Heart Of Darkness (Siréne –190)
Disc 1: Careful With That Axe
Disc 2: Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, Cymbaline, Blues
Heart Of Darkness is an excellent clear audience recording from Golden Hall in San Diego. Sounding very close to the stage, the recording allows for plenty of detail to be heard which really helps tracks like “Set The Controls” and the quiet beginning of “Cymbaline”.
Roger’s whispers in “Careful With That Axe” are easily heard as well. “Atom Heart Mother” is the stripped down version without brass and choir which seems to be preferred by most fans because of the raw feel and is another great performance of this piece.There are cuts between tracks omitting mostly tune ups, etc., but all music is there with only the opening drum fill of “The Embryo” cut off.
Povey and Russell’s Pink Floyd: In The Flesh book has “Echoes” and “A Saucerful Of Secrets” placed after “Cymbaline” but so far have not been featured on any release of this show. The taper does gets all of “Cymbaline” which cuts to a complete “Blues” including Roger’s final goodnights so perhaps somebody is holding out on these tracks. It will certainly be nice to hear these someday especially if they exist in this quality.
This show has been available on a number of older boots including Embryo San Diego 1971 on Golden Stars, and the Live Storm clone of the same name. From Oblivion on the Never End label had upgraded sound which included some BBC material for filler but more recently on Highland’s Wind And Seabirds and also on CDR from Blue Café as The Night Turns Around Gold. All contain the same tracks.
The San Diego show is an awesome performance from Pink Floyd’s only North American tour from 1971 which was the end of an era for the band. Songs like “Fat Old Sun”, “The Embryo” and “Cymbaline” would no longer be played, making room in the set for the brand new Dark Side Of The Moon material. There is some excellent jamming and powerful Gilmour work in “Fat Old Sun” and particularly in “Blues” that are highlights of tonight’s performance and this show, in one form or another, belongs in everyone’s Floyd collection.