Tag Archives: Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon (Experience Edition review)

Capitol Records is in the midst of a massive reissue program of the Pink Floyd catalog.  Icon Fetch reached out to several veteran Dayton musicians to give their takes on their favorite Floyd albums.  Nick Kizirnis has played in several legendary Dayton bands like Cage and the Mulchmen, and is currently doing shows with his own Nick Kizirnis band.

Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon (Experience Edition) (Capitol/EMI)  review by Nick Kizirnis

Floyd’s “Dark Side” Experience release feels both nostalgic and new

I bought Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” LP at The Forest record store in Dayton, Ohio after hearing “The Wall” at a friend’s house. I thought “The Wall” was amazing, and I had to hear more.

I don’t know how many times I listened to “Dark Side …” but I do remember that the chills I felt never left me, even as I started exploring other Floyd albums. Eventually I moved onto other bands and other LPs, but I never forgot the “Dark Side …” (or the poster the LP contained which hung on my wall long after it was torn and ragged).

Listening to the newly re-mastered “Dark Side of the Moon (Experience Edition)” took me back to those first days. I remembered the turntable I wore out and speakers that, as limited as they were, delivered what I thought were the most unbelievable sounds in the world. While I don’t think there’s need to review the brilliant songs themselves (there are enough reviews out there that will provide a lifetime of reading), I will say that the care that went into delivering this version exceeded my expectations and even my hope.

And then there’s the bonus live CD, recorded in 1974 at the Empire Pool in Wembley. While I’ve heard live Floyd bootlegs, they were always pretty low quality recordings, which made it difficult to really get into (especially after hearing the live tracks on “Ummagumma”).

But this recording caused me to hear the album in a new way. The performance reproduces the “Dark Side …” album beyond faithfully.  The band emphasizes and varies guitar riffs, harmonies and even cooler transitions from one song to another that make the songs sound new and exciting all over again.

While there’s nothing short of excellent performances, I will note that “Breathe” brings back those chills from long ago, the instrumental “On the Run” had already evolved from the LP version just one year later, and “Us and Them” is absolutely beautiful.

The sound quality is truly amazing. Finally! A full-length live Pink Floyd record (no, “Pulse” does not count). Even if you have everything (and I think I might), you need this.

In addition to the 2-CD set, there is a deluxe, six-disc “Immersion” box, which contains unreleased recordings, video, a documentary, a 5:1 version of the record and even a scarf. While everything looks really great, the box set is for those who must have everything the band has ever released. Having heard/read and seen all sorts of alternate versions, interviews and odd recordings, I think I’ll be OK with skipping it this time around (probably).

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (remaster) (review)

Capitol records is in the midst of a massive reissue program of the Pink Floyd catalog.  Icon Fetch reached out to several veteran Dayton musicians to give their takes on their favorite Floyd albums.  Tod Weidner has fronted the band Shrug for almost 20 years, coming away with first place in the 1995 Dayton Band Playoffs.

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (Experience Edition) (Capitol/EMI) review by Tod Weidner

Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here, released in 1975, holds a firm position in the hearts of many a Floyd fan as one of THE all-time classic albums, both in the band’s catalog and the Rock genre as a whole.  I have always considered WYWH to be very much keyboardist Richard Wright’s baby; it features (to my ear, at least) some of the warmest, most delicious synth and keyboard sounds ever put to tape.  In addition, I would personally rank the epic centerpiece of the album, “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” as one of Rock’s most exquisitely-arranged compositions.  The whole album is a very solid, yet lyrical and atmospheric, set of songs, and it was with great anticipation that I awaited the new remastered “Experience Edition” 2-disc set, particularly the goodies that are to be found on the second disc.

