Zoo (Sigma 7)
Festhalle, Frankfurt, Germany – January 27th, 1977
Disc 1: Sheep, Pigs On The Wing 1, Dogs, Pigs On The Wing 3, Pigs
Disc 2: Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 1-5, Welcome To The Machine, Have A Cigar, Wish You Were Here, Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 6-9, Money
Two tapes exist for Pink Floyd’s January 27 show in Frankfurt. The first to surface is an excellent quality but incomplete source, missing most of “Sheep” and the encore “Money.” Welcome To The Machine (Bullshit Records Munchen / Crazy Diamond Productions PF 177-A/D) and A Mysterie Called Floyd (Black And White Records BWR 83) with “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” “Pigs On The Wing,” “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” are two vinyl titles with this tape source. The only silver disc release of this tape source is on In the Flesh: European Tour 1977 (Highland HL278/279) which has “Pigs On The Wing (Part 1),” “Pigs On The Wing (Part 2),” “Pigs (Three Different Ones),” “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 1-5,” “Welcome To The Machine,” “Have A Cigar,” and “Wish You Were Here.” The second tape source is more complete since it includes the tune-ups, a complete “Sheep” and the encore “Money.”
The taper was close to the stage and produced a clear sounding tape with no audience interference. But since it focuses on the middle frequencies, there is a flat timbre to the sound. This quality works against a band like Pink Floyd, who rely on these kinds of dynamics in sound for their drama. This tape was used for Highland’s Welcome To The Machine (HL655/656) released several years ago in addition to several fan produced cdr titles. Zoo follows Highland in using the complete second tape only and ignoring utilization of the first tape source. The remaster isn’t as harsh as on Highland and Sigma make this sound as gentle, natural and warm as possible and is a nice improvement over the older version.
The past couple of years have seen an interesting emphasis on Pink Floyd’s In The Flesh tour in 1977 by Sirene, Highland, and now Sigma. With multi-media presentations of many of the biggest shows of the era, it is now possible to build an impressive collection of titles. This concert on Zoo is the fourth of the tour after the opening show on January 23 in Dortmund. Tapes exist for the two Dortmund shows but so far nothing has surfaced yet for the first show in Frankfurt on January 26. This show received a big write-up in the February 5, 1977 issue of Melody Maker.
The writer described how the crowd were throwing bottles around during the first half with a full bottle of beer hitting Nick Mason’s drum kit and spraying foam in his face! No reaction is audible on the tape and the band delivers a very tight but pedestrian performance in the first half. Waters fumbled a bit on the third verse of “Sheep,” but otherwise the Animals material is played with no major errors or breakdowns. But the translation of these songs from vinyl to the stage seems to have taken a while. Both “Dogs” and “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” stretch close to twenty minutes but they lack the point and bite they would develop by the end of the European tour.
The second half of the show sounds much better than the first. Although Wish You Were Here was recorded and released two years prior, much of the material including “Welcome To The Machine” and the title track make their live debuts about this time. And in succeeding shows much of the material will also be stretched out to include more improvisation, especially “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 6-9” which closes the set. The radio tuning interlude between “Have A Cigar” and “Wish You Were Here” includes catching a snipped of a classical music station and a news broadcast (in German) before going to the background tape of the opening notes on acoustic guitar. The only encore in these early shows is “Money” from Dark Side Of The Moon, one of Pink Floyd’s most fun live numbers. Eventually they will also include “Us & Them,” but not in Frankfurt on this night.
Zoo is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with color glossy inserts with the Animals font stenciled across the front. The inside photo shows a far shot of the Battersea power station. Sigma also chose to skip the six in their catalogue and jump from Sigma 5 (Blindness) to this. (Sigma 6 was an early name for the band and one wonders if this has something to do with that decision?) Because there are so many silver releases from this era, there are many shows to chose from and many that are essential to own, including Montreal, Vienna, Oakland and New York. While Frankfurt is a very good and enjoyable show, there is not anything to make it stand out above any other. This will appeal to the hardcore Pink Floyd silver collector and for those who love Animals, but others may want to look elsewhere.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)