Pink Floyd – “The Piper at the Gate of Dawn”, by Grant Stoner
My album pic for this month is Pink Floyd, The Piper at the Gate of Dawn, EMI remaster 2-cd set (mono and stereo) 2007. Drop a tab and join me. No, I’m not advocating ingesting psychedelics, but this album (originally recorded in 1967) will take you back to the beginning of the psychedelic era. Now I’ve always been a Floyd fan but somehow glossed over this album and never gave it its’ due. I’ve always admired David Gilmour’s (current and for most time Pink Floyd guitarist) liquid tone and inventive phrasing, but I’ve never really listened in depth to Syd Barrett. Syd was the original Floyd guitarist and singer. He had a quirky but effective English accented voice that fits perfectly with the music.
Ah yes, the music. Sometimes jangling, sometimes smooth, often jarring, Syd’s guitar weaves very interesting sonic tapestries. Couple that with weird noises, inventive song writing and amazing interplay with the rest of the band’s capable accompaniment and you have an incredible album. It doesn’t sound at all like the sophomore first effort that it is. From well-crafted almost radio friendly tunes like “The Gnome” and “Bike” to improvised extended psych workouts like, “Take up thy Stethoscope and Walk” and “Interstellar Overdrive”. This album will take you places you never thought you wanted to go.
The sound? Well it was recorded in 1967, but the remastering job is quite excellent, with lots of clarity and separation. A little too much hand on the panning knob with the stereo mix, may make the mono disc more cohesive, but both are awesome in their own way. So dive in and take a trip back!