Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Piper at the Gates of Dawn

In memory of Sid Barrett, I figured I'd have a listen to the Pink Floyd album that he probably had the most influence on. I'm a big Floyd fan, but mostly of their later stuff, and by 'later' I mean their 70's stuff. I don't think I've ever actually listened to this album end-to-end before.

It's very psychodelic stuff, but I think if you're interesting in hearing some trippy early Floyd you're better off with Meddle. There are several tracks on this album, Pow R. Toc H. for instance, where they've taken a great song and ... well, made it less great by adding chirps and squeaks and yelps and whatnot where they don't really belong, they don't add anything to the track. It's very much a "Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict" kind of sound. Continuing with the gimmicks, Interstellar Overdrive does this thing about 9 minutes in where they toggle the sound between the left and right speakers, but it's not done with any synchronization to the music, not like on Any Colour You Like (where stereo is used to great effect) or some of Hendrix's stuff. But the whole album's got a great, genuine feel to it, and it's really evocative of what you want Pink Floyd to be: the innovative, groundbreaking, rocking band that they were before they started re-releasing their re-mastered re-hashed best-of compilations. God, what a disappointment they've become.

I'm gonna go ahead and rate this album 3 u.o.q / 5 u.o.q. Musically, I don't think this album is on a par with eg. The Harder They Fall, but Pink Floyd occupies a special place in my heart as the first band that I really got into. And besides, it's music. Who says I have to be wholly objective about this anyways.


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