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)