The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

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The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby Dyolf » Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:16 am

Okay, so I have been looking at the reviews left for this at Amazon UK and some of them are astounding. One guy wrote that the box contains Blu-rays and DVDs so you have to buy a Blu-ray player to watch them :roll: He even complains that if you happen to be in the military and you're posted abroad you'll need to buy a wealth of devices like CD, DVD, Blu-ray and LP players :lol: . The guy is seriously idiotic.

There are also a few one-star ratings which say things like the Blu-rays don't work, CDs are poor, the box is poor. Now I strongly believe that these reviews are being left by disgruntled fans who are opposed to the price tag of this box and are leaving bad reviews in protest. If you can't afford the one-off cost then surely wait for the individual sets next year or get a credit card? :roll:

Also, I'll post my review here when I'm done going through it!
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby Artisan » Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:24 pm

Most music DVDs are smart enough not to be region coded but if they are (which I actually wouldn't be surprised by), then yes you would need multiple DVD players. CDs will play in just about anything (although if they're packed to the brim older players might have trouble reading them). As for people giving the box bad reviews because they don't want to pay the price, well there's just shitty people in the world.
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby Dyolf » Mon Nov 14, 2016 5:37 pm

Artisan wrote:Most music DVDs are smart enough not to be region coded but if they are (which I actually wouldn't be surprised by), then yes you would need multiple DVD players. CDs will play in just about anything (although if they're packed to the brim older players might have trouble reading them). As for people giving the box bad reviews because they don't want to pay the price, well there's just shitty people in the world.


All the DVDs and Blu-rays are region free (or Region 0) and the DVDs are all NTSC, which shouldn't make a difference to playability. The only difference is how the discs have been age-rated in different territories.
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby Artisan » Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:16 pm

Yeah, then he's an idiot. Probably didn't even buy the box, just bitching because of the price.
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby Dyolf » Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:28 am

Artisan wrote:Yeah, then he's an idiot. Probably didn't even buy the box, just bitching because of the price.


I'll probably post my review of Cambridge St/ation tomorrow (15 November), if I have time to get through the videos.
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby Dyolf » Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:45 pm

The Early Years 1965 - 1972 review

1965 - 1967: Cambridge St/ation

Cambridge St/ation consists of 2 CDs; 1 DVD and 1 BD.

CD1: 1965 “Tea Set” tracks and 1966-67 early Floyd tracks

1. Lucy Leave
2. Double O Bo
3. Remember Me
4. Walk with Me Sydney
5. Butterfly
6. I’m a King Bee
[All of these tracks are good songs, and seeing as they’re 50 years old, and mono, they sound great. One of the box’s highlights.]
7. Arnold Layne
[why?]
8. See Emily Play
[again, why? Why include AL and SEP when they’ve been rereleased on compilations before?]
9. Apples & Oranges
10. Candy and a Currant Bun
11. Paintbox
12. Matilda Mother (2010 mix)
13. Jugband Blues (2010 mix)
14. In the Beechwoods (2010 mix)
15. Vegetable Man (2010 mix)
16. Scream Thy Last Scream (2010 mix)


If all these songs were remixed in 2010… why aren’t they on the Discovery editions of the albums? “Vegetable Man” and “Scream Thy Last Scream” sound great on this. “In the Beechwoods” is okay but not memorable. I honestly don’t understand why we are getting one song from Piper remixed and one from Saucer remixed. Why not remix the whole album and release them in stereo and 5.1?! Again, Pink Floyd releasing things in drips and drabs… But on the plus side the Tea Set songs (1-6) are all cool and are a must for any Syd-era fan. If you don’t want (or can’t afford) this box I recommend getting Cambridge St/ation next year.

