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  1. #26
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    Default Arnold Layne/Candy And A Currant Bun

    And now, with Steve's permission, the first of two tasters, before the main course on Saturday.

    For Syd and Rick

    Arnold Layne/Candy And A Currant Bun

    Columbia DB 8156
    Released 11 March 1967 (UK); 24 April 1967 (US)
    Date of UK Chart Entry: 30 March 1967
    Highest UK Chart Position: 20 (8 weeks on chart)


    Formed in London in early 1965 by an unlikely group of art and architecture students, The Pink Floyd spent the next two years (and several name changes) building up a reputation as the biggest and brightest band on the burgeoning London underground scene. Residents at the legendary Marquee and UFO clubs, ex-Cambridge residents Roger Keith 'Syd' Barrett (lead guitar, vocals) and Roger Waters (bass, vocals), along with Londoners Richard Wright (organ, vocals) and Nick Mason (drums) wowed the freaks, the fashionable and the famous with their lengthy, spaced-out improvisations and mind-bending psychedelic light shows, night after tripped-out night. After forming Blackhill Enterprises in October 1966, a six-way partnership with managers Peter Jenner and Andrew King, The Pink Floyd were soon ready to enter the recording studio for the first time. On 11th and 12th January, at Sound Techniques Ltd. in London, under the guidance of renowned producer Joe Boyd and engineer John Wood, the band recorded two of their more structured jams: Interstellar Overdrive and a new piece which was entitled Nick's Boogie. Neither of these recordings would see the light of day in their entirety for nearly 25 years (these two tracks will thus be covered in due course), although excerpts of Interstellar Overdrive would appear in Tonite Let's All Make Love In London, Peter Whitehead's documentary film of the underground scene, released in December 1967.


    Pink Floyd, late 1966

    As The Pink Floyd's popularity grew, record companies were soon clamouring for their signature, and it was EMI who eventually captured the band in January 1967. However, despite being known for endless instrumental workouts, it was still common practice for all pop groups at that time to release singles, and Pink Floyd were no exception to the requirement to produce hits. Although Interstellar Overdrive was briefly considered as an unlikely debut single, EMI eventually turned to two Syd Barrett compositions which the band had recorded with Boyd at Sound Techniques on 29 January: Arnold Layne and Candy And A Currant Bun. With Barrett's tale of a Cambridge underwear thief on the A-side, the record was released by EMI's subsidiary Columbia label in March, with plenty of publicity in the music papers, a rather bizarre promo film, an extremely rare 'picture'-sleeved promo disc (now fetching nearly ?5,000 in some quarters, this is undoubtedly the rarest, most sought-after Pink Floyd record) and some reported 'financial help' aiding the disc's climb to a respectable - if unspectacular - number 20 in the British singles charts.


    Arnold Layne promo disc label

    Although a ban by the normally free-thinking Radio London (they objected to the questionable subject matter of the lyrics) and a debut appearance on BBC-TV's premier music show, Top Of The Pops (now missing from the BBC archives, rather unsurprisingly) did little to help sales, there was no question that The Pink Floyd had well and truly arrived on the British music scene, and Arnold Layne would eventually be regarded as one of the most innovative and influential singles of the era.

    ARNOLD LAYNE (Syd Barrett) 2.52

    The Beatles' first wasn't exactly great, The Stones' possibly even less so; The Who's and The Small Faces' were pretty good, to be fair, while The Kinks' is now all but forgotten; however, for a British rock act of the 1960?s not normally remembered for their hits, Pink Floyd's debut single is nothing short of a classic. Right from the start, the track sounds way ahead of its time, with Barrett's jangly guitar and unusual, nasally vocals, backed by a solid bass line from Waters, conjuring a sound unlike anything else of that period. It's a curiously upbeat number (especially considering the Floyd's later material) which hides a dark subject matter, its lyrics concerning the titular character?s penchant for stealing ladies' underwear from washing lines and his ultimate fate - unchartered territory for a British pop single, even in 1967. Although not particularly 'psychedelic', the echo-y drums during the bridge are almost obligatory, while Richard Wright produces the first of his trademark 'Turkish Delight' organ solos during the instrumental. The production might now be termed somewhat 'lo-fi', but it's a wonderful piece of work from Joe Boyd (probably better known for his folk rock productions) who effortlessly manages to capture the spirit and integrity of Pink Floyd while giving the band a new commercial flavour. Arnold Layne is a supreme slice of psychedelia, a record which has seen its reputation grow and grow over the years, to the point at which it still influences countless guitar bands to this day.


