The Body was a 1968 book written by Anthony Smith filled with many bizarre and interesting facts about the human body. When it came to making a film along the same lines, producer Tony Garnet and director Roy Battersby were put in touch with Ron Geesin by John Peel when asked who would be suitable for the project. When songs with lyrics were required, Geesin obtained the help of his golfing buddy Waters. They had been introduced by Nick Mason in 1969 who met Geesin through a mutual friend a year earlier. It seemed an unlikely musical partnership, but Geesin's avant-garde nature and strange sense of humour was designed to be complemented by Waters more sombre and simple lyrical songs. In early 1970, they recorded music for the film separately, Geesin with the help of a cellist, and Waters accompanying himself with an acoustic guitar.
Later in the year, EMI decided they would like to release a record of the material, Geesin was insistent that it be re-recorded to be more suitable for an album in its own right. This time the two worked closer together, each producing the others work. The last song on the record, Give Birth To A Smile, even contained Gilmour, Mason and Wright as session musicians.
It was a very busy year for Waters with a hectic to Pink Floyd touring schedule including many European dates at the beginning of the year up to March 30, an American Tour (April 9 - May 30), another trip around Europe (June 19 - August 12), and the Atom Heart Mother World Tour (September 12 - December 3). Between all these dates, they managed to squeeze in sessions not only for The Body album, but for Atom Heart Mother, although Geesin worked on much of the brass and choir sections while Pink Floyd were on tour. In an interview in REG 8, Geesin claims that these sessions were in September / October 1970, but it is more likely to have been in August / September because Waters was on the road from September 12 with the Atom Heart Mother tour.
The resulting album, reviewed in REG 8, was not the first true solo effort for Waters. Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict, and Grantchester Meadows from the 1969 Ummagumma album can be regarded as the first. Although under the banner of Pink Floyd, each of the four band members performed their own compositions in solo style. But this experiment, like The Body album did not seem like such a serious exercise. The true nature of Waters solo work was yet to come.
(Australia: Harvest 4008)
| Music From The Body (Picture CD)
(Restless Retro 7 72395-2) cover Canada, CD made in USA
- early editions of the film existed on video in Europe and Australia (PAL) but are now deleted
- reissued on video in the UK (PAL) by Warner a few years ago but possibly deleted