Pink Floyd

Interstellar Overdrive: The Alternate Masters '66-'68 [Columbia Bootleg]

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As an exploration of Pink Floyd's early history, this 17-song bootleg CD has virtually no peer -- beginning with "Lucy Leave," a crunchy two-chord Syd Barrett-authored rocker dating from the group's first session in October 1966, it just grabs listeners and never lets them go. The group's version of "I'm a King Bee" shows more inventive guitar work than, say, the Rolling Stones' rendition of two and a half year earlier. And from those two jewels out of the group's pre-history, the disc roars into the alternate takes from their more familiar earlier psychedelic period -- the January 1967 long version of "Interstellar Overdrive," the A- and B-sides of the early singles (including a remastering of "Candy and a Currant Bun" that sounds like the guitars are in the room with you); alternate (and delightfully strange) mono mixes of "Flamingo" (with delightfully upfront phasing of the guitars, drums, and voices), "Scarecrow," and "Interstellar Overdrive"; plus stereo mixes of "Apples and Oranges" and "Paintbox"; and odd Syd Barrett outtakes from the period of his exit out of the band and his early solo work. The sound is mostly excellent and the art (derived in part from a legitimate 1960s French release) is superior to that of any current legitimate Pink Floyd CD.