    Arnold Layne promo film

    CANDY AND A CURRANT BUN (Syd Barrett) 2.38

    If Arnold Layne was controversial, then its trippy, harder-edged B-side was possibly even more so. Originally titled Let's Roll Another One, there are no prizes for guessing what this little number's all about: a heady mix of sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll, its lyrics are almost impenetrable at times (what does Syd sing in that first bridge? "Please just f*** with me"!? Outrageous!) while the pounding drums and the changes in rhythm present an uneasy counterpoint to the flipside. Wright produces a near identical keyboard lick, and it's already evident - surprisingly so, maybe - that he and Barrett are the major musical forces in the group at this point. Candy And A Currant Bun is a strange brew, but it's an extremely listenable track, and a criminally overlooked piece of The Pink Floyd's early history.
    Last edited by Dave Tudor; 21st Nov 2008 at 4:19 PM.

  2. #27

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    And isn't it time Pink Floyd-The BBC Sessions got released?
    They've got enough stuff! Before it became unplayable I used to have a Top gear version of Point Me At The Sky which was one of the best versions I've heard of it.

    EDIT: Sorry Dave, didn't notice your review above! A pretty good start to this time time jaunt!
    Last edited by Dino; 20th Nov 2008 at 11:26 PM.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dino Cloud (Slight Return) View Post
    And isn't it time Pink Floyd-The BBC Sessions got released?
    They've got enough stuff! Before it became unplayable I used to have a Top gear version of Point Me At The Sky which was one of the best versions I've heard of it.
    Oh, absolutely! I should still have some of that stuff on tape, recorded off Radio 1 about fifteen years ago, there's some good stuff, but god knows if it will ever be released officially. The rate at which archive Floyd material is released, I don't think we should hold our breath!

    Sorry Dave, didn't notice your review above! A pretty good start to this time time jaunt!
    That's OK, and thanks, matey. I've tried to get all the facts right (though it's not easy!), but it's also already bringing back memories of when we were getting into that band, all those years ago... eeeeh!

  4. #29
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    Great write up Dave.
    At the moment our copy of Arnold Layne is in the car and I need to give it a good listen to refresh my memory properly before I comment on it, as it's not a song I know as well as I should. In fact this is what I'm finding with most Pink Floyd, only really being familiar with their mid and late periods. However, this is changing at the moment.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  5. #30
    Wayne Guest

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    Floyd's really early stuff doesn't really do it for me. It's too 60's.
    Although i do think 'A Saucerful of Secrets' is far more interesting & innovative than the 'Piper at the Gates of Dawn'. Only a year apart, & it sounds far more ahead of it's time than the previous album. For me that's when Pink Floyd really starts.
    The early stuff is historically interesting, but it's like the difference The Yardbirds & Led Zeppelin, or the Rolling Stones & the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
    I'm sure the lyrics are all very good & everything, but the music is too cheesy kitch for me.

  6. #31
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    Woo! Excellent stuff Dave. There's no doubt in my mind who the Pink Floyd expert is now.

    I'm going to try and avoid putting up too much info about the recordings myself, simply because Wikipedia and Pink Floyd & Co websites are so comprehensive But I have been doing some background research for Saturday...

    Floyd's really early stuff doesn't really do it for me. It's too 60's.
    Understandable - Arnold Layne in paticular is full of Cambridge whimsy. 1967 seems to be a year of excitement and promise for the hippy dream. On the showing of the first album, Syd had an enormous untapped well of these endearing but twee songs, tempered by the more experimental and psychedelic side of Floyd.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  7. #32
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    TONITE LET'S ALL MAKE LOVE IN LONDON!



    I have the soundtrack album to that somewhere with a great version of "Interstellar overdrive" on it.
    Wow. Look at the light show, man. Far out. Fab. Gear. It's just one groovy scene, etc, etc....

  8. #33
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    “Arnold Layne” is a great single and a decent example of British psychedelia. Us Brits were arguably always more surreal and witty with our pop music and our version of psychedelia has a different feel to it than the sun kissed visions that came out of California. Like much Brit Pop the subject matter is more down to Earth (although absurd and amusing), but all wrapped up in a wonderful trip down the rabbit hole.

