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Thread: Pink Floyd Summer '68 question

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    Pink Floyd Summer '68 question

    Anyone know for sure if that's real brass on that song or not? I swear it sounds like Mellotron brass, but according to Wikipedia, something called the Abbey Road Session Pops Orchestra (must be the same guys who played on side one of the album) actually play on the track. Anyone know for sure? Or is a mix of the two?

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    To these ears that is plainly real brass. Mellotron brass sounds quite different.

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    To me that sounds like real brass too. Love that song!
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    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    something called the Abbey Road Session Pops Orchestra (must be the same guys who played on side one of the album) actually play on the track.
    Ron Geesin, in his book about the making of "Atom Heart Mother" (the suite), describes the players he was confronted with at the recording session as "top-end studio musicians, booked through the system." I suspect that "Abbey Road Session Pops Orchestra" is just a catchall name for whatever musicians happen to be booked for a given session. (Geesin has nothing to say about "Summer '68.")

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by lovecraft View Post
    To these ears that is plainly real brass. Mellotron brass sounds quite different.
    Fair enough. I wonder, also, if it's possible that Rick did the brass overdubs himself. You can hear him playing trombone on Biding My Time, so I wonder if he could have just done the brass parts himself. Is htere anything there might not be trombone?

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    Listen to the opening section of Superficial Roadblocks by Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come for some relatively unaccompanied mellotron brass. YouTube is your friend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    I wonder, also, if it's possible that Rick did the brass overdubs himself. You can hear him playing trombone on Biding My Time, so I wonder if he could have just done the brass parts himself.
    I can't imagine them wanting to undertake such a complicated task of recording Rick and then overdubbing him covering multiple other parts (which, with the technology of the times would have squashed everything flat) when they knew they already had the full orchestra booked for the main "AHM" suite. I'm guessing Rick probably thought "Hey, it would be fun to add some brass to this other song. I'll see if they don't mind adding it to the session."
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    According to Guesdon & Margotin's book, two "unidentified session musicians" were hired to play brass instruments on this track. Their parts were recorded in December 1968, as the song was originally recorded for Ummagumma and then partially reworked later. This would be well before there was any talk about the "Atom Heart Mother" suite and orchestra. Mellotron brass is used to fatten up the real brass on repeats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    According to Guesdon & Margotin's book, two "unidentified session musicians" were hired to play brass instruments on this track. Their parts were recorded in December 1968, as the song was originally recorded for Ummagumma and then partially reworked later. This would be well before there was any talk about the "Atom Heart Mother" suite and orchestra. Mellotron brass is used to fatten up the real brass on repeats.
    That's interesting. I didn't know of this book, nor had I ever heard that the track was begun over a year before the rest of the album. Would you recommend that book or is it just the one bit of exclusive information it has to offer ?

    Does it confirm that it's Gilmour drumming on "Fat Old Sun" ? I've read it mentioned and I agree it doesn't sound like Mason playing.
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    I didn't know that either, before reading the book. It does state as a fact that Gilmour played the drums on "Fat Old Sun", but it does not cite sources for this information (the "Summer '68" stuff is based on studio records). It also speculates that he played the bass and recorder parts on the track.

    As a whole, I don't think that the book has very much exclusive information for really hard-core Pink Floyd fans with encyclopedic knowledge of the band. I did learn new things from it, but most of the information seems to be gleaned from previously available sources, many of which I was familiar with. There is quite a lot of discussion of instruments and production details, which I found nice, though here too, it seems often to be based on speculation than solid information. As the book is based on song by song analysis, much of it is general description of music and lyrics, pointing out lyrical allusions and some musical details. You get a lot of descriptions like "Roger Waters plays a very good bass part with his Fender Precision bass". The book is lavishly illustrated and quite nice, just not some great fountain of gnostic knowledge or profound analysis - a bit like many of these "all the songs" type books put out over the last ten years, just bigger and glossier than most.

    Note that I'm referring to the English edition Pink Floyd All The Songs: The Story Behing Every Track (2017). I can't say how different the original French edition, Pink Floyd, La Totale, is.

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    Wow, some good "new" info here, and though I've had the album since it came out (and bought the "making of AHM" DVD that has a lot of interview footage with Ron Geesin), I never knew any of it. Always thought it was possible/likely that Geesin helped with the brass arrangement on "Summer '68", though I've never seen a shred of evidence that he did. I've got a bunch of his albums and even bought a Bridget St. John album on which he performed and produced.

