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Essential Floyd

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  People often ask me which Floyd shows are essential, where to start, which recordings sound best, or which are historically significant, and thus I’ve elected to provide a resource that answers all of those questions and more. Hopefully, knowledgeable collectors of other artists’ work  will follow in suit as well; this site isn’t limited to reviews alone – it is a resource for longtime collectors and those just starting out.

  This project is a work in progress, and new items are unearthed all the time; I will be regularly maintaining this article and incorporating new information as it becomes available. I’ve included as many links to reviews within the CMR site as possible for a much more in-depth look at silver releases that I rank among the very best, and in many cases consider to be definitive. While I am sure there will be plenty of people that question the CD’s I’ve elected to reference, the true focus here is on the performances and general characteristics of known recordings.

  Without further ado, these are the ones everyone needs to own, casual or fanatic, in one form or another, listed in chronological order (with much more to come):

BBC Studios, 201 Piccadilly, London, England – June 25th, 1968 – Extremely high quality recordings broadcast on BBC Radio. Should be released officially by the band without question, and hopefully someday this will transpire! – At The Beeb Vol. 1, Celestial Voices

BBC Maida Vale Studios, Maida Vale, London, England – December 2nd, 1968 – As above! –  At The Beeb Vol. 1

BBC Paris Cinema, Lower Regent Street, London, England – May 12th, 1969 – As above! - At The Beeb Vol. 1, Celestial Voices

Concertbogebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands – September 17th, 1969 - Great document of the “concept” shows where various material was culled together into two suites: “The Man” and “The Journey,” portions of which have never appeared anywhere else afterwards – The Pink Jungle: The 68/69 Pre-FM Recordings, The Man Works Before the Afternoon (Shout To The Top – STTP 207/208)

Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA – April 29th, 1970- Fantastic sound and featuring one of the best versions of “A Saucerful Of Secrets” ever performed. One of the best recordings from the first U.S. tour of 1970, it deserves a place in any collection. – Westworld, Fillmore

KQED TV Studios, CA. – April 30th, 1970 – Fantastic recording for public television containing one of the best segues from “Green Is The Colour” into “Careful With That Axe Eugene” that I’ve heard, and the entire performance is quite spacey. Recently released as a DVD/CD package with upgraded audio by Sigma! – An Hour With Pink Floyd

BBC Paris Cinema, Lower Regent Street, London, England – July 16th, 1970 - Phenomenal sound quality, recorded for BBC broadcast. Contains the only known performance of “If” live and a rendition of “Atom Heart Mother” with brass and choir that is considered by many to be superior to the original album! –  BBC Archives (stereo), BBC Archives (mono), Heart Involvement, Old Symphonies (Godfather Records – G.R. 125)

The Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA – September 26th, 1970 – My personal favorite recording from 1970; absolutely stellar sound, an intimate show for a small audience that is brimming with atmosphere. Absolutely essential for fans of the experimental era of Floyd! – Electric Factory

Altes Casino, Montreux, Switzerland – November 21st and 22nd, 1970 – The performance on the 21st was recorded by EMI Records with the intention of releasing a live album. These fantastic recordings are sourced from the EMI acetates. For the 22nd, there are a couple sources, one audience and the other believed to be from the soundboard. – Atom Hearted Montreux, Swiss Made , Montreux Casino (Hiwatt)

BBC Paris Cinema, Lower Regent Street, London, England – September 30th, 1971 – Astounding document recorded for BBC broadcast featuring the live debut of “One Of These Days,” one of the best versions of “Fat Old Sun” ever, and an equally impressive version of “Echoes.” This is another item worthy of official release. – BBC Archives (stereo), BBC Archives (mono), Heart Involvement

Golden Hall, San Diego, CA – October 17th, 1971 – Very clear audience recording capturing amazing detail. All versions of this show have cuts between the tracks, yet all music remains intact. The blues jam encore that is a staple of many Floyd shows is particularly good this evening. – Heart Of Darkness

Taft Auditorium, Cincinnati, OH – November 20th, 1971 – Notable for the longest version of “The Embryo” ever, even foreshadowing “Breathe” during the lengthy jam. This was the final performance of this song, and all of the songs are really stretched out. One of the last examples of Floyd improvising at such extreme lengths. – The Growing Embryo

Rainbow Theater, Finsbury Park, London, England – February 20th, 1972 – One of the best performances of “Eclipse/Dark Side Of The Moon” prior to the release of the LP. Includes vastly different versions of “On The Run” (then called “The Travel Sequence”) and “The Great Gig In The Sky” (then called “The Mortality Sequence”).  – The Best Of Tour 72

Nakanoshima Sports Center, Sapporo, Japan – March 13th, 1972- Another one of the very best pre-LP performances of  the “Eclipse” suite, and also notable for one of the very best renditions of “Careful With That Axe Eugene”; as GS said here, it will have you on the edge of your seat! – Memories Of The East

Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA – September 22nd, 1972 - Widely considered to be one of Pink Floyd’s all-time greatest performances, recorded in an amazing setting, and without question one of the most circulated live recordings of all time. Sadly, one of the very last performances of “A Saucerful Of Secrets” – Damn Braces: Bless Relaxes, At The End Of The Rainbow

Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, ON, Canada – March 11th, 1973 – Almost coinciding with the release of Dark Side Of The Moon, this is the debut performance of the suite in Toronto, captured in amazingly detailed, three-dimensional sound. Known also for the still unexplained “Yeeshkul” heard shouted throughout! – Obscure Night 

Earls Court Arena, London, England – May 18th & 19th, 1973 – One of the best post-LP performances of Dark Side Of The Moon with amazing sound. Includes the tracks “Obscured By Clouds” and “When You’re In,” the latter of which rocks harder than most Floyd songs. – Earls Court 1973

Empire Pool, Wembley, Middlesex, England – November 16th, 1974 – Considered by some to be THE definitive post-LP performance of Dark Side Of The Moon, captured perfectly for broadcast by the BBC. There is some debate as to which night of the Wembley winter run was the actual best performance, but there is no question that this sounds the best. Again, worthy of official release. Alternatively, audience sources exist as well. – BBC Archives 1974, Raving Lunatics

The Forum, Los Angeles, CA – April 26th, 1975 – Extremely detailed recording that should be considered the absolute best of the 1975 tour; the sound quality is absolutely phenomenal. Notable for early versions of songs that would later evolve into material on the Wish You Were Here and Animals albums. Everyone needs to own some version of this recording! – The Late Great Millard Tapes , Pink Millard

Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY – June 17th, 1975 – Another fabulous document from the 1975 tour that is nearly as good as the L.A. and Boston shows. We’re very close to seeing the definitive edition of this concert, but in the meantime, there are some recent versions worth checking out. – Wishes Echoes And Desires, Nice Live Pair

Boston Gardens, Boston, MA – June 18th, 1975 – Easily, at the very least on par with the L.A. shows from earlier in the year in terms of capture, quality, and performance. If you’re only going to own two of the shows from 1975, then make sure this is one and the April 26th L.A. concert is the other! – Rave Master, Nice Live Pair

Ivor Wynne Stadium, Hamilton, ON, Canada – June 28th, 1975 – Final night of the 1975 North American tour and the subject of much debate amongst Floyd aficionados in that some feel the band sounds tired and the performance is lacking, while others (myself included) view it as a fitting conclusion to a great tour. Rich, three-dimensional stereo audience recording. – Hamilton ’75

Pavillion de Paris, Paris, France – February 22nd, 1977- By the time of the Paris concerts in 1977, Floyd had long shaken off the rust from a long hiatus that sometimes compromised the German dates the previous month, and this recording is truly awe-inspiring. There is haunting ambiance at the Paris shows that is seldom captured elsewhere. One of the best shows of the Animals tour in front of a truly engaged, yet respectful audience. – Funhouse

Tarrant County Convention Center, Fort Worth, TX – May 1st, 1977 – Some might consider this an odd choice to include in this list, but the fact is this is a fantastic audience recording that finds the band performing splendidly and Roger Waters in good spirits. The sound quality alone warrants further investigation and the band are totally collected compared to the last few shows of the tour! – Pigs Fly Over America

Alameda Coliseum, Oakland, CA – May 9th, 1977 – The best sound of any recording of the Animals tour. Prior to Roger Waters’ breakdown, the band really appears to be enjoying the show. Also notable for the very last performance of “Careful With That Axe Eugene.” Definitive Oakland, Oaklands, Mr. Pig

Boston Garden, Boston, MA – June 27th, 1977 - High quality audience recording that can be characterized as well-balanced and powerful, with minimal audience commentary. Not quite on par with the aforementioned Oakland recording, but pretty damn close, and certainly a much more pleasant document of the latter portion of this scandalous tour. – Boredom And Pain

Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Quebec, Canada – July 6th, 1977 – The last concert of the Animals tour, fraught with tension, scene of Roger Waters’ spitting incident that in turn, provided a catalyst for The Wall - Roar Ends

Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY – February 28th, 1980- Reknowned to be the absolute finest recording of The Wall performed live with amazing clarity, fantastic balance between the vocals, instruments, and audience. As close to an official release as you’ll ever find on a ROIO – Your Favorite Disguise, Brick By Brick (Great Dane – GDR CD 9313/ABC)

Earl’s Court, London, England – August 6th, 1980- Apart from some technical problems onstage during “Mother” and the first minute of Yudman’s introduction being muffled, this is certainly one of the best recordings from the 1980 tour available, full of dynamics and power. – The Warm Thrill Of Confusion

Westfalenhalle, Dortmund, Germany – February 20th, 1981 – Utterly amazing three-dimensional sound with astounding clarity defines this recording. Unquestionably one of the most riveting, mesmerizing tapes of The Wall performed live. – Westphalian Wall

