Pink Floyd – Dortmunds (Siréne – 050)
Dortmunds (Siréne – 050)
Animals had a very long gestation period in the career of Pink Floyd. Two numbers, ”Raving And Drooling” and ”You Gotta Be Crazy,” were the first written after their biggest success Dark Side Of The Moon in 1974. And they formed the basis for their live show, along with “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” for almost a year dating to the summer of 1975.
But the band would not record them for the next album Wish You Were Here but would focus upon the long suite about Syd Barrett and several new compositions. When that LP was finally issued in September 1975, it would not be followed by a tour to promote the album. Instead, Pink Floyd bought a new studio, Britannia Row Studios in London, and began working on the follow up in April 1976.
Work on Animals lasted from the spring through December. “Raving And Drooling” was reworked into “Sheep” and David Gilmour’s “You Gotta Be Crazy” was worked into “Dogs.” A new epic, “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” and the soft acoustic love song “Pigs On The Wing” were also written and recorded during these sessions.
On the day the album was finally released in the UK Pink Floyd began their first tour in a year and a half. he band made the bold move to not play the entire Dark Side of the Moon LP as they had since the beginning of 1972 and which earned them international superstardom. Instead, they promoted the latest two LPs by performing the entire Animals LP in the first half, and the entire Wish You Were Here album in the second. “Money,” and sometimes “Us & Them” from Dark Side were the encore.
Dortmunds is an interesting document by Siréne. It contains the first two shows in the German city for what would be their biggest tour. While both shows have been pressed before, Siréne put a lot of work into offering the best sounding and definitive edition of these two important shows. They are packaged in a typical four disc jewel case with very effective artwork with photographs from the era.
Westfallenhalle, Dortmund, Germany – January 23rd, 1977
Disc 1 (55:13): Sheep, Pigs On The Wing (part 1), Dogs, Pigs On The Wing (part 2), Pigs (Three Different Ones)
Disc 2 (73:14): 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, Us & Them
Several tapes exist for the first Dortmund show. Animals Tour Debut (Shout To The Top STTP 156/157) utilizes the first tape source which is very bright sounding but eliminates tunings between songs. Siréne use the third audience tape to surface from this concert. It is the best sounding of the three. It’s slightly distant but very detailed and captures the atmosphere perfectly.
The label use the first tape source to fill two cuts in the third. The first is for three minutes in ”Pigs (Three Different Ones)” from 10:46 to 13:46 and the second is in “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 6-9″ from 6:54 to 7:22.
The show is what can be expected from a major rock band returning to the road after so long a break. It’s good but has moments of hesitation in the new arrangements and the overall feel is of a dress rehearsal in front of an audience. The equipment also seems to not behave at points too like the opening of “Sheep” when Roger Waters is inaudible for a few seconds.
Waters’ acoustic guitar is also absent for the very beginning of “Pig On The Wing Part 1,” and he misses a cue and almost sings the final verse again in “Pigs (Three Different Ones).” One of the tour’s attributes is Waters counting out the show’s number during this song and in the middle shouts out “ONE.”
During the duration this came off as protest of how Waters wasn’t pleased with the size and length of the tour and his shouting in the opening night clearly shows he felt this way from the beginning. The common belief that the tour began in high spirits only to degenerate to the spitting incident in Montreal in July prompting Waters to write The Wall in protest is a misconception. He stated in an interview in New Musical Express published January 29th, 1977 that he didn’t like the previous tour and he wanted to play with a wall between himself and the audience. It’s this interview which is the first mention of The Wall project.
The audience respond to the Animals suite favorably except two guys by the taper say “böse,” meaning ”bad.” But there is a stronger reception for the second half of the show with a loud ovation for ”Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 1-5.”
There is an almost complete meltdown in ”Welcome To The Machine” where they play in two different time signatures only to be rescued by keyboardist Wright! Further there is the well-known equipment breakdown in “Wish You Were Here.” The audience doesn’t seem to mind, clapping along to “Welcome To The Machine.” A contemplative rendition of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 6-9″ closes the show.
A spirited version of “Money” is the first encore and ”Us & Them” is a rare second. This song would be played as second encore again in the Vienna show the next week and then won’t appear again until the tour hits England in March. It would be more frequently played on the US tour in the summer.
Westfallenhalle, Dortmund, Germany – January 24th, 1977
Disc 3 (53:55): Sheep, Pigs On The Wing (part 1), Dogs, Pigs On The Wing (part 2), Pigs (three different ones)
Disc 4 (59:07): 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
Discs three and four contain the following evening, January 24th. There is only one tape in circulation for the twenty-fourth. Highland pressed this tape on Giant Inflatable Pig (HL 574/575). Siréne utilize a second generation tape which has slightly better sound quality than the Highland. The taper was very close to the stage and the recording is very clear with an emphasis on the higher frequencies.
Sometimes, during really loud high-pitched moments the tape distorts like during Wright’s keyboard solo in “Welcome To The Machine.” It produces an unpleasant noise on the tape. Also, cuts are found at 11:27 in ”Dogs,” at the end of ”Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 1-5,” and before the encores.
The performance is much tighter on this evening with none of the blatant errors from the first night being repeated. The audience are excited to see the band and chant loudly several times at the beginning of each set and at various times through the show.
The sound mix is a bit off, however. Wright’s keyboards tend to be louder for some reason and at times drown out the rest of the instruments. This is true especially during his keyboard solo in “Dogs.” In the middle of “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” Waters shouts out “two” marking this as the second gig.
Wish You Were Here in the second half of the show sounds fantastic as well. Since it’s driven heavily by the keyboards, the mix shows how creative Wright can be in the arrangements. This show is remarkable for the extraordinary performance in “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 6-9″ which has such startling contrasts between the psychedelic, narrative, and James Brown-like funk in the middle. A fun version of ”Money” closes the show.
Early copies of Dortmunds comes with a bonus disc with a bonus discs, a needle drop of the old vinyl Wish The Animals Were Here of the second tape source for the January 23rd Dortmund show. It comes in a single pocket cardboard sleeve duplicate of the vinyl cover. It’s a nice touch but might have been better if it were included making it a five disc set. Nevertheless this is the definitive silver edition of the first two nights of the In The Flesh tour.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)Pink Floyd - Dortmunds (Siréne - 050),