My name is Jeff Hulit, a New Jersey native, music lover, podcaster, sci-fi fan and teacher. At the time of this writing, I’m 42 years old and have been collecting Pink Floyd music for the last 25 years. Their music, more than any other band, has been a soundtrack through my best, worst, and all times between. I have memories attached to almost every album, solo project, and “recording of indeterminate origin” in my collection. Listening to just about any piece of their catalog can stir up images of people I’ve known, places I’ve been, experiences I’ve had, old thoughts and feelings. I may go through periods where I don’t listen for a while, but I always seem to drift back to Floyd.
A little over a month or so ago, a boxed set entitled, “The Early Years 1965-1972” was released. I’d wanted to buy it immediately but, as life would have it, the funds just weren’t available. Thankfully, by whatever strange design, a combination of hoarded Amazon gift cards and credit card reward points offset the cost enough to allow it to arrive on my doorstep December 10th, 2016. Making my way through the first few audio CDs, an unexpected realization took hold. After twenty-five years of seeking out and accumulating Pink Floyd material there were still things I hadn’t heard! Things I hadn’t even known about! In the midst of being both excited and discouraged, a “what if?” snuck into my head. What if I were to listen to EVERYTHING I have accumulated over the years and capture some of those people, places, experiences, thoughts and feelings in writing?
Fast forward two days.
So, here I am. Minutes after having finished the second draft of the 1,553 track, chronologically sorted, Pink Floyd (and related) playlist I plan to listen to over the course of the next who-knows-how-long, while I reflect on my 25 years of being a collector. After combing through my collection, it didn’t take long for me to realize that it might not be necessary to listen to every single thing. Part of my collecting process was to amass many CDs, cassettes, LPs and digital downloads in search of the best sound quality or rare performances. That led me to accumulate quite a few repeat setlists for most of the tours from 1970 through 2006 and duplicate outtakes and demos of varying quality. Adding all of those repeated tracks into the playlist would probably push it quite close to the 2,000 mark without adding any real value. Not that the current track count isn’t, but that seemed REALLY daunting to me.
So instead, this is what my track list includes :
- All commercially released Pink Floyd studio and live albums.
- All commercially released Pink Floyd singles that include track(s) that do not appear on albums OR edited/extended/alternate versions of tracks that do appear on albums.
- All commercially released studio or live solo albums by a current or past member of Pink Floyd. (includes Syd Barrett, David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Nick Mason)
- All commercially released solo singles by a Pink Floyd member that include track(s) that do not appear on albums OR edited/extended/alternate versions of tracks that do appear on albums.
- All commercially released Pink Floyd member contributions to soundtrack or compilation albums (ex. When The Wind Blows, The Legend of 1900, etc)
- All Pink Floyd and solo member demo material in my collection.
- At least one live show from every year/tour. Additional live shows can be added if they contain significant setlist changes, different arrangements/performances of songs, important events, or songs rarely performed (in some cases I will include only the particular song as opposed to the entire show).
- All unreleased Pink Floyd and solo studio materials in my collection. (unreleased = not appearing on an official release but otherwise available from alternative sources)
- Pink Floyd member appearances as guests on other artist’s recordings.
… and what it does not include :
- Cover versions of Pink Floyd or solo member songs by other artists.
- Commercially released Pink Floyd and solo member videos and concert videos with certain exceptions :
- Concert videos that were subsequently released as audio versions (ex. Live in Pompeii, etc).
- Concert videos that were also released as audio recordings but contained different track lists (ex. Delicate Sound of Thunder, PULSE, etc). In this case, additional tracks from the video version of the show will be added to the playlist at the end of the audio version.
- Commercially released videos or movies that contain music that was not released in an audio format and does not duplicate content already in the playlist (ex. La Carrera Panamericana, Margritte, Colors of Infinity, White of the Eye, etc). In this case, the audio will be extracted from the video and added.
- Television and radio appearances that include audio that was not commercially released in an audio format (ex. David Gilmour on Saturday Night Live, etc).
The next question is, how do I begin to break this thing up into manageable pieces? An arbitrary number of tracks at a time? Nope, that would cause some awkward divisions of things that belong together. By album certainly won’t work since there’s a lot non-album stuff in the mix. By year is too much at a time especially 1969-72… and 1977-78… and 1979-81… and once 1987 gets here, all bets are off. I guess my only choice is to try to break it up into logical chunks of varying size to keep all things grouped together nicely. Doesn’t do much for consistency, but probably makes the most sense in the long run.
With those rules in place and the initial playlist compiled I will be listening to almost 110 hours of music while making frequent stops to write down my thoughts on what I’ve just heard and the personal recollections it brings. Now, I’m not the greatest writer in the world so it’s difficult to commit to a certain frequency, but it’s my goal to post new stuff a couple of times a month.
Oh, and one small request of you true Pink Floyd aficionados out there. I don’t claim to be any kind of expert, I’m just a guy who loves the band and has amassed a large collection. If I don’t get all of the dates exactly right or miss something that should have been included, please go easy on me 🙂
Ok! So where am I starting? Session #1 begins in 1965 with demos from Syd Barrett and the boys’ “The Tea Set” (which would shortly become Pink Floyd) and another band containing a member who would come to replace Syd in a few years time. Along with that I’ll be spinning Pink Floyd’s contribution to Peter Lorrimer Whitehead‘s film Tonite Lets All Make Love in London and revisiting memories of tracking down an Italian import book/CD in the Fall of 1996.
… stay tuned!