Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Pink Floyd - 1980 - Tearing Down The Coliseum Wall

Pink Floyd
1980
Tearing Down The Coliseum Wall
(Godfather GRBOX05)



Pink Floyd played five sold out nights at the Nassau Coliseum on the short but expensive Wall tour in 1980 and 1981.  All five were taped from the audience with the final night on February 28th being the most popular show to appear on silver releases. 

On Tearing Down The Wall the Godfather label present the three rare middle shows, February 25th, 26th & 27th.  The February 26th show was included on the four disc set on Sigma Your Favorite Disguise (Sigma 23), but the second and fourth concerts from the New York shows are making their silver pressed debuts in this box set. 

The New York concerts were heavily promoted on metropolitan radio, creating a media blitz.  All the shows were sold out within five hours.  Scalpers were fetching as much as $100 for orchestra seats.  At one of the shows 150 fans destroyed the glass in the box office and ran into the Coliseum, blending in with the crowd. 

Newspapers published serious articles about the spectacle, offering mixed opinions.  Martha Hume in the Daily News wrote that “cannot figure out just what people see in a menopausal British rock band that seems to be contemplating the Guyana solution as the nearest exit from life.” 

On the other hand, John Rockwell, reviewing the shows in the New York Times, opined that “The Wall show remains a milestone in rock history though and there’s no point in denying it. Never again will one be able to accept the technical clumsiness, distorted sound and meager visuals of most arena rock concerts as inevitable” and concluded that the Wall show will be the “touchstone against which all future rock spectacles must be measured.”

After the final gig the band hosted a party attended by Carly Simon, Mark Knopfler and other luminaries.  Andy Warhol, when asked if he liked the concert, replied “I always felt that the Velvet Underground was a good psychedelic group.”

With all the attention being paid to Pink Floyd with the recent release of the big “immersion” and “deluxe” versions of their catalog, it’s also an opportunity to discover more of the unofficial tapes in circulation.  And as good as the February 28th show is (and sounds), it’s nice to hear the other New York shows in the best available sound quality. 

The packaging is also excellent.  It includes a mini tour program, liner notes, and a button commemorating the gigs.  Tearing Down The Coliseum wall is the most impressive Pink Floyd release since Behind The Wall (Stonehenge Records STBX 022/23/24) came out in 1993, which contained the Feb. 28th show along with the Los Angeles rehearsals and Roger Waters live tracks from the early nineties. 


February 25th, 1980
Nassau Coliseum
Uniondale, NY

 
 
101. MC: Atmosphere    
102. In The Flesh      
103. The Thin Ice      
104. Another Brick In The Wall (Pt.1)      
105. The Happiest Days Of Our Lives      
106. Another Brick In The Wall (Pt.2)      
107. Mother      
108. Goodbye Blue Sky    
109. Empty Spaces    
110. What Shall We Do Now?      
111. Young Lust 
112. One Of My Turns    
113. Don't Leave Me Now    
114. Another Brick In The Wall (Pt.3)      
115. The Last Few Bricks      
116. Goodbye Cruel World    
     
201. Hey You      
202. Is There Anybody Out There?      
203. Nobody Home    
204. Vera      
205. Bring The Boys Back Home      
206. Comfortably Numb
207. The Show Must Go On    
208. MC: Atmosphere      
209. In The Flesh?      
210. Run Like Hell
211. Waiting For The Worms    
212. Stop    
213. The Trial    
214. Outside The Wall

The sound quality for the second New York show is very good to borderline excellent.  There is slight damage to the source tape at the beginning and slight cuts in “Another Brick In The Wall Part 2.”  Except for some conversations by the recorder, it captures the  music very well with an emphasis on the lower end.

In fact, one funny moment occurs during “Nobody Home.”  About two and a half minutes into the song a female security guard asks our taper, “Is that a pipe you’ve got there?”  The taper ignores her, so she asks him again.  He responds, “No, it’s a microphone.”  Despite the admission she lets him continue to tape.  

The February 25th show begins with Gary Yudman’s little speech.  In addition to the usual statements, he adds:  “I do have a couple of ‘good luck’ telegrams you might be interested in hearing from.  We have a telegram from President Carter.  It says, ‘You guys blow my mind.  Stop.  Rosalyn too.  Stop.  Rosalyn ooo. Stop.  Ooo, oo, Rosalyn.  Stop.’  Signed Lover of the Year.  We have one from Bob Dylan.  From Bob Dylan it says, ‘You can call me Bobby, and you can call me Zimmy, and you can call me absent, cause I won’t be there.’  Let me see, uh, we have one from Neil Young.  It says, ‘My, my, hey, hey, hope your show goes well today.'”

The opening is very energetic with the highlight “Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2,” the first real hit from the album.  The audience become so enthusiastic that someone throws fireworks on she stage at the very beginning of “Goodbye Blue Sky.”  Roger and the band keep their cool thankfully (unlike their visit to Madison Square Garden in 1977) and continue the song without incident.

“You having a good time?  Goody, goody, goody!”  Waters says before introducing “Young Lust.”  Both Gilmour and Wright on keyboards sound like they’re having much fun in this track.  But something seems wrong with Waters’ microphone during “Don’t Leave Me Now.”  His vocals sound much heavier and he’s out of sync with the music. 

The first half ends with the instrumental “Last Few Brick.”  The piece goes on longer than usual because the road crew weren’t finished assembling the wall.  Wright continues the piece with a spacey bit of keyboards reminiscent of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” and Gilmour uses an echo effect on his guitar giving it a Queen sounding timbre.  Waters sings the gentle “Goodbye Cruel World” before they take a twenty minute intermission.

