Atom Heart Mother Suite

Album: Atom Heart Mother (1970)
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  • The song is 23:45 long and has no lyrics other than the background sounds "Silence in the studio!" at 19:06 and "Here is a loud announcement" at 17:25. The song has a total of six parts to it. The parts are Father's Shout, Breast Milky, Mother Fore, Funky Dung, Mind Your Throats Please, and the Reemergence. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Andy - Cleveland, OH
  • The title and album cover comes from a newspaper headline "Atom Heart Mother." They didn't have a title for the album, but needed one when BBC Radio 1 aired some of it. The album's producer Ron Geesin had Roger Waters look through the newspaper The Evening Standard to find a title, and he came across the story about a pregnant woman who received an experimental pacemaker. The cow on the cover had nothing to do with the story - Pink Floyd chose the cow because it was the least psychedelic thing they could think of.
  • When Roger Waters heard Dave Gilmour playing this song, he thought is sounded like the theme to an old Western The Magnificent Seven. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Pablo - North Providence, RI

Comments: 41

  • Anthony from New York, NyActually this is my least liked Floyd album & to date, the only one that I never owned. Just never could get into it, heck even the band themselves said that it was awful. Waters was asked what it would take to re-do this again & he basically said to “F*k off!” That he’d never do it for any kind of money.

    The only song that I like here is of course already advertised as being “The most accessible” song on the album is “Summer ‘68”. That one I really like & even “Fat Old Sun” is kinda ok too. The rest? You can forget about it. This album represented the end of Floyd’s bizarre experimental psychedelic phase. The next album to follow “Meddle” now that was the jam! That was the transitional album when Floyd started writing/producing more cohesive stuff & the leap from there to “Dark Side of the Moon” & all their later stuff. You don’t there without “Meddle” but no so with “Atom Heart Mother”.

    To be kind it’s an acquired taste, even among us Floyd fans. There are some that love this to death & many who just will never like it. One camp is not superior over the other, it’s just your personal taste on the subject.
  • Warren from CanadaSeveral years ago a friend of mine and me both had the Atom Heart Mother album (vinyl) but the the production on his album had a drier sound as opposed to mine which had a more echoy wet sound. I read later on that there were 5 different productions of this album that were released. However trying to find information on it today is like picking hens teeth. Does anyone else know about this?
  • Bob from Tarlton, OhThis is an absolutely genius piece of music. No one has mentioned the amazing bass trombone rips in this. I get a chill everytime I here it. What I would give to have seen it live!
  • Giselle from Buenos Aires, ArgentinaThe Live at KQED version is awesome. The keyboard solo at the beginning (without that cello solo) is AMAZING, it really moves me.
  • Seth from Foster, RiThis song is amazing. This is coming from probably the biggest Floyd fan I can think of. It was one of the first albums to sound TOTALLY different than their previous one. I don't ever want to hear a bad thing about the song. Perhaps it is too short? I hear "The Unknown Song" in this. That is from Zabriskie Point. Google search it non-pink floyd fans who don't know what that is. The drums and bass go together so well in this song. Probably my favorite drum track to any song ever.
    -Seth from Rhode Island
  • Brendan from Mt. Airy, MdYeah this song is a perfect song for a movie..... Ironically, Stanley Kubrick wanted to use this track for his film "A Clockwork Orange"; however, the band refused permission. Kubrick did, however, include the album cover in the film. It can be seen on a shelf in the music shop scene. Years later, Kubrick refused Roger Waters permission to use audio samples from his film 2001: A Space Odyssey on Waters' solo album Amused to Death. That's karma for ya Roger!
  • Harry from South Bend, InI once heard that Atom Heart Mother was the worst album by Pink Floyd, that it was a true embarrassment to their career.

    I wholeheartedly disagree; in fact, this has got to be one of the most epic songs I've ever listened to, maybe besides "A Saucerful of Secrets." I love the experimentation with the symphony; the brass section makes for a wonderful melody.