    Love “Candy and a current bun”. You can already practically hear Syd Barrett’s mind heading for the funny farm. It always reminds me of something by Blur (which is very telling, as Syd era Floyd were one of their influences. I still think there are huge similarities between “See Emily Play” and “There’s no other way”).

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
    I'm sure the lyrics are all very good & everything, but the music is too cheesy kitch for me.
    Lalalalaaa...not listening (starts shouting) I'VE GOT A BIKE, YOU CAN RIDE IT IF YOU LIKE! IT'S GOT A BASKET AND A BELL THAT RINGS AND THINGS...
    Last edited by Carol Baynes; 21st Nov 2008 at 3:48 PM.

  9. #34
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    Don't say that to Wayne, Carol, he'll be getting ideas! You know what he's like!!

    Nice comments so far, guys - I'm looking forward to reading everyone's opinions as the thread progresses. In the meantime, it looks like I've run out of time, and so I'm afraid the 'See Emily Play' review will have to wait until Sunday, and then I'm staright onto 'Piper'... I'm beginning to reliase I've set myself quite a task reviewing everything...

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Tudor View Post
    Don't say that to Wayne, Carol, he'll be getting ideas! You know what he's like!!

    Nice comments so far, guys - I'm looking forward to reading everyone's opinions as the thread progresses. In the meantime, it looks like I've run out of time, and so I'm afraid the 'See Emily Play' review will have to wait until Sunday, and then I'm staright onto 'Piper'... I'm beginning to reliase I've set myself quite a task reviewing everything...

    Everything?

  11. #36
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    the piper at the gates of dawn


    ESSENTIAL INFORMATION
    Recorded at Abbey Road from February to June of 1967.
    Released August 5th 1967.
    Highest UK Chart Position – No.6
    Syd Barrett is credited with all tracks except Pow R. Toc H. (Barrett, Waters, Wright, Mason), Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk (Waters) and Interstellar Overdrive (Barrett, Waters, Wright, Mason).
    Cover photographed and designed by Vic Singh.


    TRACK LIST
    SIDE A
    Astronomy Domine
    Lucifer Sam
    Matilda Mother
    Flaming
    Pow R. Toc H.
    Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk
    SIDE B
    Interstellar Overdrive
    The Gnome
    Chapter 24
    The Scarecrow
    Bike

    HOT LINKS
    SIDE A
    Piper Re-issue - http://www.pinkfloyd.com/piper/player/index.html
    Essential Reading - http://www.writewords.org.uk/library/9030.asp
    Lyrics - http://pinkfloydhyperbase.dk/albums/piper.htm
    Inevitable Wiki - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pip..._Gates_of_Dawn
    The far better Pink Floyd & Co Link - http://www.pinkfloyd-co.com/disco/pi...per_album.html


    ALSO IN 1967
    The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
    Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced?
    Cream - Disraeli Gears
    The Doors - Strange Days
    Love - Forever Changes
    Bob Dylan - John Wesley Harding
    The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground & Nico
    The Rolling Stones - Their Satanic Majesties Request
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  12. #37
    Wayne Guest

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    Interstellar Overdrive
    Classic track.

  13. #38
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    Astronomy Domine
    I first heard this song on the live album, Pulse. At the time I had no idea where it fitted into Pink Floyd’s history, but I assumed it must have been a fairly late song. That it was the first song on the first album came as a surprise!
    It goes to show how groundbreaking this track is. For me, this song defines Pink Floyd’s essence, though it’s not my favourite and not their most accomplished song.
    In the first minute or so it gives us distorted voices, cosmic mysticism and very, very strange guitar noises, all underlined by competent, driving drums and bass. The quiet, building intro adds a huge amount to the excitement of the track, exploding into a bizarre sounding couple of guitar chords. Perhaps the reason it’s considered a space track is the indistinct distorted voices sounding so much like a transmission from the Lunar landings.
    Then there’s the downward scale, wailing and crashing into the ground. The guitar playing is relatively simple but brilliant, driving and thrashing throughout.
    It’s a confident, exciting opening to the album, with themes and styles that Pink Floyd would return to time and again in their long, long career.

    Lucifer Sam
    The album picks up from Astronomy Domine with this bass-dominated track. It’s an exciting and decent 60’s pop track, probably overlooked for the sake of the songs around it.
    The lyrics are typical Barrett whimsy, ‘be a hip cat, be a ship’s cat’. He’s always struck me as a ‘cat’ person. It’s echoed by the sinister creeping bass-line that opens the track. A song for creeping around city streets at night with the cats.


