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Various Artists (Tributes) - Back Against The Wall (A Tribute To Pink Floyd) CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Tributes)


Various Genres

3.61 | 25 ratings

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4 stars Back on board after a hiatus of a couple of months, I'd like to start my reviews for 2006 with this album. I'd been hunting high and low for it before I finally managed to get hold of it - and it was well worth the wait, I have to say.

The original "The Wall" and I go back a long time. In fact, the Earls' Court 1980 performance of the whole album was one of the first gigs I ever attended, and a memory I'll treasure forever, so utterly great it was. When this tribute album came out, I wanted immediately to get it, on the strength of some glowing reviews and of the star team of musicians involved. Since I got the album I've listened to it at least once a week, sometimes even more, and every time I find something new to enjoy.

That said, "Back Against the Wall" is not perfect. As others have pointed out, the production could have been better: the order of some tracks on CD 1 is wrong, and some things have been unnecessarily polished up. However, such is the strength of the performances that such minor quibbles can be forgiven.

If I were to pick out individual tracks, I'd mention "In the Flesh", featuring Keith Emerson's inimitable Hammond organ and stunning vocals from Adrian Belew; "Another Brick in the Wall pt. 1", with a gorgeous, atmospheric guitar solo courtesy of Deep Purple's Steve Morse (a more than deserving replacement for my beloved Ritchie Blackmore); "Mother" and "Hey You", with John Wetton's strong, emotional vocals - deeper than in the past, but even more poignant. Being a Glenn Hughes fan, I also like his take on "Young Lust", one of the rockier tracks on the album; but I can understand it not being to everyone's taste.

On the negative side, I was somewhat disappointed by "Comfortably Numb": though the vocals, shared by Billy Sherwood (who's a more than adequate vocalist) and Chris Squire, are rather good,I still feel the track would've deserved a better guitarist to try and emulate Gilmour's peerless touch. I'm not very keen either on the tracks sung by Tommy Shaw, whose voice does nothing for me. On the other hand, I find Fee Waybill's hysterical vocals a very good choice for "Another Brick in the Wall".

"Back Against the Wall" may not be the 5-star masterpiece the original was, but it's definitely worth adding to your collection. Hats off to Billy Sherwood for having had the nerve to pull it off.

Raff | 4/5 |


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