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Pink Floyd The Early Years 1970 Devi/ation album cover
4.39 | 34 ratings | 2 reviews | 56% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1:

1. Atom Heart Mother (17:58)
2. Embryo (11:10)
3. Fat Old Sun (5:52)
4. Green is the Colour (3:27)
5. Careful with That Axe, Eugene (8:25)
6. If (5:47)
7. Atom Heart Mother (with Choir, Cello and Brass Ensemble) (25:30)

Total time CD 1 78:30

CD 2:

1. On the Highway (1:16)
2. Auto Scene Version 2 (1:13)
3. Auto Scene Version 3 (1:33)
4. Aeroplane (2:18)
5. Explosion (5:47)
6. The Riot Scene (1:40)
7. Looking at Map (1:57)
8. Love Scene Version 7 (5:03)
9. Love Scene Version 1 (3:26)
10. Take Off (1:20)
11. Take Off Version 2 (1:12)
12. Love Scene Version 2 (1:56)
13. Love Scene (Take 1) (2:16)
14. Unknown Song (Take 1) (5:56)
15. Love Scene (Take 2) (6:40)
16. Crumbling Land (Take 1) (4:09)
17. Atom Heart Mother (Early studio version, band only) (19:15)

Total time CD 2 66:17

DVD 1:

1. Atom Heart Mother (16:37)
2. Cymbaline (8:38)
3. Grantchester Meadows (7:37)
4. Green is the Colour (3:31)
5. Careful with That Axe, Eugene (9:09)
6. Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun (12:37)
7. Atom Heart Mother (23:42)
8. If (4:31)
9. Summer '68 (5:29)
10. Fat Old Sun (5:24)
11. Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast (13:01)

DVD 2:

1. Cymbaline (soundcheck) (3:54)
2. Atom Heart Mother (13:46)
3. Embryo (11:23)
4. Green is the Colour >
5. Carful with That Axe, Eugene (12:21)
6. Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun (12:07)
7. Instrumental Improvisations (1,2,3 live in studio) (3:28)
8. Embryo (2:39)
9. Atom Heart Mother (with the Phillip Jones Brass Ensemble and John Alldis Choir) (21:15)


1. Atom Heart Mother (16:37)
2. Cymbaline (8:38)
3. Grantchester Meadows (7:37)
4. Green is the Colour (3:31)
5. Careful with That Axe, Eugene (9:09)
6. Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun (12:37)
7. Cymbaline (Soundcheck) (3:54)
8. Atom Heart Mother (13:46)
9. Embryo (11:23)
10. Green is the Colour >
11. Careful with That Axe, Eugene (12:21)
12. Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun (12:07)
13. Instrumental Improvisations (1, 2, 3 live in studio) (3:28)
14. Embryo (2:39)
15. Atom Heart Mother (with The Phillip Jones Brass Ensemble / John Alldis Choir) (21:15)
16. Atom Heart Mother (23:42)
17. If (4:31)
18. Summer '68 (5:29)
19. Fat Old Sun (5:24)
20. Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast (13:01)

Line-up / Musicians

- Instrumentation could not be verified at this time.

Releases information

2x CD, 2x DVD and Blu-ray boxset - Pink Floyd Records, Parlophone (PFREY4)

CD 1: Track 1 recorded live in Montreux on November 21, 1970, tracks 2-7 recorded at BBC Radio Session on July 16, 1970.

CD 2: Tracks 1-16 consists of unreleased tracks from the "Zabriskie Point" Soundtrack Recordings, track 17 is an early studio, band only version.

DVD 1: Tracks 1-6 from "An Hour with Pink Floyd" recorded at KQED in San Francisco on April 30, 1970, tracks 7-11 are from "Atom Heart Mother" album in the original 4.0 Quad Mix (1970 - audio only).

DVD 2: Tracks 1-6 from "Pop Deux Festival de St. Tropez" in France on August 8, 1970, tracks 7-8 from "Show Roland Petit" in Paris, France on December 5, 1970, track 9 from "Blackhill's Garden Party" in Hyde Park, London on July 18, 1970.

