M-502 Collector’s Edition (Siréne-176)
Grosser Saal, Musikhalle, Hamburg, Germany – February 25th, 1971
Disc 1, remastered version: Green Is The Colour, Careful With That Axe Eugene, Cymbaline, Embryo, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
Disc 2: A Saucerful Of Secrets, Atom Heart Mother
Disc 3, original analogue LP version: Green Is The Colour, Careful With That Axe Eugene, Cymbaline, Embryo, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
Disc 4: A Saucerful Of Secrets, Atom Heart Mother
Bonus dvdr, Aspekte: Intro., Atom Heart Mother (Hamburg 2/25/71), Roger Waters Interviews, A Saucerful Of Secrets (BGM), At Airport, A Saucerful Of Secrets (Offenbach 2/26/71), Rick Wright Interviews, Rehearsal at Offenbach, Rick Wright Interviews, Geoffrey Mitchell Interviews, Nick & Roger Interviews, Atom Heart Mother (Hamburg 2/25/71), Outro
M-502 Collector’s Edition is a four-disc set from their February 25th show in Hamburg. This tape first surfaced on vinyl on the German release Pink Floyd (M502), and its American clone Hamburger-Live In Germany 1970 (CMB 47094). Ayanami released this tape on M-502 (Ayanami-162) and so the Siréne serves as an improvement to their previous release.
The first two discs are a “remaster” and the second two discs are the “original analogue LP version”. The problem is that the original master cassette wasn’t used for the remaster making all four discs copies of the vinyl. What is worse is obvious intrusive surface noise on both.
The remaster version is pitch corrected and the hiss is less, but the music sounds flatter and there is an annoying high-pitched squeal occasionally present over the music. That problem is not present on the “original analogue version” and the second two discs actually sound much better and livelier than the first two.
Siréne have released some incredible Pink Floyd releases over the past three years but this one makes no sense. How can the remaster sound worse? The sound quality is on the whole very good and clear. There is distortion in louder sections, there are cuts between most of the songs and the first number, “Astronomy Domine”, is still missing. But the venue had very good acoustics and the taper was able to capture a very good show.
The Hamburger Abendblatt reported that “never before had that many bootleggers and tape recorder microphones been seen in an auditorium”. It makes one wonder what happened to all those tapes? Certainly after thirty years there should be a better source from tape instead of copying the vinyl? The show itself is very good with “Atom Heart Mother” being the focus. It is performed with full choir directed by Jeffrey Mitchell who accompanied the band on this tour.
This comes with a limited edition bonus dvdr of their appearance on the “Aspekte” ZDF television program. It was broadcast on March 2nd, 1971 and was known about for a long time but has only recently been circulating. It is in very good to excellent condition.
It includes several tantalizing clips of the performance from this show in Hamburg and also from the following night in Offenbach with Gilmour on his knees playing guitar during “A Saucerful Of Secrets”.
There are also shots of the Lufthansa jet landing in Hamburg and interviews with the band, dubbed into German, saying that they play what they like to play and not offering any explanation about the “Pink Floyd experience”. This is a very nice bonus and should circulate more.
But the bottom line is M-502 Collector’s Edition is the most disappointing Pink Floyd release issued by Siréne because of the remastering residue left all over the remaster version of the tape.