- Astronomy Domine
Name = Astronomy Domine
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
August 5, 1967
track_no = 1
April 11-13, 1967
Space rock, psychedelic rock
Length = 4:12
Label = Columbia/EMI (UK) Capitol (US)
Producer = Norman Smith
next_no = 2
Misc =Extra tracklisting
Type = Compilation album
prev_track = Beginning of album
this_track = "Astronomy Domine"
track_no = 1
next_track = "
See Emily Play"
next_no = 2 "Astronomy Domine" is a song by British
Psychedelic rockband Pink Floyd. The song, written and composed by original vocalist/guitarist Syd Barrett, was the first track featured on their debut album, " The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" ( 1967). The lead vocal was sung by Barrett and keyboard player Richard Wright. Its working title was "Astronomy Dominé (An Astral Chant)", although the accented "é" is an improper spelling. "Domine" ("Lord" in Latin) is a word frequently quoted in Gregorian chants.
The song opens with the voice of their manager at the time
Peter Jenner, reading the names of stars through a megaphone. The intention of this opening is to replicate the feeling of outer space, with Jenner's voice sounding like an astronaut's over an intercom. Barrett's Fender Esquirethen seemingly emerges from the distance and grows louder. At 0:19 a rapid beeping sound appears, again reaffirming the feeling of distant space. At 0:26, Mason's distinctive drum fills emerge, followed closely by Barrett's sinister-sounding guitar (perhaps reminiscent of Duane Eddy) in a figure suggestive of the brass motif from "Mars, the Bringer of War" in Holst's " The Planets". Wright's Farfisa organis mixed into the background. Barrett's incantatory lyrics about space again support the cosmonautical theme in the song, mentioning planets Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptuneas well as Uranian and Neptunian moons Oberon, Miranda, and Titania, and Saturn's moon Titan. Barrett and Rick Wrightprovide lead vocals. Waters' repetitive bass line, Wright's Farfisa organ, and Barrett's kinetic slide guitar then dominate, followed by the voice of Peter Jenner again through a megaphone.
The song has an unusual chord progression: E, E-flat, G, A. The sound of this chord progression, in conjunction with the use of a
Binson echo machinefor the guitar, has a very distinctive psychedelic character. The track is the album's most " space rock" song, alongside the longer " Interstellar Overdrive". The style of the song and its use of sound effects would influence the future work of Pink Floyd, and its influence can be felt on " Ummagumma" ( 1969) and even " The Dark Side of the Moon" ( 1973).
Alternative and live versions
It was a popular live piece, and regularly included in the set, appearing as the first track on the live side of the album "
Ummagumma" in 1969. By this time, David Gilmourwas singing the lead vocals together with Wright, the song had been extended to include the first verse twice, and the instrumental in the middle included a very quiet organ solo before getting louder again back to the last verse.
It was dropped from the live sets in mid-
1971, but eventually reappeared as the first song in some sets on the band's 1994tour. A version from a concert in Miamiappears as the B-side on the band's " Take It Back" single, and a version from one of the Londonconcerts appears on the live double CD " P*U*L*S*E". Gilmour played the song at some of his appearances during his solo 2006 tour, again sharing the lead vocal with fellow Floyd member Rick Wright.
*Pink Floyd performed the song from
1967- 1971and 1994. The last time the song was ever performed with Roger Waters was on 20th June, 1971at the Palaeur, Rome, Italy. [http://www.pf-db.com/index.php?concert_id=187&bootleg_id=226]
Ummagumma" live disc has an extended version of the song, reflecting the band's progressive style at the time. Verses are repeated and the keyboard section is extended leading to an 8-minute version of the song. Syd Barrett's vocals are sung by David Gilmour. This version can also be found on the American release of " A Nice Pair", a compilation album released in 1973.
*The track is also featured on the
2001Floyd compilation album, "".
P*U*L*S*E" version reverts back to the original 4-minute length, with Gilmour again taking lead vocals as in "Ummagumma".
*The song was also played by David Gilmour and his solo band (which includes Rick Wright with
Guy Pratton bass and Steve DiStanislaoon drums) at the Abbey Road Studiossessions, which has been released as part of a CD/DVD " On an Island" package. "Astronomy Domine" was performed during the last few dates of Gilmour's "On an Island" tour.
*Voivod covered this song in their 1989 album "Nothingface".
*A cover of the song by the
Mike KeneallyBand is included on the 2003Floyd tribute album, " A Fair Forgery of Pink Floyd".
*A version by
The Soft Boysappears on the live side of "Two Halves For The Price Of One" (1981).
Widespread Paniccovers the song in concert, seguing into a jam.
Rockfourcovers the song often in concerts. Rockfour also covered it in their album "For Fans Only!".
dredgcovers the song on the Syd Barrett tribute album "Like Black Holes In The Sky, The Tribute To Syd Barrett" (2008).
Syd Barrett- Fender Esquire and vocals
*Richard Wright - Farfisa Organ and vocals
Roger Waters- Rickenbacker 4001 bass
Nick Mason- Drums and percussionwith
Peter Jenner- Intro vocalisations
* [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=33:jzfixz90ldde AMG song review]
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