Pink Floyd from 1969 tonight. I freely admit, early Pink Floyd is my favorite period of the band. Probably because they were trying things and they were at their most experimental. The period after the loss of Syd Barrett was understandably difficult for the band because Syd was such a strong voice and presence that, carrying on with Syd’s musical voice would not have worked. And so this period of time (Saucerful of Secrets all the way to Dark Side) is some of the most interesting for the band. They probably didn’t think so at the time, and their commercial appeal was questionable, at least on this side of the Atlantic.
You have to remember that Pink Floyd during those halcyon days wasn’t a household name – certainly not in the U.S., and their appeal was largely to the underground FM audience – they could not be construed as a top-40 group. There was no way that would happen, not until Dark Side Of The Moon appeared.
That’s not to say that later incarnations of the band weren’t interesting – many of them were milestones and continue their popularity to this day. But it’s the early stuff, the woodshedding, the fits and starts that, to me are the most interesting and satisfying. That’s me, that’s my opinion.
This live set is actually from two concerts, recorded days apart from each other; the first one is from Mother’s Club in Birmingham and was recorded on April 24, 1969.The second one is from the College Of Commerce in Manchester on May 2nd. Some of it may have a ring of familiarity to it. This was part of a series of live recordings which became the first disc for Ummagumma – these performances were not used in the final mix, although the commercial release features material from those two concerts, these are the outtakes. In addition, these particular recordings are well-known to collectors, as they’ve been making the rounds to die-hard Pink Floyd fans for years. To clarify something – Pink Floyd were huge in Europe and the UK. And Ummagumma, when it was released in the States got to 74 on the Billboard album charts – they were known here at the time, and were popular with FM audiences – but not to the extent they became only a few years later.
Crank it up and enjoy.