It’s Christmas time, at least for companies planning big box sets of music. The classical labels have started releasing or announcing their sets, and it’s time for rock music to take over. There haven’t been that many big, comprehensive box sets of rock music – aside from, say, Dylan’s big Bootleg Series sets and several Grateful Dead sets – but it’s time for a change.
Pink Floyd will be releasing a 27-disc set called The Early Years 1965-72 in November. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) Covering the band’s output before Dark Side of the Moon, this set will contain a huge number of live and previously unreleased tracks, video, BBC Radio sessions, and more. Here’s the full description:
The Early Years 1965 – 1972 is a comprehensive 27-disc boxset that sees Pink Floyd delve into their vast music archive to produce a deluxe package that includes 7 individual book-style volumes, featuring much previously unreleased material. The Early Years box set contains unreleased tracks, BBC Radio Sessions, remixes, outtakes and alternative versions over an incredible 11 hours, 45 mins of audio (made up of 130+ tracks) and live and TV performance in over 14 hours of audio-visual material. The content includes over 20 unreleased songs, more than 7 hours of previously unreleased live audio and over 5 hours of rare concert footage, along with 5 meticulously produced 7” singles in replica sleeves, collectable memorabilia, feature films and new sound mixes. Previously unreleased tracks include 1967’s Vegetable Man and In The Beechwoods, which have been mixed for the first time, specially for this release.
You can see a full track listing here.
All this comes at a price: an astounding $700, or a much cheaper £378 in the UK. And it’s not even a limited edition. I won’t be buying this set, at least not if it costs this much, even though I really like Pink Floyd, and really like their early music. (As a comparison, you can get this box set of 200 CDs of Mozart’s complete works for around £430, not much more than this Pink Floyd set.)
One tip: pre-order on Amazon UK, even if you’re in the US. The current price of £378 is well below the US price. You get the VAT back, so you’d only pay £315 plus shipping, which isn’t very expensive. You can always cancel before it ships if you change your mind. But I have a feeling that the UK price is going to rise pretty soon; at the current exchange rate, it should be around £530.