Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Pink Floyd - 1975 - All Roads Lead To Knebworth

Pink Floyd
July 5, 1975
Knebworth Festival
Stevenage
Hertfordshire, U.K.

All Roads Lead To Knebworth - Eat A Peach 

101. Introduction
102. Raving And Drooling
103. Tune Up
104. Gotta Be Crazy
105. Tune Ups/
106. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Part 1-5)
107. Have A Cigar (Vocals By Roy Harper)
108. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Part 6-9)

201. Speak To Me
202. Breathe
203. On The Run
204. Time
205. Breathe (Reprise)
206. The Great Gig In The Sky
207. Money
208. Us And Them
209. Any Colour You Like
210. Brain Damage
211. Eclipse

301. Tune Ups
302. Echoes
303. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 1 - 9) (Alternate Take)
304. Welcome To The Machine (Alternate Take
305. Have A Cigar (Alternate Tak


Pink Floyd’s first appearance at the Knebworth Festival is well known amongst fans, what was supposed to be a massive homecoming for the band turned into one of their most famous disasters. Their road crew, tired and jet lagged from the recent American tour that literally ended just days prior had a monumental task of assembling the band’s massive gear, and to make matters worse the power supply was deemed “inadequate”. Typical with many a rock gathering, the fences were torn down and the original crowd of 40,000 swelled to over 100,000, yet perhaps the most serious issue was within the band themselves. Already somewhat unfocused in their newer music they had been honing over the past year, the recent American tour and more specifically the riots that surrounded their Los Angeles dates had given the band a cold view of their current state, one that would resonate on their next three records. Needless to say the band turned in an average performance, wrought with technical difficulties and the blood thirsty press used the opportunity to slam the band with sub par reviews, the band would get a measure of revenge for just a few months later the Wish You Were Here record would be released and go to the top of the charts.

The recordings that have surface from the concert are all culled from the audience, and early bootlegs did little for ones assessment of the gig, the early title Wish Roy Were In Knebworth (Highland HL-309/310/311) used a higher generation tape that made for a difficult listen. Some appreciation was finally able to be garnered with the release of Knebworth Park (Sigma 20) in 2008. With much improved sound and a close to complete version focusing on Recorder 1, it was more than listenable, in fact it was the title that really broke the ice for me as far as getting to know this performance. The label used the best source tapes they could find and the mastering was up to the Sigma labels usual high standards, Plomerus reviewed the title for this site, for anyone who has not done so, follow the link for a passionate and detailed review. Then in 2012, Sigma released Knebworth 1975 New Master (Sigma 074) featuring a newly discovered tape of the second half of the concert with excellent sound quality. For this new title from the Eat A Peach folks, we finally get the complete performance using an amalgamation of the three audience sources coupled with excellent packaging making for an incredible presentation of this material.

When compared to the Knebworth Park (Sigma 20) title, this new Eat A Peach title is a little lower in volume but the label did not use as much noise reduction making for a much warmer sound but this also lends itself to having just a slight more tape hiss. No worries, once the music starts it is not really noticeable. Eat A Peach also uses a fraction of Recorder 2 to patch the cut at the tail end of Have A Cigar 5:01 to the beginning :24 seconds of Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 6-9), something that was a glaring omission of the Sigma title, we now get the complete first set. Marred with equipment problems, the band pushes on and after a couple listening’s of this performance, in my opinion it is unjustly criticized. While not a stellar performance it certainly is not horrible. The guitar and drums being low in the mix for Raving And Drooling lends to its disjointed sound, around 7:20 Roger lets off a Eugene-esque scream that is incredible. The guitar and the drums by now are better in the mix for You Gotta Be Crazy making for a better version of the song. The tune ups between songs are long and tedious, so hampered by Richard’s Hammond organ that Roger explains to the crowd the both David and he both tune to the organ, since it is out of tune it throws everything off. When they finally start Shine On it has a cold metallic sound yet somehow the coldness lends itself to the feeling of isolation that is portrayed in the music. Have A Cigar has a very hard edge to it, Roy Harper’s vocals do not sound anything like the version from Wish You Were Here, it is well know that Roy was pissed earlier in the day and this comes through in his vocal. The tape edit at the end is seamless and very smooth.

The second set fares much better, the band has been playing the Dark Side suite for three years at this point and they have a comfort level with playing it, the heavy breathing just prior to the “I’ve always been mad” is met with much applause. The source from Recorder 3 is excellent and similar to the Sigma 74 release, better balance and very clear with just a minute amount of hiss it is a joy to listen to. The gap during Any Colour You Like is patched with Recorder 1 from 6:29 to 7:09 and is seamless and well handled, yet is a bit jarring, you are lost in the performance with excellent sound and the source change is very noticeable. The band is augmented by backing singers and Dick Perry on sax that lend to the full production of the piece yet the band do sound tired, and one can wonder if they were tired of playing the piece by this time. Another last, the band plays Echoes for the final time with Roger and thanks to The Dark Side Of The Moon elevates the performance, the reviews were crap but the performance is more than passable as judged from the audience response at its conclusion.

The label gives us some very relevant bonus tracks for this release, the outtakes from Wish You Were Here that surfaced last year. Previous releases were The Extraction Tapes: From Abbey Road To Britannia Row (Extraction CD001), Wish You Were Here Outtakes (Sigma 109), and From Abbey Road To Britannia Row The Extraction Tapes (Archive Master Series). The sound quality is on par with at least the Extraction and Archive Master Series versions, I do not own the Sigma title so cannot compare. What I do know is that those versions sounds as if they were source from vinyl as you can hear some very light surface noise on them (not the digital flaws found on the Animals outtakes), the versions found here are extremely clean, so either someone spent time cleaning them up or they are sourced from a tape. Whatever the case they are excellent, and if you have not heard them they are one more reason to invest in this title.

As previously stated the packaging is superb, typical Eat A Peach mini LP style jacket with a cover shot using an aerial view of the event with bicycle parts interspersed throughout and live shots and crowd shots on the back. Each CD sleeve is unique, the first features a road with the bike parts with a rear showing the site maps and track listing. The second sleeve has a blue colored event program cover as well as a different aerial shot and track listings. The third sleeve has a live shot of Roger as well as a ticket stub from the concert, all three CD’s have pictures on them and all three are slightly different and there is an 8 page booklet included with a historical view from the Lazy Goalkeeper as well as many live and back stage shots of the group. This release has it all, sound that is as good as the best previous titles, very relevant bonus tracks giving value for money, and superior packaging and presentation make this an excellent title to own.

Pink Floyd - 1975 - Rave Master Matrix

Pink Floyd
June 18, 1975
Boston Garden
Boston, MA



101. Raving And Drooling  13:06
102. You've Gotta Be Crazy  13:49
103. Shine On You Crazy Diamond I-V  12:26
104. Have A Cigar  4:34
105. Shine On You Crazy Diamond VI-IX  12:06

201. Speak To Me  5:44
202. Breathe  2:48
203. On The Run  4:57
204. Time > Breathe (reprise)  6:09
205. The Great Gig In The Sky  6:03
206. Money  8:05
207. Us And Them  7:33
208. Any Colour You Like  8:27
209. Brain Damage  3:52
210. Eclipse   4:25
211. Echoes  22:25


With several unique tapes and a pressing history dating back to the days of vinyl, Pink Floyd’s June 18th, 1975 Boston Gardens show is one of their most familiar shows.  The vinyl and early compact disc releases utilized a good but thin and fragmented recording.  In the late nineties the Hopkins tape surface and was used for subsequent CD releases including Echoes in the Gardens (Heartbreakers HB-801-1/2), Raving & Drooling (Watch Tower WT2004124/5) and Nice Live Pair (Highland HL677/8).  The latter was issued in both a four disc edition, where it was coupled with the June 17th Nassau Coliseum show, and separately as Live At The Garden. 

Sigma released this show two times. Rave Master (Sigma 3) is another version of the Hopkins tape and its follow-up Definitive Rave Master (Sigma 52) utilizes the excellent Lampinski recording. 

Rave Master Matrix is the third time Sigma released this show.  This time, they use a matrix edit between the Hopkins and the Lampinki tapes.  Their attempt is to try to marry the clarity of the former recording with the liveliness of the latter and they come close to perfection.  Except for four short imbalances, it’s an amazing edit and worth having.