    Matilda Mother
    A slightly gentler track, this one is more reminiscent of The Kinks or other 60’s psychedelic bands. That said, it’s a good example of that kind of English psychedelic track. It also reminds me of Moribund The Burgermeister from Peter Gabriel’s first album.
    The timing and the mood of the song vary quite a lot and in the context of each of these tracks individually I think it works very well. But it makes side one of the album slightly incoherent. Until you’re familiar with them all, it’s difficult to remember which freak-out section belongs to which song!

    Flaming
    This starts off notably more weird than the previous tracks, but soon resolves to a typical Barrett hippy piece. It’s a very child-like fairy story with unicorns, buttercups and eiderdown and the lyrics paint a picture of tripped out bliss. There seems to be a pair of wind-up false teeth on the soundtrack starting at 1:30.

    Pow R. Toc H.
    There are a lot of songs on this album that could be described as ‘Songs for Children’. Which is great, because they alternate with these songs that are ‘Scary for Children!’ This one sounds like a massacre of aliens. The strange shrieking and hissing vocals make this track stand out, rather more than the pedestrian bass and organ lines. Although it’s a bit of a relief when they kick in and the awful shrieking stops.
    Actually I think this is a great song, experimental and with a good rhythm to it.

    Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk
    Here’s Roger! The lyrics on this song are utterly different to everything on the album. It’s by Roger Waters, so they’re so much more visceral and nasty than Syd’s escapist ramblings. ‘Music seems to help the pain, Seems to motivate the brain.’ It seems an interesting precursor to the angst and horror that turn up in Rogers’ later writing.
    The song itself is an exciting freak-out with some great organ playing. And I love the drum intro. ‘Doctor! Doctor!’

    Interstellar Overdrive
    Of course, this is what it’s all about. The Pink Floyd Sound let loose on a huge ten minute instrumental – a radical length at the time, but nothing compared to what was to come!
    It’s so evocative of the sixties and that sound, you can just imagine the UFO Club, the coloured lighting, the energy of the performance. It’s all captured wonderfully on record.
    In some ways it’s painful to listen to, but the sections where they go over the top last long enough to be interesting and not so long that they become annoying. My favourite part is about six minutes in where everything drops out apart from the unusual organ noises. In context, it sounds quite majestic. There’s even a distinctive riff that turns up at the start and returns at the end, which is great because it gives the track something to hold onto and raises it above ten minutes of random musical noodling.

    The Gnome
    And from the depths of space, we go to another kid’s song. ‘I want to tell you a story,’ says Syd. Well if that’s true, why have you been making weird noises with your guitar for the last ten minutes? You can’t want to tell us a story that badly.
    A key part of the hippy movement was JRR Tolkein’s books, which is fair enough seeing as they were about hairy folk who lived in the forest and smoked a lot of pipe-weed. It seems that Syd has just read The Hobbit, or at least the first few chapters and then written this Gnomic homage to Bilbo. CF William Shatner’s The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins and Led Zepplin’s The Battle of Evermore.

    Chapter 24
    This is a fantastic track, which stands out for not really having a freak-out section or being too childish. Instead, everything is tightly controlled and suitably mystical. It may all be from the I-Ching, but it made for some damn fine lyrics.
    There are some good bass fills too. I presume that Roger Waters was playing bass throughout this album, because he seems to be the first to have really mastered his instrument. The guitar and organ are formless and all over the place, the drumming is fantastic in places, but the bass playing is great throughout.

    The Scarecrow
    Another very evocative track, this time of a misty field in a Thomas Hardy novel. The ticking drum line is very different and suits the song well.
    It’s one of Syd’s more philosophical pieces, as though he was seeing himself from the outside and comparing himself to the scarecrow. It’s one of his romantic, rustic images, this scarecrow standing alone in blithe innocence. Given his eventual fate, it’s a very sad song too.

    Bike
    This is an interesting track, but quite why it keeps turning up on compilations as a classic song I’m not sure. It’s quite an annoying song. Matilda Mother and Lucifer Sam are much more typical of Piper!
    What I like about this song is that it seems to describe Syd’s seductive lifestyle. There’s the strutting, childish, idiotic side in the verses, showing off his bike and other crappy items such as gingerbread men and a damaged cloak. Then suddenly he leans in to the listener as the music swoops and pounces, declaring that ‘You’re the kind of girl that fits in my world…’ It’s a strange psychedelic seduction, but almost shows how Syd was able to attract women.
    The coda to Bike and the album as a whole is a sort of funny noise depository, where they stuck some of the sound effects they weren’t able to use elsewhere on the album. The laughing duck is at once annoying, infantile and very scary.