    All in all, great song for those looking for something different. I'd recommend it to anyone.
  • Drew from Buffalo, NyThis song is so powerful and moving. I get so f'n happy and pumped up when you hear the chorus ever so often and finally at the end when everything comes in the choir in the chorus. I usually put this on or Echoes before I go to bed. I wake up at some weird part sometimes and get so freaked out. All n all incredible song. Definitely on Floyd's greatest hits, if you wanted only another small handful of songs.
  • Oldpink from New Castle, InI know this will irritate some of you, but I never much liked the original studio version of this.
    The live performances of it - particularly the October 17, 1971, San Diego recording - are another matter, with some incredible solos from Dave and Rick.
  • Jeremy from Brussels,Hello Everyone,

    I'm cellist, amateur orchester director and I love that song, could anyone tell me how I could get the music score

    Plz answer at jdelomba_at_gmail . com

  • Tadeo from Montreal, QcThe cover to this album was chosen because people at the time had to much of a strong imagery with Pink Floyd as a space-rock band, so they tried conveying a different image. Waters told the producer to drive out to the country and photograph something "ordinary". The cow was the result of this.
  • Allison from A Little Ol' Town In, MiI bet you could use this song in a score for a movie. It's got that sound to it. I love the wailing and backup choir. The backup choir is sung by the John Aldiss Choir
  • Bill from Erie, PaStanley Kubrick asked the band if he could use parts of this song in his movie "A Clockwork Orange". Roger Waters declined, saying that the different parts would sound bad taken out of context. Nevertheless, the "Atom Heart Mother" album cover appears in a scene where the main character, Alex, is at a record store.
  • Jimbo from Sequim, WaI wish this song could receive more airplay (It was actually aired in entirety on Sirius Radio - The Vault) so more people could hear the slide work by Gilmour and also the string work - is it a viola? That segment is my favorite from any of the Floyd's epic suites, save maybe the Baritone Sax solo on Shine On You Crazy Diamond.
  • Lexx from Milton, Indiaup until hearing this song my favorite song was lucy in the sky with diamonds for a year and 2 months, and my favorite album was sgt pepper's lonely hearts club band. but this song is better. yes, i said it. i believe there is a song that fits in each person's soul and i can imagine this person... he has gnarled purple/blue/green hair that grows down his jaw and his lips are like water and his eyes cry to you, but he always seems happy. hes powerfull, but weak. and hes my baby daddy... there is nothing like this song, as log as you or i live. i love this song.
  • Michael from OxfordMitchell, at 18:00 they use the same Leslie speaker-distorted piano which opens Echoes. That's what you're hearing.
  • Michael from OxfordI love this song. But I can understand why the men themselves aren't proud of this.
  • Mitchell from Thunder Bay, CanadaAt 18:00-ish I hear echoes distinctly, although I'm sure it's not actually the song, but it sounds just like it. Love the song, I just listened to it all a minute ago without realizing it. That good.
  • Abhishek from Mumbai, IndiaAtom Heart Mother,it seems to me a brave song in follwing aspects... it makes me remind about most of the strong cartoon characters (like superman, heman and many others) that i have seen on read about.

