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Pink Floyd The Early Years 1969 Dramatis/ation album cover
3.63 | 30 ratings | 1 reviews | 33% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1:

1. Hollywood (1:21)
2. Theme (Beat Version) (5:38)
3. More Blues (Alternative Version) (3:49)
4. Seabirds (Instrumental) (4:20)
5. Embryo (4:43)
6. Grantchester Meadows (3:36)
7. Cymbaline (3:38)
8. The Narrow Way (4:48)
9. Green is the Colour (3:21)
10. Careful with That Axe, Eugene (3:29)
11. Interstellar Overdrive (4:20)
12. Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun (12:25)
13. Careful with That Axe, Eugene (10:09)
14. A Saucerful of Secrets (13:03)

Total time CD 1 76:40

CD 2:

Part 1: The Man
1. Daybreak (Grantchester Meadows (8:14)
2. Work (4:12)
3. Afternoon (Biding My Time) (6:39)
4. Doing It (3:54)
5. Sleeping (4:38)
6. Nightmare (Cymbaline) (9:15)
7. Labyrinth (1:10)

Part 2: The Journey
8. The Beginning (Green is the Colour) (3:25)
9. Beset By Creatures of the Deep (Careful With That Axe, Eugene) (6:27)
10. The Narrow Way, Part 3 (5:11)
11. The Pink Jungle (Pow R. Toc. H) (4:56)
12. The Labyrinths of Auximines (3:20)
13. Footsteps / Doors (3:12)
14. Behold the Temple of Light (5:32)
15. The End of the Beginning (A Saucerful of Secrets) (6:31)

Total time CD 2 76:36


1. Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
2. A Saucerful of Secrets
3. The Man and The Journey:
-a. Afternoon (Biding My Time)
-b. The Beginning (Green is the Colour)
-c. Cymbaline
-d. Beset By Creatures of the Deep
-e. The End of the Beginning (A Saucerful of Secrets)
4. Careful with That Axe, Eugene
5. A Saucerful of Secrets
6. Green is the Colour
7. Careful with That Axe, Eugene
8. Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
9. Interstellar Overdrive (w/Frank Zappa)

Line-up / Musicians

- David Gilmour / vocals, guitar
- Roger Waters / vocals, bass
- Richard Wright / keyboards, vocals
- Nick Mason / drums

- Frank Zappa / guitar (DVD/BluRay 9)

Releases information

2x CD, DVD and Blu-ray boxset - Pink Floyd Records, Parlophone (PFREY3)

CD 1: Tracks 1-4 are alternative versions from "More" album, track 5 is from Harvest Records Sampler "Picnic", tracks 6-10 recorded at BBC Radio Session on May 12, 1969, tracks 11-14 recorded live at The Paradiso in Amsterdam, August 9, 1969.

CD2: Entire CD was recorded at The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, September 17, 1969 and is a performance of "The Man and The Journey".

The DVD and Blu-ray have the same track listing. Tracks 1-2 recorded live at "Forum Musiques" in Paris, France on January 22, 1969, track 3 is a partial performance of "The Man and The Journey" at Royal Festival Hall in London during rehearsal sessions on April 14, 1969, tracks 6-9 were recorded at "Music Power and European Music Revolution, Festival Actuel, Amougies Mont de l'Enclus in Belgium on October 25, 1969.

Thanks to TCat for the addition
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PINK FLOYD The Early Years 1969 Dramatis/ation ratings distribution

(30 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

PINK FLOYD The Early Years 1969 Dramatis/ation reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Volume 3 of Pink Floyd's 'The Early Years' series (which is also available in a giant bos set with all of the volumes together) takes on the year 1969. This year sees the band go almost completely into psychedelic and experimental mode. There were two major album produced during this time; 'More', released in June, and the double album 'Ummagumma' released in November. There was also quite a bit of activity going on for the band at the time, at least music-wise.

