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Pink Floyd - Is There Anybody Out There? CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.11 | 489 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars When I first purchased Is There Anybody Out There?, I was skeptical that anything could possibly live up to the grandiose vision of The Wall, even another PINK FLOYD performance. But within just a few songs, I knew that what I had was not only an excellent performance of The Wall, but something that completely puts the studio album to shame. Since I first bought it in November 2001, I'm not sure if I've even listened to the studio album more than three times. There simply isn't any need, with this masterpiece around.

Even though the audio quality probably isn't quite what The Wall is, or perhaps even the best that a live concert recording could be, the quality of the performance itself is absolutely stunning, and even makes up for the loud analogue hiss on "Nobody Home". One of the biggest problems with the studio album was the fact that PINK FLOYD was not working together as a band. Everything succumbed to Roger WATERS' dark vision. In fact, the band's keyboardist Richard WRIGHT had been cut out of the proceedings early on, and even forced to relinquish his position as a full member of the band. ITAOT was to be his farewell performance until A Momentary Lapse of Reason.

On ITAOT, although the personal problems were undiminished, it's clear that the band is functioning much more like a band than on the studio album, and this makes each rendition spring to life. In spite of all that was happening to him, WRIGHT works well with a second keyboardist and with the entire band to create moments of stunning beauty. One of the most beautiful, however, was left up to WRIGHT alone--the new ending of "Goodbye Blue Sky". As I purchased this album only a few months after 9-11, the song took on a much more personal meaning, and in that ending, WRIGHT somehow offered through his music both the opportunity to mourn, and a small bit of hope for the future. Even now this part can still bring me to tears.

Richard WRIGHT isn't the only one who shines on this album. Nick MASON, after a long time of playing rather simple rhythms on the FLOYD's studio albums (Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall), gets to cut loose in the middle section of "Run Like Hell", and shows he's definitely still got it. In fact, that entire section seems more like the chaotic part of "A Saucerful of Secrets" than anything. In many ways, ITAOT seems to look back to PINK FLOYD's brighter past, including wonderful improvisational elements that had mostly been forced out of the studio by Roger WATERS' imposition of structure on the band. Finally, the interviews and pictures are well worth having, both in the original and limited editions (the latter which I highly suggest).

This is truly THE definitive version of The Wall, and were it not for the recording flaws, I would award it the full five stars.

FloydWright | 4/5 |


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