Top Picks pink floyd piper at the gates of dawn

Published on January 5th, 2013 | by AlexandreG.

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Best Pink Floyd Albums – Part 1

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1967 – The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
1971 – Meddle
1973 – Dark Side of The Moon
1975 – Wish You Were Here
1977 – Animals
1979 – The Wall

1967 – The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn

In Cambridge, London, by the end of ’65, Waters, Mason, and Wright joined up with Barrett – who would become the band’s songwriter, lead guitar player, and lead singer- and after several changes,  they formed Pink Floyd, named by Syd Barret, in honor of blues’ musicians Pinkney ‘Pink’ Anderson and Floyd Council. In 1966, under Barrett’s guide, Pink Floyd would start to become a psychedelic band, after an incursion on R&B territories. Pink Floyd’s hallucinatory presentation of lights and music at London’s Roundhouse in 1966, brought psychedelia to the U.K. scene. The group carried rock and roll into a dimension that was more cerebral and conceptual than ever.

pink floyd original line up 1967

In ’67, their debut album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn was released, heavily influenced by the recent release of Beatles Sgt.Peppers Lonely Hearts Club (Piper... was recorded simultaneously with Sgt. Peppers in the Abbey Road Studios, and the members of the two bands met regularly to talk about music trends). The title of Pink Floyd’s debut album is taken from a chapter in Syd Barrett’s favorite children’s book, The Wind in the Willows. The band released several singles before that, like Arnold Layne, which is about a transvestite, and See Emily Play, both composed by Syd Barrett. Among the highlights of Piper… was the centerpiece 10th minute-long Interstellar Overdrive, which features the best non-David Gilmour guitar work of the band’s career. The tension between Syd’s mind and the rest of the band, which were pushing the sound to a space trip, resulted in the baroque Matilda Mother and the jazzy Pow R Toc H. Those songs were just a teaser for what the band would become, this kind of sound would later surface in songs like Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun (from A Saucerful of Secrets) and the group masterwork, Dark Side of the Moon.

syd barrett gallery

Arnold Layne became a top 20 in the British chart and See Emily Play reached number 6, which allowed them to appear on the national TV program Top of the Pops in July 1967With the album’s success, they began to tour, first with Jimi Hendrix. Meanwhile, Barrett’s mental problems began to show up. Syd is a truly gifted genius but he is also a step away from insanity, and as he starts to consume hard LSD, he begins to lose control of himself. On the US tour, he would start to play music out of tune and even music that wasn’t part of the band’s repertoire. They hired Waters’ and Barrett’s old high school friend Gilmour, as a fifth member in February of 1968. Gilmour was to take over the lead guitar. Plans would be for Barrett to stay in the band but not play live any longer. However, the five-piece Floyd didn’t last long as Barrett’s mental instability grew worse and he left the band just two months later. The next album Saucerful Of Secrets contains one left song from Syd Barrett, Jugband Blues. Things soon would be changing, Waters took over most of the writing and lead vocals and Gilmour gave another presence from the guitar into the band’s sound.

The Five member Pink Floyd Young Pink Floyd

Many claimed The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn to be the greatest British psychedelic album, other than the Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s. It’s incredible how they put out The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and only six years later released Dark Side of the MoonThe changes in the music are thunderous! Pink Floyd will reach greater heights, on Dark Side of the Moon, but with Piper…, they capture perfectly the essence of 60’s psychedelia like nobody else.

Studio Album, released in 1967

Songs / Tracks Listing (UK Version)

1. Astronomy Domine (4:12)
2. Lucifer Sam (3:07)
3. Matilda Mother (3:08)
4. Flaming (2:46)
5. Pow R. Toc H. (4:26)
6. Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk (3:05)
7. Interstellar Overdrive (9:41)
8. The Gnome (2:13)
9. Chapter 24 (3:42)
10. Scarecrow (2:11)
11. Bike (3:21)

Total Time: 41:52

Piper was remastered and re-released on 26 September 2011 as part of the Why Pink Floyd…? re-release campaign.

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About the Author

AlexandreG. Is just a guy who got tired of bothering his friends talking about music, and decided to create a blog to write about what he loves the most.



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