89. Pink Floyd - The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (1967)
1. Astronomy Domine
2. Lucifer Sam
3. Matilda Mother
5. Pow R Toc H
6. Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk
7. Interstellar Overdrive
9. Chapter 24
Trippy album. No, really trippy, but with a foundation in pop, which is nice. This pop-psychadelia is more apparent in Astronomy Domine for example, where a traditionally pop structure is transformed into something else. This album has a sense of constant foreboding which is very well achieved, in all the tracks there lurks a darkness of some kind. Even when the song is about gnomes, you can't help but think of them having satanic orgies at night.
All this might be attributable to Syd Barret's rapidly sliding sanity and copious usage of LSD, a bad LSD trip lurks behind all the fairytale imagery. And that decadent, repressed dementia is what makes this such a good album. Ok, it is not an easy album to listen to, in fact it is quite demanding on tracks like Interstellar Overdrive but it does pay off.
Overdrive has one of the coolest guitar riffs to be commited to vinyl; pity that between it's first and last appearance on the track there's 7 minutes where the mask of sanity has slipped and noise takes over. Pink Floyd sound like nothing else at this time. It does have its downsides, however, some of the more narrative songs seem a bit out of place, and I really prefer the more instrumental/spacy tracks. Honestly I think it is a good thing Barrett left, letting Pink Floyd explore those sounds on Dark Side Of The Moon for example.
I know I will go to hell for this, but Syd was overrated and I am more of a Roger Waters man myself. David Gilmour can go screw himself however (sorry Gilly, you know I love you). Stream it from Napster or buy it at Amazon UK or US.
1. Interstellar Overdrive
2. Astronomy Domine
3. Pow R. Toc. H
4. Bike (just because)
The album's title comes from the title of the seventh chapter of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, where Water Rat and Mole, while searching for a lost animal, have a spiritual experience. "This is the place of my song-dream, the place the music played to me," whispered the Rat, as if in a trance. "Here, in this holy place, here if anywhere, surely we shall find Him!". The Piper referred to is the Greek god Pan. Vic Singh photographed and designed the album cover, unlike subsequent Pink Floyd albums.