Thanks to TCat for the addition
and to TCat for the last updates
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PINK FLOYD The Early Years 1970 Devi/ation ratings distribution

(34 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(56%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

PINK FLOYD The Early Years 1970 Devi/ation reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Introduction

Volume 4 of the Pink Floyd 'The Early Years' collection is centered around 1970. This is when the creative side of the band started to really show through as they moved slowly away from the psyechedelic sound, but moved to a more progressive style. Of course, the psychedelic side would be there to some extent for quite a while. The band released one album and supplied a lot of music for another movie during this year. The album was the ground-breaking 'Atom Heart Mother' (in October) and the soundtrack music was for 'Zabriskie Point' (in March).

This volume probably has more material than any of the other volumes. There are two CDs which contain all previously unreleased tracks from the year and 2 DVD (1 Blu-ray) discs. The Blu-ray disc contains all of the material that is on both DVDs, but in a different order.

CD 1

Disc 1 starts off with a live rendition of the 'Atom Heart Mother' suite performed at the Casino de Montreux on November 21. This is introduced by Waters as being the version without the choir, brass and etc., so this is the band only version. Pink Floyd fans are going to be familiar with the album version with all the bells and whistles and might be reluctant to hear the band only version. Just put aside your fears and listen to how utterly amazing this mega-work is and how they miraculously transform it into something they can still impress people with even without the orchestra. It just goes to show how strong of a song it is. One thing to note however, is that this version is 18 minutes where the album version is almost 24 minutes. There are some parts that were pared down for the band only version where the 'noisy collage' sections and the reprise of the main theme at the end occur. What you end up with is a more cohesive version that doesn't seem as over the top as the original. The guitar and organ solos are quite excellent. Overall, the sound is great.

The remainder of the disc is made up of a BBC radio session recorded on July 16. This starts with a surprisingly long version of 'Embryo' (called the alternative version) which lasts just over 11 minutes. Originally, this track was around 5 minutes and was a non-album track recorded for a various artist compilation for Harvest records. John Peel's announcements and the audience responses are all included. The track, at last, sounds more completed than ever before, and this long version with extended instrumental sections is simply superb. You can really hear how Gilmour has grown and become confident in his guitar solos as there is some excellent work here. Just before 5 minutes in, there are some baby noises as Wright plays a nice solo, and then later children playing and atmospheric sounds take over, in fact, you can hear some of the high pitched sounds that would later be used in 'Echoes'. The song becomes more ambient for a few minutes, and then rebuilds around the 8 minute mark.

There is then a rendition of 'Fat Old Sun' (from the 'Atom Heart Mother' album). The version isn't too much different from the original except, if anything, it sounds more practiced, but Gilmour's voice wanders off key a few times, but its not annoying or distracting. The lovely guitar solo makes up for it though. This is followed by 'Green is the Colour' (from the 'More' soundtrack released in the previous year). By this time, this song is sounding much better too with a nice acoustic sound backed with smooth organ. This flows into an 8 minute version of 'Careful with That Axe, Eugene' from one of their non- album singles from a few years back. Roger does a lot more whispering and squealing in this one even before the sudden, and expected mood shift halfway through. Gilmour provides the wordless vocal meandering for the most part freeing up Waters to do other things. Again, the music seems to be played with a lot more confidence than even the recordings show from the prior year. They then perform 'If' (from 'Atom Heart Mother' again) with Waters singing lead. This is quite an up close and personal version of the track and Waters' vocals are at their best.

The last track on this CD (which by the way is during the same BBC session) is the full orchestra/band version of 'Atom Heart Mother', this time also being the full 25 minute version. It just amazes me that this masterwork can be done live, and this recording of it, with a few slightly extended sections, just makes it even more amazing. I can imagine seeing this live must have been quite an experience.

This CD is a very strong one, and easily rates 5 stars on its own, even with two versions of 'Atom Heart Mother'. They are so different from each other that you might not even notice it's on there twice, unless you are very familiar with the main themes. Either way, it is an excellent CD, and the extended version of 'Embryo' makes it even better.

CD 2

Almost all of the 2nd disc is made up of new remixes and unreleased tracks of songs that are either from or were intended for 'Zabriskie Point'. Originally PF was to provide all of the music, but then the producer thought the music was too laid back for the movie, so he only used part of the music, rearranged some older PF music, and got other artists to contribute, including several improvised tracks from Jerry Garcia. On this disc, however, you only get the Pink Floyd tracks, some of them are various takes of the same song. The Zabriskie Point tracks are mostly instrumental and reflect the soft side of the band, much like most of the tracks on the 'More' soundtrack.

