Deutschlandhalle Berlin! 1977 A Berlin Pig (Cape Music CM826)
Deutschlandhalle, Berlin, Germany – January 29th, 1977
Disc 1 (51:03): Sheep, Pigs On The Wing 1, Dogs, Pigs On The Wing 2, Pigs (Three Different Ones)
Disc 2 (62:47): Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 1-5, Welcome To The Machine, Have A Cigar, Wish You Were Here, Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 6-9, Money
Pink Floyd’s fifth show in the European Animals tour was on January 29th in Berlin. The first of two shows, Deutschlandhalle Berlin! 1977 A Berlin Pig is the first silver pressed title documenting this concert. Cape Music utilize the two sources to present the show in the best possible sound quality. The first half of the show containing the Animals set is sourced from a very clear and powerful soundboard recording.
Berlin is one of only two soundboard fragments from 1977. (The other is from the February 1st show in Vienna running from “Wish You Were Here” to the second encore “Us & Them.”) The soundboard is balanced so that the guitars and very loud and the vocals (especially Waters’) is lower. There is a cut after “Pigs On The Wing Part 1″ and “Pigs On The Wing Part 2.” The audience tape is used for fifty seconds at the beginning of “Pigs (Three Different Ones).” There are also a few imperfections in the beginning of “Pigs On The Wing Part 2.”
The second half of the show comes from a fair to good, distant and rumbling audience tape. It isn’t the best recording from the European Animals tour, but it is very effective in conveying the spectacle of Pink Floyd’s attempt at creating arena rock theater. There is a small cut before “Have A Cigar,” but nothing drastic.
The concert itself is very tight. This is a week into the tour and the band are very well rehearsed and slick. Much of the energy in this concert goes into the first half. “Sheep,” which starts off the show, sounds very mysterious in this recording, especially with the 23rd psalm parody.
It provides an interesting contrast with “Dog.” Because of the recording the guitars are emphasized over the other instruments and it’s possible to hear both Gilmour and Snowy White weaving their melodic playing around each other. The power of the piece tends to marginalize the subtly of the arrangement, but the soundboard is good at emphasizing that.
The first half eds with a seventeen minute version of “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” with Waters shouting out “FIVE.”
The second half of the show gets off to a tense start. Not only with the music, but the band also struggle to find the right key int he opening of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 1-5.” The following two songs “Welcome To The Machine” and “Have A Cigar” sound confident. Gilmour plays a unique solo in the latter.
But the title track of the album “Wish You Were Here” stumbles at the beginning. Gilmour misses his vocal que and plays the melody until he returns to the cue. In the process of finding the melody he plays it a bit out of tune.
However the show recovers nicely with “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 6-9″ having a very dramatic feeling to it. The only encore of the night is “Money” from Dark Side Of The Moon. It would soon be joined by “Us & Them,” the song that follows it in sequence.
Deutschlandhalle Berlin! 1977 A Berlin Pig is packaged in in a glossy digipack with several photographs from the tour. Ultimately this is a release manufactured for the Berlin market and it’s good they’ve picked a show that hasn’t been released in the past. The limitations in sound quality aren’t significant enough to prohibit owning this title.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)