According to Roger Waters, this early Pink Floyd song was the first of his compositions that he was proud of. Bar the title line, all the lyrics were pinched from a book of Chinese poetry that Roger Waters owned.
At his two solo concerts at Wembley Arena in June 2002, Roger Waters performed this with Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason. It was the first time they'd performed publicly together in over twenty years, during which time they'd managed to go over a decade without speaking, despite being the best of friends for most of their lives.
Suggestion credit: Daniel - Melbourne, Australia, for above 2
The title was inaccurately described in Nicholas Schaffner's book A Saucerful Of Secrets: The Pink Floyd Odyssey as being taken from William S. Burroughs, but Burroughs wrote no such line in any book. It is actually from a book by Michael Moorcock entitled Fireclown, also known as "The Winds of Limbo."
Suggestion credit: Anton - St.Louis, MO
This song inspired British author Douglas Adams to reference the band in his book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, where "The loudest group of all times" destroys a spaceship directing it into a star. The group was called Disaster Area and its music was so loud that the fans would have to listen their gigs from a long distance. Adams was a friend of band's guitarist David Gilmour.
Suggestion credit: Mihail - Sofia, Bulgaria
For a short period of time between David Gilmour joining the band in December 1967 and Syd Barrett's departure in April 1968, Pink Floyd were a five-piece. According to an interview with David Gilmour on the 2006 documentary Which One's Pink?, this is the only Pink Floyd song that features all five band members as it includes guitar work from both from Gilmour and Barrett.
Mreenal from Darjeeling, Indiabeautiful song.. when i first heard it i thought it had oriental influences..
Michael from Middletown, Ctthis song isnt about a space pilot commiting suicide roger waters said that it was about the space era coming into play, watch their documentary
Oldpink from New Castle, InMuch of the eerie guitar effect in the free form section in the middle was Dave Gilmour using a slide rubbed back and forth across the strings on the fretboard. It's a great song, and one that was played all the way up until 1973, and for good reason.
Justin from Montpelier, VtThe "Live in Pompeii" version contains a delayed keyboard part in the middle of the song. Without any rythem section to go along with it, the keyboard creates a very haunting, free-floating atmosphere.
Ryan from Plano, TxUmmagumma's live version completely blows the studio cut out of the water with a bit of a psychedelic soundscape added into the middle of the song. Pink Floyd really did know how to improvise back in the day.
Mike from Dayton, OhSet The Controls is my most favorite song period. Hard to beleive coming from someone who likes Slayer,Sabbath,Sepultura etc...The Live at Pompeii & Umma Gumma versions are my most favorite.Not to mention that The Floyd are #1 in my book, especially 67-83
Michelle from San Diego , Cai just love the creativity from all original members of the band. together and seperated they literally made music that i consider magical.
Dev01d from Wollongong, AustraliaThis song is one of my top 5 Pink Floyd songs even though it is so hard to pick favourites, especially from the best band ever. The whole 'Live In Pompeii' DVD is just amazing. The eerie atmosphere fits with the songs so well.
Bill from Erie, PaThe song is about a space pilot who decides to commit suicide by sending his ship to burn up in the Sun... suprised no one has mentioned that.
Ashley from Moncton, CanadaThis song rules. It's a very awesome song by a very awesome band and if you don't like it you must be nuts.
Andrew from TorontoBeautiful song very sad but mysterious and joyous at the same time.The early Floyd stuff brings back that familiar taste on my tongue.
Tom from Berlin, MdThe Pompeii version is the greatest version of this, in my opinion.
James from Sudbury, Canadathe whole thing was from the book... cept the name
Corey from Dark Side Of The Moon, OtherCheck out the Pompeii version as well. VERY trippy.
Randy from Beaumont, TxThere's a GREAT version on the DVD "Roger Waters, In the Flesh".