The Oxfam Concert (Godfather Records GR 361/362)
A Benefit For War On Want, Wembley, London, England – October 21st, 1972
Disc 1 (45:55): 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
Disc 2 (66:44): One Of These Days, Careful With That Axe Eugene, Echoes, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, blues
Between a lengthy US tour in the summer and a tour of continental Europe, Pink Floyd played a show in Wembley in London. Their first date in England since March, it was a charity date for Oxfam and the “War On Want.” They had a long association with Oxfam and they played their first concert in a big venue on December 12th, 1966 at the Royal Albert Hall for the charity. In the ensuing six years they grew in stature and fame and this Oxfam gig occurs right on the cusp of superstardom.
The Oxfam Concerton Godfather is the very first silver release of this show made available. There are two tape sources in circulation and the usual practice on fan based CDR remasters has been to use the excellent quality recording supplemented by the inferior source for the tunings. Godfather choose instead to use only the first, very good sounding recording which means the mc before “One Of These Days” and the lengthy tunings in the second half are absent but this is musically complete and sounds wonderful.
A lengthy review in Sounds states: “From the word go, they gave the packed stadium a faultless demonstration of what psychedelic music is all about. There wasn’t a note, or a sound, out of place during the whole evening…For starters, on Saturday, we had that lengthy work entitled ‘Dark Side Of the Moon,’ and eerie title for an equally eerie piece of music that takes the listener through a host of different moods, most of which are accompanied by unusual sounds stretching around his head by way of the group’s quadraphonic sound system.
“The second half of the recital was composed of three more major pieces, and a couple of encores. The first – the riveting ‘Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun’ – was obviously rehearsed, but the second – a bluesy jam – wasn’t. It served a useful purpose to show that the group are not confined to playing science fiction soundtrack music all the time. The incendiary gimmicks from the stage frequently obliterated the artists. Flash-bombs erupted here and there at well timed places, and Roger Waters gong actually became a blazing sun during ‘Set The Controls.’ All the time the group were effectively illuminated by their imposing lighting tower at the rear of the stage which served a dual purpose – at frequent intervals it belched out smoke which mingled with the colored lights and the dry ice surface mist to effectively whisk us all away to Planet Floyd.”
I’d say this is a very nice release from Godfather. The sound is pretty good, I wouldn’t say its excellent like a Fm recording but still a pleasure. I’m going through The Rainbow box set at the moment and look forward to comparing them after. Will be interesting to see how the DSotM set has changed. I’d reccomend this release.
Thanks for all the helpful info. – I’ll surely heed the suggestions. Both of my CD players that I were referring to are on computers. Of the several times that I played each disc, one time, maybe twice, I had probably only 1 or 2 freeze-ups (each disc) that lasted only about a second or two, but all the other times they were significantly worse. Sometimes I would have as many as about 4-5 of them (each disc), with some of them lasting up to several seconds.
I played both cds on my computer without problems, no problems downloading with iTunes too.
DLee, are you playing these discs in a computer or on an actual stereo? I had similar problems playing the discs in the computer, replaced them, and though these problems occured less frequently they weren’t eliminated. However they seem to play fine on a standalone stereo unit. I’d try them on some other devices if possible (in the car, DVD player, etc.) – keep us up to date for sure.
I suppose you have a defected copy. Ask for a replacement.
I finally got one late last week, and although I certainly have no complaints at all about the sound quality, the performance(s), or the artwork & packaging, both of my discs usually play with rather bizarre, inconsistent freeze-ups that can last as long as up to several seconds or so. Neither of the CD players of mine that experienced such problems with both discs have experienced any problems with any other discs recently, so I seriously doubt that either player is at any fault, and I keep checking (inspecting) both discs visually for any signs of the causes, but Disc 1 has only a few tiny spots that are apparently irremovable even with wiping, cleaning, & polishing, and Disc 2 looks perfect. When I said “inconsistent”, what I mean is that the freezes have occurred at different points for each playback. So has anyone else at all out there been experiencing any similar problems? Thanks to anyone who could reply helpfully.
This release is fantastic on many levels. The sound is great and captures the band firing on all cylinders. The quadraphonic sound system is in full effect too despite limited capability of the recorder to effectively capture it. During some of the quieter passages you can here it being used with the sound swirling around the audience. Sounds a bit strange on the recording but interesting none the less. One of my favorite performances from my small collection of PF titles. Thanks again Godfather.
Excellent packaging and great performance and remastering by Godfather.
Nice to finally see this show on silver. Godfather did a great job with the mastering on this one and I think the “raw” feel adds to the listening experience. Plomerus said it best “ALL of these documents are extremely valuable and welcome.”
To clarify, I what I meant by “raw” above…most of the Godfather output has been studio outtakes, soundboards, or truly amazing audience recordings…that is what they’re known for (along with their stellar packaging)…some of their recent Floyd “unearthings” are not as polished in comparison, but by no means poor…in fact, they’re at the very least on par with many Sirene or Highland releases, and often better. They took a gamble for the sake of the real collectors, responding to our pleas for fresh silver, regardless of quality – despite risking the comfort of some distributors…but don’t misconstrue my sentiments – I personally prefer some of the recordings that are more raw…it’s just some might be looking for some magical lost soundboard based on the GR reputation alone or something. Either way it doesn’t matter, the fact is….it’s a great performance from the band, and definitely a runner-up to be added to my “Essential Floyd” article here.
AS A LONGTIME FLOYD COLLECTOR( 22 YEARS!!) I LISTENED TO THOUSANDS OF LIVE CONCERTS: WELL ,THIS CD RANKS IN THE TOP TEN!! THE GUYS ARE IN GREAT SHAPE AND GILMOUR MAKES THUNDERS, AND THE SOUND IS MUCH MUCH BETTER THAN EXPECTED : GODFATHER DID A FANTASTIC JOB WITH MASTERING , EVERYONE SEARCH FOR SIGMA TITLES BUT THEY RE-RELEASE MOSTLY OLD TITLES AND NOT STUFF LIKE THIS ,I REALLY HOPE THAT GODFATHERECORDS WILL KEEP ENJOYING US WITH SUCH GREAT AND UNEXPECTED STUFF SANTATO65
“Raw” side? To my ears sound really excellent, even for non “hard Floyd fans”……
Would you say that “The Oxfam Concert” falls into the raw-sounding category, or does it “sound wonderful” as per the review….?
The rendition of “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” contained here is definitely a highlight for me, and I’d endeavor to suggest one of Roger Waters’ more gripping performances. I’m truly grateful to Godfather for continuing to press items that haven’t seen a silver release before – sure some of these have been a bit on the “raw” side, but given that most of these releases reflect Floyd in their transition from a band improvising extensively to the more structured unit they developed into, ALL of these documents are extremely valuable and welcome.