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Pink Floyd – Definitive Rave Master (Sigma 52)

Definitive Rave Master (Sigma 52)

Boston Garden, Boston, MA – June 18th, 1975

Disc 1 (55:34):   Raving And Drooling, You’ve Got To Be Crazy, Shine On You Crazy Diamond Part 1-5, Have A Cigar, Shine On You Crazy Diamond Part 6-9

Disc 2 (55:58):  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

Disc 3 (23:29):  audience, Echoes

With the collection of excellent recordings of Dan Lampinski entering circulation, it was a matter of time before the Pink Floyd show from June 18th 1975 would surface and find release.  This show is already blessed with one of the best recordings from the seventies by Steve Hopkins.  This new recording is so good that it actually rivals the older one. 

The Hopkins tape has wonderful weight and profundity.  It is the charm of the recording.  Lampinski’s recording is just as clear and is very airy with emphasis upon the high end.  Although some have suggested that this recording supersedes the Hopkins tape, that judgement is based really upon personal preference and the committed Pink Floyd collector will want both in the collection.  There are two small cuts in the tape.  The first is 6:22 to 6:30 in “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 1 to 5” and the second is 2:36 to 2:50 in “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 6 to 9.”

The Boston show is important and popular with collectors not only because of the excellent sounding recordings.  But the summer of 1975 was an apex in their live performance.  They achieved not only a confidence with their new material, but also Dark Side Of The Moon had, two years after its release, become legendary.

But the first hour of the show is devoted to all of the brand new material, none of which had been released yet.  The highlight of the first set is the “Shine On” suite and it’s apparent from this performance how far developed it was compared to “Raving And Drooling” and “You Gotta Be Crazy.”  There is a deep familiarity with this piece and the improvisation in in “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 6 to 9” contains long funk-inspired expositions before the solemn ending.

The audience were as enthusiastic as can be expected from sitting trough so many new songs.  But they burst out with the beginning of Dark Side in the second half of the show.  This is close to the end of the suite as a live piece.  It would be played in its entirety only seven more times.  By the audience’s reaction it’s obvious it is a great piece of rock theater.  

The numbers that anchor the set are heavy as ever, but the other pieces also contain moments of power and whimsy.  “On The Run,” for example, in Boston is one of the best versions of the piece.  It is thrilling to hear in the Hopkins recording, but the Lampinksi has more audience audience reactions that make it fun to hear   

“Great Gig In The Sky” turns into a jazz piece and “Money” hit into a nice military beat.  The tour-de-force is of course “Any Colour You Like” which is expanded to more than nine minutes of pure jamming by the band.  Gilmour and Wright take control of the piece, going back and forth in a duel. 

The encore is a perfect version of “Echoes” lasting twenty five minutes.  Many of these Pink Floyd shows sound similar during this period, but the loud and demonstrative Boston audience bring out something unique in the band this evening and they deliver one of the best shows from this tour.  Sigma does a great job in presentation as usual.  Definitive Rave Master is definitive according to one’s own particular tastes, but it is a solid release worth having. 

If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)

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  1. For me, ‘Definitive Rave Master’ *is* the definitive release of the Boston 1975 show, having compared it to Sigma’s ‘Rave Master’, Watchtower’s ‘Raving and Drooling’, and Highland’s ‘Live At the Garden’. Now, of course, we have Sigma 79 ‘Rave Master Matrix’ to consider, promising ‘Ultimate Sound’. But you know what, I’m not going to hurry into that purchase…

  2. Well, after approx. 3 months, I’ve forgotten slightly, but I would (still) say that it would depend on your personal preferences, as Sigma 52 might be the definitive release for some, but others might still prefer the original “Rave Master” – I’d say that for overall quality, each certainly rivals each other, with at least most, if not everyone, probably prefering one just slightly over the other, based on somewhat different preferences as to what a listener considers to be the ideal sound quality. As for myself, I would personally, if I were “forced” to choose just one of the 2, find it very difficult – I think it’s just better to have both in the collection, as long as it can be afforded.

  3. DLee, after 3 months now, what would you say about this release? Do you share gsparaco’s opinion that it rivals RAVE MASTER set or would you now say it is THE definitive release?

  4. Even with the extra audience noise before and/or after the ‘Echoes’ track, it still would have easily fit onto just 2 discs – even more easily than “Rave Master” did, by approx. 10 seconds! Costed me approx. $20 bucks more than it could, even should, have had. The original Hopkins-sourced recording was also used for the WatchTower label’s “Raving & Drooling” (2-CD), which doesn’t have such a good front cover, in my opinion, but is otherwise comparable to the other older releases mentioned. I’m slightly disappointed in “Definitive” after having listened to it just once so far (just received it this morning), as I don’t think it’s necessarily THE definitive version, but merely the definitive version for the subjective tastes/preferences of some Floydians – not necessarily ALL Floyd boot collectors &/or fans. However, I might have more to say, if it becomes necessary, later, after I’ve had a chance to listen to it 4-5 more times, which could take me quite a while since I received several other boot CD titles this morning by Cream, Derek & The Dominos, and The (Rolling) Stones.

  5. Funny how Sigma’s original “Rave Master” fitted onto two discs… Do we really need to hear the extra audience noise before “Echoes”?

  6. Millard is famous for the Sports Arena show in LA 75, which I was lucky enough to attend. I already have a few different releases of the Boston show, is this really that much better?


  7. The Heartbreakers, Highland and Sigma Rave Master used the Hopkins tape. Millard lived in Los Angeles, not Boston.

  8. Was the Hopkins tape used for “Echoes In The Gardens” (Heartbreakers)….? I always thought that was a Mike Millard recording.

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