CD2: Live in Stockholm 1967 & John Latham studio recordings 1967

Intro
Reaction in G
[Really good piece]
Matilda Mother [inaudible vocals]
Pow R. Toc H. [Very good performance]
Scream Thy Last Scream [appears to be an instrumental version which picks up pace very quickly, if it does have vocals they’re inaudible]
Set the Controls… [inaudible vocals, not really worth the listen unless you’re interested in hearing Syd playing it instead of David]
See Emily Play [again, inaudible vocals, not worth the listen]
Interstellar Overdrive
John Latham Version 1
John Latham Version 2
John Latham Version 3
John Latham Version 4
John Latham Version 5
John Latham Version 6
John Latham Version 7
John Latham Version 8
John Latham Version 9


“Reaction in G”, “Pow R. Toc H.” and “Interstellar Overdrive” are the only songs worth listening to from the Live in Stockholm section. The others’ vocals are inaudible. “Reaction in G” is a pretty powerful piece though and shows how good the Syd era band were live before Syd lost it. I believe this is heavily bootlegged, though I’ve never had it. The music on this sounds better than a bootleg, and it’s in stereo, not mono so I’m guessing it was recorded through a desk, but the vocals are barely there; so if there are any audience-recorded versions of this show out there they may have the vocals… I dunno. It’s an interesting listen if you’re a fan of Syd-era Floyd but I’d probably only come back for “Reaction in G”

As for the John Latham section: this is basically one long improvised jam split up into smaller tracks (I don’t see why). It’s not very interesting and is poorly recorded. “Version 2” has organ so loud that it becomes heavily distorted and, frankly, annoying. The rest of the tracks are equally uneventful and I probably won’t return to them again.

DVD and BD: assorted videos from the period

The DVD and BD contain the same content. Now with the age of these videos, even though they’re nicely restored, I don’t think they warrant being on DVD and BD. Just the DVD would have done, it didn’t need to be on BD as well. The extra BD just adds unnecessary cost to the box. However, this aside, I’ll give my thoughts on the content:

Chapter 24: Syd Barrett in the Gog Magog Hills, Cambridgeshire, England 1966 is simply a collection of amateur videos (which we’ve all seen glimpses of before) set to “Chapter 24”. The video footage is a little interesting but we’ve seen most of it before
Nick’s Boogie I think is the same as what’s on the Pink Floyd London DVD.
Scene - Underground a short film about the UFO Club with a live “Interstellar Overdrive” as the backing track, again you’ll have seen clips from it before.
Arnold Layne promo video we’ve all seen this before, nothing special but the video seems to have been digitally remastered or restored. It looks crisper than other versions I’ve seen online or on TV.
Pow R. Toc H. / Astronomy Domine + Syd Barret & Roger Waters interview: Taken from a UK TV show called Look of the Week, it’s the famous “why is it so loud?” interview. This is one the only full clips showing Syd performing with the band. Although “Pow R. Toc H.” is only a small snippet of the intro, “Astronomy Domine” is in full, this is what was broadcast so that’s all there is. It’s still interesting to see Syd perform and give an interview.
Next are the videos for “The Scarecrow” and “Jugband Blues” which we’ve all seen before. Again, these seem to be digitally restored and look very crisp, especially for their age
Apples and Oranges + Dick Clark interview: You get to see the band mime to “Apples and Oranges” (yawn) and are then “interviewed”, if you’re interested in Roger saying “I’ve had two cheeseburgers”, then it’s great…
Tomorrow’s World instrumental improv: a snippet from the UK TV show with Floyd huddled into a corner and playing a not-very-interesting improv jam, but it’s nice to watch Syd.
Instrumental improv, UFO Club: more Syd era noodling with people off their faces on LSD “dancing” while others look on bewildered. Meh. This is followed by a German guy speaking German, probably to do with the psychedelic underground scene, then more improv.
”See Emily Play” Top of the Pops 1968: a video of the band on the UK TV show, Top of the Pops, miming to “See Emily Play”, it looks like its been taken from a VHS and restored the best they can. It’s a nice piece of historical footage.
Next are some amusing outtakes from the “Scarecrow” video. You generally get to see them fucking about in a field while “The Scarecrow” plays.
”Interstellar Overdrive” Roundhouse live footage synched to the studio recording with a German overdub… meh.

