Just like all good bands, Pink Floyd retained seeds of creativity
despite reaching some level of success and weren’t afraid to
experiment with music idea in order to advance their musical vision.
By the end of the sixties they reached the pinnacle of psychedelic
rock to the extent where the press were writing about “How The Pink
Floyd Defeated Psychedelia” (Disc And Music Echo; February 15th,
1969) and used the epithet “space rock” to describe their music,
utilizing headlines such as “Pink Floyd Take A Shot At The Moon” (Melody
Maker; July 19th, 1969) and “Are Spacemen Floyd On Their Way Back To
Earth?” (Disc And Music Echo; November 19th, 1969).
Ummagumma is both the definitive statement and deconstruction of
that genera and would never to be approached
by anyone again.
At the time, when interviewed by the press, the band pointed out
their future direct lay in film scores.
They scored films such as More and Zabriskie Point, and were looking
forward to more work in that direction.
Roger Waters spoke enthusiastically about scoring the Rollo
animation cartoons by Alan Aldridge and said his biggest desire
would be to score Arthur C. Clarke’s next screenplay.
At the time David Gilmour was asked whether the band had a strong
future direction. He replied, “I don’t know. Possibly. I really
can’t say which way we are going. We’ll carry on and produce a new
Pink Floyd classic or two.”
Besides their soundtrack recordings, their original compositions
also had a film quality appreciated by Stanley Kubrick, who wanted
to use “Atom Heart Mother” for his 1971 film A Clockwork Orange.
But as the decade progressed, Pink Floyd become much more confident
in their abilities in writing long-form musical narratives such as “Echoes,”
Dark Side Of The Moon and “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.”
The Massed Gadgets Of Hercules 1970-1974 is the amazing new box set
by Godfather documenting Pink Floyd’s greatest tangent of creativity
from Atom Heart Mother through to Wish You Were and Animals.
Four of the five shows have never been pressed on silver disc before
and the fifth was released almost a decade ago and is now out of
print and impossible to find today. Godfather utilize the best
available generations for the shows and all of them are listenable
Nuremberg 1970 (G.R.
BOX 09 A/B)
Meistersinger Halle, Nuremburg, Germany – March 14th, 1970
Pink Floyd spent much of 1970 on the road and working on the tracks
that would be released on Ummagumma‘s follow up Atom Heart Mother.
First was a quick tour of the UK followed by two weeks in Germany
The March 14th show in the Meistersinger Halle in Nuremburg
circulated in the past under the name Masters Of The Mystic Arts.
Godfather utilize the second generation tape which surfaced
It is a big upgrade over what has been out before because of the
improved sound quality and because “A Saucerful Of Secrets,” cut in
the past, is now present in its entirety.
Before the upgrade some copies circulated with “The Amazing Pudding”
at the start of disc two, before “The Embryo.” But the setlist
during this tour was unchanged, and the tapes from Hannover and Lund,
Sweden from this period have the long track at the very end so
Godfather have the correct sequence of tracks.
The long set sounds like a hangover from the sixties. Every song is
expanded with long instrumental passages.
Only “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” clocks in under ten minutes
long. They play slow and with deliberate.
Each passage seems to linger in space as the band take their time to
express their ideas.
“Astronomy Domine” starts off the long trip with the most playful
and self-conscious performance of the night, but
the following song “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” is much more dark
It moves along at a snail’s pace until the middle scream section.
Gilmour’s guitar is particularly loud and abrasive, spitting out
much anger and hostility.
“A Saucerful Of Secrets” is a definite highlight of the night.
Richard Wright plays abrasive atonal piano during “Syncopated
Pandemonium” and the others try to give as abstract a performance as
humanly possible until they get to the final section where the
church organ gives a heavenly climax.
“The Embryo” is quite interesting for Waters’ melodic bass at the
beginning of the middle improv.
The babies are replaced by a tape of chirping birds beneath
Gilmour’s seabird calls.
They follow with “Interstellar Overdrive” which features a strange
heavy metal improv by Gilmour in the piece’s middle. He piles on the
power chords, but then the improvisation mutates into a placid
contemplative sound scape.
