Pink Floyd – The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn: 40th
Anniversary Edition (2 CD Set) + The Pink Floyd & The Syd Barrett Story
(2006/DTS DVD Set)
Picture: C Sound: B/C Extras: C+ Main Program: B Music: B
only so many commercially successful bands you can call great and Pink Floyd is
one of them, but there has always been the specter of what might have been if
Syd Barrett had not left the band, let alone the unfortunate personal events
that followed in his own life. In 1967,
the Barrett version of the band issued the Psychedelic Rock classic The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn and
though it was not the outright groundbreaker The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was, it was still a very
strong, solid album and one of the very few psychedelic projects that has stood
the test of time.
not even a Top 40 album in the U.S., but serious music and Rock fans in
particular took notice and the band solidified its reputation as a formidable
force in the music business with it. Capitol
Records has issued 2 and 3-disc sets of the classic, with the 2-CD set we
received featuring the album in mono and stereo versions. It is one of those cases where both versions
sound so good that it is hared to choose between the two. There are those purists who might go for
mono, but the stereo mixes are not just off-hand ideas trying to fit a new
technology and Barrett actually wrote most of the material.
Pow R, Toc H
Take Up Thy Stethoscope & Walk
10) The Scarecrows
more interesting about the album, is that not only does it qualify as
psychedelic, but also has a harder Rock edge than many such releases at the
time and also more than qualifies as Progressive Rock showing how creative,
rich and ahead of their time the band was even then. The album pushed the idea of imaginative
images that could rival The Beatles, Yes and even The Beach Boys at the time
and the most painful thing now is that we lost Barrett’s flowing talents so
soon that the hugeness of the loss has yet to be properly calculated, but it is
a big one.
same time, a new DVD set boldly entitled The
Pink Floyd & The Syd Barrett Story (2006) tries to outdo the Under Review segment on Barrett’s
career in this new set from MVD and Zeit Media.
Instead of outdoing it, it complements it as producer/director/editor
John Edginton does not just try for a chronological look at the lives coinciding
with music releases, but tries a character study in the midst of the career
that became two when Barrett left in 1968.
program runs about 49 minutes, which is not as long as Under Review’s installment, but close. The best thing is that it has a different
route and offers different footage than the other program, which is equally
archival and makes for a great companion with limited overlap to the other
letterboxed 1.78 X 1 image may feature a great wealth of classic and rare
footage, but it is just too soft overall for whatever reason, even when color
is good. The sound is here in DTS and
Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes, but it is really, really stretching out the often
monophonic and rough sound, though even new audio is flattened for some
reason. The PCM 16/44.1 2.0 sound on the
two CDs fare much better, sound like remastered transfers and are as good as
the 25+-year-old audio format can deliver.
Too bad these were not SACDs. The
controversial remix of Dark Side Of The
Moon remains the biggest selling SACD to date.
booklet is all you get with the 2-CD set as an extra. Running three hours, the extras on DVD 2 even
offers Robyn Hitchcock and Former Blur member Graham Coxon performing his songs
among the elongated, additional interviews.
Roger Water, David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason are the
remaining interviewees and they say things here they have not said anywhere
on the Under Review segment, our
coverage can be found at this link:
- Nicholas Sheffo