The Growing Embryo (Siréne-031)
Taft Auditorium, Cincinnati, OH – November 20th, 1971
Disc 1 (76:23): The Embryo, Fat Old Sun, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, Atom Heart Mother.
Disc 2 (75:00): Careful With That Axe Eugene, Cymbaline, Echoes (incomplete), Echoes*, Blues*.
*Taken from a different tape source from the same show
It is safe to say that this tape is one of the most important and famous tapes circulating in the Pink Floyd collecting community. This is the final concert of their Meddle tour, the final show in 1971, and we hear the band right before writing and touring with Dark Side Of The Moon. The centerpiece of this performance is the opening number “The Embryo”. Having been a concert staple since the beginning of 1970 it was retired after this show, never to surface again (in a band approved form, of course).
“The Embryo” is the star of the show not only because of its length and its being cut from the set-lists, but mostly because the very long guitar solo and group jam reveals a very early version of “Breathe” that would be worked on in the following month after some interesting slide guitar. One wonders if this was Gilmour’s spontaneity on stage or if it was planned. This is the reason why we listen to these tapes, to listen to the genius of the musicians in action. Hearing this is pure magic!
Overall this is an inspired concert by Pink Floyd. Sirene have used the incomplete but excellent sounding second source for a majority of this release. The second tape source, which contains the entire show, is used for “Echoes” and the blues jam at the end for continuity. This source was previously released as Meddlee on Shout To The Top (STTP-142/143) and is several notches below the first tape source. Sirene’s mastering on both tapes is very good as usual. Many collectors have simply edited the two sources together for the complete show, but the label choose instead to present them back-to-back thus preserving a complete “Echoes” from the second tape source.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)