April 23, 2014 – 2:20 pm

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Harsh Realities [no label, 2CD]

Live at the Centre Sportif de l’Ile des Vannes, Saint-Ouen, France; December 1, 1972. Good to fairly good mono AM radio broadcast; stereo tweaked.

This one’s really for the fans.

Thanks to Heywood/eckoes 2011 for originally sharing this at Yeeshkul!; and to floydart for keeping it alive at The Traders’ Den.

Uploader’s Notes:

In 1972, RTL was one of the most popular radio stations in Europe. Despite having their studio in France (they were the intended audience), they had an insanely powerful transmitter in Luxembourg to overcome the French legislation that banned private broadcasting at the time. Because of this, they could be heard all over Western Europe, even in Scotland during beautiful days. At the time, Pink Floyd were very popular in France. They knew it and toured extensively there. It’s nonetheless quite surprising that the band agreed to broadcast live one of their shows from there because they only dealt with the BBC for this before and after this show. Well, if you consider that RTL was sponsoring nine of their concerts in French-speaking Europe at the time, it’s not that surprising; maybe it was part of the deal. The show we’re talking here is the second from those nine dates. It’s their last live broadcast on any media ’til the 1989 Venice TV show (one of their shows was recorded in November 1974, but was edited prior to broadcasting many months later).

That night was special in many ways:
- “Blues” jam, generally played as an encore in a few shows, is part of the concert.
- “Childhood’s End” make its live debut in that show. It was played sometimes that month and at a few show in March 1973 before disappearing completly from their setlist. In fact, it’s the very first time a song from the album “Obscured By Clouds” (released six months before) was played live.
- They played an entire proto “Dark Side Of The Moon” live on the airwaves, almost four months before its release. One can hear that “The Mortality Sequence” is on its way to become “The Great Gig In The Sky”, “The Travel Sequence” jam is still there and that some arrangements are not quite finished.

Broadcast: RTL was an AM radio station. In Mono. The concert was professionally mixed, but the sound was compressed and low-pass filtered. Other AM recording from RTL from the early ’70s, even on their website, have an HF rolloff starting at 4.5 kHz and finishing at 6kHz. This ain’t no ideal broadcast condition for a concert, especially for the Floyd. Problem is that this concert has never been broadcast again, so that’s all we had. This means that the concert sounds pretty rough to the ears, it is quite difficult to make out the instruments. But there was also a strange strong buzzing noise near 6kHz that was broadcast along the concert (we never found what this “buzz” was).

Recording: Many recordings exists for this concert, every single one of them is incomplete. The most complete (and luckily the best sounding) source available is a 1st gen copy of an analogue tape recording, transferred to DAT and then recorded on a computer at 16-bit and 48kHz. Yeah, that’s right, there’s no direct recording of the broadcast available and no complete tapes exists too. Sad but true. This specific source is phase shifted, suffers from a lot of dropouts and tape cuts (due to this source being a copy of a recording), and is plagued with hiss and background hum. And that’s not all: the tape ran a little too fast.

Basics: the RTL tape was speed-corrected. Then, the show was converted back to mono by making both channels = right channel. This step also removed the phase-shifting problem altogether.

Edits: we went went through the tapes and fixed as many of the drop outs that we could find by attenuating or trimmimg them by hand. Sometimes, entire sections were duplicated (due to a tape-flip during the copy), so we ended up with a much shorter recording. We also replaced the first note of Us And Them that was cut off by the tape flip with a little piece from later in the song in order to have a solid start. What we end up with is something that sounds a lot more like the typical recordings of the period than it did before.

Until a complete tape of the show surfaces, this is by far the closest you can have to the original broadcast. We hope that RTL recorded the show in high-quality and that this tape will leak one day. Until then, this is the best we could do from what we got. It’s not perfect, it’s still a bit rough, but it’s much better than before in our opinions.

Many thanks to creamchesse, littlepieces, movement, goldenband for their technical suggestions and advices. Thanks to neonknight for providing the recording of the RTL tape. Thanks to meddler for the Speed Corrected Series of the Poitiers show and thanks to BrunO who provided you the tape. Special thanks to goa, RonToon, Orgone Accumulator and all the people from Yeeshkul! for their encouragement.

Click here for the complete notes.

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Thanks also to R Goodman for the artwork.

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UPDATED: October 9, 2015

These tracks are no longer available for sharing.

We request that you immediately remove all infringing material, and cease any further posting of infringing material to your website.

One Fifteen
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London N8 8PN
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  1. 22 Responses to “PINK FLOYD - FRANCE 1972”

  2. Thanks, bigO!

    By NAMoosedog on Apr 23, 2014

  3. Childhood’s End is a wonderful song. I like the bass on this. Not bad, not bad at all. Thank you so much everyone for providing this and cleaning it up.

    By Job Hunter on Apr 23, 2014

  4. Thanks! Yet another Floyd recording I’ve not heard..

    By Tom on Apr 23, 2014

  5. Super!!! Thanx bigO

    By Benk on Apr 23, 2014

  6. Every so often a show pops up somewhere that I`ve never heard before,making the pre-DSOTM years my favorite in terms of hearing the band go through the changes that they had to go through to as a band to prepare them for what was to come.The mono sound doesn`t bother me at all,in fact,it lends a certain sense of the time when this gig happened.I still feel the Floyd lost a little of their sparkle when they hit the big time.Me,I liked them best when they were still trying to find their way and this show represents that magic space of time…thx Big-O !!!

