FANDOM


"Like the cries of dying galaxies lost in sheer corridors of time and space"
(Peel reviews Floyd at Mothers, 1969-04-27, in Disc & Music Echo, earning himself a first Pseuds Corner entry in Private Eye) [1]

Pink Floyd - Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun09:55

Pink Floyd - Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun

Pink Floyd originally consisted of university students Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Richard Wright, and Syd Barrett. Founded in 1965, they gained popularity performing in London's underground music scene during the late 1960s. Under Barrett's creative leadership they released two charting singles, ‘Arnold Layne’ and ‘See Emily Play’, and a successful début album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967). Guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour joined as a fifth member in December 1967, several months prior to Barrett's April 1968 departure due to deteriorating mental health. With the loss of Barrett, the band moved from psychedelic pop to a more progressive sound, with many tracks written collaboratively while on tour. With this line-up they achieved critical and commercial success with the concept albums The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977) and The Wall (1979)…. (read more at Wikipedia)

Links to Peel

Peel was aware of Pink Floyd when he lived in California and he saw them live for the first time at the UFO club on Tottenham Court Road soon after returning from the US in spring 1967.[2] After he had regularly played tracks from their LP Piper At The Gates Of Dawn on his Perfumed Garden shows for Radio London, the band recorded a session for Peel’s very first programme on Radio One, on 01 October 1967. Later, the DJ would select 'Arnold Layne' for the Peelenium 1967 and include Piper At The Gates Of Dawn in a Top 20 Albums list he compiled for the Guardian in 1997.

Peel continued to champion the band in the difficult period after Barrett’s departure. On his 30 June 1968 show, he enthused over their performance in Hyde Park the previous day:

“Pink Floyd played better than I've ever heard them play before. I don't know what it was, it must have been the people there, the feelings that everyone was generating, because they played superbly. It was nice to hear them play that well, because they've been through a lot of very sad things in the past year.”

In Margrave Of The Marshes (hardback, p.225), Sheila nominated the gig in a list of JP’s all-time top ten. In a 1976 interview for Capital Radio’s “Pink Floyd Story”, the DJ recalled:

“I hired a boat and rowed out, and I lay on the bottom of the boat, in the way that we hippies did, in the middle of the Serpentine, and just listened to the band play, and their music then, as I think, suited the open air perfectly. … It was like a religious experience, it was marvelous. They played 'A Saucerful Of Secrets' and things... they just seemed to fill the whole sky and everything y'know. And to coincide perfectly with the water and the lapping of the water and the trees and everything.” [3]

Another favourite live performance was the 1969 “dying galaxies” set at Mothers, subsequently used for part of the live section of the Ummagumma LP. [4] Peel would regularly bemoan the theft of a reel to reel tape the band had given him of the extended version of ‘Interstellar Overdrive’ they played that night. [5] [6]

At the start of 1970, Peel became the host of the programme that would become Radio One’s long-running In Concert series. The first of Floyd's two appearances during his two-year run as compere gave rise to another favourite story, about his involvement in the naming of 'Atom Heart Mother':

”They hadn't got a title for it - they'd only just written it - and I went out and got a copy of the London evening paper and we went down there and went through newspaper headlines trying to find one that would be an appropriate title for the piece. And it was all that kind of "Vicar In Tug Of Love Mercy Dash to Palace' kind of stuff, and then there was the story about somebody who had been fitted with a pacemaker and the headline was 'Atom Heart Mother', so the piece became 'Atom Heart Mother'.” [7]

Even after the huge worldwide success of Dark Side Of The Moon (1973), Peel continued to feature Pink Floyd's new releases on his shows up to and including The Wall (1979), with Wish You Were Here heading his 1975 Records Of The Year and an impromptu recording of Nick Mason[1] and road manager Alan Styles sending a cheery Christmas greeting used by Peel as the mystery track in a seasonal competition. [8] [9]. Early in 1977, Animals was played in full by Peel over two nights as an exclusive. [10] He later selected 'Pigs' from the album as a rare track from one of rock's old guard in his self-chosen 1977 Festive Fifty.

Although 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' maintained a foothold in his annual listeners' chart until the 1980 Festive Fifty, Peel was subsequently happy to restrict himself to older tracks from the band. In the mid-80s, he explained more about what he still liked about their early work to producer John Walters while also pointing out their influence on a generation of German bands:

"A couple of weekends ago I was listening to the first couple of Pink Floyd LPs. And I know purists prefer the songs that Syd Barrett wrote, but I find some of those a bit too twee to be endured any longer. But things like ‘Set Controls For The Heart Of The Sun’ I still quite like to hear from time to time. And bands like Neu in particular and then a few years later Tangerine Dream seemed to be taking that kind of spirit just perhaps a little further, and stripping it down rather than adding anything to it."[11]

He continued to play occasional tracks by Floyd into the 21st century, often accompanied by stories such as his role in the inclusion of You'll Never Walk Alone at the end of 'Fearless' on Meddle (1971) [12] or how he owned a poster that showed him billed above Pink Floyd. [13]

After Peel's death, guitarist David Gilmour played on the 2005 tribute single Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone, You Shouldn't 'Ve)? while 'Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun' was picked by the DJ's family for the John Peel - A Tribute compilation.

