Pink Floyd – The Best Of Tour 72 (Siréne-135)

 The Best Of Tour 72 (Siréne-135)

Rainbow Theater, Finsbury Park, London, England – February 20th, 1972
Disc 1, The Best Of Tour ’72 remaster (40:33):  Speak To Me/Breathe, On The Run, Time, Breathe (reprise), The Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Us And Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse

Disc 2, The Best Of Tour ‘72 original analogue record version (40:35):  Speak To Me/Breathe, On The Run, Time, Breathe (reprise), The Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Us And Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse

Disc 3 alternate audience source (69:46):  Speak To Me/Breathe, On The Run, Time, Breathe (reprise), The Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Us And Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse, One Of These Days, Careful With That Axe Eugene

Disc 4 (61:38):  Echoes, A Saucerful Of Secrets, blues, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun

Pink Floyd’s show at the Rainbow Theater on February 20th was the last of four nights at that venue and the final of their short tour of the UK promoting their newly written concept LP Eclipse aka Dark Side Of The Moon.  The first half of the show featuring those numbers was recorded and released on one of the most popular vinyl titles from the 70’s. 

It is so good many thought it was a soundboard recording or a BBC radio broadcast.  No record of any broadcast exists and it is definitely an audience recording (there is muffled conversation in the lower right channel).  Tapes exists for the earlier shows on the UK tour but this is the best sounding of them all and give us a great recording of Dark Side in its earliest stages. 

This recording is many people’s very first listen to what would be on of the most important and highest selling rock LP’s in history.  The vinyl release The Best Of Tour ’72 (16-421/422) originated in Europe and was quickly copied in the US and Japan and has been in circulation ever since.  The Swingin’ Pig Records released The Best Of Tour 72 (TSP-CD-049) in 1990 on compact disc.  

This is one of the titles produced by this label, along with Liver’ Than You’ll Ever Be, which was criticized for their heavy handed mastering using the No-Noise which eliminated the hiss but also clipped the music too producing a horrible sounding affect.  Dark Side Of The Sky (Chapter One CO 25117), Forbidden Samples (Neutral Zone NZCD 89007) and The Live Side of The Moon (Seagull Records) are other releases of this tape but the current progressive rock labels have ignored it until the current release on Sirene.

The first two discs present the excellent sounding but incomplete tape in two different stages.  Disc number two presents a copy of the original European vinyl release.  The first disc is the same except speed corrected, the tape deterioration at the end of “On The Run” is improved and given the Sirene mastering process which makes the tape sound much more warm and full. 

The job they did is really nice and the sound quality is phenomenal.  There are three cuts on the tape at 3:37 in “Time”, at 2:00 into “Us & Them” eliminating most of the song, and a fade out at 1:10 in “Eclipse”.  The second two discs cover the complete performance from a second tape source.  It makes its debut on a silver title and is a complete good audience recording.  It is a distance from the stage and has noticeable hiss.  Some of the quieter passages are a somewhat difficult to hear, but the main virtue of the tape is to allow us to hear the entire concert.

“On The Run” is the same arrangement they played throughout the entire year until the LP was released, being a jam between Wright and Gilmour.  This version is very intense with Gilmour reaching a tense crescendo before segueing into “Time”. “Money” has the long bass intro and an extended guitar solo at the end.  It sounds like someone missed a cue as happened in the following song “Us & Them”. 

Wright misses the time signatures at the beginning and extends the measures two extra beats until Mason comes in and gets the band back on track.  “Eclipse” ends with very loud sirens going off in the theater which impressed the newspapers in their reviews the following week.  After “One Of These Days” Waters says:  “There are people outside with petition…anti-all-this midnight assembly rubbish which is going through Parliament, so if you can sign it when you go out…”

“Careful With That Axe, Eugene” sounds very creepy in this recording and comes very close to The Doors’ “Not To Touch The Earth” (I sometimes believe that track is Waters’ Jim Morrison tribute).  “A Saucerful Of Secrets” closes the set on a high note despite Wright’s miscue in “Storm Signal”.  His wandering head drove the band to the brink several times during the show.  The band play the “Pink Floyd Blues” as the first encore, introduced by Waters as “something different”.  This is the same blues melody they played throughout their career and can be heard on many and various live tapes. 

The Best Of Tour ’72 is another great release by Siréne.  I applaud their decision to not edit the two tape sources together as has been done by some collectors.  As such, this is a nice archive of all of the sources that exist for this important date. 

They also respect the history to reproduce the cover of the European vinyl with the picture of momma smiling pig and her piglets.  The back cover is reproduced on the inside too.  All this is printed on the glossy high quality paper that makes this a classy presentation and one of the many essential Siréne Pink Floyd titles to own.

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