Roger Waters – Sweet Hitch-Hiker (Highland HL669/670)

Sweet Hitch-Hiker (Highland HL669/670)

Hallenstadion, Zürich, Switzerland – July 3rd, 1984

Disc 1 (65:45):  Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, Money, If, Welcome To The Machine, Have A Cigar, Wish You Were Here, Pigs On The Wing (part 1), In The Flesh, Nobody Home, Hey You, The Gunner’s Dream

Disc 2 (57:02):  4:30 AM (Apparently They Were Traveling Abroad), 4:33 AM (Running Shoes), 4:37 AM (Arabs With Knives And West German Skies), 4:39 AM (For The First Time Today – part 2), 4:41 AM (Sexual Revolution), 4:47 AM (The Remains Of Our Love), 4:50 AM (Go Fishing), 4:56 AM (For The First Time Today – part 1), 4:58 AM (Dunroamin, Duncarin, Dunlivin), 5:01 AM (The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking), 5:06 AM (Every Strangers Eyes), 5:11 AM (The Moment Of Clarity), Brain Damage, Eclipse

The Pros And Cons Of Hitch-Hiking tour was Roger Waters’ first live appearances in three years and the first as a solo artist.  He took with him a formidable backing band which included Eric Clapton on guitar, Mel Collins on sax, Tim Renwick on guitar and Chris Stainton on keyboards.  (The latter two would join Clapton on his own tour the following summer). 

The first half of the show was a retrospective Pink Floyd review playing material covering the previous decade in chronological order.  The older numbers receive new arrangements to accommodate the talent.  So “Set The Controls” isn’t exactly the creepy psychedelic marathon of old but contains a sultry sax solo by Collins.

The second half of the show consists of the entire new LP by Waters and it’s very good.  Many consider this to be his strongest solo project although too much sounds like The Final Cut.  In listening to this I begin to sing “Your Possible Pasts” or “Southampton Dock”.  The audience doesn’t mind at all and are very demonstrative right by the recorder and greatly enjoy the show.  All this ends with the encore of his part in Dark Side Of The Moon.

Three different tape sources exist for this date.  The first source was closest to the stage and is considered to be the best sounding but is also the shortest, missing about three minutes.  Sweet Hitch-Hiker, this newest release by Highland, utilizes the third tape source which is the longest of the three, but isn’t the best sounding.  If fact it sounds like the label used a high generation of that tape sounding very distant, compressed and distorted and not at all enjoyable. 

I wish they had taken time and care to present the best possible sources for this show because it is enjoyable.  The same exact show was also released as Switzerland 1984 on the CDR label Jamrec music on the same exact day as this.  Perhaps that title is better?  There are many great sounding tapes from this tour which Highland could have chosen.  Even though this is a new tape source, it sounds like a rush job and is to be avoided. 

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  1. Does anybody know if the Sirene release of this show ‘Zurich 1984’ (2CDR / Sirene-250) is supperior in sound quality?


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