The set ends with their brand new piece of music. Called
“Consequently” when Waters introduces the song the following night
in Hannover and “The Amazing Pudding” in other shows, it would
eventually assume the title “Atom Heart Mother” in July. But in
Nuremburg, Waters describes it as a new piece that will take up an
entire side of the new album and titles it “I Don’t Know What It’s
Reaching twenty minutes in length, it is obviously a band
performance without the orchestra and choir that would augment
future performances. Hearing the suite in context of an early 1970
show lends a different appreciation. Instead of the free form
psychedelia of the preceding hour and a half, “Atom Heart Mother” is
much more tonal and traditional.
(G.R. BOX 09 C/D)
Student Union Bar, Technical College, Farnborough, Hampshire,
England – February 13th, 1971
Pink Floyd were almost always on the road in 1970 and 1971. It
remains to this day their most busy period of live activity. So much
so that the press at the time were speculating that the road would
be the musical suicide of the band.
They wrapped up recording their fifth LP Atom Heart Mother at Abbey
Road Studio in August and immediately hit the road with shows in
France, followed by a tour of the US (their second of the year), a
short tour of Germany and the UK.
Their only real break was about three weeks off in January 1971.
They returned to live performance with shows scheduled for
universities in England including Leeds University, University of
Essex, University of Exeter, and the Technical College in
Farnborough, south of London.
The show in Farnborough is the fifth live date of the year.
The recording circulates as Close The Blind on Pink Floyd ROIO
torrent sites and, many years ago, was pressed on CDR on Live At
Technical College (Ayanami-221), but Farnborough 1971 is the first
silver pressed edition.
Godfather utilize a good but dull mono audience recording taped very
close to the stage.
The audience are very quiet during the music, so there is no
interference in enjoying the music.
Three are also cuts after “Careful With That Axe, Eugene,” and
thirteen and a half minutes in “A Saucerful Of Secrets” omitting the
rest of the piece.
Pink Floyd start the show with their new piece.
By this time it had been in the live set for a year and achieved
definitive form on the LP.
During these early British dates they play a sixteen minute band
version which omits the sound “collage” sections and the reprise of
the main theme at the end. The follow with “The Embryo,” the other
constant in the setlist at this time.
Good performances, but there is a strange coolness in the air. It
seems as if the audience don’t really care for the new and
After “The Embryo” Waters is audible having a conversation with
someone in front of the stage.
Much of the conversation is inaudible, but he can be heard asking
the person “are you having a good time?
This is a radically different piece. It’s called ‘Careful With That
Waters is answered with the loudest applause of the entire night.
They play a laid back version of the piece.
A cut in the tape seems to suggest it segues directly into “Cymbaline.”
“Astronomy Domine” sounds upbeat and happy in this performance.
At times, Waters plays a happy and melodic bass line similar to the
opening to “Let There Be More Light” (a tune that would fit quite
nicely in these set lists).
“A Saucerful Of Secrets” ends the night with a long dose of spook.
Mason on drums plays very primitive, jungle like drums in the “Storm
Signal” section only to be met with long groans from Gilmour’s
There is a fine transition into the “Celestial Voices” section
featuring Wright’s church organ, but the entire passage leaves the
audience (and listener) with an unsettling mood.
Columbia 1972 (G.R.
BOX 09 E/F)
Township Auditorium, Columbia, SC – April 16th, 1972
Pink Floyd debuted their artistic milestone Dark Side Of The Moon in
January 1972 and featured it as the first half of their show for the
rest of the year.
After touring the UK and visiting Japan, the band came to north
America for a three week tour in April.
The third stop was in Columbia, South Carolina on April 16th at the
Columbia exists on a fair to good but distant audience tape of most
of the concert.
There is a loud echo surrounding the vocals. It is missing the
beginning “Speak To Me” and cuts out at the end of
“Brain Damage” omitting the final number of the piece “Ellipse.”
