Careful with those tapes, Eugune; this week saw Pink Floyd unceremoniously upload 12 rare live concerts from 1970–1972 to streaming services. These bootleg recordings hear the British psych juggernauts exploring their early material as well as previewing what would form 1973’s The Dark Side of the Moon.
Recorded between February 28th, 1970 and March 16th, 1972, these recordings present a pivotal moment in time for David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Richard Wright, and Nick Mason. The group’s expansive late 1960’s/early 1970’s compositions see significant play, with renditions of “Atom Heart Mother inching toward 30-minutes and extended tellings of “Interstellar Overdrive”, “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun”, and “A Saucerful of Secrets” appearing throughout.
While those deep sonic explorations persist, Floyd is also heard moving toward the more focused and lyrically-driven songs that would dominate its later years and most successful records. The March 16th, 1972 concert in Tokyo specifically sees a nearly full-album telling of Dark Side a year before its release. The sequence of “Speak to Me”, “Breathe (In The Air)”, “On the Run”, “Time”, “Breathe (In The Air) (Reprise)”, “The Great Gig in the Sky”, “Money”, and “Us and Them”, hears the prolific studio band still fine-tuning the songs in a live setting. The primitive sound effects on “Money” and “Time” along with the rough vocals—partly due to the bootleg recording quality no doubt—show just how far the compositions came from the stage to the studio.
As Rolling Stone points out, Pink Floyd may have another motive for sharing these recordings beyond highlighting an exciting time in the band’s history. As a representative for Sony told the magazine in 2013, upon Bob Dylan‘s massive release of uncirculated music, “The copyright law in Europe was recently extended from 50 to 70 years for everything recorded in 1963 and beyond. With everything before that, there’s a new ‘Use It or Lose It’ provision. It basically said, ‘If you haven’t used the recordings in the first 50 years, you aren’t going to get any more.’”
Whatever the reason, this trove of archival material adds to the ever-expanding vault of newly released content. Stream the new batch of Pink Floyd concerts via the players below.
They Came in Peace, Live, Leeds University 1970 Washington University 1971
Live at Grosser Saal, Musikhalle, Hamburg, West Germany 25 Feb 1971
Mauerspechte Berlin Sportpalast, Live 5 June 1971
Live, Lyon 12 June 1971, Tokyo 16 March 1972
Live in Rome Palaeur 20 June 1971
Amsterdamse Bos Free Concert 26 June 1971 (Live)
Live in Montreux 18 & 19 Sept 1971
KB Hallen, Copenhagen, Live 23 Sept 1971
KB Hallen, Copenhagen, Vol II, Live 23 Sept 1971
Over Bradford Pigs on the Groove Bradford University, Live 10 Oct 1971
Embryo, San Diego, Live 17 Oct 1971
The Screaming Abdabs Quebec City, Live 10 Nov 1971