Sunday, July 16, 2017

FLAC: Pink Floyd live in Vienna 1977 - 2CD - February 1

Pink Floyd
Vienna, Stadthalle
February 1, 1977

Master>DAT[3] [48khz]

Disk 1
01 Sheep  12:30
02 Pigs On The Wing 1  1:37
03 Dogs  19:03
04 Pigs On The Wing 2  2:32
05 Pigs (Three Different Ones)  17:43
Total Time 53:25

Disk 2
01 Shine On You Crazy Diamond I-V  14:10
02 Welcome To The Machine  8:25
03 Have A Cigar  6:14
04 Wish You Were Here  5:38
05 Shine On You Crazy Diamond VI-IX  17:33
06 Money  9:13
07 Us And Them  8:49
Total Time 70:02

David Gilmour Guitars & Vocals
Nick Mason Drums & Percussion
Roger Waters Bass Guitar, Guitar & Vocals
Rick Wright Keyboards & Vocals
with Special Guests:
Snowy White Guitars
Dick Parry Saxophones

Germanic Pigs ...

The new Pink Floyd album, Animals, was out and the tour was on its way. Fans and foes alike were eager to hear the new material and begin the endless debate of how this record compared to the previous works. Below are excerpts from a Melody Maker article published on February 5th 1977. It recounts the experience of the Pink Floyd concert in Frankfurt on January 27th, just days before this Vienna show from February 1st.

“... ’At the end of the last tour we felt as if we could hardly bear to see each other again, but now it feels very good’ (Nick Mason). Pink Floyd, allegedly the most unwilling touring band at the top of the rock tree, were on the road again, and things were coming together quite nicely ... it had been an evening totally without mishaps. There were 12,000 natives packed into Frankfurt’s Festhalle ...

The band’s special effects dept sill hadn’t got the highpoint of their contribution to the show quite right yet. In the middle of the Pigs section of the tunes from their new album, a gigantic inflated porker is meant to fly over the PA, emerging out of a cloud of smoke, clearing the stacks by a few inches, and making a circuit of the hall over the heads of the audience. This is no cuddly pink pig with a curly tail, such as the one that flew between the chimneys of Battersea power station to publicise the Animals album ... this is a real mother of a sow, its snout rippling with animosity, grey as pigsty muck, its eyes lit up from inside, glowing red and baleful. Well, Mr. Pig made it over the stack all right but the trouble was with the smoke. The first three nights of the tour they couldn’t get enough product out of the rented fog machine so they tried a smoke bomb instead. That worked rather too well for comfort, filling the hall with billowing clouds of throat-strangling murk ... full marks for impact ... oh well, back to the drawing board.

Where it really counted – the sound - there seemed to be few problems. A couple of small examples: as Roger Waters plays, an oscilloscope onstage displays the waveform of his music, so that he can see immediately if his bass begins to slip out of tune. All the time he plays, he wears headphones for onstage fold back ... and every microphone on Mason’s drum kit goes through a noise gate triggered by the drum it is ‘miking’ so that the microphone is only on when he hits that particular skin, cutting out sound spillage and making the drum rhythms come through crisp and clean. It all adds up to the clearest sound I have ever heard in a hall this size – much better than the beginning of the Stones’ tour in the same hall last year.

The lighting, too, gets the same sort of techno-flash treatment. In addition to the usual banks of genie towers and the follow-spots, now requisite even with minor league bands, they have two enormous ‘cherry picker’ mobile gantries, similar to the snorkel towers used for fighting skyscraper fires ... hovering a few feet over Dave Gilmour’s head. For instance, as he howls out that searing pedal-steel solo in ‘Welcome To The Machine’, it bathes him in a crucible-red spotlight ... also ... towards the end of ‘Wish You Were Here’ a huge mirrored glass sunburst comes up from the back of the stage and starts revolving. I’m here to tell you that the Floyd’s use of mirror glass puts all the competition firmly into the Stone Age of visual theatre ...

For these live gigs, Floyd have been augmented by two fine musicians, guitarist ‘Snowy’ White and saxophone and keyboard player Dick Parry. Wisely, and graciously, Gilmour doesn’t use Snowy merely for back-up rhythm guitar work, but gives him a few solos, of which he makes good use ...

Pink Floyd are not innovative, really, as is constantly pointed out by the disenchanted voices among us, but then they never claimed to be. Their use of electronics adds little to the musical vocabulary. Their melodies are tonal, their harmonies consonant, their rhythms four-square and almost flat-footed. And yet somehow, using all these well-tried devices they nevertheless indicate widening horizons. On the other hand, they are not really the greatest live band in the world. They make few obvious attempts to communicate, a failure which the proliferation of visual effects is presumably meant to fill. The improved sound, if anything, heightens the sense of being at home listening to the album. If you close your eyes for an instant, and while the solos are longer, the greater freedom doesn’t usually produce anything of greater moment than in the narrower compass of the album ... and yet, here again; their very ordinariness on stage puts their work back into a human perspective. If they were the proverbial super human titans bestriding the auditorium like colossal, they would be unbearable.

After the gig, they are quite accessible, lounging around upstairs finishing the beer and cake, (since) its Nick Mason’s 33rd birthday. He nods thoughtfully when we speak of my theory that the last three albums fall together as a coherent body of work ... ’of course, we didn’t plan it that way, but it just seemed that with Dark Side we somehow got lucky and things began to fall into place. This one – Animals - is really my favorite ... and the only one I like playing’.”

Notes from the Re-Master

There are multiple sources for this master tape with no significant differences between them. All are complete with no gaps in the recording. The sources suggest a reel-to-reel tape player was used for the recording. Either two tapes or one long tape must have been used. The tape speed was a little different between the two sets suggesting that the former may have been the case. After the speed correction, the recording needed repair of the frequency response. Particularly in the left channel, certain frequencies were attenuated and needed a boost to bring them in line with the rest of the spectrum. Once performed, the overall tonality was re-balanced to improve the sound. This required both static and dynamic filters, particularly to address Dave's harsh guitar; a characteristic found throughout this tour.

Channel balance also needed correction. The overall balance was aligned as was the balance in specific segments. There was a frequently occurring brief buzz that was identified and fortunately was amenable to easy repair. Auto-record level circuits were particularly active during this recording. After loud sections, subsequent sections were unduly suppressed and needed to be restored. Similarly, during quiet sections such as the Pigs on the Wing segments, record levels were dropped, even between guitar notes and strums leading to a "door-open"/"door-closed" effect. Dynamic adjustment filters were used to correct this effect, with good results. Dynamic enhancements were used and re-tracking was performed using standard references.

Interesting show identifiers:
Roger late with lyrics on Pigs
German radio played at the end of Have a Cigar.
Dave slow to start Guitar lead in SOYCD IV-IX

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