Tuesday, April 5, 2016

And What Exactly Is A Dream- The Pink Floyd's Second Album

What would the second Pink Floyd album have sounded like if Syd Barrett hadn't left the band in early 1968 or at least not until first managing to complete their second record?  Here's my attempt to reconstruct just that particular pop fantasy with tracks that are all late 1967 or early 1968 vintage -post Piper and pre-Syd's April 1968 departure from the Floyd.

Every song featured here has Syd either singing or playing guitar (or both) with one exception, "Julia's Dream", which I agonized over including but reasoned that since it's an early Roger Waters' song written in Syd's style contemporaneous with the record I'm imagining and sung by new member David Gilmour during the brief 1968 five man line up (see pic below), it fit both the overall mood that the 2nd record should conjure and the emerging democracy of the band's songwriting. Of the ten songs featured here Syd wrote five or six.

I messed around with the order of the songs for quite a while trying to get it to work as a two sided record and I'm reasonably satisfied with the results. Tracks like "In The Beechwoods" were obviously never finished, so there's only so far you can go, but that's part of the fun or its supposed to be, I admit some frustration ensued at points trying to get the damn thing to cohere. I encourage listeners to work out their own versions, especially if they hear something different or better.

I had trouble deciding whether to call the record Scream Thy Last Scream or And What Exactly Is A Dream which is the second to last line of "Jugband Blues". Finally went with the latter, "And what exactly is a dream"-not sure if it's intended as a question or a statement?  Is Syd asking what is real and what is a dream or is he calling into question the entire concept of "what exactly"- the impossibility of exactitude. The final line of the song by the way is "and what exactly is a joke".

Side One
1. Apples & Oranges
2. Remember A Day
3. Vegetable Man
4. Sunshine Interlude
5. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun

Side Two
6. Scream Thy Last Scream
7. Paint Box
8. Julia Dream
9. In The Beechwoods
10. Jugband Blues

The short lived five man line up of Pink Floyd

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