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Pink Floyd - Live At Pompeii (The Director's Cut) CD (album) cover

LIVE AT POMPEII (THE DIRECTOR'S CUT)

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.58 | 648 ratings

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FloydWright
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I begin with an important warning to anyone contemplating purchasing the DVD, especially if you think you're going to get rid of the VHS version, or you plan to get only the DVD for the very first time--the VHS is still the definitive version, and you will regret not having it around. The reason is that the DVD was done by producer ADRIAN MABEN with no input from the band, and therefore will be a grave disappointment. Aside from some additional interview material, including the keyboardist RICK WRIGHT (sorely neglected on the VHS), there is very little to recommend the DVD above the VHS--in fact, some will strongly argue that the DVD is worth nothing and this is really the only good version. The DVD ruins the ambience with terrible computer animation--MABEN seems not to have matured over the years in his technique. His style makes for an interesting period piece on the VHS, but when he thinks he can carry over the exact same techniques on new technology, it's really quite sad. Furthermore, no attempt was ever made to correct the tape speed, and thus the pitch remains nearly a semitone sharp...not even a full semitone, so don't expect to be able to jam with either version.

My advice is, if you are going to get the DVD for the extra interview material, get the VHS with it, or make sure to hang on to your original copy. And make sure to purchase the DVD with gift money, not out of pocket. The VHS is worth a lot more trouble than the DVD. Yes, the video cassette is an inferior format in the 21st century, and PINK FLOYD does deserve better...but as MABEN did not see fit to provide anything truly better, this is the best you can do for yourself. Make sure to order a VHS now, in case they go out of print!

Yes, there are some noticeable flaws in the original, but we need to remember, PINK FLOYD was not yet the financial powerhouse that it is now...nor were technology or filming technique up to today's standards, by a long shot. This means you will have to put up with some oddities, including a filming technique that makes it look very much like a period piece. But perhaps the most notable flaw is the fact that the film runs at a slightly high speed. Those observing closely may notice that the band's movements seem unnaturally fast. But more noticeable is the fact that everything is pitched significantly sharp, so you will not be able to jam along with this without retuning. And finally, as I mentioned before, RICK WRIGHT fans will be very disappointed to note that he is only included once in the interviews, and is not even seen as he speaks (one of the few deficits you might wish to also pick up a DVD to correct).

WRIGHT's keyboard playing, for instance, goes a long way towards making up for the lack of interview material from him, particularly at the end of "A Saucerful of Secrets" and during "Echoes, Part II" (the latter of which reduced me to tears!). And who can forget the delightfully funny performance of "Mademoiselle Nobs", a remake of "Seamus" where his instrument is...the dog? Truly a great piece of Floydian humor to watch (Although is it me, or does ROGER WATERS not get the joke? Watch and find out...). Another set of fans will be greatly appreciative of the VHS--here, NICK MASON's more exotic, pre-Dark Side drumming style is showcased fantastically. Notice that he continues without a pause even when a drumstick flies out of his hand. DAVID GILMOUR is also in fine form, although to me his most notable moments are in the creation of Dark Side, and ROGER WATERS delivers almost mad-seeming vocal and percussion performances, in addition to his bass work.

The peek into the production process for Dark Side is truly fascinating, and most notable is a wicked version of the "On the Run" synth loop that will make your hair stand on end. There are also some interesting practice takes by GILMOUR and WRIGHT, including parts from "Brain Damage" and "Us and Them". Finally, you'll at last discover the source of some of the great FLOYD-fan inside jokes (pie without the crust, and so on).

FloydWright | 3/5 |

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