Zürich 1977 (Siréne-271)
Hallenstadion, Zürich, Switzerland – February 3rd & 4th, 1977
Disc 1, February 3rd, 1977: Sheep, Pigs On The Wing 1, Dogs, Pigs On The Wing 2, Pigs (Three Different Ones)
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
Disc 3, February 4th, 1977: Sheep, Pigs On The Wing 1, Dogs, Pigs On The Wing 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
Zürich 1977 collects tapes for the two Zürich shows in the In The Flesh tour. These shows occur in the second week of their trip across Europe and are the last of Sirene’s comprehensive set of these shows. The February 3rd concert is presented in its entirety with the use of two separate audience recordings. The first recorder is an excellent sounding stereo audience recording with very nice detail of the instruments.
There is some upper end distortion particularly during “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 1-5. “Besides missing most of the Animals suite, there are minor cuts before “Welcome To The Machine,” “Have A Cigar,” “Money,” and at 12:21 in “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 6-9” missing the transition between parts seven and eight.
The first tape source begins with “Sheep” and cuts out at 8:04 where the second tape is edited in. This source is distant, thin, and just about listenable. It is a satisfactory record of the events. This source contains a cut at 12:59 in “Pigs (Three Different Ones)”. There have been several fan-based releases of both the two audience recordings edited together and just the great sounding first source alone.
Most notable is Zurich Vol. 2 (Jupiter’s Eye 023/024), but this is the first commercial release on silver of either of these concerts. The set list contains the latest two albums complete with “Money” as an encore. The show opens with “Sheep” and Roger gives an impressive vocal workout during the track. He hits a loud bum note at the beginning of “Pigs On The Wing 1” before getting back on track. “Dogs” lasts almost twenty minutes in this show and sounds great with the extended solos.
During “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” he shouts out “eight” to indicate this is the eighth show of the tour. The Wish You Were Here suite is an interesting contrast to the first half of the show. Animals rely heavily upon Gilmour’s guitar, but the second half relies upon Wright’s airy keyboards to make it effective. The opening keyboard soundscape of the piece creates tension which is cut by the first appearance of the lonely, four note theme on the guitar.
“Welcome To The Machine” is very interesting in these performances. The studio version features Waters and Gilmour singing the lyrics in unison. In live performances it usually turns into a shouting match between the two. Waters appears very late in the piece and Gilmour laughs it off, but it makes one wonder if there was some tension about the issue. There is more to say concerning this song in the second Zürich show. The cut in the tape elimiates the transition and the very beginning of “Have A Cigar.” The tape picks up very well the keyboard accompaniment and Waters’ voice doesn’t sound as harsh as it does on other versions.
“Wish You Were Here” begins with Waters scanning the radio and finding a nice jazz station before the pre-recorded intro to the piece. With the grand piano and acoustic guitars, this song is refreshing contrast to the mechanized crunch of the rest of the piece. The show ends with only one encore, “Money” from Dark Side Of The Moon. Featuring Dick Parry on saxophone, this song is one of their very few barnburners. Gilmour spits out the lyrics but flubs the final line in the second verse (“money, it’s a hit / I’m alright Jack keep your hands off of my stack.”) In later shows they would play also “Us & Them,” but the early dates don’t have the second song.
The third disc contains the existing fragments of the second show in Zürich. The sound quality of this recording is very good but boomy with some distortion in the bass and muffled conversations throughout the show. It has the complete “Sheep” and “Pigs On The Wing 1,” two minutes and twenty-four seconds of the end of “Dogs” (“who was born in a house full of pain” etc). “Pigs On The Wing Part 2” is cut fifty-three seconds in and the tape cuts out at the end of the song eliminating all of “Pigs (Three Different Ones).”
It picks up again in the second half of the show and the sound quality improves slightly. There is a small cut before “Welcome To The Machine” eliminating the beginning, a cut after “Wish You Were Here” that eliminates all but the final three minutes of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 6-9,” and a cut chopping out the beginning of “Money.” What is present of the first half of the show reveals the band sounding very sloppy with many mistakes.
Perhaps they were reacting to the disinterest by the audience, but this has perhaps the worst rendition of the suite on tape. The band sound much more confident in the second half of the show and deliver a powerful version of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 1-5.” The previous evening’s “Welcome To The Machine” had both Gilmour and Waters shouting the lyrics, but in the second Zurich show Gilmour sings the song alone with Waters joining only on one of the final “welcome my son” by the end. This is truly a unique version of the piece.
Overall Zürich 1977 is a good Siréne release which comes packaged in a fatboy jewel case with many photos from the era including a strange one on the back (not sure what I’m looking at). It is limited to three hundred copies but given the condition of the tapes this appeals to the hardcore collector. There are many better concerts available.