Pigs Fly Over America (Highland HL647/648)
Tarrant County Convention Center, Fort Worth, TX – May 1st, 1977
Disc 1 (53:15): Sheep, Pigs On The Wing (part 1), Dogs, Pigs On The Wing (part 2), Pigs (Three Different Ones)
Disc 2 (76:46): Shine On Your Crazy Diamond (parts 1-5), Welcome To The Machine, Have A Cigar, Wish You Were Here, Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 6-9), Money, Us & Them
The sound quality on this release rivals the Oakland and Boston shows on this tour. This is a phenomenal sounding audience recording from the beginning of the In The Flesh 1977 tour. There is no evidence that this isn’t sourced from the remastered tapes circulated in January 2003 by the taper himself called Iron Pigs On Fire. So what we have is an excellent stereo audience recording except for “Us & Them” which is technically two channel mono (the right plug fell out of the machine).
This show is early enough in the tour where Roger was in much better spirits. There are none of the confrontations with audience members that would plague the shows in New York and Montreal. The performance is very remincient of the Oakland show the following week. Calm and professional with Dave Gilmour being a particular standout in the proceedings.
The one peculiarity with this show is that “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (part 5)” is played without the sax! Did Dick Parry drop it or did he forget it at the hotel? It sounds very strange and the band make a quick seque into “Welcome To The Machine”. Parry and his sax do appear in the encore “Money” albeit a couple of bars too late.
The taper explains how he got such a good quality tape:
“Pink Floyd 1977-05-01 Tarrant County Convention Center Fort Worth TX Iron Pigs On Fire (T-700) I don’t still have the ticket stubs, I know my ex-wife got one of them, she probably got them both since I can’t find the other one. She sat on the right of me. We were seated in the first elevation above the floor on the right side of the stage about 200 feet from the stage. On my left was a blind guy and on the other side of him sat his friend who was explaining to him what was going on. I was concerned that his explaining might be too loud on the tape but it’s not too bad.”
Despite the gaffs this is another excellent show and great recording that has been released several time before. Previous releases used higher generation tapes but Highland is the first to use the master clone worked on by the taper himself and sounds very nice.
It is great to see Highland so active since they are the most reliable progressive rock label and have been producing some really nice releases of late, all of them worth having. Pigs Fly Over America is an opportunity to own a great edition of this excellent concert.
Subsequent to this release two other versions of this show were pressed on silver. A month after Highland released this, Live At Fort Worth (Screamer-05036/37) came out and several years afterwards In A House Full Of Pain (Sigma 48). I’ve not heard Screamer to compare, but knowing that label’s mastering preference, the sound quality is probably similar to Highland. The Sigma is a massive four disc set with both tape sources, both of which are described by the reviewer very well. Highland makes a nice one source version of this show.