Who Gotta Be Crazy (Sigma 21)
Wembley, Empire Pool, London, England – November 15th, 1974
Disc 1: Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Raving And Drooling, You Gotta Be Crazy
Disc 2: Intro, Speak To Me, Breathe, On The Run, Time, The Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Us And Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse, Echoes
A couple months back, Rover Records released How Time Flies (Rover Records 3/4) which featured a very good, previously unavailable recording of Floyd’s November 15th 1974 performance at Wembley in a nice digipak package that was well-received here at CMR.
Not to be outdone, the premier Floyd-related label Sigma now offer their own take on this very recording with Who Gotta Be Crazy. Admittedly, I was slightly disappointed when Sigma 21 was announced in that I was hoping for another newly unearthed gem or a long overdue upgrade instead, but the fact is Sigma have “done it again” in the respect that their releases are typically as good as it gets.
While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Rover’s version How Time Flies, and the differences are rather subtle to be honest, I do find myself preferring the Sigma version ever so slightly; it appears that Sigma have applied their usual delicate mastering techniques thereby eliminating most of the excess low-end rumble that was present on the Rover version. Of course, by adding a touch of high-end to the recording, there’s also a bit more hiss, but it’s not really distracting.
Sigma chose to set the start times slightly differently from Rover, resulting in different song lengths, and while it appears they may have smoothed over a couple of the brief cuts I noticed on the latter, once again all of the music remains intact. It appears that “Echoes” has been speed corrected as well, as the pitching is more accurate and the tempo isn’t as vigorous as on How Time Flies.
Given the detailed descriptions of the music in my review of the Rover version, I’ll summarize the contents as follows: good early versions of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” and “Raving And Drooling,” a not-quite-as-effective rendition of “You Gotta Be Crazy” due to it’s arrangement at the time, a fairly standard “Dark Side Of The Moon” suite, and a great version of “Echoes” to round the set out.
Ultimately, while I prefer Sigma’s treatment of this recording to Rover’s (again, ever-so-slightly), it really comes down to whether or not you prefer a digipak or slim 2 CD jewelcase. Sigma’s artwork is also more colourful if that has any bearing, but the hint of greater clarity aurally is what gives Sigma 21 the minute advantage.
If you missed the Rover release, by all means it’s worth tracking down Sigma 21, however if you already own How Time Flies there’s no real need to dispose of that release in favor of Who Gotta Be Crazy unless you’re an audiophile or completist.
The bottom line though is that Floyd enthusiasts both casual and fanatic should own one or the other, and this is indeed another excellent release from Sigma.
*** Please refer to the review of How Time Flies for more details about the recording, performance, and historical information by clicking this link here ***