The set list is the same as they introduced the previous summer when they played several gigs in France.  It is admirable for a band to have the unmitigated hubris to devote the first hour of the show to unreleased, new musical compositions. 

All of the new songs in some way address the devastating effects of the insincerity in the music industry, both universally and with Syd Barrett in particular.  “Raving And Drooling” sounds massive as it crawls across the stage.  “You Gotta Be Crazy,” introduced by Waters as “another new song,” is played at a slower tempo than the versions the previous year.  “This one…(choking noises)…is called ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond.” 

Compared to the first two songs, these three are much more polished and closer to their final arrangements which is probably why they chose to record them for the next album.  As Waters sings “Have A Cigar” his voice doesn’t crack much.  It is still one of the great, unsolved Pink Floyd mysteries why he wrote a song out of his range.  Gilmour might have been able to handle it, but sonorous voice would clash with the hostility of the lyrics.

The second disc contains the second half of the show, the entire Dark Side Of The Moon, and the encore “Echoes.”  “Speak To Me” is very long and the audience clap along with the heartbeat as it fills the rafters of the Garden.  The excellence of this recording is more apparent on this disc since it does a great job capturing all of the sound effects employed by the band.  The clarity of the detail on this tape is nothing short of astonishing as the auxiliary sounds swirl around.  The synthesized chaos of “On The Run” is a pure adrenaline rush.

“The Great Gig In The Sky” has an interesting jazz interlude in the middle.  The cash registers before “Money” seem to shake the seats as the band deliver a hot version of the song.  Parry plays a sultry saxophone solo before Gilmour’s studied guitar solo.  “Any Colour You Like” is more than eight minutes a jamming before the piece’s finale of “Brain Damage” and “Eclipse.”  After Waters thanks everybody for coming the band play a twenty-two minute version of “Echoes” as the encore.

Rave Master Matrix is a really nice piece of work and comes close to being the definitive version of the Boston show.

Pink Floyd - 1975 - Nassau 1975 Day 2

Pink Floyd
June 17, 1975
Nassau Coliseum,
Uniondale, NY

Sigma43

101. Tuning
102. Raving And Drooling
103. You Gotta Be Crazy
104. Shine On You Crazy Diamond I-V >
105. Have A Cigar
106. Shine On You Crazy Diamond VI-IX

201. Speak To Me
202. Breathe
203. On The Run
204. Time
205. Breathe (reprise)
206. The Great Gig In The Sky
207. Money
208. Us And Them
209. Any Colour You Like
210. Brain Damage
211. Eclipse
212. encore call - tuning
213. Echoes


Nassau 1975 Day 2 (Sigma 43) serves as both a sequel to Nassau 1975 Day 1 (Sigma 22), the three disc set with the June 16th show and as a corrective for the popular yet criticized Wishes, Echoes, And Desires (Godfather GR267/268).  Godfather were the first to offer a significant upgrade over Nice Live Pair (Highland HL675/676/677/678), a four disc set coupled with the June 18th Boston show and individually as Live At The Coliseum (Highland HL675/676), but that release was marred by digital clicks in the first song and at points on disc two.  Sigma 43 maintains the excellent sound quality of the Godfather yet does not have any flaws on the tape whatsoever and can be considered definitive at this point.

A review was published in the New York Times after the second show which interestingly singled out Richard Wright for particular praise.  The author John Rockwell writes:  “While the rock world is steadily inundated by German space-rock ensembles, Pink Floyd keeps indefatigably making music that antedated the Germans and is superior to nearly all of them.

“Not that the English quartet, which played the first of two consecutive evening concerts Monday at the Nassau Coliseum, is purely devoted to rambling, hypnotic instrumentals of the sort the Germans favor.  Pink Floyd can boogie, almost, what with the crunching rhythm section of Rogers Waters (bass guitar) and Nicky Mason (drums), plus a fervent saxophone player and two black women singers. 

“And the group’s songs have an unusually suggestive poetic quality – great literature, even, in the context of the flatulent pseudo-mythology of so many recent space rock lyrics – and the singing isn’t half bad at all, especially that of Dave Gilmour, the lead guitarist.

“But the core of the act remains the instrumentals, and the core of those instrumentals is Rick Wright, the keyboard player.  Mr. Wright makes music of a coloristic richness that is more entrancing that almost any of his competition that one can think of, and yet his flights say firmly grounded in lucidity and rhythmic directness.  And for all the others’ gifts on their own, they do their best work in support of Mr. Wright.” (“Pink Floyd Plays At Rambling Best:  English Quartet Is Sparked By Wright On Keyboards,” John Rockwell, June 18th, 1975) 

The tape begins when the house lights go down and the band walk on stage.  “Wait a minute.  Just wait a minute” Roger Waters says.  “Okay this is a new tune called ‘Raving And Drooling I Fell On His Neck With A Scream.'”  This song would undergo minor variations in its development before being rewritten as “Sheep.”  On this night Wright plays around with some unique keyboard motifs in the first half of the piece. “You Gotta Be Crazy” is sung more than narrated (as was the case in its earliest incarnation) and is missing the barking dog interlude after “dragged down by the stone….”

Waters makes the normal reference to their founder before “Shine On You Crazy  Diamond Parts 1-5″ when he says, “This is the last new song tonight so make the best of it.  It is partly to do with Syd Barrett who used to be in our band.”  Just before the ten minute mark one of the roadies plays the money sound effects by accident, the sound of coins falling into the cash register.  In the final section, during Part 8 Wright takes an interesting solo.  The second half of the show is devoted to Dark Side Of The Moonand is given a flawless delivery with Gilmour’s wailing guitar in “Money” a standout. Nassau 1975 Day 2 is packaged in a standard jewel case with artwork from the tour. 


Pink Floyd - 1975 - Seattle Master Reels

Pink Floyd
April 10th, 1975
Seattle Center Coliseum
Seattle, WA 


Sigma 58

101. Intro
102. Raving And Drooling
103. You Gotta Be Crazy
104. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Part 1-5)
105. Have A Cigar
106. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Part 6-9)

201. Speak To Me
202. Breathe
203. On The Run
204. Time
205. Breathe (Reprise)
206. The Great Gig In The Sky
207. Money
208 .Us And Them
209. Any Colour You Like
210. Brain Damage
211. Eclipse

301. Audience
302. Echoes


Pink Floyd entered Abbey Road studios in January 1975 to record their anticpated follow up to the seminal Dark Side Of The Moon.  Their intention was to polish and evolve the three songs they were playing live the previous year, “Raving And Drooling,” “You Gotta Be Crazy” and “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.” 

So the story goes their hearts weren’t into recording the album and tensions were raised when Roger Waters decided to make an artistic decision by splitting “Shine On” into two parts, dropping the other two songs, and making Wish You Were Here into a concept album.  Recording of the LP went on throughout the summer before its September release and in the meantime they took two breaks from recording to tour north America twice. 

The first tour was a short, three-week trek down the west coast beginning on April 8th in Vancouver and culminating with five sold out shows at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles.

Highland were the first label to release Seattle on silver disc in 2001 on Dark Side Last Tour (Highland HL571/572). It is a good to very good but slightly distant recording that can be a little fuzzy at times.  Sigma use the master tapes (according to the title) for Seattle Master Reels.  Sigma didn’t apply much remastering to the tape.  It’s not as loud as Highland and the echo is more pronounced.   

There are small cuts on the tape between “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-5)” and “Have A Cigar,” “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 6-9)” and “Speak To Me,” and “Eclipse” and “Echoes.” The setlist is similar to the 1974 shows with the new material being played in the first half, the Dark Side Of The Moon in the second and “Echoes” serving as encore. 

The tape begins when the house lights go down and someone on stage (Waters?) is whistling Irving Berlin’s “There’s No Business Like Show Business” but very slow, out of key and sarcastic. The way it is whistled fits well into the attitude of the new songs and the direction the new album was heading, being a full frontal attack upon the same music industry that made them unbelieveably rich and famous.  (They should have written a song called “Bite The Hand” or something). 

“Raving And Drooling” is a bit rusty the beginning but improves as it goes on.  At about the ten minute mark Mason’s drums become predominate lending a tribal tone to the piece.  There seem to be problems with the equipment and after the song Waters says, “We just, we just have to solve one small problem.  It takes about two minutes before we get on.” 

