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Pink Floyd: The Piper at the Gates of Dawn-40th Anniversary Edition (remaster)

Hard to believe it's been 40 years since this little psychedelic gem launched itself onto an unsuspecting public back in 1967. At the time, Pink Floyd were Syd Barrett's baby, more of a hippie era psych band than the space rock/prog beast they would later become after Barrett's departure and with Roger Waters and David Gilmour's struggle for ultimate power within the band. Piper at the Gates of Dawn is Barrett's rendition of acid laced pop music, no doubt influenced by the London underground scene at the time. Filled with trippy sound effects, glissando guitar, Richard Wright's organ & electric piano, Nick Mason's steadfast, almost jazzy drums, and the fuzzy bass of Waters, Piper is one bizarre head trip that still holds up well today. Despite the fact that the 2CD set reviewed here does not contain the song "See Emily Play" (which was the lead off track on the UK release of the original album, but left off the US version, which is what this reissue is based on-check out the 3 CD deluxe edition if you have to have that tune), there are still plenty of sizzling numbers here. For the psych lovers out there, who can resist the bizarro instrumental freakouts like "Pow R. Toc H." and "Insteller Overdrive", but there's also the classic pop/prog/psych gems "Astronomy Domine" (arguably one of the greatest tunes this version of the band ever wrote), "Lucifer Sam", and the extended guitar/organ vamp "Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk".

You get two CD's with this edition, the mono & stereo mix, so it's up to you to decide which you like better. The album was originally recorded on a four-track recorder, so there's a lot of sounds crammed onto just a limited amount of tracks, which might make the mono mix a bit more enjoyable to some. There's full lyrics included here and photographs, but oddly enough no essay or historical documentation at all, which is a bit disappointing. Overall though, a must have for Floyd fanatics, and a good place to start for casual fans who have yet to discover the early years and the insane genius that was Syd Barrett.

Track Listing
Disc: 1 (Mono)
1. Astronomy Domine
2. Lucifer Sam
3. Matilda Mother
4. Flaming
5. Pow R. Toc H.
6. Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk
7. Insteller Overdrive
8. The Gnome
9. Chapter 24
10. The Scarecrow
11. Bike
Disc: 2 (same songs, but in Stereo)

Added: September 17th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Pink Floyd Website
Hits: 2693
Language: english

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