Fifty years after they were originally recorded, several heretofore unreleased Pink Floyd demos dating from late 1964 and early 1965 were released as a limited edition set of two seven-inch singles on this past November’s Record Store Day as 1965: Their First Recordings. The label, Parlophone, pressed up just 1050 copies of the EP (50 were promo copies) and it was only for sale in the UK.
This unnecessary scarcity may seem odd for a group as huge as Pink Floyd, but more than likely the point was not necessarily to gift this music to the grateful public for Christmas, but rather to extend the copyright which would have expired in 2015 under British intellectual property law and put the recordings into the public domain.
Two of the tracks, “Lucy Leave,” an early Syd Barrett original, and a Slim Harpo cover of his “I’m a King Bee” have been bootlegged countless times since escaping via the famous Magnesium Proverbs bootleg in the early 90s. The songs were recorded when the band would have probably still have been called “The Tea Set” or “The Pink Floyd Sound” (“Pink Floyd” came from two bluesmen, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. Previous names the band performed under included “Sigma 6” “The Meggadeaths” “The Abdabs” and “The Screaming Abdabs”).
As the oft-bootlegged version of “Lucy Leave”—which was culled from an acetate—had a prominent thudding skip in the opening bars, it’s great to hear this song in higher quality. The absolutely amazing guitar player here is not, as you might expect Syd, but a fellow named Rado Klose who left the group a four piece to continue his architectural studies. I’m nuts about this song. To me this is the equal of ANY later Pink Floyd song. It’s amazing to me that they seem almost embarrassed by it. It doesn’t merely smoke, it burns.
“I’m a King Bee” is a straight up Rolling Stones wanna-be. (Indeed the Stones had recorded the macho Slim Harpo R&B stomper on their debut album the year before.)
“I’m a King Bee”
Four of the six songs are Syd Barrett compositions—“Remember Me,” “Lucy Leave,” “Double O Bo” (a whimsical number conflating the great R&B guitarist and James Bond) and “Butterfly”—while “Walk With Me Sydney” is one of Roger Waters’ earliest compositions.
“Double O Bo”
“Walk With Me Sydney” features the voice of Juliette Gale, who later became the wife of keyboardist Rick Wright.
“Walk With Me Sydney”