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Pink Floyd - P-U-L-S-E CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.97 | 798 ratings

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4 stars The Floyd has always sounded better live (IMO). I would categorize their live work in several stages :

1. The early days (1967 - 1970) : their gigs had little to do with their studio efforts. They extended their numbers quite significantly injecting the most psychedelic flavours to make their live sets always a happening (even a track like "Mathilda Mother" was often played in excess of fifteen minutes). The Floyd could turn an average song into whatever they wanted in a live set.

2. The "post early days" or "pre-DSOTM" (1971 - 1972) : still lots of long jams, but the tendency will, little by little, be to get "closer" to the original.

3. The DSOTM - The Wall era : the shows will be more and more a replica of the studio work. Their incredible light shows and visual effects providing little room to improvisation (or then as I call it : organized improv.). They will usually play the entire albums, in the same sequence than the studio work.

4. The "Gilmour" years : gigantism at its peak (although "The Wall" paved the way). These sets will return in a certain way into a more classic scheme: a collection of Floyd songs throughout time (and space).

I love each of them almost equally.

So, when the live set consists mostly of great original numbers one can only expect to reach heaven. A fabulous packaging (but this is another Floyd trademark), an hypnotic small light "pulsing" like your heart beats on the edge of the cover, great photos from their live tour etc. The more important though is the music, right ? The numbers played here are taken from lots of different shows (twelve to be precise - but most of them being recorded at Earl's Court). So, what do we get here ?

Well, lots of jewels. Although it was the supporting tour for the Division Bell album, the first disc contains some earlier work as well. And what a work !

"Shine On You Crazy Diamond" is one of my two preferred Floyd songs ever. The rendition here is great. The link between "Shine" and the following track "Astronomy Domine" is obviously Syd. It is a beautiful homage to him (David and Syd were friends before the Pink Floyd adventure started). The remaining section of CD one contains songs from their last studio efforts (including "The Wall" and each track deserves to be here (specially "Hey You", "Sorrow" and "High Hopes").

Second CD consists of the full rendition for "TDSOTM" for the very first time in an official live release. Then three encores : "WYWH" - again in homage to Syd (I guess) and two great numbers from "The Wall".

Interesting enough is what Dave said : "The reason for Pulse is Dark Side Of The Moon, obviously. We weren't going to do a live album for this tour; it seemed a bit superfluous having just done one a few years ago. But, as we started out on the tour, we were looking for ways to change the show around and make ourselves a little more flexible and have a little fun, and Dark Side Of The Moon was one of the ideas that came across."

"So we did it on the end of our American tour, and then when we carried it over to Europe, we started thinking,'Well, it would be nice for us...and for have a live version of Dark Side Of The Moon, which I always particularly wanted."

"I'm not big on playing small places with Pink Floyd. I mean, when we'd been doing this tour for six months and finally got back to London, we played Earl's Court, which holds about 18,000 people. That was a nice small club, like being in Madison Square Garden." (laughs).

At the start of the tour the track list was as follows : Part one : "Astronomy", "Learning To Fly", "What Do You Want from Me", "Take It Back, "Lost For Words", "Sorrow", "A Great Day for Freedom", "Keep Talking", "One Of These Days".

Part two : "Shine on You Crazy Diamond", "Breathe", "Time", "Breathe Reprise", "High Hopes", "Wish You Were Here", "Another Brick Part II", "The Great Gig in the Sky", "Us and Them", "Money" and "Comfortably Numb".

In October 1994, the Floyd performed the end of The Division Bell tour at Earls Court (London).The proceeds from all 14 of the shows performed (one was cancelled due to seating collapse) were donated to benefit Greenpeace, Amnesty International and other groups.

Some special events during this tour :

May 6th : the band's mirror ball attracted a giant cloud of fireflies, who made an unexpected but beautiful contribution to the show.

May 10th : the day of a total eclipse of the sun, Pink Floyd played in Raleigh, North Carolina

May 14th : Dave Gilmour states that his performance of "Comfortably Numb" was the best he had ever done.

July 15th : Detroit audience was treated to the first performance of "Dark Side Of The Moon" in its entirety since Knebworth 1975. September 7th : President Vaclav Havel was among the 115,000 crowd for the Pink Floyd first ever show in the former Czechoslovakia. He then entertained the band to dinner, apparently talking well into the night with David Gilmour.

At some point during one of the Earl's Court shows, Roger Waters was in attendance with a group of friends. David invited Roger to come on stage and perform during DSOTM but Roger refused.

The Division Bell tour was one of the most ambitious tours ever staged. The daily operating costs came to more than $752,000.00 per day. There were three stages, and three separate crews (red crew, blue crew, green crew). The size of the crew varied according to the venue, but the average was in excess of 200 people. Each stage took three days to build, approx. 18 hours to prepare, approx. 7 plus hours to break down, and two days to fully dismantle for load-out. Feeding the crew, technicians, family and friends of the band, was no small feat, they daily consumed 1,200 bags of tea, 1,200 cans of soft drinks, 1,000 eggs, and lots of bread baked on site, amongst other foodstuffs.

What else can I say ? Nine out of ten ? Four stars ?

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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