    The Piper At The Gates of Dawn as an album is good, but perhaps not great. As a time capsule from the hippy summer of 1967 though, it’s fascinating. It’s the start of a new age of optimism and love that might never end. I also get the sense that Syd had barely scratched the surface of what he was capable of and that, in time, he would have developed into an even better songwriter.

    Score - 4/5
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  14. #39
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    I sort of grew up with Pink Floyd, well, Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here anyway, as my Dad had them. It's only been recently really that I've ventured beyond that and discovered the other Pink Floyd that lies beyond those two classic albums.

    Piper at the Gates of Dawn
    I've only really started to listen to this album in the last few weeks, and I'm in two minds about it. On the one hand there's plenty of invention and some great tracks, on the other hand it's somewhat twee and as Wayne said, rather kitsch.

    Astronomy Domine ****1/2
    Wonderful! This is a great start to the album and their career in general. It's a dazzling tour of the heavens in 4.12 minutes, with the insistent guitar work driving it along and the vocals, which should be rather monotonous, but seem to work in context. I love the bit in the middle where it all dissolves into the harsh organ work and the chiming very 60s guitar. I can't think of another song before this that was quite like it. As Steve says, groundbreaking is the word.

    Lucifer Sam ***
    This starts with a very insistent 60s groovy guitar riff. The lyrics are rubbish, but the overall effect of the song works well I think. Nothing special, but I really like it.

    Matilda Mother ***
    This song belongs in the great tradition of English psychadelic songs from around this time- sounding very like stuff found on The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society and the later Ogdens Nut Gone Flake by the Small Faces.
    Nice Rick Wright keyboard stuff and I like the sighing use of the voice as an instrument in the middle of the song too. Syd's lyrics and singing seems very at place on this track.

    Flaming*1/2
    A menacing opening, but this far in I'm finding Syd's lyrics and faux-innocent singing rather irritating now I'm afraid.
    Again this is a very English psychedelic song, full on countryside idyll lyrics with dandelions and the like and a middle section where the piano stuff works against the guitar and just sounds messy. Maybe that's the intention, but really I found this more irritating than loveable.

    Pow R. Toc H. ****
    Somehow the silly voices at the start of this song work! They shouldn't, they really shouldn't!
    I like the piano on this track a great deal and the drumming is good too, creating an atmosphere of building menace. That seems to be the main theme of the album. Really like this one.

    Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk *1/2
    A song that starts with an insistent vocal, but truns into a dreary bit of jamming and doesn't really go anywhere. It all just feels like self indulgent kids going off on one to me and I've come away from it each time thinking I really don't want to hear that again.

    Interstellar Overdrive*****
    Yeah! Love this track immensely. It stands up high with Astronomy Dominie as the truly outstanding tracks on the album. It's like 1967 distilled into a single song and while it shares some of the faults I've laid at the door of other tracks, this one seems to work despite the drawbacks. I suspect it was quite amazing to hear live with the oil light show and everyone dancing around you.
    An amazing soundscape.

    The Gnome **
    Here we go again with the kitsch stuff. I suppose it's OK for what it is, and I do like the way Syd pronounces "Grumble" with the rolling r, but I don't really think very much of this.
    Well, at least, if nothing else, I know who inspired David Bowie's early career now!

    Chapter 24 ***1/2
    This is a superb slice of psychedelia. Far better than all the silly fairystory stuff. The music is brilliant- there's some great bass buried in this song, along with the stylophone( Or is it just he hammond organ?) of course!
    The I,Ching inspired lyrics are good and I just like the mood of the track. Again, it's very much a product of its time, with the search for spiritual enlightenment seemingly running hand in hand with taking lots of drugs.

    The Scarecrow ***
    Oh no, another slightly twee song, but not as annoying as some of the others like it on the album. I like the way it buiolds from the nice use of the percussion at the start to the outreo with the acoustic guitar. Its just long enough, and doesn't outstay its welcome.

