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Although released in the first week of August, Pink Floyd’s debut album, ‘The Piper at the Gates of Dawn’, entered the UK album charts in this week of 1967. It would spend seven just outside the Top Five.

So, why not turn off whatever you’re listening to and give it a spin? Take some time to remember with a smile the beautiful talents of the late Syd Barrett and Richard Wright (as well as producer Norman ‘Hurricane’ Smith, who passed away last year) and share whatever you feel like sharing about this fine piece of work; be it your favourite track, most whimsical lyric, memories of acquiring the original LP, or thoughts on the 30th and 40th anniversary CDs (both of which were re-mastered by James Guthrie, the latter includes two rare takes of ‘Interstellar Overdrive’, rescued from EMI’s archives, plus a previously unavailable version of ‘Matilda Mother’ – click here if you need to learn more).

I’d also care to know how you like the first three Pink Floyd singles, all released in 1967 (‘Arnold Layne’, ‘See Emily Play’, ‘Apples and Oranges’) and their respective B-sides (‘Candy and a Currant Bun’, ‘The Scarecrow’, ‘Paintbox’).

Add to that a fourth single, 1968’s ‘It Would Be So Nice’, only officially available as part of the 1992 ‘Shine On’ box set and the less well-known budget releases, put out in selected parts of the world in 1970 and 1974 to capitalise on the band’s growing popularity, entitled ‘The Best of The Pink Floyd’ and ‘Masters of Rock’.

The B-side to ‘It Would Be So Nice’ was ‘Julia Dream’, David’s first recorded Pink Floyd vocal.

Interestingly, if not somewhat worryingly, the UK’s most popular albums of 1967 were (in order of sales, no surprise about the biggest-seller):

– The Beatles, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
– ‘Sound of Music’ soundtrack
– ‘The Best of The Beach Boys’
– ‘The Monkees’
– ‘Doctor Zhivago’ soundtrack
– ‘More of The Monkees’
– ‘Fiddler On the Roof’ (Original London Cast)
– Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, ‘Going Places’
– Seekers, ‘Come the Day’
– Tom Jones, ‘Green, Green Grass of Home’

How many of those will you still admit to having in your collection, then?

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

70 thoughts on “'Piper'”

  1. While I love the entire Floyd catalog, these early albums are special to me. While I’m not old enough to have caught most of these albums when they first came out, exploring the early releases was a great window into the times and creative processes that I came to really appreciate from the later releases.

    Of the first two releases, overall I enjoy Saucerful of Secrets better, but from Piper – Bike is a song that I still love for its simplicity and childlike quality. I often sing it to my very young children, even adding additional lyrics just for them. 🙂

  2. Happily I can admit to only owning Sgt Pepper.

    As for Piper At the Gates of Dawn, it was an album I didn’t enjoy at the start of my interest in Pink Floyd. I really was a Wish You Were Here and Dark Side fan – I bought a lot of their albums, listened to them and more or less discarded them in favour of the two I mentioned. As my interest in them has grown over the years, so has my enthusiasm for both Syd Barrett and the Piper album.

    I do listen to it every now and again, probably more often than I do Sgt Pepper.

    I chose Lucifer Sam as my track in the survey above – but by far my favourite songs from this era are ‘See Emily Play’ and ‘Jugband Blues’.

  3. I don’t have too much time to comment on this wonderful album at the moment but I will say that (IMHO) ‘Chapter 24’ is the foundation stone on which all of Pink Floyd’s career was built. I also have in my library the very same books in which Syd took his lyrics from in the aforementioned song.

    I will comment later on this album.

    1. How differently we see things (and all power to us)… for me the cornerstone of Pink Floyd was David’s lyrical guitar, Roger’s lyrics, Rick’s “texture” and Nick’s economical drumming… all entirely absent in Chapter 24.

