Review Riding The Cow
Pink Floyd’s 1975 tour has
received much attention the past couple of years from labels.
Riding The Cow focuses upon the April 13th San Francisco show, the
second of two nights in the Cow Palace and
the fourth overall.
Godfather is the first CD release of the old vinyl Prism (RP-986 3S
- PINK-SF-A/D) released many years ago.
The recording is very good and enjoyable with a pronounced emphasis
on the top end.
It lacks the depth of some other recordings from this era, but has
Unfortunately the tape is incomplete with the second song of the
first set “You Gotta Be Crazy” missing.
It has never surfaced in the intervening years so it’s assumed to be
A second audience recording does exist and, while it is worse
quality, runs from the beginning to about a minute
into “Us & Them” before cutting out.
It does have the song which the
first source lacks.
Godfather chose unwisely to utilize only the first tape.
An edit of the two sources to present the entire concert would have
been a good idea and would’ve made
Riding The Cow a sterling Pink Floyd release.
The concert itself is highly enjoyable.
Pink Floyd shared a special relationship with San Francisco dating
back to the early shows at the Fillmore West.
One of their best television appearences was taped for WQED in the
spring of 1970.
At the Cow Palace in 1975 Pink Floyd delivered an intense and wired
It starts off with one of the more aggressive versions of “Raving
And Drooling” with Waters spitting out the words with particular
There are some speed issues on the tape by the end (probably a
malfunction which explains why “You Gotta Be Crazy” is missing).
Waters’ introduction for “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 1-5? is
But the piece as played in this show is quite pensive and reflective.
The bass-line in part five is quite loud for some reason.
overpower the other instruments, but rather
shows how intricate the melody really is.
The segue into “Have A Cigar” is seamless and the first half of the
show ends with “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 6-9.”
The second half of the show with the Dark Side Of The Moon LP is
greeted by cheers, screams, shouts of “sit down” and firecrackers.
But the audience settles down soon enough to follow the nuanced
“Speak To Me” turns into a disturbing drone at the segue into
“Breathe” and at points the band try to improvise within the
limitations of the piece.
“The Great Gig In The Sky” sounds very jazzy by the end as does,
curiously enough, “Money” during the long solos
in the song’s middle.
A highlight is reached for the jam session in “Any Colour You Like.”
It’s turned into a free-form piece with Gilmore and Waters’ very
loud bass playing off of one another effectively.
The only encore for the show is ”Echoes.” Waters takes the lead in
some parts on the bass and the back up singers are featured
prominently by the end of the song.
Godfather include the early show on September 27th 1970 tape as a
generous bonus on disc three.
Pink Floyd played two shows in the Fillmore East that day, at 6:00pm
and at 9:00pm.
It is a very clear recording of most of the set.
Most of the show was recorded but “A Saucerful Of Secrets,” the
final song and the encore “Atom Heart Mother”
Pink Floyd toured North America for about a month in the autumn and
coincided with the release of their new LP Atom Heat Mother.
The set was still reliant upon the older songs made popular by their
inclusion on the live LP in Ummagumma, namely “Astronomy Domine,”
”Careful with That Axe, Eugene,” ”Set the Controls for the Heart of
the Sun” and
“A Saucerful Of Secrets.”
But two songs from the new album, “Fat Old Sun” and the title track
were played regularly.
The set opens with the Waters arrangement of Syd Barrett’s
“Astronomy Domine,” very playful and joyous.
“Green Is The Colour” is played as a prelude to “Careful With That
This is of course a vestige of their work The Man And The Journey
where the pieces were called “The Beginning” and “Beset By Creatures
Of The Deep” opening the second half of the work.
“Careful With That Axe, Eugene” in this performance reaches a really
nasty peak about seven minutes in.
This is great Pink Floyd at a creative peak.
A review of the late show stated: “the Pink Floyd trooped out on
stage followed by about ten union horn men (dressed down for their
gig at the Fillmore!) and a chorus of approximately 20 singers.
All of this entourage was fronted by a conductor! They all proceeded
the perform a type of rock-classically fused composition that lasted
about an hour, and sounded like one of Blood, Sweet and Tears’ more
ambitious compositions at best.
I really feel that if one mixes rock with classical music something
more ought to come out of it than merely bad rock or bad classical
Including the Fillmore East tape is a nice bonus and it’s good to
finally have this fragment on silver disc.
Riding The Cow is a solid effort, but Godfather’s not editing the
missing song in the 1975 show really detracts from what would have
been an excellent release.
!!!All Scans taken from my
own collection !!!
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