synth for the child’s education in the school of music: Is There Anybody Out There? Disclaimer: this page is not written by from the point of view of a Pink Floyd fanatic and is not generally intended for narrow-perspective Pink Floyd fanatics.
If you are deeply offended by criticism, non-worshipping approach to your favourite artist, or opinions that do not match your own, do not read any further. If you are not, please consult the guidelines for sending your comments before doing so. For reading convenience, please open the reader comments section in a parallel browser window. No, ladies and gentlemen, my name is not Johnny Rotten. What I honestly feel is that the Floyders are probably the most overrated rock band in man’s history. A very worthy band – even me, who’s not a fan, could go on speaking of their advantages for hours. Let’s face it, the group never had a true musical virtuoso.
Waters’ bass playing is just okay, Wright and Mason don’t qualify above your average session musicians, and Barrett’s talents, you must admit, weren’t in the sphere of picking the guitar. In their Barrett days, when they relied on Syd, their songs were crazy and atmospheric, but not quite structured or memorable, except for a pair of hooks now and then. In their Waters days, when they relied on Roger, their songs were careful and atmospheric. But still, the melodies were always kinda iffy. No, even if you’re willing to argue with me that the Pinkers actually wrote tons of classic melodies, you’ll still have to admit that it isn’t their songwriting that’s the main attraction in Pink. The main attraction is the way, the manner in which they present their songs.
While I certainly cannot call Floyd the most talented band in rock history, they were certainly the greatest experimentators on this planet of ours. The early ‘avantgarde’ stuff is sometimes too avantgarde for its own sake, but for the most part Pink Floyd were really conformists I mean, the melodies aren’t that great, but they’re overtly listenable. Again, bar the avantgarde stuff, it’s easy to see how so many people are able to identify with Mr Roger. Lots of original ideas in the earliest days, but there’s hardly anything truly innovative in the band’s Seventies’ catalog. Too often, the simplicity of the music is incompatible with the ‘grandiosity’ of the message.
Their lengthy history gives them the benefit, although in the ‘classic’ years, diversity was never their forte. Very fucked up, very turned on. Get it at your own risk. Their first album obviously took Are You Experienced?
It can also be viewed as an antithesis to Disraeli Gears: the two albums symbolized the two ends of one stick: psychedelia. While Sgt Pepper and Gears took the ‘flower’ aspect of psychedelia and developed it into coloured, rainbowish forms of music, Piper took the ‘mind-blowing’ aspect. Astronomy Domine’ is a truly fantastic song. I guess they continue to be intriguing and scary even now, in the age of total computer techniques when normally it would take about a couple minutes to reproduce all of these effects in the studio. Unfortunately, the main problem with the year 1967 was that any music was called art at the time – as long as it was ‘experimental’. Hell, if Lennon’s Two Virgins were deemed as modern art at the time, what can be said about bands who tried to incorporate at least some musical elements on their records? And Pink also fell victim to the general ‘technological’ vibe.
The good news is that the ‘astral’ groove was only one side of Syd’s personality. Behind the totally frigged up, drug-soaked ‘space traveller’ he actually hid the identity of a little child! Otherwise, how would you explain the existence of lots of little children ditties on this album? Gnome’, ‘Scarecrow’, ‘Bike’, ‘Matilda Mother’ – these are all the kind of songs you’d likely to meet on a Greatest Lullabies Collection.