The audience are a typical noisy Long Island audience excited to see the band play in the Coliseum for the first time in five years.  So much so that Rogers takes the unprecedented step (for a Wall show) to addressing the audience before they start the second half.  He tells them “I’m sure there are a lot of people here who want to listen to the quiet bits.  So if you could shout and holler in the loud bits and keep quiet in the quiet bits.  That would be wonderful.  That’s all I gotta say.  We’ll have a good time and enjoy the second half.”  (Similar sentiments to what he said in the Garden on the last tour). 

“Comfortably Numb” is the obvious highlight of the second half.  Before “Run Like Hell” Waters asks the audience,  “Do you our pig? Yeah! He’s not a very nice pig, but he’s a BIG pig! This next tune, I’d like to dedicate to all the paranoids in the audience. I’m sure there’s a few in the house, and it’s called ‘Run Like Hell.'”  It starts off with several strange grunts as Waters shouts “DISCO!”

Richard Wright plays a very loud organ in “Waiting For The Worms” and the Long Island give a loud approval to the trial and the wall’s destruction.  During “Outside The Wall” Waters uses poor clarinet embouchure and hits two nasty screeches.

“Thank you, good night” he said to a rapidly cheering audience after the triumphant second night in New York. 



February 26th, 1980
Nassau Coliseum
Uniondale, NY




101. MC: Atmosphere      
102. In The Flesh      
103. The Thin Ice      
104. Another Brick In The Wall (Pt.1)      
105. The Happiest Days Of Our Lives      
106. Another Brick In The Wall (Pt.2)      
107. Mother      
108. Goodbye Blue Sky      
109. Empty Spaces    
110. What Shall We Do Now?    
111. Young Lust
112. One Of My Turns    
113. Don't Leave Me Now    
114. Another Brick In The Wall (Pt.3)    
115. The Last Few Bricks      
116. Goodbye Cruel World      
     
201. Hey You      
202. Is There Anybody Out There?    
203. Nobody Home    
204. Vera    
205. Bring The Boys Back Home      
206. Comfortably Numb
207. The Show Must Go On      
208. MC: Atmosphere      
209. In The Flesh?      
210. Run Like Hell
211. Waiting For The Worms      
212. Stop      
213. The Trial      
214. Outside The Wall      

The third night in New York was released several years ago on silver on Your Favorite Disguise, a four disc set by Sigma which includes the superior sounding February 28th show.  Plomerus speculated that was a two source edit given the fluctuations in the sound found throughout the show.

Godfather use only one source.  They use the superior recording which, according to the source, was recorded on the middle right hand side of the stage with a “Nakamichi 550 using (2) Nak 700 shotguns w/nak700 omni blend” mics.  It picks up all the detail from the stage and with a gorgeous mix with the audience reaction producing a beautiful live sound. 

There are cuts at the beginning of each half, cutting off much of Gary Yudman’s initial atmos and the first ten seconds of “Hey You.”  Sigma is slightly more complete because they have these bits, but Godfather sounds much better and engaging.  

The band are tight and the audience are even more loud and demonstrative than the previous.  In “Another Brick In The Wall Part I” Wright really tickles the ivory on the piano and plays the same spacy keyboard interlude found in “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 6-9.”  The psychedelia sound scape is rudely interrupted by the helicopter and the Scottish school teacher. 

It builds up nicely to “Another Brick In The Wall Part 2,” motivating the audience to dance in the aisle (so it seems).  The audience are particularly vocal during the performance of “Mother.”  Waters’ lines about “Mother, should I run for president?” draws cheers since February 1980 was the start of the presidential primaries.  (New Hampshire held their elections this night with incumbent president Jimmy Carter beating Edward Kennedy for the Democratic vote and Ronald Reagan beating George H.W. Bush for the Republican).

The next line “Mother, should I trust the government” draws an even louder response, as loud as Bob Dylan received for the line “Sometimes even the president of America must sometimes stand naked” in “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” during his 1974 tour with The Band.  The cheering, and the elections in November, illustrate the frustration with Carter’s presidency. 

After “What Shall We Do Now?” Waters give a curt “This is called ‘Young Lust.'”  The rest of the first half continues without incident.

“Hey You” draws a big cheer, as does the glimpse of New York television in “Nobody Home.”  The highlight of the show, and perhaps of the entire box, is this performance of “Comfortably Numb.”  Everything sounds very strong in the mix including an additional, faint guitar melody.  Waters’ vocals are biting and Gilmour’s sound very sweet and convincing.    

Before “Run Like Hell” Waters asks, “Do you like our pig? We like him.  He hasn’t got a lot of class but there’s a lot of him.”  He gives his dedication to “all the paranoids in the audience” and yells at the pig “Home, piggy, go home.  Raus!!  Schnell! (German for “OUT!  QUICKLY!”)

There is a malfunction with the backing tape on “The Trial.”  It takes a few embarrassing seconds to correct (seconds which feel like hours).  Waters’ PA also malfunctions for a bit, really messing up the track.  But “Outside The Wall” goes off much better than the previous night and, overall, another great show for New York. 