“You Gotta Be Crazy” comes off much better than the first song, and “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-5)” is introduced as another new song.  In lieu of a saxophone solo in part five Wright plays a keyboard solo.  “Have A Cigar” is played for the second time ever.  Gilmour and Waters share vocals on the verses but Waters sings the chorus alone with cracking voice. 

Gilmour’s solo is different than the commercial version being much lower and chunkier before the song abruptly ends.  It seems the transition into the next song still had yet to be rehearsed.  At the end of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 6-9)” the audience lets out a terrific shout. 

After the intermission they come back with Dark Side.  This is probably what most people there came to see and they roar with approval.  The long, taped introduction is an excuse for the audience to cheer along with the stage show before the first song “Breathe.”  Wright takes control of “On The Run” and plays surreal sounding keyboards that sound even spookier in this recording. 

He again asserts himself by the end of “Great Gig In The Sky” by playing a jazzy little tune before the cash registers start sounding for “Money.”  Dick Parry is absent on this song and Gilmour plays a long solo.  After the proper solo he spits out heavy metal squeals and low-end funk riffs until Mason reigns him in and brings the song to the final verse.

“Us & Them” sounds gorgeous in this recording including Parry’s saxophone.  The back up singers are audible in this recording beginning the verses for Gilmour to complete.  “Any Colour You Like” is almost ten minutes long with an effective jam in the middle.  “Echoes” is played as the encore and clocks in at almost a half hour.  Parry again asserts himself in the middle before the seagull section and the finale sounds very spacey in this recording. 

Seattle Master Reels is packaged in a fatboy jewel case with tour pictures.  Sigma also continue the practice of placing Pink Floyd 1975 shows onto three CDs when it could fit onto two.  Overall it is a solid release by the label which is recommended for those who do not already have this show.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Pink Floyd - 1973 - Performing Art

Pink Floyd
June 17th, 1973
Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Saratoga, NY


Eat A Peach EAT 195/96

101. Obscured By Clouds
102. When You're In
103. Tune Up
104. Set The Controls For The Heart of The Sun
105. Tune Up
106. Careful With That Axe Eugene
107. Echoes

201. Speak To Me
202. Breathe
203. On the Run
204. Time
205. Breathe (Again)
206. The Great Gig In The Sky
207. Money
208. Us And Them
209. Any Colour You Like
212. Brain Demage
211. Eclipse
212. One Of The These Days


Pink Floyd’s touring commitments in 1973 would be the first to focus largely on the United States. There would be two tours, the first began March 4 in Madison, WI and ended March 24 in Atlanta, GA, the second would start June 17 in Saratoga, NY and end June 29 in Tampa, FL. Aside from four concerts in London and two in Europe, this would comprise the band’s live engagements. Much of the reason for this would be the success of Dark Side Of The Moon, while the Floyd had built a strong following on the live circuit, they were lacking in record sales, something they would no longer have to worry about.

Back to 1973, the second tour of America was originally scheduled to begin June 16 at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, NJ but due to severe weather, the concert was postponed until June 18, so by default the concert in Saratoga was the first night. The set list of the second leg would be the same as the first leg although the band would change the running order of the first set. The Saratoga Performing Arts Center, or SPAC, is a large outdoor amphitheater that has a 25,000 person capacity and the concert was a sell out. The recording from Saratoga is an audience source, it sounds like the taper had a good yet distant position, from the sound I would guess he was under the pavilion as this does not sound like an open air recording one would get from “the hill”. The recording is clear and atmospheric that falls in the very good range and for being a capacity crowd, it has an intimate sound. There are some drop outs from time to time and a couple tape flips but overall a very nice and enjoyable recording. There has been a previous release, Saratoga Master (Sirene-262).

Since there is only one source for the Saratoga show, the content between the old Sirene title and this new release is the same. After not listening to the Sirene title for years, I was pleasantly surprised, as with many of the labels releases, at how well it sounds. After listening to samples of raw master and 1st Gen of this show, I can surmise that this new version from Eat A Peach more closely captures the sound of the original recording. Sirene mastered theirs by boosting the volume and removing a small amount of hiss and has a thinner sound. This new Peach title is just a hair lower in volume and has a wider range of frequencies, the bottom end is much better but by no means is this a significant improvement over the Sirene, just a better representation of the original recording.

I find the performance of the first set to be standard, by this time the band had been playing this material for well over a year and some of the 1973 concerts sound rather mechanical by this point. I agree with GS’s assessment of Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, the middle section is quite sublime. The audience is pretty restrained although there are some shenanigans going on in the form of fireworks, something the band would grow to hate. There are muffled conversations from time to time but overall a respectful audience who has come to listen and enjoy the music. The Dark Side half is much more enjoyable, Gerard states in his review (click on the link) that the Sax player was unknown but in Glenn Povey’s excellent The Complete Pink Floyd book, he lists Dick Parry. Dark Side is well captured, the audience really enjoys On The Run, it is a great version with Richard Wright’s Synthesizers very clear and enjoyable. There is more audience energy in the second half, their reactions to the music and light show make for a more enjoyable atmosphere.

The packaging is typical for Peach, mini LP style cover with a focus on triangles, the yellow hue is warming as if the band was heading for the heart of the sun. The insert has liner notes from the Lazy Goalkeeper and the CDs have pictures on them. Nice to see a show that has not been booted to death get some much needed attention. 

Pink Floyd - 1972 - The French Side Of The Moon

Pink Floyd
December 7, 1972
Palais des Sports
Lille



Golden Eggs ‎– Egg 7/8


101. Intro / Speak To Me
102. Breathe
103. On The Run
104. Time
105. Breathe (Reprise)
106. The Great Gig In The Sky
107. Money
108. Us And Them
109. Any Colour You Like
110. Brain Damage
111. Eclipse

201. One Of These Days
202. Careful With That Axe Eugene
203. Echoes


Back in late 2008 a previously unknown Pink Floyd recording began making the rounds and like many unearthed gems, was quickly pressed and offered to the collectors market. The title was Luna Lille and featured a very good recording from Lille, France at the tail end of 1972. The tape was found on a tape list of a gentleman who had torrented a recording of a concert he had made by Gong. Contact was made and the taper of the Gong show also taped the AM broadcast of Pink Floyd’s January 23, 1970 concert at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées. It was through this contact that our Hero saw a Pink Floyd date that caught his eye, the Lille show from December 1972, knowing nothing circulates from this he started the inquiry process and found out the Gong taper only had an mp3 version. Our Hero was persistent and was able to get his hands on a digital transfer of the master tape. The Lille recording was taped by a fellow who went by the name ZEF who recorded the concert using a Telefunken recorder and an external microphone. Work was needed to make the tape a bit more polished, slight tape warble, drop outs, and crackles were all painstakingly fixed and was torrented under the title “Filling a Gap”.

It has been nine years since Sigma released Luna Lille (Sigma 33) and has remained the only silver title of this concert. Lets pull out Luna Lille and see how this new title, The French Side Of The Moon compares. First off Luna Lille sounds really good, I have always thought that Sigma’s mastering has been top notch, sure the complete Hakone and Tokyo sources they put out suffered from heavy handed mastering but since both were from the same taper, I believe it was from the source not the label. This new Golden Eggs title sounds not far off from Sigma as one would expect, there is only one tape source for this concert so everything that circulates is from the same source. Slight mastering has been done to this new title to give a fuller sound, the bottom end is better without distortion, a key element in this recording since Roger’s bass was prominent. The mastering is gentle, the slight hiss level found on the Sigma title is still here, to have removed it would have ruined this recording. This Golden Eggs title just has a warmer and more inviting sound and one can hear the clean sound of the Sigma title gives it a more sterile feel. Golden Eggs has certainly improved upon the older Sigma title nicely and to my ears I find that I prefer this new Golden Eggs to the Sigma title.

When I started collecting Pink Floyd titles many years ago I always went after the 1973 recordings as I wanted the fully realized Dark Side Of The Moon. However, the more 1972 titles that I bought, the more I wanted. First off, when one considers the band tested their audience greatly by playing 50 minutes of completely new material in the first half of the concert, one long piece at that, and from the majority of the recordings, one can surmise that the audiences really enjoyed and listened intently to this new music. To be able to listen to Dark Side evolve over 1972 is one of the greatest joys in Pink Floyd’s unofficial catalog. Again like many, their late 1972 performances are incredible, Dark Side is nearly fleshed out but the use of the mechanical sound synthesizers has not taken over so piano and organ still reign supreme and provide a much more pleasing sound.

