Pink Floyd - The Early Years

by Kevin Wierzbicki

Legacy Records is about to release a massive 27-disc Pink Floyd box set called The Early Years 1965-1972 that'll be packed with unreleased songs, seven hours of unreleased live recordings and seven hours of rare concert footage, all of which was put to tape or film before the band's groundbreaking and career-making Dark Side of the Moon album.

The material within the box set will be presented in seven "book style" packages, each spotlighting a theme or a specific time period; for example Cambridge St/Ation will focus on the Syd Barrett era and include demos, recently remastered unreleased cuts "Vegetable Man" and "In the Beechwoods," a 1967 unreleased live show from Stockholm, and in the DVD/Blu-ray portion of the set, rare TV performances and some of the band's own film material.

Some of the other seven titles within the box set are Germin/Ation which focuses on the era immediately following Barrett's departure, Dramatis/Ation, a 1969 concept piece about dreaming (some of the music here ended up on the More and Ummagumma albums) and Devi/Ation which covers the Zabriskie Point era.

There is also the 2-CD The Early Years - Cre/Ation, which will not be included in the box set, and is a sort of sampler featuring highlights from the box. As such it includes two essential Barrett era tunes in the original versions of "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play;" from there on just about everything is a rarity. Fans will be curious about previously unreleased cuts "Vegetable Man" and "In the Beechwoods;" only the latter, given a 2010 remix, is included here and the instrumental cut has a big drum sound and a pop/psych melody that could easily be mistaken for an unreleased late '60s Who cut.

The iconic "Careful with That Axe, Eugene" is presented both in the version that was released as a single and as a live track that the band cut for BBC radio in 1969. Other live cuts include takes on "Interstellar Overdrive," "Green is the Colour," "Cymbaline," "Flaming," and there's even a radio ad for the Ummagumma album that consists entirely of the sound of a fly being chased down and eventually swatted and the spoken words "Pink Floyd, doesn't mean it's not a nice band." The ad is very brief and therefore not disruptive of the music.

Fully half of the set's second disc is material from the Zabriskie Point soundtrack in remixed form; also included are live takes on "Atom Heart Mother" and "Embryo," a work-in-progress version of "Nothing, Pt. 14" and brand new 2016 remixes of Obscured by Clouds tracks "Stay," "Free Four" and "Childhood's End."

Those popping for the full box set will also find included several discs of interviews with the band, five 7" vinyl singles packaged in picture sleeves that reproduce the originals, and audio that totals more than 12 hours paired with 15 hours of video.

Good news for those who can't afford to shell out for the box set; six of the seven deluxe sets within will be released as stand-alone titles in early 2017. Whether fans purchase the Cre/Ation sampler set, the entire box set, or wait for the separate titles to come out, the material within will no doubt tickle them, well, pink.

Get the The Early Years 1965-1972 box set here and the 2-disc Cre/ation set here. Both are set to be released on November 11th.

Pink Floyd - The Early Years

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