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Various Artists (Tributes) - The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays Hits Of Pink Floyd CD (album) cover


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4 stars I f what you`re looking for is the music of Pink Floyd played by rock group and symphony orchestra you can`t go wrong with this exquisitely engineered and produced gemstone.

Niether the orchestra or the group really dominates and the separation and balance between the two is perfect. Ironically it`s the orchestra which goes out of control at times, particularily on the opening track, Shine On You Crazy Diamond, where the glorious horn section sounds like it`s playing action sequence music from the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball.The blandness which often encountered on orchestral renditions of music which was written with a rock ensemble in mind is definitely not present here.The lyrics to the songs are suggested by a vocal chorus who sing only the main themes with various instruments of the orchestra taking turns picking up the stated melodies creating a nice overall effect throughout the whole work. While for the most part the original score is adhered to with the band sounding almost like Floyd, intersesting deviations occur such as a coda on Money and the saxophone part on Us And Them substituted by a trombone while Lisa Cash delivers a flawless female vocalization on Great Gig In THe Sky. The sound effects of the cash register intro on Money and the chimes at the beginning of Time are retained and sound pretty close to the original. While this might come under scrutiny, they are justified by the fact that they are technically well done.

A highly recommended appendix to Floyd`s better known songs from Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall for those who have played the life and death out of them in their original form and just can`t get enough but are not too crazy about pure orchestral elucidations. With the help of colouring from the instruments of the orchestra which are constantly fluttering about, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays The Hits Of Pink Floyd, is a testimony to the potential of Pink Floyd`s compositional brilliance in during the seventies. Arguably one of the better trubute albums to any artist.

Report this review (#132563)
Posted Friday, August 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Pink Floyd goes Philharmonic

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra tribute to Pink Floyd is a really special abum for me for several reasons. Firstly because it is one of the very few albums that I vividly remeber to have listened since a very young age, and putting it to spin always brings me good memories. Secondly, because this album is reatively rare (I have seen a limited number of copies of this album for sale in my lifetime, wherever I have been). Thirdly, this is an amazingly original and interesting tribute album. I mean, the songs which are played here ARE hit singles, hence are widely know to the wide public and could sound tiresome to the prog fan (because he already listened them thousands of times on the albums), but the way they are played here makes them different enough to be an interesting and new experience listening to this album.

The orchestra really dominates the scene here because of the adapted arrangements for an orchestra (obviously). If there were a way to suppress the other instruments that are not part of the orchestra itself without compromising the song I bet there wouldn't be any guitars, drums, keys or electric bass, but, since this is not the case, the band is mostly supporting the orchestra throughout the album when it is needed. The vocals are, for the most part, inexistant also, except in The Great Gig in the Sky, where Lisa Cash delivers a great vocal performance comparable to the original performance by Clare Torry, and in some punctual parts along the album during the choruses mostly.

Grade and Final Thoughts

This tribute and best of album is one that can be apreciated by everybody without any restrictions because it actually brings very good reinterpretations of Pink Floyd songs by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The only downside of this album is that it limits itself to cover just three albums by the band, which are Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Where Here and The Wall, but I guess this is how it is supposed to be since this is a hit singles album.

Report this review (#280193)
Posted Saturday, May 1, 2010 | Review Permalink

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