Nice Live Pair (Highland HL675/676/677/678)
Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY – June 17th, 1975
Boston Gardens, Boston, MA – June 18th, 1975
Live At The Coliseum (HL675/676), Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York – June 17th, 1975: Disc 1 Raving And Drooling, You Gotta Be Crazy, Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 1-5), Have A Cigar, Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 6-9), Speak To Me, Breathe, On The Run, Time, Breathe (reprise)
Disc 2: The Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Us & Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse, Echoes
Live At The Garden (HL677/678), Boston Gardens, Boston, MA – June 18th, 1975: Disc 1 Raving And Drooling, You Gotta Be Crazy, Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 1-5), Have A Cigar, Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 6-9)
Disc 2: Speak To Me, Breathe, On The Run, Time, Breathe (reprise), The Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Us & Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse, Echoes
Nice Live Pair is a nice collection of two superb audience recordings from the middle of Pink Floyd’s second tour of the US in 1975. Reviewed here is the four-disc limited edition (although it isn’t stated how limited) set with the two complete shows. Both were also released separately and simultaneously as Live At The Coliseum and Live In The Garden.
Live At The Coliseum, the first two discs, utilize an excellent clone of the master tape that has been circulated before. This release is seventeen seconds shorter than the tape being traded, although I’m not sure exactly what is missing (if anything). There is some evidence of mastering done by Highland and it sounds somewhat compressed (as well as the other show in this collection). It sounds like the same technique they used on the Mr. Pig Remastered released last year, which may not meet everyone’s expectations. Be that as it may, the music is clear, loud and very enjoyable. The label also chose to divide the show between “Breathe (reprise)” and “The Great Gig In The Sky” affecting the continuity. It would have been better to place each set on its own disc.
The actual concert was the second of two shows at the Nassau Coliseum that summer and were the first arena shows in the metropolitan area. The other venues played here, Radio City, Fillmore East and SUNY Stony Brook were good, but the popularity of Dark Side Of The Moon in the intervening years demanded they play a bigger place. The result here is a tight and heavy performance that is legendary (at least on Long Island). “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” had reached by this point its definitive arrangement and includes a nice strong sax solo. The money sound effects can be heard on parts 1-5 faintly in the background. Roger plays the opening riff of “Sunshine Of Your Love” on bass during the tuning to “Echoes”.
Live At The Garden, the second two discs, is yet another release of the June 18th Boston show. There are two tape sources for this concert and this is the second. They can be differentiated by the various crowd noises around the mic. At “Breathe”, for example, as soon as the song begins on the first tape source a guy yells “all right!” On the second recorder there is a “wow” and a loud whistle. This tape was released previously as Echoes In The Gardens on Heartbreakers, Stellar Symphony on Digital Reproductions and Raving And Drooling on Watch Tower. Highland makes the claim this is from the master tape, although both Heartbreaker and Watch Tower make the exact claim. Compared to the Heartbreakers release, this sounds a bit more compressed and shrill, whereas the older release sounds warmer and more dynamic.
It is still one of the best audience recordings to come from the seventies, however, and is an essential title worth having. The four disc set is worth having if you don’t already have the Boston show. I think it would have made more sense to include the two Nassau Coliseum shows in one package (and remastering Raving Crazy Diamond Moon (Highland HL 252/253) which really needs a definitive release). As it is, Nice Live Pair is a good set to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of their summer tour.