Earl’s Court, London, England – June 16th, 1981 – The penultimate concert in support of The Wall that was recently released and now easily ranks amongst the top 5 recordings of this tour. Clear, powerful, three-dimensional, and enthralling. – Watching The World Upon The Wall

Earl’s Court, London, England – June 17th, 1981 – The final performance of The Wall live with Roger Waters and one of the better recordings from this tour overall. Notable for being the last time Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright, and Nick Mason would share the same stage together for 24 years. – The Last Few Bricks

Some Runners Up (what to investigate next – keep in mind some older titles are probably in need of upgrade):

Refectory Hall, Leeds University, Yorkshire, England – February 28th, 1970 – Overall, this is a clear recording that offers an early glimpse of “Amazing Pudding” (Atom Heart Mother). While there are cuts and the dynamics are somewhat lacking, it’s an interesting recording that could be turned into something amazing by the right mastering engineer. – Dying Of Boredom

Pepperland Auditorium, San Rafael, CA – October 17th, 1970 – Another fantastic recording from the 2nd U.S. tour of 1970, notable for the problems during “Astronomy Domine” and a very creepy version of “The Embryo.” This set is so consuming that you can’t help but shake your head in disappointment when the power cuts out 18 minutes into “A Saucerful Of Secrets.” – Pepperland 1970  

Santa Monica Civic Center, Santa Monica, CA. – October 23rd, 1970- While this performance is badly in need of upgrade, it does contain quite possibly the greatest performance of “A Saucerful Of Secrets” ever, and this alone should motivate an attentive label to get cracking! – Bovine Psychosis (HypedUp – HY 1001-A/B), Sing To Me Cymbaline (Gold Standard/Colosseum – 00-C-039)

City Hall, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England – December 22nd, 1970 – Quite a lengthy concert, with a couple cuts and mild amounts of hiss, but a fabulous document containing the only known recorded performance of “Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast” – The Ultimate Breakfast

Musikhalle, Hamburg, Germany – February 25th, 1971- A very good performance by the band with the primary focus being “Atom Heart Mother,” which is accompanied by brass and choir here. “Astronomy Domine” is missing from the following examples, and it should be noted that the Ayanami CDR version of M-502 is superior to Sirene’s “remastered” version. – Ring Of Agamotto (DCD-PF 250271-1/2), M-502 Collector’s Edition 

 Sportpaleis Ahoy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands – April 3rd, 1971 – One of the last documents of the Atom Heart Mother era, overflowing with lengthy improvisations. Brass and choir version of “Atom Heart Mother” lasting over 30 minutes! – Live In Rotterdam

Sportpalast, Berlin, Germany – June 5th, 1971 –  The first concert at the Sportpalast to utilize the band’s quadraphonic sound system and full-blown light show. Cleaned up significantly by Harvested and even more so by Sirene, this is a great example of the Meddle era featuring “Echoes” with some different lyrics and a lengthy, beautiful version of “Fat Old Sun.” – Downfall

Altes Casino, Montreux, Switzerland – September 18th and 19th, 1971- Great audience recording from Pink Floyd’s 2nd consecutive appearance at the Montreux Festivals. Nothing but lengthy epics here and notable for an excellent version of “Cymbaline” –  Labyrinths Of Coral Caves , Hypnos – Visions Of Domino (Moonage Daydream – VOD 70-1/2)

Bradford University, Great Hall, Bradford, Yorkshire, England – October 10th, 1971 – Very clear set sandwiched between recording for Live At Pompeii. There are a couple unfortunate cuts and there is some hiss present, but fantastic performances nevertheless, “Careful With That Axe Eugene” in particular. Also notable for being the second time “One Of These Days” was performed in front of a live audience – The Amazing Yorkshire Pudding , Bradford 1971 

Emerson Gym, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH – November 6th, 1971 – A fantastic recording from the 1971 tour that is only tarnished slightly by the cuts between songs, some distortion in louder passages, and some audience commentary. Generally, this should be considered a very good recording and easily could be made phenomenal with the correct mastering. – Acute Danger 

Lisner Auditorium, Washington, DC – November 16th, 1971 – Some may question the validity of this concert being included amongst a list of essentials or even the “2nd tier” – however, the fact is the performance is electric and Sigma have recently produced a long overdue upgrade for this concert – Washington 1971 (Sigma 36)Process Of Creation (Highland – HL 250/251)

The Dome, Brighton, England – January 20th, 1972 – The attempted debut performance of “Dark Side Of The Moon” and despite being aborted a couple minutes into “Money,” this is obviously of great significance. The Pro-CDR label S.D.R. recently offered up a remaster of this show, but we’ve yet to see a speed-corrected, sonically upgraded silver pressing. – The Darkside Rehearsals (Triangle Records – PYCD 065-2)  

