Boston 1975 Unprocessed Hopkins Master (Sigma 86)
Boston Garden, Boston, MA – June 18th, 1975
Disc 1 (55:52): Introduction, 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(79:48) – The Dark Side Of The Moon – 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
Pink Floyd’s Boston show in 1975 has seen more releases than any other. Excellent versions of the Hopkins recording came out in the past including Echoes In The Gardens (Heart Breakers HB-801-1/2/3) and Nice Live Pair (Highland HL 675/676/677/678) (a four disc set with one of the Nassau Coliseum shows, but both were also released individually).
Sigma themselves have released this show three times already. The first was on Rave Master (Sigma 3) which utilized the Hopkins tape alone and was a nice upgrade over the Heart Breakers and Highland releases. Later the label released Definitive Rave Master (Sigma 52) with the Dan Lampinski recording followed by Rave Master Matrix (Sigma 79), a nice combination of the two tapes.
Boston 1975 Unprocessed Hopkins Master is a straight silver pressing of the JEMS master tape. Sigma haven’t altered the recording in any way. It claims to be speed corrected, although the adjustments must be quite minimal because it doesn’t sound much different than the past recordings. This is a good recording to have for those who don’t have this tape, but it’s not much of an upgrade over past releases.
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 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.
The packaging for this one features many motif of Wish You Were Here era Pink Floyd with the same symbols and pictures from the LP and other promotional material. This is a solid, if repetitive, release and really raises the question if Sigma are running out of ideas. There are other shows that have never been pressed onto silver before (which Godfather are using to their advantage), and one hopes Sigma would rethink their consistent reissuing of these shows.