Emerson Gym CWRU (Eat A Peach EAT 24/25)
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio USA – November 6, 1971
Disc 1 (61:57) The Embryo, Fat Old Sun, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, Atom Heart Mother
Disc 2 (73:05) One Of These Days, Careful With That Axe Eugene, Cymbaline, Echoes, Blues
Pink Floyd’s tour of North America in the late fall 1971 would spawn many fine audience recordings with the San Diego recording being the best, but coming in a close second would have to be the recording from Cleveland. This new release from the Eat A Peach label features a new version of the tape, boasting better sound and a slightly longer running time and speed corrected. First off the source recording is very good near excellent, the only thing keeping from a full excellent mark is at times the lower frequencies dominate making for some distortion. The taper would pause his recorder between songs but actually did a decent job but the only thing that is annoying is the constant comments of people near the recorder that do get a bit annoying, but after one puts on the first song and the concert begins you are soon sucked into a brilliant and highly enjoyable performance.
This show began making the rounds in the collectors market with the release Cleveland 1971 (Anayami 174), a CD-R title that was followed by an early Sigma release Acute Danger (Sigma 9), and now this new title from Eat A Peach. After this release Sigma would release their upgraded version as Cleveland 1971 (Sigma 136). Since I only have Acute Danger that is what we will use to evaluate this new title. The Acute Danger title is just a bit louder than this new release but has more of the low end distortion, please follow the link to read Gerard’s excellent assessment of that title. This new Eat A Peach title’s sound is a tad lower and while the low frequencies are still strong does not distort near as much as the older Sigma title, the sound is also much warmer and sounds like it has a much wider frequency range that makes for a really enjoyable listening experience. The speed adjustment is very slight, just a hair faster and the edits are smoother, after listening to this version repeatedly on my home and car stereo I really enjoy this version of the tape and cannot find a flaw, yet not having heard the newer Sigma version of the tape cannot say if this is definitive but most certainly an improvement in sound over the old releases.
The synergy between the musicians is unmatched, their focus does not wander and set highlights are most certainly the mind bending Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, a bluesy 18 minute version of Atom Heart Mother, and a brilliant Cymbaline where you really get a feel for what it must have been like to hear the footsteps in person based upon the comments from the obviously stoned group around the tape machine. Roger’s screams during Eugene sound like some distant storm sirens and Gilmour does some interesting jamming during the latter part of the song.
The packaging is mini LP sleeve with the cover based upon concert poster art, as do the pictures on the CDs themselves. The CD sleeves feature live shots of the band from the era and there is an insert with liner notes from the impeccable Lazy Goalkeeper. This is an excellent release, after not really hearing this concert for some time, what a great way to rediscover it as 1971 was a superb year for the band, whose fortunes would change within a few short months as the next year would bring in a new musical direction.