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Record Collector February 1992 Article I mailed a bit about this when the magazine came out, but here it is at last - the entire article. Note Record Collector is a UK magazine so it refers to UK releases, unless specified otherwise. The discographies and valuations will follow in due course. Martin ------ PINK FLOYD ON CD KEVIN WHITLOCK LOOKS AT DIGITAL RELEASES BY THE BAND WHO WERE "MADE FOR CD" If there was ever a group who could have been made for compact disc, it is Pink Floyd. Indeed, EMI's first ever CD release was that perennial fantasy object for Seventies hi-fi buffs, "Dark Side Of The Moon". Given the group's almost legendary attention to sound quality, it's not surprising to find CD devotees enthusing over other Floyd albums, but it has to be said that the band's catalogue hasn't always been treated with the respect it deserves-- both in this country and abroad. Although "Dark Side", "Meddle" and "Wish You Were Here" were all issued in the early days of the digital medium, it wasn't until 1987 that the complete catalogue of the band's non-compilation items appeared. There was no systematic reissue programme (strange, when you consider the excellent job EMI made of the Beatles catalogue), and discs leaked out in dribs and drabs without any sense of cohesion. Furthermore, the packaging and sound quality haven't always been up to standard. This is particularly odd bearing in mind that the Floydian back catalogue is the most valuable on EMI after the Beatles. It would make commercial sense for EMI to re-release all the CDs, mastering them from the original tapes and restoring the original packaging. Perhaps there is even room for a box set, rather like the excellent "Led Zeppelin" 6-LP/ 4-CD package of last year, with choice selections from the Floyd's back catalogue and unissued items such as "Scream Thy Last Scream" and "Vegetable Man". In this article, I shall be examining the Floyd's British Cds in detail. As well as commercial releases (which are rated out of 10 for performance and CD sound quality), I shall also be covering promos and other rarities. In a future issue I will sift through all the overseas items, again including promos and radio shows. THE PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN (Performance: 10/CD Sound Quality: 8) Despite being over 24 years old, the Floyd's debut release still sounds as fresh as ever (in marked contrast to its famous contemporary "Sgt. Pepper"). A unique combination of English whimsy and avant-garde sounds, "Piper" features studio versions of the Floyd's most supremely psychedelic songs, the underground anthems "Astronomy Domine" and "Interstellar Overdrive". Two things in particular stand out: Rick Wright's strange ethereal organ sound and the sheer power and magic of Syd Barrett's songwriting--he wrote or co-wrote 10 of the 11 songs present -- and guitar playing. Since the packaging of the original album was always rather lacklustre, EMI can hardly be blamed for the slim four-page booklet. "Piper" on CD also offers considerably better sound quality (i.e. more authentic and closer to the original) than the many vinyl reissues since the album's first appearance in 1967 although if you can get hold of an original Mint vinyl copy, buy that! The mix featured on this CD release is of course the stereo version. The mono mix--which contains slightly different takes of some tracks--remains unissued on CD. It is something of a pity, however, that EMI did not take advantage of the longer playing time offered by the medium. They could have quite easily tacked "See Emily Play", "Arnold Layne" and "Candy And A Currant Bun"--single A- and B-sides from the period -- onto the end. This gripe apart "Piper" is a faultless disc, which should grace anyone's collection. A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS (Performance: 8/CD Sound Quality: 7) In many ways, "A Saucerful Of Secrets" is the Floyd's strangest album. Something of a transitional work, it features recordings made during the "Piper" sessions the previous year alongside tracks from May 1968, after Syd Barrett had left the group. It is, in the words of the late PF biographer Nick Schaffner, "a hodgepodge of possible Floyds". Syd plays on at least two songs, "Remember A Day" (a left- over from the first album) and his own "Jugband Blues". He may have also played on "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun", Roger Waters' first distinctive solo composition. Aside from this piece, the most important track was the 12-minute, carefully-constructed title suite, which simultaneously exorcised the spirit of Syd and mapped out the direction the group were to take for the next 11 years. Being recorded in such a haphazard manner, "Saucer" suffers from much less polished sound