Pink Floyd - Soundtrack From The Film More
EMI
Progressive Rock, Soundtrack
11 songs (44:56)
Release year: 1969
Pink Floyd, EMI
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

Although it's not a studio album in the usual sense, Pink Floyd's soundtrack to the obscure 60s French hippie film More is just about worth checking out for fans of their psychedelic period. It's something of a lost treasure in the Floydian catalogue due to its variety alone, although opinions are rather mixed as to whether it's full of filler or not. I tend towards the former opinion although as with any film soundtrack, its effect depends rather on to what extent it suffers by being removed from the visuals which are supposed to go with it, and whilst, say, the Gladiator soundtrack is easy to appreciate with imagined figures of epic legend, More will tax the listener to a greater extent, not least because it's from an obscure 60s French hippie film. I make no apology for not having seen the Barbet Schroeder film that More is written for, but it sounds pretty dreadful, a kind of Requiem For A Dream of its day, with the central character being a German student who becomes literally and figuratively entangled with a female drug addict who introduces him to heroin with ultimately tragic results.

Films about addiction tend to be terrible (although the little-seen Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish film Candy from 2006 was gripping due to the excellent performances) and reading reviews More seems to be as bad as it sounds. Yet the soundtrack is still of interest - Pink Floyd are Pink Floyd, after all, and it's easy to imagine their spacey and atmospheric music backing films. Just as with A Saucerful Of Secrets, More is rather a trip, although it's a fragmented one rather than a complete journey. It doesn't help that it's obviously a collection of songs, as treating this as an album means nothing but disappointment at the lack of flow and structure. From Avant-Garde experiments to Hard Rock freak-outs, More has it all, yet the songwriting is far from perfect, and even looked at with as little cynicism as possible the patchiness and rushed aspects stand out.

All the lead vocals were performed by David Gilmour, and the majority of the music was written by Roger Waters (especially on the first, better half) - the band were really coming together as a unit after the loss of Syd Barrett. More opens with the natural calm of Cirrus Minor, acoustic guitar and vocals soon following as the album gets off to a gentle start, very much in line with the band's first two albums. Droning organs, echoing noises - the band slip you in gently, and then proceed to bash you over the head with the sudden and dementedly off-kilter rocking of The Nile Song. Voivod fans will recognise the cover from 1993's The Outer Limits, and it is a good song, enjoyably heavy and stomping riffs and a soaring vocal performance from Gilmour - at least until it fades out, not really having gone anywhere. The Crying Song follows, soft and gentle again, and the album seems to meander onwards from there with the occasional highlight standing out depending on who is listening. The Jazzy instrumental Up The Khyber is sure to please Nick Mason fans, for example, with its technical battery and discordant organ build-up, whilst Green Is The Colour is strong, reminiscent of the Folk Rock of the period.

Without a doubt, the first half is superior to the second, where the band really seemed to run out of ideas - aside from the rather stunning Cymbaline, a dreamy song that could easily have fit on either of the previous albums, there's little of interest. Hardcore fans apparently prefer the live versions available on various bootlegs, which can be up to twenty minutes long, and to be honest that's the final death knoll for More. It's hard to find the band's typical genius in the likes of Party Sequence, a minute-long bit of bongo, or Ibiza Bar, another noisy rocker that is very similar to The Nile Song. Ultimately, it's one for collectors only - the best songs are better done elsewhere, the weak songs are only worth listening to once, so unless you're incapable of living without owning every Pink Floyd album, you can safely give More a miss. It's not terrible, but neither is it really worth pursuing when surrounded by so much excellence elsewhere in the Pink Floyd discography...

Killing Songs :
Cirrus Minor, Up The Khyber, Green Is The Colour, Cymbaline
Goat quoted 60 / 100
Other albums by Pink Floyd that we have reviewed:
Pink Floyd - Ummagumma reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Pink Floyd - A Saucerful Of Secrets reviewed by Goat and quoted 95 / 100
Pink Floyd - The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon reviewed by Jeff and quoted CLASSIC
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