February 27th, 1980
Nassau Coliseum
Uniondale, NY



101. MC: Atmosphere      
102. In The Flesh      
103. The Thin Ice      
104. Another Brick In The Wall (Pt.1)    
105. The Happiest Days Of Our Lives      
106. Another Brick In The Wall (Pt.2)    
107. Mother
108. Goodbye Blue Sky
109. Empty Spaces
110. What Shall We Do Now?
111. Young Lust
112. One Of My Turns      
113. Don't Leave Me Now    
114. Another Brick In The Wall (Pt.3)    
115. The Last Few Bricks
116. Goodbye Cruel World
     
201. Hey You    
202. Is There Anybody Out There?
203. Nobody Home
204. Vera
205. Bring The Boys Back Home
206. Comfortably Numb
207. The Show Must Go On    
208. MC: Atmosphere    
209. In The Flesh?    
210. Run Like Hell
211. Waiting For The Worms      
212. Stop    
213. The Trial      
214. Outside The Wall      
     
Wednesday, February 27 is the fourth and penultimate night of the New York concerts.  This concert was filmed for potential use in The Wall film.  It has never been released officially, not even in the new The Wall – Immersion box coming out in February 2012 (thirty-two years and one day after this performance).  But it has been released unofficially, most recently on U.S. Wall (No Label).

Three unique audience tapes exist and are in circulation for this concert. Godfather use the first of the three.  It is the most complete of the three, having no cuts during the performance.  It is good sounding but muffled and fuzzy at points.  The beginning is worse, but it clears up by the middle of the show.

Of the three shows in the box, this is the most “average.”  It is good, but lacks the excitement, energy or inventiveness of the others.  Perhaps the band were self-conscious before the cameras?

The audience obviously loves the performance, and become loud during “Another Brick In The Wall Part 2.”  Gilmour misses the cue for the guitar solo, but Mason keeps the beat going for an extra measure until the guitarist can figure out what to do.

“Mother,” as usual during these New York shows, receives a lot of applause in response to the words with the biggest reactions to the lines about trusting the government.  Gilmour plays a strange little “mandolin” over the main melody.

Before “Young Lust”  Waters asks “you having a good time so far?  Oh good.  That’s absolutely marvelous” in a sarcastic tone.  The audience are very quiet during “One Of My Turns,” concentrating on the narrative.   

At the start of the second half of the show they play “Hey You,”  Gilmour has a laughing fit while singing the track.  “Is There Anybody Out There?” the radio picks up a New York Islanders hockey game, drawing slight cheers (this is when they were actually good).

The same game is picked up before “Nobody Home.”  Tuning into local radio was a gimmick from the In The Flesh tour in 1977 and it works very well in metropolitan areas with many radio stations. 

Before “Run Like Hell” Waters shouts: “Do you like our pig? He’s not a very nice pig, but he’s a big pig. There’s more to our pig than meets the eye. Go home pig, go on, fuck off!”  The audience laughs hard as Waters continues, “Puffed up, overblown, pork-eyed garlic fat thing, go on, go. This next tune I’d like to dedicate to all the paranoid folk, in the audience tonight, of whom I’m sure there are many.”

“Waiting For The Worms” builds up tremendous amounts of excitement in the audience.  “The Trial” goes off without a hitch (unlike the previous night), and Waters hits some screeches on his clarinet on “Outside The Wall.”

The tape ends with several minutes of the audience leaving the coliseum to the post-concert music piped in over the PA system including the Glenn Miller recordings of “Pennsylvania 6-5000? and “In The Mood.” 

Overall this is a very enjoyable performance which lacks a bit of the excitement of the others nights in this collection, but is very tight.

Tearing Down The Coliseum Wall is a tremendous release by Godfather for the art design and mastering of the tapes.  Although the February 28th show is the definitive New York Wall show is not included (it’s been out many times before and Godfather wants to tread new ground), all these shows have very good sound and are very exciting to hear.  And the packaging makes this one of the most beautiful releases of the year. 


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Pink Floyd - 1971-06-26 - Amsterdam

Pink Floyd
June 26, 1971
Amsterdam Bos
Amsterdam, The Netherlands






01. Careful With That Axe, Eugene    
02. Cymbaline    
03. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun    
04. A Saucerful Of Secrets    
05. The Embryo    



While Pink Floyd took an enormous step between Atom Heart Mother and Meddle, it was the older material that were the basis of their live show during 1971.  In June they played dates around Europe and most of the shows include their newest epic “Return Of The Sons Of Nothing.”  On June 26th they played the Free Concert festival in Amsterdam.

Almost a year to the day since their last festival appearance in the Netherlands (the famous Stamping Ground show in Rotterdam), they played a shorter set devoid of any new material.  The “newest” song performed is “Cymbaline” recorded in 1969.

Three tapes exist for this show.  The first to surface is very good to excellent but is cut between the songs.  It was used to source several vinyl releases including  Early Tours ’70-’71 (Space Records FET 771 A/B), Barrett’s Revenge (TKRWM 2820-A/D), Amsterdam ’71, Sysyphus (S-1001) with “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” from this show, and Pink Floyd (Angry Taxman Records ATR 003-S1001).

The second tape to surface is also very good and clear which includes all of the tuning and introductions.  It was used for At Free Concert 1971 (Ayanami-190) on professional CDR and is also utilized by Godfather for Live At Free Concert.  Godfather’s mastering is much superior to  Ayanami, sounding louder, clearer and much more enjoyable enjoyable.  It is a tremendous mastering job which deserves definitive status.

(A third tape surfaced several years ago in excellent quality.  It’s superior to these two but only had “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” and “The Embryo.”)

Pink Floyd headlined this event.  The tape begins with the words of the mc welcoming them to the stage saying:  “with enormous difficulty but with great joy we bring you the Pink Floyd.”  It is a hurried yet extremely intense performance.  (After the performance the mc mentioned Floyd having to catch a plane).

