Pink Floyd and The Incredible String Band.
Side 4 opens with Dave Gilmour’s offering, a brilliant suite called “The Narrow Way: Parts 1-3”. It is one long track, but the three parts are distinct and readily discernible. Each part follows a basic pattern of firstly establishing the basic idea, and then gradually developing it and filling it in, with ample additions by all the band.
Part 1 kicks off with a short ascending burst of electricity, which elides into a gentle acoustic guitar instrumental. This meanders gently and soothingly along for a couple of minutes, and then the embellishments start, firstly with some non-verbal “ooh” type vocals, and then with some shrieking electric guitar slashes and whirs.
Part 2 is completely different, but is basically another instrumental. Here the theme which is established right from the beginning is a resounding and dramatic minor key two bar electric guitar riff very much in the lower register. This tune really makes your hair stand on end, and it continues throughout the entire piece, although it fades into the background after a couple of minutes to let the other chaps put their layered bits in.
Part 3 is a dramatically mournful song in a minor key where the words are almost completely inaudible. It is nevertheless a very beautiful song, with a most appealing refrain in the higher register, and again forms a template for much of the group’s later work. It is a lovely cadence to the suite, and develops throughout to a crashing crescendo. Great stuff.
This is Dave Gilmour’s picture from the inside of the cover: