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Pink Floyd - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn CD (album) cover

THE PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.87 | 2295 ratings

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cohen34
5 stars First of all let me say that this isnt a Pink Floyd album, its a Syd Barrett album with Pink Floyd playing backup. And second, this may not even be Syd we're hearing, its LSD pure acid, from start to finish. Syd never was the genius people made him out to be, it was the drugs that made him who he was and eventually destroyed him. I give the guy talent and his story is very compelling but I dont think he deserves all the credit he gets.

With that out of the way let me tell you that I've listened to alot of british psychedelic music and this album is undoubtedly the best of the bunch! The brain-child of Syd, Piper is composed of songs glorifying the acid experience and songs that take ordinary objects (bikes, cats, childhood stories even scarecrows) and twist them into the focal point of an acid experience. Theres alot of bad psychedelic rock out there, most bands either lay in on too lightly while others lose all sense of musicianship and go completely over the top. In Piper, however, Pink Floyd has made a really trippy album that still rocks! But dont think that Syd holds the band up, he certainly doesnt, Rick, Roger and Nick all play incredibly well on this album. Nick Mason's drums never sounded so good especially on Pow R. Toc H. Rick Wright's keyboards are in the forefront of every song, setting the atmosphere and keeping the music moving. While Water's muscular bass drives the hard-rocking tracks like Lucifer Sam. Many of the tracks abound in weird, nonsensical noises in particular, the freak-out jam Interstellar Overdrive which, after a kick-ass riff, launches into unexplored musical territory where Barrett does pretty much everything possible to get an unconventional sound out of his guitar. Admittingly, while this playful side turns some people off, I cant get enough of it.

Other highlites include the brilliant opener Astronomy Domine. This track and its companion Interstellar Overdrive thrust the listener into outer space and leave them there while loud drum beats, swirling organ and Syd's fractured, skittish guitar riffs cascade around them. The vocal harmonies on Matilda Mother do a great job in creating a trippy atmosphere especially when they drop off, tell me moooooooore. The album closes with Bike which is Syd Barrett in a nut shell, bouncing along on an organ riff before descending into a collage of weird noises which ends the song. The rest of the album is great as well, all of the tracks contributing to the psychedelic feel.

Even though this is nothing like the Pink Floyd that developed over the years, this incredible debut is still my favorite Floyd album and it fully deserves its 5 star rating. From here we can catch glimpses of the space rock PF would focus on as well as the uneven acid rock Syd would produce before he retired from the music scene forever. Its a pity he couldent have gone on with the band as nothing they subsequently made sounded so good and so trippy from start to finish.

cohen34 | 5/5 |

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