I’ve watched the whole BD and the more interesting parts on the DVD and they’re identical. There’s no discernible difference between them, so like I said, the BD is redundant and only serves to put the cost of the set up. This will probably be the case for most of the other BDs.

Highlights from Cambridge St/ation

  • The 1965 recordings - CD1 tracks 1-6.
  • “Vegetable Man”
  • “Scream Thy Last Scream”
  • “Reaction in G”
  • Restored music videos

Criticisms of Cambridge St/ation

  • The inclusion of a BD and DVD is unnecessary
  • The inclusion of material available elsewhere is unnecessary
  • The John Latham session is so bad I could easily do without it, the stuff worth having could have fitted onto one CD.
  • 2 CDs + 1 DVD + 1 BD should have been 1 CD + 1 DVD.

I'll put my thoughts up about the Germin/ation set will be here when I'm done listening to / watching it.
Last edited by Dyolf on Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby Artisan » Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:59 pm

They probably had James Guthrie and Joel Plante do everything in 2010/2011 when the remasters were bring prepped just on the off chance that, for one reason or another, they wouldn't be able to do it again. That's a very good idea, just so that everything sounds consistent. As for why they waited six years to actually use them, probably corporate greed. They would probably say that they spent the whole time planning out the box set which probably has some truth to it but I really hope they didn't slave over this rather limp and overstuffed track list (the whole box, not necessarily this particular volume) for six years. Oh, and also, the focus group who decided those hideous slashes should be included in every single goddamn title deserve to be clubbed over the head with a blunt object resembling a slash for six hours straight.

I personally don't have much interest in the video content; I would be happy paying $25 for a 2CD set with just the music content next year, but it looks like the individual volumes won't be less than $40. Less isn't more when it comes to quality content, guys.
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby Dyolf » Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:07 pm

Artisan wrote:I personally don't have much interest in the video content; I would be happy paying $25 for a 2CD set with just the music content next year, but it looks like the individual volumes won't be less than $40. Less isn't more when it comes to quality content, guys.


The video content on Cambridge St/ation isn't that great or particularly interesting, other than maybe seeing Syd perform "Astronomy Domine" and give an interview. But there are people who would have moaned if it were left out. :roll: When you try to please everyone you end up pleasing no-one. The Tea Set 1965 tracks will be getting a permanent home on my iPod soon.
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby Artisan » Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:51 pm

I'm kind of torn. I really wanted the early singles but it looks like those are spread over two of the book volumes and the second one doesn't look like it will have anything else interesting to me. I wanted the Tea Set recordings and Scream/Vegetable Man obviously but if the price is going to be stupid I might just track down a copy of the Early Singles out of the Oh By The Way box set or whatever box that came from and just say screw it to the books altogether.
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby Dyolf » Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:55 pm

Artisan wrote:I'm kind of torn. I really wanted the early singles but it looks like those are spread over two of the book volumes and the second one doesn't look like it will have anything else interesting to me. I wanted the Tea Set recordings and Scream/Vegetable Man obviously but if the price is going to be stupid I might just track down a copy of the Early Singles out of the Oh By The Way box set or whatever box that came from and just say screw it to the books altogether.


There are other.... less "legal" means.... :?

EDIT: So there's this guy on YouTube who seems to be under the impression that this boxset is the result of his "direct appeal" to the band by commenting on Pink Floyd's YouTube channel.... riiiiiiight.
Last edited by Dyolf on Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby Artisan » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:08 pm

Too much of a CD nerd. I hate downloads and CD-Rs.
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby Dyolf » Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:17 pm

I just listened to The Man & The Journey from the 1969: Dramatis/ation set. It's very good. For a 1969 it sounds very good and is pretty well recorded. Probably a little better than Ummagumma. The track "Work" is very cool, listening to the band make music with tools like hammers and saws while Nick hits the drums and I'm guessing Rick on vibraphone or glockenspiel.
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby Artisan » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:27 pm

Just out of curiosity, do you have any intention of reviewing the remaining sets? I had no interest in it before, but now I'm seriously considering picking it up. Not immediately, I haven't got $400 to drop and I have horrible credit card debt, but I'm interested to hear your opinions of the remaining content.
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby FrowningBanana » Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:49 am

The remix of Obscured by Clouds and Pompeii are like listening to it all over again.

