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Obscured By Clouds

Obscured By Clouds
Obscured By Clouds, soundtrack to the movie La Vallee, recorded in less than 2 weeks (23-29feb 1972 and 23-27mar1972) in Chateau d’Herouvile in France. This came in the middle of the band’s UK and Japan tour, where they were premiering the piece that would finally become Dark Side of The Moon.

“Differences between the movie and album versions”

The differences between the movie and album are much less for OBC than they were for More, the only differences are in the lyrics to Free Four

[Thanks to Geoff Rimmer ( for this one.] I don’t remember seeing this in the FAQ or on the mailing list, so for those who haven’t rushed out and bought the video of “The Valley Obscured By Clouds” (Warner Home Video. Cost me $69.95 + POSTAGE!). Here are the lyrics of Free Four in the film version:

(fades in …)
Are the deeds of a man in his prime
You shuffle in the gloom of a sick room
And talk to yourself as you die

And life is a short warm moment
And death is a long cold rest (*)
You get your chance to try
In the twinkling of an eye
In eighty years with luck
Or even less

So take my advice }
And cut yourself a slice } This is roughly the same
And try not to make it too big } tune as “So all aboard for
‘Cos things are hard to grow } the American tour…
And I can tell you } you may find it hard to get
‘Cos I know } off”
It’s better not to make yourself sick. } off”

(jumps horribly to the following…)

He was buried like a mole in a foxhole
And everyone’s still on the run
And who is the master of foxhounds
And who says the hunt has begun? (*)
And who calls the tune in the courtroom (*)
And who beats the funeral drum? (*)

The memories of a man in his old age
Are the deeds of a man in his prime
You shuffle in the gloom of a sick room
… (fades out)

(*) are sung differently from the OBC album.
[Note that the film has dialogue over the top of the music, and this version isn’t available without the dialogue, at least not that we know of.]

The running order of the Obscured By Clouds tape is wrong

Because of the peculiarities of 8-track machines, an album had to be divided into four roughly equal sections for an 8-track release. This frequently necessitated rearranging the order of the album tracks. When cassettes came along a few years later, record companies often used the 8-track masters they had made to make the cassettes, because they were already nicely subdivided. This is the origin of the change in running order on the OBC cassette.

The original running order was as follows:

Obscured by Clouds
When You’re In
Burning Bridges
The Gold it’s in The…
Wot’s…uh the Deal
Childhood’s End
Free Four
Absolutely Curtains

And the “modified” running order is:
Obscured by Clouds
When You’re In
Burning Bridges
The Gold…
-> Free Four
-> Mudmen
-> Childhood’s End
-> Wot’s …
Absolutely Curtains

Childhoods End
This song is that last song that has sole writing credits for Dave Gilmour, until Sorrow on the AMLoR album.

This song has only been performed live a few times

Free Four

“The master of foxhounds”

The following is culled from the web site: (Masters of Foxhounds of America):

Masters serve for designated periods and are responsible to the members or hunt committee. It is the Master who is responsible for the day’s sport and he makes the decisions. The proper care and handling of hounds is his responsibility. He or she makes every effort to maintain a cordial relationship with the owners over whose lands the hunt rides. He supervises the hound breeding program,schedules the hunt meet locations and appoints the hunt staff who work for him. If he does not hunt the hounds himself, he appoints a huntsman who is sometimes a professional. Most hunts have more than one master. The Joint-Masters share responsibilities. If a master doesn’t lead the field himself he appoints a fieldmaster who is responsible for the riders who follow the fieldmaster. The field master’s job is to keep the field of riders close enough to enjoy watching the hounds yet not so close as to interfere with the huntsman hunting his hounds.
“and who beats the funeral drum”
The person who beats the funeral drum determines the pace of the funeral procession.

Absolutely Curtains

The tribe chanting at the end of the song is the Mapuga tribe.

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