Acclaimed Albums – The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn by Pink Floyd

List item: Listen to the 250 greatest albums
Progress: 118/250Title: The Piper At The Gates of Dawn
Artist: Pink Floyd
Year: 1967
Position: #113

I knew it wouldn’t take too long before I was back in the world of psychedelic rock. It’s been nearly half a year since I was In The Court of the Crimson King and this will have been a direct influence on that album.

When you consider that contemporary psychedelic rock albums included the likes of Pet Sounds, Forever ChangesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and the first two Jimi Hendrix studio albums it’s easy to see where The Piper At The Gates of Dawn slots right on in.

Since the only other Pink Floyd songs I know are ‘Comfortably Numb’ and ‘Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)’ this wasn’t exactly the album that I expected. As hub put it – some of these sounded like “childrens’ songs”. He specifically said this during the first part of ‘Bike’ when they were singing about a mouse named Gerald, but it fits with the rest of the album to be honest.

Here lies the problem – it just doesn’t feel like this great problem. When you listen to this it is so painfully obvious that the group were high on something (in this case LSD). I say this not just because of the strange images used within the lyrics, but because it reminds me of that episode of South Park where they all get high on cough syrup and watch close up animals with a wide-angle lens.

I’ll grant that this album is whimsical in the same way as a rabbit with a pair of scissors (seriously when is the last time you saw an acclaimed rock album with lyrics referring to gnomes) but it just falls flat for me. At the time this would have been more impactful, but when you have Bjork throwing things off a cliff in order to feel secure in her relationship  or a concept album about a girl fighting robots this album just sits in the shade of the madness that followed.

I guess that’s something to thank this album for. But like how it is difficult to go back to the rough polygons of Ocarina of Time maybe this is one of those albums I just won’t get.


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