Pink Floyd and The Incredible String Band.
The first track on Side 2 being so long, there are only two other tracks on that side.
Track 2 is “See-Saw”, a Rick Wright composition, on which he sings lead vocal. It is a gentle, whimsical waltz time thing comparing a girl/boy couple’s relationship to the actions of a see-saw. It has a bit of a flavour of some of the more thoughtful Syd Barrett songs, which does a little bit to ease the listener into the shock of the final track.
Track 3 on Side 2, the cadence of the album, sticks out like a sore thumb. It is a Syd Barrett song recorded in the October 1967 sessions, so Dave Gilmour does not appear on it at all. Indeed, Syd Barrett does the solo vocal throughout the whole of the lyrical bit. Given the “transitional” nature of the LP, this was in fact the only way it could be properly ended, and that is how it has always seemed to me, but the song is truly, achingly apposite. It starts off with simple acoustic guitar accompaniment with Syd speaking rather than singing the opening words, which become more “sung” as the piece progresses. The second half is instrumental, and a typically wild psychedelic romp of a thing with hooters and horns and all sorts of stuff.
As swansongs go, however, this has to be the epitome. To put it mildly, the words were prophetic when recorded, and tragic when committed to this vinyl; they even include the phrase “I’m not here”. I may return to this in the next Pink Floyd post. Meanwhile, some pictures; I have this one on CD:
Though sadly this CD has become unplayable, so I intend to throw the actual disc away. However, I shall keep the case, as the packaging includes a much expanded picture of the “wine glass group” miniaturised on the front cover:
Fortunately, I also have a CD copy of the album as part of a boxed set called “Shine On”: