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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 This review is of the new 2007 40th Anniversary edition.

Firstly the packaging - this is a 3-CD set (I believe there is also a 2 CD edition) which comes in a DVD size book with cloth cover. It's very nicely produced with all the lyrics and a special booklet of Syd Barrett collages. Two complaints though - CD's 2 and 3 are placed on top of each other at the back of the book and are hard to extract and I was expected an essay or something detailing the history of the album, but there's nothing!

What of the music? Well, I must admit that this is the first time I've heard the complete album (gasp). I can't help being reminded of Andy Partridge and the Dukes of Stratosphear, as this is surely the psychedelic album that they had in mind when recording tracks like "Bike Ride to the Moon". It has a lot more in common with Sgt.Pepper than just the fact that it was recorded at Abbey Road at around the same time with the Beatles' engineer Norman Smith, but it's certainly a bit too weird for the average Beatles fan who was listening to "When I'm 64" at the time. Strange noises and lyrics about gnomes and bicycle baskets abound and it's all the work of Barrett (apart from one Waters song). I'm not a huge Floyd fan - whilst I do like them I find a lot of their work one-paced and soporific - but this is a very interesting listen (but then again, I like "Ummagumma"!). I'm not familiar enough with it to detect differences between the mono and stereo versions, but most of the Beatles albums were originally mixed in mono so it wouldn't surprise me if, like Sgt Pepper, the mono mix was different.

CD 3 contains the singles "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play" along with some other new tracks and alternate versions of some of the original album tracks, unfortunately there is no information about the origin of the new tracks.

In summary, this is a seminal album of any genre and this is a nice package but I have to deduct a star for the lack of information.

chopper | 4/5 |


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