Pink Floyd – Oaklands (Sirène-055)
Alameda Stadium, Oakland, CA – May 9 & 10, 1977
Disc 1 (52:17) May 9th, 1977: Sheep, Pigs On The Wing (part 1), Dogs, Pigs On The Wing (part 2), Pigs (Three Different Ones)
Disc 2 (56:26): Shine On You Crazy Diamond (part 1-5), Welcome To The Machine, Have A Cigar, Wish You Were Here, Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 6-9)
Disc 3 (29:05): Money, Us & Them, Careful With That Axe Eugene
Disc 4 (52:27) May 10th, 1977: Sheep, Pigs On The Wing (part 1), Dogs, Pigs On The Wing (part 2), Pigs (Three Different Ones)
Disc 5 (76:10): Shine On You Crazy Diamond (part 1-5), Welcome To The Machine, Have A Cigar, Wish You Were Here, Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 6-9), Money, Us & Them
The May 9th tape is one of the most popular in Japan of late. This latest release on Sirene is the third release in the past year, following Welcome To The Machine on Cannonball and Mr. Pig Remastered on Highland (and this following their first Mr. Pig from three years ago). The Cannonball release presented the tape “as is” while the second Highland edition was remastered to boost the volume.
This new release by Sirene is similarly remastered to make the already fantastic sounding tape louder and clearer. The advantage to this release to Mr. Pig Remastered is the mastering job isn’t as intrusive as the Highland version. They have worked the tape to sound less “in-your-face” and capture more of the dynamics of the performance. In the end it all depends upon one’s subjective preference as to which one is most enjoyable. One collector in Tokyo complained about this release because it isn’t as loud as Highland’s. Others have commented that the Highland is too compressed and enjoy the Sirene more.
The bottom line is that Sirene are very judicious and careful in their use of mastering techniques, almost always adding to the tape rather than detracting, and that holds with Oaklands as well and the May 9th tape sounds as good as a professional soundboard and is perhaps the best audience tape ever to surface.
As a bonus the label have issued the famous May 9th show with the lesser known May 10th the following evening, making this its silver disc debut. I would rate the sound quality of the second concert as a six out of ten. It is listenable and it is interesting to finally hear it, but the recorder was a distance from the stage and the occasional talking and other crowd noises mar it. The label used the tape source that has circulated under the fan produced ROIO Spit In The Fan. This is the complete show including the encores and is speed corrected.
The tape has sometimes circulated, as the May 12th show in Portland, but the consensus is this tape is indeed the second Oakland show. The limitations of the source tape make this concert for the Pink Floyd collector only. Both performances are great. Pink Floyd reached a definite apex during this time on their legendary 1977 tour. They had worked out the rustiness from the beginning of the tour, yet this is before Roger Waters’ bitterness began to surface.
Roger even laughs along with the laugh track in “Pigs (Three Different Ones)”. The band delivers lots of passion in both concerts making them very enjoyable. Gilmour in particular delivers an earth shattering solo in the May 10th “Pigs”. A virtue of the May 10th tape is you can really hear the crowd reacting to the nuclear family in “Dogs”, the giant inflatable pig in “Pigs”, the light show in “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” and the Gerald Scarfe film in “Welcome To The Machine”. Oaklands is limited to only 200 copies and sold out in a month. This title has already caused quite a bit of comments from collectors and tracking down a copy might prove challenging in the futureIf you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)