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Pink Floyd - The Early Years 1967-1972 Creation CD (album) cover

THE EARLY YEARS 1967-1972 CREATION

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.69 | 31 ratings

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Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
3 stars You won't be reading a review from this pauper of the 28(!)-disc "Early Years" box set, compiling (to exhaustive completion) the budding career of Pink Floyd, before they hit the bullseye on "The Dark Side of the Moon". This two-disc reduction is better suited to my proletarian budget, although it's more a frustrating teaser than a suitable alternative.

The frustration is in the track selection, and the overall size of the abbreviated set. Hidden inside the package is an excellent single disc of worthwhile rarities, spread unevenly over two half-filled CDs padded with songs we've heard countless times already: "Arnold Layne"; "See Emily Play"; "Jugband Blues" and so forth. The remixes are fresh but not exactly new, and even the very different alternate version of "Matilda Mother" was recycled from the 2010 CD "An Introduction to Syd Barrett".

That's the bad news. The good news is the remaining unreleased music: pure gold to collectors, only slightly tarnished by age. The various BBC Radio sessions, and in particular the May 1969 set recorded five months before the "Ummagumma" album hit record stores, vividly recapture the underground mystique of the early Floyd: the drifting space-rock tempos, sliced by David Gilmour's emotive guitar runs and that ethereal organ sound Rick Wright favored at the time.

The leftover "Zabriskie Point" soundtrack cues on Disc Two point directly toward "The Dark Side of the Moon". But the real gem here is a live version of the "Atom Heart Mother" suite from late 1970, performed by just the quartet, without any orchestral distraction. All good stuff, if somewhat haphazardly organized, and representing only the tip of an enormous iceberg. If you want the rest of the treasure, you'll need to dig deep inside your pockets for (no joke) the half-grand of loose change the full box is commanding on today's market.

We now seem to have crossed over into the endless archive stage of Pink Floyd's afterlife. Rumors say other individual discs from the box might be made available throughout the upcoming year, but until then this sampler will pacify the many diehard fans who consider the band in these formative years to be the only real Pink Floyd.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |

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