Tokyo Taiikukan, Tokyo, Japan – March 7, 1972
Disc 1 (46:49) 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 (57:19) One Of These Days, Careful With That Axe Eugene, Echoes, Set The Control For The Heart Of The Sun
Released simultaneously with the new complete 1971 Hakone Aphrodite recording, this new title from Sigma features a new source for the band’s second night of their 1972 Japanese tour, some of the reason to put both of them out is that they were both recorded by the same taper and the same equipment was used. Sadly, like the Hakone show, this recording suffers from excessive mastering and while not as harsh as Hakone, the metallic noise created by noise reduction is there. The recording is good to very good, like most recordings from this period, the audience is very quiet and respectful making it easy to get a good sounding recording. It is distant yet clear and atmospheric with a full range of frequencies with a real nice bottom end, since it is mastered to death there is no tape hiss and very little audience noise near the taper.
There are at least three recordings from this concert, the first, and best, recording was used on Live In Tokyo (Zeus Z 907001/2) and as part of the massive The Darker Side Of Rising Sun (Godfather Box 24). A second recording surfaced in 2009 as part of Missing Pieces: Japan Tour 1972 (Sigma 034) and while the sound quality was not up to the first, complimented it quite nicely. This new, third recording sounds like it’s about as distant as Recorder 2 but with cleaner less distorted sound, something that makes the mastering even more frustrating as this is a really nice source. It should be noted that there were very distant alternate recordings found on the Godfather Box set so a fourth very distant source exists but to my knowledge does not freely circulate.
The sound improves drastically after One Of These Days, so much that I had to pull out older versions of this show to compare as I thought it sounds like the first recording. It is much louder and clear and is fully into very good range. There are cuts between the songs to save tape and eliminate the long tune ups, this must have been a small hall as you can hear some of the same hollering from the Zeus source, they are just off in the distance, the taper must have changed the location of his microphones, for the better. It is also humorous to listen to the audience, so quiet during the first set, they become a little rambunctious during the long tune ups.
The packaging is typical for Sigma, full color inserts adorned with pictures from the period, picture CD’s and the collectable sticker. Although some may find it palatable, the mastering ruins this title for me and hopefully the unaltered sources for these recordings surface, for those concerned with altered sources for the worse, stay clear of this title.