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Pink Floyd - The Piper At The Gates of Dawn
Label: Capitol Records
Release: 1967

Astronomy Domine
Lucifer Sam
Matilda Mother
Pow R. Toc H.
Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk
Interstellar Overdrive
The Gnome
Chapter 24
The Piper At The Gates of Dawn - Pink Floyd
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Average Blamo User Rating: (10 votes)

Well, if you want a complete, concise introduction to the classic Pink Floyd sound, then this...isn't it. Of course, Pink Floyd began in 1966, under the leadership of Syd Barrett. One of the most original bands of the epoch, they played a veryunique, heavy form of psychedelia, that really took it's form in the live setting. This 1967 album isn't really a greatexample of the sound of the band - although it did cement the reputation of the band, and gave them a couple of hits beforethey had to start from scratch again after Barrett went too far into the wonders of LSD.

There are certainly a few examples though, of the weird PF sound - and they're all amongst the best work on this album.Starting off with the fantastic early classic, "Astronomy Domine" - a song that would justly become a live standard for manyyears to come, with it's hammering drums, catchy melodies, and spaced-out chorus lines, it's basically a perfect definitionof the Barrett-era sound. Classic.

The other real big psychedelic smasher on here is, of course, the extended piece. The 9-minute "Interstellar Overdrive" opens with one of the most famous riffs in the PF canon. The song stays in it's structure for about...say, 30 seconds, before descending into absolute madness - Barrett wails away on his guitar, the band creates spacey noises, there's studiopanning here, there and everywhere...and it's fantastic. Great, great track - and what a riff too, even if it only lasts for a few bars.

Bar the throwaway, lighter instrumental "Pow R. Toc H." though, most of the tracks don't really reach up to this level - although PF did prove that they could write tight, hook-laden ditties. The best is probably "Lucifer Sam", with it's infectious riff, and great melodies - it's a real kicker. The worst is "Take Thy Stethoscope And Walk". Waters' first PF song, it's just...ah, really poor. Poor melody, and really amateur-ish in general. He would take a while to build upthat talent - nothing really shows here. Shame, because this one should have probably been left in the attic - classicearly singles such as "See Emily Play" and "Arnold Layne" could have taken it's place.

As for the rest, they're all generally decent. "Matilda Mother" is a nice, rockier number, and "Chapter 24" is a half-decentpsychy effort, and "Flaming" is generally pretty childlike in it's ways. You also get some odd Barrett numbers - "The Gnome"with it's odd beats, the acoustic, childlike "Scarecrow"...and of course, "Bike", the album closer. Probably the craziesttrack on the album, with it's weird rhythms, hilarious lyrics, and all culminating in a sound collage with geese noises - it's a very good way to cap it all off.

I think i'll give this a high 7 - solid overall, with only a couple of downers, but with a couple of classics too. Very good album - not really representative, bar some parts, but still very, very solid.

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