This recording from Lille, France is very good near excellent, the taper sounds very close to the action, hence Roger’s bass being a bit high in the mix. The clarity of the recording gives one the ability to fully enjoy what all four members are playing. Nick Mason’s superb drumming, these are the last few years where his early style of playing would be heard, he would soon switch to a more consistent beat versus his looser fills, this departure was certainly due to the bands changing to a more defined musical direction than the loose improvisational styling of years past. For me the shining star is certainly Richard Wright, he playing is incredible. From the piano solo during Great Gig In The Sky is so beautifully subtle then his organ work in Money is down right funky, it is gigs like this that one can really appreciate everything he brought to the band, a wonderful and greatly missed musician.

With Roger’s bass being a bit on the forefront, one can really listen intently to his bass playing. Part of his charm as a bass player is he understands the space between the notes, while sometimes sounding rudimentary, the fact that he hits chord at the right time and lets the sound resonate making for an uncluttered sound. One of my favorite versions of One Of These Days, again due to Roger’s bass being in the forefront of this recording, gives a massive feeling of being overcome by the fury. Dave Gilmour has got to be one of the most consistent guitarists in the history of Rock, his playing is spot, his slide playing during Days is wickedly good, after Nick’s vocal the sound almost swings like a big band. What I would give to be able to have a time machine, to be in a small theater to hear the Floyd live in the early 70’s must have been something.

The packaging for the Golden Eggs releases hearken back to the old Godfather label, tri-fold sleeve beautifully adorned with both color and black and white pictures. I love the shot of the band on the interior center, all four Floyd’s at the front of the stage, barely room to move! There is an insert, a simple list of concerts performed in the calendar year of 1972, and the CD’s have the Golden Eggs logo on them. Great packaging and mastering make for an excellent title, for those who love Luna Lille, here is a nice upgrade and for those who do not have this superb performance and enjoyable recording in your collection, here’s your chance.

Pink Floyd - 1972 - Spring Festival

Pink Floyd
1972-04-20
Syria Mosque Theatre
Pittsburgh, PA



Spring Festival / Golden Eggs 93-94

101. Speak To Me
102. Breathe (In The Air)
103. On the Run
104. Time
105. The Mortality Sequence
106. Money
107. Us And Them
108. Any Colour You Like
109. Brain Damage

201. One of These Days
202. Tune Up
203. Careful With That Axe, Eugene
204. Tune Up
205. Echoes


There is reason to get excited when a title comes out featuring a recording you don’t have and has never been released on CD prior, such is the case with Pink Floyd Spring Festival from the Golden Eggs label. Like many collectors I tire of labels constantly releasing the same old shows while there are many good recordings that get no attention and would make fine releases. So when a previously non-booted show comes up, and being from Pink Floyd in 1972, it’s time to celebrate.

The concert featured here comes from the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the famed Syria Mosque, an intimate 3,700 seat theater in the Oakland neighborhood of the city. Like many old buildings built in the early 1900’s, it was sadly torn down and turned into a parking lot. The theater had a rich history of presenting the Arts in the form of plays, Opera, comedy, and music with Classical, Jazz and Rock all being represented. I was lucky enough to have seen a concert at the Syria Mosque, Billy Idol on his Rebel Yell tour in January 1984. If I am not mistaken, the last recorded concert by Duane Allman with the Allman Brothers Band was at this venue in October 1971, just two weeks before his untimely death.

Pink Floyd would play the theater twice, November 19, 1971 and April 21, 1972, after the release and success of Dark Side Of The Moon the band would return to the city yet play the larger Civic Arena in 1973 and massive Three Rivers Stadium in 1975. This new release features the band’s performance in the spring of 1972 when they played as part of the KQV Spring Festival of Rock presented by radio station KQV. There is only one recording from this show and it is incomplete, the taper probably brought only one 90 minute cassette so the Dark Side suite ends 1:30 into Brain Damage eliminating the rest of the song and Eclipse, the second set recording ends 18:15 into Echoes.

The recording is a very good audience source, the taper sounds close to the stage and the sound is clear and detailed, the instruments and vocals are discernible, although the drums are the lowest in the mix and at times lost in the sound. It does have some hiss present and the frequency range is limited to the middle of the spectrum giving it a somewhat flat sound. Like many recordings that circulated in trading circles, different generations have different sound characteristics, the version here is the best of what circulates yet its generation is unknown, the master tape does not circulate.

The first half of the concert is the Dark Side Of The Moon suite, the recording picks up during the heartbeat introduction and “chapter 5 verses 15-33” and some faint crowd anticipation can be heard and they give the band a nice ovation when they take the stage. Breathe is very laid back and a bit tentative, On The Run is more focused as Rick Wright and David Gilmour get into the groove, Rick’s keys are solid in the recording and we can really enjoy what he is playing as well as adding via the soundscapes. The pre recorded effects are in their infancy too, the tick tock of Time sounds almost rudimentary, Nick’s drums are low in the mix at the beginning but thankfully get louder as the song progresses. After the first verse it begins to sound completely disjointed, Rick starts the transition into the Breathe reprise too early causing the whole band to lose their timing and struggle to finish the song!

I love The Mortality Sequence, the biblical readings and rants by Malcolm Muggeridge inserted over Rick’s organ and at times, the sounds of a rooster lends to the vast aural painting the group is creating and must have been almost shocking to some in attendance. Money has the full band back proper and is quite dynamic, even at this early stage the song has a certain swing to it. I often wonder if David was imaging some of the leads would actually be saxophone at some point, as usual his most fiery playing of the first half is during Money. Rick plays a few floating notes that pull the band down to Earth and they begin the transition into Us And Them. The song walks the fine line between the melancholy and the bombastic, the spoken word tape in the middle sounds quite interesting, the sound moves around a bit during this song although I am unsure if it’s the band’s sound system or taper.

Any Colour You Like is led by Dave, it builds in speed and texture much like his previous guitar driven opus Fat Old Sun, he even does some scat vocalization typical for this period. The recording fades out “And if there is no room upon the hill…” and when one puts on disc 2 fades into the windstorm beginning of One Of These Days. The soundscape in the middle bass echo section is prime Gilmour/Wright goodness, incredible how sound can paint a picture in your mind. Dave’s guitar is buried in the fast section and Rick keys are dominant in the mix, quite interesting to hear, then the mix changes again and the keys are gone and guitar is front and center, all thanks to the Azimuth Coordinator.

The audience is quite patient during the minute and half tune up prior to Careful With That Axe, Eugene. As the many times and different versions of this song I have heard, I never tire of it, especially in the 72 versions. The atmosphere the band creates is remarkable, from Roger’s bass and silent screams over Nick’s cymbal works, Dave’s guitar and scat vocals and Rick’s creepy organ, haunting to say the least. At the 4:10 mark Dave does an extended scat line and Roger gets under him with an aggressive bass line all the while the tension builds until we are on the edge then it erupts in a violent lashing of sound and screams. Roger says a quiet thank you as the audience gives the band a loud ovation, the song seems to have woken them as they are a bit more animated during the tune up. When the band is ready Roger says “this is called Echoes”, the crowd applauds then gets deathly quiet for the beginning of the song, quite cultured. There are some brief PA problems about 4 minutes into the song and while it is not complete, Echoes has the best sound of the entire tape, even Nick’s drums are quite audible. A really enjoyable performance in front of a wonderful crowd.

The packaging is the standard tri gatefold sleeve with the art work featuring a take on the Spring Festival pamphlet. The cover also pays homage to the Syria Mosque with photos of both the exterior and interior of the venue. There are liner notes by The Fish Bowl Swimmer and an insert featuring a reproduction of the aforementioned Spring Festival pamphlet. Another superb example of what can be done when the extra effort is put forth, well thought out packaging coupled with excellent subject matter combined to make a superb release.