All of this music and creativity is reflected in the 2 CDs and DVD/Blu-ray discs included in this collection. However, a lot of the music didn't seem to sit very well with the masses. 'More' was a soundtrack album and quite a bit different from previous releases in that the music seemed a bit choppy and not as cohesive as previous albums. However, it did end up generating a couple of UK hits with 'The Nile Song' and concert favorites like 'Ibiza Bar'. 'Ummagumma' on the other hand was quite dense, one disc full of the bands heavily improvised and psychedelic tracks which were all live versions of previously released songs while the other was divided up fairly evenly among the four members to show off their own compositional skills, the music mostly very experimental and almost avant-garde. Both albums were critically panned.

There were also plans for a third album which was going to be a live recording of a multi-tracked suite called 'The Man and The Journey'. But since the band had used some of this material for parts of the live section of 'Ummagumma', this project was shelved. However, there were several live shows where this entire work was performed, it was just never released officially, until now.

The CDs in this collection are of particular high interest because out of all of the tracks, only one of them was released previously. All of the others are new and unique to this volume, they have never been released officially before.

CD 1

The first CD starts off with 4 non-album tracks from 'More'. The first is called 'Hollywood' which is a short instrumental which sounds pretty much like most of the music on the album, organ and acoustic guitar driving the track with the bass and drums supporting. 'Theme' comes next, which is an alternative version of the same track on the album, but this is known as the 'Beat Version'. It's a moderately fast steady rhythm with a lot of keyboard improvisation at the forefront with a definite psychedelic and hypnotic feel. 'More Blues' is called an alternative version, but is, in reality, and extension of the track from the album. Once again, it is an instrumental, but, as the track says, in a very slow 12-bar blues style with most of the improvisation coming from the guitar this time. The last of these is called 'Seabirds'. This is not the same song that is called 'Seabirds' in the film, but is actually an alternative form of 'Quicksilver' from the album. It has the psychedelic-pastoral feel that PF was famous for with a loud drone that waxes and wanes while the organ meanders about.

A demo version of 'Embryo' follows. This song was not from any album, but was only available (at the time) on a various artist compilation from the 'Harvest' label called 'Picnic'. This is the same version that was on that collection and later released on the PF compilation 'Works'. This is the only previously released track on both of the CDs in this volume. For those that haven't heard it before, it is rather slow and it does have vocals by Gilmour, peaceful and unsettling at the same time with the happy sounds of Smurfs or something at the end of the track.

The next 5 tracks come from a BBC radio session recorded in May. There are 2 tracks originally from 'Ummagumma', two from 'More' and an older track from one of their non-album singles. Roger Waters' 'Grantchester Meadows' was originally complete performed by Waters on the 'Ummagumma' album, but in this case, Gilmour adds a 2nd acoustic guitar and harmonics to Roger's guitar and voice giving the song more depth while birds chirp in the background. There is also a simple piano line playing in the instrumental break. It's actually better than the sparse version from the album. 'Cymbaline' originally from 'More' features the whole band. It also sound better than the original album version as the band seems more comfortable with it giving it a more finished feel. 'The Narrow Way' originally comes from 'Ummagumma', this version being only the 3rd part of the Gilmour 3-part suite. On the album, Gilmour played all of the instruments, but here, the band helps him, but they don't help him on the harmonics in the high-pitched chorus, and that hurts this version. Being a fan of 'Ummagumma', I find this version incomplete, especially without the other two parts missing. 'Green is the Colour' from 'More', written by Waters but sung by Gilmour is next. The seagull sound effects are still there as the acoustic guitar fades in and Gilmour's vulnerable vocals are still there too. The band plays sparsely at a mid-tempo but the tin-whistle that was played by Mason's wife is missing, however, Mason is there playing the drums on this version, which helps solidify the track a little more. It still remains quiet and soft however. The last track from this set is the older track 'Careful with That Axe, Eugene', a B-side from one of the band's non-album singles. This is an abbreviated version kept under 4 minutes and since the previous track flows into this one, it becomes a more pastoral version of the usually abrasive track without Roger's screams. It is a nice take on the track making it fit well with the softer sound of the tracks on this set.

