Another Wall In The Court (Golden Eggs EGG-156/157)
Earls Court Arena, London, U.K. – August 5, 1980
Disc 1 (54:32) MC Atmos (Gary Yudman), In The Flesh?, The Thin Ice, Another Brick In The Wall (Part I), The Happiest Days Of Our Lives, Another Brick In The Wall (Part II), Mother, Goodbye Blue Sky, What Shall We Do Now?, Young Lust, One Of My Turns, Don’t Leave Me Now, Another Brick In The Wall (Part III), Goodbye Cruel World
Disc 2 (54:15) Hey You, Is There Anybody Out There?, Nobody Home, Vera, Bring The Boys Back Home, Comfortably Numb, The Show Must Go On, MC Atmos (Gary Yudman), In The Flesh, Intermission, Run Like Hell, Waiting For The Worms, Stop!, The Trial, Outside The Wall
The Golden Eggs label continues to impress with their release of yet another Pink Floyd recording that has never been released on silver disc, the second performance of The Wall at Earls Court Arena in London, England on the fifth day of August, 1980. There are three known recordings from this date and based upon the sound quality, I believe this comes from source 2 as the quality is EX-. The sound is clear and detailed with virtually no interference near the taper. There is a bit of distortion at times and all the sound effects are clean and the overall sound has a great frequency range, nice upper and good lower end, this recording packs a punch and sounds really good when listening at louder volumes. The MC intro and the Gary Yudman intro comes from a different recorder and does have a good bit of tape hiss. The sound greatly improves about 42 second into In The Flesh?, so I am guessing this is where recorder 2 begins.
One of the things I like about this recording is how clear the drums are in the mix, they really bring a lot to the impact of the music. The other thing is the synthesizers are very clear and proudly represented in the mix, the soundscape they provide is rather unique and easily draws you into it, creates so many moods within the regular instruments and taped sounds. Each Wall show had its own unique introduction by a master of ceremonies, for the 1980 Earls Court performances it was Gary Yudman who also did the New York performances six months earlier. “My name is Gary Yudman and we are going to have a great show this evening. Before the show begins, the house management would like to request just a few things. First of all, please no fireworks. Believe me watching tonight’s show there will be enough explosions in your mind”…no words were ever truer. I love these introductions, the MC would be doing there thing and the “surrogate” band launch in and kind of cut them off. 40 seconds into In The Flesh? the sound dramatically improves and the glory of recorder 2 can be gauged.
This recording is the twelfth live Wall show in my collection, and only my second from the first run at Earls Court, the other being the more popular following night August 6, 1980. I must say this is a very well played and enjoyable version of The Wall. The band(s) sound fresh and relaxed having 13 performances under their belt and certainly happy to be back on home turf. Not only is this a great recording sonically, but it also captures the audience reaction very well. Just enough where you feel their reactions to the visual and audio portions without being distracted, the atmosphere is well captured. What’s interesting is the sound of the full audience sounds reminiscent of the Led Zeppelin recordings from 5 years prior. An early highlight is Another Brick In The Wall Part II, the LP’s big hit single. This extended live version finds the band hitting their mark and the playing is really swinging. Mother sounds a tad quieter than the other more bombastic songs and features cheers in all the right places.
There is almost rhythmical clapping that is perfectly timed with the droning beat between Goodbye Blue Sky leading into What Shall We do Now? The excellent Comfortably Numb (A History Of The Wall book by Vernon Fitch describes how Rick Wright would be illuminated by a red light while the Gerald Scarfe animation of the male and female flowers are copulating plays on the Wall and circular screen) sounds quite dramatic. Interestingly, after Young Lust, as Pink’s female companion asks if he “wants to take a bath?” does not get any cheers, American audiences always give this soundbite a huge ovation. There is a tape cut certainly due to a tape flip somewhere in here, I could not tell where it starts but the recorder picks back up at 2:53 of One Of My Turns. The alternate source is just a notch down from the main source, slightly more distant and lacking a tad of dynamics yet easily blends with the flow of the music perfectly.
Hey You starts off rather quiet as the taper seems to adjust his gear position and the sound improves. Another small gap is patched at the very end of Is There Anybody Out There?, again if not for the slight differences in the timbre of the recording you would never know. The patches on this title are extremely well done. It’s during Comfortably Numb that you figure out the taper was more to the side, Roger’s vocals sound distant, David’s sound loud and clear even as he was perched up top the Wall, something that also garners a huge ovation from the audience. By this point David’s live solo for the song has really developed, he expands upon the classic leads played on the LP leading to a much more dramatic effect.
Another gap is patched after The Show Must Go On, Gary Yudman gives a similar introduction as his first yet very slowed down, garnering laughter from the audience. Roger speaks directly to the audience introducing the pig to rounds of cheers after In The Flesh? The Trial sounds a bit quiet due to Roger’s vocals being more on the other side of the stage but the Wall destruction literally sounds like an actual Wall is coming down. Outside the Wall sound tranquil and is played to a huge ovation as the musicians make their way to the stage, the performance certainly leading to a standing ovation.
The packaging is typical Golden Eggs, lots of live shots of The Wall performances plus an exterior shot of Earls Court and liner notes from the incomparable Fish Bowl Swimmer. I must say it’s been sometime since I’ve listened to a live Wall show and I found this CD in my player consistently for several days. It’s an easy and enjoyable listen and I can always make room on my shelf for another first time on silver CD Pink Floyd bootleg.