Saturday, 5 August 2017

Floating down, the sound resounds


Today is 50 years to the day that my favourite album of all time was released. August 5th, 1967. It still sounds fresh - I'd like to say as fresh as it would of sounded when released, but it was unlike anything that had ever been released before it so that's impossible. It's an album that gets overlooked a lot - even by Pink Floyd themselves. Nothing was released for it's 50th anniversary, no special edition, not even a previous edition repackaged for the occasion. Nothing. I'm bitter about that - when you consider how many editions of Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall have been released. Those albums would never have been made without Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Pink Floyd as we know it would never have existed without Syd Barrett. They'd never have been signed to EMI without him. So many people don't even know who he was, beyond the "crazy diamond" written about on Wish You Were Here. He was so much more than that. He wrote the majority of Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Pink Floyd struggled to find their feet with their sound after he left. They wrote a few songs that tried to imitate and capture Syd's whimsical essence, but never could. That's Syd's talent. He could take child like themes and play on words, yet there's an unexpected deepness to it. The songs on this album have supported me through some of the darkest times. It transports me to another world, a world where I am understood.

Pink Floyd recorded this album to sound like their live performances that were garnering so much attention. They'd record during the day, and then play a live set at The UFO Club or The Roundhouse in the evening. I can only imagine how fabulous those live sets were.

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