Pink Floyd - 1972 - Moon Over Ocean

Pink Floyd
April 15, 1972
Sportatorium
Hollywood, FL 


Golden Eggs 55/56


101. Speak To Me
102. Breathe
103. Travel Sequence
104. Time
105. Home Again
106. Mortality Sequence
107. Money
108. Us And Them
109. Any Colour You Like
110. Brain Damage
111. Eclipse

201. One Of These Days
202. Tune Up
203. Careful With That Axe Eugene
204. Tune Up
205. Echoes
206. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun



In a review of Pink Floyd’s concert in Atlanta, Georgia on April 18, 1972, local hip underground newspaper The Great Speckled Bird had this to say, “Pink Floyd is one of the few bands, perhaps the only one now, to maintain the integrity of electronic and psychedelic music, primarily because of their inventiveness.” The key word in there is inventiveness. The creation of Dark Side Of The Moon is most certainly the step forward in musicality and songwriting that really took Pink Floyd from cult act to mainstream Rock super-stardom. In my mind that’s why I enjoy the 1972 concert recordings so much. Who else would come out and play 45 minutes of new music that was not yet studio recorded? In fact it was not yet even ready, the band was continuing to flesh the piece out night after night. This year long gestation would allow the band to produce one of the most fluid pieces of music in the history of the medium.

This brings us to the latest release from the Golden Eggs label, a performance in Hollywood, Florida. There are two recordings that circulate for this date, the first and most complete was released some six years back on the Florida 1972 (Budgie 001/002) title. The recording is virtually complete, only missing the final song. The second recording features the tail of Dark Side and the entire second set. This new Golden Eggs title uses both recordings to present the complete concert. The first recording is easily very good, all instruments and vocals can be clearly heard and is very atmospheric. The tape sounds a bit distant and there is a bit of tape hiss present but this only adds to the warmth of an analog recording. The second recording was probably a bit closer to the stage and has more tape hiss with a more muddied sound yet clear enough that all instruments can be heard.

The audience is not settled as the performance begins, you can hear some sort of altercation between two attendees near the taper during Breathe, the band is not settled either. Based upon the liner notes, The Floyd did not like playing the concrete and metal buildings as it made it difficult to achieve the sound they liked. Dave is a bit rusty and flubs a line in Breathe but as they move into The Travel Sequence they hit a groove, the taper makes a mic placement adjustment and one can settle in and properly enjoy the performance. This recording picks up the sound effects nicely, the clocks come through clearly and get a small round of applause. Really like Nick Mason’s drumming in the song, very busy at the beginning and during the solo spot, his drums are captured well in the recording and even get a bit of punch to them at times. The Mortality Sequence is really dense, almost like a sensory overload, one could imagine having partaken in certain substances and hearing this in its quadraphonic glory, the voices, the animals…

The cash register sounds distant and Roger starts the iconic bass riff to Money with zero fan fare, typical for this time in history but boy how things would change (no pun intended). The song is well received, yet the audience seem to be getting restless, as the quiet beginning of Us And Them is playing, conversations are happening and the distant sounds of fireworks can be heard. Brain Damage and Eclipse are very strong and bring an end to the piece, the assorted lunatics in the hall give a nice ovation.

The blowing winds soundscape seems to get the audience moving and inspires them to clap along with One Of These Days as they settle in. The band plays a blistering version of the song, fast and corrosive and quite pleasing. The restless crowd talk and holler during the three minute tune up, Roger intros the piece as “This is an oldie, it’s called Careful With That Axe, Eugene…it’s got a very quiet beginning”. The tuning is our first taste of the second recording, the splice is seamless. Mason’s steady beat is interjected with sporadic fast cymbal work, Wright uses a swishing like soundscape sounding like someone trying to shush Eugene’s inner demons. Great scream, great jam afterwards and another patch from 6:49 to 7:23, as the song quiets back down, Richard plays a nice little flourish on the organ, very subtle. Another quick tune up patch for the tune up, the crowd is again restless at the beginning of Echoes as there was no real applause as the song begins, although once settled they get into it and it receives the biggest ovation of the evening. A twelve and half minute version of Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun is the final song, the crowd near the second taper are more well behaved and in tune with the Space Rock.

The packaging is beautiful, Hollywood, Florida is in the southern part of the state and is nestled between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami on the picturesque Eastern shore. The label uses band photos superimposed over a moonlit shore with a blue hue and a full moon, very visually pleasing. The inner jacket folds open to reveal liner notes from the Fish Bowl Swimmer. Golden Eggs has not only done justice to the performance but also the tapes themselves by presenting them in a naturally sounding fashion.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Pink Floyd - 1972 - The Darker Side Of Rising Sun - Japan 1972 Chronicles

Pink Floyd
1972
The Darker Side Of Rising Sun
Japan 1972 Chronicles 


The Godfather Box 24



Pink Floyd’s inaugural visit to Japan in 1971 found the band playing two festival dates and one in a small concert hall and was certainly a very successful visit and the seeds were planted for a larger scale visit the following year. The resulting tour commenced in March 1972 and consisted of six dates, two each in Tokyo and Osaka, one in Kyoto and Sapporo. Thankfully the enterprising tapers in Japan were on hand and all six concerts were captured on tape, these tapes are the focus for the fourth Pink Floyd Box set from the folks at Godfathers. The best sources are used and alternate recordings are used to fill gaps or to be used as bonus material, one only has to look at the disc times to know that one is getting a value for one’s money.

The packaging is simple yet elegant, each concert is housed in an individual tri gatefold sleeve and the typical box is used to house them all. There are goodies as well, a ticket reproduction of the first gig in Tokyo, the mini tour program reproduction and tour poster with liner notes written on the flip side is also included. While the liner notes are not as expansive as one would like, they are informative and accurate. The box itself is a work of art, the white background is striking against the colorful graphics taken and expanded from the tour poster, the shiny foil effect used for the lettering in a very nice touch. There are detailed reviews for each of the six concerts on the Collectors Music Reviews web site, please follow the links for the in depth analysis of each concert, this review will primarily focus on the sound quality of each concert. 



Music From The Dark Side
Tokyo First Night
March 6, 1972
Taiikukan
Tokyo


101. Speak To Me
102. Breathe (In The Air)
103. The Travel Section
104. Time
105. Breathe
106. The Mortality Sequence
107. Money
108. Us And Them
109. Any Colour You Like
110. Brain Damage
111. Eclipse
112. Stage Announcements

Bonus Tracks: 
Japanese FM Pirate Radio Broadcast

113. Speak To Me
114. Breathe (In The Air)
115. The Travel Section
116. Time
117. Breathe
118. The Mortality Sequence
119. Money
120. Us And Them
121. DJ Comments


201. One Of These Days
202. Tune Up
203. Careful With That Axe Eugene
204. Tune Up
205. Echoes
206. Stage Announcement / Intermission
207. A Saucerful Of Secrets


The first night of the Japanese tour and the first of two nights in Tokyo, there are two recordings that circulate, a partial FM source featuring a large portion of the Dark Side suite and a complete audience recording. There have been previous versions of the audience source such as Waters Gate (TNT-940147/148) and Live In Tokyo 1972 (Amsterdam AMS-9616-2-1/2), back in 2009 Sigma came out with the most complete version with upgraded sound and featured both tape sources in a three disc set called Acid Moon (Sigma 45). Three years later the same label would release the audience source in better sound and this time complete as Eclipse Of The Sun (Sigma 84), featuring all between song chatter and tune ups and stage announcements.

For the first set of this new box Godfathers utilizes both tape sources to provide collectors with the most complete version of the show. The first disc consists of the audience source for the Dark Side suite and with the stage announcements clocks in at 49:40. The sound is very good and when compared to Eclipse Of The Sun (Sigma 84) it does sound slightly lower in volume but has a warmer and natural sound and the bottom end is not as pronounced as the Sigma. The warmer sound makes for a much more enjoyable listening experience as it does not sound as harsh, since the source is already very good it becomes a choice of preference. The stage announcements from Goro Itio are after the Dark Side suite on this release as on Sigma 84 they are at the beginning of the second disc.

The rest of disc 1 is the FM source, the quality of the recording is excellent, much more dynamitic than the audience source, it has been released before as Dark Music (Sirene 118) and on disc three of Acid Moon (Sigma 45). The recording is not complete as it runs out 1:20 into Us And Them, Sirene chose to release the recording on its own on Dark Music while Sigma 45 completes the recording with the audience source, Godfather chooses to present the recording on its own. Again I used Acid Moon to compare sound, Sigma is a tad louder and Godfather has a warmer sound and its upper frequencies are not as harsh, the differences are minimal though.