Even though they play neither of their two epics “Atom Heart Mother” or “Echoes,” the numbers included are improvised greatly and have interesting performances.  “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” is very quiet and mellow until the scream.  Waters is loud enough to cause distortion in the sound system as the noise shakes the stage.

“Cymbaline” retains its melodic beauty.  The middle tape section entertains the audience, not with footsteps and a slammed door, but with the sound of a woman in orgiastic passion (to the surprise and amusement of the audience).

After a twelve minute version of “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” there is a five minute long delay as they fix the equipment.  The set closes with a lengthy version of “The Embryo.”  It is a rare instance where this song closes a show.  By this time in the song’s performance history Gilmour would play the seabirds from “Echoes” in the middle.  Also in this performance Waters duplicates the Scottish rant from “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving With a Pict” from Ummagumma.

At the end the audience is begging for more as the mc thanks Pink Floyd, the crew, and all the other bands for participating in the event.  He also asks the audience to, as they are leaving, to take their trash with them.

Since Godfather began releasing Pink Floyd titles several years ago they’ve released several excellent titles.  Live At Free Concert stands above the others for its relevance (there are no other silver pressings of this show available), completeness, and mastering of the tape.  It’s much better than anyone should expect and is a title definitely worth having. 

Pink Floyd - The Massed Gadgets Of Hercules (1970-1974)

Pink Floyd
1970-1974
The Massed Gadgets Of Hercules

Several Species Of Some Unique Performances Gathered Together In A Box And Making A Joy
(Godfather Records GR BOX 09)





Just like all good bands, Pink Floyd retained seeds of creativity despite reaching some level of success and weren’t afraid to experiment with music idea in order to advance their musical vision.  By the end of the sixties they reached the pinnacle of psychedelic rock to the extent where the press were writing about “How The Pink Floyd Defeated Psychedelia” (Disc And  Music Echo; February 15th, 1969) and used the epithet “space rock” to describe their music, utilizing headlines such as “Pink Floyd Take A Shot At The Moon” (Melody Maker; July 19th, 1969) and “Are Spacemen Floyd On Their Way Back To Earth?” (Disc And Music Echo; November 19th, 1969).

Ummagumma is both the definitive statement and deconstruction of that genera and would never to be approached by anyone again.

At the time, when interviewed by the press, the band pointed out their future direct lay in film scores.  They scored films such as More and Zabriskie Point, and were looking forward to more work in that direction.  Roger Waters spoke enthusiastically about scoring the Rollo animation cartoons by Alan Aldridge and said his biggest desire would be to score Arthur C. Clarke’s next screenplay.

At the time David Gilmour was asked whether the band had a strong future direction.  He replied, “I don’t know.  Possibly.  I really can’t say which way we are going.  We’ll carry on and produce a new Pink Floyd classic or two.”

Besides their soundtrack recordings, their original compositions also had a film quality appreciated by Stanley Kubrick, who wanted to use “Atom Heart Mother” for his 1971 film A Clockwork Orange.  But as the decade progressed, Pink Floyd become  much more confident in their abilities in writing long-form musical narratives such as “Echoes,” Dark Side Of The Moon and “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.”

The Massed Gadgets Of Hercules 1970-1974 is the amazing new box set by Godfather documenting Pink Floyd’s greatest tangent of creativity from Atom Heart Mother through to Wish You Were and Animals.

Four of the five shows have never been pressed on silver disc before and the fifth was released almost a decade ago and is now out of print and impossible to find today.  Godfather utilize the best available generations for the shows and all of them are listenable and enjoyable. 



Nuremberg 1970 (G.R. BOX  09 A/B)
Meistersinger Halle, Nuremburg, Germany – March 14th, 1970


Disc 1 (46:37): 

101 Astronomy Dominé
102 Careful  With That Axe Eugene
103 Cymbaline
104 A Saucerful of Secrets

Disc 2 (58:24): 

201 The Embryo
202 Interstellar Overdrive
203 Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
204 The Amazing Pudding (Atom Heart Mother)

Pink Floyd spent much of 1970 on the road and working on the tracks that would be released on Ummagumma‘s follow up Atom Heart Mother.  First was a quick tour of the UK followed by two weeks in Germany and Scandinavia.  The March 14th show in the Meistersinger Halle in Nuremburg circulated in the past under the name Masters Of The Mystic Arts.  

Godfather utilize the second generation tape which surfaced afterwards.  It is a big upgrade over what has been out before because of the improved sound quality and because “A Saucerful Of Secrets,” cut in the past, is now present in its entirety.

Before the upgrade some copies circulated with “The Amazing Pudding” at the start of disc two, before “The Embryo.”  But the setlist during this tour was unchanged, and the tapes from Hannover and Lund, Sweden from this period have the long track at the very end so Godfather have the correct sequence of tracks.

The long set sounds like a hangover from the sixties.  Every song is expanded with long instrumental passages.  Only “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” clocks in under ten minutes long.  They play slow and with deliberate.  Each passage seems to linger in space as the band take their time to express their ideas. 

“Astronomy Domine” starts off the long trip with the most playful and self-conscious performance of the night, but the following song “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” is much more dark and serious.  It moves along at a snail’s pace until the middle scream section.  Gilmour’s guitar is particularly loud and abrasive, spitting out much anger and hostility. 

“A Saucerful Of Secrets” is a definite highlight of the night.  Richard Wright plays abrasive atonal piano during “Syncopated Pandemonium” and the others try to give as abstract a performance as humanly possible until they get to the final section where the church organ gives a heavenly climax.