    2. For me it all comes down to yin yang, light dark, good evil and “polar opposites” (poles apart) on a whole. For example the song WYWH is “divided” in two. This whole “division” basis could be likened to the tree of knowledge – lest we forget RW’s and DG’s and SB’s parents were teachers, so it would be possible that it spilled over onto their children. Even one of the balloons in tge High Hopes film has an I Ching type symbol inscribed upon it.

      I have done a huge essay on this very subject. My supposition is based on lyrical content (however it is evident in their music too – especially in their early compositions). Maybe one day, I will post this essay (I have loads). The sun is eclipsed by the moon. The seven is the young light, the new dawn.

    3. addendum

      Chapter 24 – Fu – The Turning Point – is part of the I Ching which is a method of divination – ancient-fortune telling if you like. The I Ching must have made some sort of impact on Syd in order for him to write a song about it.

      Did you ever notice the PF symbol on The Division Bell? It is almost oriental in appearance and as a matter of fact the Chinese character for China is very similar.

    4. I’m not an architect and thankfully neither are Roger and Nick and nor was Rick.

      “The cornerstone (or foundation stone) concept is derived from the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.”

      Looks like they are the same thing… although I’m not convinced that the entire Pink Floyd lexicon is built on the idea of “ying and yang”. Now I can’t claim to have made a study of the subject, but where for example does “One Of These Days” fit into that ?

      It seems a curious projection of a theory to suggest that a balloon in High hopes with a symbol on it shows such a lineage… it could just as easily be an isolated reference backwards in the same way that the Wall uses the “screeching” from Echoes, couldn’t it?

      The Band will always have Piper as its first work. But I think the differences between what follows far outweigh the similarities, not least because Piper was essentially a work of Syd’s imagination and the great albums that followed were the product of Roger exploring his own ideas and the musical input of David and Rick.

      I really do not see any substantial continuum, nor has any of the published utterances of the band suggested one.

    5. Hi Tim,

      Yes, I did refer to my OED after posting the question about cornerstone and that it is one and the same as foundation stone. I am still a bit ignorant and I’m no architect either. 🙂

      As for one of the balloons with the 3 lines and crescent shape inscribed upon it; even Storm Thorgerson made mention that: ‘The three parallel bars referred to three band members, but also constituted a hieroglyph of some kind, probably oriental, a kind of hexagram or ideogram (not stereogram) which was communicating something in its entirety… A secret sign, perhaps.’ Mind Over Matter, Page 133.

      The I Ching is made up of two triagrams and has either yin lines or yang lines in it for example:

      yin lines — —

      yang lines ——

      The trigrams make up a hexagram, etc. I have a feeling I am going to have to post one of my essays on my Literature studies.

      Anyway the second balloon has the symbol PF enscribed on it and it looks similar to this zhong character that makes up the word China.

      In the I Ching there are tables of elements and to quote a few there are the dog, hand, moon, sun, cloud, water, pig, green, etc., etc., and these elements, especially the dog and cloud, figure heavily in the PF portfolio. Perhaps it is just simply a rehashing of old ideas. Lest we forget Chapter 24 is just one of 64 chapters too. It’s hard to explain it here to be honest (in a limited space).

      I am not saying “all” of the bands songs is I Ching related, but most are following a formula. Thinking about One of These Days (I’m Going To Cut You Up Into Little Pieces) I cannot see the I Ching formula, but I can see a “door” and in the year of the pig – 1995 (the pig was later used in this song at the concerts). I cut PFs (I am likening PF as the symbol of the pig here) entire works up into little pieces like one does in literary criticism, and made an amazing literary discovery. However this statement about ‘One of These Days’ is only being used by me as an example and is not a literal analogy.

      Echoes even has the dawn, eclipse (war – the sixth line in Chapter 24) – new dawn (or Golden Dawn) thread running through it.

      No [R]Egrets. 😉

      Lest we forget though that this is all in my humble opinion and does not matter for six.

    6. Tim,

      Here is another link that may be of interest to you.

      It would appear that others have found a little oriental flavour in PF’s work too.

