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Pink Floyd - Live At Pompeii CD (album) cover

LIVE AT POMPEII

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.75 | 357 ratings

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infandous
4 stars This is more of a nostalgia trip than an actual review, but what the heck. I have yet to see the DVD, and picked up this VHS version back in the late 90's (it was a 90's release of this, with a different cover, but the same contents) after having seen it for the first time back in 1988.

Some of you won't be able to relate to this, but imagine the impression the first 10 minutes of this had on a 19 year old who had taken the 2nd two hits of LSD (the first two having been taken a couple of hours earlier) 30 or 40 minutes before seeing this for the first time. The additional acid began to kick in right as the cameras start their super slow zoom in to the amphitheater and the first notes of Echoes are heard. I had never heard any of the songs on here previously, but was already becoming a big fan of the Floyd. I really can not express in words the experience of this film under those circumstances (also, the girl whose place we were watching it at had the VCR connected to her stereo for the full musical effect). It was a religious, transcendental experience that completely changed my view of reality. Well, at least until the next day when I was no longer tripping :-) Seriously though, I became a Floyd fan for life that day, and was a huge fan for a few years after that. And I can almost say that that was the day I became a prog fan, since Echoes was the first "epic" song I had heard at that point and has remained my favorite Floyd song to this day. I still prefer the pre-Darkside material in general. As to a more objective review of the contents, the songs are difinitive versions in pretty much every case (Seamus doesn't really have a difinitive version at all, but this one is at least more amusing with the visual element.......here called Mademoiselle Nobs). The interview segments are interesting and often hilarious, like when Gilmour states, "We're not really a drug related band. Really, you can trust us." He says, with a sly smile and glazed, bloodshot eyes. I can't tell you how much we laughed at that moment in the film, under the influence of all that LSD. Later, I read Rodger Waters stating how he finds that footage hilarious now because, as he admits, he and Gilmour were completely stoned the whole time (as if there was ever any doubt in the minds of die hard Floyd fans). Ahh, the memories.

The Dark Side recording footage, I have learned since, was actually staged just for this movie as sort of an afterthought as the album had been completed for several weeks already when the footage was shot at Abbey Road. Still, it is kind of interesting to get a glimpse into the recording process of Floyd, even if it was staged (we even get a small moment of what appears to be tension between Waters and Gilmour........quite interesting foreshadowing, especially considering it was an actual recording session).

Truth be told, the movie was never as good again as that first time. For obvious reasons. But I still plan to get the DVD so I can at least enjoy the great versions of the great songs therein, and I still enjoyed watching over the years (a friend used to have the music on LP........there was some sort of official release of it I guess, as a double LP with just the musical portion.......but I have never seen it on CD and it's not listed on this site.......that should really get rereleased on CD).

All in all, I would love to give this 5 stars, but I will hold back and go with 4 for a couple reasons. One, it is a VHS, and I'm not even sure you can buy it anymore (though I think this version is on the DVD, though I'm not entirely sure about that from what I have read.........I'll just have to get it I guess). Second, it's not a studio album or a genuine live performance, and I suspect that anyone who is not a big Floyd fan will find some aspects less than enthralling (like the interviews). But in my mind, this will always be a masterpiece and one of my most fondly remembered LSD experiences.

infandous | 4/5 |

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