Commissioned as the soundtrack for Barbet Schroeder's 1972 film The Valley, Obscured By Clouds actually holds up rather well on its own terms. The title track is a trippy, cinematic instrumental that features some searing guitar work from David Gilmour, but full-fledged songs like "Free Four" (which sounds like a morbid inversion of Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky"), and the folksy "Wot's...Uh the Deal" are the real highlights of the set. Essentially a transitional work, Obscured By Clouds has long been dwarfed by Dark Side of the Moon, the album which came immediately after it. In fact, the funky "Childhood's End" and the ethereal "Burning Bridges" could well be dry runs for the Dark Side tracks "Time" and "Breathe," respectively. In all, it's a priceless snapshot of a band on the verge of immortality.