      I also have the ‘Poems of the Late T’ang’ in my library.

    7. Well Julie, I can see you have put plenty of thought into your theory.

      I shall never eat chicken chow mein in the same way again… and I thought it was an insult when people refer to David’s guitar playing as “noodling”. 😀

  4. I’m an east coast yank that didn’t know about the Floyd until I was 17 years years old in 1991. The music has impacted my life in ways that I’d have to start a blog to fully discuss.

    One of the high points was walking through Grantchester Meadows with my best pals (the ones that introduced my to Pink Floyd 15 years prior) as we simultaneously listened to the appropriate song.

    That was truly a great day.

  5. Piper will always remain as a major album for me because it’s really the blueprint for everything that came after it. Syd’s careening, melodic guitars and haunting vocals, Richard’s atmospheric keyboards and the great rhythm section of Waters and Mason created a tapestry of sound that takes you on an incredible journey without leaving your seat.

    Of the tracks on the album that stand out for me, I like Astronomy Domine, Matilda Mother, Interstellar Overdrive, The Scarecrow, Chapter 24 and Bike. All of the elements of later Floyd can be found in these early tracks and really show how great a composer Syd was.

    Of the singles I love Arnold Layne because similar characters show up in the news now and again. We always find these stories of someone stealing ladies undies from college campuses and either my wife or I will say that “Arnold Layne is at it again!”.

    I also love See Emily Play for its great melody and one of Syd’s best recorded guitar solos, a classic single that best represents 1967.

    Although David did a fantastic job of fitting into the Floyd and making some of my favorite music, to me it will always be Syd’s band. His condition prevented him from participating in it after 1968 but his shadows and influences remained in the band for the remainder of its career.

  6. ‘Julia Dream’… My wife was impressed when she learned that it was a Pink Floyd song because she always liked it but never knew who sang it.

    Best regards,

    (Who’s back from Paris where he was impressed by the Eiffel tower and the hearty people but disappointed from the Louvre and the travelling musicians in the Metro – the played extremely loud only awful stuff.)

  7. When I saw a new blog entry with the title Piper, the first thing that came to mind was, “Is FEd posting a blog about Billy Squire?”

    Anyway, from the early days, I don’t play Piper at the Gates of Dawn quite as much as Saucerful of Secrets but I always liked See Emily Play.

    Funny enough though with the list you published of other popular releases from 1967, I just picked up the Monkees on CD last week. I still don’t know quite why as I was never a big Monkees fan. It was just a used CD at a good price so I figured, why not?

    Tom Jones is also an interesting character on that list. I certainly am aware of many of his hits but I actually like one of his recent tunes. There is a song called If I Only Knew on his release The Lead and How to Swing It. It is not like any other Tom Jones song, believe it or not, it rocks with a groove.



    1. Know what you mean about Tom’s new material. I really like his new album, ’24 Hours’.

      Have a listen to a few of the tracks at his MySpace page and let me know what you think.

    2. You have to admire how Tom has reinvented himself. Some of the songs on 24 sound a bit like his “What’s New Pussycat” days but he also pushes to deliver in other styles. I really like the song Give A Little Love.

      And how old is Tom now, yet he is still out there creating.

      So what does Tom Jones have in common with Steven Tyler from Aerosmith?? Both have an incredible collection of women’s undergarments that were thrown up on stage during performances… LOL.



  8. You can send the red brigade. I dipped into Pink Floyd at DSOTM and moved forward with them, instead of backward. I have yet to hear Piper. I know; it’s an abysmal failure on my part to search out good music. But I’ve always thought that it happens the other way around: The songs I need find me.

    Regarding the other top albums, the woman who sang for the Seekers (I think her name was Durham) had (and may still have) a beautiful voice.

    And, of course, I love the Beatles.

  9. To be honest I was a teenager going to school and had no spending power whatsoever. However, I did manage to get “Light My Fire” and played it over and over. In fact I had the album that had “The End” on it and my parents forbade me to listen to it so I rammed the stereo up to full pitch while they were out.

