Once upon a time, illicit recordings of Pink Floyd concerts were actually collectable among fans. Those were the days when in order to hear these recordings, you’d have to have a friend who had caught one on tape or something. A select few seem to have even been printed on vinyl and sold, I presume illegally, with all the weird logistics that must have entailed.

As we all know, the web, and more specifically Youtube, changed everything. That includes making Pink Floyd bootlegs available for all to listen, a possibility which for some reason hadn’t actually occurred to me until very recently.

I never thought I’d listen to them live like this — raw, unedited, a genius band in their best years. How emotional it must have been to be there and see the Floyd live, when concerts had power outtages, when fans would just never shut the hell up (and throw fireworks at that!), when bands would play unreleased, unfinished songs in front of huge audiences… it feels like unearthing beta versions of famous games. I mean: versions of Echoes with a saxophone solo?! It seems crazy that these treasure chests could have been kept in the (relative) dark for so long!

I just had to share this with you, whoever you are, wherever you may be. If you can understand the importance of being able to listen to these recording now, 45 years later, just know: we are not alone, you and I.

9 hours! 4 days of concerts in Feburary 1972 — preview versions of the full, unreleased Dark Side of the Moon from back when it was called Eclipse (with some renditions better than what’s on the record, honestly) and brilliant second sets with lots of my favourites from their previous work, like the afore-mentioned Echoes, One of These Days, Careful with that Axe Eugene and A Saucerful of Secrets.

Check out On the Run, or The Travelling Song, on the pre-release version of Dark Side of the Moon above, and in the concert below, three years later, after it had become a worldwide hit. Can’t decide which one I like more.

“This one – taken from the band’s 1975 tour supporting Wish You Were Here – is a legend amongst bootleg collectors for two reasons. Firstly, there’s its track list. Featuring most of the WYWH album, a full run through of Dark Side and a mammoth closer of Echoes, it is perhaps most intriguing for its two opening songs. “Raving and Drooling” and “You’ve Gotta Be Crazy” are early – and markedly different versions of “Sheep” and “Dogs” from the then-unreleased “Animals” album. Secondly, legendary bootlegger Mike Millard made this recording and the sound quality is absolutely phenomenal with a you-could-hear-a-pin-drop audio fidelity that belies its bootleg status. Essential listening.” (source)

For a merry change, the Youtube comments down this way are pure gold. Happy hunting.

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