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    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundsweird View Post
    Always thought it was possible/likely that Geesin helped with the brass arrangement on "Summer '68", though I've never seen a shred of evidence that he did.
    Here is all Geesin has to say about the side two songs in his book:

    Side Two of the album is certainly not cohesive but, rather like a family photograph album, is an irreversible document of the time, and nonetheless colourful for all that. There is Roger sitting on his own, pensively poetic and predicting a self-imposed period of future loneliness. David and Rick somewhere in the middle of the road, and a very out-of-focus group shot.
    Doesn't sound to me like he had any involvement there.

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    I’m pretty sure Rick is playing the trombone and saxophone on “Biding My Time”, so he could have done the brass parts- but it sounds like an orchestral brass section to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    Here is all Geesin has to say about the side two songs in his book:



    Doesn't sound to me like he had any involvement there.
    He actually says so in the introduction (page 8): "Since the final title, Atom Heart Mother, was also used to name the whole LP record, side two of which I had no part in, there has been further confusion as to what precise work various individuals have addressed their comments, not helped by vague and inaccurate reporting of the popular music press or the tangled netting of the World Wide Web." (emphasis added)

  15. #15
    What a great period. My favorite PF period begins here and ends with Meddle. I would guess "Relics" was my introduction, like many others. A truly great comp. One of the best ever, IMNSHO.

    I believe "Biding My Time" first appeared in that set. It was originally part of the "The Man and the Journey" suite from early '69.

    That post-Syd 1968-69 period leading into AHM is so great. Clearly, the boys are still finding their way. But man, they were just exploding creatively, but without the structure (for better or worse) they brought to their work later on.

    I'll take songs like "Cymbaline," "The Embryo," Green is the Colour," "CwtAE," any time. Those BBC recordings from the Paris Theater. Man, that's desert island music for me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulrus View Post
    I can't imagine them wanting to undertake such a complicated task of recording Rick and then overdubbing him covering multiple other parts (which, with the technology of the times would have squashed everything flat) when they knew they already had the full orchestra booked for the main "AHM" suite. I'm guessing Rick probably thought "Hey, it would be fun to add some brass to this other song. I'll see if they don't mind adding it to the session."
    Quote Originally Posted by soundsweird View Post
    Wow, some good "new" info here, and though I've had the album since it came out (and bought the "making of AHM" DVD that has a lot of interview footage with Ron Geesin), I never knew any of it. Always thought it was possible/likely that Geesin helped with the brass arrangement on "Summer '68", though I've never seen a shred of evidence that he did. I've got a bunch of his albums and even bought a Bridget St. John album on which he performed and produced.
    That was my assumption as well: same dudes on on So68 as on AHM.
    But if So68 dates back to the Umma (which in some ways makes sense, given the 68), then it can not be so; unless they (brass parts) were added to the original tapes to beef it up for AHM - which doesn't sound all that likely, either. A total re-recording of So68 (whenever that took place) makes more sense to me

    BTW, I also investigated a few early Geesin albums some 10/15 years ago (yup my library system had them on loan), because of AHM and Music From The Body.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    What a great period. My favorite PF period begins here and ends with Meddle. I would guess "Relics" was my introduction, like many others. A truly great comp. One of the best ever, IMNSHO.

    I believe "Biding My Time" first appeared in that set. It was originally part of the "The Man and the Journey" suite from early '69.

    That post-Syd 1968-69 period leading into AHM is so great. Clearly, the boys are still finding their way. But man, they were just exploding creatively, but without the structure (for better or worse) they brought to their work later on.

    I'll take songs like "Cymbaline," "The Embryo," Green is the Colour," "CwtAE," any time. Those BBC recordings from the Paris Theater. Man, that's desert island music for me.
    Yup, 95% of my actual Floyd listening ranges between SoS album until OBC, but excluding Meddle (which I still love but am cureently saturated with it) and I still find it fascinating and never understood the critics and disdain against them for all those groundbreaking endeavours.
    Oddly enough, though, I never owned Relics (borrowed it a few tipmes) - maybe it's time I finally did.

    I never really cared for the Barrett ditties, and outside Power Toc H and Instellar Overdrive, I don't retain anything from Gates of Dawn (even for Astronomy Domine, the UG version is all I need)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    According to Guesdon & Margotin's book, two "unidentified session musicians" were hired to play brass instruments on this track. Their parts were recorded in December 1968, as the song was originally recorded for Ummagumma and then partially reworked later. This would be well before there was any talk about the "Atom Heart Mother" suite and orchestra.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    Note that I'm referring to the English edition Pink Floyd All The Songs: The Story Behing Every Track (2017). I can't say how different the original French edition, Pink Floyd, La Totale, is.
    I'll maybe check out the PF: La Totale book out of curiosity, which I totally ignored at release time.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    What a great period. My favorite PF period begins here and ends with Meddle. I would guess "Relics" was my introduction, like many others. A truly great comp. One of the best ever, IMNSHO.