“The Embryo” is quite interesting for Waters’ melodic bass at the beginning of the middle improv.  The babies are replaced by a tape of chirping birds beneath Gilmour’s seabird calls.  They follow with “Interstellar Overdrive” which features a strange heavy metal improv by Gilmour in the piece’s middle.  He piles on the power chords, but then the improvisation mutates into a placid contemplative sound scape.

The set ends with their brand new piece of music.  Called “Consequently” when Waters introduces the song the following night in Hannover and “The Amazing Pudding” in other shows, it would eventually assume the title “Atom Heart Mother” in July.   But in Nuremburg, Waters describes it as a new piece that will take up an entire side of the new album and titles it “I Don’t Know What It’s Called.”

Reaching twenty minutes in length, it is obviously a band performance without the orchestra and choir that would augment future performances.  Hearing the suite in context of an early 1970 show lends a different appreciation.  Instead of the free form psychedelia of the preceding hour and a half, “Atom Heart Mother” is much more tonal and traditional. 




Farnborough 1971 (G.R. BOX 09 C/D)
Student Union Bar, Technical College, Farnborough, Hampshire, England – February 13th, 1971




Disc 1 (54:27): 

101 Atom Heart Mother
102 The Embryo
103 Careful With That Axe Eugene
104 Cymbaline

Disc 2 (36:42): 

201 Astronomy Domine
202 Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
203 A Saucerful Of Secrets


Pink Floyd were almost always on the road in 1970 and 1971.  It remains to this day their most busy period of live activity.  So much so that the press at the time were speculating that the road would be the musical suicide of the band. 

They wrapped up recording their fifth LP Atom Heart Mother at Abbey Road Studio in August and immediately hit the road with shows in France, followed by a tour of the US (their second of the year), a short tour of Germany and the UK.

Their only real break was about three weeks off in January 1971.  They returned to live performance with shows scheduled for universities in England including Leeds University, University of Essex, University of Exeter, and the Technical College in Farnborough, south of London. 

The show in Farnborough is the fifth live date of the year.  The recording circulates as Close The Blind on Pink Floyd ROIO torrent sites and, many years ago, was pressed on CDR on Live At Technical College (Ayanami-221), but Farnborough 1971 is the first silver pressed edition.

Godfather utilize a good but dull mono audience recording taped very close to the stage.  The audience are very quiet during the music, so there is no interference in enjoying the music.  Three are also cuts after “Careful With That Axe, Eugene,” and thirteen and a half minutes in “A Saucerful Of Secrets” omitting the rest of the piece.

Pink Floyd start the show with their new piece.  By this time it had been in the live set for a year and achieved definitive form on the LP.  During these early British dates they play a sixteen minute band version which omits the sound “collage” sections and the reprise of the main theme at the end.  The follow with “The Embryo,” the other constant in the setlist at this time. 

Good performances, but there is a strange coolness in the air.  It seems as if the audience don’t really care for the new and unfamiliar tunes.  After “The Embryo” Waters is audible having a conversation with someone in front of the stage.  Much of the conversation is inaudible, but he can be heard asking the person “are you having a good time?  This is a radically different piece.  It’s called ‘Careful With That Axe, Eugene.’”

Waters is answered with the loudest applause of the entire night.  They play a laid back version of the piece.  A cut in the tape seems to suggest it segues directly into “Cymbaline.”

“Astronomy Domine” sounds upbeat and happy in this performance.  At times, Waters plays a happy and melodic bass line similar to the opening to “Let There Be More Light” (a tune that would fit quite nicely in these set lists).  “A Saucerful Of Secrets” ends the night with a long dose of spook.  Mason on drums plays very primitive, jungle like drums in the “Storm Signal” section only to be met  with long groans from Gilmour’s guitar.  There is a fine transition into the “Celestial Voices” section featuring Wright’s church organ, but the entire passage leaves the audience (and listener) with an unsettling mood.     



Columbia 1972 (G.R. BOX 09 E/F)
Township Auditorium, Columbia, SC – April 16th, 1972


Disc 1 (43:09): 

101 Breathe (In The Air)
102 On The Run
103 Time / Breathe (Reprise)
104 The Great Gig In The Sky
105 Money
106 Us And Them
107 Any Colour You Like
108 Brain Damage

Disc 2 (66:39): 

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

Pink Floyd debuted their artistic milestone Dark Side Of The Moon in January 1972 and featured it as the first half of their show for the rest of the year.  After touring the UK and visiting Japan, the band came to north America for a three week tour in April.  The third stop was in Columbia, South Carolina on April 16th at the Township Hall.

Columbia exists on a fair to good but distant audience tape of most of the concert.  There is a loud echo surrounding the vocals.  It is missing the beginning “Speak To Me” and cuts out at the end of “Brain Damage” omitting the final number of the piece “Ellipse.” 

It has been released previously on CDR on Columbia Sonicwave (Blue Cafe -47AB), but Godfather is the first silver representative of the show.

The taper turns the recorder on at the start of “Breathe.”  Gilmour gives a nervous vocal performance, but compensates with interesting guitar parts in the  solo.  The noises that come out of his guitar are similar to those that he would play in the “Storm Signal” section of “A Saucerful Of Secrets.”

The transition from “On The Run,” still called “The Travel Sequence” at this point, into “Time” is quite long and engaging.  And “The Great Gig In The Sky,” called “The Mortality Sequence,” features the Malcolm Muggeridge tape (they would alter this track several times through the year).

Up to this point the audience have been very quiet while paying attention to the demanding new music.  But “Money” elicits some reaction from them.  Although it’s still lacking the awesome sultry saxophone of the final version, it’s still a fascinating live piece and the audience connects to it almost immediately.

