Making it's silver disc debut is a very cool audio document of Pink Floyd's mid-Summer 1970 free concert in Hyde Park, dubbed "Blackhill's Garden Party" and an event also publicized as 'Lose Your Head at Hyde Park'. This is an audience tape, a stereo one at that!...with minimal crowd noise from the immediate recording area but the fidelity of the music limited by the technology of the public address sound system for this large outdoor event. Having said that, all things considered, this is very well captured.
This festival-type performance came right on the heels of the wonderful Paris Cinema BBC Radio peformance on the 16th of July at Paris Theatre on Regent Street and the formal unveiling of the band's latest studio effort, Atom Heart Mother, though the actual debut was 3 weeks earlier at the Bath Festival Of Blues on June 28th. All of this information is informally but graciously provided on one of the inside panels of the Godfather release, without credit to any source for the notes. A very nice touch and much appreciated commentary to set up this very progressive performance for the Floyd's local following. While the bluesy intro is slightly cut, the trilogy of "The Embryo", "Green Is The Colour" and "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" is strung together seemlessly, there is a pause at this point where we get a Roger Waters' intro to "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun"... 'we're gonna do one more oldie before we do something new, this is Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun"...and it's well received by the audience. His set up for "Atom Heart Mother" is simply that 'there's going to be a short pause before the last thing we're going to do today while we add some more musicians..." and it features the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble - which also assisted the group in Bath 3 weeks earlier and on the BBC show - and a choir directed by John Aldiss. As the liner notes describe, the 25 minute ATM is played flawlessly with the swelled brass section and backup choir, leaving the crowd mesmerized by the stereo effects...and you sense that throughout.
Supporting Pink Floyd this July afternoon were Third Ear Band, Kevin Ayres and the Whole World, E. Broughton Band, with honorary M.C. dj Jeff Dexter. This is one of those milestone performances in the live repertoire of Pink Floyd recordings and it finally has a worthy artifact for all collectors to point to! The Godfather Records bundles this one up fashionably in a their patented trifold cardboard slipsleeves, utilizing actual photographs of the band onstage at Hyde Park with some particularly wonderful sepia-tone live shots on the inner panels. While the actual recording isn't going to be enough for the casual collector, it is obviously a must-have for Floyd afficianados and underscores very significantly, why this hobby is so fascinating. Kudos to GFR on cherry-picking this one for Fall 2008 release.