Pink Floyd – Live In Tokyo 1972 (Zeus Z907001/2)

Live In Tokyo 1972 (Zeus Z 907001/2)

Tokyo Taiikukan, Tokyo, Japan – March 7th, 1972

Disc 1 (48:32):  Speak To Me, Breathe, On The Run, Time, The Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Us And Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse

Disc 2 (59:19):  One Of These Days, Careful With That Axe Eugene, Echoes, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun

Pink Floyd made their second and final visit to Japan during the Roger Waters era in the spring of 1972 between a tour of the UK and US.  Unlike the first visit, which comprised of an appearance at a two day outdoor festival and one in Osaka, they scheduled seven shows including two at the Taiikukan in Tokyo.  Only six were played since the March 11th show in Yokohama was cancelled.  Live In Tokyo 1972 on Zeus was released a decade ago and remains the only silver pressed edition of the complete second Tokyo show available.  There is a little bit of confusion about the Tokyo tapes and which tape is the correct night. 

Zeus correctly label this as the March 7th show but use the setlist for the first night, labeling the encore as “A Sauceful Of Secrets” which was played the first night.  But on this tape they play “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” instead, proving that the information in In The Flesh is inaccurate.  The tape is very good and clear but with a hint of distortion during the louder parts and, as one collector points out, Waters’ bass sounds more like a “thud” a few times during the performance for unknown reasons.  The taper was able to capture most of the show but runs out of tape about five and a half minutes into the encore.

Like all shows in 1972 the first set is dedicated to a complete performance of the newly written Dark Side Of The Moon suite, a year before its official release.  All of the early differences are present including the jam on “On The Run,” “Time” played as a slower tempo and without the saxophone that is imperative for the mood of the masterwork.  What is truly a standout in the opening numbers is Wright’s performance in “The Great Gig In The Sky.”  Accompanying Malcolm Muggeridge, he plays an inspired ecclesiastical sounding organ melody.  After “Eclipse” the Tokyo audience offer polite but generally restrained applause, almost as if they don’t know how to react to the piece.  There is three full minutes of tape afterwards where the mc is audible giving a lengthy anouncement in Japanese but mentioning “dark side of the moon” in English several times.

After the intermission they play one of their best stage pieces, “One Of These Days” which is so loud and intense at points that it creates distortion on the tape.  The middle section actually has a long, contemplative section before the slide massacre and Mason’s threat.  Five full minutes of tuning is present on the tape.  The hitherto quiet audience begin to grow restless, shouting and whistling.  Waters calms them down, saying, “For anyone who speaks English, we just lost power on this side of the stage.  And it’s gonna take another minute or so to fix.  We ain’t just standing around for fun.”

After more tuning they start “Careful With That Axe Eugene” deliberately.  The song was played constantly in their early years but the 1972 version is the most concise, deliberate and intense on tape.  It forms a thematic counter argument to the newer “One Of These Days.”  For whereas the former reveals one’s murderous intent of wanting to “chop you into little pieces” in a psychotic rage, the latter does the chopping with the axe out of a psychedelic stupor.  (Although is no less horrific). 

A twenty-five minute version of “Echoes” closes the performance and “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” is the encore.  The tape cuts out after five and a half minutes after the sojourn in the middle and one wonders why the taper didn’t pause the tape after “One Of These Days” to preserve space for the rest of the encore.  It is a fantastic performance in front of a generally respect and appreciative audience.   It is a shame Pink Floyd never played in Japan after these shows since their popularity there remains to this day.  Zeus package this in a double slimline jewel case with various photos from the year and is a good way to obtain this show on silver.             

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