than its illustrious predecessor; and the rather carelessly mastered CD only emphasises this. In addition, the impact of Hipgnosis's innovative sleeve design is lost by reducing it to a five-inch-square four-page "booklet". MORE (Performance: 8/CD Sound Quality: 7) Always one of the most under-rated items in the Pink Floyd canon, "More" is something of a gem. Recorded during one week at Abbey Road in March 1969, "More" was an intermission in the Floyd's quest for the Great Work (they took time off from recording their intended magnum opus "Ummagumma" to work on this soundtrack album). It exhibits the more pastoral side of the Floyd, and showcases them at their most relaxed. Waters in particular-- who composed the lion's share, including such in-concert staples as "Cymbaline" and "Green Is The Colour"--displays impressive development as a songwriter. "More" is also one of the Floyd's most musically varied albums, ranging from straight heavy metal like "The Nile Song" through to acoustic ballads ("Crying Song"), via abstract electronics ("Quicksilver"), blues pastiches like "More Blues" and musical "jokes" like Gilmour's "A Spanish Piece". However, EMI's packaging is very shoddy --and the original LP packaging was bad enough! Music of the quality found on "More" deserves far better than the unimaginative insert found on this CD. The disc is also poorly mastered, hiss being particularly bad on some of the quieter pieces. UMMAGUMMA (Performance: 10/CD Sound Quality: 7) Apparently this double disc--an obligatory purchase for all hipsters on its release in 1969--isn't too highly regarded by the Floyd themselves these days ("Ummagumma-- what a disaster!", Roger Waters is said to have remarked); but it's one of the most adventurous mainstream rock ventures of all time, and certainly the Floyd's best stab at being avant-garde. As with the original LP, the CD set is divided into two discs. The first contains the live album of four old favourites, recorded at favoured Floyd venues of the time (June 1969) like Mothers Club in Birmingham and the Manchester Institute of Technology. The sparkling version of "Astronomy Domine" and a chilling "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" are particularly outstanding, and helped cement the Floyd's status as cult superstars. The studio disc, where each group member was given half a vinyl side to experiment with, causes latter-day listeners more problems, but the overall impression is one of a spirit of adventure and optimism--qualities conspicuously absent in the group's later works. The CD release of "Ummagumma" in March 1987 was something of a disappointment, particularly the packaging, which is worthy of a bootleg. The famous shot of two roadies posing with the group's equipment on a runway is missing and, interestingly enough, Roger Waters' first wife Judy Trim is missing from the spread of group photos. The sound quality isn't too hot either, with tape hiss and distortion being particularly noticeable on some sections of the live album and also on Dave Gilmour's studio opus "The Narrow Way". ATOM HEART MOTHER (Performance: 4/CD Sound Quality: 8) Although it was Pink Floyd's first No. 1 record, "Atom Heart Mother" is in retrospect their worst-ever album. "Rolling Stone" summed it up best with the concluding statement of its "Atom Heart" review: "Try freaking out again, Pink Floyd!" The side-long title track, their most ambitious piece of work so far, speaks volumes about the pretensions of the time; it's also a strange affair, being little more than a dutiful trudge through the group's book of musical styles (except, obviously, for Syd's pure psychedelic pop obviously) embellished with horns and a choir. Only Ron Geesin's sprightly contributions save it from total tedium. Side Two is if anything even worse, containing as it does Wright's ghastly "Summer '68", Waters' cloying "If" and the throwaway (if initially amusing) "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast", whose sound effects constitute the most interesting thing on the entire record. The thing most people remember "Atom Heart" for these days is its spectacular cover, featuring nothing but cows; however, this loses its impact when reduced to a flimsy 5" booklet covered in inappropriate red graphics. The audio quality, on the other hand, is a great improvement on the compressed, muffled sound of the original LP. MEDDLE (Performance: 8/CD Sound Quality: 9) "Meddle", despite being an extremely patchy record (lowlights include the pointless cocktail jazz of "San Tropez", the limp acoustic whimsy of "Pillow Of Winds" and the throwaway "Seamus"), contains two extremely important songs in the Pink Floyd story. One, the powerful, spacey "One Of These Days I'm Going To Cut You Into Little Pieces", marked a welcome return to simplicity; while