“The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn” by Pink Floyd - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1967Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die external-link.png

TJR says

Emerging from the London underground scene, Pink Floyd signed to EMI early in 1967, and by summertime had placed two single in the UK Top 20, “Arnold Layne” and “See Emily Play”, despite the former having been subjected to a radio ban on account of references to cross-dressing. Dear oh dear. Their rising profile culminated in a full-length LP, “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn”, which was issued in August ’67 and featured 10 brand new songs as well as “The Scarecrow”, recycled from the b-side of “See Emily Play”. At the time of release, the 4-piece were: Syd Barrett (21, lead guitar, vocals); Roger Waters (23, bass guitar, vocals); Richard Wright (24, organ, piano, celeste, vocals) and Nick Mason (23, drums, percussion). Very much in keeping with the hip new sound of the age, “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” was a spaced-out psychedelic swirler, with pseudo-proggish, alt-folkish undercurrents bubbling under the surface, as well as a few straight-ahead rockers. Aside from scarecrows, the album is flavoured with whimsical lyrics about space, gnomes, bicycles and fairy tales. Syd, who’d become a heavy LSD user since the start of the year, was suffering badly by this time with the debilitating effects of depression. Luckily, he was able to lay down several of his own songs (he wrote or co-wrote 10 of the 11) whilst on the crest of a creative wave. That said, the word is, many of the original fans were disappointed with the album; that the intensity of the live onslaughts had been diluted some. Truth is, intensity comes in many shapes and forms and it doesn’t always have to be fast and bulbous. To my ears, “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” is a trippy delight and a real credit to the group as a whole, and to their fragile leader in particular. Long live Grimble Gromble!

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [04:12] 8.6.png Pink Floyd - Astronomy Domine (Syd Barrett, Richard Wright) Psychedelia
A2 [03:07] 9.2.png Pink Floyd - Lucifer Sam (Syd Barrett) Psychedelia
A3 [03:08] 6.2.png Pink Floyd - Matilda Mother (Syd Barrett, Richard Wright) Psychedelia
A4 [02:46] 7.0.png Pink Floyd - Flaming (Syd Barrett) Psychedelia
A5 [04:26] 6.9.png Pink Floyd - Pow R. Toc H. (Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Richard Wright, Nick Mason) Prog
A6 [03:05] 7.8.png Pink Floyd - Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk (Roger Waters) Trance Rock
B1 [09:41] 7.5.png Pink Floyd - Interstellar Overdrive (Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Richard Wright, Nick Mason) Prog
B2 [02:13] 5.5.png Pink Floyd - The Gnome (Syd Barrett) Alternative Folk
B3 [03:42] 8.3.png Pink Floyd - Chapter 24 (Syd Barrett) Psychedelia
B4 [02:11] 7.3.png Pink Floyd - The Scarecrow (Syd Barrett) Alternative Folk
B5 [03:21] 6.8.png Pink Floyd - Bike (Syd Barrett) Avant-Garde

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