They temper their reaction again to the contemplative “Us & Them” and “Any Colour You Like.”  It’s a shame the end is cut off because it would have been nice to hear their reaction to the first half of the show.

In the show’s second half, Pink Floyd return with more familiar songs.  “One Of These Days” from the latest LP Meddle is played first.  The opening bass Wright plays heavy sounding scales on the keyboards, rising and falling creating a wave effect underneath the explosions and Mason’s threatening vocals.

“Echoes” interesting Wright plays the opening keyboard melody not with the high pitched metallic sound, but with a more soft piano sound.  The track lasts for twenty-five minutes and closes the set.

The taper leaves the recorder on for several minutes while the band leave the stage and return for the encore, almost five full minutes.  While the band are getting ready to play, the tapers (among others) shout out requests.  They pick really old and obscure numbers too like “See-Saw” from A Saucerful Of Secrets and “Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk” from Pipers At The Gates Of Dawn.  There are some giggles from the audience and, one can imagine, from the band too.

Instead of being adventurous, the band reward the audience with the sixteen-minute band arrangement of “Atom Heart Mother.”   At the very end the mc comes onstage, cheers the band (“let’s hear it for Pink Floyd!”) and tells everyone to drive home safely.  Overall it’s a good show with interesting little variations.



Munich 1973 (G.R. BOX 09 G/H)
Olympiahalle, Munich, Germany – October 12th, 1973




Disc 1 (65:06):  

101 Obscured By Clouds
102 When You’re In
103 Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
104 Careful With That Axe Eugene
105 Echoes

Disc 2 (59:50): 

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 One Of These Days


Unlike 1970 through 1972 when Pink Floyd couldn’t stay off of the road, 1973 was a relatively light year for live performance.  They returned to France for and eight show reprise for the Roland Petit Ballet, but this time in Paris instead of Marseilles.  When Dark Side Of The Moon was finally released in March 1973, they toured north America in March and again in June.

After taking a four month break, they returned to the stage to finish out the year with two shows in Europe:  October 12th in Munich and October 13th in Vienna.  The set list remained the same as it was in America.  The first half of the show opened with the title track from Obscured By Clouds and some older songs, the second half was the complete Dark Side Of The Moon suite and “One Of These Days” was played as an encore. 

The Munich show is one of the better sounding of the era.  It was taped very close to the stage.  The only weakness is a bit of dullness in the upper frequencies.  But it manages to capture the dynamics of the performance very well.  It is complete except for the ending of “One Of These Days.” 

The first silver pressing was almost a decade ago on Munich 1973 Collector’s Edition (Siréne-006), a four disc release with the same tape unedited on the first two discs and edited on the second two.  Godfather use the unedited tape which includes all the tunings.

The first half of the show serve as an effective vehicle for Pink Floyd’s unsettling dramatic aural narrative.  Through the use of drones, screeches, echoes and their tension-imbued keyboards, they transform the Olympiahalle into a hall of spook.

Drones start off the show with the instrumental “Obscured By Clouds” and “When You’re In.”  It is particularly dramatic in Munich with the loud, crashing heavy metal riffs in contrast with the pastoral feeling of the rhythm section.  It is one of their most effective show openers and would be played for the last time the following night in Vienna.

“Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” relies upon a nasty, noisy middle improvisation.

The following number, “Careful With That Axe Eugene,” has been played in every show in the box set up to this point.  It was an almost constant in the set since 1968.  By 1973, Waters dominates the song by whispering the title throughout most of the piece with his blood curdling scream being the song’s climax.  Munich is one of the final live performances of the piece (the following night in Vienna and as a special encore in Oakland on the Animals tour in May, 1977).

The second half of the show is devoted to the Dark Side Of The Moon suite.  Now almost two years old, it is played in its definitive album arrangement but with David Gilmour adding a touch of lyricism to the piece, adding fills to “Breathe” and “Time.”

“Us & Them” becomes a highlight in this performance, striking a careful balance between haunting tension and a modicum of hopefulness.  The jam on “Any Colour You Like” reaching eight minutes in length.  At the end, when they play “Ellipse,” subtly is bypassed by Gilmour’s shouting the lyrics over the bombastic finale.

The only encore is “One Of These Days,” cutting out after five and a half minutes. 



Bristol 1974 (G.R. BOX 09 I/J)
Colston Hall, Bristol, Somerset, England – December 14th, 1974




Disc 1 (73:36): 

101 Jimmy Young Intro
102 Raving And Drooling
103 You’ve Got To Be Crazy
104 Shine On You Crazy Diamond
105 Speak To Me
106 Breathe
107 On The Run

Disc 2 (69:53): 

201 Time / Breathe (reprise)
202 The Great Gig In The Sky
203 Money
204 Us And Them
205 Any Colour You Like
206 Brain Damage
207 Eclipse
208 Echoes


1974 was an even lighter year than 1973 for Pink Floyd’s live schedule.  Outside of some dates in Paris in the summer, the only tour was a short trip around the UK in November and December.  Not only was this the debut of their newest songs, this was also (ironically) the first live performances in the UK of the finished Dark Side Of The Moon, close to two years after its release.

The short tour ended with two nights in Bristol on December 13th and December 14th.  The final live show of the year exists in a good to very good audience recording.  It is clear but a bit flat, lacking in significant dynamics.  There are several drop outs in the left channel during the show, most noticeable during “You’ve Gotta Be Crazy” and “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.”

Godfather use a remastered version of this tape where the channel problem was addressed and not so pronounced.

