The two Pink Floyd songs Richard Wright called an “embarrassment”

In the annals of classic rock greatness, Pink Floyd now stands as an indelible emblem, but there was a juncture when they were a cadre of fledgling long-haired enthusiasts fervently pursuing an enigmatic artistic vision, the contours of which were yet to be fully delineated.

Their embryonic phase, fronted by the enigmatic Syd Barrett, encapsulates the band’s rawest period. Thrust into the burgeoning psychedelic milieu, the quartet distinguished themselves with an avant-garde interpretation of the genre. It was a sonic tapestry more audacious than anything contemporaneous peers were weaving, propelled by Barrett’s pulsating guitar virtuosity and his whimsically delivered lyrics, conjuring visions steeped in opium-induced reveries of bygone eras.

Enthusiastic fans ardently champion the two albums crafted during Barrett’s tenure – 1967’s “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” and the subsequent year’s “A Saucerful of Secrets” – extolling their zeitgeist-capturing essence and unapologetically psychedelic approach. Nevertheless, the band members themselves have distanced from this epoch, a period marked by their collective greenness and the tumultuous mental health decline of Barrett, culminating in his departure in 1968.

Amid the personal labyrinth of memories and musical meanderings, some instances from this chapter fade into the background like ephemeral experiences. This is notably evident in their sophomore album, where Barrett was relieved of duties before its completion. Undeterred, the remaining members, now joined by guitarist David Gilmour, pressed forward to conclude the project.

Keyboardist Richard Wright, in a nuanced reflection, contributed two songs to the album – ‘Remember a Day’ and ‘See-Saw’ – later deeming them an “embarrassment.” Yet, he contextualized this critique, acknowledging the period’s significance as a crucible of learning. In the Pink Floyd biography “Saucerful of Secrets,” Wright elucidated, “They’re sort of an embarrassment. I don’t think I’ve listened to them ever since we recorded them. It was a learning process. Through writing these songs, I learned that I’m not a lyric writer, for example. But you have to try it before you find out. The lyrics are appalling, terrible, but so were a lot of lyrics in those days.”

Despite the challenges and occasional cringe-worthy moments, the recording odyssey of “A Saucerful of Secrets” became a harbinger of the band’s future. It witnessed a shift in the group’s power dynamics, catalyzing the formidable partnership between Gilmour and Roger Waters that, after a brief period of experimental forays, would eventually yield artistic gold.

Immerse yourself in the sonic relics of that era with both tracks below.

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