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Just how awesome is Piper At The Gates of Dawn


Loobster

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Personally I prefer Syd's Floyd ... shame it all fell apart when he was coming out with Vegetable Man and Scream thy last Scream et al ... those were some very cool tunes that sadly didn't get a proper recording. You could tell it was getting deeply avant garde though when you heard the single Apples and Oranges though ... and not in the normal artistic way - this was getting autistic.

 

"Thought cha might like to know! I'm a lorry driver man ... she's on the run"

 

There were none like him and never will be any to replace.

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That's true. Gilmour brought instrumental virtuosity to the band though, and I suppose they were looking for someone more reliable and 'capable' (in a sense). I wouldn't say I preferred Syd's Floyd, because they're more or less two different bands for me. But I am a sucker for beautiful phrasing and guitar playing and Gilmour had that in spades...he was also an innovator, albeit in a far less abstract way.

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I read somewhere that when Gilmour joined, at first they were going to work as a 5-piece but then Syd flipped out and they fired him. You can tell on A Saucerful of Secrets that there was still a very strong Syd influence, like on Corporal Clegg and the title track.

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I read somewhere that when Gilmour joined, at first they were going to work as a 5-piece but then Syd flipped out and they fired him.

 

 

That's the story. Gilmour was invited to join Pink Floyd initially to stand in for Syd when he was "incapacitated", or otherwise unavailable- he'd become pretty erratic, hence the Floyd's decision to have an "understudy". Syd didn't take too kindly to having his stand-in in the band with him, and got even worse, which led to the fateful decision by the band not to pick him up for that gig, and to take Gilmour on full time.

 

Piper At The Gates Of Dawn is thoroughly awesome. In parts it's menacing, in others very innocent and childish. IMHO, it's one of the most truly psychedelic albums there is- its moods are thoroughly absorbing and unpredictable, the lyrics and the textures are at once familiar and eerily "other". Definitely one of my top ten.

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It's so awesome that they released a 40th anniversary limited edition today.

 

I'm a big Barrett fan. I can't help but gush about the man. I just think he's such a dynamic artist. On one hand he was a true pioneer - with a playing style and creative legacy in 1967 alone that still tend to blow people away. Had he wrote only PATGOD and the early Floyd singles, he still would have had a huge influence on rock and would be remembered as a great artist (hell, his indirect influence through the success of post-Syd Floyd would be enough to make him a legend).

 

But it's when I listen to his solo stuff that I realize what I really love most about him - his ability to do so much while keeping things so simple. I'm grateful that Dave (especially) and others helped him to record those beautiful tracks on his solo records because they really show the genius and natural creativity of Syd. Take the whole crazy scene, all the lights, the swirling electric guitar and the psychedelic atmosphere away and he still shines. In one of the documentaries Gilmour describes him as having words and melodies just coming to him naturally and you can sense the awe (and possibly jealousy) in Dave.

 

It's hard for me to think of another modern artist (Cobain maybe) who had such an impact and influece despite being in the spotlight for such a relatively short time.

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