The recording begins with the MC on stage introducing the band for the final night of the tour.   Before the first song they play their Jimmy Young introduction.  This was a short piece of tape cutting bits and pieces of the BBC DJ’s voice into little pieces into an absurd collage.  Young was the object of Mason’s threat in “One Of These Days” and this tape is the band’s threat being carried out.

Just like in 1972, Pink Floyd play all new music in the first half of the show.  Unlike that tour, however, the three new songs don’t have any cohesive idea linking them together into a suite.  Rather, all three are reactions to their sucess and describe the result of when art meets commerce.

The first tune, “Raving And Drooling,” the first draft of “Sheep” on Animals, is the most polished of the three and closest to its final form.

The second track, “You Gotta Be Crazy,” sounds much different even from the form it would take the following year when Pink Floyd would tour the US twice.  It’s a might more light and airy arrangement with Gilmour rapping out the lyrics.

The final new song, which Waters introduces as being about Syd Barrett, is twenty-two minutes long and had yet to be split into two sections.  It starts off with a much  more diatonic keyboard riff, although the four note guitar  motif is present.  It is a compelling piece even at this early stage, but it would become even more so in the coming year.

Dark Side Of The Moon is played in full for the second half of the show, and a long and impressive version of “Echoes” is the only encore.   Their conceptual piece had already been sitting at number one and been proclaimed a masterwork.  The performance in Bristol doesn’t differ from the other performances on this tour. 

The Massed Gadgets Of Hercules 1970 – 1974 is a fascinating box set by Godfather.  It doesn’t have the same unity as their other two Pink Floyd box sets, but that is its strength.  There is much more variety in the music and arrangements.  After hearing the more than ten hours of  music, it’s much easier to understand and appreciate their development from the psychedelic “space rock” band to commercial arena rock superstars.

Godfather package each show in its own gatefold sleeve and are all housed in a box.  The box for this set is thicker than the others to accommodate the additional show.  Plus, they include a thick booklet with detailed liner notes and anther insert called “Eclipse (A Piece For Assorted Lunatics)” containing an essay and the lyrics to Dark Side Of The Moon.

The subtitle, Several Species Of Some Unique Performances Gathered Together In A Box And Making A Joy is a riff on the Roger Waters song on Ummagumma called “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict.”  It’s silly, but in keeping with the bootleggers tradition of coming up with absurd titles for their releases.  Given the rarity of this material, this is a very good collection.

Pink Floyd - 1972 - The Complete Rainbow Tapes

Pink Floyd
1972
The Complete Rainbow Tapes
(GR 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.







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


Disc 1 (46:52):

101. 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

Disc 2 (71:48):

201. Tuning
202. One Of These Days,
203. Tuning
204. Careful With That Axe, Eugene
205. Tuning
206. Echoes
207. Tuning
208. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun



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.








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


Disc 1 (74:40):

101. 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
112. Encore Break (Wind Tone S.E. & Soundcheck)
113. One Of These Days
114. Careful With That Axe, Eugene

Disc 2 (73:04):

201. Echoes
202. Tuning
203. A Saucerful Of Secrets,
204. Tuning
205. Blues
206. Tuning
207. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun

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.






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


Disc 1 (68:45):

101. Breathe
102. On The Run
103. Time
104. Breathe (Reprise)
105. The Great Gig in the Sky
106. Money
107. Us And Them
108. Any Colour You Like
109. Brain Damage
110. Eclipse
111. One Of These Days
112. Careful With That Axe, Eugene

Disc 2 (63:52):

201. Echoes
202. A Saucerful Of Secrets
203. Blues
204. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun

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.






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


Disc 1 (72:34):

101. 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
112. Tuning
113. One Of These Days
114. Tuning
115. Careful With That Axe, Eugene

Disc 2 (67:09):

201. Tuning
202. Echoes
203. audience requests
204. A Saucerful Of Secrets
205. Blues
206. Audience requests
207. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun

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.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Pink Floyd - The Darker Side Of Rising Sun - Japan 1972 Chronicles (The Godfather Box 24)

Pink Floyd
2014
The Darker Side Of The Rising Sun
Japan 1972 Chronicles




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, Japan




101· Speak To Me
102· Breathe (In The Air)
103· The Travel Section (AKA On The Run)
104· Time
105· Breathe (Reprise)
106· The Mortality Sequence (AKA The Great Gig In The Sky)
107· Money
108· Us And Them
109· Any Color 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 (AKA On The Run)
116· Time
117· Breathe (Reprise)
118· The Mortality Sequence (AKA The Great Gig In The Sky)
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 Announcements / 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 versions of 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 (AKA On The Run)
104· Time
105· Breathe (Reprise)
106· The Mortality Sequence (AKA The Great Gig In The Sky)
107· Money
108· Us And Them
109· Any Color 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 Tracks:
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 (AKA On The Run)
104· Time
105· Breathe (Reprise)
106· The Mortality Sequence (AKA The Great Gig In The Sky)
107· Money
108· Us And Them
109· Any Color You Like
110· Brain Damage
111· Eclipse

Bonus Tracks:
112· 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 (AKA On The Run)
104· Time
105· Breathe (Reprise)
106· The Mortality Sequence (AKA The Great Gig In The Sky)
107· Money
108· Us And Them
109· Any Color You Like
110· Brain Damage
111· Eclipse

Bonus Tracks:
112· 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 (AKA On The Run)
104· Time
105· Breathe (Reprise)
106· The Mortality Sequence (AKA The Great Gig In The Sky)
107· Money
108· Us And Them
109· Any Color You Like
110· Brain Damage
111· Eclipse

Bonus Tracks:
112· 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
Furitsu Taiikukan Hall
Nakanoshima Sports Center
Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan




101· Speak To Me
102· Breathe (In The Air)
103· The Travel Section (AKA On The Run)
104· Time
105· Breathe (Reprise)
106· The Mortality Sequence (AKA The Great Gig In The Sky)
107· Money
108· Us And Them
109· Any Color You Like
110· Brain Damage
111· Eclipse

Bonus Tracks:
112· One Of These Days (alternate source)
113· 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.

