Pink Floyd – Atom Heart Mother (SKAO382) (1970)


(Potters Bar, Hertfordshire) – Her name was Lulubelle III and she was “simply delicious”.

So says Hertfordshire farmer Ian Higson of the famous cow on the front cover of art rock band Pink Floyd’s fifth Lp Atom Heart Mother. Higson claims he personally butchered the “tender, succulent” Lulubelle III and served her in “about eighteen” different ways.

“The Rib-Eyes were the best,” he said, licking his lips. “We ate those with roast potatoes and carrots. Jesus, that was good.”

Higson was less impressed with the actual Lp itself, calling it “a transitional album that betrays its casting-about-for-direction a little too desperately.”

In exchange for allowing album designer Storm Thorgerson on his property to take pictures of his herd, Higson said the Hipgnosis photographer brought him a copy of the album when it came out. “We had a listening party on the Hi-Fi that Friday night, got a few beers in, you know,” he recalled. “I thought [the music] was ambitious, especially Ron Geesin’s orchestration. For me, only ‘Fat Old Sun’ stood out.”

According to Higson, gone was all of founder Syd Barrat’s “psychedelic whimsy” as well as (“mercifully”) the “extended improvisation and pretentiousness” of the previous year’s Ummagumma, to be replaced with a “pastoral inclination” which he said was reflected in the sleeve. He cited keyboardist Richard Wright’s “Summer ’68” as “typical of the album. It’s pretty good, and you can hear snatches of melody and techniques put to better use on later, more cohesive albums; there’s just something missing.”

“Frankly, I don’t see how it got to number one in the UK.”

“But the Lulubelle III,” he joked of the slaughtered bovine. “She was number one with a bullet.”

Published in: on October 13, 2012 at 12:27 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The cover does look like a poster from the local butcher….

  2. As a partisan Pink Floyd nut, I truly love this record. For me, it’s an ecstatic piece of work! The cover conveys something err…Floydian, that is hard to define, but works wonderfully. I recently got this on vinyl after years of listening on CD and it is an even finer experience now! Am I really the only person who digs the hell out of ‘Alans Psychedelic Breakfast’? Someone, surely…?

    • I will say this about ‘Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast,’ it reveals a longstanding mischeivous/humorous streak, especially in the naming of songs, that is often unrecognised in Floyd’s output. My favourite example, the song called, ‘Wots…Uh the Deal?’. Well, I think it’s funny.

    • I too love this album. For me the Atom Heart Mother album is both literally and figuratively the start of 70’s Floyd. All the classic elements of the “Pink Floyd sound” are present on this album. Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast is a perfect example of this. No other band could have produced that song.

      The awesome album cover is also indicative of a new and unique Pink Floyd style, not only musically, but also aesthetically.

  3. Absolutely brilliant cover, but as the “news” story implied, I find something lacking in the Lp as a whole.

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