    By Couz on Apr 23, 2014

  7. Thanks for this recording! Sure it sounds quite rough and compressed. There is not much instrumental power. But what can you expect under these circumstances!?

    By Tony Lauber on Apr 23, 2014

  8. sweeeeeeeeeet! Thanks, BigO, and the clean-up team, too!

    By walter on Apr 23, 2014

  9. for your info,
    the right place is Ile de la Jatte instead of Ile des Vannes
    yours faithfully

    By Dominique Briois on Apr 23, 2014

  10. there is a 73 brdcst that often claims to be a bbc recording. i dont mean the 74 one mentioned above either. superstar concert series also rebrdcst this and claims its a bbc recording as well. i dont know if it was brdcst live as it happened so in terms of that it could be accurate that there were no actual live brdcsts til 89. i didnt get the 73 show til i was in my 20s (the 80s). there is also a phila pa 73 sbd recording that is supposed to be an fm brdcst. again this may or may not have actually been a live brdcst. it also could be the same performance as i just mentioned. i never compared. its very difficult to compare dark side shows. the only portion i remember having of these is the dsotm sections.

    By darth on Apr 23, 2014

  11. This one is a must,thanks bigo
    The venue is much more known as “palais des sports de st ouen”,wich is the name of the place often
    announced for the concerts.
    There was a second concert the day after,i wonder why
    “childhood’s end” was soon abandonned,it was one of their
    best live song,sounds much better than in studio.

    By easy on Apr 24, 2014

  12. Thank you AGAIN! I have yet to listen to it under the right conditions (if you get my drift) but the best part is it’s from that time when DARK SIDE OF THE MOON was still in the oven cooking. They were still on THE JOURNEY. Wonderful. . .And the quality sounds rather good while downloading it. A great thing to look forward to, big o, after a crappy day at work. This is what we REALLY live for, isn’t it?

    By Daniel Kershner on Apr 24, 2014

  13. Big O Amigos, thank you and thank you again. This should be an ideal Thompson sunset soundtrack. The thought of playing it through this Saturday night makes me further miss the days when gathering to listen to some music was an event.

    Be well friends. As always, James

    By James on Apr 25, 2014

  14. Additionally, I agree with Job Hunter. “Childhood’s End” is a significant piece and I never understood why it was not performed more on tour.

    By James on Apr 25, 2014

  15. I have to piggyback on the CHILDHOOD’S END comments. It’s one of my favorite tracks on OBSCURED BY CLOUDS. It goes from 4:30 to 9 minutes live. That was the great thing when they expanded and explored songs in the live format - basically “New” Floyd. So yes, the live version was rather wonderful. Too bad they only played it a few times. God, if only a clean soundboard would surface. . .

    By Daniel Kershner on Apr 25, 2014

  16. Yes, that was a great thing and one of the reasons I still chase after live recordings is for that creative improvisation. Yes, a cleans soundboard of Childhood’s End live would be a sonically splendid thing. Have a great weekend Daniel.


    By James on Apr 26, 2014

  17. Thank you James - and keep the pre-DARK SIDES coming big o!

    By Daniel Kershner on Apr 26, 2014

  18. I have pink Floyd shows that no one else has.

    By donkey oatie on Apr 26, 2014

  19. darth, There is a 1973 concert from Earl’s Court over at The Witchwood Records that might be the one you’re thinking of

    By GMAL on May 7, 2014

  20. yeah thats prob it gmal. but as i mentioned.. it was recorded but i dont know if it was brdcst live as it happened. it was recorded by the bbc however. i know this for absolute fact. i dont recall any more than the dsotm material being brdcst however. i first recorded the peformance off the radio around 80 or 81. i remember getting it more than twice. i tried the first time to do it on a 90min tape and hoping i could flip without any cuts. i failed the first time. the 2nd time i used a 90min tape but figured out where id flip not caring that id use a full 90min tape for a 50min show.
    i even had a friend that would take apart his tapes and rip out the unused portion of the tape where he flipped it so the tape would flip at the turn over point. what an interesting concept. i didnt do this. then in 88 or 89 i got it again but this time i had a dual deck so i was able to get it perfectly how i wanted it and i even recorded it on vhs and could transfer it back to audio if i didnt get it like i wanted.

    By darth on May 7, 2014

  21. Hey darth and gmal, I believe this 1973 BBC recording in discussion as well as the 73 Philly sdb darth mentioned above are in fact both mislabeled broadcasts of the Nov 16 1974 recording done by BBC

    By Stanks on May 7, 2014

  22. Hi Stanks, i have listened to my copies again and they are two different concerts, whether the earls court gig and the philly gig are one and the same, i can’t say as i don’t have a philly recording to refer to

    By GMAL on May 27, 2014

  23. i have the phila show and i have had copies of it where the announcer actually mentions how it was recorded by the bbc.
    i had a copy of the earls court wembley from when it was originally brdcst and i had compared to phila recordings (i had maybe 3-4 of em i think) and i heard distinct differences.
    that the person who posted the info on that site that stanks links us to says he believes its all from one gig - eng one in nov 74 is fine. perhaps he didnt have a real genuine phila one to compare anything to. i had an audience recording of phila 73 at one point and while its often very difficult to compare audience recordings to sbd ones it surely was very different than the eng 74 show. even down to more than a 2 min difference in the length.

    By darth on May 28, 2014

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