'On the Highway' has some nice vocal harmonies from the band and is acoustic, actually sounding almost like The Grateful Dead. It is a very short version of 'Crumbling Land' from the Zabriskie Point soundtrack. 'Auto Scene' comes in a Version 2 and Version 3, the former being acoustic guitar and baroque sounding keys, the later being more upbeat with organ backed by the full band. 'Aeroplane' is much heavier with loud electric guitar riffs. Up to this point, the songs are quite short. 'Explosion' manages to break the 5 minute mark. It sounds very similar to 'Careful with That Axe, Eugene', complete with howls and screams. The same setup, but not quite the same music.

After this, there are a couple more short ones; 'The Riot Scene' which doesn't sound at all like a riot, but more like a piano playing the same chord sequence and idea behind the future song 'Us and Them', and then 'Looking at Map' which has a nice easy going beat with piano and soft guitar, sounding like something from 'Obscured By Clouds'. Next are two versions (different ones from the 'Zabriskie Point' album) of 'Love Scene', version 7 followed by version 1. An easy beat with acoustic and atmospheric electric guitar meander softly along sounding similar to the music behind 'A Pillow of Winds' from 'Meddle' drives version 7 along for 5 minutes, while version 1 is mostly very slow organ and some nice guitar effects.

Two short versions of 'Take Off' follow; the first is a very loud and guitar heavy track that might be startling after the soft meandering tracks previously played, while the 2nd is more straightforward rock. More 'Love Scene' music, version 2 this time, calms the mood again with more organ and guitar effects, then 'Love Scene (Take 1)', an improvised, slow-blues/jazz piano, just like the one on the 'Zabriskie Point' album. These, again are all short tracks. 'Unknown Song (Take 1)' then almost reaches the 6 minute mark, again a take of a song of the same name on the regular ZP album. This one has that same meandering acoustic and electric guitar improvisation as on 'A Pillow of Winds' again, and again it may take a lot of patience to sit through, unless you are just high. At least, stronger drums kick in before the 2 minute mark. In case you didn't get enough of it the first time, next is over 6 more minutes of 'Love Scene (Take 2)'. Simple meandering vibes twinkle. Sleep wants to take over now. But you are strong and persist through it because there is only one more track from this soundtrack music, 'Crumbling Land (Take 1)'. At least it ends on the harmonized vocals of the band again, just like in the beginning of this disc, this time with the fuller version of the track from the ZP album, again sounding like folk-rock.

So we got through that, but there is one track left. How about an early studio version of 'Atom Heart Mother', while the track was 'in the works' and played through by only the band. Sounds like a good way to end the disc. Well, hopefully you didn't only sit through the previous tracks to hear this one, because, it sounds like you would think a band run-through track would sound, most of the interesting bits taken out leaving only a lot of supporting material, repetitive tracking material, 20 minutes of it. Interesting for maybe a hardcore fan of the final product, but that's about it. You are better off listening to the live, band-only version on the first disc.

This disc start out interestingly enough, but by around track 15, one tends to lose interest. However, the one draw it all has is the fact that it is unreleased material. But it will only appeal to die-hard fans. 3 stars.

DVD Disc 1

The first half of this DVD contains a color TV program entitled 'An Hour with Pink Floyd' which was broadcast on KQED in San Francisco on April 30. It contains a mix of tracks from over the years all performed live. It begins with a 17 minute, band-only version of 'Atom Heart Mother', an excellent version with great sound. It starts off showing a fly by of what looks like the salt flats in Utah and then later switches to farm land. This goes on for 7 minutes while the band plays in the background. The band finally starts coming into view on stage, which is really what we want to see here, the band playing this masterpiece, because we have already heard audio only versions. Gilmour and Mason provide their harmonized and ethereal wordless vocals. When the guitar solo later begins, the picture slowly moves back to the fly-by footage which is disappointing. At least it comes back to the band when Wright starts his nice organ solo, and then stay on the band for the last part where the music builds and reaches its climactic ending.

