by Herwig Henseler
Version 1.1.3, 04 Jun 96
Although RoIOs today are pressed on CD this does by no means indicate high quality of the records. In fact, sources are almost always ordinary tapes (only very recently DAT tapes). In the best case you can expect a quality comparable to the cheap walkman you gave away to your younger brother years ago because it sounded so terrible. Expect hissing, unwanted noise, bad stereo, missing frequencies, crackling, cuts, echoes, wrong speed and all other disturbances which reduce listening pleasure. Please remember that the makers of RoIO CDs often know and care nothing about what they are working with -- they are fans of easy money, not fans of Pink Floyd. The information provided on date, location, source, personnel, or song titles could all be completely wrong, and sometimes this could be intentional because the material already exists elsewhere.
We (some die-hard fans) are maintaining a big database of Pink Floyd RoIOs. This database contains information provided by others who already spend money on the RoIOs. Use entries in the RoIO database for more detailed information on each record. Either try the WWW page http://www.pf-roio.de or write mail to the mailserver "email@example.com" with a single line "filelist roio" in the body. Remember: If you have additions, comments or corrections please drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org! You will help others to make correct buying decisions.
Among the many RoIOs (more than 300 from Pink Floyd) there are only a few gems which are really interesting. To find them, you need luck or a detailed study of the RoIO database or at least this guide. The guide is intended to show you the performances which are really worth looking for. As the better sources are commonly available on more than one RoIO you often have several choices (The best record is always the first in the list). RoIOs are hard to find so it is sometimes better to have the second best record of a good source than the best of a bad source. It is also useful if you trade tapes to know which dates are available in acceptable quality.
The main focus of this guide is sound quality. It lists only RoIOs with high quality. Therefore, the guide is small. Expect everything not mentioned in this guide to be dramatically worse. You have been warned!
The guide is not sorted by date but by source in decreasing order of quality:
Remember, everything is my personal opinion. Others may differ more or less.
Most people buy RoIOs of live performances. It is very tempting to get hold of a complete concert instead of the outtakes the music industry offers us. But before you buy your first RoIO you should look for all normal releases because the sound quality is so much better.
As you already know, only three live performances of Pink Floyd are available as regular recordings:
Please note that the video of "Delicate Sound of Thunder" featured a slightly different set than the double CD and the US video contains the song 'Money' which is not on the european release. The vinyl release omitted 'Us&Them'.
Same is true for "P*U*L*S*E": The MC contains 'One Of These Days' and the 15-Minute sound-FX which introduced the concerts. The Video is entirely different as all tracks are from a TV broadcast of a single concert.
OK, you may also count
Interestingly, the best early live recording is not available on CD but only on VHS tape or Laser disc. As a result, many RoIOs from this source exist.
Pink Floyd have released CD-singles which also contain live or different material. Unfortunately, they are sometimes hard to find.
The Knebworth Concert 1990 also featured Pink Floyd. The official double-CD contained the songs 'Comfortably Numb' and 'Run Like Hell'. Rarely known is the fact that the video from the event featured 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' and 'Run Like Hell'.
If you want just a small collection of RoIO material you are better off with a box set. There is only one worth mentioning here:
You can also get a pretty good idea of what sound quality to expect from the RoIOs from different eras. For many fans this record is the best option. But if you plan to collect more than, say, 10 RoIOs you might get many doubles.
These are welcomed opportunities for fans. Records often only contain a small portion of FM noise. But beware! Do not, ever, expect quality of DSoT or P*U*L*S*E! Keep in mind that DSoT is polished. Note that The Floyds did many radio broadcasts, especially between 68 and 71. Unfortunately, many have not been taped and are lost. Broadcast records are the first you should consider when buying RoIOs.
Sometimes a lucky fellow can link his recorder directly to the soundboard of a concert. This method results in good tapes although the sound tends to be too heavy on bass. Unfortunately, there are very few soundboard recordings from Pink Floyd.
Despite what many people say, audience recordings are generally horrible! Therefore, this list is small. Imagine someone carrying a cheap portable recorder, sitting in the last row, sourrounded by whistling or shouting drunks, inserting a new tape in the middle of songs, hiding the recorder under his jacket, using old batteries and no separate mics. Then listen to the fourth generation copy, twiddle with bass and treble, and make a CD. Most of the audience recordings sound like this. Very few jewels have appeared and they are worth being mentioned here. But, even for those jewels, don't expect sound quality that comes even near to the quality of P*U*L*S*E (or even DSoT) You have been WARNED. If in doubt, check sound quality before buying! Nevertheless, many roios are interesting because of their superb performance and they give you the feeling of being there (as opposed to P*U*L*S*E or DSoT).
It was difficult for me to draw a line and say "This quality is still O.K. and that not". So maybe some of you are missing a particular date and some might be surprised to see a performance listed here. Mail me your comments.
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Last update: 01 May 1998