Pink Floyd – Animals In Paris (Godfather Records GR652/653)

Animals In Paris (Godfather Records GR652/653)

Pavillion de Paris, Paris, France – February 22nd, 1977

Disc 1 (51:03): Sheep, Pigs On The Wing pt 1, Dogs, Pigs On The Wing pt 2, Pigs (Three Different Ones)

Disc 2 (61:16): Shine On You Crazy Diamond (pts 1-5), Welcome To The Machine, Have A Cigar, Wish You Were Here, Shine On You Crazy Diamond (pts 6-9), Money

Pink Floyd had four shows in Paris between February 22nd – February 25th and audience tapes exist for each of them. The two tape sources for the February 24th show are incomplete but the rest are all complete. Opinion is mixed about this particular performance of the band. Some say this concert represents Pink Floyd “playing at their peak” while others claim it is “uninspired” and “mechanical”.

The February 22nd Paris show has been issued many times before, most recently on Funhouse (Siréne-220).  Godfather sounds very good and is an excellent edition of the show.

It obviously depends upon one’s opinion of Animals. There seem to be problems with Wright’s keyboards in the mix and the volume fluctuates throughout the show, but are generally very well recorded and reproduce the tension in the original material.

This is particularly true for “Sheep”, and knowing the Pavilion used to be an abattoir adds deeper meaning to the slaughter section of the track. At about seventeen minutes in “Dogs” what sounds like feedback is audible over the music, lasting several seconds. Gilmour plays some nasty riffs during “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” and the band receives a loud ovation after the third verse.

Roger doesn’t shout out any numbers, as was the custom on this tour, counting the shows in sequence. Afterwards he announces that the band will take a twenty-minute break. “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 1-5)” is again aided by having the keyboards so well recorded. At 11:15 it sounds as if Wright accidentally leans on his keyboards. When the song reaches its conclusion a member of the audience lets out a very loud shriek.

The tapers laugh at this and other members respond with similar shrieks while “Welcome To The Machine” begins. The distance of the shouts and echoes sound really creepy. The radio between “Have A Cigar” and “Wish You Were Here” picks up a violin concerto broadcast before leading into the well known recorded introduction to the mellow ode to Syd.

“Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 6-9)” lasts for more than twenty minutes and contains a great duet between Gilmour and White before the final segue into the keyboard coda and the taper saying “mon chérie” as a reaction to the images on the screen. At the opening shows in Dortmund and on the subsequent US tour the encores are usually “Money” and “Us & Them”, a two-song fragment from Dark Side Of The Moon.

But in these shows they only played the first song for reasons unknown. Whatever the case may be, “Money” is one of the few catchy, high-energy songs in their repertoire and is an excellent way to close a concert. This version lasts for almost ten minutes and includes the sultry Parry sax solo accompanied by Gilmour’s “woops” and a guitar solo extended to include a call and response echo effect with Snowy White that sounds amazing before reaching a mighty climax and Waters’ humble “thank you”.

The Parisian audience are vocal between songs but are generally quiet during the music so that one can hardly notice their presence unlike other tapes like Anaheim and Miami where the shouting and talking by audience members close to the microphone completely ruin what would otherwise be excellent quality tapes. It sounds like the Parisians are completely transfixed and transported by the multi-media presentation.

Animals In Paris was released first by Godfather as Animals In Beligum and was supposed to be the silver pressed debut of the February 20th, 1977 show at the Sportspaleis in Antwerp, Belgium.  Unfortunately, Godfather made the common error of pressing the February 22nd show at the Pavillion de Paris, France.  The label took the almost unprecedented step in printing new artwork to fit the contents of the show, available to those who purchased the show thinking it were Belgium.

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