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Pink Floyd - London 1966/67 Print E-mail

Pink Floyd 1966-67

Hot on the heels of the CD release, the long-awaited DVD of "Pink Floyd - London 1966-67" has now arrived (August 2005).

Attempts were made a couple of years ago to release this on DVD, but there were problems that stopped this happening.

It's great news that these problems have now been overcome; it is bound to be a popular release.

It is a fascinating look at the early days of the band, featuring the classic line-up of Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Roger Waters and Rick Wright, shown in action in the studio and live in concert, at the UFO club.

Additional footage captures "swinging sixties" London and interviews with Mick Jagger, Michael Caine, David Hockney and Julie Christie.

The DVD features full length and extremely rare performances from the band’s recording session at the now defunct Sound Techniques Studio, London, on the 11th and 12th of January 1967 for Peter Whitehead's "Tonight Let's Make Love In London" film.

It also has footage of the now legendary 14 Hour Technicolor Dream Extravaganza gig in April 1967 at Alexandra Palace.

The footage from Alexandra Palace includes Yoko Ono's performance art (with a model having her clothes cut off with a pair of scissors!) and a Sgt. Pepper-era John Lennon taking in the festivities. (John and Yoko had not then met.)

The Floyd's performance at this show is not included, though.

Pink Floyd London 1966-1967

The first of the tracks, "Interstellar Overdrive", runs for over seventeen minutes. It's a great rendition of the track, with lots of deep bass and a lot of guitar experimentation by Syd Barrett. It shows the studio recording, edited into footage of the day. Nick in particular looks very fresh-faced and youthful, but remarkably serious over his drumkit.

"Nick's Boogie" is a fascinating, atmospheric track, lasting around twelve minutes, held together with Mason's purposeful tattoo. Principally a two-hand performance with Syd, the footage of this track consists of a lot of slow motion, especially of people dancing at UFO, and activity at the 24 hour Technicolor Dream, alongside some intriguing studio footage that shows how Syd created some of the more unusual sounds.

Pink Floyd London 1966-1967

Turning now to the presentation of the DVD, it is in 4:3 format (standard television shape, not widescreen), and you have two audio options - mono, or 5.1 surround sound. Due to the source material, the 5.1 surround is a pseudo-surround, which makes little use of the rear channels, simply piping a quiet mixdown to the rears, with a tiny amount of delay (presumably to give an impression of the sound bouncing off the rear walls of the studio).

Whichever sound mix you select, you get a nice, crisp, soundtrack, with deep, clear bass notes. A nice job has been done with it, especially considering the original source materials. With regard to the picture, it is good - clear, colours are well-defined and whilst there is a certain softness to the picture, it is nicely mastered and presented. The opening titles are pretty poor though - but this only lasts for a few seconds before the opening bars of Interstellar Overdrive appear.

Pink Floyd London 1966-1967
Pink Floyd London 1966-1967

The extras on the disc are almost 30 minutes of interesting interviews from the 1960s of Mick Jagger, David Hockney, Michael Caine, Julie Christie, and an overview by the director, Peter Whitehead. The interviews are very dated but fascinating all the same. The most interesting of these, is the interview titled "Peter Whitehead's overview", a four minute look at his long-term friendship with Syd Barrett, long before the Floyd were formed, and a look at how the two tracks came to be recorded and used in "Tonite Let's All Make Love In London".

A definite purchase for all fans of early Pink Floyd - where else can you find footage of the Syd Barrett line up recording in the studio? Picture quality is a marked improvement over the VHS version that was released some years ago, and the sound quality is very impressive.

The DVD will be available from September 12th 2005 in the UK and Europe, and October 4th in the US. The special US edition will also include a bonus audio CD featuring Nick’s Boogie (11:50) and Interstellar Overdrive (16:46), as heard on the recent Pucka Music release. Advance orders are already being taken through the following special links: (USA/international), Amazon UK, and Amazon Germany. We should have ordering details for other countries shortly.

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