BOOTLEG REVIEW: PINK FLOYD – FROM ABBEY ROAD TO BRITANNIA ROW: THE EXTRACTION TAPES (‘ANIMALS’ AND ‘WISH YOU WERE HERE’ STUDIO OUTTAKES UNEARTHED!)…

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IF AN E-BAY SELLER DIRECTED YOU HERE… DO *NOT* PAY FOR THIS MATERIAL! IT CAN BE HAD FOR FREE IN BETTER QUALITY VIA LINKS BELOW! FURTHERMORE I DO NOT CONDONE USING MY REVIEW FOR THE SALE OF SUCH MATERIAL.

A few weeks ago, a treasure trove was unearthed for Pink Floyd’s devoted fans and collectors. Just when we thought all the rarities had been mined, a new bootleg LP pops up called The Extraction Tapes – Volume 1: Animals. Many thought it surely to be another hoax bootleg LP. The resurgence of vinyl has seen one of my local record shops filled with LPs with clever artwork and sourced from either the Immersion box sets or previously digital sourced material you can already get for free. But this was the real deal! Work in progress studio versions of the three main tracks from Animals! At first the music wasn’t shared as a precaution, as reportedly there is a warning on the back of the LP warning something along the lines of “there’s more where this came from” and if the music is shared then we will never see the rest. Musical ransom, so to speak. It didn’t take long for this to be ignored though, as hoarders are frowned upon highly in the Pink Floyd trading and collecting community. Soon more outtake material surfaced. A volume two LP, containing Wish You Were Here outtakes. Surely these were just culled from the Immersion box set right? But no! (well, mostly no.. one track was the same take). Otherwise these were entirely different takes! Within no time, a CD release was also announced, releasing these together as From Abbey Road to Britannia Row: The Extraction Tapes. First it was reported to be released in a very limited quantity in Japan. Now, about 2 weeks later, a member of the Yeeshkul! Trading community has shared it with us. The torrent of the material on the CDs is available for your listening pleasure at Yeeskul! (a Floyd torrent site I can’t plug enough – if it’s rare and it’s out there, it’s probably available for free at Yeeshkul).

Here’s my breakdown of the tracks:

“Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I – VIII)”
This is an early version when the song was intended to be one complete piece. Well, Part 1-8. There is no 9 yet. The beginning starts with the wine glasses part, then the tape ends abruptly and there are several run throughs of the opening famous four guitar notes. The backing vocals were still not in place yet. The guitar solos drift back and forth between the familiar parts and parts that are far different from the final version. Roger’s vocals are most likely all from a different take. At the end of part 5, there’s no sax solo yet. The end mixes smoothly into part 6 as it was originally intended. One surprising bit is one of of Roger’s backing tracks is overdubbed way too loud and jumps at you. The ending of part 8 just jams off into a “Son of Echoes” jam that just fades out. So most likely the last part 9 was an afterthought.

“Welcome To The Machine”
This is definitely an early studio basic track sketching the ideas and the main feel of the pulse of the song. The throbbing VCS3 bass line is there, and the basis of the keyboard part is there, but the vocals are unfinished and sung by Roger in a lower quiet way almost as a guide vocal. You even hear Gilmour say something like “I can’t hear your voice”, which made me crack up. There’s also creepy talkbox vocals by David Gilmour (like in the “Pigs” solo or the end of “Keep Talking”). Definitely a work in progress at this point. You’re really hearing the building blocks on which the rest of the song was built.

“Have A Cigar”
I expected the mix from the Immersion box set. But this is definitely a different take. The vocals have some different parts. Roy Harper and David Gilmour share vocals but I’m pretty sure I hear Roger Waters in there also. Parts of the guitar solos and keyboards are definitely different. Basically the meat of the track was there, but it needed a lot more polishing to become the final track. Quite different to hear any version of this where there are two vocalists. The solo seems to go forever, as this was before the idea of the “sucked into the radio” effect to end the track.

“Raving and Drooling (Sheep)”
This one is still more bare bones than its final version. There are far less lyrics. The lyrics are pretty much the way it was sung in 1974 on tour. Without those parts there are far more breaks to focus on the music. But a lot of the music is now in place that would end up on the album. The guitar is not quite there yet, missing some of the anger Gilmour added into his playing later, probably after squabbles with Roger no doubt. Noticeably, the line “zig zag their way between boredom and pain” is used which would later be reused and altered slightly for “Pigs On The Wing” Without a lot of the overdubs you’re used to the song feels quite different. Also the menacing siren-like keyboard solo from the early live versions is still here. I’m guessing that somewhere in there Rick Wright tried a new approach and ditched the early solo. There are some organ parts that stick out on the background too that sound like the last gasps of the 1969/1970 organ solo sound.