In March 2013, John Peel Archive revealed that Peel owned three copies of 'Dark Side Of The Moon'.

Their Mortal Remains, an exhibition held at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London in 2017 celebrating the art of Pink Floyd, opens with a quote by John Peel which reads “They could have joined the audience at one of their own gigs without being recognised.”[2]

Festive Fifty Entries

Sessions

1. Recorded: 1967-09-25. First broadcast: 01 October 1967. Repeated: 05 November 1967.

  • The Gnome / Scarecrow / Set The Controls / Matilda Mother / Reaction In G / Flaming

2. Recorded: 1967-12-20/ First broadcast: 31 December 1967. Repeated: 11 February 1968.

  • Vegetable Man / Scream Thy Last Scream / Jug Band Blues / Pow R Toch H

3. Recorded: 1968-06-25. First broadcast: 11 August 1968. Repeated: 08 September 1968.

  • The Murderistic Woman Or Careful With That Axe Eugene / The Massed Gadgets Of Hercules / Let There Be More Light / Julia Dream

4. Recorded: 1968-12-02 First broadcast: 15 December 1968. Repeated: 19 January 1969.

  • Point Me At The Sky / Baby Blue Shuffle In D Major / The Embryo / Interstellar Overdrive

5. Recorded: 1969-05-12 First broadcast: 14 May 1969. Repeated: 01 June 196925 September 1975.

  • Daybreak / Nightmare / The Narrow Way / The Beginning / Beset by Creatures of the Deep

There was some confusion that "Apples and Oranges" was recorded during the first session and broadcast on the repeat on 05 November 1967. However, in an interview, producer Bernie Andrews said that "' we used the actual single rather than a 'Top Gear' recording. I'd have done a deal with Peter Jenner and EMI about using that for the repeat because they would have wanted the single on the show, and we couldn't record it for the session 'for obvious reasons'". [14]

Pink Floyd used different titles for their songs when recording them on sessions. Session #3: "The Murderistic Woman" is "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" and "The Massed Gadgets of Hercules" is a variation on the title-track of "A Saucerful of Secrets". Session #4: "Baby Blue Shuffle in D Major" is The Narrow Way", while on session 5 "Daybreak" is "Grantchester Meadows", "Nightmare" is "Cymbaline", "The Beginning" is "Green is the Color" and "Beset by Creatures of the Deep" is "Careful With That Axe, Eugene".

Live

  1. Embryo
  2. Fat Old Sun
  3. Green Is The Colour
  4. Careful With That Axe Eugene
  5. If
  6. Atom Heart Mother
  1. Embryo
  2. Blues
  3. Fat Old Sun
  4. One of These Days
  5. Echoes

(‘Embryo’ and ‘Blues’ not transmitted on BBC) [15]

Other Shows Played

(The following list was drawn up only from the database of this site and Lorcan's Tracklistings Archive and is almost certainly incomplete. Please add more information if known.}

