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Released: October 10, 1970

Rating: 3.719 (average of 17 ratings)

Genre: psychedelic rock

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Atom Heart Mother
    i. Father’s Shout
    ii. Breast Milky
    iii. Mother Fore
    iv. Funky Dung
    v. Mind Your Throats, Please
    vi. Remergence
  2. If
  3. Summer ‘68
  4. Fat Old Sun
  5. Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast
    i. Rise and Shine
    ii. Sunny Side Up
    iii. Morning Glory


sales in U.S. only ˝ million
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 5 million


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 55
peak on U.K. album chart 1 1

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • none

Atom Heart Mother
Pink Floyd
“Appearing after the sprawling, unfocused double-album set Ummagumma, Atom Heart Mother may boast more focus, even a concept, yet that doesn't mean it's more accessible. If anything, this is the most impenetrable album Pink Floyd released while on Harvest, which also makes it one of the most interesting of the era. Still, it may be an acquired taste even for fans, especially since it kicks off with a side-long, 23-minute extended orchestral piece that may not seem to head anywhere, but is often intriguing, more in what it suggests than what it achieves” (Erlewine).

“Then, on the second side, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, and Rick Wright have a song apiece…Of these, Waters begins developing the voice that made him the group’s lead songwriter during their classic era with If, while Wright has an appealingly mannered, very English psychedelic fantasia on Summer ‘68, and Gilmour’s Fat Old Sun meanders quietly before ending with a guitar workout that leaves no impression” (Erlewine).

Group composition Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast, “the 12-minute opus that ends the album, does the same thing, floating for several minutes before ending on a drawn-out jam that finally gets the piece moving” (Erlewine).

“So, there are interesting moments scattered throughout the record, and the work that initially seems so impenetrable winds up being Atom Heart Mother’s strongest moment. That it lasts an entire side illustrates that Pink Floyd was getting better with the larger picture instead of the details, since the second side just winds up falling off the tracks, no matter how many good moments there are. This lack of focus means Atom Heart Mother will largely be for cultists, but its unevenness means there’s also a lot to cherish here” (Erlewine).

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Links:

previous album: Ummagumma (1969) DMDB page next album: Meddle (1971)

Last updated January 18, 2009.