    So I did some research on “Piper at the Gates of Dawn”. Apparently, the title of the album was for the 7th chapter of the novel “The Wind in the Willows”. Syd is referred to as ‘the piper’ in Shine on You Crazy Diamond”. Beautiful song that came out later.

    I do love “Julia Dream”. The mellotron Rick plays sounds like the flutey music I would hear at Renaissance fairs I went to in the 70s where they had that sort of music playing as you go from booth to booth.

    It was interesting reading Pink Floyd was cutting “Piper at the Gates of Dawn” at Abbey Road as the Beatles were also recording “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and the Pretty Things were also cutting an album.

    The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is Pink Floyd’s debut album and the only one made under Syd Barrett’s leadership. It has been regarded as one of the most influential albums ever made, being a tremendous influence on the psychedelic rock scene of the time and much of what followed. The album has whimsical lyrics about space, scarecrows, gnomes, bicycles and fairytales.

    Of the list at the end, I was a very opinionated teenager. I hated The Beach Boys and Monkees.

  10. Hey Fed,

    I must admit this is my least favourite Floyd record and I don’t think it gives Syd the showcase he deserves because he never got the chance to really evolve his songwriting through time. I mean, I love the Beatles but their early recordings are not of the same complexity and depth as their later work. They got the chance to grow.

    However Astronomy Domine is the masterpiece from Piper and there was nothing at the time to compare to it. It also holds up well over time unlike some of the other songs on the album. This is the one that you can link to later PF albums style wise.

    Cheers, Howard

  11. Dear FEd,

    Took your advice and visited Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Cast my vote for my favorite song.

    Took note of your last paragraph showing in order (worryingly) as it was and thought back to when I was a youngster voicing my opinion as to what music I would like to have. Even though I had my own funds to purchase, my parents still had all the say as to what I was allowed to buy and listen to. I think of this as I think of my favorite part of PATGOD. The cover art. Maybe that is why my mother was so opinionated about that. :v

    Thanks for the topic. Hope you are feeling better.

    Love to the world.

  12. Hi FEd,

    I voted for Astronomy Domine, but was really struggling between that and Interstellar Overdrive and Take Up Thy Stethoscope.

    I have the Shine On box set at home- some great early stuff on there. I liked Syd’s voice and the distinct accent. Rick also had a pretty heavy hand in the early works. I need to find that CD and listen to those songs…

    Thanks, FEd.

  13. I have used “Bike” as a fun song between lessons in my classroom. They LOVE it, because it is so silly and so much fun. “I’ve got a mouse and he hasn’t got a houe, I don’t know why I call him Gerald. He’s getting rather old, but he’s a good mouse.” Sheer genius!

    As I have written stories for children, this kind of whimsical nonsense is actually HARD to do well!

  14. I remember very well the first time I listened to “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn”. I received the cassette as a birthday gift and, probably, it was my 3rd Pink Floyd album.

    It was a strange experience, since I had never listened to something like that before. It was like listening to colours, that’s the only way I can describe it.

    Now I have the CD (not the anniversary edition) and every time I listen to it, I think the same, that Syd Barrett, in some way, put his talent for painting in it, more than his music taste.

    I don’t know if I actually have a favourite song, but, if I have to choose, I’d say “Flaming”. I also love “The Gnome”, especially the lyrics, but I like all the early singles, above all “Julia Dream”.

    I remember me trying to understand the lyrics. There wasn’t internet at that time, so, when I wanted to know the words of a song, I just had to listen to it lot of times, trying to translate.

    Pink Floyd helped me a lot with my English. 🙂

    1. Pink Floyd helped me a lot with my English.

      Not forgetting the blog. Today I learned the word ‘whimsical’ here. My precious but completely destroyed dictionary told me ‘saugrenu’. That’s something like ‘silly’, no?

