Tag Archives: Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd • Interstellar Overdrive [12″ single]

Pink Floyd Interstellar Overdrive RSDRecord Store Day 2017 brought with it a plethora of pleasing platters and the first one I’m writing about is this PINK FLOYD 12″ single. Yes, it’s a single of one of the band’s earliest works, “Interstellar Overdrive”. This isn’t, though, the studio version you’ve thrilled to on their debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, but an earlier recording that has never seen the light of day (on vinyl) until now.

Recorded in late 1966 in a studio in Hertfordshire, England, this 15 minute take has much to offer. Take its sheer length: I can’t think of too many bands that were doing quarter-hour songs at that point, which may be why the original, official release was shaved to under ten minutes. Yet, the fifteen minutes gives the band even more room than usual to stretch out. Syd Barrett gets to wail on his Telecaster, slipping in and out of lockstep with bassist Roger Waters and drummer Nick Mason, while keyboardist Richard Wright plays some seriously demented organ pads full of distortion and contortion. Chaos reigns supreme! Also, the instrumental song’s “chorus”, the descending chord progression that anchors the song, is played to a curious drum beat – seemingly taken directly from Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walking”! I’m not kidding. The backbeat played by Mason is just like that boom-ba-boom, boom-ba-boom pattern we all know and love.

Package-wise, this is mostly a winner. The record comes in a nicely designed Hipgnosis cover, complete with printed inner sleeve, poster and postcard showing the Floyd in a saturated, black and white photo taken by Irene Winsby for Melody Maker. The only con? Well, it’s a one-sided record. I mean that literally. There’s nothing on the flipside except smooth, black vinyl, completely unladen by any sort of a groove. Isn’t it just like Pink Floyd? Wasting an entire side of 12″ vinyl. On the other hand, arty types that they are/were, they give us a poster and postcard we aren’t likely to actually use (why, that would decrease the release’s value, RSD dorks!) just because they can. And I kinda like that. After side one’s blistering 14:57, you see, there’s not much you can follow it with.

4/5 (Pink Floyd Records)

The following video (assuming it’s still up) is from a documentary by Syd Barrett buddy Anthony Stern, purportedly the first use of the 14:57 take of “Interstellar Overdrive” on the above-reviewed release. There’s more information on this recording here.

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Pink Floyd • The Wall (CD, LP)

pinkfloyd-thewallOn the eve of yet another version of rock’s stalwart musical The Wall, I figured I would listen to the 1979 original – the version that is the foundation for every reissue, movie and new tour with accompanying live album that has come out over the last 35 years. You see, Roger Waters has a new live film and album (Roger Waters The Wall, out November 20) and apparently there’s some new light to shine on “his” greatest work.

You see, as much as I love Pink Floyd – and I actually do – I think ol’ Rog’s trotting out another version either to: a) Cut David Gilmour out of the revenue stream, or b) Get me to start hating him. Just like remakes of great old movies or modern soundtracks of classic musicals, there’s no reason to have at it again. Sure, I’m a sucker for a nicely remastered reissue of an original version of something great, but I don’t need to hear Waters’ – what, third? – crack at Floyd’s masterpiece.

rogerwaters-thewallI’ll say this, too. In listening to The Wall (2009 remaster on CD) today, I honestly didn’t remember it being so fucking depressing! Great songs aside (the best ones are the ones they still play to death on classic rock radio), this 2LP/2CD album is one helluva downer. I guess I didn’t pay as much attention to the lyrics and the generally downcast, minor key tunes that Waters, Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason put together in 1979 as I do today as a mature adult. Man, I wonder what kind of stuff Waters’ therapist hears!
(no rating because this really isn’t a review) (Capitol; originally Columbia)

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