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

P-U-L-S-E

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.93 | 555 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The final Pink Floyd tour sure would have been a sight to see (my uncle always tells me about how it was the best show he's ever seen, and from the live release and video from that tour, I can't say I wouldn't disagree with him). The live incarnation of Pink Floyd at this time was a touring unit that consisted of many different musicians (but at the core was still Wright, Gilmour, and Mason) giving the overall sound a more complete and full vibe, and it doesn't really end there. Add a stellar setlist that includes newer pieces and live favorites (and then some) as well as some great extensions and live bits that aren't originally on the studio pieces and you have yourself in a brief word PULSE. The only thing I really complain about with this release (and it plagued the Division Bell, but it wasn't too bad) is that Gilmour gets a bit too over indulgent in his guitar solos (although some pieces really call for that) and really not enough light is shed on Wright.

The first disc is a nice mixture of newer and older Pink Floyd pieces, and it all starts off with the concert version of Shine On You Crazy Diamond. What's different about this piece from the studio version is that some of the instrumental bits were cut out so they could put both parts of the song (which would originally go on for 25-30 minutes) together for a concise 14 minute piece. It's a really nice live piece, with Gilmour's signature solo being still the focal point of the piece, but Dick Perry really shines as well with his spectacular saxophone solo (which actually involves him switching saxes seamlessly at one point). Other little live additions made are the extended guitar intros and outros to Sorrow (which in my opinion was the second best song on the underwhelming A Momentary Lapse of Reason behind Learning to Fly) from Gilmour. The material in between, though, is pretty faithful to the original piece and doesn't really stray far away (especially Astronomy Domine, which is a fitting tribute to Syd following the epic tribute to Syd). The version of Another Brick in the Wall part 2 here is also rather nice (it has a nice instrumental introduction of The Happiest Days of our Lives) with a nice extended solo from Gilmour.

The second disc is comprised of the entire Dark Side of the Moon album and the three encores. The Dark Side of the Moon, in my opinion, was one of the most overrated albums ever, but it still was a pretty good piece in the end. The overall rendition of it here is rather nice, with great performances of all the pieces (Time and Us and Them particularly). Add an unreasonably long middle section in Money (it really should have been an extra 30 seconds or a minute, not two and a half) and you have yourself a pretty solid and cohesive rendition of one of the most important albums in rock. The encores exceed the overall quality of The Dark Side of the Moon immensely, though. The first is Wish You Were Here, which as always the case with Gilmour is nothing short of tear jerking, his emotive guitar/vocal solo really giving the perfect eulogy piece a more at home feeling. Comfortably Numb is severely benefitted from the largely extended solo from Gilmour (who belts out easily a 4 minute guitar solo), who really shows his prowess and emotive strength when he plays the guitar. The final piece, Run Like Hell, begins with some noodling from Gilmour before becoming the stomp beat piece it is. Add in an extended synthesizer experiment from Richard Wright and you have yourself the final piece to the final Pink Floyd live album.

In the end, the live album aspect of PULSE would ultimately not be as rewarding as the visual aspect of it. The Division Bell was one of my favorite Pink Floyd albums, and this is probably the best live album Pink Floyd ever released (despite the absence of Roger Waters), although the Ummagumma live album was nothing short of brilliant. Still, those looking into getting a Pink Floyd live album that has a comprehensive look at all eras of the group, then this will be the purchase to make. It's not a masterpiece live record, but it still is the best Pink Floyd has to offer in live terms. 4.5/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |

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