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Pink Floyd – Westworld (Sigma 4)

Westworld (Sigma 4)

Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA – April 29th, 1970

Disc 1: Grantchester Meadows (7:00), Astronomy Domine (10:23), Cymbaline (11:34), Atom Heart Mother (20:22), The Embryo (11:34)

Disc 2: Green Is The Colour (4:36), Careful With That Axe, Eugene (11:37), Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun (15:48), A Saucerful Of Secrets (22:41), Interstellar Overdrive (15:51)

The 2-CD Westworld, the fourth release of the Pink Floyd label Sigma, is an outstanding recording of the very popular soundboard recording of the live show at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, CA on April 29th, 1970, which had been previously released numerous times on CD on titles such as Interstellar Encore (Pigs on the Wing OMS 002/3), Pink Pigs Over Fillmore West (Euro Boots EB-30), Magic Makes The World Go Round (Moonage Daydream Records), and Fillmore (Highland HL642/643). On each of the first 3 titles, approx. the first 3 minutes of “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” are unfortunately missing, as it starts with a fade-in. On Sigma’s Westworld and Highland’s Fillmore, however, these first 3 minutes of “Set The Controls” have been patched in from a slightly inferior recording to make it complete, as one can hear the sound quality suddenly improve a little at approx. 3:00 into the track. So at least we have the complete show without any edits.

As for the sound quality of Sigma’s Westworld, it’s certainly superb, but unfortunately doesn’t seem to be any better than that of Highland’s Fillmore, which seems to be only a very slight upgrade over the other 3 titles mentioned above (the last one, Moonage Daydream Records’ Magic Makes The World Go Round, has a normalization issue since its bonus tracks are noticeably louder than those of its Fillmore West ’70 show). In fact, if given a choice between Sigma’s Westworld and Highland’s Fillmore, I would probably choose the latter over the former because it seems to sound a tiny bit crisper. Other than that, any noticeable or significant differences between the two couldn’t be identified.

As most Floyd fans know, this excellent early ’70 performance was actually concluded with 2 brilliant encores, “A Saucerful of Secrets” and “Interstellar Overdrive”, and the latter is actually not from the same soundboard source as the rest of the show, unfortunately being sourced from an audience recording of that same night. But the drop-off in sound quality going from “Saucerful” to “Interstellar” is only so slightly that it may even go unnoticed by some listeners. The artwork of Westworld is fine, with Sigma having used classy-looking glossy inserts again. But overall it’s recommended only to those who are looking for the complete version of “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” that includes its first 3 minutes and/or sound quality that’s just a little bit better than that of the earlier releases, such as the 3 titles mentioned above. Or, if you’re like (actress) Nancy McKeon and don’t even have the Fillmore West ’70 show at all in your personal collection, then you shouldn’t wait to get Sigma’s Westworld, or Highland’s Fillmore as an alternative choice that’s pretty much just as great, if not a tiny bit greater. (D.Lee)

If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)

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  1. yes, excited for this one as i didn’t have a copy of the original Westworld release.

  2. A new “Definitive” Westworld just landed. Sigma “says” it cleaned up the right channel noise. My copy is on order.

  3. Sounds great to me.
    Creepy Dave on Grantchester Meadow.
    You know how hard it was to mike an acoustic guitar back then and make it sound good?
    I’m constantly amazed how much the Floyd cared about sound and how to make it better.

  4. No, I used the silver Highland release and the clicking of the reel-to-reel is audible. It’s not a mastering fault but a noise that was made during the taping of the actualy concert.

  5. Dear Strumville, my vintage silver pressed Disc 1 Filmore (Highland) does NOT have any clickings. Maybe CMR reviewed a CDR copy only?

  6. Lugnutz, I personally prefer the sound of Fillmore to Westworld but only just.

    I have not heard this clicking on any of these and if I hear it now, my word! you lot are in trouble… :)

  7. Here’s what CMR has to say about HL642/643:

    “Fillmore uses a lower generation soundboard which sounds for the most part excellent. The tape still has the clicks on disc one which some roio collectors have corrected themselves. In all honesty the noises aren’t intrusive and seem to disappear in the fantastic performance.”