As Gerard pointed out in his assessment of Eclipse Of The Sun that the second half of the show is much more dynamic of a performance. The sound quality when compared to Sigma 84 goes hand in hand with the previous disc, slightly lower volumes with warmer sound and a bit more clear to my ears. The crowd is more enthusiastic since they are familiar with most of this music, the tune ups do get tedious as they are a couple minutes long, the ever patient Japanese calmly wait for the musicians, their reward are great versionof Careful With that Axe Eugene and Echoes. All In All a decent first night in Japan. 



At The End Of The Horizon
Tokyo 2nd Night
March 7, 1972
Taiikukan
Tokyo, Japan, 


101. Speak To Me
102. Breathe (In The Air)
103. The Travel Section
104. Time
105. Breathe
106. The Mortality Sequence
107. Money
108. Us And Them
109. Any Colour You Like
110. Brain Damage
111. Eclipse
112. Stage Announcements

Bonus Tracks

113. One Of These Days (alternate source)
114. Tune Up (alternate source)
115. Careful With That Axe Eugene (alternate source)

201. One Of These Days
202. Tune Up
203. Careful With That Axe Eugene
204. Tune Up
205. Echoes
206. Stage Announcements / Intermission
207. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun

Bonus track

208. Set The Controls for The Heart Of The Sun (alternate source)


The second night in Tokyo finds The Floyd much more relaxed and turns in a much tighter performance than the previous evening, this is most evident on the Dark Side material that takes up the first set of the evening. There are three sources for this concert in varying degrees of sound quality, the first source is a very good to excellent recording that made up the Live In Tokyo 1972 (Zeus Z 907001/2) release, it features the majority of the concert but Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun was incomplete. A second source appeared on Missing Pieces : Japan Tour 1972 (Sigma 34), it was a notch down from the Zeus source but did not suffer from the low end distortion of the first source. This second source was also incomplete and was mainly the Dark Side suite plus a complete version of Set The Controls, the remainder of the show, believed to exist, does not circulate.

The bulk of this show comes from the first and best sounding first source and is most certainly from a better generation of tape than the Zeus version, the low end distortion is still evident but does not sound as intrusive and has a much warmer and enjoyable sound. There are a couple tape cuts in the Dark Side piece where the second source is inserted, the edits are well done and very smooth. The bonus tracks on the first disc comes from a third source, it is a good sound but is slightly distant from the other two, there is some sound fluctuation and there is a slight bit of tape hiss present but it is very listenable and enjoyable.

The second disc again comes from the Zeus source with the second source edited in to complete Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun. The third source is again utilized for a bonus “alternate” version for Set The Controls, of the three bonus tracks this is by far the most enjoyable. The tri gatefold sleeve features a great picture of the four members with their wives / girlfriends giving an inside glimpse to the private musicians.


Lunatics On The Run
Osaka 1st Night
March 8, 1972
Festival Hall
Osaka, Japan 


101. Speak To Me
102. Breathe (In The Air)
103. The Travel Section
104. Time
105. Breathe
106. The Mortality Sequence
107. Money
108. Us And Them
109. Any Colour You Like
110. Brain Damage
111. Eclipse

Bonus Track: 
208. Atom Heart Mother (alternate source)

201. One Of These Days
202. Tune Up
203. Careful With That Axe Eugene
204. Tune Up
205. Echoes
206. Intermission / Tune Up
207. Atom Heart Mother




The first gig in Osaka has been widely bootlegged, and multiple sources exits for this concert, the first source was used on Fourth Eclipsed Night (Highland HL 593/594), the second source was found on Naniwa – Natural Dark In Osaka (Highland HL 665/666), and Darkest Moon (Sirene-007), and a combination of both tapes was used for Assorted Lunatics (Sigma 40). Missing Pieces: Live In Japan 1972 (Sigma 34) featured a third source for Echoes. Since I only own Assorted Lunatics that will be the basis of my review for this concert. From listening to the Assorted Lunatics release versus this new release one can determine they are not the same tape. The Godfather version is very good and borders on excellent, and just a notch below the Sapporo recording. It is clear and atmospheric, all instruments are well represented and the vocals are much more up front in the mix, there is just a touch of top end distortion at times but nothing to detract from this superb recording.

On Assorted Lunatics you can clearly hear the fumblings of the recording as he adjusts his equipment at the beginning of Speak To Me, none of this is present on this recording. Brain Damage is also complete unlike the Assorted Lunatics version that is a two source mix to complete the song. The bonus track on the first disc is an alternate recording of Atom Heart Mother, it is slightly distant but clear and atmospheric, it does not have the audience noise in the immediate area like the Assorted Lunatics recording.

The second disc has a few different sources mixed about, most notably the first 1:50 of One Of These Days and some of the tune ups before and after Echoes is from a different source although this version of Echoes is complete, there is also a source change as the band return to the stage for Atom Heart Mother. With all the small scraps of tape mix in it all flows together nicely, not too jarring and the edits themselves are very smooth making the sonic transition easier. The sound on the second disc is comparable to what is on the Assorted Lunatics second disc for the show.


Cold Side Of The Bow
Osaka 2nd Night
March 9, 1972
Festival Hall
Osaka, Japan


101. Speak To Me
102. Breathe (In The Air)
103. The Travel Section
104. Time, Breathe
105. The Mortality Sequence
106. Money
107. Us And Them
108. Any Colour You Like
109. Brain Damage
110. Eclipse
111. Stage Announcements

Bonus Track
207. Echoes (different mix)

201. One Of These Days
202. Tune Up
203. Careful With That Axe Eugene
204. Tune Up
205. Echoes
206. A Saucerful Of Secrets


There is one main source for the second night in Osaka, Sigma has released it prior on the Assorted Lunatics (Sigma 40) and the encore Saucerful Of Secrets appeared on Missing Pieces: Japan Tour 1972 (Sigma 34). The sound quality is very similar to the Sigma, if anything the Godfathers has less hiss making it a bit clearer but the difference is minimal. The very low levels make this show hard to listen to, I prefer to listen to recordings like this at night when the noise of the day is much less. The bonus track on the first disc is an alternate mix of Echoes, it sounds as if they increased the levels to make the music louder, it also makes the hiss more prominent and since the levels are so low to begin with it did not make sense to master the whole recording that way, I am guessing that is the reason for the bonus track. I also agree with wgpsec in his assertion that A Saucerful Of Secrets is from a different source, it is much more enjoyable a recording, there is some audible audience chatter also.


A Journey Through Time And Space
Kyoto 
March 10, 1972
Furitsu Taiikukan Hall
Kyoto, Japan


101. Speak To Me
102. Breathe (In The Air)
103. The Travel Section
104. Time
105. Breathe
106. The Mortality Sequence
107. Money
108. Us And Them
109. Any Colour You Like
110. Brain Damage
111. Eclipse

Bonus Track
205. Echoes (different mix)

201. One Of These Days
202. Tune Up
203. Careful With That Axe Eugene
204. Echoes

There is one source for the Kyoto show, it is similar in sound to the final Osaka being distant and having low levels, the Kyoto show is a bit brighter and therefore is an easier listen. The show has seen two prior releases, Assorted Lunatics (Sigma 40) and Kyoto 1972 (Sigma 92). The sound of this Godfather title sounds virtually identical to the latter Sigma title Kyoto 1972 (Sigma 92). The bonus track on the first disc is another alternate mix of Echoes, they have taken the levels up, there is hiss to be expected but not as bad as I was expecting. Where I found the alternate mix of the last Osaka date not special, this mix is really nice and makes me wish there was more from this mastering job as it is far easier to enjoy than the original tape.


