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Pink Floyd - The Early Years 1965-1972: The Individual Volumes album review

The 2016 Early Years box, now in six affordable chunks

Cover art for Pink Floyd - The Early Years 1965-1972: The Individual Volumes album

If you want to chart Pink Floyd’s evolution from earnest blues rockers to whimsical psychedelicats, freaky cosmonauts to purveyors of stoned ambience, you’ll want these individual volumes, originally launched last year as a limited edition (and appropriately mind-bendingly expensive) box set.

Over six book-bound CD and DVD packages, arranged chronologically and idiosyncratically, yet insightfully titled by Roger Waters to offer a sense of each one’s contents – Cambridge St/Ation (1965- 1967), Germin/Ation (1968), Dramatis/Ation (1969), Devi/Ation (1970), Reverber/Ation (1971) and Obfusc/Ation (1972) – you too can join the Floyd on their weird and wonderful journey, as Syd Barrett loses control of his band and the restset the controls for the art of the stun.

How did they get to the Dark Side Of The Moon? You should have more of an idea after listening to these out-takes and demos (and watching the assorted promo clips and rare footage) from circa The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, A Saucerful Of Secrets, Ummagumma, Atom Heart Mother, Meddle and Obscured By Clouds.

From warped-pop concision to multipartite epics, Arnold Layne to a 25-minute Atom Heart Mother recorded for the BBC with added choir, cello and brass ensemble, it’s hard not to conclude from these half-dozen CDs that the Floyd travelled further, in a shorter space of time, than virtually any band in rock history.

Still a bit pricey if you want the whole lot, mind.

Paul Lester is the editor of Record Collector. He began freelancing for Melody Maker in the late 80s, and was later made Features Editor. He was a member of the team that launched Uncut Magazine, where he became Deputy Editor. In 2006 he went freelance again and has written for The Guardian, The Times, the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, Classic Rock, Q and the Jewish Chronicle. He has also written books on Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Bjork, The Verve, Gang Of Four, Wire, Lady Gaga, Robbie Williams, the Spice Girls, and Pink.