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Pink Floyd Surprise-Release a Dozen Live Albums, Recorded from 1970-1972

David Gilmour (foreground) performs with Pink Floyd at the abbey of Royaumont
(Image credit: Bernard Allemane/INA/Getty Images)

In a surprise move, Pink Floyd have released a dozen live albums to streaming services.

Covering the period of 1970-1972 – during which the band released Atom Heart Mother (1970), Meddle (1971), and Obscured By Clouds (1972) – the albums were released without prior announcement, and feature similarly themed covers.

Recorded before the band went supernova with 1973's Dark Side of the Moon, the albums show the band finding their feet creatively after a couple of years of uneven sonic exploration following the firing of their original lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Syd Barrett, in 1968.

Intriguingly, one of the sets – Live, Lyon 12 June 1971, Tokyo 16 March 1972 – features early, jam-heavy performances of almost every track that would go on to appear on Dark Side of the Moon.

Now, before you get too excited, there is one drawback. The recordings certainly haven't been remastered, and are not of particularly good quality.

Given the unexpected and unpublicized nature of the releases, and their somewhat shoddy audio quality, some reports have suggested the albums surfaced as a means of copyright extension, and to prevent their falling into the public domain.

Boasting a tag of Pink Floyd Music Ltd. though, we can confirm that the live LPs are official.

The full list of live albums is as follows: 

They Came in Peace, Live, Leeds University 1970/Washington University 1971
Live at Grosser Saal, Musikhalle, Hamburg, West Germany 25 Feb 1971
Mauerspechte Berlin Sportpalast, Live 5 June 1971

Live, Lyon 12 June 1971Tokyo 16 March 1972
Live in Rome Palaeur 20 June 1971
Amsterdamse Bos Free Concert 26 June 1971 (Live)
Live in Montreux 18 & 19 Sept 1971
KB Hallen, Copenhagen, Live 23 Sept 1971
KB Hallen, Copenhagen, Vol II, Live 23 Sept 1971
Over Bradford Pigs on the Groove Bradford University, Live 10 Oct 1971
Embryo, San Diego, Live 17 Oct 1971
The Screaming Abdabs Quebec City, Live 10 Nov 1971

Jackson Maxwell
Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.