6 April 2010, gsparaco @ 8:03 am
Oakland (Sigma 2)
Alameda Coliseum, Oakland, CA – May 9th, 1977
Disc 1: Sheep, Pigs On The Wing (Part 1), Dogs, Pigs On The Wing (Part 2), Pigs (Three Different Ones)
Disc 2: Shine On You Crazy Diamond Part 1- 5, Welcome To The Machine, Have A Cigar, Wish You Were Here, Shine On You Crazy Diamond Part 6-9
Disc 3: Money, Us And Them, Careful With That Axe Eugene
Oakland, the second release on the new Pink Floyd silver label Sigma, is another in a long list of boots using the excellent sounding audience recording for the May 9, 1977 concert. “Have A Cigar,” “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 1-5),” “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 6-9),” and “Us & Them” appear on the 2LP Oakland California 5-9-77 (Tranquil Colour Q9014) and re-released on Crazy Diamonds (Tranquil Colour Q9014).
A Great Set (Night Plane RDRN 50977) is a three volume LP set with most of the show, but is missing the third encore “Careful With That Axe, Eugene.” Editions on compact disc began with Oakland Coliseum 9/5/77 (Stonehenge STCD 2016/2017) and Plays The Animals (Discurios DIS 206 CD) in 1990, and In The Flesh (Great Dane Records GDR CD 9103) afterwards. The great Japanese label Highland released this show twice.
First as Mr. Pig (HL 542/543) and several years later on Mr. Pig Remastered (HPM001), the only release on their Highland Premium Masters series. Many consider the latter to be an improvement over the former, although others felt the sound was a bit too harsh. Welcome To The Machine (Cannonball CA-20004071/18) on the minor Cannonball label snuck out about this time offering a copy of the first Highland release. Soon afterwards Siréne released Oaklands (Siréne-055), a five disc set with the May 9 show in excellent quality and with the rare May 10 show on discs four and five.
The sound quality of the May 9 show has an incredible liveliness to it with tremendous stereo separation. It is perhaps the best sounding of any previous releases and the title sold out rather quickly.
The last release featuring this show is the fragment issued on cdr on the Blue Café label as Most Memoratle which comes from the so-called soundboard posted on Wolfgang’s vault several months ago. The new three disc set Oakland has the expected stellar stereo sound quality to be expected from this show. It sounds a bit softer and less punchy than Oaklands with a timbre reminiscent of the first Highland Mr. Pig. On that point the Siréne is still superior. However, Sigma smoothed over some of the unbalanced parts of the tape.
Also, Siréne and other releases had two, very painful, tape flips: at 7:50 in “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” and at 6:24 in “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 6-9.” Sigma uses the new tape from the vault to fill in the gaps with an impressive editing job. There are no hints of the editing or of the tape flips whatsoever. It is a flawless production that offers, for the very first time, a complete version of this concert. There are many who argue this tape is the quintessential tape and the most perfect representation of Pink Floyd’s In The Flesh tour.
It is the tenth of twenty-six total shows played in that summer. The final concerts are characterized by taut nerves and Roger Waters’ growing frustration with playing arenas, but none of that is present in this concert. The band is tight and sound like they are enjoying themselves immensely.
Oakland is limited to three hundred copies. The label use thinner paper stock for the inserts and use the same stencil font for the title as they used for their Siréne releases from the 1977 tour. It is peculiar that the new label chose such common an popular shows for their initial Pink Floyd releases. This title is a significant contribution for collectors and is well worth investigating.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)