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Pink Floyd - Tonite Let's All Make Love In London CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.63 | 67 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars I unearthed this relic by accident, and from an unexpected source: "The Progressive Rock Files", by Jerry Lucky (4th edition, 1998), which I stumbled upon while browsing at my local library. The book itself is a decent but flawed introduction to Prog Rock, unlikely to appeal to anyone not already well acquainted with the music, with Lucky presenting himself as a Prog Rock apologist for whom the genre can do no wrong. The bulk of the book - almost 150 pages - is devoted to a comprehensive A to Z listing of Progressive bands...without anything remotely approaching a critical opinion of any of them.

But the surprise was the CD included with the book: almost 30 minutes of rare live Pink Floyd music, taken (as I was later to learn - Lucky's book didn't provide any clues) from the soundtrack of what must have once been a very "happening" movie.

As you can no doubt tell from the groovy title, it's a flashback to swinging London in its psychedelic heyday, a cannabis scented time capsule from when Pink Floyd was still THE PINK FLOYD, led by the original Piper at the Gates of Dawn himself: Syd Barrett. The music, a pair of extended, totally improvised jam sessions, is light years away from the band's later, immaculately crafted studio epics, providing a rare and valuable glimpse of what the original (and, some would insist, best) Floyd sounded like on stage. Listening, you can practically see the liquid light show.

The highlight of the disc is the almost 17-minute rendition of "Interstellar Overdrive", played at a slightly more breathless pace than the "Piper" version, with Roger Waters and Nick Mason locked for most of its length into a driving, one-chord groove under Richard Wright's noodling Farfisa organ chords and arpeggios. Barrett's guitar playing, not unlike his later mental state, is somewhere in deep space, but the sheer inventiveness of his technique (or lack thereof) is still invigorating to hear.

The 12-minute "Nick's Boogie" is more of the same, with less of a discernable melody but lots of primitive reverb and echo effects, over another solid bedrock of rhythm, in this instance Nick Mason's tribal-sounding toms. It's a quintessential late '60s freak out, and a crude but clear precursor to the title track of the group's upcoming "Saucerful of Secrets".

Both live tracks make their point within four or five minutes and then, like a lot of experimental rock at the time, meander pleasantly along with no real sense of direction, but wasn't that the true meaning of it all? Free expression, breaking the bourgeois shackles of time, and so forth? The music must have once sounded dangerously radical, but now seems almost disarmingly innocent. Hearing it, I was reminded of a recent screening of the film "Easy Rider", a similar '60s trip, in more ways than one.

Collector's note: there are also a couple of interviews to round out the disc (at least the disc I heard), neither with any connection to the band or their music. Actor Lee Marvin offers his opinion on mini-skirts ("I don't think girls vary that much in their physical appearance", he says, setting a new benchmark for chauvinism), and artist David Hockney compares working conditions in London and California. Together, it's five minutes of pointless filler on a still criminally short compact disc

Neu!mann | 2/5 |


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