Holy shit, this shit is good.

OBC is a far, far, far better mix than the original. I'd recommend picking it up once the individual pieces are released. Holy.
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby Alec Taylor » Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:57 am

I need to get me some of that.
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby FrowningBanana » Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:01 am

I should put it on dropbox or something soon, so y'all can have a crack at it.
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby Artisan » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:01 pm

Judging from the trailer/unboxing they released, I thought the remix sounded pretty bad. It didn't sound significantly different except that the hi-hat was goosed to oblivion. Either way, I'm happy with the original mix. Unless I happen upon the box for $250 or something, I'm just going to wait for the individual volumes to be released and buy the first one and possibly the second one. I'm kind of tempted to pick up whichever one has Interstellar Overdrive featuring Zappa, but I don't really care enough. That would be the only thing I would ever want to watch out of all the DVDs.
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby Artisan » Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:45 pm

Looks like the individual volumes are being released March 24th. Amazon has them all on pre-order for $47.99 apiece. Holy shit. I will buy this if one of the UK bulk retailers has it for $25 or less... otherwise I will continue to live my life without hearing this music. I thought the price for the box was awful!

I think I predicted that the individual sets would be $34.99. I don't know why I thought they'd be that generous.
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby Alec Taylor » Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:36 pm

Artisan wrote:Amazon has them all on pre-order for $47.99 apiece.


Jesus Christ. I didn't care about this that much when it was announced, and now I care about it even less. :!:
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby Artisan » Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:20 am

Let's break this down realistically:

Each set contains one or two CDs, as well as one or two video discs. The average audio CD costs about ten dollars, which is fair, and many 2-CD sets cost about $15. For the convenience of including both in a deluxe package, I wouldn't mind paying $20. Then the video content. First of all, there should be two versions, one for DVD and one for Bluray. People who own a Bluray player have no use for DVDs, and people who don't have a Bluray player have no way of playing the "high definition" content. I don't own a bluray player and I never will because I don't give a shit about "high definition" content. For crying out loud, I don't even give a shit about the video content of these sets! The only thing I would want to see is the video of the band playing Interstellar Overdrive with Frank Zappa, and probably only once or twice. Very little of the video content has significant replayability. Ten dollars for two DVDs is extremely fair, I believe. So $15 for two CDs and $10 for two DVDs (or one Bluray - I'm pretty sure all of the sets only have one Bluray disc, and people pay more for a sharper, more jagged image for some reason), plus $5 for a nice package with ticket replicas and the like, is very fair in my opinion.

Seven of those in the box set totals $210 - know what, let's throw in an extra ten because one of those volumes is exclusive to the box, so $220 - plus posters and five singles (which, let's be real, only 1% of people who bought the box are ever going to play) - in my opinion that stuff shouldn't be worth more than $30 altogether. I'd like to argue that the pointlessly, unnecessarily large box should take ten dollars off the total - I mean, hell, if you're going to take up that much goddamn space, at least give us a little discount - but that wouldn't happen. So all total, that's $250. I think that's very fair. And if you really want to have both video formats in the sets, then there should be an inconvenience discount. $300 for everything combined. I think that's nearly prohibitively expensive, but for the content we'd be getting, it's quite fair in my opinion.

And the list price is almost twice that.