    Bike *1/2
    This is a seminal Pink Floyd song? I can't quite get my head round that! It's just childish nonsense and just irritates. As I said before, I find Syd's childlike singing annoying most of the time, and never more so than here. It just seems like they're being childish for the sake of it to me and this is self indulgent noodling.


    So there we go. I cam't quite get my head round this album. I really wanted to like it, being a fan of much other work from this period, but in my opinion it just doesn't seem strong enough to justify its standing. There's some outstanding stuff here, but really there's very little that's above average. At least I think so, anyway. Too much self indulgent silliness. Maybe that was the appeal to their fanbase at the time, but this just feels too 1967 to me.
    *** for me

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow
    Bike
    This is an interesting track, but quite why it keeps turning up on compilations as a classic song I?m not sure. It?s quite an annoying song.


    Quote Originally Posted by SiHart View Post

    Bike *1/2
    This is a seminal Pink Floyd song? I can't quite get my head round that! It's just childish nonsense and just irritates. As I said before, I find Syd's childlike singing annoying most of the time, and never more so than here. It just seems like they're being childish for the sake of it to me and this is self indulgent noodling.
    Childish nonsense? I disagree.

    Bike

    "You're the kind of girl that fits in with my world, I'll give you anything, everything, if you want things."

    It's about materialism and its basis as the foundation of a relationship. The protagonist is in love and willing to give his hearts desire the world. He's got a problem though... what does he really have to offer? His prize posession is his bicycle, but he borrowed it... he has an old but beloved pet mouse, some gingerbread cookies.. and a tattered cloak. Our protagonist is a man without means! But finally he finds his most important asset, and it's not something material at all. A room of musical tunes: perhaps this represents his feelings or thoughts, perhaps his soul, perhaps something else. But what is important is that the best thing he has to give to earn her love is something from within.

    And lastly we hear a psychedelic representation of this room of musical tunes.

    Utter genious. *****

  16. #41
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    There are some good bass fills too. I presume that Roger Waters was playing bass throughout this album, because he seems to be the first to have really mastered his instrument. The guitar and organ are formless and all over the place, the drumming is fantastic in places, but the bass playing is great throughout.
    That's an interesting comment, because from what I recall of what I've read, while Syd's style is far from traditional he was the only member of the group who wasn't still learning his instrument and had been playing the guitar for years. He and David Gilmour had tought themselves as childhood friends, which was one of the reasons Gilmour was selected as his replacement, it being assumed he would have a similar sound.

    Roger is generally thought to be the least accomplished musician. He reportedly had to hold his bass guitar out to Rick Wright in concert and pluck the strings while Rick tuned it because he is tone deaf. It is said that at least half or more of the bass guitar in most Floyd albums is actually Gilmour (and apparently in some cases that is being generous).

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    Ahh, that's an interesting insight into the lyrics. Thanks Jeff. As I said I'm coming to this period fresh and I'm really putting down my first impressions after a week of listening to the songs and it's good to hear from people who know about it than I do.

    That said, I'm still really not a huge fan of the song, or the album and I've found I'm appreciating Saucerful of Secrets more on my initial listens, but I'm getting ahead of myself...

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  18. #43
    Captain Tancredi Guest

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    I've decided that I don't want to be a prisoner of unhappy times in my past, so I bought this today- apart from anything else it was something to go with the Frank Sinatra Christmas album which caught my eye.

    Haven't listened to it all the way through yet, though.

  19. #44
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    I'm waiting for Jeff to fully join this Time Team

    My review is being written, but I want to write something on 4 remaining tracks ...
    Assume you're going to Win
    Always have an Edge

  20. #45
    Pip Madeley Guest

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    I'll have a listen to it this week

  21. #46

    Default And don't forget...this is me SOBER.

    I can give you memories of this album. It must have been around 1990 I got it on tape. It was part of the "Fame" reissues and for some reason, Bike ended side one and Take Up Thy Stethoscope finished off the album. It was sometime before I heard as it was intended.

    Good one to have playing in the background whilst doing the dishes!

    Astronomy Domine still sounded (and still sounds) like nothing else I'd ever heard.

    Lucifer Sam is the second most dated musically. A sort of Danger Man-ish spy soundtrack tune with lyrics that would have Soviet spies having nervous breakdowns trying to figure out the meaning.

    Matilda Mother is probably responsible for most pisstakes of psychedic songs.
    It's only Syd who sounds like he actually means it, but the solo takes an unexpected turn that would make the producers of PlaySchool shift in their chairs and say "Er..."