The Guildhall, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England – January 21st, 1972 – The first complete performance of “Dark Side Of The Moon!” Obviously, this is of significant historical value, certainly due for an upgrade, and deserving of one considering said relevance. – Eclipsed By The Moon (Highland – HL 206/207)

Auditorium, Chicago, IL – April 28th, 1972- Slightly bass heavy, but otherwise clear recording with amazing detail. Great version of “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” and yet another example of the pre-LP Dark Side Of The Moon. – Chicago 1972

Music Hall, Boston, MA. – May 4th, 1972- The bottom line here is this is simply a great show that has yet to receive the definitive treatment; the Highland recording sounds great but runs slow, while the Sirene version is speed-corrected, yet tragically dull. This one could rank amongst the best of 1972 if someone managed a hybrid of the two. – Mademoiselle Pink, Boston 1972  

Hallenstadion, Zürich, Switzerland – December 9th, 1972- The penultimate gig of the winter tour that is especially noteable for the inclusion of “Childhood’s End.” Though the PA at the venue itself had issues, the recording is superb, and because of the mixing imbalance, we’re treated to sonic layers not usually heard. – Zurich 1972  

International Amphitheatre, Chicago, IL. – March 7th, 1973 – This is yet another concert that really needs an upgrade, primarily due to the fact it is one of the only other known recordings of the rare “Childhood’s End,” which was only performed a handful of times. The bonus of the Highland pressing is the inclusion of two additional performances of the song (from St. Louis on March 6th and Cincinatti March 8th). – Illusions Of Childhood’s End (Highland – HL 219/220)

Boston Garden, Boston, MA. – March 14th, 1973 – Excellent audience recording taped close to the stage emphasizing the upper end. Overall, this is a great performance in front of a surprisingly sedate Boston crowd! – Carefully Obscured Sun Echoes Dark Moon Days (Pink Moon 73 1/2), Boston 1973

Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY – June 17th, 1973 – Somewhat distant recording but overflowing with atmosphere. This one really makes you feel as if you’re in the middle of all the sounds swirling around via the Azimuth Coordinator. – Saratoga Master  

Tampa Stadium, Tampa, FL – June 29th, 1973 – A truly great concert featuring stellar performances of the Obscured By Clouds material, “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, Dark Side Of The Moon, and “Echoes.” The only drawbacks being a couple cuts in “Echoes” and a mild aspect of “thinness.” Florida crowds are always entertaining and this show is no exception (yes, there’s a bit of commentary on this one!) – At The Stadium 

Empire Pool, Wembley, Middlesex, England – November 15th, 1974- The recently surfaced 3rd source for this show nearly puts this one in league with the much more widespread recordings of the following evening. High quality audience recording that offers a great alternate view of the Wembley concerts of 1974. – Who Gotta Be Crazy, How Time Flies

Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY – June 17th, 1975 – Recently upgraded, this is a very good recording of the first of a 3 night streak for Floyd, where they were truly inspired in terms of performance. While not quite the stellar quality of the recordings from the subsequent dates, this is great for any fan of this era. – Nassau 1975 Day 1

Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – July 2nd, 1977 – Floyd’s shows at Madison Square Garden are notorious for rowdy, inebriated audiences that ultimately shatter Roger Waters’ nerves. All of these performances are aggressive and tense, serving as intimate portraits of an artist cracking at the seams. That being said, upgrade for this MSG show is overdue – Counting Out Time (Moonage Daydream – COT6877-1/2; incomplete), Prog King

Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – July 3rd, 1977 – As aforementioned in the notes for July 2nd. Recently upgraded – Animal CopsPigs Might Fly (Shout To The Top – STTP 128/129)

Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – July 4th, 1977 – As aforementioned in the notes for July 2nd. Recently upgraded – Animal CopsHoliday Dogs (Shout To The Top – STTP 136/137)

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Essential Floyd, 3.2 out of 5 based on 8 ratings

33 Comments

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  1. sionxxii says
    November 9, 2012, 8:41 am

    I’m going to suggest “Live For A Friend” (Ganja 14) because it’s the only DSOTM live show with Claire Tory.

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  2. pookie says
    August 4, 2011, 9:02 am

    I have a 2cd floyd show on swingin pig from 1994 that is astounding; quality is mind blowing!

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  3. robert green says
    April 14, 2011, 6:52 pm

    hi plomerus… this is a great resource to be certain… any new updates here?
    also info has changed on this date:
    Altes Casino, Montreux, Switzerland – November 21st and 22nd, 1970
    aud sources seem to be from 11/21 while EMI acetates seem to be 11/22, is this correct?

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  4. johngolby says
    May 20, 2009, 9:39 am

    Great to read list & very informative,makes one wonder how much ‘official stuff’ is held in the vaults by EMI.I saw the Brighton Dome concert in 1972 being filmed but so far only two tracks have surfaced, the film crew certainly didn’t turn up to record twenty minutes worth and yet again where is the rest of it ? A big thanks to Plomerus for going into so much detail.