Where are they making up all of this content? I know vinyl is the new hot fad now, but there's no fucking way that five 45s that 99% of the buyers will never listen to can make up that much of the price tag. Seriously. $48 times 7 boxes is $336. You could literally pay full retail price for the six individual volumes, buy the set exclusive to the box from someone who has decided to break it up and sell the pieces individually, and still save $150. What would you be missing? Posters and singles. And a box that you could fit a snare drum in. There is no fucking way that they're charging $125 for five goddamn singles. I refuse to believe that. And yet I'm afraid that I do. It's for this exact reason that I remained so militantly anti-vinyl for so long. In the 1970s LPs used to be ten dollars. In the 2010s, 45RPM singles are twenty. You can literally get two albums on one CD for seven bucks. If you want to factor inflation in, that's probably the price of one single in 1978! Seriously. Think about that.

I love this band so much. They've brought me hours of joy and they were probably the biggest stepping stone in my decision to play music. They've touched millions of lives all around the world. To have their music treated like this is downright insulting. It's an absolute slap in the face.

I still want to buy the first set, possibly the second one too. So what I'm going to do is wait until March 25th - the day after the individual sets are released - for someone to put it up on Amazon as "like new" - "opened only to listen to CDs" - for $25 (oh wait, never mind, nobody would actually spend $50 on something and turn around and not try to make at least $40 back). I am willing to bet that at least 15% of the copies bought - and I'd be willing to wager upwards of 30% but I don't want to overestimate - will end up ripped to someone's computer and back on the market in less than 24 hours. Capitalism at its finest!

I want these. This is a great band and I love their music. But if the people who own it think I'm going to pay that much for this little, they're out of their minds. I'm going to obtain this in a way that won't hurt my wallet but will hurt them. Lower your prices or offer us more content. You can't give us $25 worth of content and expect us to pay $48.

Oh, and just one more time, the titles of these things are the goddamn pits. Whoever thought these names were good should be sterilized, and the focus group that approved them should be harshly reprimanded.

Minor edit because I said that 210+10=230. Whoops. Don't wanna give them any ideas.
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby Artisan » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:11 pm

I picked up Cambridge Station yesterday. I haven't sampled all the tracks, but I've played a few - I'm A King Bee, Vegetable Man, Scream Thy Last Scream, and Candy And A Currant Bun. Have to admit I didn't like any of them. King Bee in particular I thought was a lousy performance. Syd was either drugged out or wasn't feeling it, his vocals sound bored. I'll play the rest of it later, I'm testing out my new speakers now. However, I was really interested in King Bee and the last two tracks on the disc, so it really stings (oops, pun) that I ended up disliking them all. I will give the whole set a listen, but I might just end up selling it and buying a CD of the Early Singles instead.
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby quicksilver » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:50 pm

Artisan wrote:I picked up Cambridge Station yesterday. I haven't sampled all the tracks, but I've played a few - I'm A King Bee, Vegetable Man, Scream Thy Last Scream, and Candy And A Currant Bun. Have to admit I didn't like any of them. King Bee in particular I thought was a lousy performance. Syd was either drugged out or wasn't feeling it, his vocals sound bored. I'll play the rest of it later, I'm testing out my new speakers now. However, I was really interested in King Bee and the last two tracks on the disc, so it really stings (oops, pun) that I ended up disliking them all. I will give the whole set a listen, but I might just end up selling it and buying a CD of the Early Singles instead.



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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby Artisan » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:22 pm

Yes, Lucy Leave is not it, but I've not listened to it yet.
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Re: The Early Years 1965-1972 reviews

Postby Artisan » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:37 am

Listened to all of it with one exception which I'll get to. I know I said I was trying to be positive, I still am, but this was a colossal disappointment.

The Tea Set recordings from 1965 I found to be pretty bad. They sound like they're trying to emulate the filler tracks on My Generation, which is not a very good album outside of the songs that open and close each side. Lucy Leave in particular sounds like The Good's Gone, minus the guitar lick that made that song not suck completely. Remember Me is horrible; I don't know what the hell Syd is trying to do with his vocals there - maybe the character in the song was dying in a fire (Captain Beefheart on Electricity sounds a lot more pleasant to my ears, no joke). The vocals on Walk With Me Sydney clashed; Juliette sounds like she was told to imitate a five year old in a candy store. The solo reminds me of the Black Keys circa 2004, which is a really bizarre correlation to make seeing as it's Pink Floyd we're talking about. And speaking of Pink Floyd, they may have taken their name from bluesmen, but Double-O Bo and King Bee prove that the blues did not take to them. Only Butterfly sounds like Pink Floyd; it could have been the weakest song on Piper, if they had recorded it for the album.