    The music seems to properly justify their(super humans')existance...
  • Roman from Chicago, PolandJoe: for another GOOD "brass and drum" music (but no big orchestra) try King Crimson "Lizard" or "Islands". (about same time as AHM)
  • Madalyn from Greensburg, Paim liatening to this song for the first time as i am typing this... this was the last cd in my floyd collection and i really like this song so far this is top five best floyd songs...if someone would lock me into a room and said you have to rate the top floyd songs...i would just have to die in the room cause i wouldn't be able to do it, i love how the melody gets real gothy and then bluesy and then brass...then its like typical floyd and then churchy...what a song i've never heard anything quite like it...and i don't think i ever will...and im only 15!!!
  • Adri from Zadar, CroatiaCan you recognize Jugband Blues In Atom Heart Mother.It's so visible :)
  • Ryan from Plano, TxThis song also appears in live form on the highly obscure bootleg "Atom Heart Mother Goes on the Road" released in '71 on vinyl and now quite hard to find on CD. It spans the group's tour of this name from 1970 thru 1971.
    The live version is a little better if you're a fan of the orchestrated portions of this song as they're a bit more drawn out in the live performance. It also outlasts the studio version by about two minutes.
  • Ryan from Plano, Tx"Many think that he ruined the song."? I've never heard any Floyd fans say THAT one before. You sure that's not just your personal opinion?
  • Dom from MontrÃ?al, CanadaThe orchestra and choir parts of this song were composed by an avant-gardist producer called Ron Geesin. Many think that he ruined the song.
  • Ashley from Moncton, CanadaNew theory- maybe when the choir sings that weird nonsense, they're singing what a baby says. That's what it sounds like to me. For me, this is the Pink Floyd song that sums up most of their stuff. It's 23 minutes of everything they've ever did. You can hear the very earliest Floyd combined with what would later come in DSOTM, WYWH, and even Animals and The Wall. It's like they built their later music around this song.
  • Fyodor from Denver, CoMe and a friend years ago theorized that Atom Heart Mother were three things that were sources. If the songfact above is right, they didn't think it up at all, and the original use of the phrase had a totally different intention. But still, perhaps our theory explains why it sounded good to them!
  • Spencer from Los Angeles, CaI like this song, it's very cool.
  • Joe from Santa Clara, CaI don't understand why people don't like this song. This is the first (and only) music I've heard with brass and drums. I was experienceing a new sound, and it was great. Is there any other notable brass and drum music I can look into?
  • Gilmour from Lockport, NyRoger Waters and Nick Mason had to get this whole thing in one take because they didn't have the ability to "punch in" and fix something in those days.
    On the third take they finally got it.
  • Bill from Erie, PaSome claim (actually, I've only heard this once) that the album Atom Heart Mother synchronizes to the old movie "Dr. Zhivago", which is about the Russian Revolution. A full explanation can be found at
    Just an interesting tidbit, especially considering the other Floyd synchronizations we know of.
  • Ashley from Moncton, CanadaThe best song and weirdest song on the album next to Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast. Alan's Psychedelic breakfast has one of the best song titles ever, excluding most of the stuff by the Flaming Lips, who have song titles that no one else would ever even attempt. Fat Old Sun is also very interesting and a really amazing song.
  • Pablo from North Providence, RiThis is an AWESOME song, great for mellowing out.
    It sounds like part of a film soundtrack. This song freaks almost everybody out, but I think it is genious.
    **Pablo,Rhode Island
  • Notmyrealemail from Buffalo, NyOne of the most beautiful songs ever composed. Right before then end, you here a shout "Silence in the studio!" and then all the pervious distinct sections come together. I get shivers down my spine ever every time I listen to the song, right at that part. I love it.
  • Phil from Niagara Falls, Canadawhy is it on the atom heart mother page then?
  • Steve from Hamilton, CanadaAt the time of the June 1970 performance it was titled "The Amazing Pudding".
  • Will from Greenville, NcPhil,those are the lyrics to Astronomy domine
    by Pink Floyd.
  • Phil from Niagara Falls, Canadathey say there are no lyrics but when i click "lyrics" there is a large amount of lyrics, shouldnt they right, "inncomprehensible lyrics, the only clear ones are..."
  • Adam G. from Jacksonville, Ncyeah they did this song in june 1970 at a festival in england, two months before the album was released.
  • Andrew from TorontoThat's true Liquid Len the jamming part in this suite is very cool.I know I am going to ruffle some feathers here but this 'Suite' could have been edited big time.It must have been cool to see them perform this live,I believe they did this before it was released at Hyde Park 70,correct me if I am wrong.
  • Liquid Len from Ottawa, CanadaVery experimental and weird music. You'll love it or hate it. Basically getting a choir and orchestra to do very strange things, sing nonsense syllables, very choppy and random sounding orchestra at times, also some very inspired playing. I feel this song is the first Pink Floyd song that has all their classic elements in place, the sound of the group jamming is unmistakable.
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