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


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.88 | 2047 ratings

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4 stars When I bought this album I was already a "Dark Side of the Moon" fan, and to be honest "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" sounded me as an heresy. Why were my idols playing that exuberant and lysergic music? But the answer was simple Syd Barrett. With the pass of time I learned to love this album and today is one of my favorites, even if has almost nothing in common with the progressive Pink Floyd.

"Piper at the Gates of Dawn" is a semi conceptual album inspired in Syd Barrett's favorite children's book "The Wind and the Willows" and because of that is somehow nave and innocent, but it's also an ode to madness, sometimes confusing and sometimes totally lack of coherence, but that insanity is the key of it's beauty and transcendence.

The album starts with "Astronomy Domine", a typical psychedelic song of the late 60's with a pop edge and guitar based sound plus simple but effective drums. Even when Floyd didn't even dreamed with DSOTM we can listen some spacey sections, as an Avant premiere of the sound they will develop years after.

"Lucifer Sam" is a song where Roger Waters demonstrates what his capable of with his powerful bass, reminds by moments to the Batman Theme (remember the 60s series?), a good song but nothing special, except maybe for the complex mixture of instruments in the middle section of the track and the overplayed keyboards that sound like Farfisa Organ.

"Matilda Mother" reminds of Sergeant Pepper's and it must have been a classic when the album was released, but today sounds outdated, even when it's a very complex track with multiple changes and elaborated vocals. You can almost feel the effects of the LSD when you listen this song.

"Pow R Toc H" can be described in two words pure acid, the song is plagued with sounds and shouts, almost always out of tune, that would be totally out of reality if it wasn't for the extraordinary piano sections by Wright that brings as back to earth.

"Take thy Stethoscope and Walk" is without doubt one of the worst song of the album, incredibly was composed by Roger Waters and is a typical 60's song but lacks of imagination and coherence. The next track "Interstellar Overdrive" is one of the first clear attempts of space rock, still confusing and chaotic but very interesting, the band offers something innovative.

"The Gnome", "Chapter 24" and "The Scarecrow" are three weak Barrett songs, again the band offers nothing different to what second-class bands done before, pretty forgettable except for the historical value of being composed by Syd Barrett.

The album ends with the childish and nave "Bike", don't know why but I find this song very interesting and well done, as a curiosity, in the middle section there's a moment silence and a explosion of clock like sounds that for an instant transports the listener to Dark Side of the Moon.

"Piper at the Gates of Dawn" explores two aspects of psychedelic music, the exploration of a world that goes further than the senses and at the same time an absolute demonstration of mental insanity, which explains Syd Barrett's future breakdown. Not progressive by any mean but an absolute masterpiece of British Psychedelia that can't be easily understood by those of us who didn't lived the excesses of the late 60's.

An essential piece of music, basic to understand the history of one of the most incredible and innovative bands of Progressive Rock.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


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