Pink Floyd
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn


5.0
classic

Review

by MacOlzu USER (1 Reviews)
September 29th, 2011 | 25 replies


Release Date: 1967 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An album of pure, uncompromised inspiration.

In the spring of 1967, Pink Floyd had already made a bit of a name for themselves by releasing two successful singles and performing memorable shows in the drug-abusing underground-circles of London. Lead by the eccentric singer and guitarist Syd Barret, the group carried on to record their first EP, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. The album was almost completely a brain-child of Barret, whose musical career, as well as mental health would soon take a turn for the worse, leading to his sacking from the band and total reclusion from the music business.

At the time of the recording, Barret was absorbing enormous amounts of marijuana and LSD, and had already started his slow collapse to madness. However, the songs here are not the melancholy-ridden, incomplete sketches that can be found on his later solo recordings. This is the work of a remarkable mind, a man whose songwriting is imaginative and instinctive. The songs here are surreal, naïve (in the best possible meaning of the word) and, most importantly, fun. There is no question about it: Syd Barret was a happy man when he wrote the music for this album.

Fairly simple songs like Flaming and The Gnome, in which Barret hilariously sings about a garden gnome, provide the listener with warm melodies and an irresistible feeling of happiness. Elsewhere, Pow R. Toc H. and Interstellar Overdrive see the band at their wildest, throwing themselves in free jam sessions, which somehow manage to come out as surprisingly coherent pieces of music. The latter of these starts with an exceptionally catchy and quite heavy guitar riff, which is followed by 7 minutes of somewhat random noodling. Then the starting riff returns, while the music sways from one side to the other, creating a sensation of the song melting away. Although the middle part can feel somewhat dragging for some listeners, you don’t need to take drugs to feel completely tripped out by this piece of music. The Bike, the last song of the album is Barret at his best. In three minutes, the band moves through multiple time changes, while Barret sings some of the weirdest lyrics in the history of music. His topics include his borrowed bike, a mouse he calls Gerald and a clan of gingerbread men. Go figure. The song ends with a minute of different noises, the kind of stuff which I am normally not a fan of, but here these sounds seem like the perfect way to end the album.

The only weaker moments are Roger Water’s slightly dull Take up Thy Stethoscope and Walk (the only track written by someone else than Barret) and Chapter 24, a slow track that lacks the fun of the other songs. Barret’s lyrics are hard to figure out as always, but here they are delivered without much excitement, and the track doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

Although none of the members could be described as technically talented musicians, they make the best of the skills they do have. Rick Wright’s delicate synths are a huge part of the albums appeal, while Nick Mason and the future-band leader Roger Waters do an excellent job of backing up Barret’s surreal ideas.

All in all, this album is psychedelic music at its best, full of truly surprising and inventive music, which the band would, mostly unsuccessfully, try to replicate for years after Barret’s departure. This is an album that can be warmly recommended to anyone with an open mind. I guarantee you this is a ride you won’t regret having taken.


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Comments:Add a Comment 
BloodSweatandBeers
September 29th 2011


1007 Comments


its not an ep

seifer
September 29th 2011


1006 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great album even if this is not what pink floyd would become known for, it's mostly a syd barrett album. Very good psychedelic album

MacOlzu
September 29th 2011


12 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yep dunno where that EP came from, I had to do it in a bit of a rush. Hope it's not too bad for a first

TheNotrap
September 29th 2011


8070 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Lime and limpid green a second scene,
A fight between the blue you once knew

Digging: Cannibal Corpse - A Skeletal Domain

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2011


23819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this fucking album

KILL
September 29th 2011


71795 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

rules

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

BloodSweatandBeers
September 29th 2011


1007 Comments


kills

jefflebowski
September 29th 2011


8243 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

aside from Interstellar Overdrive and Astronomy Domine, never really got the classic status of this. Just seems like a good acid-pop-prog record to me

Digging: Shellac - Dude Incredible

Piglet
September 29th 2011


4654 Comments


ive gottah bike you can ride it if you liek its gaut a bell and a basket and things tah make et look good. i would give it to you if i could, but i borrowed et.

aresx
September 29th 2011


306 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

best album of all time? i would say so

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2011


23819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

aside from Interstellar Overdrive and Astronomy Domine, never really got the classic status of
this.


dude, Pow R. Toc H., come on

AtavanHalen
September 29th 2011


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Best Floyd album by a mile.

WhiteNoise
September 30th 2011


3149 Comments


Album is completely whack.

KILL
September 30th 2011


71795 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wtf alligator

hey atavan i'm sure you like the singles on the classics though right!

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 30th 2011


23819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hey atavan i'm sure you like the singles on the classics though right!


hahahahaha

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2011


7280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I respect Atavan's tastes most of the time but this time I'm just like "wha...? o.O"

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 30th 2011


23819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Irving a 3? come on now don't try to deny the lsd fueled wonderfulness of this album

I've got a bike you can ride it if you like...

WhiteNoise
September 30th 2011


3149 Comments


Haha I meant whack in a nice way. I enjoy this album, just have't rated it yet

AtavanHalen
September 30th 2011


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hey atavan i'm sure you like the singles on the classics though right!


Noooooooooope. Chuck Testa.

And they're not "classics." Just because it's old, doesn't mean it's "classic rock." What sucked then sucks now.

KILL
September 30th 2011


71795 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not theyre classics because they fuckin RULE so god damn hard you are just a pop queef



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