The Great Gig In The Sky

Pink Floyd
The Great Gig In The Sky - Front Cover
The Great Gig In The Sky - Front Cover

Label Silent Sea Productions
Catalogue No. SSR 41925
Release Date 2009
Total Time :   62:20
(mainly from the release notes)
This is a fantastic c.d. and a must-have for anyone who loves "Dark Side" (don't we all ?)
The legendary "One Side Of The Moon" is included here to encompass side 2. Side 1 of the album is represented by outtakes and live recordings.

The liner notes follow:

The Dark Side Of The Moon - A brief history

The Dark Side Of The Moon, like most of Pink Floyd’s 70s works, underwent a lot of transformations from its initial inception as a concept album early in 1972.
After initially laying down demos for their future masterwork the band set out for their first British tour of '72 in January and February. Fans were treated to the first unveiling of Dark Side with the opening night at Brighton Dome on January 20th heralding the debut performance of the album. Dark Side in those days was much more of a bluesy concept than the lush, layered career defining work that it became and as the tour progressed solos changed and the piece began to be knocked into shape.
The press were invited down to the first of four consecutive nights at the Rainbow on February 17 and a world buzz began that the Floyd were working on an epic.
The band continued to tour in Spring playing dates in Japan, Australia, America, and Europe before going back into the studio in the summer to record the bulk of the album, with the final recording being completed in January 1973.
What we have assembled on this disc is a hybrid of the album in its embryonic state, from the earliest demos to the legendary and, until now, never circulated legendary "One Side Of The Moon" tape which has only ever been heard by a handful of Floyd devotees.
Legend has it that when the album was remastered in the 90's the engineers broke for lunch leaving the tape set up.
Our hero only had 30 minutes, but with great presence of mind, ran off a copy of side 2 with all the faders pushed to the max to leave an unedited version complete with instrumental passages, second guitars and sax solos that had been removed from the final master mix.

It is startlingly different in places and one can only surmise what the first side would have sounded like before being edited.

We had demos for most of the songs on side one with the exception of “Breathe” and “The Great Gig In The Sky.” To fill in the gaps we used a version of “Breathe” from one of the Rainbow concerts in February 72 and from the same gig “The Great Gig In The Sky’s” predecessor “The Mortality Sequence.” There are gaps between the songs, but I’m sure fans will accept this stunning new version for its rarity value.

We’ve completed the discs with some more Dark Side demos. Now turn down the lights, fire up the speakers and enjoy.     Mike B.

Online experts Collector Music Reviews, added this summary:

The first five tracks date from a performance of Eclipse, as it was called at that point, from the Rainbow Theatre in London on February 20th, 1972. “On The Run” at this early stage was a free free form jazzy piece which builds into a tense crescendo leading into “Time” in which both Gilmour and Wright share the vocals in an arrangement that lacks the dramatic bombast of the studio counterpart. A combination of the very good audience recording and excellent sounding soundboard tape are used.

The next five tracks come from the One Side Of The Moon tape mentioned in Mike B’s comments and have never been circulated and are available to the general public for the first time. The sound quality on all of them is simply outstanding and the tracks feature interesting variations on the well known songs:
“Money” features a different vocal line, has more use of the cash register and two additional overdubbed guitars in the solo.
“Us And Them” features two saxophones playing a duet which are pushed to the back of the mix in favour of piano and backing vocals by the end of the piece.
“Any Colour You Like” contains slight differences in the mix and balance of instruments as do “Brain Damage” and “Eclipse.”
The finale, which on the studio version fades out with a heartbeat and “there is no dark side of the moon really. As a matter of fact it is all dark” continues with .... “The only thing that makes it look light is the sun” and additional quotes repeated several times.

The balance of the disc contains several demos that have been in circulation, including the acoustic demo of ”Money” with Waters on vocal and the band working on “Brain Damage.” Again, the sound quality on all these tracks are the best sounding and are definitive.

The Great Gig In The Sky features a photo of the late Richard Wright on the front cover as an homage to the man who played a much more important role in the Pink Floyd sound than many give him credit for. The new demos tend to bring out how interesting and creative the keyboard lines are in the final mix and are a fitting tribute.
The only slight negative about this release is that tracks three and four, “On The Run” and “Time/Breathe Reprise” are attributed as demos from Abbey Road instead of being live from the Rainbow Theatre. It is a very minor quibble but it could lead to confusion.
Otherwise this is a very important Pink Floyd title and is absolutely essential

The C.D.

No Tracklisting Information Time
Tracks 1-5 are logically sequenced as Side 1 of the L.P.
1 Speak To Me Rainbow Theatre, London - 1972 2:48
2 Breathe Rainbow Theatre, London - 1972 2:46
3 On The Run Rainbow Theatre, London - 1972 6:09
4 Time/Breathe Reprise Rainbow Theatre, London - 1972 6:48
5 The Great Gig In The Sky "Mortality Sequence" - Rainbow Theatre, London - 1972 4:22
Tracks 6-10 are logically sequenced as Side 2 of the L.P.
6 Money One Side Of The Moon 7:13
7 Us And Them One Side Of The Moon 7:46
8 Any Colour You Like One Side Of The Moon 3:23
9 Brain Damage One Side Of The Moon 3:46
10 Eclipse One Side Of The Moon 2:50
Bonus Tracks
11 Money Acoustic demo, Abbey Road 1:41
12 Us And Them Demo, Abbey Road, June 1972 5:28
13 Brain Damage/Exclipse Demo, Abbey Road, June 1972 3:26
14 Brain Damage Part 1 Outtake, Abbey Road, November 1972 1:26
15 Brain Damage Part 2 Outtake, Abbey Road, November 1972 2:20

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