Complete Aphrodite 1971 (Sigma 160)
Hakone Aphrodite, Hakone, Japan – August 6, 1971
Disc 1 (70:31) Atom Heart Mother, Green Is The Colour, Careful With that Axe Eugene, Echoes, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
Disc 2 (28:46) A Saucerful Of Secrets, Cymbaline
Pink Floyd played two concerts on their first trip to Japan on August 6 and 7, 1971 as part of the Hakone Festival, several fragmented sources are in circulation and as the subject of this review, a new source has emerged with the most complete source yet. The earliest sources have been released as Echoes Of Japanese Meddle (Shout To The Top STTP 153), Aphrodite (Sirene 160), Memories Of The East (Sigma 24), First Time In Japan (Godfatherecords 933/934/935), and Aphrodite 1971 (Sigma 133), all of these titles were culled from two fragmentary sources. Late last year Sigma premiered a third incomplete source as Hakone Aphrodite 1971 Master Recording (Sigma 138) and Hakone Aphrodite Remastered and Restored (Sigma 139) and while still not complete the sonic quality was improved and we got Set The Controls for the Heart Of The Sun and an uncut Echoes. Now we have a fourth source to provide the most complete version of the concert to date. The sound quality is very good, I find it comparable to the third source, if anything the drums are a bit low in the mix when the full band plays, and the sound does breathe like many outdoor concert recordings do. The main issue with this tape is the mastering, noise reduction has been applied, for whatever reason, and it has left the “metallic” sound attributed with heavy handed mastering as a result, for me this completely ruins the title.
The recording is close to being complete, there are cuts between songs but are well done, no music is lost and you do get song introductions as well so the best of both worlds so to speak. There is a cut during Echoes from 2:09 to 2:54 that has been filled with recorder 3, hard to comment on it other than the noise is especially bad during this portion. Over all the band’s performance is great and very well received, there are some fireworks going off during A Saucerful Of Secrets that are quite interesting as so many recordings from Japan feature well behaved crowds, nice to hear a bit of hell raising from the festival goers. I have always like Sigma’s mastering, in my opinion they have always been tasteful and what embellishments they have done only made the tape sound better, except for now.
The packaging is nice, great looking cover and the rear and inside pictures are live shots from the festival. This set comes with a numbered sticker and an excellent recreation of the festival program. All this cannot save this title from the crap mastering. Hopefully Sigma rectifies this and gives us a “Raw and unprocessed Master” soon.
I purchased the same two titles that Careful Axeman bought and have only listened to Aphrodite. I didn’t notice any metallic issues through my speakers(I don’t usually listen though headphones) and I had to turn it up a bit as it seemed quiet to me. I am going to have to relisten. I will say I haven’t heard any of the other older Aphrodite titles though.
Thanks for the review: saves me parting with the hard-earned.
i very much agree that this particular time, Sigma finally screwed up with their mastering, as i got this, along with their Tokyo 1972 2nd Night 2CD, several days ago. unfortunately, it seems that Tokyo 1972 2nd Night may have been screwed up by Sigma’s mastering just as bad or possibly even worse than this latest Aphrodite version
is Tokyo 1972 2nd Night going to be reviewed as well?
so, due to there being no response at all, should i take it that the Pink Floyd 2CD “Tokyo 1972 2nd Night” by Sigma won’t be reviewed?