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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Album Review: Pink Floyd ‘The Early Years 1965-1972’

Before they became one of the biggest bands in the world thanks to The Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd had been around for a long time and this is something easy to forget. As a matter of fact, seven albums had been recorded by the band including that 1973 album as well as some classis No. 1 LPS The Wall and Wish you Were Here. However, the Dark Side manages to shadow all of them, probably because none were successful in ever cracking the Top 40. You get a solid reminder of the long history that the band has enjoyed through the massive box set, which is The Early Years-1965-1972. This was way before The Dark Side of the Moon had managed to log 900 weeks on the chart.
The massive box set comprises of about 27 DVDs, Blu-rays and CDs and is a deep insight into the group’s history. It begins with the demos that were recorded by Pink Floyd in the year of formation and ends with a remixed version of an album that was released right before they broke apart. The history unfolds step by step, as new members came in place of older ones like the original visionary of the band, Syd Barrett, was replaced by guitarist and singer David Gilmour, not long after the release of their first album.
In this set, the band has taken away the psychedelic shadings found in its early work and have chosen to move into more experimental territory. The story has been divided into six volumes in The Early Years and there is also a bonus seventh volume comprising of some stray tracks and videos that never made it to the other discs. Most of the volumes are focused on individual years, which can be easily divided into album eras.
With every record, Pink Floyd gets closer to the progressive and thick sound that is found in the Dark Side. There is immense musical space between the LP released nine months before the Dark Side, 1972’s Obscured by Clouds and The Piper at The Gates of Dawn, the debut album in 1967. However, everything is documented properly in The Early Years and it also includes live cuts, previously unreleased songs, radio and TV appearances, concert footage and lots more. This makes the Dark Side come off as a logical progression for the group. Some of the previously unreleased songs are the ones recorded during Barrett’s tenure and are quite interesting.
Yes, The Early Years may seem to get a bit repetitive at some points, but Pink Floyd were known to evolve their material constantly onstage, which makes it fun to listen to. This is one of the reasons why this album is not the one for casual fans. It is a better option for hardcore fans as it comprises of 15 hours of video and 125 songs that detail the first chapter of the band. It shows that without their beginning, Pink Floyd would never have become one of the biggest bands in rock music.

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