      That gives me the opportunity to thank FEd for his tolerance and help to non English speakers here. 🙂

    2. Thank you, Michèle, but there’s no need to. You should be criticising other people’s intolerance instead.

    3. Not forgetting the blog.

      Of course, Michèle, the blog is a wonderful way to learn.

      I’m also very grateful to you, FEd, for being so patient and correcting my mistakes.

      Did you see? I finally understood the right spelling of “especially”. I wonder how many times you had to correct that wrong x. 😛

    4. Alessandra, believe me, I correct many, many more from English-only speakers/writers.

      Glad I can help. 🙂

    5. I correct many, many more from English-only speakers/writers.

      Hmmm… isn’t that a function of the “E” in your name?? :))



    6. Hmmm… isn’t that a function of the “E” in your name?? :))

      Of course it is, but I was making a comment to those for whom English is a second language: their use of English is often (much) better than those with knowledge of English only.

  15. I might purchase the 40th anniversary “Piper”. It has the original CD, a stereo CD, and another CD of recently unearthed recordings never made public. Also a 1966 notebook replica of Syd’s comes with it. Since this is the most psychedelic album ever, I need this in my collection of music.

    Rolling Stone Magazine in 1999 gave “Piper” 4.5 stars calling it the golden achievement of Syd Barret. Q Magazine described the album as “indispensable” and included it in their best psychedelic albums of all time.

    The only album I had from that list you gave was Sgt. Pepper.

    David Gilmour produced two of Syd’s solo albums after he left Pink Floyd. My favorite Syd Barrett song is from his last solo album in 1970, and the name of the song is “Baby Lemonade”.

    I think the question, since we are talking about 40th anniversaries, is which one was the most important for culture, Woodstock or Piper? I vote Piper.


  16. I would say that I like ‘The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn’ but I wouldn’t say that I love it. I need to be in an excellent mood to appreciate it.

    My favourite songs are ‘The Gnome’ and ‘Bike’ (also the silly, funny lyrics) and the instrumental ‘Pow R. Toc H.’.

    But among all the songs you mentioned in your post, the ones I prefer are ‘See Emily Play’ and ‘Julia Dream’.

    This video is so funny too. It always makes me laugh. I think it was filmed somewhere around the Atomium in Brussels.

    Please, I have a question, I never understood the meaning of ‘Pow R. Toc H.’, what does it mean?


    1. I’m not sure, but I always thought it had something to do with drugs (‘toking’/’to toke’ being slang for smoking). So, something like a ‘Power Toker’?

      That’s how it sounds, anyway.

    2. Please, I have a question, I never understood the meaning of ‘Pow R. Toc H.’, what does it mean?

      Something to ask David on a rainy day Fed.

    3. I always thought of the title as POW (prisoner of war) and Toc H is a Christian club which started during the Great War.

      Please see this for more information.

    4. I loved that film of ‘See Emily Play’ as recommended by you, Michele. Did you spot David in there?

      As for ‘Julia Dream’ I have always loved this song. David’s vocals are honey sweet just like they are in ‘Green is the Colour’. It would appear that Julia is a symbol of the sun.

      Can anybody answer me this: at the end of the song Roger or David whisper “save me” or “Syd” – can anybody confirm what the truth is? I think that it is “save me” and it would figure in the whole picture. I have always wanted to know the truth in this regard.

    5. …and here is another interesting article on Toc H.

      Don’t you just think that David and the Floyd are great Teachers!

    6. Did you spot David in there?

      I sure did, Julie.

      David dressed all in black, of course.

      OK, it’s a black and white video… 😉

  17. Well, my more “critical” comments don’t tend to be well received so I’ll be brief.

    I have “Piper” in my collection for the sake of completism. I voted for “Interstellar overdrive” because I like guitar and it has a certain freedom of expression reminiscent of those underground “happenings”, but it’s fairly clear Syd became bored with it pretty quickly.

    I’m not a fan of whimsy and the songs lack both the melodic and structural beauty and the “edge” that draws me to Echoes and the great albums that followed.