the other, the side-long "Echoes", saw the Floyd succeeding where "Atom Heart Mother" failed. On this track they managed to dispense with additional musicians and became, in effect a four-piece orchestra. The song marked the first real appearance of the lush, symphonic sound that was such an obvious feature of their music from then on. "Echoes" was the finest thing they'd recorded since Syd left, and featured Dave Gilmour's first significant contributions to the group's sound. In the future, Roger Waters may have dominated the group conceptually and lyrically, but from "Echoes" on, it was Dave's guitar playing which defined the Floyd musically. "Meddle" was one of the earliest Floyd CDs to appear. Its sound quality is excellent (slight traces of hiss at the beginning of "Echoes" being the only noticeable flaw), but for some reason, the original artwork has been tinted blue. OBSCURED BY CLOUDS (Performance: 6/CD Sound Quality: 7) Like "More" three years earlier, "Obscured By Clouds" was a film soundtrack which saw the group eschewing their usual approach. However, while "More" was refreshing in its simplicity, "Obscured" seemed self-conscious. As a result, the "rocky" numbers like 'The Gold It's In The . . ." sound forced, while the ballads are just embarrassingly twee. Only the drone of the title track, Gilmour's grinding "Childhood's End" and Waters' deliciously cynical "Free Four" are worthy of real attention. To make matters worse, the packaging is very shoddy; and sloppy mastering only emphasises what is already a rather second rate and primitive (by Floydian standards) recording. DARK SIDE OF THE MOON (Performance: 9/CD Sound Quality: 9) It seems rather appropriate that "Dark Side" was EMI's first rock CD release. If there was a prime candidate for the new digital medium, then this was it. Inevitably, the release of "Dark Side" on CD helped give the album a new lease of life. Its success was 80 great--legend has it that there was an EMI factory which did nothing but churn out "Dark Side" CDs--that it enabled the album's U.S. chart run to top 730 weeks. The sound quality is predictably good-- although a good vinyl pressing (such as a Japanese Toshiba/EMI Pro-Use Series or a U.S. Mobile Fidelity Half-Speed-Mastered Recording) sounds far better on a decent turntable. As a side note, it is rumoured that initial U.K CDs were mastered not from the original tapes, but from second- generation copies. The story among Floyd buffs is that Dave Gilmour discovered this and ordered a shame-faced EMI to rectify this situation straight away. It is possible, therefore, that there may be some difference between early versions of the CD and later pressings--although there is no way of confirming the difference except by listening to them, as to all intents and purposes they are outwardly the same. Certainly the packaging--which manages to reproduce most of the original LP sleeve and accompanying posters--does not mention this at all. At this point, it may be worth relating the history of early Floyd CDs in this country. In the early 1980s, when the compact disc first appeared, the discs themselves were all imported from Japan, which was at that time the only country with the facilities to manufacture the new format. Initial British issues of "Dark Side", "Wish You Were Here", "Meddle", "Animals", "The Wall" and "The Final Cut" had "Made in Japan" on the discs themselves, while the inserts stated the country of origin as the U.K. These early discs--which are said to be superior to standard U.K./U.S. issues--can easily be distinguished because they have an all-black label side with silver lettering. These Japanese- manufactured CDs are now highly prized by hardcore collectors, both for their vastly superior sound quality and for their rarity. Expect to pay around 20 or so for copies. WISH YOU WERE HERE (Performance: 9/CD Sound Quality: 9) At the time of its release, "Wish You Were Here" received markedly mixed reviews: after the success of "Dark Side", many thought it was a distinct anti-climax. However, it has aged very well. The lush strains of the album's centrepiece, "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", found a new audience in the late '80s among new agers and ambient house freaks; while the title track--perhaps the Floyd's most melodic song since the days of Syd Barrett--remains perennially popular. EMI did an excellent job in transferring "Wish" to the digital medium. Hipgnosis' lavish packaging (which Floyd buffs regarded as being as important to the overall product as the music itself) survives intact, although once again it loses some of its impact by being reduced in size. The sound quality is also very good, although some of the more obsessive fans complain that the nine parts of "Shine On" can't be accessed individually. Like its