A new Pink Floyd video for the quiet, peaceful Ummagumma track “Grantchester Meadows” pairs audio the group recorded for the BBC in 1969 with footage of them filmed the following year. It’s one of countless rare recordings that will be featured in the exhaustive 27-disc box set The Early Years 1965 – 1972, due out November 11th.
The Ummagumma version of the tune featured Roger Waters singing and performing all the instruments amid bird sounds, and it ran roughly twice as long. The BBC version finds Waters sharing guitar and vocal duties with David Gilmour and, toward the end of the performance, Richard Wright joins in on piano. It was recorded on May 12th, 1969.
The footage of the performance was recorded at San Francisco’s KQED in 1970. The outdoor scenery was captured this year.
The song pays tribute to a small village near the band’s hometown of Cambridge, England. It would later feature as part of “Daybreak” in The Man, an album-length suite of songs that Pink Floyd performed live in 1969. Gilmour would later pen “Fat Old Sun,” a song on the following year’s Atom Heart Mother, as a sequel to “Grantchester Meadows.”
In an effort to make the 12-and-a-half hours of audio and 15 hours of video presented in The Early Years more accessible, the group has broken it up into sections by year. The “Grantchester Meadows” video will feature on the DVD accompanying the portion titled “Devi/ation,” which focuses on 1970. It contains two CDs – Atom Heart Mother performed live in Montreux, Switzerland and a collection of unreleased recordings from the Zabriskie Point soundtrack – as well as two DVDs, one of which contains “an hour with Pink Floyd” (with “Grantchester Meadows”) along with Atom Heart Mother in quad and another which contains performances in France and England.
“Grantchester Meadows” also features on the 1969-specific section, “Dramatis/ation,” including an audio-only version of the above performance and as part of a CD containing a performance of “Daybreak” from The Man, recorded in Amsterdam.
Pink Floyd will continue their ongoing vinyl reissue campaign with ‘Atom Heart Mother,’ ‘Meddle’ and more this fall. Watch here.