Disc 2 begins with three tracks recorded live in the Fall of 1974 at London’s Wembley Arena, before the band entered Abbey Road Studios to begin work on the album.  “Shine On” is presented here in its entirety, as guitarist David Gilmour had originally envisioned it.  Bassist Roger Waters eventually had his way by splitting the song up and bookending the album with it.  Here, it’s taken at a much faster pace and with a looser feel than the studio version we have grown familiar with.  The next two live tracks, “Raving And Drooling” and “You’ve Got To Be Crazy” are very early versions of what became, respectively, “Sheep” and “Dogs” on Floyd’s 1977 Animals album.  Both of these tracks are fascinating for their embryonic (and much less polished and nuanced) arrangements, and the minimalism of all three of the live tracks (Floyd was still touring as just a 4-piece back then) will be a bit jarring for fans more accustomed to late-period Floyd’s live sound, with its extra musicians and vocalists fleshing out the material.

The disc also includes “Wine Glasses,” a taste of the band’s abandoned “Household Objects” project, featuring the intro chords to “Shine On.” There is also an alternate take of “Have A Cigar,” with Waters on lead vocals (the album version has Roy Harper, a cult-favorite singer/songwriter and friend of the band, handling vocal duties). The real treat of the second disc in my opinion is the alternate version of the album’s classic title track.  The legendary master jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli, famous for his collaborations with the brilliant guitarist Django Reinhardt, was recording an album down the hall from Floyd at the time, and was persuaded (reportedly for a fee of 300 pounds) to contribute a beautiful, slippery, weeping violin solo, replaced in the final version by Gilmour’s scat-sung acoustic guitar lead. This track alone makes the Experience Edition of WYWH essential listening for any Pink Floyd fan.

Pink Floyd – Meddle (remaster) (review)

Pink Floyd – Meddle (remaster) (Capitol/EMI) review Capitol records is in the midst of a massive overhaul of the Pink Floyd catalog – all have been remastered with upgraded booklets.  Several of the albums also contain discs with bonus material.

This is where Pink Floyd truly came into their own.

Meddle, the band’s sixth album, marked the first time the band began to emphasize song structure over endless psychedelic jamming.  The album opens with the  throbbing instrumental “One of These Days,” featuring a twin bass guitar assault played by both David Gilmour and Roger Waters, augmented by Richard Wright’s organ accents, and a fiery guitar solo at the end from Gilmour.

That’s followed by the gentle acoustic “A Pillow of Winds,” which has a guitar line reminiscent of the Beatles’ “Dear Prudence.” The most impressive track is “Fearless,” a Waters/Gilmour collaboration that contains an ascending guitar line, and for the first time, a chorus you can actually sing along to!   Not everything on the record works – “San Tropez” is lounge-like in style and leaves you wondering whether to take it seriously or not.  There’s certainly no doubt with the lazy blues of “Seamus,” featuring a dog howling throughout the entire track (rumored to be Humble Pie frontman Steve Marriot’s pooch, which Gilmour was watching at the time).

Of course, the record also contains the side-length piece “Echoes,” but even at 23 minutes, the song still has a definite direction.  The track opens with a strange “ping” from Richard Wright’s keyboard, slowly building with some great singing and searing guitar by Gilmour.  It actually morphs into a funk section, fueled by Waters’ bass, only to give way to some goofy sound effects in the middle which last an almost unbearable five minutes, finally returning to the verse of the song (the 2-CD Pink Floyd Anthology called Echoes features a far more palatable version of the song, chopping out the unnecessary seven minutes).

Although not without its faults, Meddle shows that Pink Floyd was beginning to put the right pieces together of what would become their most successful period, culminating with their landmark Dark Side of the Moon.  Meddle shows they were certainly headed in the right direction.  –Tony Peters

Roger Waters – The Wall in Concert – (review)

Roger Waters – The Wall – Value City Arena, Columbus, OH – 10/22/10 Roger Waters wrote The Wall while a member of Pink Floyd back in 1979.  But, due to technical and financial limitations, the group only performed the entire album a handful of times.  Now, 30 years later, Waters is finally doing the record again; and what a spectacle it is.

