Friday, 11 November 2016

Pink Floyd - The Early Years 1967-1972 Cre-ation, album review

Listening Trip

Of course I think Pink Floyd are brilliant, but this is yet another premier group with a history of seminal and deeply enduring music/albums that I do not know that thoroughly: I wouldn’t be able to name tracks on particular album, nor claim to have over my many years listened to their albums as I have others.

Therefore, this 27 track collection of their earlier music is a delightful selection and snapshot, and the starter listening is as obvious as one would expect, and obviously superb – Arnold Layne, and one of the first truly psychedelic songs See Emily Play. Apart from that psychedelia [and still some pop sensibilities] it is sweetly nostalgic to listen to the playful lyrics and the accentuated English/British accent/voices: requisites for stamping the popular focus of the time. Those lyrics – whether the nonsense of poetic mystery, or as with Matilda Mother, telling stories/legends, and in this case, the self-referencing of fairy tales:

You only have to read the lines
They're scribbly black and everything shines.
Across the stream with wooden shoes
With bells to tell the king the news
A thousand misty riders climb up
Higher once upon a time.
Wandering and dreaming
The words have different meaning.

I don’t know why the fairy tale genre became such a fashionable narrative, apart from its own innate fantasy psychedelia. And then there is the playful orchestrations as in Jugband Blues [did this pre-date or ape Sgt Peppers?]. It is the fun before the seriousness.

Then in Paint Box the lyrics are the storytelling of genuine oddity, capturing the experiences of experimenting and other new discoveries:

Out of the front door I go
Traffic's moving rather slow
Arriving late, there she waits
Looking very angry, as cross as she can be
Be - a - be - a - be - a - be - a - be
Getting up, I feel as if I'm remembering this scene before
I open the door to an empty room
Then I forget

This is a lovely pop song in so many ways.

The album is scattered with live recording too, as with the first Flaming, a live BBC Radio session from 1967,

Watching buttercups cup the light
Sleeping on a dandelion
Too much, I won’t touch you
But then I might

Screaming through the starlit sky
Traveling by telephone
Hey ho, here we go
Ever so high

this so simply capturing the trip of the time. And as I have said, it is a delightful listening trip of that time to take.

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