“Dogs”
This was more likely still called “You’ve Gotta Be Crazy”. The song had been played since the Dark Side of the Moon tour and went through many lyrical and phrasing changes. It’s very close to the album version musically but there are still no lyrical references to dogs yet. So this was probably just before adding the theme to the songs. The main difference here is that Roger Waters sings pretty much all of the parts David Gilmour sang on the final version, and it’s kind of obvious why. While it’s a big alternate reality situation to imagine if Roger sang the song, he hits some sour notes while trying to hit the peak of his vocal range. Also, the spacey midsection with the barking dogs is not yet in place. There’s an abrupt join at that spot where the section just hasn’t been put in yet. It’s quite interesting to see the leaps this song made between the live version in 1974 and the final 1977 version.

“Pigs (3 Different Ones)”
Being that this song was the newest of the batch, this work in progress version  is pretty close to the final album version. These are definitely different takes. There are parts missing that would end up on the final mix. Roger’s vocals are definitely a different take but are fairly close to the same phrasing as the album version.

“Message From The Sheep/ Sheep SFX”
This oddity is a short add-on. The isolated sheep noises used on the final mix of “Sheep”.

There are a few differences between this and the LP-sourced material. One – no surface noise. Two – most of the songs have bits of count-ins, false starts and interesting bits that were on the tapes. The material is definitely a cleaner source for both albums, however in sound quality, the Animals material is better, as the WYWH material is in the red and overdriven. But if that’s all there is, I’ll take it! Three – the running order is different. And fourth – the running speed on the CD sounds correct to my ears. It ran slow on many of the LP sourced tracks. If you are comparing these – go for the CD version! It is far superior.

I definitely think this collection is a must have. Much of this is “holy grail” material that many of us didn’t even know existed. It’s a shame someone held it back for profit all of these years. It’s also a glimpse of the material that could come to light if there were to be an Animals Immersion box set. But Animals is always treated as the redheaded stepchild of the catalog so that will probably never happen. You simply have to piece one together yourself. But now you can have the material to do so. Whatever you do, do *not* pay for this material. It can be had for free at Yeeshkul. If you are already a member, here is the link to the torrent, so you can have the files to burn your own:

From Abbey Road to Britannia Row – The Extraction Tapes

Check out a preview of the Animals studio outtakes on YouTube below (sourced from the LP version):

“Dogs” (1976 Studio Outtake):

“Raving and Drooling” (“Sheep” 1976 Studio Outtake):

“Pigs (Three Different Ones)” (1976 Studio Outtake):

“Welcome To The Machine” (1975 Studio Outttake):

“Shine On You Crazy Diamond” (1975 Studio Outtake):

The full thing in lower YouTube quality:

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14 comments

  1. Anonymous · · Reply

    This seems like a review of the LPs rather than the CD

    1. It is a review of the audio extracted from the LPs, correct. The cd is supposed to be the same thing and is to be shared soon on Yeeshkul. Once it is I will add an update. Thanks!

  2. Anonymous · · Reply

    Thanks for the Review Rob! My question about the cd will it be a direct copy from the master or just needle drop copy’s from the vinyl source?

    1. Nobody’s quite sure yet. In the discussions on Yeeshkul nobody has yet recieved a copy, but a member (not just any member, but Rontoon of Harvested records fame) is waiting on a copy from Japan via a reseller to review and share details. Until then all we know is a blurb was mentioned that claims the audio to be speed corrected.

  3. Rob I notice you are from the Columbus area. I have been looking for music collectors around the area and had no luck. I would love to talk about Pink Floyd sometime and maybe exchange some sets? What do I need to do to get in contact with you?

  4. Anonymous · · Reply

    Its Mastered From Tapes Just Downloaded it Awesom

  5. This ‘new’ material is simply amazing!

    1. It’s still sinking in that theres finally rare Animals material. I find the creation process of all of these songs for both albums fascinating! Now if only we could gave a “Smile” type box set with all the fly on the wall material as it progressed 🙂 but i’m happy with this for now!

  6. Anonymous · · Reply

    awesome bootleg

  7. Great article. But I think you got it backwards. It’s David Gilmour who fails to hit the high notes in this version of “Dogs” (in the “And when you lose control…” section). Did Waters sing this in the final version? Anyway, Rog is not to blame. (Though people who know the Concertgebouw version of “The Journey” will know that David often is!)

  8. @robertmaas – I stand corrected. I relistened and that part (“and when you lose control”) is Dave. But I’m definitely not letting this turn into a Roger vs. David discussion either. I’ve loved both sides over the years and both have their share of sour notes in concerts.

  9. Thank God no stupid cowbell in pig three different ones!(you made no mention?) it was the thing that really pissed me off about animals I also prefer Raving and Drooling over sheep LP version its funny that sometimes demos sound better then the studio version. But I’m so happy about Pigs 3 different ones I was looking all over for a different take for about 3 years now I can finally enjoy this without COWBELLS! whose stupid idea was that anyway? sleighbells might of sounded better anyway thanks

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