It has been released previously on CDR on Columbia Sonicwave (Blue
Cafe -47AB), but Godfather is the first silver representative of the
The taper turns the recorder on at the start of “Breathe.” Gilmour
gives a nervous vocal performance, but compensates with interesting
guitar parts in the solo.
The noises that come out of his guitar are similar to those that he
would play in the “Storm Signal” section of
“A Saucerful Of Secrets.”
The transition from “On The Run,” still called “The Travel Sequence”
at this point, into “Time” is quite long and engaging.
And “The Great Gig In The Sky,” called “The Mortality Sequence,”
features the Malcolm Muggeridge tape (they would alter this track
several times through the year).
Up to this point the audience have been very quiet while paying
attention to the demanding new music.
But “Money” elicits some reaction from them.
Although it’s still lacking the awesome sultry saxophone of the
final version, it’s still a fascinating live piece and the audience
connects to it almost immediately.
They temper their reaction again to the contemplative “Us & Them”
and “Any Colour You Like.”
It’s a shame the end is cut off because it would have been nice to
hear their reaction to the first half of the show.
In the show’s second half, Pink Floyd return with more familiar
songs. “One Of These Days” from the latest LP Meddle is played first.
The opening bass Wright plays heavy sounding scales on the keyboards,
rising and falling creating a wave effect underneath the explosions
and Mason’s threatening vocals.
“Echoes” interesting Wright plays the opening keyboard melody not
with the high pitched metallic sound, but with a more soft piano
sound. The track lasts for twenty-five minutes and closes the set.
The taper leaves the recorder on for several minutes while the band
leave the stage and return for the encore, almost five full minutes.
While the band are getting ready to play, the tapers (among others)
shout out requests. They pick really old and obscure numbers too
like “See-Saw” from A Saucerful Of Secrets and “Take Up Thy
Stethoscope And Walk” from Pipers At The Gates Of Dawn. There are
some giggles from the audience and, one can imagine, from the band
Instead of being adventurous, the band reward the audience with the
sixteen-minute band arrangement of “Atom Heart Mother.”
At the very end the mc comes onstage, cheers the band (“let’s hear
it for Pink Floyd!”) and tells everyone to drive home safely.
Overall it’s a good show with interesting little variations.
Munich 1973 (G.R.
BOX 09 G/H)
Olympiahalle, Munich, Germany – October 12th, 1973
Unlike 1970 through 1972 when Pink Floyd couldn’t stay off of the
road, 1973 was a relatively light year for live performance.
They returned to France for and eight show reprise for the Roland
Petit Ballet, but this time in Paris instead of Marseilles.
When Dark Side Of The Moon was finally released in March 1973, they
toured north America in March and again in June.
After taking a four month break, they returned to the stage to
finish out the year with two shows in Europe: October 12th in Munich
and October 13th in Vienna.
The set list remained the same as it was in America.
The first half of the show opened with the title track from Obscured
By Clouds and some older songs, the second half was the complete
Dark Side Of The Moon suite and “One Of These Days” was played as an
The Munich show is one of the better sounding of the era. It was
taped very close to the stage.
The only weakness is a bit of dullness in the upper frequencies.
But it manages to capture the dynamics of the performance very well.
It is complete except for the ending of
“One Of These Days.”
The first silver pressing was almost a decade ago on Munich 1973
Collector’s Edition (Siréne-006), a four disc release with the same
tape unedited on the first two discs and edited on the second two.
Godfather use the unedited tape which includes all the tunings.
The first half of the show serve as an effective vehicle for Pink
Floyd’s unsettling dramatic aural narrative.
Through the use of drones, screeches, echoes and their
tension-imbued keyboards, they transform the Olympiahalle into a
hall of spook.
Drones start off the show with the instrumental “Obscured By Clouds”
and “When You’re In.”
It is particularly dramatic in Munich with the loud, crashing heavy
metal riffs in contrast with the pastoral feeling of the rhythm
It is one of their most effective show openers and would be played
for the last time the following night in Vienna.
“Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” relies upon a nasty,
noisy middle improvisation.
The following number, “Careful With That Axe Eugene,” has been
played in every show in the box set up to this point.