- 12 CDS: 6 complete shows plus different/alternate sources as bonus tracks.
- TOKYO CONCERT POSTER & TICKET REPRODUCTION
- 24 PAGE TOUR BOOK
- SOURCE: EXCELLENT AUDIENCE RECORDINGS
- HIGH RESOLUTION SCANS OF ARTWORK INCLUDED


Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Yardbirds - 1968-03-30 - New York City

The Yardbirds
March 30, 1968
Anderson Theatre
New York City, NY

Live Games - Godfather Records 1020





01. Introduction / Train Kept A-Rollin’
02. Mr You’re A Better Man Than I
03. Heart Full Of Soul
04. Dazed And Confused
05. My Baby
06. Over, Under, Sideways, Down
07. Drinking Muddy Water
08. Shapes Of Things
09. White Summer
10. I’m A Man / Over, Under, Sideways, Down
11. Outro / Crowd

Concert Hall, Stockholm, Sweden. 4th April 1967:
12. Introduction / Shapes Of Things
13. Heart Full Of Soul
14. Band Introduction
15. Mr You’re A Better Man Than I
16. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)
17. Over, Under, Sideways, Down
18. Little Games
19. My Baby
20. I’m A Man / Over, Under, Sideways, Down
21. Outro / Crowd


    Keith Relf- harmonica, lead vocals
    Jimmy Page- guitar
    Chris Dreja- bass
    Jim McCarty- drums, backing vocals


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Pink Floyd - 1977-03-30 - Stafford

Pink Floyd
March 30, 1977
New Bingley Hall
Stafford
Livestock Market Pigs And Sheeps
(Godfather Records GR 625/626)





101. Sheep
102. Pigs On The Wing pt 1
103. Dogs
104. Pigs On The Wing pt 2
105. Pigs (Three Different Ones)

201. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (pts 1-5)
202. Welcome To The Machine
203. Have A Cigar
204. Wish You Were Here
205. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (pts 6-9)
206. Money

Pink Floyd toured Europe for more than two months for Animals in early 1977, ending with nine shows in the United Kingdom.  The first five were at Wembley in London and the final four were in New Bingley Hall in Stafford (March 28th to March 31st). 

Tapes exists for only the final Stafford shows, and March 30th has two tapes in circulation.  The first is a very good and clear audience tape containing only the first half of the show, from “Sheep” to “Pigs (Three Different Ones),” and the second, which Godfather uses for Livestock Market Pigs And Sheeps, is a complete, good quality recording.  This tape is a bit distant from the stage and is a bit thin, but is still a nice sounding document.

Godfather is the first time this show has been pressed onto silver disc.  They’ve done a great job preparing the tape for release.  It has a natural sound and is highly enjoyable.

The venue was relatively new to rock concerts at the time and hosted several big tours in the mid seventies including The Rolling Stones in 1976, Yes in 1977 and Queen in 1978.  Before serving as a concert hall, the building served as a livestock market, a place where farmers brought their “little piggies to the market.”  Its significance for the new Pink Floyd album provides as much irony as does their Paris concerts in the converted abattoir.

For Roger Waters, it might be a commentary upon the loss of human dignity in the rampant free market, where people are forced to become either ravenous dogs, pig-headed rulers or submissive sheep.

The Stafford audience don’t make much fuss.  They are quite vocal at the very beginning when the band start with “Sheep.”  But their yelling subsides as the piece goes on and they listen very quietly to the new work in the first half.

They deliver a tight performance of the new songs.  The sound effects are loud in this recording, so during “Pigs On The Wing Part 2? Waters has to contend with the chirping birds.

But the first disc’s highlight is definitely one of the better early live performances of “Pigs (Three Different Ones).”  This was the last song written for Animals, and didn’t have the time to evolve onstage as did “Sheep” and “Dogs,” both of which were written several years before.  Snow White provides very interesting guitar counterpoint to Gilmour during the “you’re  nearly a laugh” section under that loud mechanical laugh.

In the song’s second half, Richard Wright plays a strong Hammond organ reminiscent of the mortality sequence from 1972.  The audience cheers loudly when the inflatable pig appears over the stage and Waters shouts out “27” to mark off the shows.

After a twenty minute break, the second half starts with the calm beginning of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-5).”  It provides a startling contrast to the noisy ending of the first half, and the audience start shouting and chanting.

The rest of the Wish You Were HereLP is flawless.  “Welcome To The Machine” has the audience mesmerized at the Gerald Scarfe animation on Mr. Screen and Waters hits the high notes (more or less) in “Have A Cigar.”

“Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 6-9)” is another showcase for the guitarists.  Both Gilmour and White take turns, and in the final part play duel lead providing almost an Allman Brothers Band vibe.  A loud and wild “Money” is the only encore.

Livestock Market Pigs And Sheeps is packaged in a tri-fold cardboard gatefold sleeve with various photographs from the Animals tour on the artwork.  Alex The Gnome provides abundant liner notes giving a good summary of the tour in general and the Stafford shows in particular.  Godfather have been producing quality Pink Floyd titles of late and this is another one worth having.