| The 'Floyds of London' roio has now been seen labelled as Pink
Floyd Meddler with what looks like some kind of black inked
rubber stamp. This perhaps confirms the rumour that Floyds of
London is the 'original packaging' version of Meddler. Previous
versions had no mention of Meddler at all.
This is one of the best ROIO's that I have in my collection.
Before every song there is an announcement about the next title
to be played. This performance, according to the booklet and
commentation within the cd itself, was the first time the Floyd
had expanded FOS. Also, they say that it was the first public
performance of Echoes, after the album was released - I can not
verify this, so I am only going by what the disc said. OoTD is
different than what was released on the album, with Nick Mason
saying his line after the entire song is over.
This specific concert was played on September 30, 1971, but was
broadcasted on John Peel's "In Concert" program on October 12,
1971. According to the booklet this was an entire performance
in front of a live audience, which you can hear between every
track. The first three songs was taken from the master source,
but Embryo and Blues was taken from a second generation copy to
finish the show. This was done because the original broadcast
was chopped in order to air the performace.
Never have I heard anything so clear as this BBC recording. The
only way to tell it is not studio is by the crisp sound. This
could most definitely be a legalized recording of old PF
material. The ROIO is a MUST HAVE to any serious PF collecter!
This is the packaging originally planned for the Meddler roio,
but it's not from the person who supplied Meddler's master. At
the time Meddler orders were being taken in advance, there were
some problems with the production and a different manufacturer
was chosen; so Meddler was sold in jewel boxes. The
manufacturer whose deal fell through has now apparently copied
it and sold it in a metal box.
Inside the box is a 20-page booklet. The booklet front
duplicates the outside art, and the booklet back cover has the
track list. Inside is the source information and a collection
of photos. The quality is very good. This roio entry gets the
title from a prominent phrase above the band portrait on page 3
and again above the concert photo on page 15, "THE FLOYD'S
[sic] OF LONDON". There's no title on the disc itself, which is
held by a very well-designed plastic tray insert. The CD has a
white printed flame design and black text and logos.
Here is the complete text of the insert:
The Floyd's of London
As far as discerning Rock aficionados were concerned, the BBC
was an institution made up of three smaller ones: "Top of the
Pops," "The Old Grey Whistle Test," and "Top Gear" were three
groundbreaking shows and key outlets for new music.
"Top of the Pops" was BBC-1's flagship Top-40 show. "The Old
Grey Whistle Test" (BBC-2's TV alternative to the Top-40 format
of "TOTP") was hosted by "Whispering" Bob Harris, who each week
introduced a live studio session of some of Rock's classic
acts. "Top Gear" hosted by John Peel, was the BBC Radio
equivalent of "Whistle Test," the key difference between the
shows being that John Peel's sessions usually featured a live
Peel, at the time, was something of a maverick. Bucking the
Top-40 format, he was more interested in promoting almost
anything that was not in the mainstream, and had been a huge
admirer of the Pink Floyd.
On the 25th of September and the 20th of December , the
Floyd performed many of their early classics live on John
Peel's "Top Gear" show (each broadcast a week or so later). The
latter session was the last in which the band would be
accompanied by Sys Barrett, whose latest material, ("Vegetable
Man," "Scream Thy Last Scream," and "Jugband Blues") began to
indicate the eventual demise of his creative genius. His
legendary daily doses of LSD certainly inspired him to write
some of the most original psychedelic masterpieces this side of
Sgt. Pepper, but was also inevitably a factor in his breakdown.
David Gilmour, an old mate of Syd's, made his BBC debut with
the band on the 25th of June, 1968, on "Top Gear." Searching
for a new musical direction, the Floyd started working on
extended pieces, debuted many of these songs ("Murderistic
Women," "Baby Blue Shuffle in D Major," "The Embryo,: et al) on
this show and also later that year on the 2nd of December.
These two sessions illustrated how much the band had changed in
such a short period of time. In 1967 they were trying to be
psychedelic "pop stars," recalls Roger Waters. It didn't work
out that way Two years later they were re-establishing a new
niche for themselves, relying on touring and appearances on
Peel's show as their main exposure to the public.
On the 16th of July, 1970, the Floyd made a landmark appearance
on the "Peel Sunday Concert" from the Paris Cinema in London.
Performing well developed versions of "The Embryo" and "Green
is the Colour" seamlessly sequeing into "Careful with that Axe,
Eugene" (three lives staples from that era), they also
premiered two new pieces, "If" and the grandiose "Atom Heart
Mother" suite. The latter, which was the title track of their
new album (taking up an entire side of the vinyl), saw the band
accompanied by the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble performing
before a live audience, and was 1st broadcast on the 19th of
July (and repeated throughout the 1970's).
On the 30th of September, 1971, Pink Floyd returned to London's
Paris Cinema to promote their new album, "Meddle." The songs
featured were "Fat Old Sun," "One of These Days I'm Going to
Cut You into Little Pieces, "Echoes," "The Embryo," and finally
a blues instrumental. This show was also performed before a
live audience and was later broadcast on Peel's "In Concert"
program on the 12th of October.
This was the first time that two key songs from their new album
were performed on the BBC. "Echoes" had been through a number
of iterations, originally starting out as a collection of
unrelated segments stitched together and originally titled "The
Return of the Son of Nothing."
Peel's dry sense of humour can be heard as he introduces this
song, casually mentioning that the group's roadies Pete and
Scott find it to be "a rather good number." Likewise, he
sarcastically puts down Roger Waters' equally sarcastic
contention that "Echoes" was about "modern contemporary
society." [Peel makes this comment for "One of These Days"
actually - ed] "One of These Days" was introduced as "Nick
Mason's Vocal debut, which I am assured," announces Peel, "he
will do without moving his lips."