    I believe "Biding My Time" first appeared in that set. It was originally part of the "The Man and the Journey" suite from early '69.

    That post-Syd 1968-69 period leading into AHM is so great. Clearly, the boys are still finding their way. But man, they were just exploding creatively, but without the structure (for better or worse) they brought to their work later on.

    I'll take songs like "Cymbaline," "The Embryo," Green is the Colour," "CwtAE," any time. Those BBC recordings from the Paris Theater. Man, that's desert island music for me.
    "Biding My Time" is a great song! Was very surprised to here that Wright played the trombone and then found out the he actually played several instruments besides keys. And Relics is a good as a comp gets.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Tangram View Post
    "Biding My Time" is a great song! Was very surprised to here that Wright played the trombone and then found out the he actually played several instruments besides keys. And Relics is a good as a comp gets.
    Yeah, that's him playign the occasional vibraphone you hear on the early records. Wikipedia says he also played trumpet, saxophone, and guitar.
    And Relics is a good as a comp gets.
    I beg to differ. It would have been a lot better if it had included Candy And A Currant Bun, Apples And Oranges, It Would Be So Nice and Point Me At The Sky.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    I beg to differ. It would have been a lot better if it had included Candy And A Currant Bun, Apples And Oranges, It Would Be So Nice and Point Me At The Sky.
    Perhaps, but they wouldn't have fit on the LP, which already pushes 50 minutes.
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    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    Perhaps, but they wouldn't have fit on the LP, which already pushes 50 minutes.
    I assumed this meant replacing some of the redundant tracks that had already appeared on albums.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    I assumed this meant replacing some of the redundant tracks that had already appeared on albums.
    Exactly. I gather that, at the time, the first two albums were hard to come by Stateside (they were originally issued on a label called Tower Records, which I think had limited distribution for whatever reason), so maybe in 1970, at least for that market, it made sense to repeat stuff from those albums, but I still can't believe nobody ever thought to put out a single compilation that had both sides of all five singles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Exactly. I gather that, at the time, the first two albums were hard to come by Stateside (they were originally issued on a label called Tower Records, which I think had limited distribution for whatever reason), so maybe in 1970, at least for that market, it made sense to repeat stuff from those albums, but I still can't believe nobody ever thought to put out a single compilation that had both sides of all five singles.
    "Masters of Rock" came slightly closer although it ignored the "Point Me"/"Eugene" single. The bonus CD in the "Shine On" box finally provided that, but you had to buy a whole lot of other post-Barrett stuff to get it.
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  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by calyx View Post
    "Masters of Rock" came slightly closer although it ignored the "Point Me"/"Eugene" single. The bonus CD in the "Shine On" box finally provided that, but you had to buy a whole lot of other post-Barrett stuff to get it.
    That was a nice collection, bought that one thru Jems Import

  24. #24
    [QUOTE=calyx;1062820]
    "Masters of Rock" came slightly closer although it ignored the "Point Me"/"Eugene" single.
    People keep bringing up that Masters Of Rock thing like it was some easy to come by release. It might have been in Europe, but Stateside, not so much. Or at least where I live, I didn't ever see it. I saw lots of Pink Floyd bootlegs, but not Masters Of Rock.



    The bonus CD in the "Shine On" box finally provided that, but you had to buy a whole lot of other post-Barrett stuff to get it.
    Yeah, there was never a simple, low priced compilation that had all those songs, and Apples And Oranges, It Would Be So Nice and Point Me At The Sky were out of print for so long, it's ridiculous. Of course, now, you can just go to Youtube, to hear stuff like that (or buy the Early Years set), but back then, those options obviously didn't exist.

    There was also a promo CD, that came out the same time as the Shine On box, called A CD Full Of Secrets, which has most, but not all, of the single only tracks. But we really weren't supposed to own promo thigns, were we?

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    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    People keep bringing up that Masters Of Rock thing like it was some easy to come by release. It might have been in Europe, but Stateside, not so much. Or at least where I live, I didn't ever see it. I saw lots of Pink Floyd bootlegs, but not Masters Of Rock.
    I managed to score a copy at Tower Records, but it certainly wasn't something you'd run across every day. Mine was the version with the super-cheesy cover graphics with Barrett's head spliced into the Meddle band photo.


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