predecessor, "Wish You Were Here" on CD has one distinct advantage over its vinyl counterpart: the listener doesn't have to turn the record over. This means that the songs flow together as one seamless piece of music. As well as being linked by common themes, the Floyd's quintet of albums from "Dark Side" to "The Final Cut" also showcased their (or more accurately, Waters') fondness for repeating musical motifs over the length of an album as if it were one composition. ANIMALS (Performance: 10/CD Sound Quality: 8) Of all the Floyd's mega-selling 70s albums "Animals" is perhaps the best. Although it only contained three very long tracks bookended by the brief acoustic love songs "Pigs On The Wing" Parts 1 and 2, it didn't sound altogether out of place in 1977, the year of punk. This is because it contained the group's most strident music to date and expressed a worldview that was both self-laceratingly ironic and (superficially, at least) nihilistic. Despite containing music that was very much harder than that found on any previous Floyd record, "Animals" notched up impressive sales. Not surprisingly, then, it became one of the earliest Floyd CD releases. Storm Thorgerson's famous image of Battersea Power Station made it onto the sleeve, and once again there were no complaints about the overall package. The sound quality was disappointing, being slightly "woolly", but once again the impression of listening to one complete piece of music was conveyed well by the digital medium. THE WALL (Performance: 6/CD Sound Quality: 8) It would be a great pity if in years to come, Pink Floyd were best remembered for this sprawling double set, but sadly, it looks as if this will be the case. Not only does "The Wall" contain the least interesting, most reactionary music ever committed to a PF record (the bloated pomp-rock parody "In The Flesh?" sets the scene) but it suffers from fuzzy thematic development. Waters' efforts to cram just about every conceivable Big Theme into 26 songs is initially dazzling, but eventually tiring. Slight statements on "major themes" are overwhelmed by a combination of musical bombast and overweening self-pity. In the end, it's impossible to respond to Waters' ideas because you end up just not caring very much. "The Wall" is hugely impressive as a construction job, and there are some excellent songs lurking in the morass (notably "Comfortably Numb" and the sparkling cock-rock parody "Young Lust"), but eventually one must conclude that, as in the case of "Atom Heart Mother", the sound effects are the most interesting--and profound--aspect of the record. Although "The Wall" is rumoured to be the biggest-selling double CD set of all time (over 750,000 in the U.K. alone), it's worth mentioning that Japanese or good quality U.K. vinyl pressings beat the CD hands down. This is a pity: for all its other faults, "The Wall" is an excellent recording. On CD, however, most of the punch and dynamics are lost, and "The Happiest Days Of Our Lives" has been incorrectly programmed so that it is impossible to access it individually from the beginning. A COLLECTION OF GREAT DANCE SONGS (Performance: 9/CD Sound Quality: 9) EMI issued this curious collection in 1981, but it wasn't until 1990 that it finally made its way onto CD, as a mid-price release. Despite being a rather unsatisfactory introduction to the work of Pink Floyd (EMI probably only conjured it up in the first place to cash in on the massive success of "The Wall"), it nevertheless offers the collector some interesting rarities. For a start, there's a rerecorded version of "Money" (recorded entirely by Dave in his home studio, with Dick Parry on sax); the take of "Another Brick In The Wall Part 2" manages to combine the single version beginning with the ending of the album cut; and "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" features a selection from parts 1, 2, 4 and 7. The sound quality is excellent, and the original packaging has remained intact, but "A Collection Of Great Dance Songs" is a rather superfluous release, notwithstanding the quality of the songs themselves. A far more useful idea would have been a collection of Floydian singles: not one of the group's early classic 45s is available on CD in the U.K. "Arnold", "Emily", "Paintbox", "Julia Dream" and "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" can be obtained on import; which leaves all-time greats such as "Apples And Oranges", "Candy And A Currant Bun" and "Point Me At The Sky" completely unavailable anywhere (Floyd's first post-Barrett single, "It Would Be So Nice", doesn't count -- it's so awful that it to enshrine it on CD would only add to the embarrassment of band and fans alike. In my opinion, some things are best left alone.) Even a straight CD release of "Relics" would offer a greater selection of rarities. THE