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Mott’s CD review
Book Review: The Da Vinci Code
With all the “shock, horror” being put
about over the Da Vinci Code film (which I believe was fuelled by Sony
pictures to get more bums on seats at the movie houses), I felt it was
worthwhile repeating my review of more than two years ago, so if you want to
read the book before the movie, then read the review first.
The Da Vinci Code (hard cover) by Dan Brown was released by Doubleday
publishing (ISBN 0-385-50420-9) as a whopping 450 page epic.
The story begins with an American symbologist in Paris, Robert Langdon, who
becomes the chief suspect in the murder of the curator of the Grand Gallery of
the Louvre, the home of Da Vinci’s famous painting of the Mona Lisa.
The French police begin tracking Langdon, who meets up with a deciphering
expert, a Ms. Sophie Neveu. Ms Neveu works for the French police, and is the
estranged granddaughter of the murdered curator.
On the other side of the story is a fanatical sect of the Catholic Church,
willing to stop at nothing to get their hands on the Holy Grail, a mystical
chalice that is looked after by the murdered curator, the successor to many
who have looked after the secret for centuries.
As the story unfolds, more people are dragged into the search, some on the
side of protecting the knowledge, and others on the side of destroying its
information. Throw in some modern day bounty hunters, a knight of the realm, a
combination of hundreds of years old logic and modern computerized web
crawling, and you are starting to see the bones of the plot.
Plot and sub-plot, twists and turns, it is all there with an amazing turn of
events at the end which may leave some readers stunned, others disappointed,
but nobody will have been able to guess the ending. The butler didn’t do it
– but he almost did!
Other authors and critics have given this book plaudits such as “pure
genius”, “the finest mystery”, “fascinating”, “perfect for history
buffs, conspiracy nuts, puzzle lovers, or anyone who appreciates a great
riveting story.” What can I say, other than that it is a damn good read.
This book is a historical who dunnit without peer. The writing itself is
superb, with author Brown dropping hints at the end of chapters that make you
turn the next page, just to follow the thread. He alternates between short
chapters and longer ones, just to keep the story going from all the viewpoints
of the different characters who are introduced in the novel. Technically
However, the ability to weave fact and fiction into an extremely credible yarn
is what makes this book outstanding as far as I am concerned. The problems
that have occurred come from the situation that some readers cannot
distinguish between the two. It was the best thriller I had read for many
years, but beware, it is more than a trifle similar to his previous book
Angels and Demons. The RRP of the hard cover was B. 695, but this book was
worth every last satang!
Mott's CD Reviews: Pink Floyd
Atom Heart Mother
5 Stars *****
Mott the Dog
Atom Heart Mother (1970) is a bit hard to describe really.
The first track is the title piece taking up 24 minutes; it’s an amazing
collection of musical themes in a classical arrangement (this is why at first
it was known as the Amazing Pudding. Get it. Collection=Pudding. The Amazing
Pudding is still the name of Pink Floyd’s most famous fan club). The band had
various riffs and themes, but hadn’t really put it all together, and with an
imminent American tour coming up and a recording contract to fill, with the
band not really in agreement what should be done, they brought in mutual friend
Ron Geesin - the avante garde producer.
Roger Waters and Nick Mason went in the studio to lay out a rough rhythm
section for him, which was a bit ragged as both were a little tired, so it
speeds up in some places and rather alarmingly slows down at others. With this
the band clears off to America leaving Ron Geesin with the instructions to over
lay something grand; you know, heavenly choirs, brass fanfares, whatever you
like really, get on with it Ron we’re all rather busy actually. Oh, have it
ready for us when we come back in June, etc.
So completely without supervision Ron Geesin took Pink Floyd’s rough rhythm
track and turned it into a musical masterpiece, bit of luck really.
When the members of Floyd got back from tour they were well impressed, so they
decided not to bother re-recording the bass and drums. But Gilmour and Wright
went back into the studios to lay some mercurial guitar and keyboard solos onto
our Atom Heart Mother.
The piece is broken up into six sections, but it all gels perfectly into a
whole. Gilmour and Wright really come out of the closet with their dynamic
soloing, whilst all of Geesin’s work fits perfectly with the band.
The brass section riffs are monstrous, whilst the violin playing is executed
with total abandon. The choir is in fine voice, especially with its forerunner
to Tubular Bells voices that rampage through the closing sections. The
SoundBits are also tastefully used with a motorbike roaring away with the band
and orchestra when they first come in together. As the music builds to a false
climax towards the end a voice booms out, “Here is a loud announcement”
whilst at the musical climax another voice calls for “Silence in the
studio” to no avail. With time constraints, touring, and Ron Geesin only
coming in half way through, everything was against it being a classic, but it
The other four tracks are also little gems, but in their own special way. Again
not much band cohesion. But maybe they just worked better this way. The next
song is a lovely Roger Waters song called If, showing Waters’ ever increasing
interest in the human brain. Gilmour supplies some exquisite electric guitar to
accompany Waters’ acoustic guitar and vocals.
The lyrics are amongst Waters’ most uncomplicated (like later when he tried
to educate us all with ‘The Wall’ in 1979).
‘If I were a swan I’d be gone,
If I were a Train I’d be late,
And if I were a good man,
I’d talk to you more often then I do.
If I were asleep I could dream,
If I was afraid I could hide,
if I go insane,
Please don’t put wires in my brain.
Richard Wright’s contribution, Summer 68, is a nod to the past, showing off
unashamedly its Syd Barrett influences, with its catchy chorus and mid tempo
verses, all tied up with some rollicking barrel house piano, and the return of
the brass section at the conclusion. David Gilmour then contributed Fat Old
Sun, a wonderful little dirge that is a complete rip off of The Kinks song
released the previous year as Lazy Old Sun, but that does not make it a bad
song, and anyway Ray Davies never sued.
The last piece on the album is exactly what it says it is, Alan’s Psychedelic
Breakfast. The song’s title refers to one Alan Stiles of Pink Floyd’s road
crew in the Sixties and early Seventies. What you get is the sounds of Alan
getting up in the morning and coming downstairs to cook his breakfast, all
rather noisily, with the band jamming some breakfast type themes over the top
in places. Often they just leave Alan scratching away solo. A rather odd end to
the album, but as with the rest of the music, rather effective.
Atom Heart Mother was released at the back end of 1970 and was the first Pink
Floyd album to top the British charts, and crack the American top fifty. So job
well done. Mind you when Pink Floyd released their greatest hits double CD
Echoes in all its one hundred and fifty minutes, they could not even find time
for one little excerpt from this album. The cow pictured on the front cover of
this album is called Lulubelle the third. I hope she got her royalties all
right, because for a little while there, she was the most famous cow in the
Roger Waters: Bass Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, and Vocals
David Gilmour: Lead Guitar and Vocals
Rick Wright: Keyboards and Vocals
Nick Mason: Drums
To contact Mott the Dog
email: [email protected]
Atom Heart Mother (Father’s Shout, Breasty Milky, Mother Fore,
Funky Dung, Mind Your Throats Please, Remergence)
Fat Old Sun
Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast (Rise and Shine, Sunny Side Up, Morning Glory)