The last section of this CD features 4 tracks from a live show at the Paradiso in Amsterdam on August 9th. It features some heavily improvised tracks of their earlier works but begins with a shortened version (4:20) of 'Interstellar Overdrive'. The track fades in sometime during the improvised middle section of the song, and it seems, for this collection, that it is fitting in with the more psychedelic/pastoral feel of most of the songs on this collection. It soon builds to the heaviness of the familiar riff that usually bookends the track, but this time with more psychedelic heavy guitar from Gilmour. The next three tracks are quite long, all exceeding 10 minutes each, and each from the live section of 'Ummagumma', but done in a different show. If you take the time to compare the versions, you can easily see how much these tracks change and take on a life of their own for each performance. 'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' is meandering and you can barely hear the vocals, however, it does increase quickly in strength and power becoming quite heavy contrasting the original version almost to the extreme, then becoming cool and atmospheric later. This version is also 12+ minutes where the Ummagumma version was only just above 9 minutes. Excellent version.

'Careful with That Axe, Eugene' is more like the original version this time and since the other occurrence of this track on this CD is so different, it seems like a completely different track. The Ummagumma version was around 8 minutes, but this one is over 10. It basically follows the formula of the original version, but it just meanders around a lot more before the sudden onslaught that comes almost halfway through. There are no screams to warn you this time though as the loud section just suddenly comes out of nowhere. Even though the basic form for the track is there, it is amazing how much different it is from the live version most are familiar with. 'A Saucerful of Secrets' retains its 4 part structure and stays at the 13 minute mark similar to the 'Ummagumma version', the experimental beginning, the section with the drum loop (except this one has some nice sounds produced by Gilmour that are unique to this version, the passacaglia section and then the 'hymn-like' section of the ending.

I'm a little torn with this CD in that I never cared much for the music from 'More', but I love 'Ummagumma'. However, throughout, the versions on this collection are sometimes much better than the originals and other times not so much. It's nice to have the non-album tracks from 'More' especially with their sound quality cleaned up, but they are nothing spectacular, which is about what I expected. The BBC tracks contain some excellent versions and some not so great ones, about half and half. The real draw to this is in the live tracks and how amazing it is that each time these long, improvisational tracks are played, they are so different. But add to that the fact that sound is worlds better than the sound on the live versions on 'Ummagumma' and it makes the CD more valuable. I feel it's quite deserving of 4 stars.

CD 2

This 2nd CD is completely made up of a live performance of 'The Man and The Journey' at Amsterdam on September 17, and for most people, this will be the first time even hearing this suite played in its entirety. Specifically, for this performance though, it is the first time it has been released. This is going to give the entire collection a lot of value for hard-core PF fans and collectors. There is one section left out of this recording called 'Teatime' which is just the sounds of someone having a tea break.

'Part I: The Man' begins with the sound of birds with 'Daybreak' (which is actually 'Grantchester Meadows'). It's fairly close to the familiar version in 'Ummagumma', but there is the echo of the live venue, some harmonization in the chorus and the organ meanders with the acoustic guitar in the instrumental breaks. 'Work' is mostly percussionadn vibes with instruments making sawing and hammering sounds in rhythm. Typically, this would be followed by 'Teatime' where the band is served tea on stage. 'Afternoon' was actually retitled as 'Biding My Time' and appeared on the 'Relics' compilation. It starts with puffing noises then eventually slips into the jazz inflected guitar melody playing the theme most fans will be familiar with before Waters vocals come in. It's a nice jazz style track. Later, Wright stands and plays a trombone solo in the instrument break. This is much better than the version on 'Relics' with a hot solo by Gilmour at the end.

