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Pink Floyd - London '66-'67 CD (album) cover

LONDON '66-'67

Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.90 | 175 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Review Nš 49

Pink Floyd were formed in 1965, and originally consisted of four university students Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Nick Mason. In 1963 Mason and Waters initially met each other while they were studying architecture at the Regent Street Polytechnic, in London. The pair first played together on a band with some other band members, and later, another fellow also a student, Wright, joined to them. The name of the band was Sigma 6. In the late of 1963, with the age of 17, Barrett arrived at London to study at the Camberwell College of Art. Waters and Barrett were childhood friends. Waters often visited Barrett when he played guitar at his mother's house in Cambridge. Meanwhile, the original name of Sigma 6 changed to others on several occasions. In 1964, some band members left the group to form another band. So, one year later in 1965, the four students joined together and form the new band, The Pink Floyd Sound. The Pink Floyd Sound was created by Barrett and the name was derived from the names of two blues musicians Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, whose records Barrett had in his personal musical collection. The band's name was simplified, ending just as Pink Floyd.

When Barrett began to write his own musical compositions, strongly influenced by the British and the American psychedelic rock, soon Pink Floyd became as one of the favourite groups in the underground movement. So, the band was playing regularly at some places like the UFO Club, The Marquee Club and The Roundhouse.

At the end of 1966, Pink Floyd were invited to contribute with some songs to the film who was to be called 'Tonight Let's All Make Love In London' of Peter Whitehead. Whitehead began working on a project for the British Film Institute, a documentary which had the finality to transmit the essence of the live, in that authentic kaleidoscopic period, of the London's cultural history. In 11 January 1967, Pink Floyd went into the Sound Techniques Studio, in London, for a two days demo sessions, and they were filmed while the band played two long instrumental pieces 'Interstellar Overdrive' and 'Nick's Boogie'. Only a few excerpts of the Pink Floyd's music, made the final cut of 'Tonight Let's All Make Love In London', which eventually screened in December 1967. Nevertheless, these two songs were released on a kind of a live EP called 'London 66-67' and on a DVD, with the same name, both released in 1999.

This live album, with only two tracks, contains the first known live recordings of Pink Floyd. The Barrett's musical era of Pink Floyd is a strange audio experience indeed, and those who are familiar only with the band's music from the 70's and 80's musical material, might be a little bit surprised and even shocked with some lack of cohesion, melody and musical arrangements of their earlier musical period. This was only pure psychedelic music, added with an avant-garde attitude and experimentation, jazz, classical and a kind of an earlier progressive rock.

So and as I wrote before, the group performed two pieces of music in the Sound Techniques Studio. 'Interstellar Overdrive' was originally a psychedelic musical composition written in 1966, which appears for the first time on their debut studio album 'The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn' released in 1967 and with almost ten minutes length. At the time it was a staple for the band. However, the live version on this live album, as I said before, is an earlier version with almost seventeen minutes and which was recorded for the documentary film of Whitehead. This live version is, in my humble opinion, a superior version of its studio version, and is also more representative of the Pink Floyd's psychedelic sound of their earlier musical career. 'Nick's Boogie' was originally a song which was never recorded on any Pink Floyd studio albums. It's a live improvisation of an experimental piece of music based on Mason's drum work. This track has some interesting drum work, but is definitely much less interesting than the previous one.

Conclusion: This live album, is without any doubt an undeniable and historical very interesting live document, especially because it represents the first and rare live document by this indispensable and historical band, and also because it has a very rare participation, on live, of their founding guitarist band member, Barrett. Sincerely, this was the only real reason that made me buy this live album. For some who enjoy the groovy 60's musical aura, this live album probably will be a great album, but for the others, it might be a little bit boring and a disappointing thing. 'Live 66-67' is a very special Pink Floyd's album. If you are a fanatic fan of the earlier Pink Floyd's musical career, especially with Barrett as a band member, this is definitely a compulsory purchase. However, if you are only a fan of their more elaborated musical stage of the 70's and 80's, beware of it. For me, this is a nice album with some musical and historical interest, but that I don't play usually, and that I sincerely don't recommend to anyone, unless you are a real fanatic Pink Floyd's fan. So, I sincerely think that this is definitely an album only for collectors and fans, like me.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 2/5 |


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