FINAL CUT (Performance: 8/CD Sound Quality: 9) "The Final Cut" is perhaps the most controversial Pink Floyd LP of all. By this time, Rick Wright had left the fold, Gilmour and Mason were reduced to the status of mere session men, and Waters' domination of the group reached its height. This may account for its low status among fans, though a minority acclaim it as one of the group's best ever records. It's certainly rather low on melody but it does contain some of Waters' best lyric writing and some of Floyd's most strident music. By sticking to one basic theme--the betrayal of the post-1945 socialist dream by the Thatcher government--Waters was able to write far more incisively than he had done on "The Wall". A couple of the songs, "The Final Cut" and "The Gunner's Dream", are among the least Floydian the group ever committed to vinyl, but are nevertheless examples of Waters' writing at its very best. As might be expected, the sound quality is state-of-the-art (it was one of the first Floyd albums to appear on the fledgling digital format), and the LP packaging has been retained in its entirety. Curiously, however, the second part of "The Hero's Return" (which appeared as the B-side of the accompanying single "Not Now John") was left off; another example of the record company not making full use of the extended playing time offered by the CD medium. A MOMENTARY LAPSE OF REASON (Performance: 6/CD Sound Quality: 10) Following a four-year hiatus that saw Roger Waters leave Pink Floyd, Dave Gilmour and Nick Mason (with a little help from the re- instated Rick Wright) returned to the charts with "AMLOR", acclaimed by some fans as the most 'musical' record the group had made in years. It was also the first Floyd LP to be simultaneously released on CD, and the group took full advantage of the advances in recording techniques and presentation that had taken place during their absence. "AMLOR" sounds superb--Gilmour and Bob Ezrin produced the album magnificently--but sadly, there's little substance to the sounds. Save for the epic, grinding "Sorrow", the atmospheric "Signs Of Life", and some predictably fine guitar work from Gilmour, "AMLOR" could best be described as "turgid", the low spot being the trite, bombastic "Dogs Of War" (which has twice topped a poll of worst-ever Pink Floyd tracks in the Floydzine "The Amazing Pudding"). Apart from their state-of-the-art production sheen, the post- Waters Floyd sounded completely out of tune with the times (though to be fair, this may be why fans lapped it up). The packaging, a magnificent spread of beached beds designed by ex-Hipgnosis man Storm Thorgerson, was equally anachronistic, but it successfully recreated the airbrushed surrealism which had graced the sleeves of Floyd's classic 70s albums. Since Hipgnosis's sleeves defined the group in the 1970s almost as much as albums like "Dark Side" and "Wish", their work complemented the retro qualities of "AMLOR" perfectly. The CD booklet was actually more impressive than the LP sleeve, featuring extra David Bailey portraits of Nick and Dave. DELICATE SOUND OF THUNDER (Performance: 7/CD Sound Quality 9) As a souvenir of Pink Floyd's marathon 1987-88 tour, "DSOT" is rather unsatisfactory. The media tended to focus on the fact that the tour was the biggest ever mounted, with gate receipts to match, but beneath the technology and bluster, some of the old Pink magic shone though. Unfortunately, this isn't evident on this live album, which is rather lacking in atmosphere. This may be due to a number of factors, including the crystal-clear but sterile recording (what happened to the audience? Or the concert hall ambience?) and the fact that it was recorded right at the end of the tour, in August 1988 at Nassau Coliseum. The good news, however, is that most of the "Momentary Lapse" tracks--with the inevitable exception of "Dogs Of War"--sound a good deal more sprightly here than they did on the originals. It's on the versions of Floyd oldies that the album falls down: "One Of These Days", in particular, has had all the life beaten out of it, and only superb versions of "Shine On" and ~Comfortably Numb" really hit home. The packaging is excellent, featuring a lavish thick booklet with a fine spread of photos from the tour. Although "DSOT" on CD contains an extra track, "Us And Them" not on the LP version, it is once again to be regretted that the Floyd and EMI chose not to take full advantage of the extra time offered by compact disc: "Welcome To The Machine", "One Slip", "The Great Gig In The Sky" or even "Echoes" (which was performed at the very beginning of the tour back in 1987) would have been welcome additions. CD SINGLES In 1987, the Floyd briefly struck a note with trivia buffs with the release of "Learning To Fly", claimed as the world's first CD-only