    Maybe you had to be there, and I wasn’t.

  18. 67 was Canada’s 100th birthday. I was 12 years old. I distinctively remember our neighbour’s family. Irish. The elder child bought the Sgt. Pepper album.

    He also had a guitar and amp in his garage, which I drooled over and played without a clue to what I was doing.

    Years passed and my brother listened to Floyd. When I heard Ummagumma, I later backtracked the albums to Piper.

    You see, Pink Floyd in Canada were unheard of, the Beatles were popular from the get go.

    I still love Astonomy, Arnold Layne and See Emily Play from that album.

    Thanks. 😉

  19. I had “Masters of Rock” with “It Would Be So Nice.” It’s not a strong enough track for a single, it should really have been an album track. In my humble opinion, “IWBSN” is not Floyd at its best. Those who aren’t familiar with this song are not missing much.

    “Julia Dream” is a track I have not heard in a very long time, but I remember it well. This, for me, is one of the earliest tracks that has what I think of as Pink Floyd’s Sound.”

  20. I voted for Astronomy Domine just to have the feeling that the record wouldn´t stop.

    That´s an album I’d call perfect. Intense, honest, unpredictable.

    And young, fresh as only beginners are able to be. And it does sounds mature, vivid and insane. Hooray!

  21. On May 31, 1987 (I was finishing 5th grade and I was at the time age 11 and listening to bands like Pink Floyd, The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and so forth whilst my fellow 5th graders at the time dug bad hair metal sludge such as Europe, Cinderella, Bon Jovi and, as our beloved David Gilmour said it best on MTV in 1987, “f*cking Poison”) when I acquired a little ol’ double album from Pink Floyd called A Nice Pair. (It was the US version with the Ummagumma version of “Astronomy Domine” strangely replacing the studio version as – until the release of the Piper at the Gates of Dawn CD later that year – the studio version hadn’t been released in the US for some reason.)

    When I first played side 1, as most of the album took up that side and finished when “Bike” started Side 2 to equal playing sides of cassette, I loved Piper IMMEDIATELY.

    Standouts for me were “Matilda Mother”, “Flaming”, “Interstellar Overdrive” and “Chapter 24″.

    Then later that year, my dad bought me the British import on cassette and I heard the studio version of Astronomy and loved it. Then upgraded to CD in February, 1993 then all remastered versions.

    The Early Singles I loved .”Apples and Oranges”, “Paint Box” and I also did like “See Emily Play” (which along with Arnold Layne I first heard on the Works compilation). Also I loved Point Me at the Sky which was Gilmour’s first composed A-side.

  22. Interstellar Overdrive is my pick, source of countless inspirations, there’s a great video with original footage here. Do you know FEd where it comes from and if it’s available?

    Paintbox and Julia Dream are my absolute favourite songs from their early material. Both Richard’s and David’s vocals are so soothing and captivating.

    In the 80s I remember I took some time to catch up with the Syd era Pink Floyd, being much more into their later material. I bought A Nice Pair on vinyl when it was already on the second hand market, years later the remastered CDs.

    1. I haven’t seen that one before.

      Much of it is from Peter Whitehead’s film, ‘Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London’, I believe, which was available at some point on VHS.

    2. Dear FEd,

      I recognize this footage from a Pink Floyd CD I have. If it is the same, the footage was from the UFO Night Club. The Pink Floyd CD is labelled Pink Floyd London 1966/1967.

  23. Dear FEd,

    Hope today is finding you well.

    Read your comment about Tom Jones new album “24 Hours”. His voice is as rich and powerful as ever don’t you think?

    Other new albums recently released that I think are worth the time and money would be Neil Diamond’s “Home Before Dark” and the Eagles’ “Long Road Out of Eden”.

    Just thought I’d give them a plug also as long as you brought it up.

    Thank you, hope you have a great day!

    Love to the world.

