Pink Floyd

Lucifer Sam

Composed by Syd Barrett

Song Review by

Coming directly after the (literally) spacy "Astronomy Domine" as the second song on Piper at the Gates of Dawn, the harder-rocking "Lucifer Sam" reaffirms Pink Floyd's increasingly tenuous connection to the rock & roll mainstream. The driving chord progression -- which bears a striking resemblance to Neal Hefti's "Batman" theme, in much the same way that "Interstellar Overdrive" owes an obvious debt to Love's "My Little Red Book" -- anchors the song in fairly standard garage band territory. At heart, it doesn't sound much different from something the Who might have done around the same time, and it should be noted that "Lucifer Sam" is one of Pink Floyd's most-covered songs for that reason, with paisley underground vets True West, art-noise terrorists Shockabilly, and goth stalwarts Love and Rockets all tackling the song within a couple years of each other. (Captain Beefheart-inspired Italian neo-psychedelic duo Jennifer Gentle, incidentally, joined the ever-swelling ranks of bands that took their names from Syd Barrett songs by lifting a lyric from this tune.) However, Rick Wright's churning organ solos between Barrett's elliptical verses, as well as the strange whip-like echoing percussion noises that crop up randomly throughout, connect the song to Pink Floyd's own aesthetic, as do Barrett's entirely logical but puckishly epigrammatic lyrics.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn 1967 Capitol 3:07
A Nice Pair 1974 Capitol 3:07
Oh by the Way 2007 Capitol 3:07
Discovery 2011 Capitol / EMI / EMI Music Distribution 3:07