single! Whether or not this was true (a number of vinyl singles were also released), the CD single also served as a taster for the forthcoming post-Waters Floyd album. It wasn't a particularly reassuring greeting, but the single is well worth obtaining, because it contains three otherwise unavailable versions of "AMLOR" songs: edited takes of "One Slip" and "Learning To Fly" and a "DYOL" version of"Terminal Frost". "DYOL", incidentally, stands for "Do Your Own Lead", and the mix featured some missing guitar parts, the idea being for musically-minded listeners to play along and do their own Gilmour impersonation! A few months later, in December 1987, a second single was taken from "AMLOR". As well as being issued in 7" and 12", it was also released in the by-then customary CD format. Unlike the "Learning To Fly" CD--which was packaged in a simple cardboard sleeve-- this came in a jewel box. The lead song was the dull anthem "On The Turning Away", but it was once again accompanied by two otherwise unavailable tracks--live versions of "On The Turning..." and an excellent "Run Like Hell", both recorded at the Omni in Atlanta, Georgia on November 5 1987. This concert was also the source for one of the tracks on the Floyd's third CD single released in June 1988, not long before the group's tour arrived in the U.K. The cut in question was "The Dogs Of War" (also unavailable elsewhere), and the lead track was the full album version of "One Slip". "Terminal Frost" was the third song. All three CD singles are bound to rise in value in the future, and are already becoming quite scarce. COMPILATIONS Most compilations featuring Pink Floyd aren't particularly worth bothering with-- they all seem to feature "Another Brick In The Wall Part II"--and the releases themselves tend to be mass- marketed and aren't particularly collectable. "Knebworth--The Album" contains live versions of "Comfortably Numb" and "Run Like Hell" (Performance: 8/CD Sound Quality: 7), but these were recorded in such a way that all the life was knocked out of them. There are, however, two U.K. compilations that feature otherwise unavailable material --which does make them essential for Floyd buffs. "Zabriskie Point" features three Floyd tracks which were recorded in Rome in December 1969 for Michaelangelo Antonioni's film of the same name. Originally Pink Floyd had been asked to score the entire film, but most of their material failed to impress Antonioni, who in the end decided he'd rather have a selection of U.S. artists for his tale of an American nightmare. The Floyd's three tracks (Performance: 7/CD Sound Quality: 7) are a strange mixture: "Crumbling Land" is an attempt at a C&W sound, which, as Dave Gilmour himself pointed out, Antonioni could have gotten any number of American groups to do ten times better; "Heart Beat, Pig Meat" is an engaging piece of musique concrete; and "Come In No. 51" is a fiery reworking of "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" which was used to brilliant effect as an accompaniment to the film's final apocalyptic scene. As an interesting sideline, at least four tracks were left over from the "Zabriskie" sessions, all of which have made their way onto bootleg in one form or another. These include "Oneone", "Fingal's Cave", "Rain In The Country" and "The Violent Sequence", which of course later became "Us And Them" on "Dark Side". The second compilation is "Tonite Let's All Make Love In London", the soundtrack to Peter Whitehead's famous Swinging London documentary, which first appeared in 1968 on Andrew Loog Oldham's short-lived Instant label. It quickly gained a reputation among Floyd collectors, because it featured snippets of the group's legendary version of "Interstellar Overdrive" recorded with Joe Boyd at the same time as "Arnold Layne" and "Candy And A Currant Bun". After over 20 years as a mega-rarity, See For Miles re- released the album in 1990, but with an added bonus which made fans drool. This time there were two tracks from this famous session present (Performance: 10/CD Sound Quality: 7): the full 17-minute version of "Interstellar Overdrive" and a previously unreleased track, the 12-minute "Nick's Boogie". Controversy actually surrounds the latter--some sources claim it comes from the "Arnold"/"Candy"/"Interstellar" recording sessions in February 1967, while others are more inclined to date the piece from 1968, after Barrett had been replaced by Dave Gilmour. Because Dave and Syd's styles were so similar at this time (Gilmour has admitted that he deliberately tried to "play like Syd" for his first few months in the group), it's difficult to know who is right. The book by the Floyd's resident archivist, Nick Mason--if and when it appears--may be able to shed some light on the matter. Many fans rate these two recordings as the best thing the