Niedersachsenhalle, Hannover, Germany – November 27, 1970
Disc 1 (61:38) Astronomy Domine, Fat Old Sun, Cymbaline, Corrosion In The Pink Room / Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict, The Embryo / Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict (reprise)
Disc 2 (67:18) Atom Heart Mother, Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict tease / Green Is The Colour, Careful With That Axe Eugene, Introduction, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, Final Speech, A Saucerful Of Secrets
Over the past few years there has been a restructuring of thought when recordings of Pink Floyd culled from their German / European dates in November 1970 are concerned. First off there is an old vinyl bootleg called Pictures Of Pink Floyd Vol 1 (Topsound 70001) and Vol 2 (Topsound 10022), while the cover may eluded to the fact that it was from a USA concert in April 1970, keen listeners easily deduced it was not from then but from Europe in late 1970 due to song structures, mainly of Fat Old Sun and Atom Heart Mother. There was a comment made by Roger “My Lords, ladies and gentlemen, Mr Nicholas Mason”, thus this recording was attributed to Gothenburg, Sweden as supposedly there were members of the Swedish royal family in attendance at that concert. Since the POPF featured a unique piece of music referred to as Corrosion, most also believed that the recording was done within a few days time of another concert, Hamburg Nov 14, 1970, that contained the same piece of music, so the recording for many years was referred to as Gothenburg.
As time goes on, somehow “new” recordings surface, and sometimes throw a wrench in the works, such is the case with the three fragmented recordings that surfaced in 2012 and released by Sigma as In Germany 1970-1971 (Sigma 71). This title was sourced from a cassette featuring snippets of three different concerts, Hamburg – November 14, 1970, Hannover – November 27, 1970 and Munster, Germany – February 24, 1971. Well, after close examination, the music referred to as Hamburg did not match the circulating recording for that date, see Corrosion (Sirene 235), then it was discovered that the material dated Hannover matched the circulating recording Hamburg. An additional piece of the puzzle came into the picture in mid 2016 when a recording for the Gothenburg – November 11, 1970 concert surfaced on Gothenburg 1970 (Sigma 156).
Based upon all this new information, the problem would be what to do with the Pictures Of Pink Floyd recording. After an examination of the dates from the tour that had no known recording, it was deduced it had to be from Saarbrucken – November 28, 1970. And this does make sense based upon the piece known as Corrosion, there are three know versions of this song in circulation and all three are very similar, most believe that they were recorded close together, it would not make sense if they were weeks apart. The third version you ask? It was recorded for French TV at the conclusion of this tour on December 5, 1970.
So here is what has been restructured:
Gothenburg, Novermber 11, 1970 – Gothenburg 1970 (Sigma 156)
Hamburg, Germany, November 14, 1970 – In Germany 1970-1971 (Sigma 71)
Saarbrucken, Germany, November 28, 1970 – Pictures Of Pink Floyd (Topsound 70001 / 10022)
Now we have that out of the way, let’s take a look at this new title from the Eat A Peach label of the Hannover – November 27, 1970 concert. The November tour through Europe is, for me, a high point in the Floyd’s early touring career, many of the concerts exist on and circulate either through bootlegs or in trading circles and are available for our listening enjoyment, and there is much to be enjoyed. After the somewhat rudderless late 60’s, the band seemed to have found direction largely thanks to their draw as a live act. This gave them the ability to gel together with David Gilmour and write as a unit, and their creativity would culminate with a series of incredible records, Ummagumma, More, Atom Heart Mother, and Meddle. For me the studio records are like titles of chapters, the real text is in the live recordings, and for me it gets no better than 1970.
The recording from Hannover, originally thought to be Hamburg, has circulated for years and is an essential piece to the early Floyd puzzle, as intriguing as Birmingham – February 11, 1970 and Sheffield – December 22, 1970 as it contains a very unique performance. Not only do we get one of three versions of Corrosion aka Libest Spacement Monitor but also Roger does several incredible “pict” rants based upon his piece, Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict from the Ummagumma record. The performances from this period found the band playing in small halls and most have an intimate atmosphere, and Roger is in an interesting mood and seems to have an almost open dialogue with the audience, a rather rambunctious group of young fanatical German Floyd fans.
The recording falls into the very good range, just slightly distant with all instruments and vocals clearly heard. To my ears it sounds as if the Peach folks have slightly increased the volume making the small amount of tape hiss just a bit louder, I am basing this on the 2003 transfer of the Reel to Reel 3 3/4 ips referred to as T136 that is considered the lowest generation and best source in circulation. What this tape has over the old Sirene Corrosion title is a warm and natural sounding listening experience and it runs at the correct speed, an is just a hair longer as well. While I fully acknowledge that mastering of these old tapes tends to follow ones tastes, it does seem that the trend is going for a more natural sound of what the recording actually sounds like versus trying to achieve a bright and brittle sound free of hiss that has no soul to it.
It boils down to this, I like this new release. The tape hiss does not bother me and the recording sounds great and is quite enjoyable, add this together with a sublime performance, one of the best from 1970 and you get a winner. I fully agree some may not like the mastering of any title, but this is a forum to discuss opinions on a titles merits so those who do not have a particular recording can make a determination of whether it is worth their investment or not. Until the master tape of this recording or the full recording found on In Germany 1970-1971 surfaces, this new title from Eat A Peach is an acceptable alternative to the long out of print Sirene title and is a nice title to have. The packaging is simple mini LP style jacket with CD sleeves and inserts all having great photos from the era, there are nice liner notes from the Lazy Goalkeeper.