    1. Other new albums recently released that I think are worth the time and money would be Neil Diamond’s “Home Before Dark” and the Eagles’ “Long Road Out of Eden”.

      Funnily enough, I keep those two in my car at all times. Perfect driving music, don’t you think?

      I agree with what you wrote about Tom Jones. I saw him in concert a few years ago and that voice of his is unbelievably powerful.

    2. Did you see that Bono and The Edge worked with Tom on his 24 release? Apparently Tom was hanging in a bar with Bono and that was part of the inspiration of Tom recording. The song Sugar Daddy was a collaboration between the three.

      Do you think a collaboration between Tom and David would work well or is Tom’s voice too overpowering?

      I think it could be interesting. Different for both but interesting.



    3. I think a collaboration between Tom and David could be very good.

      Of course, there have been collaborations of a sort: in 1991/2, they played together at various charity events. Amnesty International’s ‘Big 3-0’ concert is the obvious one, David being part of the house band. They performed ‘Kiss’ and Otis Redding’s ‘I Can’t Turn You Loose’ (‘Hey Joe’ with Seal was another highlight of this benefit gig).

      There was a television appearance as well, back when Tom had his own show, where they performed another Prince song, ‘Purple Rain’.

  24. Dear FEd,

    I’m beginning to think that you have as large a music collection as mine. We seem to share a lot the same choices. Pleased to know that I’m not the only one who lives and dies for great music.

    I do agree about the driving music. Let me know of others you are fond of.


    Love to the world.

    1. One of the best driving songs ever is Radar Love by Golden Earring. Although watch your speedometer while driving and listening to it.



  25. Had no idea Julia Dream was David’s first recorded Pink Floyd vocal track. I still love that song even after all this time. That certainly adds something unique to it.

    I remember buying The Piper at the Gates of Dawn in Singapore back in 1975, I think. I remember it because the shop owner shoved Interstellar Overdrive onto his audio system so I could hear the album before buying it and it literally blasted out through the markets streets of Singapore!

    Ah, the memories.

  26. Hi FEd,

    Hasn’t it been a glorious day?

    I bought Piper the day it was released, and was surprised like most people that there was nothing on it that sounded even remotely like a single. I think that on first listening it was Astronomy that stood out. The track has a wonderful groove (physically as well as sonically) – that ‘ole black vinyl leant a certain something.

    To freak out youngsters today, I love to play them Overdrive, it seems to really mess with their heads, they like it but don’t seem to understand why, and I think that was my reaction as well when I was 17.


  27. Something curious I noticed reading the Italian charts, when we were talking about our favourite 70s hits.

    In 1973, while “Money” was in the 64th position, “Point Me at the Sky” was in the 20th.

    What seems strange is that it was in the chart for the first time that year, while it had been released in 1969 (if I’m not wrong).

    It seems everything arrives late here.

  28. Hi

    I was lent Piper by a friend of mine at secondary school in Sept 1967, really loved it and like many others spent most of my time thinking ‘how did they make do that?’. Several months before I first heard ‘See Emily Play’ and ‘Lucy in The Sky With Diamonds’ at a local youth club and just couldn’t believe what I was listening to. It was so weird and exciting. At around the same time I first heard ‘Armenia City in the Sky’ by the Who on John Peel’s Perfume Garden (Radio London) late one night at home. I really thought the world was coming to an end, very compelling but scary.

    This was the beginning of my journey following the late, early Pink Floyd. I loved the spookiness of ‘Saucerful of Secrets’ but didn’t see the band playing live until April 1969 at the Royal Festival Hall (Massed Gadgets of Auximenes Concert). Even though some might despair, I would still love to hear a good recording of Dave Gilmour playing ‘Intersellar Overdrive’ live. I miss those surges of adrenaline as Dave slowly pressed his foot down on his whah-whah pedal during Astronomy Domine.

    This isn’t to say that I don’t appreciate Syd’s brilliant, anarchic, discordant guitar style (Apples and Oranges) and wish that Dave had adopted more of it. There has been nothing like Syd’s guitar playing or lyrics since.