It was an almost constant in the set since 1968. By 1973, Waters
dominates the song by whispering the title throughout most of the
piece with his blood curdling scream being the song’s climax.
Munich is one of the final live performances of the piece (the
following night in Vienna and as a special encore in Oakland on the
Animals tour in May, 1977).
The second half of the show is devoted to the Dark Side Of The Moon
Now almost two years old, it is played in its definitive album
arrangement but with David Gilmour adding a touch of lyricism to the
piece, adding fills to “Breathe” and “Time.”
“Us & Them” becomes a highlight in this performance, striking a
careful balance between haunting tension and a modicum of
The jam on “Any Colour You Like” reaching eight minutes in length.
At the end, when they play “Ellipse,” subtly is bypassed by
Gilmour’s shouting the lyrics over the bombastic finale.
The only encore is “One Of These Days,” cutting out after five and a
Bristol 1974 (G.R.
BOX 09 I/J)
Colston Hall, Bristol, Somerset, England – December 14th, 1974
1974 was an even lighter year than 1973 for Pink Floyd’s live
Outside of some dates in Paris in the summer, the only tour was a
short trip around the UK in November and December. Not only was this
the debut of their newest songs, this was also (ironically) the
first live performances in the UK of the finished Dark Side Of The
Moon, close to two years after its release.
The short tour ended with two nights in Bristol on December 13th and
The final live show of the year exists in a good to very good
It is clear but a bit flat, lacking in significant dynamics.
There are several drop outs in the left channel during the show,
most noticeable during “You’ve Gotta Be Crazy” and “Shine On You
Godfather use a remastered version of this tape where the channel
problem was addressed and not so pronounced.
The recording begins with the MC on stage introducing the band for
the final night of the tour.
Before the first song they play their Jimmy Young introduction.
This was a short piece of tape cutting bits and pieces of the BBC
DJ’s voice into little pieces into an absurd collage. Young was the
object of Mason’s threat in “One Of These Days” and this tape is the
band’s threat being carried out.
Just like in 1972, Pink Floyd play all new music in the first half
of the show.
Unlike that tour, however, the three new songs don’t have any
cohesive idea linking them together into a suite.
Rather, all three are reactions to their sucess and describe the
result of when art meets commerce.
The first tune, “Raving And Drooling,” the first draft of “Sheep” on
Animals, is the most polished of the three and closest to its final
The second track, “You Gotta Be Crazy,” sounds much different even
from the form it would take the following year when Pink Floyd would
tour the US twice.
It’s a might more light and airy arrangement with Gilmour rapping
out the lyrics.
The final new song, which Waters introduces as being about Syd
Barrett, is twenty-two minutes long and had yet to be split into two
It starts off with a much more diatonic keyboard riff, although the
four note guitar motif is present.
It is a compelling piece even at this early stage, but it would
become even more so in the coming year.
Dark Side Of The Moon is played in full for the second half of the
show, and a long and impressive version of “Echoes” is the only
Their conceptual piece had already been sitting at number one and
been proclaimed a masterwork.
The performance in Bristol doesn’t differ from the other
performances on this tour.
The Massed Gadgets Of Hercules 1970 – 1974 is a fascinating box set
It doesn’t have the same unity as their other two Pink Floyd box
sets, but that is its strength.
There is much more variety in the music and arrangements.
After hearing the more than ten hours of music, it’s much easier to
understand and appreciate their development from the psychedelic
“space rock” band to commercial arena rock superstars.
Godfather package each show in its own gatefold sleeve and are all
housed in a box.
The box for this set is thicker than the others to accommodate the
Plus, they include a thick booklet with detailed liner notes and
anther insert called “Eclipse (A Piece For Assorted Lunatics)”
containing an essay and the lyrics to Dark Side Of The Moon.
The subtitle, Several Species Of Some Unique Performances Gathered
Together In A Box And Making A Joy is a riff on the Roger Waters
song on Ummagumma called “Several Species of Small Furry Animals
Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict.”
It’s silly, but in keeping with the bootleggers tradition of coming
up with absurd titles for their releases.
Given the rarity of this material, this is a very good collection.