1967
(The hit single 'See Emily Play' was chosen as John Peel's Climber on Radio London for the week beginning 28th May 1967 and several tracks from Piper At The Gates Of Dawn were played by Peel on Perfumed Garden for some weeks before its official release on 1967-08-05. [16])
1968
  • 30 June 1968: Corporal Clegg (LP: A Saucerful Of Secrets) UK Columbia (JP: "Yesterday in the park, Pink Floyd played better than I've ever heard them play before. I don't know what it was, it must have been the people there, the feelings that everyone was generating, because they played superbly. It was nice to hear them play that well, because they've been through a lot of very sad things in the past year. Anyway, they've got a new LP out called 'A Saucerful Of Secrets', and yesterday they finished their set with 'A Saucerful Of Secrets', which at the time sounded like a sort of hymn to the open air.")
  • 03 July 1968: Let There Be More Light (LP: A Saucerful of Secrets) UK Columbia
  • 24 November 1968: Point Me At The Sky (single) EMI Columbia
  • 22 December 1968: Point Me At The Sky (single) EMI Columbia
1969
  • 05 March 1969: Careful With That Axe, Eugene (b-side of single Point Me At The Sky) EMI Columbia
  • 11 October 1969: Astronomy Domine (Live) (LP - Ummagumma) Harvest
  • 25 October 1969: Sysyphus Part 4 (LP – Ummagumma) Harvest
1970
  • 28 March 1970: Come In Number 51, Your Time Is Up (LP - Zabriskie Point OST) MGM
  • 16 May 1970: Crumbling Land (LP – Zabriskie Point OST) MGM
  • 27 June 1970: Come In Number 51, Your Time Is Up (LP - Zabriskie Point OST) MGM
  • 26 September 1970: Atom Heart Mother (LP – Atom Heart Mother) Harvest
  • 24 October 1970: Fat Old Sun (LP - Atom Heart Mother) Harvest
1972
1973
1975
1977
1979
1980s
1990s
  • 18 November 1994: Flaming (LP - The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn) Harvest
  • 26 November 1994 (BFBS): Flaming (LP-The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn) EMI Columbia
  • 14 January 1995: Wish You Were Here
  • 29 July 1995: Lucifer Sam (LP - The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn) Columbia
  • 14 August 1995 (BBC World Service): Lucifer Sam (LP - The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn) Columbia
  • 16 December 1995 (BFBS): Chapter 24 (LP - The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn) Columbia
  • 18 March 1996: Lucifer Sam (LP – The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn) EMI
  • 31 August 1999: Interstellar Overdrive (LP - The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn)
  • 03 November 1999: Arnold Layne (7") EMI Columbia (Peelenium 1967)
  • 16 November 1999: (JP: "In case I sound slightly hysterical tonight, it's because I've been up since about 5 o'clock this morning cos I had to do some stuff for the Today programme on Radio 4, talking about, it's yet another thing about Millenium records...somebody had put forward a list of tunes that ought to be played inside the Millenium dome in the minutes leading up to midnight on New Year's Eve. It was all the usual stuff: 'Imagine,' 'We Are The Champions' and things, and I had to come up with something else, and I thought, something kind of instrumental really, something heroic and intergalactic, and I said Pink Floyd's 'Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun': although it's an old tune, it might not be inappropriate, or indeed their 'Interstellar Overdrive.'")
2000s
  • 26 January 2000: JP (on the origin of Pink Floyd's 'Atomic Hart Mother'): "I was there, because I compered the programme in which it was played for the first time... When they came in to play it, they hadn't got a title for it - they'd only just written it - and I went out and got a copy of the London evening paper and we went down there and went through newspaper headlines trying to find one that would be an appropriate title for the piece. And it was all that kind of "Vicar In Tug Of Love Mercy Dash to Palace' kind of stuff, and then there was the story about somebody who had been fitted with a pacemaker and the headline was 'Atom Heart Mother', so the piece became 'Atom Heart Mother'. A little rock 'n' roll history there, for Dave in Colorado."
  • 15 June 2000: Apples And Oranges (LP - Masters Of Rock) Harvest
  • 10 January 2001: Careful With That Axe Eugene () Columbia 9511
  • 26 June 2001: Wish You Were Here (CD - Wish You Were Here) Harvest
  • 07 February 2002: Astronomy Domine (LP - The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn) EMI (Final Perfumed Garden Revisited) ((JP: "Bit of a gem.")
  • 30 April 2002: Fearless (LP – Meddle) Harvest
  • 04 June 2002: (In reply to an email from a listener, JP says one of the best gigs he's ever seen was Pink Floyd at Mothers.)
  • 18 December 2003 (Radio Eins): Fearless (Peel's story of how he and the Floyd were friends "before they became millionaires and stopped talking to me"; they heard him playing the Kop singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" repeatedly on "Top Gear" and were inspired to add it to the ending of this track, from the 1971 album "Meddle")
  • 04 November 2003: Atom Heart Mother (short sample)
  • 21 January 2004: Comfortably Numb (Shine On Sampler) Shine (JP plays Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" before the Scissor Sisters' version: "I used to really enjoy Pink Floyd and used to go and see them play a lot and I liked the fact that by and large they were fairly anonymous people and could go to one of their own gigs and stand in the audience as it were without anybody knowing who they were. And then they all got a bit stadium for me. But nevertheless, I used to have, one of my most treasured possessions was a live recording of Interstellar Overdrive which I've got on reel to reel tape, which was stolen by a burglar. And I always hoped that the burglar, who might possibly be listening to this programme, has enjoyed it over the last 25 years or however long it's been.")
  • 04 August 2004: See Emily Play (7 inch)' (EMI Columbia) (a listener request from 1979 that JP has just got round to answering!)
  • 21 December 2004 (Rob Da Bank): ‘Set The Controls For The Heart of the Sun’ (Peel Session 1967)
Radio Luxembourg (1972)
David Gilmour (solo)
  • 22 May 1978: Short And Sweet / It’s Deafinitely / So Far Away (LP – David Gilmour) Harvest
Richard Wright (solo)
Other

See Also

References

  1. In Margrave Of The Marshes (hardback, pg 276), Sheila recounts a dinner party with Nick Mason: "In all honesty, the evening didn't show us at our best. John and I were terribly nervous, we couldn't understand what or fellow guests were talking abut and weren't sure how to eat the excellent fondue and artichokes we were served." In 1971, Mason produced the Dandelion LP The Asmoto Running Band by Principal Edwards Magic Theatre.
  2. Petridis A., The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains review – look, a flying pig!, theguardian.com, 2017-05-09

External Links

http://festive50.wordpress.com/category/pink-floyd/ Teenage Kicks (blog): Pink Floyd

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.