Friday, May 27, 2011

Paisley Underground Series, #10: Pink Floyd- The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967) 40th Anniversary Box Set (3 Discs) MP3 & FLAC

"You only have to read the lines; they're scribbley black and everything shines."

While there had already been a burgeoning underground psychedelic music scene underway in the U.K. and elsewhere for at least a year (e.g. the Los Angeles and San Francisco scenes in the U.S.), the summer of 1967 was the point at which this psychotropic-inspired sound crossed into the mainstream with the release of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. While an endless amount of material has been written about the cultural and artistic impact of this album (I might even try to add to this if I ever decide to post some "Fab Four"), Pink Floyd's debut LP, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is arguably the most innovative, experimental and hallucinogenic masterpiece released that iconic summer. At this point in their development, Pink Floyd was essentially Syd Barrett's band, and while the the lyrics are often replete with images of childhood and fairytales (the album's title is borrowed from The Wind and the Willows), musically, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, while containing more than its share of  whimsy, is often quite dark thanks to Rick Wright's electric organ work, which would prove to be highly influential on later neo-psych movements such as The Paisley Underground. And this is the reason Pink Floyd's debut outshines many of its "summer of love" contemporaries; rather than offering straight forward pop tinged with psychedelic refraction or hippie anthems to acid utopias, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn explores both the intense euphoria and the terrifying chaos comprising a psychedelic experience. A perfect example of this brilliant duality is "Matilda Mother"; while Barrett sings from the perspective of a child oscillating between fantasy and fear, the music progressively grows creepy and unsettling. However, things are even darker on "Astronomy Domine," which contains some great acid guitar work and constitutes the aural equivalent of falling down a rabbit hole. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn manages to sound both time-bound and timeless, and in doing so, it stands as one of the most essential and influential albums of the psychedelic era.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (40th Anniversary 3-Disc Box Set)

Disc I: The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (Mono)

 1. Astronomy Domine  (4:15)
 2. Lucifer Sam  (3:09)
 3. Matilda Mother  (3:05)
 4. Flaming  (2:47)
 5. Pow R. Toc H.  (4:25)
 6. Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk  (3:07)
 7. Interstellar Overdrive  (9:42)
 8. The Gnome  (2:14)
 9. Chapter 24  (3:53)
10. The Scarecrow  (2:11)
11. Bike  (3:27)

Disc II: The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (Stereo)
 1. Astronomy Domine  (4:12)
 2. Lucifer Sam  (3:07)
 3. Matilda Mother  (3:09)
 4. Flaming  (2:46)
 5. Pow R. Toc H.  (4:26)
 6. Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk  (3:06)
 7. Interstellar Overdrive  (9:40)
 8. The Gnome  (2:14)
 9. Chapter 24  (3:42)
10. The Scarecrow  (2:11)
11. Bike  (3:25)

Disc III: Bonus
1. Arnold Layne  (2:55)
2. Candy and a Current Bun  (2:46)
3. See Emily Play  (2:54)
4. Apples and Oranges  (3:06)
5. Paintbox  (3:45)
6. Interstellar Overdrive (French Edit)  (5:16)
7. Apples and Oranges (Stereo Version)  (3:11)
8. Matilda Mother (Alternate Version)  (3:09)
9. Interstellar Overdrive (Take 6)  (5:04)


  1. Bold move and a nice description. Shamefully, I have never heard this one. Or, if I have I wasn't listening. I'm probably the only guy in Humboldt county that hasn't heard it. I like how you move around in your posts while still maintaining some coherency. I'm never too sure what to expect. It's refreshing.

  2. It's interesting how popular music changed so dramatically from the early 60's to the middle 60's. Pink Floyd was so influential to so many different bands it really is almost unbelievable. My first exposure to PF was Atom Heart Mother. Music was never the same after that.

  3. Essential listening... My favorite album of all time!

  4. My favourite Pink Floyd album. After Barrett left they were never that intense, unpredictable, insane, fairytellish and catchy at the same time (actually it took them years to start recording great albums again). With the exception of one Waters-penned piece of absolute crap I find no weak spots here. Any fan of this album should also check out Syd's "The Madcap Laughs" (hardly a masterpiece, but a fascinating record nonetheless).

  5. Ol' Foggy, thank you. Moving around and dropping in unexpected albums keeps things interesting for me and for the readers. I guess some series need to be more chronological than others (Talk Talk comes to mind), but in general I think the unpredictability is a great thing as long as there is some kind of method to it. Doing a series is like telling a long story in chapters

  6. scurfie, I agree, there was a seismic shift between 64-66 that radically changed everything. I guess Dylan and the Beatles had a lot to do with that. Strangely, I've always been a bigger fan of Barrett-era Floyd, but I've embraced some of the seventies albums over the years. Anything after "The Wall" is utterly forgettable

  7. Michael, a double Barrett post might be fun. I'll give it some thought

  8. Another Michael said...
    I was there!! And I vaguely still remember it!!!
    Happy daze in the UK...

  9. Weird this - why is the mono flac version almost 90 MB larger than the stereo?

  10. Sadly the have mastered way to loud I don't remember if the dynamics were compressed or if it was brick-walled It's so sad ok for an iPod but not for your home-stereo that goes for the album itself the CD with the singles is by all means Ok the album has been issue in a non-compressed-or-brick-walled version earlier

  11. Anon. I liked the 2001 Toshiba version. Maybe I should upload and post that one too

  12. Excellent job. Thank you very much ;-)


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