The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is the debut album by the English rock group Pink Floyd, and the only one made under founder member Syd Barrett's leadership. The album contains whimsical lyrics about space, scarecrows, gnomes, bicycles and fairy tales, along with psychedelic instrumental songs. The album was initially released in 1967 by Columbia/EMI in the United Kingdom and Tower/Capitol in the United States. Special limited editions were issued to mark its thirtieth and fortieth anniversaries in 1997 and 2007, respectively.
Architecture students Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright, and art student Syd Barrett, had performed in various guises since 1962, and began touring as "The Pink Floyd" in 1965. They turned professional on 1 February 1967, when they signed with EMI, with an advance fee of £5,000. Their first single, a song about a kleptomaniac transvestite titled "Arnold Layne", was released on 11 March to mild controversy - Radio London refused to air it. About three weeks later the band were introduced to the mainstream media. EMI's press release claimed that the band were "musical spokesmen for a new movement which involves experimentation in all the arts", but EMI