    And Flaming (confession time. I hate Marc Bolan. I think T-Rex just suck so badly and Bolan stole Barrett's act.) is hardcore trippy in the solo. But even though I found the lyrics charming at the time, nowadays I'm demanding more substance! Although the "I can youuu" always made me think of an overgrown childish man suddenly pulling a knife on his nanny.

    Pow R. Toc H Meaat! Like nothing else on the album. The pictures it conjures up. Cute furry animals on an alien planet going about their daily lives, when suddenly they are shelled and hunted down by mechanical cold iron thingys! One lone alien survives near the end and slowly rushes to the cage to release the prisoners... and they start screaming at the rescuer to look behind them as a droning percussive monster creeps up to crush the last survivor...
    Oh I did a lot of acid in 1998, didn't I mention that?

    Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk. This is the one that really dates the album, but what a learning curve for Roger Waters! Still have a soft spot for it though. Always the "go for a piss" part of the record.

    Intersteller Overdrive First heard it on Relics which I got before this album. The closest thing the album gets to their UFO light show which provoked much hostility whenever they played outside London. (As hit and miss as punk was, at least it wasn't a London-centric movement. "Oh we were changing the world... there was a real sense of change..." Yeah, in London.)
    On a council estate full of government owned homes it's hard to imagine how this would have gone down with the Beatle loving pop crowd. Roger got a sharpened coin thrown at his forehead on some Godforsaken date. Maybe you need the lightshow, but then all you have to do is lie on your bed and stare at the ceiling. Don't blame me if you see Stuart Maconie get hit in the face with a machine gun though. And I still get goosebumps over the stereo panning at the end.

    The Gnome. I first heard this on Nigel Planer's "Neil's Heavy Concept Album" which I'd love to hear again. A lot more stripped back than his version. I love the way the record is split into electric and acoustic. The middle eight shows how far Syd was getting from his bandmates when listened to now.

    Chapter 24. Another oddity. Lyrics from "I Ching" as previously stated... as done by a Generation Game contestant! But even Brucie would be moved by the "Change returns success" which is the most beautiful part of the album. (Tough competition mind) The song that launched a thousand hippie conmen.

    The Scarecrow. This could have ended the album on a nice mellow high. I once knew a great friend (RIP) who said this song made him think it was about a soldier. Never really thought about it that way to be honest. Genesis Of The Daleks "Even the dead have their part...propped up to make the trenches appear fully manned". (He gave up on Who after Hartnell left... well I say gave up, he had a nervous breakdown after being sexual abused by his brother, plus the tension of living under the Kray neighbourhood regime, plus being doped up with lithium by his doctor...when he was still in school!) But I digress! This is another of the albums highlights and shows how to do psychedelia properly, and not a phase or sound effect in sight. Love the way the organ fades up and the acoustic patterns...man.

    Bike. Oh how obsessed I was with this song! The album ends as it began with another WTF? track that is even more head splitting than Astronomy Domine.
    So many people hear this and do it a disservice by just dismissing it outright at childish toss. There's some pretty amazing lyric patterns that thinking about it, showed the way for Sparks to follow. (and you see Bolan, at least Sparks had more than two ideas) No idea what happened at the end. Amazed Spike Milligan didn't sue there and then.

    The Verdict. People always hold this up to other 1967 albums. Pheep! Foul!
    Forever Changes (the current critical favourite) was Love's third album. Strange Days was the Doors second (go on Jim, swap acid for booze, it's not like anyone will be listening to you years later) and Cream (would look it up but...meh) were too buried alive in the blues and "Look at me Ma! Ma! Ma! Your not looking! She's not looking, play for another five minutes! Ma! Ma!"
    to match the originality that Piper has.
    You can't blame them for what came next. Other bands I mean, not what Floyd did next.
    And as debuts go, it's better than The Doors and Please Please Me.
    Sgt Pepper wasn't a debut either! So Piper At The Gates Of Dawn walks it.
    Just don't mention Are You Experienced?... Oh shit! I just did!
    Bugger bugger bugger bugger damn!
    Nooo! My arguements are an indulgent twaddle!
    I cannot be real!
    Curse you Rog for making me this way!!!

    For all I've said a five out of five. It doesn't always work in the cold light of day (have YOU had your children microchipped today? It will help TWAT. The War Against Terror) but it's the closest thing to recording fingertips clinging onto the toybox before it goes into the loft forever you'll ever get.

