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Pink Floyd - Live At Pompeii CD (album) cover

LIVE AT POMPEII

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.75 | 355 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
5 stars I've seen it for the first time in a cinema in the 70s, them I bought it on tape in the 80s and again in DVD version later.

I want to stay on the original release as the so-called director's cuts that are effectively only director's additions don't add nothing special to the movie. The only addition that was already on my VHS version are the inserted parts filmed during the recording of The Dark Side of the Moon which have an undoubt documentary value.

I'm writing this review basing on my memory only.

The format is very simple: track titles put on the screen word by word in a way that's intended to appear "psychedelic" without any comment. A good choice.

The opening is very unusual: just dark screen and the famous heartbeat of DSOTM form more than one minute. One may think that there's something wrong with the player, but immediately after the titles we are in the middle of the Roman theater with speakers and instruments suddenly appearing under the Rick Wright's "ping". I didn't like the choice to split Echoes in two separate parts. I can understand that 20 minutes of song may have appeared too long to be presented at the cinema, but the director has surely underevaluated the public. However this is a great version of the epic and the way it stops before the noisy section is not too bad.

Just after we are in UK in winter. Floyds are dining in the EMI's canteen and Waters jokes with the interviewer. Then we see Waters joking with a synth, experimenting sounds until it becomes "On The Run". To be honest the passage from the experimentation to the final version of the song didn't happen in this way. On the Run is appended.

The bass of Roger Waters plays a slower version of See Emily Play. The scene is dark with volcanic eruptions displayed in the background. This didn't happen in Pompeii. Careful With That Axe Eugene was recorded in studio, but the director's ability stays in not making us aware.of it. The scream of Waters associated to the eruption is one of the remarkable moments of the movie.

This version of A Saucerful of Secrets is probably the best ever. The chaotic section with Gilmour half naked and sit on the ground in the theater extracting sounds from his Strato using strange equipments gives the idea of the hot summer while Waters hits percussions while Mason plays his drums like a metronome and Wright tortures his grand piano. Gilmour singing on the final with his face covered by hair because of the wind is an image that I have impressed in my mind. It also contains the most famous photograms from this movie. Waters hitting a gong in front of the sun.

After this apparent chaos they are in studio working on us and them and one can wonder how a band that has just played a music that seems improvised and unstructured (but it's not) can be so perfectionist in recording a song. Both Gilmour and Wright try their instrumental parts searching for the best notes and perfect sound. The result is Us and Them.

The remarkable moment on One of These Days, which is recorded in the same studio as Careful, and it's proved by the butterfly shirt weared by Mason, is when Nick looses a drumstick and plays with one hand only while he retrieves a new one.

"Set The Controls For The Heart of the Sun" is opened by lights overlapping a Roman mosaic like they are shining eyes. Another studio take.

Back to EMI we see David Gilmour looking for the guitar background to Brain Damage. He's right in discarding the first version that's too trivial.

Two funny minutes with the Humble Pie's dog singing a blues and we are finally to the second part of Echoes. The final with Gilmour and Wright singing is fantastic. I can't comment it more.Simply perfect.

The best musical movie that I've ever seen.

octopus-4 | 5/5 |

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