on the panels for a better view.
One of the all-time
legends in the Pink Floyd archive, The Man And The Journey
represents one of the Great Lost Albums with which that bands
career is littered - but, unlike most of the others (a second Syd
Barrett set, a disc recorded with kitchen utensils, and so forth),
this one actually exists, in the shape of a clutch of concerts performed
and recorded across Europe during the second-half of 1969.
two musical suites, The Man and The Journey, this
was not a concert for the hit-happy casual viewer. Although many
of the tracks, or at least elements thereof, are now familiar,
the likes of "Grantchester Meadows" (aka "Daybreak"), "Cymbaline"
(aka "Nightmare") and "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" (the marvelously
titled "Beset by Creatures of the Deep" were all more-or-less
new back then. Other "oldies" - "Pow R Toc H" (restructured as
"The Pink Jungle"), and an improv based around "Interstellar Overdrive"
("Behold The Temple Of Light") are only marginally recognizable
But the audiences
silence (respectful or confused? You decide) works to the recordings
advantage. The Man And The Journey never made it into the
studio in its own right, but the lack of interruption here is
so pronounced that it might as well have.
not all brilliant. The conceptual percussives of "Work" go on
way too long and, in and around some moments of sublime loveliness,
the band is clearly still struggling to locate the thin line that
divides masterful improvisation from pointless noodling. Theres
also, clearly, a lot more going on onstage than the microphones
picked up ("Sleep" was very aptly titled). But an electrifying
"Biding My Time" (aka "Afternoon") is a genuine treat, nailed
down by a Gilmour guitar solo that transforms the familiar
Relics ballad into a full-fledged rocker, and "Green is The
Colour" (aka "The Beginning") is an absolute treat.
quality here is superlative - this is surely the best rendering
were ever going to hear - and the only real drawback lies
in the fact that each of the suites is served up as one long track,
meaning you cannot easily skip either the boring bits, or an endless
drum solo. For all that, however, The Man And The Journey
is a vital chapter in the Pink Floyd story, and this is its definitive
Note: Veteran music writer Dave Thompson is a regular contributor
writing on hard-to-find rarities. Dave is the author of many well
reviewed rock biographies, including the recent Virgin Books'
Red Hot Chili Peppers biography, works on The Cure and Kurt Cobain.
He wrote Cream: The World's First Supergroup which was published
early last year. In the past, Dave has written for Live! Music
Review and he is also a regular contributor to Rolling Stone,
Mojo and Q magazines. Click
here to buy Dave's e-books.
here for article by Dave Thompson:
Sounds Of The Sixties, Seventies and Eighties
Have You Got It Yet? - Syd Barrett's Beyond Rhyme And Reason
Apple Singles Collection
Reviews by Dave Thompson