 

Even before the show began, you noticed a circular screen suspended in the middle of the stage.  This was flanked by bricks on either side; allowing for three areas where videos could be projected.  As the show went on, more bricks were added, creating a barrier between the band and the audience, and thus providing a larger area for images.  Several bricks were strategically left out, allowing at least partial view of the musicians.  But, by the end of the first act (the end of Record One of the original LP), the last brick was placed and the band was completely shielded by this enormous wall, 35 feet high, 250 feet wide.  Of the videos, there was a healthy dose of animation from the original Pink Floyd’s the Wall movie.  But, Waters also asked for fans to send in photos of loved ones lost in any war; this added a very real element to an otherwise fictitious story.

Waters, never a strong vocalist, actually was in great form (rumor had it that he’d been working with a vocal coach).  Since this was a Roger Waters’ solo tour, that meant no David Gilmour, who sang on much of the original album.  His presence was filled by two people: Robbie Wyckoff did a fine job on Gilmour’s vocals, while Dave Kilminster handled the guitar parts.  It’s Kilminster that should really be commended: Gilmour’s original solos were extremely melodic and Kilminster played them, note for note – incredibly faithful to the originals.  G.E. Smith (from the Saturday Night Live band) also helped on guitar.  The sound system was stunning, with speakers placed throughout the arena.  So, when the helicopter landed in “Happiest Days of Our Lives,” it sounded like it was right on top of you.  A choir of children were brought out, all chanting “We Don’t Need No Education” on “Another Brick in the Wall part two.”  The highlight of the first act featured Waters playing along with a video of himself from a 1980 Floyd performance doing “Mother.”  The video was purposely grainy, looking very much like a ghost, with Waters’ head in the circle screen, while the neck of his guitar was projected on the large wall.

Act two began with the band playing “Hey You” completely unseen behind the wall, a very unnerving experience.  Eventually, Waters emerged, with the rest of the band still obscured.  During the epic “Comfortably Numb,” Waters stood in front of the enormous wall, while Kilminster played lead guitar at the very top, towering over him.  During “Nobody Home,” a flap opened, revealing Waters sitting in a cheap hotel room, complete with TV and neon sign.  Eventually, the entire band joined Waters in front of the wall.  There was a rather ironic glitch in the show: at the beginning of “The Show Must Go On,” a keyboard died, and it took several minutes to wheel in a replacement.  As the story goes, towards the end of the show during “The Trial,” the wall is torn down in an explosion of smoke and dust.  The real surprising thing was how incredibly true to the original album the show was.  Only “Empty Spaces,” which was cut short on the original album due to time constraints, contained extra verses.  And, there were no encores with other hits played. After performing the final song, “Outside the Wall,” Waters walked to each side of the stage, thanking everyone several times.

While there have been many attempts at concept albums, rock operas and narratives, The Wall stands as the greatest of this genre.  See it now, while you have the chance. –Tony Peters

Classic Album – Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon (CD review)

Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon – CD review

One of the biggest selling albums of all-time is also one of the strangest.  An LP based largely on themes of isolation and paranoia, the Dark Side of the Moon nevertheless continues to strike a chord with record buyers.  Despite the chilly lyrics, this is a very human album.

Everyday sounds morph into rhythms of several songs: the heartbeat and clocks that begin “Time,” and the cash register at the beginning of “Money,” add a very real element to these otherwise detached songs.  The intermittent random talking over the tracks also adds an element making the listener seem closer to the music.  The quality of the production cannot be overlooked.  Produced by the band and engineered by Alan Parsons, Dark Side is pristine, and despite its heavy reliance on keyboards, still doesn’t sound dated.

Even more amazing is the lack of any image;  the cover contained no text and no mention of Pink Floyd or the songs listed within, only a prism illustration, adding to the eerie quality of the album.  Pink Floyd would go on to record more heady music, but this is their shining moment.  –Tony Peters