'Doing It!' is the latter half of 'The Grand Vizier's Garden Party' from 'Ummagumma' turned into a cool drum solo with some other noises added and we all love a Mason drum solo. 'Sleep' is based around the track 'Quicksilver' from the 'More' soundtrack. It starts with breathing and a ticking clock followed by vibes and instrumental effects with a meandering organ coming in later. 'Nightmare/Daybreak (part 2)' is based around 'Cymbaline' from the 'More' soundtrack. It carries on from the previous track, but establishes itself with a more structured feel when the organ is joined by soft guitars and Gilmour's vocals singing the familiar theme for 'Cymbaline'. This version is over 9 minutes as, after the 2nd verse, it goes into a long instrumental section. After the 3rd verse, there is another long instrumental section starting out intense and calming to the end. This part ends with the short 'Labyrinth' which is the sound of a ticking clock.

'Part II: The Journey' starts off with 'The Beginning' which is 'Green is the Colour' from the 'More' soundtrack. This is a soft, mellow version with Gilmour singing accompanied by soft drums, bass and piano. It's a nice version of that song. 'Beset by Creatures of the Deep' is known by most fans as being 'Careful with That Axe, Eugene' which flows directly from the previous track. This time you can hear Roger doing his wordless vocals and screaming when it suddenly turns loud and abrasive. 'The Narrow Way' is the same song as 'The Narrow Way, Part 3' from 'Ummagumma'. Gilmour tried to sing the high chorus in his regular voice (not his usual falsetto style) and fails unfortunately.

'The Pink Jungle' is based around the track 'Pow R Loc H.' from their debut album with the members doing their strange vocal effects much longer this time, sounding just like animals in a jungle, so to speak. The second half of the track goes into a loud instrumental. 'The Labyrinths of Auximenes' is actually the middle instrumental section from 'Let There Be More Light', one of the songs from the album 'Saucerful of Secrets'. The bass riff is familiar and it supports many instrumental effects and sounds. 'Footsteps / Doors' is the sound of footsteps, door creaking open and shut and various other sound effects. Without seeing what is going on on stage, this is a yawner. 'Behold the Temple of Light' is a nice guitar and organ duet that sounds mostly improvised and as it continues, it intensifies, spurred on by cymbal rolls and crashes. 'The End of the Beginning' finishes it all up. It is taken from the track 'Saucerful of Secrets' consisting of the last section of that track known as 'Pt. IV ' Celestial Voices'. The heavy organ solo starts it all, then rolling drums come in along with soft guitar and vibes. It all builds to the climactic ending we are all familiar with.

It is really nice to hear all of these songs in this sequence and to experience how the band put this all together in concert to create a sonic story of sorts. It is also interesting to hear it all fit together like this. However, casual fans might not understand it and wouldn't appreciate it so much. The sound on the disc is good, but its not really as great as I would have liked it to be. Considering that it is all taken from the concert from the time it was performed, I suppose we can't ask for much here, and this becomes more of interest to hard core fans, collectors and completionists who have wanted to hear a decent recording of the performance of this program. Anyway, for all intents and purposes of this review and taking away the collector part of me, I have to give this disc 3 stars.


This disc begins with 3 tracks from the French TV program 'Forum Musiques' recorded on January 22, before either one of the albums were released. The first is 'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' which begins after a long introduction by the host (in French). The video is in black & white, but the picture is quite clear and so is the sound. The music is the studio version and is all acted out by the band members, but at least Mason is playing the drums without sticks (beating with his hands), while the audience sits around looking either mesmerized or disinterested. This is followed by an interview (in French again) with Gilmour in which he is asked who the leader is, and Gilmour, after looking at Waters, says nobody is. 'Saucerful of Secrets' is mimed after this, but it is a slightly different version from the original, so it must have been recorded beforehand to be used for the video, because it is obviously mimed, since there is no piano present.