  8. I checked Highland Filmore again. It sounds perfect. To my ears it sounds better than the Sigma release. My 48 year old ears do not locate any clicking noises at the Highland release.

  9. Unfortunately I can’t seem to easily find my 2-CD-R copy of Highland’s “Fillmore” that GSparaco sent me a couple years ago, but I seem to recall that, at most, it probably sounds only a tiny bit better than the Sigma version – most prob. a tiny bit more crisp. If it has those same clicking noises that slightly plague the other versions, then it’s most likely not worth tracking down if you already have the Sigma #4.

  10. This has perplexed me a bit. Is ‘Fillmore’ really sound that much better. If I remember correctly the CMR for ‘Fillmore’ states that Highland’s version is also plagued with audio issues but sounds (only) slightly better than Sigma’s version of the show?. Is Highland’s version worth tracking down if I already have Sigma’s?

  11. Lug_nutz6, that may be a good idea that’s worth it for some people, but for myself personally, the clicking noise doesn’t bother me significantly enough for it to be worth it. But if Sigma does go ahead & considering doing another upgrade, maybe they should check out & listen to the Highland “Fillmore” version, if they haven’t already, and try to upgrade that or improve on that – if possible in any way at all. Perhaps Zooey Deschanel’s dog or Meredith Vieira’s pets may dissent, even while hearing Cream, Led Zep, &/or The J. Hendrix Exp. boots, but that’s certainly OK with me.

  12. With regards to the distracting audio, this title may be a candidate for a self-upgrade by Sigma. Perhaps a ‘Definitive Fillmore West’? And YES, I would spend the money to get this concert in pristine quality.

  13. Yes – unfortunately, now I’ve also heard & noticed the noise faintly in one channel on Sigma’s “Westworld”. It actually sounds sort of like a subtle but high-pitched ringing or chirping sound, as strange as it might be to describe it that way.

  14. I prefer “Filmore” (Highland HL 642/643).

  15. Unfortunately, Sigma does have the infamous ticking sound (right channel only). It is for this reason that I rarely, if ever, listen to this show.

  16. Thanks DLee…I have the Euro Boots “Pink Pigs” on original silver and the sound is constantly in the left channel only. It is a faint digital clicking sound. The sound is more prominent during quieter passages such as Grantchester meadows. I ordered “Westworld” anyway and I am hoping for the best because this really is an incredible show.

  17. Well, I still have a factory-pressed silver original of Euro Boots’ “Pink Pigs Over Fillmore West”, and I don’t remember any clicking sounds (easily) noticeable on it, and I certainly can’t recall any clicking noises on Sigma’s “Westworld” either. If you could provide me w/ a specific example of exactly where you hear prominent clicking on your “Pink Pigs Over Fillmore West” (is yours an original of it, or just a CD-R copy?), then I can check that particular part of both titles (both of mine are originals) and let you know, although it might take me a couple/few days or so.

  18. I have Pink Pigs over Fillmore west and just can’t get past the clicking sound that ruins this near-perfect show. Can anybody tell me if “Westworld” suffers from the same sounds or has Sigma once again performed a miracle?

  19. On Westworld, the ‘patched in’ start of STCFTHOTS is from the Pepperland Auditorium, San Raphael, CA, Oct 17 1970. Or, at least, from Sirene’s ‘Pepperland 1970’ 2CD set: it is not on Highland’s ‘Pepperland In The West’. The track then reverts to the known Fillmore audio of STC but seems to be further intercut, at very short intervals. This gives the SQ a noticeable warble, although not intrusively.

    I’ve yet to ascertain from where Highland’s ‘Fillmore’ pinches its STC intro.

  20. I should maybe add that the packaging of ‘Pink Pigs…’ is better than ‘Magic Makes…’, having a heavy-duty booklet and tray-insert, whereas the inside of the ‘Magic Makes…’ booklet is blank. The photos are generally anachronistic, unlike Sigma releases.

  21. Having done a side-by-side comparison, of sound quality, track length/ cue-points etc, ‘Pink Pigs Over Fillmore West’ (Euro Boots EB-30) is identical to ‘Magic Makes The World Go Round’, although the latter adds bonus tracks. I’m not sure which came first but one is a straight copy of the other.

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