Pink Floyd and The Incredible String Band.
Side 2 opens with a Gilmour composition called “Childhood’s End”, which is a very lovely, beautiful and varied song indeed; it makes a truly splendid introduction to the side.
Track 2 is a curious Waters composition called “Free Four”. It opens with the band counting from one to four, but starting with just one of them, two on two, three on three, and finally all four on four. it is impossible to tell whether the third is “three” or “free”. It is a bit of a plodding song, but nevertheless very pleasant to listen to, and basically concerns an old man’s memories of his youth. The lyrics are actually quite touching.
Track 3 is a Waters/ Wright composition called simply “Stay”, and in my view it is the best song on this album. It is a strong but soothing lullaby, wonderfully and slowly performed, with all the members of the band giving their all, both vocally and instrumentally. It is a work of pure genius, and deserves a pedestal of its own.
The album concludes with what for me has always been the worst track on the record. It is titled “Absolutely Curtains”, and one of only a handful of numbers credited to all four members of the group; there is a lesson in there somewhere. It starts off as a fairly standard Pink Floyd song, but the last half of it comprises some unaccompanied staccato chanting. As a teenager, when I bought this LP, I found this chanting immensely irritating. Being nearly 64 now, I have become much more forgiving, but I still don’t like it much.
The inner sleeves of Harvest Records in those days were adverts for their LP releases, and the one that came with this one was one of the best:
Of course I recognised almost all of these from the “Picnic” sampler – see WAY above!!!