Some 13 years after Pink Floyd's name last appeared on a new studio album, the group's legacy still has a powerful echo. The widely influential British band's first album, "The Piper at the Gates of DSome 13 years after Pink Floyd's name last appeared on a new studio album, the group's legacy still has a powerful echo. The widely influential British band's first album, "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn," most of which was written by the late Syd Barrett, will be reissued this week by Capitol in the United States to mark the 40th anniversary of its initial release.
The deluxe three-CD edition contains stereo and mono mixes, plus other rare and unreleased material from the era. Packaging for the set has been designed by longtime Floyd collaborator Storm Thorgerson.
"There's this big difference between how we played live at the time and how we made the record," keyboardist Rick Wright says. "The most amazing thing was to be at Abbey Road making it and have the Beatles next door recording 'Sgt. Pepper.' I now know why 'Piper' had an influence on so many bands. I can hear punk stuff going on in there. The way Syd wrote was a huge influence on so many people.
Asked if the album represents Barrett at the height of his powers, Wright observes, "['Piper'] was his creative period, although I have to say there's some pretty amazing stuff on his two solo albums. He had an incredible way of looking at things. I remember sitting down with him one day and he wrote a song in 10 minutes. As an aspiring songwriter, I couldn't believe it. The chords weren't in time, because he was thinking only of the rhythm of the words and the melody. They were not in 4/4 time or 3/4 -- they were all over the place."