Last Gig On The Moon
Sapporo
March 13, 1972
Nakanoshima Sports Center
Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, 


101. Speak To Me
102. Breathe (In The Air)
103. The Travel Section
104. Time
105. Breathe
106. The Mortality Sequence
107. Money
108. Us And Them
109. Any Colour You Like
110. Brain Damage
111. Eclipse

Bonus Tracks: 

206. One Of These Days (alternate source) 
207. Careful With That Axe Eugene (alternate source)

201. One Of These Days
202. Tune Up
203. Careful With That Axe Eugene
204. Echoes
205. Atom Heart Mother


The final gig in Japan for 16 years has four know recordings that circulate in varying degrees of completeness, the most popular of these recordings is for a good reason, it boasts the best recording to surface from the tour but is sadly incomplete as it is missing the last two songs. The recording commonly referred to as source 2 is excellent, well balanced with all instruments and vocals being well balanced, it sounds as if it was recorded very close to the stage and is simply fantastic. There have been a slew of prior releases of this tape Cold Front (AS 91PF001), The Great Gig On The Moon (Teddy Bear TB 35), Think Pink (Black Cat BC-18), Dark Side Of The Rising Sun (Pigs On The Wing), Dark Side Of The Ice (Highland HL679), Memories Of The East (Sigma 24), and Sapporo 1972 (Sigma 82).

The Dark Side suite is virtually complete, the cut in Brain Damage is patched with the inferior recording found on Sapporo 1972 (Sigma 82) and is referred to as source 1. The quality of source 1 is distant but clear and atmospheric and much better than Kyoto and Sapporo and as with the other patch edits it is seamless. The bonus tracks on the first disc are also from source 1 and sound a bit clearer than the Sigma 82 versions. The first two songs on the second disc are the excellent source 2 recordings and are on par with the Highland and Sigma versions of the tape. Source 1 is again used for Echoes, again the sound is slightly clearer and more enjoyable. Atom Heart Mother first appeared on Missing Pieces: Japan Tour 1972 (Sigma 34) and Sapporo 1972 (Sigma 82), since there is no supporting evidence either confirming or discrediting the claim of being from this concert its inclusion here makes sense. The recording is distant and muffled and is almost identical to Sigma 82.


Another massive box set from Godfathers, and together with their previous release First Time In Japan (The Godfatherecords 933/934/935) provide collectors with a comprehensive overview of the bands live history in Japan. Based upon comparisons with other titles, the versions here are equally as good or better than the best versions out there and until some newer and better sources are found this should be considered the best and definitive statement of Pink Floyd’s Japanese concerts. Another lovingly assembled set by Godfathers and is certainly recommended. 

Monday, December 23, 2019

Pink Floyd - 1972 - The Complete Rainbow Tapes

Pink Floyd
1972
The Complete Rainbow Tapes


The Godfather Box ‎– G.R. BOX 02


Pink Floyd by the beginning of 1972 were growing tired of their stage show.  In interviews leading up to the Rainbow gigs the members of the band were quoted in the press saying only “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” and “A Saucerful Of Secrets” provided any sort of challenge to them anymore.  The rigidity of epic pieces such as “Atom Heart Mother,” coupled with their desire to outgrow the cliched appellation of “space rock,” lead them to compose their masterpiece Dark Side Of The Moon. 

Several times before they wanted to write an extended piece of rock theater emulating the commedia dell’arte (The Man And The Journey and Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast come to mind). Neither of the two resonated either with the audience or their own talents.  But “Eclipse,” the early name for Dark Side Of The Moon, did with its explorations of human madness and vanity.

This presented almost forty-five minutes of new music, and at this point allowed them to improvise to a degree.  The band began touring for the new piece on January 20th in Brighton, a full month before the important London shows at the Rainbow.  Press reports from the Brighton show were not very promising since they had a serious breakdown in equipment. Melody Maker described the new piece as “not impressive” and “lacking framework and conception.”  (But the report singled out drummer Nick Mason for praise).

The month-long preparation tightened up the piece and the four sold-out concerts at the Rainbow were a major success. Melody Maker called the show “Pink Floyd’s Star Trek,” singling out the light show and special effects. New Musical Express likewise mentioned the special effects and called it a “magnificent production.” 

And the Sunday Times, in an almost complete reversal of Melody Maker’s assessment of he Brighton show, pointed out that Pink Floyd “have structure to their music, beauty of form” and that their new music has “an uncanny feeling for melancholy for our times.”

All four shows were recorded from the audience in varying degrees of sound quality and completeness, but only the fourth show has received much attention.  Given the superlative sound quality (and its alleged BBC source), there were many vinyl and silver disc editions.

The Complete Rainbow Tapes is the first time Godfather have ventured into the risky work of boxsets.  They are all around expensive, and oftentimes if an inferior tape is used for even one show then the whole set diminishes in worth to the collector.  Furthermore, many boxsets fail because they collect common material and expect collectors to shell out the money for what they should already have. 

Godfather avoid both of these mistakes.  The source tapes in this set are all as good as possible, and most of these shows are extremely rare to find.  Godfather presents the first and definitive versions of these shows in a gorgeous set.  This is one of the best Pink Floyd releases to surface in quite a long time and may go down as one of the best Pink Floyd releases to ever be produced.  



Day 1 (GR BOX 08 A/B)


February 17th, 1972
Rainbow Theater
Finsbury Park
London, England

101. Speak To Me   1:08
102. Breathe   2:48
103. On The Run   6:44
104. Time   5:32
105. Breathe (Reprise)   1:02
106. The Great Gig in the Sky   4:15
107. Money   7:53
108. Us And Them   6:59
109. Any Colour You Like   3:29
110. Brain Damage   3:14
111. Eclipse   3:48
 
201. Tuning & Soundcheck   2:41
202. One Of These Days   8:24
203. Tuning & Soundcheck   0:52
204. Careful With That Axe, Eugene 14:53
205. Tuning & Soundcheck   2:06
206. Echoes 26:55
207. Tuning & Soundcheck   1:34
208. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun 14:23
 

The first Rainbow show exists in a very sharp and clear mono audience recording.  There are small cuts in “Time” at 3:04 and 3:42, and a couple minor drops outs, but is nevertheless an excellent, low-hiss recording. 

It has seen some commercially produced editions. Time Ends (Shout To The Top STTP 162/163) claims to have the complete show, but the Dark Side set is really the excellent tape from the final night. The second set (“One Of These Days” to “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun”) comes from this show but with “Echoes” and “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” reversed.

Rainbow Day 1 (Ayanami 212) was released on CDR with the correct tape, in the correct order, and with the speed adjusted.  Godfather is the first silver pressed version of the complete first night in the Rainbow.

Given the publicity and importance of this set of shows, and especially of the opening night, Pink Floyd sound understandably tense and nervous.  They play the Dark Sidesuite very cautiously, emphasizing each note and trying to be careful not to make any mistake.  “On The Run” is a nice jam between Gilmour and Wright, and “The Mortality Sequence” contains the Muggeridge speech. 

“Money” is restrained, as is “Any  Colour You Like.”  Overall the performance is effective, but would grow much better in the ensuing days. 

The second half has a similar feel to the first.  Roger Waters rarely addresses the audience as they play the older tunes.  “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” has some interesting improvisation in the middle as does “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun.”  Wright has fun in the latter, providing 1950’s b-movie sci-fi sound effects. 



Day 2 (GR BOX 02 C/D)



February 18th, 1972
Rainbow Theater
Finsbury Park
London, England

101. Speak To Me   1:10
102. Breathe   2:40
103. On The Run   6:43
104. Time   6:21
105. Breathe (Reprise)   1:16
106. The Great Gig in the Sky   4:54
107. Money   7:27
108. Us And Them   6:54
109. Any Colour You Like   3:59
110. Brain Damage   3:08
111. Eclipse   3:39
112. Encore Break (Wind Tone S.E. & Soundcheck)   2:18
113. One Of These Days   8:59
114. Careful With That Axe, Eugene 15:11
 
201. Echoes 28:54
202. Tuning & Soundcheck   1:24
203. A Saucerful Of Secrets 16:58
204. Tuning & Soundcheck   0:51
205. Blues 10:01
206. Tuning & Soundcheck   1:29
207. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun 13:23


Sound quality for the second night at the Rainbow Theatre is very good.  It is very top heavy, emphasizing the treble with the bass pushed to the back and a lack of depth prevents this from being an excellent recording.  “Set The Controls For Heart Of The Sun” is cut at 6:53 and 7:25.  The only commercial release of this show is on Rainbow Day 2 (Ayanami 213) on CDR.  This is the first silver pressed edition of the show.