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  5. Plomerus says
    April 26, 2009, 1:57 pm

    Things like “Total Eclipse” or the Highland Anthologies are certainly good starting points for new collectors, people interested in an alternative to what was offered as bonus material on the “Shine On” box, or those interested in a smorgasbord of material – but you’re right – superior versions of all of those recordings have since surfaced, so it is certainly time for someone else to pick up that torch. Regarding the tours from 1987-89 and 1994, as DLee mentioned, the vast majority of releases are CDR only, thus falling outside of the scope of this site…but there are a handful of excellent silver releases representing said era. Truth be told, most recordings from these later eras are of high quality due to the advent of MiniDisc and DAT recorders – although there are some marred by crowd noise, bad taping location, or inexperienced operators. Perhaps at some point, I’ll compile a list for these tours to include here, but the fact of the matter is most folks do consider the end of Floyd proper to coincide with Waters’ departure. (While I don’t necessarily agree with this notion, one really only needs a couple recordings from the ’87-’89 era to get the gist of it as the setlist remained more or less unchanged, with the exception of “Echoes” being included during the earliest shows. As for 1994, it was a “looser” tour, so it would be wise to own a few different examples to procure quality live versions of different setlists). Anyway, I will certainly consider expanding this article or supplementing it with a section covering those eras and also the solo tours.

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  6. roertd7 says
    April 26, 2009, 9:49 am

    Any views on ‘Total Eclipse’ released by Great Dane years ago. I know it’s a career retrospective rather than concentrating on a particular show (or shows) and better versions of the material has emerged over the years too, but I still rate it and isten to it a lot. If you can still find it I’d add it to any list of essential Floyd.

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  7. DLee says
    April 25, 2009, 7:31 pm

    I don’t collect any of the Gilmour-led era recordings, but I do at least know that in terms of sound quality, the Melbourne, Australian soundboard of 1988-02-19, which happens to be my mother’s birthday, is outstanding enough that Siréne even released their 2-CD of it called “Lapse of Memory” on factory-pressed silver, whereas nearly all of the Gilmour-led era recordings are released on only pro-CD-R discs.

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  8. chambau says
    April 25, 2009, 5:05 pm

    Interesting comments guys. As I’m not an expert as you, why there’s no 1987, 1989 and 1994 recordings listed as essentials nor even discussed here? What would be the definitive post-Waters recording?

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  9. Plomerus says
    April 7, 2009, 5:51 pm

    Well, first of all, the original motivation behind this editorial was to provide casual collectors or those new to Floyd roios with a reference listing the “bare necessities” along with some items to investigate after those bases are covered. The discussion that has since developed is slightly off topic in that the focus is comparing titles, sources, etc. – and hey, I’m all for interaction, glad people are getting involved… perhaps a private forum for CMR members allowing further discussion would be worth considering. Anyway, regarding “Double Bubble,” it certainly qualifies for a “runner-up” spot, and perhaps the next time I update this list, I’ll include it along with “Luna Lille” and so forth…but if you’re recommending it as a ’72 item Pedro should investigate, I’d still say its an item that one should pursue after taking care of the essentials first.

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  10. alucard72 says
    April 7, 2009, 3:32 pm

    Why has everyone overlooked Sirene’s “Double Bubble” set? An unusual 1972 outdoor festival gig where the Floyd totally discarded their “Eclipsed” suite in favour of older songs (probably due to time constraints). One of the last performances of “Atom Heart Mother” and great sound quality too.

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  11. lug_nutz6 says
    April 7, 2009, 1:28 pm

    I think (this will need to be confirmed) that Sigma 1 was the first and only release to have corrected the hip-hop issue. Plus it’s a brilliant performance with great sound. But it’s not the complete show. Ideally you want both titles…perhaps a bit costly for a casual fan.

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  12. strummerville says
    April 7, 2009, 11:11 am

    Isn’t disc 4 of “Raving Lunatics” identical to Sigma 1…? I have both and they’re both pre-FM perfect sound. I tought the bizarre hip-hop background bleed was on “Absolutely Years”.

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  13. Plomerus says
    April 6, 2009, 10:04 pm

    Yeah, I concur…I mentioned “Raving Lunatics” primarily for it’s completeness, but there’s no touching Sigma 1 for 11/16 in terms of sound quality, without those bizarre hiphop artifacts!

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  14. DLee says
    April 6, 2009, 7:47 pm

    For ’75, I certainly have no problem at all with “Pink Millard”, but I love “Rave Master” slightly more than I do “Hamilton ’75”. As for ’74, the DSotM part of the Wembley 11-16 show on Sigma’s “BBC Archives 1974″ can’t possibly be beat by the DSotM part of “Raving Lunatics” on the Siréne label, but “Raving Lunatics” has the full show, as does “Who Gotta Be Crazy” for the preceding night’s concert.

