50 Essential Albums of 1967

From the Doors' debut to Aretha Franklin's first smash

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Pink Floyd, 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn'
Pink Floyd, 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn'38/50

Pink Floyd, 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn'

The twin peaks of British psychedelia – Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and this historic debut album were both recorded in the spring of 1967, in adjacent studios at Abbey Road in London. But where the Beatles' album was a hermetic studio triumph, Piper (produced by ex-Beatles engineer Norman Smith) re-created the nuclear improvisation and double-edged whimsy of the Floyd's onstage freakouts. Singer-guitarist Syd Barrett was already fading into the acid-fueled mental illness that forced him out of the band in early 1968. But Piper was his triumph, dominated by his incisive songs of paradise gained and endangered, and charged with his slashing outer-blues guitar.

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