    P.S. I associate Obscured by Clouds with a ex-girlfriend... wait till we get to that one!!!
    Last edited by Dino; 25th Nov 2008 at 2:20 AM.

  22. #47
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    Like nothing else on the album. The pictures it conjures up. Cute furry animals on an alien planet going about their daily lives, when suddenly they are shelled and hunted down by mechanical cold iron thingys! One lone alien survives near the end and slowly rushes to the cage to release the prisoners... and they start screaming at the rescuer to look behind them as a droning percussive monster creeps up to crush the last survivor...
    That's one of the things I find so enjoyable about Pink Floyd in general, that their songs conjures up surreal images to go with them. We'll get to what I think about during songs like Atom Heart Mother and Comfortably Numb!

    I first heard this on Nigel Planer's "Neil's Heavy Concept Album" which I'd love to hear again.
    That sounds awesome!

    So many people hear this and do it a disservice by just dismissing it outright at childish toss.
    Done and done. I don't dislike it, but I don't see why it's supposed to be so much better than Matilda Mother or The Scarecrow. I'll grant you it's interestingly structured and moderately thought provoking, but it's still rather annoying.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Tancredi View Post
    I've decided that I don't want to be a prisoner of unhappy times in my past, so I bought this today- apart from anything else it was something to go with the Frank Sinatra Christmas album which caught my eye.

    Haven't listened to it all the way through yet, though.
    Oooh, Ian, well done! "The Piper at the gates of dawn" is, like I say, one of my favourites and I may well have included it in my top ten albums (which I'm sure was a thread on here once).

    I haven't reviewed it yet though...still finding the words (and time).

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil L View Post
    I'm waiting for Jeff to fully join this Time Team
    I'm too busy listening to Chinese Democracy...

  25. #50
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    The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
    Bought in 2008 for 4GBP in a two for 10GBP offer from HVM with a further 20% off thanks to Ant W's staff discount.

    Mono vs. stereo
    The album I have is a double CD album; the first CD is with the tracks presented in mono, the second is with them presented in pseudo stereo.
    It's pseudo stereo as the drums and bass are panned a little to the left, the guitars to the right and the vocals somewhere to the left in an arrangement that probably mimics the layout of the band set up for recording or live performances.
    I hate it.
    I sit a couple of feet away from my desktop speakers and this presentation just messes with being able to listen to the album, let alone review the tracks on it.
    I've listened to the second CD; once. Never again.

    Astronomy Domine
    I liked the samples of the Morse code at the beginning and the astronauts (?) later on.
    The rest of it is very 60's and Beatles-esk.

    Lucifer Sam

    Nothing really grabs me about this track.

    Matilda Mother
    I've taken a bit of a shine to this. It's the melody you see; it has a sing-song-y tune and the lyrics are rather fable-esk. It's like it's painting a story from Old Camelot.

    Flaming
    I like how this track starts, but it looses me half way through.

    Pow R. Toc H.
    Nothing really grabs me about this track.

    Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk
    I don't care for this.

    Interstellar Overdrive
    I don't much care for this.
    I guess I'm not too into the completely instrumental Pink Floyd compositions; yet I like dance music and most of that is completely instrumental; albeit electronic
    However I do like the guitar riff from 0:07 to 0:30 which is repeated from time to time during the track.

    The Gnome
    To me, this sounds just like the Beetles; but not as good.

    Chapter 24
    The lines "Change returns success" and "Action brings good fortune" stand out for me. It's like its saying: to get something different, first you've got to do something different.

    The Scarecrow
    The lyrics aren't bad; but the melody is .

    Bike
    The lyrics here resonate with me. It's like he's trying to buy the affections of a girl: "I'll give you anything, everything, if you want things"
    He's trying to convince her to be with him: "You're the kind of girl that fits in with my world"
    I've been there, done those things and it all went pear shaped
    Then @1:51 it totally changes and becomes an instrumental piece.
    This change doesn't fit too well with me; how and why did this guy suddenly mature and say 'come into this room and be a musician with me'?
    I like the 'quaking ducks' that fade in at 2:56

    Conclusion
    I've taken to some of the tunes, but there's nothing in it that has grabbed me.
    Would I pick the album up in 5 years time and want to listen to it again?
    Probably not; there is nothing too memorable in it for me to do that.
    Assume you're going to Win
    Always have an Edge

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