There were the three tracks available on Relics; I liked those, but I have Relics, so they were redundant. I didn't really like Apples And Oranges, it seemed a bit too disjointed for me, but I liked it more than any of the Tea Set tracks, so maybe it will grow on me. Didn't really like Candy And A Currant Bun, although I am amused by Syd's pronunciation of "walk" with an F. How did that get past the censors? Coincidentally, Roger would in 1983 make an album about the Walklands war. Ba-dum tsss. (I'll leave.)

There were the two 2010 remixes: Jugband Blues sounded identical, just with shittier fidelity (wow, what a remix), but Matilda Mother featured alternate lyrics which suuuuucked. "There was a boy whose name was Jim/his friends were very good to him/They gave him tea and cakes and jam/and slices of delicious ham." Oy. I prefer my version, "There was a boy whose name was Syd/Who wrote a bad verse (God forbid!)/the words he wrote were not quite good/a thing he quickly understood." I think the mother telling the stories dies at the end, I don't know, that part makes no sense. I'm glad he reworked this one.

The meat of the album, why I really wanted it, was the last three tracks on disc one. In The Beechwoods was a decent instrumental but didn't sound like Pink Floyd to me. Vegetable Man was okay but I see why it was never released. Scream Thy Last Scream sucked. I don't know how popular Alvin And The Chipmunks were, but they must have been pretty big because Syd invited 'em onto this track. And no disrespect to Nick, but, er, he didn't sing for a reason. So it was up to disc two to blow me away!

And at first, it did! I was really digging the Stockholm concert; Reaction In G wasn't anything special, but it seemed to promise a cool concert ahead. But by "vocals recorded at less than optimal levels", they must have meant "the band didn't have microphones". It was a pretty nice instrumental concert, and I can probably use it to figure out how to play Matilda Mother, but I don't have any desire to throw it on again because of that problem. The only song I could hear the vocals on was Set The Controls - because this was before they came up with the "whispered vocals" idea. I can't tell if it's Syd or Roger, but the singer sounds like a bored robot. Hell, I think my favorite part was the extended Pow R Toc H - a song I've never liked.

And then... John Latham. I made it 1:31 into the first track and I couldn't take it. That was TERRIBLE. I've listened to Metal Machine Music in full four times but I couldn't make it two minutes into this before I gave up. I think they just picked up baseballs and threw them at their instruments from across a warehouse. It's like the middle of Interstellar Overdrive, but without the drive... or the over. There's NINE VERSIONS??? Holy hell.

I'm going to sell it, and perhaps eventually pick up The Early Singles at some point (although I didn't dig Apples And Oranges, and I think even the band hates It Would Be So Nice and Point Me At The Sky, so maybe not). I'm glad I didn't go all-out for the box, because this was the only one I had any interest in. I might pick up the box if I see it for less than $350, but I'd probably end up selling it back again.

Well, this didn't affect my opinion of any of the songs on Piper, and I still love the band and their albums... but this was a disappointment. I shouldn't really give a rating because I didn't finish it, but I really doubt there's anything I'd really enjoy in John Latham. I can't give this higher than a 3/10 and I wouldn't recommend spending more than $15 on it (a price it will probably never reach). The best song on the whole thing was See Emily Play, which you can get on Relics and probably most of the compilations. Once again I'm very glad I didn't buy the box. Again I'm trying to be more positive but I was really let down by this. Oh well, I should be able to sell it for my money back and maybe a little bit more.

EDIT: Just sold it for my money back and a little bit more.
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Artisan
The Final Cut
 
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