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  15. Plomerus says
    April 6, 2009, 5:11 pm

    In reverse chronology:

    ’77 is clearly Definitive Oakland,

    ’75 A – Pink Millard or The Late Great Millard Tapes,

    B – Rave Master (I rate 6/18/75 Boston Garden over Hamilton personally),

    ’74 A – BBC Archives 1974 or Raving Lunatics

    B – Who Gotta Be Crazy

    ’73 A – Earl’s Court 1973

    B – Obscure Night or Saratoga Master

    ’72 A – Damn Braces: Bless Relaxes (comprehensive collection of 2 sources and video footage) or At The End Of The Rainbow for the best-sounding single source set

    B – The Best Of Tour 72 (1972 really needs to be represented at the beginning of the year and towards the end for insight into the evolution of “Dark Side Of The Moon” among other things).

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  16. lug_nutz6 says
    April 6, 2009, 4:26 pm

    I’ll chime in my opinion on this one…

    ‘73: A- Obscured By Father Time
    B- Earl’s Court 1973
    ‘72/74: A- At The End Of The Rainbow (’72)
    B- Who Gotta Be Crazy (’74)
    ‘75: A- Pink Millard
    B- Hamilton ’75
    ‘77: A- Definitive Oakland

    Hamilton ’75 may be a slight challenge to find, but the others should be somewhat easily accessible. It’s really hard to narrow it down to so few. But I think you would be happy with these. I’m sure other suggestions will be submitted.

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  17. Pedro Moya says
    April 6, 2009, 9:46 am

    Ok, bottom line: got a few bucks to spend and I want 1 or 2 titles from 73, 1 or 2 from 72 or 74, 1 or 2 from 75 and only one from 77. Which ones do I buy???
    ’73: A-
    B-
    ’72/74: A-
    B-
    ’75: A-
    B-
    ’77: A-

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  18. Plomerus says
    April 5, 2009, 9:03 pm

    “Definitive Oakland” and “Pink Millard” fall under the category of “as good as it gets” for sure. As for “Luna Lille,” I’ll keep it under advisement – I don’t necessarily disagree with you (especially considering my appreciation of Disc 2), but I want to revisit it one last time since it was a “new” release.

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  19. DLee says
    April 5, 2009, 7:14 pm

    If you upgrade those 2 Floyd shows, you couldn’t possibly regret it, as the older versions were considered very good at the times they were released, but now both of them get their asses completely kicked by the much newer ones.

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  20. brianvy says
    April 4, 2009, 9:03 pm

    Luna Lille deserves to be in the “Runners Up” section.
    Also, I have ‘Hogs in Smog’ and ‘Plays The Animals’ but I think I’m gonna upgrade to ‘Pink Millard’ and ‘Definitive Oakland’. Probably a good decision, eh?
    I just “won” an original of The Jam – Ready, Steady… Gone (The Final Tour) WA21282 on eBay so I’m in a pretty good mood!

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  21. Plomerus says
    March 18, 2009, 8:39 am

    I integrated a few into this list just yesterday, however there is still more listening and discussing to do regarding some of the new releases. In a nutshell, Pink Millard is at least as good as the Highland version (if not slightly better); Definitive Oakland we’ve not received yet, but considering the past versions from Sigma and Sirene I’m sure it is just that: definitive; Bradford 1971, Washington 1971, Animal Cops remain runners up in my opinion. Still listening to the other 2, but I can say that I LOVE disc 2 of Luna Lille…fantastic bass tones…but is it essential? We’ll see.

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  22. brianvy says
    March 18, 2009, 1:32 am

    So how is this list shaping up given the recent releases by Sigma?

    Essential-
    April 26th, 1975: Pink Millard (Sigma 31)
    May 9th, 1977: Definitive Oakland (Sigma 37)

    Runners Up-
    October 10th, 1971: Bradford 1971 (Sigma 35)
    November 16th, 1971: Washington 1971 (Sigma 36)
    July 3rd + 4th, 1977: Animal Cops (Sigma 30)

    New to Silver-
    December 7th, 1972: Luna Lille (Sigma 33)
    November 17th, 1974: Decline And Fall Of The British Empire (Sigma 29)

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  23. Plomerus says
    October 12, 2008, 2:20 pm

    I’d say the vast majority of the titles you have listed have since been significantly improved upon via remastering, speed-correction, the discovery of new/superior sources, and/or had cuts/dropouts patched over professionally using secondary sources. A couple items have yet to be improved upon in terms of silver release, such as the KQED recording – but hopefully that’s coming soon. Other shows such as Boston 1975 all use the same source and thus, it’s probably a matter of preference. If you click on the links I’ve provided, you’ll find most of these items compared directly within the reviews. There’s quite a bit to read, but I think you’ll find most of your answers there.