group have ever done; whatever their origin, both show the Floyd in their full glory, playing with real experimental vigour. And as a document of Syd's Pink Floyd at their height, "Tonite . . ." cannot be recommended too highly (See For Miles' excellent packaging, with its extensive sleeve notes and rare photos, also deserves praise). Moreover the appearance of "Nick's Boogie" has increased speculation (and heightened hopes) among Floyd buffs that more unissued, unheard material languishes in the vaults-- and that it too may see the light of day. PROMOS Currently, there is only one U.K. promotional CD in circulation: a "Delicate Sound Of Thunder" disc which contains "Wish You Were Here", "Learning To Fly" and "Run Like Hell" all taken from the live album. The 'label' is a rather lurid shade of pink, and the disc comes in a plain jewel case. Current asking price is around 20. EMI distributed this to coincide with the Floyd's 1989 batch of European dates. UNOFFICIAL RELEASES There are also a number of semi-official items around, including three interview discs which are only of interest to fanatical completists. Two are vaguely interesting, but are of poor quality, but the third, a Nick Mason interview packaged in an attractive LP-sized box, lasts only 12 minutes and can best be described as a rip-off. There are also at least 70 CD bootlegs doing the rounds. Most of these are expensive and of poor quality, being dubbed from vinyl or multi-generation tapes, and should thus be approached with extreme caution. There are a few titles which could be recommended, however, both for their quality and the performance. These include: "Black Holes In the Sky" "Staying Home To Watch The Rain", "In The Flesh", "Brain Damage", "The Best Of Tour 72", "The Heart Of The Sun" and "Ultra Rare Trax Volumes 1-3". SOLO RELEASES Syd Barrett's career after he left the Floyd was covered in detail back in RC 104; while the solo activities of Messrs Waters, Wright, Mason and Gilmour were profiled in RC 132. Interested parties should refer back to those issues for further information. In fact, with the exceptions of Roger Waters and Syd Barrett, most Floydian solo material remains unavailable on CD, at least in the U.K.. The relatively poor sales of the I original albums may have something to do with this. Only Gilmour's lacklustre second solo outing "About Face" has been issued over here on CD (Performance: 5/CD Sound Quality: 9). Nothing from Mason or Wright has so far appeared. Both Barrett and Waters have been more I fortunate and have had their entire solo L output converted to CD. In fact, Waters' second solo album, the tuneless "The Pros And Cons Of Hitch- Hiking", was one of EMI's earliest-ever CDs (Performance: 4/CD Sound Quality: 9). It was followed in 1986 by his soundtrack to the cartoon film "When The Wind Blows" (Performance: 7/CD Sound Quality: 8), and then by his best solo work, "Radio K.A.O.S." (Performance: 8/CD Sound Quality: 10). "K.A.O.S." was accompanied by two CD singles, "Radio Waves" (one of the earliest examples of the format, and, these days, very elusive, hence its price tag of 15+) and "The Tide Is Turning". In 1989, EMI issued his low-key 1970 collaboration with Ron Geesin, "Music From The Body" (Performance: 8/CD Sound Quality: 7) as a mid-price CD. Syd Barrett's reputation ensured that it wasn't too long before EMI released his solo recordings, despite their somewhat limited commercial appeal. "The Madcap Laughs" (Performance: 10/CD Sound Quality: 7) and "Barrett" (Performance: 8/CD Sound Quality: 7) are both available on mid-price. In 1988 the excellent "Opel" album appeared. This collected out-takes and unreleased tracks from Syd's sessions during the period 1968-1970 (Performance: 10/CD Sound Quality: 8). Strange Fruit Records unearthed Syd's excellent 1970 Peel session on CD, also in 1988. Finally, there was of course Roger Waters' "Wall" extravaganza in Berlin last year. This was marketed as an all-star live album (Performance: 5/CD Sound Quality: 10), accompanied by two singles, "Another Brick In The Wall Part 2" and "The Tide Is Turning". The latter was withdrawn almost as soon as it reached the shops, ensuring its instant collectability. Already difficult to find, it currently commands a price of 10. More valuable still is the sole U.K. promo from the event, "Pieces From The Wall", which contains edited versions of "Another Brick 2" and "Young Lust" alongside "In The Flesh" and "Run Like Hell". This has become quite hard to track down recently, and is now valued at over 15. Many thanks to Andy Mabbett of the specialist Pink Floyd Magazine "The Amazing Pudding" for his help in the writing of this article. TAP can be contacted via Andy at 61 Meynell House, Browns Green, Birmingham B20 1BE.

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