Dark Side Of The Rainbow (Tarantura TCDPF-11,12)
Rainbow Theatre, London, Great Britain – November 4, 1973
Pink Floyd’s last two concerts of 1973 were benefit performances for Soft Machine drummer Robert Wyatt who had broken his back in a fall. Both concerts took place on the same day at the Rainbow Theatre, an intimate 2,800 seat venue located in the Finsbury Park section of London, a venue the Floyd knew well. The concerts took place at 5 and 9 PM with old friends The Soft Machine providing support for both shows. Both performances were compiled and release by Sigma on their 2016 release Rainbow 1973 (Sigma 166), this new title from Tarantura takes the same approach and also features mastering from Enigma.
These concerts received coverage in the press with a glowing review in Melody Maker, “It was a splendid evening of rock co-operation, in which both groups gave their services in aid of disabled drummer Robert Wyatt, and host John Peel was pleased to announce that some 10,000 pounds was raised. Heartbeats in fact commenced proceeding, pulsating through the auditorium and stilling the more excitable elements in the crowd. Clocks ticked mysteriously and with perfect precision the Floydmen slotted their live instruments into the recorded sound, combining quadraphonic pre-recorded tapes, lights, smoke and theatrical effects into a kind of rock Son et Lumiere. Overhead was suspended a huge white balloon to represent the moon, on which spotlights played, and not long after the performance began, searchlights began to pierce the gloom, and yellow warning lights began revolving in banks on the speaker cabinets. A choir of ladies cooed like angels of mercy and a silver ball reflecting myriad beams of light began to revolve and belch smoke, the audience rose to give them an ovation. They deserved a Nobel prize or at least an Oscar.”
Early Show (5 PM)
Disc 1 (68:28) Speak To Me, Breathe, On The Run, Time, Breathe (Again), The Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Us And Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse, Tune Ups, Obscured By Clouds, When You’re In
There are two audience recordings for the first performance, both fall into the very good range and a combination of both was used to present the complete concert. The only previous release of this concert is the previously mentioned Rainbow 1973 (Sigma 166), the title I will be using for comparison. Both titles are similar in sound, this new Tarantura is slightly louder but just barely. There is a little more tape hiss yet the Tarantura is clearer and more detailed. The tape issues noted during Us And Them and Obscured By Clouds, while still there, are barely noticeable and much more minimized. While not a massive upgrade, the Tarantura is certainly the better of the two.
Late Show (9 PM)
Disc 1 (69:57) Speak To Me, Breathe, On The Run, Time, Breathe (Again), The Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Us And Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse, Tune Ups, Obscured By Clouds, When You’re In
The late show has the better sound of the two concerts and has been issued prior as Obscured At The Rainbow (Triangle Records PYCD-053), Live At The Rainbow (Highland HL-226), Live For A Friend (Ganja 14), and Rainbow 1973 (Sigma 166). The Sigma title will be used for comparison and like the early show, the differences in sound are minimal. The Tarantura sounds better and like the early show is clearer with just as little less distortion without sacrificing the lower end. There is still just a hint of distortion in the lower frequencies but is much easier on the ears, while the differences are small, the Tarantura is the winner with the gentle mastering bringing out the best of the tape.
The packaging is the norm for Tarantura, a gatefold sleeve featuring Dark Side Of The Moon graphics and a nice live shot on the interior. The CDs have pictures on them, David on the first, Roger on the second and also typical for Tarantura is the OBI strip. While not a significant upgrade, an upgrade nonetheless, the sound for both concerts is better than previous titles, for those who do not have these concert, this title is worth consideration.