The program continues with 'Cymbaline' with a long instrumental break and Waters banging on a gong and a short section with footsteps and doors before Gilmour sings the last verse. 'Grantchester Meadows' begins with nature footage, birds chirping, then the acoustic guitars with Waters' vocals. The image of Waters and Gilmour fade in slowly as they trade off on lead vocals as their acoustic guitars compliment each other. This is one of the nicest versions of this song. 'Green is the Colour' again features Gilmour singing as usual, the video uses a green highlight that surrounds everyone to give it a psychedelic look. 'Careful with That Axe, Eugene' gets its usual appearance in a 9 minute version with Waters' squealing, whispering and screaming and the video uses heavy psychedelic effects keeping the band in a growing colorful fog through most of the performance. A 12 minute version of 'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' ends the set with Waters subdued singing and more psychedelic organ featured from Wright. Through this set, Mason seems to be pushed into the background and doesn't get to show off so much until the last track where you finally get to see him take off, then Waters goes crazy with the gong and ends up breaking the mallet, after which Wright plays a freaky solo along with guitar atmospherics. All in all, it's a pretty good program with nice color and excellent quality video.

The second half of the disc is the entire 'Atom Heart Mother' album presented in the original 1970 4.0 Quad mix. This is audio only and presents the album with that mix where most people haven't heard before. Of course, it is going to sound its best with 4 speakers, or surround sound, if you've got it. Overall, the first DVD gets 4 stars.

DVD Disc 2

The first part of this DVD begins with a performance at the 'Pop Deux Festival de St. Tropez' in France, recorded on August 8. This has 6 songs on this section. It starts with a soundcheck using 'Cymbaline' as David messes around with the drums and Roger eats a peach, the band all in their swim trunks. Next is a performance of an abbreviated (13 minutes) version of 'Atom Heart Mother' since the French TV program fades in on the performance already in progress. A scrolling text messes up the names (Mick Mason, etc). The highlight is an 11 minute version of 'Embryo'. They also do 'Green is the Colour', 'Careful with That Axe, Eugene' and 'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun'. This program is all in color and the video is decent, the sound is okay but not real consistent.

In the next section, there are a couple of short tracks at Roland Petit Ballet in Paris France on December 5. There some short improvisational things, then a short excerpt of 'Embryo', not much to get excited about here. The real highlight is a full performance of 'Atom Heart Mother' with the Phillip Jones Brass Ensemble and the John Alldis Choir at Blackhill's Garden Party in Hyde Park on July 18. Finally we get to see the band perform with the entire ensemble and its as amazing as you expect though the video is black and white and a bit iffy at times, it's still worth watching. If only we could smack a few of those in the audience and ask them if they really knew what they were witnessing here.

This DVD basically offers more footage, and a lot of the tracks are repeated, but that is the beauty of the early PF music, that it could vary so much from one performance to another. Again, there is some good material here with the full ensemble and choir performance of AHM, even though the video is a bit 2nd rate, its still great to see it. Again, this gets 4 stars.

Blu-ray disc

The Blu-ray offers the same exact material that is on the 2 DVD's, however, the track listing order is different and that is the only difference.

What's Missing?

The full box set that carries all of the volumes of The Early Years series typically has some additional material either on Volume 7 or in addition to the material in the individual volume box sets. In this case, the things that are missing are quite minor. There is a 3 minute portion of the performance of 'Atom Heart Mother' from the 'Bath Festival of Blues & Progressive Music' at Shepton Mallet, UK on June 27, and two performances at 'Kralingen Music Festival' in Rotterdam on June 28: both 'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' and 'A Saucerful of Secrets' which combined is just over 10 minutes. Nothing there really to worry about.

In Conclusion

This is a very strong collection that represents 1970 quite well with several live performances of their masterpiece 'Atom Heart Mother' and additional tracks recorded for 'Zabriskie Point' even if they do wear out their welcome after a while. Some may find the complete 'Atom Heart Mother' album in Quad 4.0 to be valuable also. The only thing bringing this collection down is some of the meanderings from the extra ZP material and the sometimes questionable video on the 2nd DVD, but these will be fairly minor issues. This is a strong 4 star collection which teeters on the 5 star side, just missing it. Definitely recommended to those that love the "Atom Heart Mother" album and also for PF lovers in general, but some material might not be of much interest to casual fans.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Devi/ation, the fourth of the boxes to come out of The Early Years big box set, Deviation is my favorite. This is not based on the DVD on this or any of the boxsets as I think of them as watch once and pretty much done. This starts off with the a song I have heard about but never heard, The ... (read more)

Report this review (#2316457) | Posted by tdfloyd | Saturday, February 15, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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