Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Get Your Floyd On

The Piper at the Gates of DawnI've been a Pink Floyd fan ever since high school. I must admit, however, that I've generally not been willing to go further back in their catalog than Meddle - an album that's considerably weirder than the ones most people are familiar with (Dark Side, Wish You Were Here, The Wall), but has enough "modern" Floyd elements that it kept me interested. I figured from what I'd heard of their early work, going any farther back might just be too nutty for me to deal with. Hell, I watched their Live at Pompeii performance at college and got freaked out as they got on the floor and banged on their instruments. It's out there.

Although Animals will probably always be my personal favorite, I've since come to really dig Meddle, so I decided to dig a bit further in Floyd's back catalog for some new adventures. I do have a vinyl copy of Ummagumma, but unfortuntely, it's not the best sounding record I have. So I set my eyes on their sans Gilmour debut, The Piper At the Gates of Dawn, an album that's revered by the fans, and has interested me ever since I played "Bike" on my college radio show back in 1990.

Picked it up on Monday (thank you Memorial Day sales). And yep, it's loopy. Syd Barrett was insane and it shows. Pure genius though, since this album is the birth of space/acid/stoner rock. Its combination of psychedelia, 60s rock (dig the groovy synths), bizarre noises (bells, clanking), and extend-o instrument jamming, all encased in a swirly/atmospheric wrapper, has to be heard to be believed. Its 10 minute magnum opus, "Interstellar Overdrive", with its long unstructured passages coupled with far-out guitar and keyboard noodling, hints of the Floyd everyone would come to know.

Yes, the overriding classic 60s flavor sounds really dated now, but the way the band meshed that familiar sound with random craziness is what makes this record a cool listen. Piper was far beyond its time, and for that it's worth hearing.


Anonymous Syd Barrett said...

Syd Barrett was insane?? Dude, I'm still alive and still totally batshit! AHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHA AHAHHAHAHA AHAHHAHAHA AHAHHAHA AHAHHAHAHAHA!

1:18 PM  
Anonymous mokeface said...

The piper is my favorite Floyd album. And I'm a really big Pink Floyd fan. Syd was a great. I've got the Madcap Laughs and Barrett on cd, you should give them a listen HM.

5:59 PM  

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