The Syd Floyd Discussion Thread

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Alec Taylor
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The Syd Floyd Discussion Thread

Post by Alec Taylor » Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:53 pm

So I was merrily driving across town today, listening to music as per usual, when "Matilda Mother" came up. I love that song so much, it just might be my favorite song from Piper. The lyrics are fantastic, Rick and Syd are really at work as a team, and the overall sense of wonder that a child feels while hearing their mother tell them stories is perfectly conveyed. I sang along to it proudly, as it's one of the few songs that's in my pitiful range (then again, I think I fit in Syd's range pretty well most of the time).

It just got me thinking about Syd Floyd in general. Truth be told, even though it's not my favorite aspect of the band's history, it does get a bit overshadowed by the lot of us. Some of the psychedelic stuff was a bit too much really (I don't think I'll ever fully like "Interstellar Overdrive"), but the singles from that era are all catchy and well-written, and the sound was both distinctly 1960s and yet distinctly Pink Floyd. I don't think I'm in love with Piper all of a sudden after years of ambivalence, but I think my growing appreciation towards pop music trends in my old age ( :lol: ) has given me a fresh perspective on the early stuff. That, and I haven't overdosed on it like I have a lot of other Floyd tracks.

I think Syd Floyd can encompass Piper, Saucerful, his first two solo albums (because Barrett was essentially a Pink Floyd album anyway), and all of their early singles. The best of Syd Floyd to me would probably be "Astronomy Domine", "Matilda Mother", "See Emily Play", and "Paintbox" (although I'm not sure if Syd was on that last track or not). And I can't forget "Jugband Blues", probably his best song with the Floyd.
"A man lies and dreams of green fields and rivers, but awakes to a morning with no reason for waking."

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Re: The Syd Floyd Discussion Thread

Post by Artisan » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:22 am

My opinion on a lot of Piper has changed quite a bit. I always loved the first four songs, and that's never changed, but I've completely flipped on my other opinions. I used to think Pow R Toc H and Interstellar Overdrive were the quintessential awesome psychedelic-freakout jams, but now they bore the daylights out of me, while Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk, which I used to think was awful and the biggest blight on the album, is now my go-to early Floyd psychedelic jam. I used to think The Scarecrow was boring and Bike was hilarious, and now I think Bike is a bit dumb and Scarecrow is good fun. I've always loved Chapter 24 and I still don't quite know how I feel about The Gnome.

Saucerful, on the other hand, despite not really being a Syd album, is a perfect album in my opinion. For a long time, I held that the title track weighed it down a little bit, but I was comparing it to the Ummagumma version, and, let's face it, there was never a better performance of that song than on Ummagumma. Evaluated on its own merits, the studio Saucerful is still great (though still my least favorite on the album, by way of default).

I haven't actually heard any of the non-album tracks besides Arnold Layne (not sure what to make of it) and See Emily Play (which is much better than Bowie's cover, but I don't think I've listened to it enough to really connect with it). Now that Relics is back in print on CD, I might pick it up... although I have about 100 albums on my hit list and I seem to be subconsciously determined to blow all of my money this summer to make next year absolute hell, so that might not happen any time soon.

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