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  24. brianvy says
    October 11, 2008, 11:11 pm

    I’ve bought many titles upon their first silver release and it’d be interesting to hear from those that have knowledge of direct title comparisons for both old and newer releases (i.e. how much of an upgrade really is it?). A/B each date with my primary older release:
    April 29th, 1970 – Interstellar Encore (Pigs Of The Wing OMS 002/3)
    April 30th, 1970 – Darkness Over Frisco (The Genuine Pig TGP-CD-129)
    July 16th, 1970 – Atom Heart Mother Goes On The Road (A Collectors Label ACL 002 CD)
    October 17th, 1970 – Break Down Co-Ordinator (Highland HL582/583)
    December 22nd, 1970 – Pink’s Psychedelic Last Night (Highland HL176)
    April 3rd, 1971 – Ahoy Mate, It’s 1971 (Shout To The Top STTP 177/178)
    September 18th and 19th, 1971 – Plays Montreux (Highland HL476/477)
    September 30th, 1971 – The Floyd’s of London (Front Row Center PFM), Atom Heart Mother Goes On The Road (A Collectors Label ACL 002 CD)
    October 17th, 1971 – Wind And Seabirds (Highland HL473/474)
    November 20th, 1971 – Meddlee (Shout To The Top STTP 142/143)
    March 13th, 1972 – Think Pink (Black Cat BC-18)
    September 22nd, 1972 – Crackers (Zeus Z 2011001/2)
    March 11th, 1973 – Maple Prisms (Shout To The Top STTP 144/145)
    November 16th, 1974 – Absolutely Years (Siréne-119)
    April 26th, 1975 – Hog’s in Smog ’75 (Shout To The Top STTP 108/109)
    June 18th, 1975 – Echoes In The Gardens (Heart Breakers HB-801-1/2/3)
    June 28th, 1975 – Echoes in the Canadian Wood (Mégaphone CDX 1596418 MPH)
    February 22nd, 1977 – First Night In Paris (Highland HL605/606)
    May 1st, 1977 – Ft. Worth, Texas 5/1/77 (Pigs On The Wing), CDR right?
    May 9th, 1977 – Plays The Animals (Discurios DIS 206 CD)
    June 27th, 1977 – Have A Cigar (Cannonball CA2004015/16)
    July 6th, 1977 – Fire Works Show In The Canadian Walls (I.T.F. 001)
    February 28th, 1980 – Brick By Brick (Great Dane GDR CD 9313)
    August 6th, 1980 – The Wall Earls Court 6/8/80 (Silver Rarities SIRA 47/48)
    June 17th, 1981 – Livewall (golden stars GSCD 2100)

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  25. brianvy says
    October 10, 2008, 11:45 pm

    I’ve bought many titles upon their first silver release and it’d be interesting to hear from those that have knowledge of direct title comparisons for both old and newer releases (i.e. how much of an upgrade really is it?):
    April 29th, 1970 – How does Westworld or Fillmore compare to Interstellar Encore (Pigs Of The Wing OMS 002/3)?
    April 30th, 1970 – Colourful Meadows (Triangle Records – PYCD 40) to Darkness Over Frisco (The Genuine Pig TGP-CD-129)?
    July 16th, 1970 – BBC Archives (stereo), BBC Archives (mono), Heart Involvement, Old Symphonies (Godfather Records – G.R. 125) to Atom Heart Mother Goes On The Road (A Collectors Label ACL 002 CD)
    October 17th, 1970 – Pepperland 1970 to Break Down Co-Ordinator (Highland HL582/583)
    December 22nd, 1970 – The Ultimate Breakfast to Pink’s Psychedelic Last Night (Highland HL176)
    April 3rd, 1971 – Live In Rotterdam vs. Ahoy Mate, It’s 1971 (Shout To The Top STTP 177/178)
    September 18th and 19th, 1971 – Labyrinths Of Coral Caves to Plays Montreux (Highland HL476/477)
    September 30th, 1971 – BBC Archives (stereo), BBC Archives (mono), Heart Involvement vs. The Floyd’s of London (Front Row Center PFM), Atom Heart Mother Goes On The Road (A Collectors Label ACL 002 CD)
    October 17th, 1971 – Heart Of Darkness to Wind And Seabirds (Highland HL473/474)
    November 20th, 1971 – The Growing Embryo to Meddlee (Shout To The Top STTP 142/143)
    March 13th, 1972 – Dark Side Of The Ice to Think Pink (Black Cat BC-18)
    September 22nd, 1972 – Damn Braces: Bless Relaxes, At The End Of The Rainbow to Crackers (Zeus Z 2011001/2)

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  26. Plomerus says
    October 8, 2008, 10:46 pm

    DLee: I’m not sure how it compares to the Ayanami version of “M-502″, but “Ring Of Agamotto” is certainly better than the Sirene “remaster.” And again, as far as the MSG shows of ’77, they all could use an upgrade, but frankly are less of a priority to me than other items I know we’re both waiting for.