  29. …and then, in that utter clearness of the imminent dawn, while Nature, flushed with fullness of incredible colour, seemed to hold her breath for the event, he looked in the very eyes of the Friend and Helper; saw the backward sweep of the curved horns, gleaming in the growing daylight; saw the stern, hooked nose between the kindly eyes that were looking down on them humorously, while the bearded mouth broke into a half-smile at the corners; saw the rippling muscles on the arm that lay across the broad chest, the long supple hand still holding the pan-pipes only just fallen away from the parted lips; saw the splendid curves of the shaggy limbs disposed in majestic ease on the sward; saw, last of all, nestling between his very hooves, sleeping soundly in entire peace and contentment, the little, round, podgy form of the baby otter.

    Excerpt from Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows – Chapter 7, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

    Can you see the piper? To me he almost resembles Pan.

  30. astronomy is the defining pink floyd song. it set the stage for what was to become one of the strangest, most beautiful, and most successful bands of all time. classic.

    i listen to piper weekly, and there’s so much that syd and richard did to contribute to that classic pink floyd sound. often imitated, but never rightfully duplicated, this will go down as one of the most important records ever made.

    i could go on all day… but i have other appointments.


  31. Piper is a wonderful experience, especially on headphones! I can remember vividly chatting with various friends about this LP before I ever had heard a single note off its track list. Some friends offered up a seriously bizarre disregard for it, considering it just acid casualty pop tunes. One other would say that its not worth the time listening to, usually denigrating Syd Barrett’s role in the band for his more favorite member (David, in this case).

    Once I headed to college and purchased a used copy on vinyl I could make up my own mind. What a wonderful album… bright, upbeat and still very exciting to the senses. Forget its obvious importance in the scheme of all things Floyd… it has its own innocence and charm which remains intact rather well through the many decades since its first issuance.

    I think Norman Smith did a great job engineering this LP.

    I feel all the singles were as monumental as the Piper album. Each and every song could easily stand shoulder to shoulder with those found on the Piper LP. Of course, at that time, the band were able to produce some great singles… though as we know through the benefit of hindsight, it was the LP market where Pink Floyd flourished, leaving the singles scene behind for more of a promotional usage to the better tracks found on those albums.

  32. 8)

    Hello Dave! It is always wonderful to see your additions to the contemporary music, still fresh and with good smell, if you know what I mean. Life without music would be a mistake, my brother says.

    Anyway, I was wondering if you could tackle along on the issue “The Beatles” and the influence both bands had had on each other.

    I do hope to see you soon around here on the tropics (Brazil) together with Nick and Roger.

    Do you know “Mutantes”?

    See you, Hero!

  33. Je devait aller à Venice (Italie) voir les Pink Floyd, mais je me suis fait mal à une jambe… j’aimerais pouvoir les voir un fois encore… qui peut me donner des nouvelles sur des prochains concerts des Pink Floyd ou David Gilmour, Roger Waters…


  34. Yes, no surprise about the top seller indeed…

    David, let me tell you, that the band’s work (your work in particular, as I’m a lead guitarist) on The Wall kept me going at the darkest time in my life thus far. I would not be the person that I am today without your amazing creativity and the work that you all created together. I am a very improvisational player, and together with Edward Van Halen, you are the only two artists that I can’t replicate. Your creativity when soloing is just brilliant, and you and Edward are the only two guitarists that I feel I can’t compete with when playing along with your songs.

    I wish I could meet you to tell you this in person, but I don’t think I will ever get the opportunity, so as lame as a comment on one of your blog posts may be, it’s the best I can do.

    Thank you so much for the inspiration, and most of all, for the music.

  35. I voted for “Bike”, and I like “Interstellar Overdrive”. But in Pink Floyd’s creation mostly I like music from next few years (1968-1972) for the special mood it makes during and after the listening. This is so… young. 🙂

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