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Old 12-16-2007, 01:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default By the way, which one's Pink?-Pink Floyd reviewed

I am going to attempt to review and evaluate the entire Pink floyd catalogue. Considering that they are one of the biggest selling bands of all time, a lot of people just associate them with DARK SIDE OF THE MOON or THE WALL. I would like to introduce people to what has been a highly influential and certainly in their early years; an eclectic sound.

PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN 1967


The Floyd's debut along with Sgt. Peppers shaped British pop music for ever and is a stunningly original debut in it's own right. In a strange twist, this album was being recorded next door to where the Beatles were themselves recording Sgt. Peppers.

Floyd were led by the talents of Syd Barrett; who indeed named them, and gave them their sound and was the main songwriter. Having gotten a reputation as one of the finest live bands around at the time, it was only a matter of time that they were signed to a major. That major was EMI. On the strength of their first single ARNOLD LAYNE, EMI were hoping for more radio friendly hit singles. This was not to be. Their free form experimental side was something the band desperately wanted to harness and so on the 9 minute epic INTERSTELLAR OVERDRIVE, the band produced an undeniable classic in experimentation. Sonically original and produced brilliantly, it features one of the best speaker to speaker phases you will ever hear which is completely disorientating even now. What people thought of it then must have been mind blowing. It is also extremly heavy and could put a lot of metal bands to shame.

This however wasn't just what the Floyd were all about. In Syd Barrett they had a highly original talent whose guitar experimentation coupled with his child like whimsical nature produced some of the albums most astonishing tracks. THE GNOME appears on first listen as a nursery ryhme and almost laughable. Listen again. It is an exercise in beautiful simplicity and lyrically brilliant albeit simple. THE BIKE is in similar vein and features a great time signature change.

The albums opener ASTRONOMY DOMINE is one of the finest opening tracks ever and proclaims that music will never quite sound the same again.

Elsewhere LUCIFER SAM is a great song with a catchy hook but peek beneath the surface and listen to it on headphones. It sounds incredibly multi layered and innovative. POW R TOC H has some great piano work from Richard Wright .

The albums innovative production, Syd Barrett's songwriting and the bands experimentation produced one of the very finest psychedelic albums ever made and should be rightly held as a must have album on any self respecting music fans shelf.
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Old 12-16-2007, 06:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Piper at the Gates of Dawn is pme of the few Floyd albums I've really clicked with. I'm glad you started after reading/responding to you in the Bob Dylan thread I was about to go bug you about starting it.
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Old 12-16-2007, 07:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Great review.....
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Old 12-18-2007, 01:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I am surprised by the lack of posts but I will persevere!

A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS (1968)


Ahhh. the difficult second album syndrome. Nothing could be more apt for Floyd's follow up to Piper.

Syd Barrett was becoming increasingly more removed from reality due to his copious amount of acid taking. The band had to take the momentous decision of having to bring in a replacement for Barrett. As their chief songwriter, it was a brave; and in terms of their career, fortuitous desicion. Dave Gilmour was drafted in initially to fill in for Barrett live, but his mental state gave them no option to have Gilmour replace him permanently. This gives SAUCERFUL a disjointed feel with Barrett performing on three tracks and Gilmour the remainder. The album has moments of brilliance and utter pap. Let's seperate the wheat from the chaff!

In a rare songwriting spurt, Richard Wright supplies two tracks of which REMEMBER A DAY is undeniably the better. It is a brilliant piece of psychedelic pop with a hypnotic beat replete with Wrights soft soothing vocals.

Another highlight of the album is the beginning of Floyd's link with the term Space Rock (which annoys the hell out of me to be honest) and the Roger Waters penned SET THE CONTROLS FOR THE HEART OF THE SUN. Expansive, hypnotic and trippy, the track was also the first time we heard Waters willingness to become one of the main songwriters in Floyd.

The opening track LET THERE BE MORE LIGHT is probably the best example of what was to come from Gilmour. He contributes vocally and there are some guitar chords and motifs that would become the mainstay of the classic Floyd sound.

The title track is a thoroughly disjointed 12 minute instrumental, and could be classed as avant garde. There are some interesting ideas but it lacks any structure. The Floyd became masters of overcoming this trait.

Corporal Clegg is quite frankly terrible. Badly produced and featuring a kazoo (!) hook, it is a rare filler in their discography.

The album closes fittingly on Barretts JUGBAND BLUES.While musically it is not hugely impressive, the lyrics point to a fractured soul and the beginning of a loss to music in general.

JUGBAND BLUES:

And I'm most obliged to you for making it clear
that I'm not here

And I never knew the moon could be so big
And I never knew the moon could be so blue
And I'm grateful that you threw away my old shoes
and brought me here instead dressed in red

And I'm wondering who could be writing this song
I don't care if the sun don't shine
And I don't care if nothing is mine
And I don't care if I'm nervous with you
I'll do my loving in the winter

And the sea isn't green
And I love the queen
And what exactly is a dream?
And what exactly is a joke?

To sum up-an interesting album with many ideas bouncing around, and while it lacks direction, it's plus points far outweigh it's minuses.
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Old 12-18-2007, 02:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm indifferent to Saucerful Of Secrets , you could see that Barrett was burnt out at that point.

I probably would have liked it more if Vegetable Man was included on it.
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Old 12-18-2007, 02:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Unbelievably I have never heard any Syd Barrett solo albums!

If anyone feels that I've missed something in my reviews or have any comments to improve the thread, feel free to let me know. I have never reviewed before, so I am learning all the time.
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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great review, i amazingly havent heard pink floyds debut album... sad huh?
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Old 12-25-2007, 07:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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MORE(1968)


The Floyd's approach and sound linked itself to movie soundtracks succinctly and they made a flurry of tracks for films over a period of 3-4 years. However a combination of not very good films and lack of director/band communication resulted in a couple of albums being decidedly patchy, but nevertheless interesting in Pink Floyd's musical progression.

More was a film directed by Barbet Schroeder aimed at depicting the hedonism taking place in Ibiza at the time (so ignore all the Ministry Of Sound kiddies telling you they found it first!). The film was an interesting but shambolic mess and did little to help the Floyd's cause. However in retrospect it can be seen as an exercise in the Floyd's continuing path of finding it's own identity.

The most obvious (and forgotten) facet of this album is that it is the first complete album post Barrett. The next is the unmistakeable stamp that Gilmour stamps over this album. His contribution is easily heard and recognisable, laying a blueprint for the future Floyd sound that became so successful.

CRYING SONG and (especially) CYMBALINE are a perfect example of Gilmours simple yet effective arrangement of music. Remarkably Cymbaline is a Roger Waters track that is dominated by Gilmour.

THE NILE SONG and IBIZA BAR (it's companion piece) are two the heaviest tracks the Floyd have ever put down. They are standard rock numbers but they really stand out amongst the Floyd's general output at this time.

CIRRUS MINOR is a lazy drifting piece of hippiedom, that still sounds fresh today.

MAIN THEME has the same hypnotic space rock (yuk) feel of SET THE CONTROLS and can be seen as a precursor to a sound that Hawkwind readily adopted in the 70's.

To review. It is obviously not one of the better Floyd albums, yet it points to what is to come via instrumental passages, motifs and tempo and as such still merits a listen (or in my case a great space on my CD shelf).
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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A review for UMMAGUMMA will be up soon.
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Lee, I've listened to Piper At the Gates of Dawn, Animals, Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here. I think I liked Piper best, though I also liked Wish You Were Here alot which one should I get next?
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