Too Late For Mind Expanding (no label)
Altes Casino, Montreux, Switzerland – November 21st, 1970
Disc 1 (67:55): Astronomy Domine, Fat Old Sun, Cymbaline, Atom Heart Mother, The Embryo
Disc 2 (65:57): Green Is The Colour, Careful With That Axe Eugene, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, A Saucerful Of Secrets, Just Another 12 Bar Blues, More Blues
About a month after the release of their fifth LP Atom Heart Mother, Pink Floyd played two shows at the Altes Casino in Montreux. Both concerts were recorded by EMI and selections of the two were released on promotion acetates. Not intended for commercial release, they were used as promos and entered collectors circles in the eighties and several bootleg releases such as Montreaux Casino 1970 on The Swinging Pig (TSP-CD-257-2), Smoking Blues (FBR 001/002) on Funny Boot Records and Atom Hearted Montreux (Tarantura TCDPF-001-1,2) document these recordings.
An excellent quality audience tape surfaced in November 2009 of the first Montreux show and was quickly pressed onto Victor’s Montreux (Sigma 60), named after the taper. Although the sound is excellent, there were several flaws with the tape. There were some speed issues with the tape in “Fat Old Sun,” “Atom Heart Mother” and “A Saucerful Of Secrets.”
Some tracks had problems with the channel levels including “Fat Old Sun” and “Cymbaline.” Various cuts also were found including “Green Is The Colour” after three and a half minutes eliminating “Careful With That Axe, Eugene.” The first chord in “Fat Old Sun” was missing as well as cuts in “Atom Heart Mother” and another cut at 17:03 in “A Saucerful Of Secrets” which eliminates some of the “Celestial Voices” section.
All of the issues have been corrected. The channels have been adjusted and the cuts filled in with an alternate tape source. The cut in “A Saucerful Of Secrets” was fixed by using tape from another show. The differences in tape quality are tolerable and the edits are very well handled.
The show, lasting more than two hours, is characterized by very long, ethereal, unsettling arrangements of the songs. The tape begins with Roger Waters introducing the first song, “Astronomy Domine.” Picking up the instruments beautifully, it’s easy to hear the thumping bass underneath David Gilmour’s guitar, sounding very lively and creative.
Gilmour has the next two songs, a gentle “Fat Old Sun” and a very long and abrasive “Cymbaline.” The band sound best in their attempts at improvisation in the longer numbers. “Green Is The Colour” segues into “Careful With That Axe, Eugene.” The latter is taken very slow as the band throw in themes from James Bond before the shriek. The recording is very good at picking up and conveying the vagaries of their ideas, especially in “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” and the long “A Saucerful Of Secrets.”
The encores contain the two extended blues improvisations. “Just Another 12 Bar” is build around the bass riff from “Biding My Time,” and the second blues is the standard blues they would play from time to time. Blues was not a genre they particularly exploited, and it’s banality stands in stark contrast to all that came before in during the show.
Too Late For Mind Expanding takes its name, and the work, from the Harvested production released late last year. This is an example of a perfect alignment of performance, sound quality, and survival that has given us one of the most amazing Pink Floyd documents in such enjoyable sound quality. This is the best silver pressed version of the show.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)