09 July 2007

They Don't Even Mention Kenneth Grahame!

23 Tammuz - Year 5767

EMI have announced the release of a 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd's debut, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. Considered (by me, among others) to be the epitome of British psychedelia, I suppose I'll let it slide that this is yet another re-issue of this album, which follows the 1987 and 1994 re-releases.

Much like Capitol's various re-issue campaigns for The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds (I think there's been about four different ones now - the latest is the green "fuzzy"-cased edition with the DVD, which was released last year), EMI know that Floyd die-hards will shell out more cash for every newly re-vamped "Piper" they wheel into the shops and internet sites.

This one seems O.K., with three discs in total - two are the stereo mix and the fabled (long-deleted) original mono mix. The third disc collects the '67 singles, with B-sides (though if you bought the Shine On boxed set - you've already got those with the "Early Singles" digipak), plus an out-take of Interstellar Overdrive (only released on a French EP previously) and a stereo mix of single Apples And Oranges. The cover art will resemble a "cloth-bound book" - which seems fine, as long as they don't get rid of the iconic cover art, by photographer Vic Singh (the back cover was designed by late Floyd guitarist and singer, Syd Barrett). It's out in North America on 28th August and Europe on 3rd September--which does make it appear to be even more of a cash cow--choosing to flog it to the lucrative American market first to please the accountants.

I dunno - I kinda hoped they'd have put maybe a bit more effort into it. How about a live show from that era - with the nascent Floyd in full freak-out flight? Surely there's a half-way decent tape from one of their UFO Club sets--though having said that, the couple of '67 boots I own have pretty dire sound quality. I suppose there weren't any studio out-takes besides the "Interstellar Overdrive", otherwise those may have been included on Disc 3. Maybe even an interview or two from the early part of that year, as Syd had started to tire of the pop-star life and began his famed "acid burnout" by the end of 1967. Ah well, it's still a re-mastered "Piper" after all.

Will I buy it? More than likely. I already own the Japanese mini-LP edition of "Piper" and before that I bought the 1994 re-issue (though sometimes I wish I had kept it for the Storm Thorgerson-designed booklet alone). I sold off my jewel-case Floyd when I replaced most of them with mini-LPs. Yeah, EMI will be hoovering up my cash once again--but I can't resist...the album to me is a gem and still one of my favourite records. After this, though, no more! 'Till the next tarted-up re-release, that is...

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