Rave Master Matrix (Sigma 79)
Boston Gardens, Boston, MA – June 18th, 1975
Disc 1 (55:22): Raving And Drooling, You’ve Gotta Be Crazy, Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Part 1-5), Have A Cigar, Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Part 6-9)
Disc 2 (79:56): Speak To Me, Breathe, On The Run, Time / Breathe (Reprise), The Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Us And Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse, Echoes
With several unique tapes and a pressing history dating back to the days of vinyl, Pink Floyd’s June 18th, 1975 Boston Gardens show is one of their most familiar shows. The vinyl and early compact disc releases utilized a good but thin and fragmented recording. In the late nineties the Hopkins tape surface and was used for subsequent CD releases including Echoes in the Gardens (Heartbreakers HB-801-1/2), Raving & Drooling (Watch Tower WT2004124/5) and Nice Live Pair (Highland HL677/8). The latter was issued in both a four disc edition, where it was coupled with the June 17th Nassau Coliseum show, and separately as Live At The Garden.
Sigma released this show two times. Rave Master (Sigma 3) is another version of the Hopkins tape and its follow-up Definitive Rave Master (Sigma 52) utilizes the excellent Lampinski recording.
Rave Master Matrix is the third time Sigma released this show. This time, they use a matrix edit between the Hopkins and the Lampinki tapes. Their attempt is to try to marry the clarity of the former recording with the liveliness of the latter and they come close to perfection. Except for four short imbalances, it’s an amazing edit and worth having.
The set list is the same as they introduced the previous summer when they played several gigs in France. It is admirable for a band to have the unmitigated hubris to devote the first hour of the show to unreleased, new musical compositions.
All of the new songs in some way address the devastating effects of the insincerity in the music industry, both universally and with Syd Barrett in particular. “Raving And Drooling” sounds massive as it crawls across the stage. “You Gotta Be Crazy,” introduced by Waters as “another new song,” is played at a slower tempo than the versions the previous year. “This one…(choking noises)…is called ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond.”
Compared to the first two songs, these three are much more polished and closer to their final arrangements which is probably why they chose to record them for the next album. As Waters sings “Have A Cigar” his voice doesn’t crack much. It is still one of the great, unsolved Pink Floyd mysteries why he wrote a song out of his range. Gilmour might have been able to handle it, but sonorous voice would clash with the hostility of the lyrics.
The second disc contains the second half of the show, the entire Dark Side Of The Moon, and the encore “Echoes.” “Speak To Me” is very long and the audience clap along with the heartbeat as it fills the rafters of the Garden. The excellence of this recording is more apparent on this disc since it does a great job capturing all of the sound effects employed by the band. The clarity of the detail on this tape is nothing short of astonishing as the auxiliary sounds swirl around. The synthesized chaos of “On The Run” is a pure adrenaline rush.
“The Great Gig In The Sky” has an interesting jazz interlude in the middle. The cash registers before “Money” seem to shake the seats as the band deliver a hot version of the song. Parry plays a sultry saxophone solo before Gilmour’s studied guitar solo. “Any Colour You Like” is more than eight minutes a jamming before the piece’s finale of “Brain Damage” and “Eclipse.” After Waters thanks everybody for coming the band play a twenty-two minute version of “Echoes” as the encore.
Rave Master Matrix is a really nice piece of work and comes close to being the definitive version of the Boston show.