Soundtrack from the movie
Cirrus Minor
The Nile Song
Crying Song
Up the Khyber
Green is the Colour
Party Sequence
Main Theme
Ibiza Bar
More Blues
A Spanish Piece
Dramatic Theme

   So, you've been sitting there listening to your Pink Floyd albums, and you're amazed at how the music causes images to pop into your mind.  You're getting ready to produce a film, and it occurs to you that there are few rock bands who could create the same imagery musically that you're striving for on celluloid.  So you ask them to do the soundtrack.  Well I've got news for you, Bunky.  It's hard to be Pink and fit into a movie's structured outline.  On the other hand, there are few groups whose musical interludes are so naturally suited to creating a movie soundtrack.  Besides, Roger has been wondering how the terms "concept album" and "film story" are potentially related.  This will be a great opportunity for him to test out some theories.{CPFS}  (Step 1 toward THE WALL.)
    Admittedly, it is extremely difficult to gauge the results if you have never seen the movie (as I haven't).  Most movie soundtracks are pretty weird when you hear a one-minute piece that was created solely to back up a scene that you can't fully imagine (Party Sequence?  Come on!)  That being said, this is still not one of the group's best efforts.
    Not that it matters, but the movie's basic outline seems to be: naive boy meets devious girl, boy falls in love, girl loves drugs, boys falls in love with drugs, several tragedies ensue, boy dies miserably.  (I wonder why this one's not on the AFI Top 100 Films?)  The music, presumably, would reflect the path of the story, but I can only assume that the pieces are arranged in the order in which they occur in the film, and I don't think that's a safe assumption (especially since the Main Theme comes in the middle.)

    Cirrus Minor gets included on several collections of Pink Floyd's best, so somebody must like it.  It begins with many of the tropical bird sounds that are familiar ambients in Floyd music {CPFS}, then slips into a pleasant acoustic ballad that only has a verse line, no chorus.  Some church organ chords (sounding suspiciously like Requiem from Saucerful of Secrets) carry the theme while the birds mix with instrumental background noises to the conclusion.
    The Nile Song is another cult fave, and almost gets classified as punk rock (maybe the Floyd were sending a message to some of their critics).  Crashing guitar chords and screamed lyrics make this one of the hardest rock songs in the Pink Floyd discography.  Like the preceding song, it presages the fate that is coming for the male lead in the movie.  (He should have listened!)
    With Crying Song, the group returns to more familiar sounds.  A quiet ballad, it relies more on Roger's voice to carry the sound, and he uses words that would likely seem rather instrumental behind a movie scene.  The use of vibes in the background helps keep the mood right, and Dave's guitar solo would have sounded great if theatres in those days had had Dolby sound.
    Up the Khyber without a paddle we go, as Nick bangs and Rick bangs and the atonal music lovers get all excited again.  Mostly just noise, it leads us back to the quiet ballad Green is the Colour.  A little bit of Irish flute keeps it playful, but the vocal is really too high for Roger to carry off effectively.  The lyrics reflect (I assume) a love scene, but once again warn of impending doom (how else can you explain "Envy is the bond between the hopeful and the damned"?{CPFS})
    Cymbaline keeps the slow, mellow mood of most of the music, but uses bongos to add a little new feeling.  It's the most melodic of the songs on the album, and the one with the most traditional construction (ABABABCBD).  It's really not a bad song at all, and probably could have been released as a single with fairly good results.  (No clue why it wasn't, the Floyd could have used the mainstream exposure.)
    Party Sequence (ah, that elucidating title) is a pretty cool bongo instrumental with some Irish flute for effect, and gone quickly, but that brings us to Main Theme (also a helpful title).  Probably the "Pinkest" thing on the album, it gives us rolling gongs, hollow drums, wah-wah organs, and boogie bass.  If it wasn't for the staccato melody line, you'd probably think this came off one of the later albums.  It has that sort of "Casbah" feeling that you get from some Middle Eastern Pop music.  A pretty cool piece.
    Ibiza Bar returns to the harder rock sound, and proves again that the Floyd can rock when they want to.  It seems as though Roger is actually the character in the movie now, and able to look at his life as though being a literary creation were real.  He is basically asking for a better part in life than the one he's living.  It's pretty cool too.
    More Blues is exactly what it says, and a nice little piece of blues it is, but not nearly long enough.  The group moves on to Quicksilver, which goes on far too long.  Imagine taking all the sound effects of any non-Action film and stringing them all together.  Aimless, though there are lots of nice sounds here.{CPFS}A Spanish Piece does have a Castilian flavor, and some lines by a really weird senor.
    The album concludes with Dramatic Theme, which utilizes some of the archetypal Floyd slide-guitar riffs {CPFS}, but isn't really very dramatic (maybe in a sci-fi movie).  It doesn't really have a theme either, so it's pretty misnamed.
    All in all, the album serves its purpose, provides the band with the experience they were looking for, and demonstrates a level of artistic growth for them.  It must have been a fairly good experience, because they'd try it again for OBSCURED BY CLOUDS.  Then again, maybe they only did it because Roger was already beginning to envision THE WALL.  If you're a Floyd freak, you'll collect this album regardless of what I say, but you're not likely to find a Floyd here with which you are familiar.
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