Release Date: Nov 11, 2016
Record label: Sony Music
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Album Rock, Art Rock, Psychedelic/Garage, British Psychedelia, Prog-Rock
As soon as the internet gained momentum and fan forums abounded, the demand for rare Pink Floyd material – so long the preserve of fanzines and clandestine encounters at record fairs – went over the counter. The sharing of scarce tracks became the thing, often with the hope that one day they would see more light officially. Well, how about this? For those who want the whole story and are happy to forgo some of the trimmings this Christmas, The Early Years 1965-1972 really is the Pink present that you won’t forget.
The CDs are similarly loaded with remarkable discoveries, and many of them see light of day here: the Barrett compositions "Vegetable Man" and "In the Beechwoods"; a 1967 collaboration with artist John Latham, here split into nine continuous tracks; a full disc of outtakes from their soundtrack to Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point; selections from their score to The Committee; music they made to accompany the BBC's broadcast of the 1969 moon landing. All this makes The Early Years 1965-1972 seem like something of a clearinghouse for rarities, which it is, to an extent -- the producers rounded up every scrap of releasable audio and video, then put it in a box -- but what turns this set into an extraordinary experience is how all of is that this audio material is designed to work in conjunction with the video. Together, this mixed media provides rich portraits of individual years in Floyd's progression -- the entire set is broken into seven volumes with only the last, a collection of BBC Sessions and feature films, scheduled to be exclusive to this box -- and, taken together, they provide an immersive experience that conveys how Floyd's ascension to classic rock royalty was by no means assured.
“Today’s underground may be the answer to tomorrow’s leisure,” intones an earnest British newscaster, narrating film of London’s U.F.O. Club circa January 1967 while its house band, Pink Floyd, jams amid the flashing lights. And darned if he wasn’t right: the black-and-white segment is now found on the massive new $550, 11-CD/9-DVD/8 Blu-Ray box set, Pink Floyd: The Early Years, 1965–1972.
Seven-volume box set including DVDs, ???Blu-rays, vinyl and memorabilia This vast collection, containing alternative studio and live takes and very early material, covers the pre-Dark Side Of The Moon-era Floyd, a time when they seemed to leap about all over the place, from toy-box psychedelic pop to free improvisation, from languid country rockers to arch conceptualists. Yet for all that, they did return over and over to familiar themes and motifs. Not only are there four versions of Careful With That Axe, Eugene in this box, but also alternative versions with working titles, as well as Explosion, an unreleased take from the Zabriskie Point recordings which is close enough to Careful to give Floyd reasonable grounds to sue themselves.
On the second DVD in this mammoth 27-disc set, there is some extremely telling footage of the Pink Floyd, as they were still known, on continental television in 1968. It is a few months after Syd Barrett had finally been ousted from the band; in TV studios across Europe, his replacement, David Gilmour, is obliged to mime Barrett’s parts, mouthing along to records he never appeared on. Things only seem to get worse when they play the material they have managed to come up with since their frontman and chief songwriter departed.