The performance of Dark Side is much more interesting than the first night.  Wright on keyboards definitely shines on this night, providing interesting fills and variations in the melodies.  His performance is a reminder that, before Waters’ vision (and ego) grew to dominate the band, Wright was singled out as the talent of the band.

He plays a catchy jazzy riff in “On The Run” and switches to a slow, pious organ for “The Great Gig In The Sky.”  Gilmour plays a great solo in “Money” which requires him to play double time since there is no saxophone in these early performances.  The transition from “Us And Them” into “Any Colour You Like” is a bit clunky, but the ending is spectacular with the audience reacting loudly to the air raid sirens at the end of “Eclipse.”

After a twenty minute break they tune their instruments.  The wind sound effect, the one used for “One Of These Days,” can be heard. 

Waters introduces “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” as a “golden oldie.”  The audience are receptive enough to determine when the flash pots go off during the song.  The are noisy between songs, shouting out requests.  After “Echoes,” which Wright again dominates, they shout out for “A Saucerful Of Secrets,” and get it. 

Again, they shout out requests for obscure songs (“Sysyphus” is a popular choice), but they get the Pink Floyd blues instead.  After more shouting, Floyd give them “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” as a final encore.  On all counts this is a marked improvement over the first night.  Both “A Saucerful Of Secrets” and the blues improv were added to the set and would remain for the rest of the Rainbow shows, making them all over two hours long. 


Day 3 (GR BOX02 E/F)


February 19th, 1972
Rainbow Theater
Finsbury Park
London, England

101. Breathe   1:01
102. On The Run   6:16
103. Time   6:01
104. Breathe (Reprise)   1:03
105. The Great Gig in the Sky   4:22
106. Money   7:44
107. Us And Them   6:55
108. Any Colour You Like   4:32
109. Brain Damage   4:05
110. Eclipse   3:11
111. One Of These Days 10:37
112. Careful With That Axe, Eugene 13:00
 
201. Echoes 26:34
202. A Saucerful Of Secrets (Cut) 15:36
203. Blues   8:29
204. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun 13:13
 

The third night, because it exists in fragments, is the most obscure of the four.  Only by combining two unique tape sources can the show be heard in its (almost) entirety.  The first tape source is good to very good but with slight traces of hiss.  It is not noticeably except in quieter passages.  “Speak To Me” and all but the final minute of “Breathe” are lost.

A lot of work went into making this tape sound smooth.  Drop outs during “Breath,” “The Mortality Sequence,” the beginning of “Money” and the start of “One Of These Days” were smoothed over.  It has been speed and balanced corrected to make it quite listenable. 

Source two picks up with “Echoes” and runs to the end of the show (the original taper lost his cassette with the first half of the show).  It is much brighter since the taper stood closer to the stage.  A couple of glitches in “Echoes” have been smoothed over, and there are several small cuts and tape crinkles in “A Saucerful Of Secrets” (points where the taper’s recorder ate the tape in the ensuing years). 

Day three has the most uneven Dark Side of the four.  Some parts, like Wright’s keyboards in “The Great Gig In The Sky” which sound almost like Phillip Glass and the ensemble playing in “Money” are definite highlights. 

But the transition from “On The Run” into “Time” is extremely rocky since Gilmour comes in several measures too early.  Also, the power goes out briefly three and a half minutes into “Brain Damage.”  The music abruptly stops and some confused members of the audience applaud, thinking the set is over.  The band pick up, finish “Brain Damage” and “Eclipse” without incident. 

“Echoes” features Gilmour’s best guitar riffing of the night.  Afterwards someone by the stage makes very strange, ugly noises and says some rude (but inaudible) things. “I like you” Waters jokes.  “I have an affinity for you.   This next song is called ‘Set…”  No, that’s not it at all.  The next song is ‘A Saucerful Of Secrets.'”

The “Pink Floyd Blues” has to restart (met with sarcastic cheers from the audience), and the final encore is a thirteen minute long “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” with what the taper describes as “incredible soaring, echoing quadrophonics” which unfortunately do not come across in the mono recording.

Overall it is a strange night at the Rainbow for the band.  Equipment problems were kept to a minimum and they were able to overcome early struggles, but it is an uneven performance compared to the others in this set. 


Day 4 (GR BOX02 G/H)



February 20th, 1972
Rainbow Theater
Finsbury Park
London, England

101. Speak To Me   2:49
102. Breathe   2:46
103. On The Run   6:05
104. Time   6:55
105. Breathe (Reprise)   1:04
106. The Great Gig in the Sky   3:59
107. Money   8:06
108. Us And Them   6:48
109. Any Colour You Like   4:36
110. Brain Damage   3:51
111. Eclipse   2:48
112. Tuning & Soundcheck   1:34
113. One Of These Days   8:03
114. Tuning & Soundcheck   2:13
115. Careful With That Axe, Eugene 10:58
 
201. Tuning & Soundcheck   2:08
202. Echoes / Encore Break 25:47
203. Audience Requests   0:56
204. A Saucerful Of Secrets 16:05
205. Blues   6:47
206. Audience Requests   1:32
207. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun 13:52
 

The fourth and final night at the Rainbow is the most famous of the shows and is many people’s very first listen to what would be on of the most important and highest selling rock LP’s in history.  Several tapes exists including a superlative sounding audience tape which is so good many thought it was a soundboard recording or a BBC radio broadcast. 

No record of any broadcast exists, however, and muffled conversations in the lower right channel betray it as an audience tape.  It was used on the first vinyl release The Best Of Tour ’72 (16-421/422) which originated in Europe and was quickly copied in the US and Japan and has been in circulation ever since. The Swingin’ Pig Records released The Best Of Tour 72 (TSP-CD-049) in 1990 on compact disc. 

This is one of the titles produced by this label, along with Liver’ Than You’ll Ever Be, which was criticized for their heavy handed mastering using the No-Noise which eliminated the hiss but also clipped the music too producing a horrible sounding affect. 

Dark Side Of The Sky (Chapter One CO 25117), Forbidden Samples (Neutral Zone NZCD 89007) and The Live Side of The Moon (Seagull Records) are other releases of this tape.  The definitive version of these tapes were pressed on The Best Of Tour 72 (Siréne-135), which is still a good title to have for the unedited tape sources.

Godfather use a mix of all three sources to present the show in its entirety and in the best possible sound quality.  It begins with the second audience tape, but then edits into the excellent quality “radio” tape for the Dark Side suite.  The cuts in “Time,” “Us & Them” and the latter half of “Eclipse” are filled with the second audience source again.

The second half of the show utilizes another audience recording.  The editing job between them is very nicely handled, minimizing the differences in sound quality between them. 

“On The Run” is the same arrangement they played throughout the entire year until the LP was released, being a jam between Wright and Gilmour.  This version is very intense with Gilmour reaching a tense crescendo before segueing into “Time.” 

“Money” has a long bass intro and an extended guitar solo at the end.  It sounds like someone missed a cue as happens also in the following song “Us & Them.”  Wright misses the time signatures at the beginning and extends the measures two extra beats until Mason comes in and gets the band back on track. 

“Eclipse” ends with very loud sirens going off in the theater which impressed the newspapers in their reviews the following week.  After “One Of These Days” Waters says:  “There are people outside with petition…anti-all-this midnight assembly rubbish which is going through Parliament, so if you can sign it when you go out…”

“Careful With That Axe, Eugene” sounds very creepy in this recording and comes very close to The Doors’ “Not To Touch The Earth” (I sometimes believe that track is Waters’ Jim Morrison tribute). 

“A Saucerful Of Secrets” closes the set on a high note despite Wright’s miscue in “Storm Signal.”  His wandering head drove the band to the brink several times during the show.  The band play the “Pink Floyd Blues” as the first encore, introduced by Waters as “something different.”  And finally “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” closes the show and London’s introduction to the new Pink Floyd.

Each of the four shows comes in a tri-fold gatefold sleeve, and all four fit into a box.  There is clever use of photographs from the show and appropriate era.  Included also is a miniature reproduction of the Rainbow shows programme and a miniature poster with tour dates and liner notes.  This is the most gorgeous Pink Floyd collection to come out since The Transitional Period-1968 era (Tarantura TCDPF-3-1-3). The Complete Rainbow Tapes is definitely worth seeking out.