The next section of the disc is part of a rehearsal at Royal Festival Hall in London on April 14. There are 5 tracks taken from 'The Man and The Journey' beginning with the jazz-influenced 'Afternoon (Biding My Time)'. This section of the disc is a very intimate look at the band as we get to see their rehearsal session, working out bugs and issues with the songs. You even get to see Wright messing around with the trombone. This section goes through 4 more snippets from the rehearsals, not necessarily playing full songs, but rehearsing, doing sound checks and so on. You get to see them messing around with 'The Beginning', 'Cymbaline', 'Beset by Creatures of the Deep' and 'The End of the Beginning', the last one being the most interesting for me since it is mostly of Wright playing on the organ and messing with his pre-sets (being a keyboardist myself, I find this part fascinating). Excellent insight into the band's rehearsals.

The next section comes from the 'Essencer Pop & Blues Festival' in Essen, Germany on October 11. There are two tracks taken from this show, and this time we get to see them actually performing live, first with 'Careful with That Axe, Eugene' (where you also see Waters doing his unholy screaming), and then an awesome and breathtaking performance of 'A Saucerful of Secrets' which in and of itself is probably the best performance I have seen of it. Watch this and know why Pink Floyd is so adored and why they deserve it.

The last section is from the 'Music Power & European Music Revolution' in Belgium on October 25. This section is all in color and the sound is a little distorted, but still pretty good. The section has 4 tracks starting with 'Green is the Colour' sung by Gilmour and it is a great version of the song. This is followed by another performance of 'Careful with That Axe, Eugene' at almost 10 minutes and with some of Waters most violent screaming yet. 'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' comes next in an 11+ minute version which has a wild middle section that calms to a psychedelic and experimental part and the scene switches to things going on around the festival for a while before returning to the band as they go into the 3rd verse. Ending the entire thing is the famous collaboration of PF and Frank Zappa at this show doing what is labeled as a 15 minute version of 'Interstellar Overdrive', but what sounds more like just an improvised piece which ends with a very subdued chord sequence at the end that follows that song. The video is great to watch though, showing the interaction of Zappa and PF, and Zappa gets to play two killer solos between Wrights keys and Gilmour's psychedelic meanderings. It all comes across as a historical and interesting video if nothing else, but is at least a pretty good performance, even though Zappa couldn't remember ever playing with them according to an interview several years later. Here is the proof that it happened, and at least now it is in a version that is much better than the bootleg that existed before.

So, the DVD/Blu-Ray is a pretty good document, especially since most of it is actually live except for the first section which is mimed. It is definitely worth the purchase along with the CDs. The main problem is that most of the performances are older tracks, but they at least show them in their longer and more exploratory stages than on the videos provided in the previous volumes.

What's Missing?

There are a few things that are missing from the separate volume and the inclusive boxset that collects all of the volumes. The more expensive boxset comes with a 7th volume that includes two DVD/Blu-ray discs which are not available collectively, even in the rare Japanese 7th volume (that separate volume only includes the CD from the boxset, not the 2 video discs). The entire feature film for 'More' is included along with a 3 track performance from 'P1-P wie Petersilie' in Stuttgart, Germany from July 22 which includes a band interview and performances of 'Corporal Clegg' and 'A Saucerful of Secrets', all of this from that same year. Other than the additional material that comes on the 7th volume, everything else is the same as the separate volume.

In Conclusion

Because of the more experimental, psychedelic and improvisational material from this time period, this collection will probably not be of much interest to the casual fan as it will be to the serious Pink Floyd listener and collector. To me, the most important part of the collection is the DVD/Blu-Ray. Yes there is a lot of unreleased material here, and this will be of interest to collectors and die-hard fans, and I consider myself one of those. This is why it is tough for me to rate this collection, trying to rate it according to its overall importance to fans in general. As such, I have to rate it at 3 stars, however, personally, I put much more importance and value to it than that. It is obvious, however, that the first 2 volumes are probably going to be more interesting to the casual fan than the third. For the collector or hard-core fan, however, it is priceless.

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