Pink Floyd and The Incredible String Band.
Side 1 ends with Track 4, “Corporal Clegg”, another Roger Waters composition, but this is a much heavier rock style thing, at least in the intro and the verses. The choruses are much softer, however, sung in harmony by the ensemble, with these words as the lyrical refrain:
“This is Clegg; you must be proud of him.
This is Clegg; another drop of gin.”
The track ends with a short psychedelic fairground sort of style instrumental. The whole thing is actually quite effective once you get over the shock of it.
Side two opens with the title track, “A Saucerful of Secrets”, which is a 12 minute instrumental, in the sense that it has no lyrics, although it does have some brilliant vocals in the final section. The track apparently came about because the producer, Norman “Hurricane ” Smith, had said they could do what they liked with 12 unallocated minutes, and it shows. The 12 minutes comprise 3 x 4 minute sections, which neat division may or may not have been intentional. To my teenage ears the first section was just cacophonous noise, and the second little better, but as an adult I came to see the point of them, and they became much easier to listen to. However, there is a live version on “Umma Gumma” which is much more tonal, and all the better for it. The first section is a moody selection of more or less musical sounds, but undoubtedly of an “experimental” nature. The second is better, introduced by a short but spectacular drum break, which is very attractive and seizes one’s attention immediately. It in fact continues on a mechanically repetitive basis throughout the whole section, though for most of the section it carries on so faded as to be virtually inaudible. Above it are shriek-like guitar lines and doomy organ, but as the third section starts, this slowly morphs into the brilliancy of it. In my Pink Floyd song book, the only music you get for this number is this third section, which really is superb. It takes the form of a slow, majestic chord procession of immense beauty, over which the band start singing an “Ah” counterpoint melody, which transforms this 4 minutes of music into something truly wonderful; and the funny thing is, it wouldn’t sound nearly so good without those first two sections.