While "Echoes" and "One of These Days" would soon appear on
"Meddle, "Fat Old Sun" had been previously released on "Atom
Heart Mother," and was expanded into a fourteen minute epic,
showcasing the instrumental talents of Gilmour and Wright.
"The Embryo" has only been ever released on hte EMI/Harvest
sampler "Picnic," in the UK (to the dismay of the band who
regarded this track as "an unfinished demo"), and on the U.S.
compilation "Works." This version of "The Embryo" is vastly
different than the official releases as well as the version
played on "Top Gear" in 1968, and is similar to the one played
a year earlier on Peel's show.
"Blues" is just that, and as such it is a rarity. Recent Floyd
shows have been such tightly timed visual extravaganzas, that
there is little, if any room for musical interludes. Also note
that this "Blues" number was never broadcast except for it's
original airing on veteran Rock station WNEW in New York.
This is classic Pink Floyd, well on the way to becoming the
mature band that would soon reach world-wide fame with it's
1973 album "The Dark Side of the Moon." What we have on this
performance is a tight, professional band, who unlike in later
years, found room for improvisation and a looseness that would
slowly disappear from their repertoire.
Fans of the latter day Pink Floyd might be disappointed with
this show, considering that the songs are slower and do not
feature any of Gilmour's blistering guitar solos or Roger's
biting and dark lyrics. But long-time fans of the band will
delight in this golden era recording. This was a Pink Floyd
performance without the aid of a sopisticated light show,
lasers, back-up performers or inflatable pigs. This was purely
the talents of Roger Waters on bass, David Gilmour on lead
guitar and vocals, Richard Wright on keyboards and vocals and
Nick Mason on drums (and pre-recorded vocals).
The celebrate the 25th anniversary of this show, only the
highest quality sources were used to reproduce the original
concert onto CD. The original BBC transcription LP's were
comprised of "Fat Old Sun," "One of These Days" and "Echoes."
This was later combined with their 1970 performance on John
Peel's show by Westwood One, who acquired the rights in the mid
1980's (these two shows were independantly rebroadcast
throughoout the 1970's on the syndicated "King Biscuit Flower
Hour" and "The Best of the BBC Rock Hour").
Unfortunately, combining these shows also involved limited air
time, and ultimately, "Fat Old Sun" and the first half of "Atom
Heart Mother" were sacrificed and omitted from future
"Fat Old Sun" was recorded off an original BBC transcription LP
directly onto DAT as well as the introductions to the new
material from "Meddle." The first forty-five seconds of
"Echoes" has also been restored, which remains edited, (as well
as Peel's intros) from the combined shows.
"The Embryo" and "Blues" originate from a second generation
analogue tape from WNEW's initial broadcast ("The Embryo,"
although broadcast in the UK, was never included on any of the
radio transcription disks).
This CD was digitially remastered from these sources, in hopes
of reproducing the finest and most accurate version of this
My disc sounds stereo to me! It is packaged with a booklet
about BBC radio in the 70's (The John Peel show, Top of the
Pops, and The Old Grey Whistle Test). It is packaged in the
"tin can" referred to in the database. Track listing the same
as Meddler. The Embryo has the WNEW announcement at 8:12. All
other announcenments are on the disc.
Cover art differs from Meddler, looks like various
constellations. Excellent disc now in stereo. Nice packaging.
The Embryo and Blues have a little hiss from the analogue tape.
There may be more than one version of this disc around. The one
I have seen is practically identical to Meddler and sounds mono
This is totally identical to "Meddler". So one can say exactly
the same comments as for "Meddler": superb sound quality, BUT
some annoying things that disappointed a lot of people (myself
The three opening bass lines, at the beginning of OOTD, are
missing. During the "Echoes" intro (at 0:49), some applause can
be heard (this was due to a mix between a BBC vinyl, used for
the first minute of the song, and the Westwood One CD, that
doesn't contain the whole intro). In the middle of "Embryo",
there is a WNEW radio station ID (the two last tracks are taken
from the WNEW's initial broadcast).
But there's another thing _very_ annoying: the whole CD is in
mono, and not "well balanced" mono! I compared the first three
tracks to the Swingin Pig's versions ("One Of These Days" RoIO,
where the tracks are in stereo). I noticed that the mono sound
in "The Floyd's Of London" was not a mix between the left and
right channels of the stereo broadcast, but ONLY THE LEFT
CHANNEL! So, Gilmour's guitars are far louder than Wright's
keyboards! This is particulary sad during the "solid rhythm"
section in "Echoes" (that begins at 8:52): Rick's organ seems
to have disappeared (Rick begins to play at 9:25, but he's very
distant). So, to _really_ enjoy FOT, OOTD and Echoes, I still
listen to the Swinging Pig's version. Its' a pity, because the
overall sound quality is better here.
Having say that, I'm very happy to own this RoIO, for the last
It seems that the man who provided the DAT for "Meddler" has
stereo masters (see comments' section for "Meddler"). Something
happened during the mastering of the DAT, that lost the right
channel and duplicated the left channel onto the two channels
of the DAT, explaining the mono sound. It seems that this man
re-mastered his masters to a new DAT, adding the missing bass
lines at the beginning of OOTD, and adding John Peel's comments
before "Embryo". He ran off 10 CDR's from it and gave them to
people he knew. Let's hope these stereo versions will see the
light of day (a future RoIO CD pressing?). If that happens,
this could be the best RoIO of all times, reproducing the whole
BBC concert with a breathtaking sound quality, in stereo.