A Saucerful Of Secrets
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Remember A Day
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Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
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Corporal Clegg

Song Name: Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun

Artist: Pink Floyd

Album: A Saucerful Of Secrets, A Nice Pair, Works, Shine On, Echoes: The Best Of Pink Floyd

Run Time: 5:28

Year: 1968

Track Number: 3

Sung By: Roger Waters

Echoes: The Best Of Pink Floyd
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The Great Gig In The Sky
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Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
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Written By: Roger Waters


  • The song was started in August of 1967, with overdubs recorded in October of that year and in January and April of 1968, when David Gilmour was present. According to an interview with Guitar World magazine in 1993, Gilmour said that former frontman Syd Barrett played on "a tiny bit" of the song, making it the only Pink Floyd song that features all 5 members playing at once.
  • In the book Pink Floyd - through the eyes of... by Bruno McDonald, Roger Waters admitted to "borrowing" the lyrics from a book of Chinese poetry from the Tang Dynasty period (which was later identified as the book Poems of the late T'ang, translated by A.C. Graham).
  • Some of the "borrowed" lines were written by Li He, whose poem Don't go out the door contains the line "witness the man who raged at the wall as he wrote his question to heaven", and Li Shangyin, whose poetry contained the lines, "watch little by little the night turn around", "countless the twigs which tremble in dawn," and, "one inch of love is an inch of ashes."
  • Additionally, the main riff resembles a phrase played by Jimmy Garrison in his introductory solo prior to "My Favorite Things" on the John Coltrane album Live At The Village Vanguard Again!, although this is most likely coincidental. The main riff is played by David Gilmour on the guitar by using extreme low registers almost sounding as a bass. The riff E E F E D E... is in the phrygian mode. Its "indian" character was very fashionable for pop music at that time.
  • This song as well as others by Pink Floyd influenced author Douglas Adams in the creation of the fictional band "Disaster Area" in his book "Restaurant at the End of the Universe." Disaster Area is known to be the loudest band in the universe. Similar to Pink Floyd their set is one with many visual effects and ends by crashing a spaceship into the nearest sun.
  • The song has appeared in Waters' 2006 tour and the "In the Flesh" tour, featuring stills from the videos of "Arnold Layne" and "Scarecrow" respectively.

  Credits  |  Chronology  

Audio Video Edit

Pink Floyd - Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun + lyrics05:29

Pink Floyd - Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun + lyrics

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