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Pink Floyd - The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.88 | 1830 ratings

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James Lee
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Amazing how simply writing about this album causes such a lysergic response in most people that they forget how to spell or form complete sentences. I'll try to buck that trend, as well as provide a moderate view.

"The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" (and the singles "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play") occupies a similar place in musical history and the specific band's discography as the first GRATEFUL DEAD releases. Both serve as time capsules for the 'sound of the psychedelic 60s', representing the two cultural centers of the time: Swinging London and Haight-Ashbury. Being such a specific point in time, both were fated to sound dated within a few years, and yet are still drawn on for inspiration by diverse musicians to this day. Neither example represents the bands' trademark sounds, as both bands changed considerably after the loss of a key founding member (Barrett and Pigpen). Both bands managed to earn their eventual acclaim not by deliberately courting chart success, but with a dedication to touring and providing the concert-goer with a unique and 'mind-blowing' experience. "Piper at the Gates of Dawn", as well as the GRATEFUL DEAD's eponymous first album, has a number of solid songs that are nonetheless relatively forgettable, or would have been had they come from other bands with less follow-up. Some are lovably naiive and playful ("Bike", "Lucifer Sam"), and resemble Barrett's later solo work more than PF's later development- which is shadowed in the proto-prog "Astronomy Domine" and "Interstellar Overdrive".

Personally, I think that while this is an important and eerily fun album, it is not really in the progressive rock genre; it's mainly going to appeal to the FLOYD completist or lovers of the psychedelic era. If you can manage to forget or ignore the later PINK FLOYD legacy, this piece of acid rock history becomes much more enjoyable.

James Lee | 3/5 |


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