of heroin (revealing that Wolf is the major dealer in the area). They happily move into the new house and start supporting themselves. It is summer of 1965, and everything is beautiful. Swimming in the clear blue waters and sunbathing on a rock; smoking hash and making love (Green is the Colour). One day while toking on a water-pipe (Quicksilver), Stefan discovers Estelle has done heroin again. She tells him she has one more dose, and that's it's not bad if only done occasionally. She persuades him to try it (Cirrus Minor). Stefan becomes almost instantly hooked, to Estelle's chagrin.

A while later, while at the market, Estelle is kidnapped by Wolf's men. He tells her she must return what she has stolen, and that Stefan must work at the bar at his hotel, dealing drugs, in order to pay for the money and smack they've already used up. The only alternative is jail, so Stefan and Estelle move back into town and he begins working at the bar (More Blues). Tensions rise at home due to their situation (Crying Song and Up the Khyber), and they do more and more junk. Finally it gets to be too much, and they take LSD to get off the junk (Quicksilver). They share a profound spiritual experience of the oneness and beauty of all things, and things begin to improve. Stefan begins to even enjoy his job at the bar (Theme (Beat Version)), and feels secure enough to leave Estelle at the hotel with Wolf. That night, Estelle does not come home until very late (Dramatic Theme), and Stefan takes heroin again to cope with the stress. Things go downhill from there. By that winter, both are hooked again, and Stefan despairs (Main Theme). All of a sudden, Charlie shows up in town. He tells Stefan that Estelle will destroy him (Green is the Colour), and they should both leave for Paris right away. That night, Estelle gets home late again, and Stefan withholds her fix until she admits she has been sleeping with Wolf. They fight, and she leaves. Stefan tells Charlie, who says, 'Well, that's what you wanted, isn't it?' Stefan responds, 'No. That's what you wanted. I can't live without her,' and he runs to Wolf's house, screaming out Estelle's name. No reply. In desperation, and needing a fix, Stefan finds his supplier and begs two doses from him. Even though he is warned not to take both, his mind is in a whirl of withdrawal and grief, and he does. Death comes swiftly. The locals refuse to give him a religious funeral, thinking he has killed himself. Stefan is buried like an animal in the ground, and the film ends in silence.

I have attempted to document the film thoroughly enough that the Floyd fan will not need to view the film simply to discover its Floyd content. The acting is brilliant on the part of the two stars, especially in their depiction of two junkies driven to the brink of desperation and insanity by a powerful and evil drug, but the film is very disturbing, depressing, and unsettling to watch during the latter half.

The principal credits to the film:

Jet Films presents

Mimsy Farmer
Klaus Grünberg
Heinz Engelmann
Michel Chanderli
Henry Wolf
Louise Wink
Produced and directed by Barbet Schroeder
Screenplay and dialogue: Paul Gegauff and Barbet Schroeder
Original story: Barbet Schroeder
Director of photography: Nestor Almendros
Music by the Pink Floyd: Roger Waters, Dave Gilmore [sic], Rick Wright, Nick Mason. All publishing rights Lupus Music Ltd and The Richmond Organisation.
Script: Monique Giraudy and Janine Euvrard
Sound: Jack Jullian and Robert Pouret
Final version of the dialogue in collaboration with Mimsy Farmer, Eugene Archer, and Paul Gardner.

Album Package
The cover is a photo from the film, during a scene in which Stefan is playfully attacking a windmill near the summer cottage on Ibiza (á la Don Quixote) and Estelle is running after him. The photo was treated by Hipgnosis designers to alter the colours, creating an infrared effect where the sunlight and sky became fiery red, and the ground shades of green and blue. The back cover is another film photo, of the scene where Stefan and Estelle are on their LSD trip, sharing the spiritual experience of sitting high on a clifftop, watching the setting sun, and chanting Om.

Cirrus Minor
Nile Song, The
Crying Song
Up the Khyber
Green is the Colour
Party Sequence
Main Theme
Ibiza Bar
More Blues
Spanish Piece, A
Dramatic Theme

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