If there’s one thing I’ve realized in my many years of collecting Pink Floyd shows, it is this. If Harvested Records puts out something with their label on it, grab it! Seeing the HRV logo is pretty much a golden seal of approval that the release is one of the best out there. As I’ve written about in the past, the Animals period of Pink Floyd is one of my favorites, and one that is often times overlooked as people skip from 1975’s Wish You Were Here right to 1979’s The Wall. The best part of the Pink Floyd In The Flesh Tour chronicled here, is that the shows featured a complete Animals performance (albeit with a shuffled running order), and a complete Wish You Were Here performance. the tour moved Pink Floyd into new territory – the dreaded football stadium. The two or three standout bootlegs of the tour capture Pink Floyd in front of an unruly and inattentive audience that is for the most part too high or drunk to care about the music being performed.
Animals Aux Abattoirs is different. This was show number six on the tour (Roger Waters actually shouted the number during “Pigs” at most shows). The French crowd was for the most part well-behaved. The band is still focused and energetic here. On later shows, the band sound ragged by the time they get to “Welcome To the Machine” or “Have a Cigar”. Here they are having a much better night.
The sound is quite clear for an audience recording and has really good range. The team that made this are now fairly known amongst the Yeeshkul community. Neonknight did the transfer from a first generation cassette. MOB handled the remastering, and in my opinion always does an excellent job in the details. Ediskrad Studios created some excellent artwork, and the infamous Rontoon of Harvested Records oversaw the whole thing. Apparently there is a story behind the venue also. Pavillon de Paris was originally a giant slaughterhouse. Just knowing that adds quite a creepy and relevant shadow to the performance given the material. The building was remade into a 10,000 seat capacity venue for concerts until its closing in 1980. One can’t help but think they might be hearing the cries of many a slaughtered pig during the song “Pigs”.
While the sound quality is not quite as top notch (only by a slight margin) as the remastered Madison Square Garden 7/2/77 release, the difference in the performance is enough to possibly make this my favorite 1977 show in my collection. The smaller crowd makes for a much better experience. In addition to both albums, the band plays an encore of “Money” that sounds fiery and not yet obligatory. The delicate details in “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” (both parts) are noticeable and noteworthy. All of Animals is played with a menacing bite, but not the indirect kind of vitriol that plagued the US and Canada shows later that summer. I very highly recommend this release not just for the hardcore collector, but for beginners just starting to sort through the great live shows out there. This one is a gem!
DO NOT PAY MONEY FOR THIS RELEASE! It is (update: was) available for free via torrent from the Yeeshkul trading community. Many people labored over this and several other great releases to share with you, the fans. Trust me, the time you may spend to set yourself up with a profile and get familiar with the site will be more than worth it! CLICK HERE TO VISIT YEESHKUL.
11/25/14 Update: HARVESTED RECORDS is no more. The site is gone. The label scrubbed from the internet. But if you look in the right places, You’ll still find this. Happy hunting!