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  27. DLee says
    October 8, 2008, 8:47 pm

    As for the MSG 1977-07-04 show, I don’t think it’s ruined by fireworks except that Roger Waters makes some angry comments about them using a cuss word or two, similarly to how he does on other nights at the same venue on the ’77 tour. There are at least a couple different versions that have been circulating for a couple/few years which are noticeably superior to STTP’s “Holiday Dogs”, which is pretty good but far from definitive. Anyone know how “Ring of the Agamotto” compares to Ayanami’s 2-pro-CD-R version of “M-502″? And anyone know how “Reincarnations of Mutant Pigfidelity” compares to TSP’s “Welcome to the Machine”? Thanks.

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  28. eric99 says
    October 8, 2008, 5:53 pm

    I’ve never listened to the 7/4/77 show from the Garden. Is it ruined by fireworks like some other shows from that tour?
    Also, I’ve always liked Welcome to the Machine, from the Garden myself.

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  29. boom shaka laka says
    October 8, 2008, 4:57 pm

    Sweet, what a coincidence as I was doing some R&D on this very topic recently. However, I’m focused on the vinyl side. Some reviews mention the vinyl counterpart, some don’t. I will then add that the Rainbow Theatre, 2.20.72, 1st appeared as In Celebration of the Comet-The Coming of Kahoutek and later reissued as Eclipsed. Anyway, 2 shots of Joe to Plo.

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  30. J-Bird says
    October 8, 2008, 9:07 am

    Plomerus,
    Don’t sweat that comment. People in this hobby are so paranoid sometimes, they just can’t simply enjoy! I personally want to thank you for the list. For me it is like the checklist you get with baseball cards. Which jewels are missing? I have 90% of these releases, but could have really used a list like this 15 years ago.

    For the new collector: This list is where it is at!

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  31. Plomerus says
    October 8, 2008, 7:53 am

    First of all, let’s get something straight – I don’t work for any retailer, label, or otherwise – I am simply a collector/archivist. Secondly, I know there are some questionable inclusions here, but that’s because either A) they are historically significant, or B) would be phenomenal if upgraded….part of this exercise is to encourage enterprising labels to take these items to the next level. I debated separating them into 2 separate groups – the clear essentials and the 2nd tier, and may still do so. I also intend to provide some justification for my selections in brief descriptions of each show, and finally, I essentially copied and pasted the rough draft from my own computer with my initial thoughts; it took me hours to comb through the site and insert all the links to where the reviews existed…it’s going to take additional time to go through ALL of the old duplicate releases etc. So don’t throw me under the bus until after this whole idea develops to its furthest extent. And it’s fine if you have other preferences too…that’s what makes life colourful.

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  32. DLee says
    October 8, 2008, 6:55 am

    I’ll probably have more to comment about in detail later on, but thanks very much for this great list, Plomerus – most of it I strongly agree with. As for “The Complete Concertgebouw” by FRP, that one doesn’t count since, as far as I know, it’s available only as a non-commercial CD-R release – not factory-pressed original silver. STTP’s “The Man Works Before the Afternoon” is available as a silver release, & can’t be much inferior, if inferior at all. “Montreux Casino” on the Hiwatt label might be slightly better than the rare “Smoking Blues”, but both can still be said to be indispensable. Highland’s “Process of Creation” doesn’t sound as good to me as Oil Well’s pair of “Fat Old Sun” & “Eugene”, but the definitive version of the 11/16/71 show at Lisner Auditorium in Washington, DC is a recording that Sigma, or any other Floyd label that can, really should release eventually. I’ve never heard “Washington Echoes”, but I’ve heard that it has either clicks or gaps on track transitions. The Screamer label’s version of the Fort Worth, TX 1977-05-01 show could be a good alternative to Highland’s “Pigs Fly Over America”. Heartbreakers’ 3-CD digipack “Echoes in the Gardens” sounds to me to be fairly identical to the Highland version of the Boston 1975-06-18 show.

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  33. strummerville says
    October 8, 2008, 3:05 am

    On a postive note, I would add “Complete Concertgebouw” (Free Range Pigs) to your list, as this is easily the definitive Amsterdam ’69 recording, from the pre-FM tapes, far better than all the radio broadcast versions.

    “Heart Involvement” (Mindwarp) is another essential recording for both the 1970 and 1971 BBC recordings, coming from a BBC6 digital radio rebroadcast. Perfect.

    “Reincarnation Of Mutant Pigfidelity” has a far superior version of WYWH from Madison Square Garden 1977 than “Prog King”, which has been flattened terribly.

    “Montreux Casino” (Hiwatt) and “Smoking Blues” (Funny Boot) are absolutely indispensible.

    “The Ultimate Breakfast” is awful. “Wishes Echoes And Desires” suffers terribly from pops and clicks. Wait until the definitive version comes out (it will).

    Keep it real. Think Pink.

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