Pink Floyd's Piper at the Gates of Dawn (33 1/3 Series)

  • by John Eric Cavanagh
  • Narrated by John Eric Cavanagh
  • 2 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Through a series of interviews with a wide range of people connected to Pink Floyd in their earliest days (including Nick Mason, Peter Jenner, Jenny Fabian, Storm Thorgerson, Duggie Fields and Peter Whitehead), John Cavanagh paints a vivid picture of how this remarkable debut album was created. He brings to life the stories behind each track, as well as Pink Floyd's groundbreaking live performances of the time.

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Audible Editor Reviews

John Eric Cavanagh writes and presents Pink Floyd's Piper at the Gates of Dawn, a unique reflection on the formation and subsequent success of the legendary rock band, whose intense impact on the modern music world can't possibly be overstated.
Cavanagh draws on his own perception of the band as well as extensive interviews with friends and contemporaries to paint a rich portrait of Pink Floyd's aims and accomplishments. Cavanagh's rich accent and authoritative narration, in balance with an accessible conversational tone, all combine to create a thoroughly enjoyable and genuinely immersive listening experience not only for hardcore Pink Floyd fans, but for anyone interested in the history of rock and roll.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

For what it's worth: one old Floyd fan's opinion.

This account gives a lot of info on the band circa '67 as background to the songs and making of the album, which was new to me. It's packed with interesting details about the conditions that shaped the album. It also corrects a few misconceptions put about in recent years re: Syd. It's best at giving a picture of the living conditions he wrote, performed and recorded in and the band's early time in London.

Indeed, the album as a band creation is brought out well. Though, as the chief songwriter, Syd obviously dominated the final creative product, often accounts give the impression that this is really a Syd Barrett album supported by the Pink Floyd. Here the end result is shown to very much be a group effort --so that's a good re-balanced perspective brought to bear.

The book is not so good at talking about Syd's individual response to acid and how different the band's take on psych was as a result. Though obviously Syd's acid use is addressed (how could it not be), my impression is that the author was seemingly disinterested in playing that up for some reason. Maybe he thought it had been done to death. Whatever, he plays down the acid casualty aspect and talking about the characteristics of LSD25 and it's influence on the music --as if it was obvious and a hackneyed topic. Doing such a thing well is difficult of course but failure to do so in this case is to miss addressing the nitty gritty central issue: the album as a manifestation of psychedelic consciousness. It's not enough to just talk about style and cultural context. Consequently no really meaningful comparison with other forms of contemporaneous psychedelic music emerges. I would say that's a disappointment. But basically, as a pretty detailed stab at the band's early history, this a good one.

Not a definitive in-depth account then, but most definitely a worthwhile and welcome take on this enduringly fabulous album.
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- Richard

Book Details

  • Release Date: 13-04-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios