Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Roger Waters

Crossover Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Roger Waters Amused to Death album cover
3.91 | 556 ratings | 54 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Ballad of Bill Hubbard (4:19)
2. What God Wants, Pt. 1 (6:00)
3. Perfect Sense, Pt. 1 (4:16)
4. Perfect Sense, Pt. 2 (2:50)
5. The Bravery of Being Out of Range (4:50)
6. Late Home Tonight, Pt. 1 (4:01)
7. Late Home Tonight, Pt. 2 (2:13)
8. Too Much Rope (5:47)
9. What God Wants, Pt. 2 (3:41)
10. What God Wants, Pt. 3 (4:08)
11. Watching TV (6:07)
12. Three Wishes (6:50)
13. It's a Miracle (8:30)
14. Amused to Death (9:07)

Total Time 72:39

Line-up / Musicians

- Roger Waters / vocals, bass (2,13), 12-string (5) & acoustic (11,14) guitars, synth (2-4), composer & co-producer

- Alf Razzell / vocals (1,14)
- P.P. Arnold / vocals (3,4)
- Marv Albert / voice (3,4)
- Charles Fleischer / voice (9)
- Don Henley / vocals (11)
- Rita Coolidge / vocals (14)
- Katie Kissoon & Doreen Chanter / backing vocals (2,8,9,12,14)
- N'Dea Davenport / backing vocals (2)
- Natalie Jackson / backing vocals (2,5)
- Lynn Fiddmont-Linsey / backing vocals (5)
- Jessica Leonard & Jordan Leonard / backing vocals (8)
- Jon Joyce, Stan Farber, Jim Haas / backing vocals (13)
- The London Welsh Chorale (2,10,13)
- Kenneth Bowen / choir conductor (2,10,13)
- Andy Fairweather Low / acoustic (2,9,11), electric (6,7,9), & 12-string (8,12) guitars, backing vocals (6,7)
- Jeff Beck / guitar (1,2,10-14) 5
- Geoff Whitehorn / guitar (2,8,10,14)
- Tim Pierce / guitar (2,5,9,12)
- B.J. Cole / pedal steel guitar (3,4)
- Steve Lukather / guitar (3,4,8)
- Rick DiFonso / guitar (3,4)
- Bruce Gaitsch / acoustic guitar (3,4)
- Patrick Leonard / keyboards, Hammond (5), synths (5,13), piano (11,13), percussion programming (1), choral arrangements (2,9,10,13), vocals (4), co-producer
- John Bundrick / Hammond (12)
- Steve Sidwell / cornet (6,7)
- John Dupree / string arranger & conductor (3,4)
- James Johnson / bass (3,4,6-8,10,12-14)
- Randy Jackson / bass (2,9)
- John Pierce / bass (5)
- John Patitucci / electric & upright basses (11)
- Graham Broad / drums (2-4,6-10,12,14), percussion (6,7)
- Denny Fongheiser / drums (5)
- Jeff Porcaro / drums (13)
- Luis Conte / percussion (1,3,4,6-8,10,12)
- Brian Macleod / snare & hi-hat (3,4)
- The National Philharmonic Orchestra Limited (6-8,10)
- Michael Kamen / arranger & conductor (6-8,10)
The Peking Brothers (11) :
- Guo Yi / sheng (ancient mouth-blown organ)
- Wang Shun Xian / Chinese oboe
- Zhao Zheng Ren / yang qin (dulcimer)
- Chang Gui Duo / da ruan (bass)

Releases information

Artwork: Mark Burdett with Tony Kaye (photo)

2LP Columbia ‎- 468761 0 (1992, Europe)
2LP Columbia ‎- 88875075471 (2015, Europe) Remastered by James Guthrie; New cover art

CD Columbia ‎- 468761 2 (1992, Europe)
CD Columbia ‎- 88843093782 (2015, Europe) Remastered by James Guthrie; New cover art

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy ROGER WATERS Amused to Death Music

ROGER WATERS Amused to Death ratings distribution

(556 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

ROGER WATERS Amused to Death reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Actually , the best thing from any Floyd alumni or Floyd itself since the Wall. This was quite a surprise and the title had me worried that this would be somber than Kaos but I quickly realized that although no GonG album , this had the same cynical humour than Hitch-hiking. One cannot help but feeling that if he and Floyd had joined forces instead of tearing themselves apart, and a combination of Division Bell and Amused To Death had been combined , this would have made a gigantic album . Instead we have two good albums but this one is very much under-rated as Bell is slightly over-rated.
Review by loserboy
5 stars This recording remains today one of my all time favorites. Although this is an exceptionally dark and forboding album it does contain some of the most brilliant and thought provoking progressive material ever. This album has been recorded using the Q-sound Canadian technology (so too did FISH - "Sunsets On Empire") and offers incredible sound seperation. Roger is joined by some incredible musicians and guests. Jeff Beck add plenty of amazing guitar parts, exceeding anything that Gilmour had ever put to record in my opinion. Rogers surrounds "Amused To Death" with some of the most powerful lyrics ever written. Highly recommended!
Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is the best album by Roger Waters. He uses here the technology to produce an OUTSTANDING record. Do you realize that the keyboardist is Patrick Leonard, the same guy who played keyboards for Madonna in the eighties? Leonard produces here brilliant, serious, addictive & very atmospheric textures, which have nothing to do with his previous work with Madonna. Like he did with Eric Clapton in 1983, Roger Waters hired here Jeff Beck on the electric guitars: it is absolutely impressive: he plays many visceral guitar solos, especially the ones on "What God wants part 3": the last solo is among the most POIGNANT ones in the music history: just play it LOUD! Beck's refined & clean guitar and Leonard's atmospheric floating keyboards begin as soon as on the spacy first track: "Ballad of Bill Hubbard", a very dramatic & ambient track reminding very much the Beck's "Where were you" track on his "Guitar shop" album. The National Philharmonic Orchestra provide the very subtle background classical arrangements, like on the "Late home tonight part 2", which has a beautiful "military award" ambience. This record is recorded with the Q-SOUND technology: Waters still uses TONS of special sounds: water drops falling into a sink, heart monitor evoking a flatline, exploding bombs, crying baby, TV sounds, whiplashes on horses and passing Christmas sleigh, contact of glass bottles, firing, dogs barks, crickets sounds, old man's narration, old telephone ring, car door closing, passing cars and train horn sounds, among others; those sounds must be heard using HI-FI products! Waters still uses many female lead & backing vocals: Katie Kissoon, Doreen Chanter and even Rita Coolidge, whose tender lead vocals on the "Amused to death" track are VERY addictive. Most of the tracks are excellent, except there are only 2 less good songs: "What God wants part 1" and "The bravery of being out of range": they are more straightforward hard rock oriented with incisive electric guitar riffs. If you listen to the lyrics on the hard to bear "Watching TV" track, you will notice that this song is for the memory of an Asian woman who died on TV. As the tracks go by, it seems the music tends to more floating and atmospheric moods, more keyboards oriented, especially on the 3 last tracks. The ambient "3 wishes", has dramatic & very sustained piano notes, CLEARLY evoking FATALITY: impressive! The "It's a Miracle" track is a total GEM: it starts with an ethereal background organ and a melodic & solemn piano a la Arena's "The crying for help 4"; Waters recorded some Quebec young boys playing hockey: one can notice a young one say: "Eille, les gars, elle a touche a la barre", talking about the hockey puck that touched the net pole; Leonard's weird keyboards effects and moog-like solos are OUTSTANDING on this track; it ends with a POIGNANT combination of a solemn choir and a nervous & emotional electric guitar solo, played by Beck the king. The last track is probably the best one on this record: "Amused to death" contains ethereal and VERY subtle electric guitars and keyboards. Rita Coolidge's duo with Roger is particularly impressive; this last track contains ambient New Age elements: I have rarely seen a more FLUID & atmospheric track than "Amused to death"; there is a heavy bit where Roger expresses how he sees the society: he is pretty right: he indirectly points the nowadays reality shows and violence shown on TV, which seem to amuse people: to AMUSE them TO DEATH; I know another band who condemn TV: "Visible Winds", and their "Face a la television" song. This serious album is another great gift from music!


Review by penguindf12
2 stars This album is really 2.5 stars, mainly for the excellent lyrics. The instrumentation is lacking, however.

First off, I'd like to clear up a few common misconceptions about this album. The first is the meaning of the "What God Wants" trilogy of songs in the album. Many people take this to be Waters' biased attack on organized religion. But, in context of the album, I don't think that's what it is. Some of the things listed as being "What God Wants" are not even relevant to the song, so it seems. "God wants chain stores? No way! Waters must be an atheist," is the first reaction. But on closer look, the song is about what PEOPLE say God would want. Example: George Bush saying,"God is on OUR side. He wants us to go to war. He supports US, not them." or "God wants YOU to send in money for OUR cause. He wants YOU to make a contribution." It is the blatant use of God's name to further a single cause. If you read the New Testament of the Bible, you'll find that God is the ultimate neutral. He is neither on one side or the other, neither US nor THEM. He loves everybody. That's what this song is about: the use of religious fundamentalism to further a cause.

That out of the way, I'll get started on the rest of the album. The music here is very dark and night-ish. The lyrics are absolutely amazing, Waters' best since "The Wall." It opens with "The Ballad of Bill Hubbard," an excellent minimalist instrumental backed by Alf Razzell's story of WWI and a hard descision he had to make. Then it enters into a roaring rock song, "What God Wants Part One." Probably the best song on the album, it and Part Two. Just remember what it really means by God (right-wing fundamentalist's use of God to further their cause), and you'll love it (if you like concept albums and are a lefty in politics) It's as misunderstood as "Another Brick in the Wall Part Two."

Next up is "Perfect Sense Parts One and Two." The first song is pretty good, but you have to understand the lyrics to like it. Otherwise it sounds a bit awkward, with all of the metaphors it uses. Part Two is better. Then it's "The Bravery of Being Out of Range." A great rock song about 1984-esque/neoconservative mindset about war. Then it's on to "Late Home Tonight Parts One and Two" about the mindlessness of a pilot ("no questions, only orders") as he bombs the enemy, inadvertantly killing innocent people. Part Two is his return home to be hailed as a hero, much like a football star would be after he wins the game for his team.

"Too Much Rope" is a mediocre song, followed by "What God Wants Parts Two and Three," more about people's useage of God's name to further causes and the confusion of outsiders at our activities. "Watching TV" is a pretty good song, about how people who die on TV are more important to those who watch than others less famous who died for a cause just as noble.

"Three Wishes" and "It's a Miracle" are the reasons this album isn't five-star. Boring musically, lyrically mediocre. It closes with "Amused to Death," a great closing song for a great album. The song ends with a 1984 reference in Alf Razzell's final thought about Bill Hubbard's death as told in the first song.

Overall, an nice album from the greatest member of ex-Pink Floyd, but lacking instrumentally. Buy it if you are left-wing and really enjoyed "the Wall". I personally think very much like Waters, except that I have a much more optimistic view of the world and am less experienced in lyrics (although I'm told I write great short stories). Buy this album if you think like Waters and his world view, etc. Hope this review wasn't too political.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The best album to come from a ' Floydian/s' since The Wall. This is an essential masterpiece and even Waters says, this, The Wall and Dark Side Of The Moon are like a trilogy in a way and conceptually you may well agree with that. The album starts with the ' Battle Of Bill Hubbard', the moving story of the desperation of trying to save a comrade in the battle lines, the failure of saving him and the having to live with the ' whatever happened to Bill Hubbard?' question for many years. It is very moving and made more so by Jeff Becks brilliant guitar work. The album moves along at a steady pace with the ' Prefect Sense' songs and ' What God Wants' themes. All the time angst, self ridicule and cynicism run deep. The only way Waters knows how!The background theatre between sets is magical. Ways of life portrayed in mere conversations, the sound of a jet flying over a hedgerow...the sound of a hangman's rope going taught on 'Too Much Rope'. Don Henley is on lead vocals on ' Watching TV', the moving story of the world famous live killing of the Chinese student in Tiannamen Square. All this through the portal of TV..get it yet, amused to death? For me the final three songs are what distinguish this masterpiece and set it on such a high pedestal. ' Three Wishes' begins with a South African mother relaying how she gassed her three children to death.The pain of humanity, the cruelty, the torture and torment of so many but thanks to media we are almost numbed by the news items that crash into out living rooms day after day. Musically ' Three Wishes' is stunning and if ever there was an album where Waters returned to the more mainstream Floyd sound then this is it.' It's a Miracle' is very sarcastic in content, again musically very slick. Waters manages some humour here joking how an earthquake managed to cause a piano lid to come down and break Andrew Lloyd Webber's fingers!A farmer from Ohio manages to repay a loan, A Brazilian grew a tree, a Doctor in Manhattan saved a dying man for free....It's a miracle....' Amused to Death' finishes the album off. A nine minute classic, lots of cynicism and sarcasm as usual from Waters but delivered in a very real, poignant and moving way. The album ends with the soldier realizing that upon seeing Bill Hubbard's death certification on a war memorial, how now all his doubts were complete and his mind could be put at rest. Bill Hubbard was at rest. Amused To death is a defiant but beautiful potrayal of mankind and the terrible mess it is in. As always though Roger Waters manages to leave a thread of hope in his works somewhere. An epic work in every sense.
Review by FloydWright
3 stars Before you dismiss this review immediately just based on my nickname, I want to make it clear that I have tried to review this album as objectively as possible. Where I had to insert emotional and personal perspectives, I've tried to mark them accordingly. Where things about this album were enjoyable or well-made, I've tried to call attention to them, because I do think there are aspects a person could like about this. That's why I haven't rated it lower than 3 stars...I have to acknowledge the high quality in certain respects. However, the matter stands that I think this just barely qualifies as prog (more like Bob Dylan than anything), it retreads over old opinions, and quite frankly may cross the line in the eyes of some, myself included. I finally ended up getting rid of my copy because I could tell I was never going to listen to it again.

But before I get into the reasons for that, let me tell you who should consider buying Amused to Death. First, if you consider yourself an audiophile, if you have a sound system that needs showing off, or if you're interested in music for its production aspects, I think this is a good album for you. Amused to Death is mixed in Q-Sound and rivals The Final Cut (nominally PINK FLOYD, but really ROGER WATERS) in terms of the quality of its production. All instruments and sound clips are positioned and mixed perfectly relative to each other, and you can't help but notice that even if you like nothing else. That alone earns a star for this album. The other major reason I would recommend Amused to Death is if you are an aficionado of Jeff Beck's guitar playing. He is nothing short of incredible, and this album was responsible for getting me into many other of Beck's albums. The highlights from Jeff Beck that I can recall offhand are "What God Wants", Part 1 and 3. The solo in Part 3 is especially heartwrenching. Otherwise, the music is quite passable, but nothing special.

The rest of the album I become ambivalent about if not outright irritated by, however. While WATERS sings well in some places, in others it's very clear that his voice is completely shot. The lyrics and concept, on one hand, are quite talented. It's very clear that a lot of thought went into them, as with most of ROGER WATERS' works. However, I think they go too far in many respects. First, there are many references that are so convoluted or obscure that it ends up subtracting from the album as far as most listeners are concerned. Secondly, while there is supposedly a concept (aliens observing the demise of mankind), it's not really made clear...the real concept, in my opinion, is political rantings, typically of an anti-American, anti-religious bent. (Yes, I know "What God Wants, Part 1" is not necessarily anti-ALL-religion, but I haven't ever heard WATERS have anything nice to say on the idea) And that is a point I'll get to later. The other thing I want to mention, before I deal with that, is how the personal touch sometimes evident in other works by WATERS like "If" and "The Final Cut" is not at all evident on Amused to Death except for "Three Wishes", which does make a nice change of pace, and I have to admit I don't mind that song at all. I rather like it, in fact.

There was a time when I was really, truly enamoured of this album, many years ago. I did not agree with many things that WATERS said, but I could listen in a very interested and detached way. However, that changed after the attack on America and the subesquent Iraq War. I know some will feel differently about these issues...however, for me, it made the subject matter much more personal, and I became aware of the intense hatred and hypocrisy in WATERS' words. It becomes clearer that WATERS is someone who has never overcome the wounds of Vietnam, let alone his personal past, and in trying to claim a wish for pacifism turns instead to the "bravely out of range" violence of words, which is equally hateful as a physical act. "The Bravery of Being out of Range" is one of the ugliest examples--he does not stop at attacking politicians, which is almost to be expected when one runs for office...but instead he continues and attacks the common soldier.

I daresay his father--who lived and died a soldier against the forces of Fascism--would've been quite ashamed of that indeed.

I know others will not agree with this...and I HAVE tried to give as high a rating as I can even with this, but I feel I need to say it.

Review by Cluster One
4 stars I've avoided reviewing this album for quite some time now, not because I disliked it, but because there is just TOO MUCH to say about it. Deep, rewarding, thought-provoking and reflective, it is by far Mr. WATERS solo masterpiece. It is not even my most-favourite album by WATERS ("Pros & Cons" is), but I do recognize its significance. It is just not something to be taken lightly.

"Amused To Death" is an audiophile and philosopher's "Wet Dream" (Rick Wright reference). Musically, it is full of textures. Whether they come from the dream-like state of Bill Hubbard in the initial album track, or from HAL the computer in the Kubrick 2001 Film samples, or from Jeff Beck's guitar on 'What God Wants - Part 3", this album is extremely rich in texture.

There are a number of good rock tracks that 'stand alone' and can be enjoyed out of the album's conceptual framework: some good examples being 'What God Wants - Part 1' and 'The Bravery of Being Out of Range'. As good as they sound musically, you don't have to dig very deep to find WATERS' criticism of today's organized religion and military conflict (The First Gulf War in particular).

"Amused To Death" is also closely associated with Stanley Kubrick's film (also Arthur C. Clarke's book) "2001: A Space Odyssey". Read and watch both and you will gain a better appreciation for/of the themes presented in WATERS' magnum opus.

"ATD" has been referred to by WATERS himself as the third and final part of his "The Wall"/"The Final Cut" Trilogy. Although closest in form and feel to FLOYD's "The Final Cut", "ATD" can, and should be enjoyed/appeciated/revered on its own. Just don't expect to "get it" on the first go 'round. As with any lyric-heavy prog rock piece, read the lyrics and give it about 20-25 spins, and it should start to sink in.

Not for the faint of heart, or the weak of mind. Think CONCEPT, and multiply it by ten. A thinking-man's record, and an underappreciated gem. 3.5/5 stars

Review by Eclipse
3 stars First of all i must say this was my fav Roger solo album for a long time. Still, it is very far away from being a masterpiece, it is a nice work, and if i was making this review some months ago i'd clearly give this album 4 stars. Now though i think this deserves 3, mainly coz it could have been much better and it has some really weak and annoying parts. Despite the horrid boringness of some songs (Watching TV and Too Much Rope anyone?), it has some great moments. It starts with a really trippy instrumental, this song is surprisingly probably my second favorite one from the album. When i listen to it i feel like i am in an astral voyage, the guitar work here is excellent, definitely a great opener (much more superior than Cluster One, from P.F.'s The Division Bell, though i love it as well). Then, it leads to another great rocking and cacthy track, the first one of the 'What God Wants' trio. I was pretty shocked with the lyrics when i first read them at the album's booklet, but then i was informed that it is actually talking about what human beings do and put the 'fault' on God for their actions. This only shows how amazing and creative Roger's mind is. After this great moment, we have other 2 amazing tracks: Perfect Sense pts 1 and 2. Now, PP Arnold HAS the voice! Her vocals kill Roger's pretty weak ones (he seems to be having an orgasm at the first lines of pt2, but let's just forget it...) - signs of Roger's ageing, we'll never hear vocal works like the Sheep ones again = (. But even though his voice got weaker, his lyrics remain amazing through the entire album. After pt2, we have the horrid Bravery of Being Out of Range. The instrumental is vey annoying, i just can't stand this kind of music. Fortunately, it ends to give space to the decent Late Home Tonight pt 1. It is a good track, though its sister is very weaker and everytime i listen to Rog saying "Hey boy, you're a hero, take this cigaaar" i feel like scratching my stomach to see if i can get a pain worse than the one my ears get when i listen to that line. Too Much Rope is a boring song, that i usually skip, fortunately What God Wants II comes and starts in a awesome way, with those very catchy lines along with the backing vocals saying the chorus, which will lead to more nice lyrics by Roger. Part 3 is very different from its two sisters, and it is very good, the best of the 3 parts, it has a Gilmour esque guitar solo that really brings back some wonderful Floyd moments. Roger's vocals weirdly get decent here, compared to some of the other tracks. I guess this is my fav track from ATD. Too bad that after the best comes the worse...Watching TV is: annoying, boring, weak, mediocre and it has those horrid lines saying "we were watching tv, we were watching tv" #$$%@!!!! Surprisingly this can be worse than the ''hey boy, take this cigar" part. To save the album, Three Wishes arrives. It is a very good song and very creative as well. Has some great moments, and it is one of the outstanding ones from the album. It's A Miracle is another strong momment. That keyboard intro is very moving, and i get touched everytime i listen to it. Plus, that guitar solo at that cosmic ending is so awesome that i dont get why so people consider this song 'boring' (though i respect their opinion, everyone is entitled to them). The last song is a bit weak, and i think it is an unnecessary one. I think that It's A Miracle would be the PERFECT closer, mainly due to the short though touching guitar solo.

It has some amazing moments and very weak ones, therefore this album is a great Roger's try, and worthy having, though it is not even close to be a masterpiece as i considered it some time ago.

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I really do enjoy this album. I find it a lot better than The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking, as well. The lyrics are dark and brooding, the guitars (by one of my favorites, Jeff Beck), the bass, the keyboards, it all makes a great mixture and really creates a great experience. While it does not sound like Pink Floyd, it certainly is a unique sound. This album is truly Waters at his cynical best, sniping every little aspect of the government.

Songs worth mentioning are the Ballad of Bill Hubbard, an amazing and breathtaking instrumental with some of the best Jeff Beck guitar work. Perfect Sense is an outstanding two part song, with a great and catchy chorus in the 2nd part, and great vocals from PP Arnold in the first part. It's a Miracle is a slower, more atmospheric track that has some of the best post-Floyd Waters lyrics. The Bravery of Being out of Range is a great rocker, with a great riff, and great vocals from Roger. The lyrics in this song are a great example of Roger trying to fit more syllables than necessary into a verse, but it still sounds great. The final song, Amused to Death, is a great rocker as well.

Overall, I was very impressed with this piece of work. Roget Waters has had a hit/miss solo career, and this one is a hit to me. I recommend to any Pink Floyd fan who wants to delve into the solo careers of its members. 4/5

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars The emphasis on this album are the vocals and the lyrics. So it's a bit of a shame that Jeff Beck doesn't get to show off his skills more. I prefer great instrumental music to great lyrics any day, but...this is something very special. I can't get over how good these lyrics are, they are so sarcastic, so critical, so funny, so wise. Roger takes a lot of shots at people, and groups of people, and he doesn't pull any punches. Andrew Lloyd Weber is probably still holding his jaw, ha ha.

"The Ballad of Bill Hubbard" sounds so much like a PINK FLOYD song, the guitars and samples. Jeff Beck really shines on the first two tracks. He lays down some scorching guitar on "What God Wants part I" This song rocks out pretty good, and the female vocals are great. Waters is criticizing all the groups of the world who claim God supports their interests."Watching TV" works very well with Don Henley from the EAGLES contributing on vocals.Terrific tune. "It's A Miracle" is a very emotional commentary on our society. I was blown away by all the lyrics in the liner notes, i've never seen so many words for one album.

This is Waters best solo release and well worth checking out.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Anything for a laugh

Roger Waters third solo album after leaving Pink Floyd finds him still mining the seam which created albums such as "The wall" and "The final cut". The opening guitar chords of "The Ballad of Bill Hubbard" may be by Jeff Beck, but they echo David Gilmour's familiar opening sounds, with a lilting, lazy feel. The addition of spoken word also harks back to "Dark side of the moon".

Waters is in good form though, the album having a fluidity to it which sets it apart from his previous solo efforts. His penchant for instrumental and vocal themes which gently tumble down the scales comes across in many of the tracks. "Perfect sense", "Bravery of being out of range", "Watching TV", etc., all feature this easy on the ear type of melody. The music is as ever generally doom laden, or at least downbeat, with little opportunity for a heads down boogie or anything so crude. Lyrically, the album bears the hallmark cynicism and political commentary which has become the trademark of much of his work.

Waters surrounds himself with highly accomplished musicians here, who undoubtedly serve to take the album from the potentially mediocre to a set of high quality performances. The aforementioned Jeff Beck contributes exemplary guitar work throughout, but it is PP Arnold who unquestionably steals the shown. Her intrusion on "Perfect sense" (singing a tumbling melody!) is simply breathtaking.

The contributions of other well known artists may be less striking, but they are nonetheless essential to the overall quality of the product. Andy Faithweather-Lowe, a stalwart of Water's "In the flesh", may be playing second fiddle to Beck, but his guitar playing provides a solid basis for the entire album. Don Henley (Eagles) and Rita Coolidge (singer of one of the finest of the James Bond theme songs) provide backing vocals on one track apiece.

It is perhaps Water's own contribution which is understated. Songwriter, bassist and vocalist he may be, but albums such as this with its lengthy list of supporting artists, only go to show that he is essentially a band musician and something of a fish out of water in a solo environment. This is emphasised by the occasional dip in quality control, with a couple of the tracks being overlong or simply dull. In a band situation, such indulgences would have been quickly curtailed. For example, the album appears to be concluding as "What God wants part 3" reaches its climactic conclusion, but we have a further half hour of closing tracks before the end is finally reached.

In all, a well produced, impeccably performed album. Only the occasional weakness in the song writing department prevent this from being acclaimed as a true masterpiece.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Anti-War Concept album .

For sure, this is Waters' masterpiece - at least for me personally. Looking at the theme of this album which was dedicated to Private William Hubbard (1888 - 1917), Eighth Batalion of the Royal Fusiliers, City of London Regiment, this must be a very emotional album for Roger Waters. Who cares with what has happened in the past? At lest, Roger does! As my spiritual guru taught me: "If you wanna succeed in life, you have to understand history and learn people characters, comprehend them and take the best parts with you and know how to manage the worst parts when you deal with people with such behaviors", history means something for me. Oh yeah, I don't read a lot about history but it does not mean that I don't care about history. For one thing, Mr Waters taught me through his wonderful compositions that history does mean a lot!

Why liking this album?

It's better to start with what this album means to me. First off, when I looked at this album displayed at local music shop in Jakarta, I was in doubt on whether or not to purchase it. By the time I was not into internet heavily so the information about this album was not available for me. So I decided to buy the cassette version because it's cheap. I liked it at first spin so I purchased the CD couple of months later.

The way I see this album was very similar with Pink Floyd's "The Final Cut" and "The Wall" as it contains many reflections of what happened in the past and its meanings to life that went on. As for the Pink Floyd "The Final Cut", I love this album. It's not a plethora of credentials the band has earned with its previous albums but it's more on the music per se. If I was not given any information that this is a Pink Floyd album I still love this one. Two reasons that support my opinion: 1. I like the energy the singer sings throughout the album which basically has less music than vocal line. 2. The music is thematic even without knowing what's the story line of the album. In fact, I purchased this album in cassette version but I got trouble with the noise level that became obvious because this album has many silent parts. So, couple of years later I purchased the CD format. The result is remarkably different: now I can hear clearly the sighs and silent sound effects in its subtleties especially if I listen to it using earphones or decent stereo set at home.

The similar experience happened to me with "Amused To Death". Having it on CD format is much better than the cassette as I can eliminate all noises. The albums starts beautifully with "The Ballad of Bill Hubbard" (4:19) in which Alf Razzell telling the story of how he had to leave the wounded Bill Hubbard behind enemy lines. What a sad story! This ambient piece is augmented wonderfully with guitar work that at first listen was like the work of David Gilmour. It's not! When I looked at the CD sleeve, it's being played by Jeff Beck. Jeff plays emotionally and in line with the music characters of this atmospheric opening track.

The stream of music flows beautifully to next track "What God Wants, Pt. 1" (6:00) in an R&B style using female and male vocals plus blues-rock guitar work. The "Perfect Sense, Pt. 1" (4:16) and "Perfect Sense, Pt. 2" (2:50) continue in the similar style. My favorite track is "It's a Miracle" (8:30) which has a very tight composition, catchy melody, excellent lyrics and great ambient.

Two things that make this album excellent: First, on vocal line, Roger delivers his best vocal range like he did with The Wall and The Final Cut where he sings in high as well as low register notes brilliantly - some with sighs. His delivery is really top notch! Second, this album offers brilliant composition where the music does not necessary being complex but it's not as simple as pop or R&B music. For example Jeff Porcaro does not need to play dazzling drum work but he's played it "just enough" to fit the music and nothing more. Observe how he plays it at "It's a Miracle" which to me sounds very simple but it gives excellent nuance for the music.

Why (you are) NOT liking this album?

If you expect something complex and challenging, this is definitely not meeting your expectations. This album is the kind of music (and story) that fits a peaceful condition because it contains reflections about life at war. As most of Pink Floyd music are not complicated at all, you should not expect something complex from this key member of Pink Floyd.


Overall, this album represents Roger Waters' masterpiece and it has tight composition, great vocal line by Waters and backing vocals. I really love how he sings "It's a Miracle" emotionally. It's so wonderful! "We've got a warehouse of butter / We've got oceans of wine / We've got famine when we need it / Got a designer crime / We've got Mercedes / We've got Porsche / Ferrari and Rolls Royce / We've got a choice / She said meet me / In the Garden of Gethsemane my dear .".For those who like concept album with strong story line must have this album. This also applies to all of you who love Pink Floyd. It's an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
4 stars Five years after Waters' worst album, Radio K.A.O.S., he surprises us all with what may well be the best album of his solo career. I'd go as far as saying that Amused to Death is even much better than The Wall and The Final Cut. It's musically interesting, the underlying concept isn't filled with mindless wandering and countless characters and is such that most intelligent human beings will get the point. I'm not sure if this is what Waters had been striving all along for, or just his past experiences guided him to this wonderful gem.

Amused to Death was inspired by the book "Amusing Ourselves to Death" by Neil Postman, basically a critique of mass media culture and television. You can hear this inspiration from all of the sound effects of television programs playing in the background between songs. This theme is used effectively throughout the album causing the individual songs to take on the feel of being "television programs." Between many of the songs one can hear the sound of channels on a television being changed, thus implying each song being a "program on another channel." This tie-in is just plain genius on Waters part and he pulls it off quite nicely. Furthermore, Waters briefly throws in a theme within the overall theme, basically using animals as human counterpart analogies (on the What God Wants trilogy), very similar though not as overarching as the Animals album. You may get the initial feeling that the subject matter jumps around a bit, basically various subjects that explore Waters' disillusionment with modern human civilization. But when you consider the context, a perfect analogy would be the different news stories on a CNN program, or like mentioned before, the flipping of channels. Waters really thought this one out and like most thought-out arrangements, the listener often discovers something new with each listen. I just love albums that feature this quality.

For the musical aspect of this album, Waters brought on a long list of guests and session musicians, including the likes of Jeff Beck (who provided some really stunning guitar work), Andy Fairweather-Low, Rita Coolidge, P.P. Arnold, Jeff Porcaro, bassist Randy Jackson (the American Idol judge!), among others. For the most part, this album leans more towards AOR, but with a healthy dose of progressive leanings. Many of these songs could have been AOR radio station hits. Though not like the prog rock from the 1970s Pink Floyd, it's a vast improvement over the countless whispering vocals over minimalistic pieces of music he had done on previous albums dating back to The Wall. There are places where Waters' vocals sound strained, but for some reason (at least to me), the strained style fits him and the music nicely. The album does have many dark moments, but how could it not with this type of subject matter: war, misuse of God's name, money, power, etc.

Overall, almost a masterpiece, but indeed an excellent album. Definitely worth four stars (perhaps 4.3 would be better). Recommended to Waters fans, Pink Floyd fans, and those interested in high quality conceptual works.

Review by russellk
2 stars Tired, overwrought and bitter, this album draws my appreciation but not my enjoyment.

WATERS still has something to say, seemingly. Although, frustratingly, his message sounds remarkably like the message he's been peddling since 1973: war, madness, politics and the comparison of humans to animals, all connected by TV sfx. Sound familiar? 'Amused to Death', while clever, covers no new ground either lyrically or musically. A star-studded cast are put through their paces, and many perform brilliantly - listen to those guitars - but only ROGER WATERS could miss the mark so badly in his estimation of what the public want. Actually, many of us would rather have something that doesn't sound like an unsubtle caricature of itself.

Speaking of sound, the rasping, broken remnants of WATERS' voice are a musical tragedy. Not only can I not stand to hear his recycled message, the voice it's delivered in is practically unlistenable. Every time I hear WATERS declaiming in that breathy spoken voice, or desperately attempting to slide towards a note, I shudder in remembrance of the disaster that was 'The Final Cut'. This is the inevitable consequence of trying to do everything yourself.

I don't mean to make it sound like I see nothing of value here. There's some nice funk, some nice art-rock and a couple of excellent solos, without coming remotely close to firing the listener's soul. And it's an impressive concept, worthy of installation in a gallery, along with a few Jackson Pollock works that really can't be distinguished from each other. There's no doubt that this album has more merit than the abysmal 'Pros and Cons' and 'Radio KAOS'. A shame, though, that such a creative man appears to have lost it so badly. ROGER WATERS is a classic example of a musician who should have remained a faceless member of a band.

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Our species has amused itself to death

A very interesting social commentary by Roger Waters. Roger's fourth solo album and admittedly his best, this is a very well written concept album with a dark topic dealing with everything from war to modern society, religion and back to war. Quite interesting, especially since Roger manages to avoid being redundant by putting out some kind of The Wall Disc 4. It's quite a cynical look at things, so if you fancy yourself a very positive and upbeat person then this might not be the kind of thing for you. Roger doesn't sugar coat, but he does use some amusing commentary, one particularly fun part of the album has two football (or some other sport) commentators announcing a game of war between two countries - ''As I speak the captain now has his cross hairs zeroed in on the oil rig!''. You can tell that Roger had a lot to say simply by opening the liner notes. You don't even need to read them to see how opinionated he is... the book just keeps unfolding and unfolding and in the end it's about 2 feet long, filled with lyrics on either side. Not a bad thing of course, because Roger knows how to sing, and he clearly likes to do it, but it never seems to be overly intrusive.

Style wise we have everything that hasn't been in Pink Floyd since Roger left. Quite literally, actually, it's astonishing at points. Take The Wall and remove Gilmour's guitar and you kind of have the style of the album. There's a lot of guest musicians on the album - in fact everyone from Jeff Beck to Randy Jackson (he's on this site quite a bit isn't he?) - but none of the musicians really let loose with their talents as one would expect. Perhaps Waters tied them down and said, ''now you play this!'' as could possibly be expected, or maybe they just didn't want to take away from the overall mood of the album. The world will never know. Still, some flashy moments here and there where Jeff Beck actually kind of sounds like Gilmour for a second or two. The rest of the album is very bass driven as could be expected coming from Pink Floyd's bass player. It's a fairly midpaced album with no songs becoming overly fast or slow. We get moments of brilliance between times of tedium, but all in all the album flows very well and never loses site of it's intended target.

What makes this album great are the really angry moments. Listening to the military pace of What God Wants, Parts I - III really get the blood boiling (in a good way) and Roger's yelling of, ''give any one species too much rope and they'll f*** it up!'' really sits well with the listener (perhaps ironically). The social commentary and poking at cowardice in The Bravery of Being Out of Range (which discusses how people can sit far away and simply launch missiles at each other) makes for a great tune when mixed with some very soothing music. There's also a few sound effect parts which work very well in context with the album (explosions and what have you). The amused musing of the title track makes for the album's standout at it's coda (also the longest song on the album), as it seems that Roger was saving the best for last.

The rest is somewhat give and take as sometimes it gets a bit slow, making us wish we had that military anger back. What's redeeming about these parts is that they still contribute to the whole of the album, because really, it's not an album you can pick a song out of and listen to that one only. Roger must have designed it that way, but isn't that what prog has always been about anyways?

This one ultimately gets 3.5 wishes out of 5. A very good album which is recommended for people looking for some Floyd flavored music and for those who really enjoyed The Wall, although those who didn't might want to give this one a shot anyways. Slightly uneven but ultimately amusing, this one is recommended!

Review by lazland
5 stars This LP is proof to me that the moniker Waters uses on his tours, "The Creative Genius of Pink Floyd", is absolutely well and truly justified. Far more interesting and complex than anything Floyd did after he left, and certainly more challenging than any of Gilmour's solo work, this dark and foreboding album is quite simply the work of a sheer genius, and you don't need to necessarily agree with his world view to appreciate it.

Dedicated to a soldier by the name of Bill Hubbard, the album does, of course, mainly deal again with the insanities of war and corporate life, both of which Waters has themed many times. He remains a man deeply influenced by the death of his father in WWII as a young boy. Yes, there is a large degree of bitterness in the album, but I really enjoy the dripping sarcasm inherent in all of the lyrics.

What God Wants Part I is a good point in question. Set to a very catchy and almost commercial tune, slightly reminiscent of Not Now John from The Final Curtain, Waters rants against the sheer hypocrisy of the religious right of America.

Perfect Sense Parts I & II provided some of the greatest live moments on his solo tours. Expressed in Dollars and Cents, it all makes perfect sense ranks to me as one of the sharpest economic and social observations in any genre, let alone progressive rock. The female vocal is quite stunning, and the sequence where the Amercian Sports Commentators simulate a nuclear missile attack is hilarious, in a very dark sense.

The Bravery of Being Out of Range is a rockier track which rails against the backroom generals and politicians who send young kids out to die from the comfort of their armchairs. It moves along at a thrilling pace, and is a musical highlight of the album, with thundrous drums and a heavy riff throughout, again rather reminiscent of later Floyd works such as The Wall.

The album settles down again in Late Home Tonight, and there are some interesting strings and acoustic guitars accompanying Waters talking, before sound effects again bring us the effects of a domestic and world crisis in the form of a huge rocket explosion. The strings, brass, and keyboards that accompany Waters heartfelt paeon to fallen comrades in Part Two is incredible.

Too Much Rope features some incredible guitar work from Andy Fairweather Low, whose contributions to Waters studio and live career as a solo artist is sometimes very much forgotten, and really puts paid to the fiction that Waters is a egotistical maniac with no thought for those around him.

Watching TV amuses, whilst Three Wishes again features some incredible female vocalisation accompanying Waters narration. Sound effects are again to the fore in much of this track, and there are some brilliant guitar bursts again.

And then to the last two tracks. I regard Its A Miracle as the finest track that Waters has ever written, and I include Floyd era stuff in that. Intellectual genius, with a very sharp satirical eye are all over this, and musically, the piano and keyboards accompanying him set a very dark background. Then, just as you think that the track is drawing to a close, one of the finest, but shortest, guitar solos ever put down hits you. It still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. There is also the most amusing Andrew Lloyd Webber dig (where the piano lid falls down and breaks his ****** fingers) that anyone will ever hear, and is essential listening to those British viewers sick to death of him on Saturday night TV.

Amused to Death, the title track, rounds things off, with the unsettling thought of an alien space ship captain looking down upon Earth recording that the western world human population has literally amused itself to death by a mixture of junk tv, and other media, whilst the remainder perished in the face of war, famine, and pestilence.

This is an LP where careful listening of the lyrics and the story are as, if not more, essential than the actual music itself, but that is not to underestimate the careful composition and professional playing that accompany the story.

It is a shame that this remains the last rock LP released by Waters, because I especially remain impatient for a follow up. I rate this as having five stars. Vastly underrated, and an essential purchase for every Pink Floyd fan who needs to realise that there really was life outside of the band.

Review by The Truth
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This was the greatest thing released by any Floyd member after the original the Waters/Gilmour/Mason/Wright broke up and I'll tell you why: this concept is perfect! Supposedly about aliens arriving at Earth finding us all dead in front of our TVs and they conclude we amused ourselves to death. But all through it there is a monkey randomly switching channels which is a nice addition. Waters is older now and sounds like it! Especially on Perfect Sense Part II where he sounds like he may be drawing his last breath but that fits the already dark topic. What God Wants is catchy but way too atheist for me. Amused To Death is the greatest track just because of the feeling it gives. Starting out on bongos but quickly turning to very heavy music. Excellent stuff from Mr. Waters! A lot of the music sounds the same so if you want variety don't get this! However I very much like it, so four stars!

Edit 2 Months later:

This album is definately more of a masterpiece than I thought when I hit about the 15th listen and began to understand the concept better I saw that this was no ordinary album. It is and probably always will be one of my favorite albums of all time! Sorry to give you some disrespect the first time Rog, you definately made a masterpiece.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Some have said that this is the best Roger Waters album so far. Well, actually, this is rather easy, considering that "Pros & Cons" and "Radio K.A.O.S." were pretty weak.

The man is surrounded by a myriad of guest musicians of whom Jeff Beck is the best known one and he is influencing this work with his skills and talent.

I am not going to cover the concept of this album since fellow colleagues have done it already. So, I have to concentrate on the music only. Hummm?

A definite feel indeed of "The Final Cut" (one of my least favourite Floyd album ever - but actually it was a Waters album that the other musician didn't want to release, nor endorse). "A Perfect Sense" (both parts) is the best example to highlight this aspect.

But I can't be enthusiastic about "What God Wants, Part 1" either: this funky feel leaves me rather cold and indifferent (part II is not of my liking either to be honest, while part III features some superb guitar work).

"The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range" sounds as a glam song from the early middle seventies; gimmicking "Mott The Hoople" or "Bowie" but with less talents. Still, it is one of the good songs from this work.

As "Easy Livin" is telling, the song writing is nothing from the other world, I'm adding that I never have considered Roger as a good vocalist either. And since this is a solo album, no one was telling him to cut some parts from this very long stuff (over seventy minutes. Gosh!).

As far as I'm concerned, there is nothing new here. Just a repetition of old concepts and sounds. Served again on a platter. But the meal is not tasty ("Late Home Tonight", both parts).

In my opinion, this album starts where it could have stopped?"Watching TV" is the first song which reminds me the good old Floyd (which means before the two Rogers extravaganzas). I like the tranquil mood, Roger's whispering, and the delicate background music. The first highlight IMHHO.

The second one takes places with the gorgeous guitar solo during the closing part of "It's A Miracle". Indeed?but thanks to Jeff. The closing and title track is also enjoyable and leads to a three stars rating.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
5 stars This album can be considered the last studio album by Roger Waters (I don't include Ca Ira in the list). There are a lot of clues about this being the last, but let discover them through the album. The first clue is the choice of the guitarist: When Syd Barrett was excluded by the Pink Floyd, the band looked for a guitarist and the choice was between David Gilmour and Jeff Beck. Having chosen Jeff Beck for Amused to Death is like saying "Let's see what could have been...".

The album opens with a short instrumental "The Ballad of Bill Hubbard". Also the two Floyd's albums without Waters open in a similar way, but the story told by some Alf Razzel, a veteran, tells us everything we must know about Waters and his interior trouble connected to his missing father: Alf has to leave Bill die in a no-man's land. He's tormented. This is the second theme (officially the first) of the album. We are all amused to Death. After Bill's death we can switch to something more interesting.

Since "The Wall" Roger is used to songs splitted into 3 parts. "What God Wants" is the main theme of this concept. It's a classical Waters song with female background vocals, a strong leading guitar and an obsessive rhythm. "I don't mind about the war, that's one of the things I like to watch". It's how the song starts, just to confirm what the concept is about.

"Perfect Sense" is split into parts as well. Part 1 starts with a piano intro that seems coming directly from Radio K.A.O.S. The cello that can be heard just after the singing (talking) is started reminds to "The Body". It's like Waters is reviewing his life, while a female singer speaks of war and international politics. Money drives it all. This is the perfect sense he's speaking about. This is what Part 2 clarifies clearly.

"The Bravery of Being out of Range" is a high quality song that could have been added to The Wall. The keyboard intro sustained by guitar and drums, then Waters and his female counterparts singing about this kind of Bravery. Playing wars pushing buttons and moving joysticks, "Old timer what you'll gonna kill next", then let's swim in a pool or attend a party... A song about modern wars. Anzio and the second world war are far away. This is another hidden message, I think.

"Late Home Tonight Part 1" (Again a part 1) has an acoustic guitar opening. Also this song is similar in structure to Radio K.A.O.S. The subject is a young American soldier whose life is just "flight, flight, flight". This is, I think, about the bombing of Tripoli (Libia) when a daughter of the leader Khadafi was killed during the 80s. A soldier on a plane drops a bomb without knowing why or worse, without ASKING why. "And in Tripoli another ordinary wife Stares at the dripping her old man hadn't Time to fix Too busy mixing politics and rhythm In the street below " The rhythm of war drums and a baby crying complete the song until the bomb explodes.

Part 2 is just the soldier's homecoming "And the F-1 glides in nose-up Through the cloudbase and the Ground crew cheers as he puts down His landing gear Hey boy you're a hero take this cigar"

"Too much Rope" is a song that makes the pair musically with "Three Wishes" that is still to come. A short bluesy track with a good guitar on the back. The lyrics are strong instead and the few sentences below clarify the meanin better than I clould do:

"Moslem or Christian Mullah or Pope Preacher or poet who was it wrote Give any one species too much rope And they'll [%*!#] it up "

"What God Wants Part 2 and 3" are here to close the circle. In the vinyl age they would have probably closed the album. As Jethro Tull said years before on Aqualung "Man created God in his image".

"But the monkey's not watching He's slipped out to the kitchen To pile the dishes And answer the phone "

When Part 3 starts there's a "ping" like at the beginning of Echoes. This is slow and bluesy with a piano base. A counterpart to the rocking part 1 and 2. The guitar solo is quite "gilmourish" and gives a reason why Jeff Beck has been about to join Pink Floyd.

What happens next is unexpected. "Watching TV" is still about TV and Death, but this time who is watching is not a Monkey. It's himself looking at the massacre of Tien-an-men Square in Beijing. I remember bad reviews of this song on newspapers. I don't remember what they were accusing him of. The poetry is not at his highest levels, but he has probably been one of the few persons in the western side of the world to say something meaningful about a bloody massacre of innocents happened in front of the whole world. The imaginary young girl "in her bloodstained clothes" is a symbol but could easily be real as this was the kind of targets of tanks and guns of the Li Peng army. Sorry for staying so much on this song, but I think that facts like this are good to remember. Also the fact that the responsibles of the massacre have been forgiven by the western world because of economic reasons demonstrates that Waters is right: "It all makes perfect sense".

"Three Wishes" is the key to the second message. It's a bluesy song very Floydian and the only song that contains an explici reference to his father. It's like he has realized that an over-60 man can't consider himself an orphan for all his life. This song closes the circle started with The Wall. His life-long sickness for his missing father is now cured. You see someone through the window Who you've just learned to miss

This was a good thing for Waters but I'm afraid this is also the reason why he didn't release other studio albums. Once his pain is finished he doesn't feel the need to mitigate it by writing music and lyrics.

There are still two songs before the end: "It's a Miracle" opens with keyboard and bass reminding to "Careful with that Axe Eugene". The Miracle he's speaking about is the globalization. I don't know if he's a no-global, but he doesn't semm to like globalization very much. What he says is that we have exported all our products, cultural and material with our wars. I disagree when he mentions Lloyd-Webber as I liked JCS very much, but I can't disagree with all the rest.

"By the grace of God Almighty And the pressures of the marketplace The human race has civilized itself "

The closure act is the title track: "Doctor what is wrong with me?" what is amazing is the second part of the story told by the veteran. The end of the ballad of Bill Hubbard. The veteran is tormented until he sees Bill's name on a monument. Now Bill stops being a phantom in his mind and becomes a "real" person. This is the healing. Roger Waters is implicitly saying that his father is no longer the main character of a nightmare. He is now a real person who had a real life and a real death. Now also the child of the Wall can relax and look at the future.

Have a happy life now, Roger.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I've been exploring Roger Waters' solo career for some time in order to find another album that would illegibly resemble The Final Cut. Unfortunately both The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking and Radio K.A.O.S. proved to be poor substitute for the last great Pink Floyd release as I felt that pretentiousness was clearly taking over Waters' work. But like the soldiers in his stories, he continued marching on doing that same album until almost getting it right with Amused To Death.

Clocking at over 70 minutes, this album might be a tough journey for anyone unfamiliar with Waters to undertake, but it's definitely the one that I would recommend undertaking. Amused To Death might not be that perfect conclusion to the artist's long search for perfection of his style and I personally can't even call it an excellent release, but there is definitely something that still attracts me to this album even after all this time. Stylistically this as close to a Roger Waters album that we were going to get. The production is slick and the vast amount of performers do a great job of keeping the overall mood of the album in place, even if there are a few deviations from that rule.

I guess that my main concern with all of Roger Waters solo output is that it lacks anything new to express outside of the already well-established formulas that existed on both The Wall and The Final Cut. Yes, the message of this particular release might be a bit different but that's really not enough for me to feel any different about its music. The last four tracks are the longest of the bunch and are clearly intended to be the punch line to the album but I'm just not feeling. Watching TV is decent, Three Wishes is almost a reminder of the good old days of Pink Floyd, but lack the competent touch of Rick Wright in the arrangements. Finally we have the lengthy conclusion of It's A Miracle and Amused To Death that make up a fourth of this 14 track release. Both are expanded to the point of extreme that simply doesn't work for me. The interesting thing is that those same tracks worked marvelously when Roger Waters performed them in a live setting during his In The Flesh tour.

Amused To Death is probably his best solo release but best is just not enough when you are an ex-member of Pink Floyd. I'm sure that some fans of The Wall and The Final Cut will feel right at home with this material, even though I'm one of those people. All in all, it's a good, but non-essential release for fans of progressive rock music.

**** star songs: What God Wants, Part I (6:00) Perfect Sense, Part I (4:16) Perfect Sense, Part II (2:50) The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range (4:43) Late Home Tonight, Part II (2:13) Too Much Rope (5:47) What God Wants, Part II (3:41) What God Wants, Part III (4:08) Watching TV (6:07) It's A Miracle (8:30) Amused To Death (9:06)

*** star songs: The Ballad Of Bill Hubbard (4:19) Late Home Tonight, Part I (4:00) Three Wishes (6:50)

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars I would have to agree that this is Roger Waters' best post Pink Floyd solo album. His lyrics are very good, a biting look at commercialism and materialism. The music, for the most part, is very Pink Floydian. And his sound effects, once you get past the crickets that open and close the album, are quite entertaining.

While much of the music takes the same mournful sound that Waters has been using sing "The Final Cut", there is still plenty of good, and upbeat material as well. Especially good are the three What God Wants tracks. One complaint is that the drumming throughout is as simplistic a Mason was on "The Wall".

A plus is Jeff Beck's guitar solos. If anyone makes a good replacement for David Gilmour, it's Beck.

Review by admireArt
4 stars I am not a great Pink fan, I must admit!; I am more like a Pink songs fan. The reason is personal and who cares! Even though, I know their discography completely. And opposite to most "Pinkies" I think the "Final Cut" is the only Floyd record that has no "gaps" and its humour is superb. Maybe it is me. But usually they start off amazingly well, but then suddenly, they get stuck somewhere and then (sometimes) blast off again to great climaxes! (this is my humble opinion). To me these "gaps" are usually boring. They happen in the "Moon", they happen in "Wish", less in "Animals", a lot more in the "Wall". (Personal opinion not blasphemy; Floyd fans.) Most guys will tell you "The Cut" is not a Pink Floyd record, The Wall was neither ( the confessed " I hate you!" stories and the mysterious erasing of tapes by Waters himself of course). So, as many composers of music bands do, they have to become either group members or dictators.( e.g.the early Beatles, the later Beatles). It has to do with principles and concessions, there is no turning back!

So long to explain why I wouldn´t give this "Jewel" 5 stars. Yes! Because it has those PF (or should we say RW's?) "gaps". Around the final part of side "A"; (songs 6,7,8 are boring, songs 9- 10 are good, but not 11, my least favorite of them all, to be specific). To me these are "minutes of nothingness". I just want to skip them off to the next part.

GREAT thing is, side "B" the "next part" is the most stripped down beautiful Roger Waters´s music you can imagine. This of course has to with his exceptional composition skills and his own conceptual aestetiques. Also because he has been quiet productive with his solo projects. This is the 3th after-Floyd release.

And as adding insult to injury (to Gilmour, of course, not you listener!), Jeff Beck is the guest guitarist in this album. And what an excellent choice!! He adds up the suitable energy and personal touch needed for this kind of "poetic" project! (In the first after-Floyd solo project, he invited no other than Eric Clapton!). 4 PA stars,**** with some regrets!

Review by Chicapah
4 stars I approached this album with a bad attitude some weeks ago. It had only been a few months since I'd first dragged my ears through the messy, confusing swamp that was Pink Floyd's "The Final Cut" which could reasonably be considered Roger Waters' first solo effort. So, not knowing anything about the two "official" all-by-his-lonesome records that preceded this one, I braced myself for disappointment. But I was pleasantly surprised by what I encountered. It's a fine album. Way above average. "Amused to Death" is as impressive as "The Wall" in many ways and I dare say that any Floyd fanatic will approve of what Roger put together. I expected that he would most likely still be the caustic curmudgeon mad genius he's always been lyric-wise but the quality of the music is on a par with the best of his peers. I suspect that Waters was being influenced to some degree by one of my favorites, Peter Gabriel, at the time he composed the material because I detect hints of his fellow Englishman's world beat style popping up often and it enhances the quality of the presentation greatly.

As you may or may not know, how the blatant obscenity of warfare had somehow become yet another form of in-the-comfort-of-one's-own-home entertainment for the masses (with the live telecasts of the Gulf War being the central culprit) is the main topic of discussion throughout the record. In other words, man's inhumanity to man is right up Roger's alley and he unloads line after line of outrage about it from beginning to end. Of course, his poetic tirade didn't stop as-it-happens battlefront coverage from gaining even more widespread acceptance in the 21st century but it did provide him with plenty of inspiration to create a damn good album. Released on 9/7/92, only a year and a half after Desert Storm ended, the conflict was still fresh in everyone's minds and its relevancy helped the disc to not only rack up some decent sales figures but to bring Waters out of the semi-obscure realm he'd existed in since leaving his famous former band.

"The Ballad of Bill Hubbard" raises the curtain with a mysterious, Pink Floyd-like motif creeping in, complete with indecipherable chatter afloat in the background. The tune evolves by pouring itself into an ocean of Patrick Leonard's deep synths buoyed by Jeff Beck's noodling guitar before a light rhythm emerges to guide the music beneath an old bloke's relating of his tragic story about having to leave a wounded fellow soldier behind. If Waters had stayed in that melancholy mode it would've been a major mistake but rude synthetic rips abruptly tear the listener away into an atmospheric setting for "What God Wants, Pt. 1" with a strident female vocal leading the charge. Then drums burst in to provide a strong downbeat for Roger to wail atop but it's the subsequent stunning, provocative guitar work from Beck that elevates the number to the level of greatness. It was at this point I realized that the album had serious potential. After another alarming rip "Perfect Sense, Pt. 1" begins with a subtle pulse, some scattered voices and ominous thunder. Patrick's delicate piano floats in and serves up a delicious musical entrée consisting of a serene melody that fully sates the mind and glides under Waters' and his female companion's singing of politically-infused observations. The two factors present a poignant contrast of the beautiful with the horrid. "Perfect Sense, Pt. 2" follows, dropping down to only Roger and a piano for a while and then sliding into a gospel-tinged aura where he admixes Marv Albert's excited sportscaster-describing-a-fierce-battle spiel with more of his acidic social commentary. "The Bravery of Being Out of Range" is next and it's a doozy. Its slow but heavy-handed drumbeat opens this one up behind penetrating power chords and a growling Hammond B3 organ to provide a sturdy foundation for Waters' sarcastic warbling about the insane absurdities of war.

Little birdies chirp merrily along with an acoustic guitar on "Late Home Tonight, Pt. 1," accompanied by strings and Roger's naked vocal. It eventually builds to include syrupy, elevator-worthy orchestration as he describes scenes of bloodshed and waste. The song suddenly turns tribal and then a loud explosion rattles the room as he segues into "Late Home Tonight, Pt. 2" that features a cosmic drift segment and a nostalgic-sounding horn section. On "Too Much Rope" unidentified angry punching noises precede the entrance of a bluesy Rhodes piano. In this tune Waters fronts a hearty chorale of singers to deliver another round of his frustration and angst. At this point his endless ire starts to get tiresome but the welcome addition of Steve Lukather's stinging guitar licks saves the number in the nick of time. It fades to the sound of a television doing its thing in the distance. "What God Wants, Pt. 2" is a revival of the song's funky vibe and fist-waving theme boosted by another dose of what I'd call "electronically manufactured crowd chants" that are very effective not only here but in other instances where it's employed as a backdrop. Again the music fades down, this time to crickets and a lonesome train's horn. A droning organ arises for the intro to "What God Wants, Pt. 3" wherein Roger's impassioned, strained vocal screams over Leonard's ethereal blanket of synthesizers. The tune then cops a heavy Floyd-ish presence for Jeff Beck to fill with his amazing guitar runs. Subsequently a phone rings loudly and an old man happily sings a barroom ditty from the other end of the line.

But it's the last four songs that made the biggest impact on me. I could be wrong but I suspect that they were formulated prior to or after the rest of the album was assembled because they can easily stand on their own merit outside the context. "Watching TV" starts the way you'd think it would but then a folksy acoustic guitar and a lilting vocal melody distinguishes this track from all that's come before. It's a delightfully satiric look at China's Tiananmen Square rebellion filtered through the tragic death of a young lady and it works from all angles. "Three Wishes" possesses a low key groove that lurks under Waters' breathy voice. It benefits from an intriguing arrangement and a glorious guitar ride from Jeff. "It's a Miracle" utilizes a lazy tempo to efficiently paint the tune with sad tones that surround Roger's mournful, softly biting lament. It meanders a little in the last movement but it wisely avoids becoming maudlin. "Amused to Death" is the closer. A plucked guitar pattern establishes the smooth-sailing mood that rolls alongside Waters' typically droll delivery before it grows larger and more intense in the middle. The old bloke from the first song reenters the stage in its last act and finishes telling his sentimental tale, bringing a sense of closure to the record. Crickets ensue.

One of the other reviewers said that if Roger had included his Pink Floyd mates in the construction of this concept album it may've been a spectacular masterpiece. He may be right but we'll never know because, like bratty spoiled children, they couldn't play together without fighting at that juncture and had to stay in their rooms. Nonetheless, it's apparent that Waters spent a lot of time and energy in creating this disc and his hard work paid many dividends. The overall sound of the record is astounding and the performances of those who contributed their talents to this undertaking, Jeff Beck in particular, are top notch. It's an album that Roger can be proud of and that all Pink Floyd fans can feel confident in purchasing if they haven't already. 3.9 stars.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars As much as I want to like this album, and any Roger Waters' albums for that matter, I just can't seem to get into them. I have heard them all, but to me, the music always seems pretty much the same. I love Pink Floyd, and their better years definitely were when Waters was teamed with David Gilmour or Sid Barrett. It is also true that Waters was the creative force behind Pink Floyd, but Gilmour and/or Barrett were the heart and soul of the band. That is the conclusion I have come to.

Waters' concepts are excellent, and this album is no exception. There are some good parts here, especially with the "What God Wants" trilogy and "Late Home Tonight Pts 1 and 2", but for the most part, this sounds like a tired effort, just like his other solo albums. I know that Waters was the main force behind "The Wall" and even more so with "The Final Cut", and those Floyd albums were excellent even though it took me a while to warm up to "The Final Cut". But after that, everything Waters did sounded too much alike.

In this album, there is that signature Waters voice, attitude and sarcasm. But there is also that same sound that you heard on "The Final Cut". The concept is similar to previous concepts, this time an alien race discovers human beings all lying dead next to their TVs and they conclude we have been amused to death. The political and social messages are all there, which is fine, I can handle politics in music, but I need more variety. There are dynamics, which you expect from Waters also, but again, they are used the same exact way they were used before.

There are also a lot of guests on this album, everyone from Jeff Beck to Don Henley, from Rita Coolidge to Randy Jackson. But with all this, it still sounds like Roger Waters without the rest of Pink Floyd. I hate the fact that I don't like Waters' solo albums, because I really want to. But I would rather listen to the post Waters Floyd albums than this. Gilmour might not have the same amount of creativity, and usually that would be a big factor for me, but Gilmour has the passion that I don't find here. Yes it might be my opinion, but it's also my review. The overall sound is just too stale. I will give this 3 stars though for the concept more than anything. But by the time I reach the end of this album, I'm bored, because I've heard it before.

Latest members reviews

4 stars 3.75: After hearing the surprisingly really good is this the life we really want, and seeing the high scores it has, i wanted to give it other try to this one (I was avoiding it) only to discover is the same thing he was doing in his previous last albums but in his best version. very pretentious ... (read more)

Report this review (#2169459) | Posted by mariorockprog | Friday, March 29, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Intellectual and Thought-Provoking. One of Water's Two Best Solo Albums. One of the best-recorded albums ever, this solo album sees Waters come up with a very complex, multi-layered, and insightful musical statement. Using a number of very talented guests (including Jeff Beck on lead guitar), Wat ... (read more)

Report this review (#1698235) | Posted by Walkscore | Friday, March 3, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Will the real genius behind Pink Floyd please stand up? That, in a nutshell, was one of the main points that the warring factions between the two Pink Floyd camps were fighting over in the late eighties and early nineties. This madness also carried over to the fans of the Gilmour led Floyd an ... (read more)

Report this review (#1444677) | Posted by SteveG | Saturday, July 25, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It's got a fairly simple philosophical message, but there's genuine heart burning ? or perhaps, beating tragically feebly ? under the overt cynicism at the top of Roger Waters's Amused to Death. The way everything is spun out of and related, sometimes wildly tangentially or only in the vaguest un ... (read more)

Report this review (#1117846) | Posted by KyleSchmidlin | Wednesday, January 22, 2014 | Review Permanlink

1 stars According to the PA ratings, Radio K.A.O.S is 'good but non-essential' while Amused to Death is 'excellent addition' etc. Excusez-moi, je ne comprends pas why it belongs to other category. I'd say, with the exception of The Ballad of Bill Hubbard and a couple of themes more, this album is nothing bu ... (read more)

Report this review (#1061103) | Posted by proghaven | Thursday, October 17, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The best Roger Waters album and one of the best concept works in rock music history. I believe I got Amused To Death on a cassete the year it was released and I have not got tired of it since. Each song has a strong melody and music is absolutely outstanding. I catch myself humming or singing its so ... (read more)

Report this review (#979957) | Posted by Shad | Monday, June 17, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars ROGER'S BEST. Roger Waters is probably one of the greatest song writers to have ever lived. His lyrics are meaningful and deals with real issues. This album contains some of his best work since an early Pink Floyd. Amused to Death is a concept album that is about how society basically amused ... (read more)

Report this review (#614053) | Posted by FloydRushZappa | Saturday, January 21, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Of the Roger Waters albums I have heard, AMUSED TO DEATH from 1992 is by far the best. Both RADIO CHAOS and PRO AND CONS OF HITCHHIKING I found to be short on real impact tunes and very full of borerdom or filler. AMUSED TO DEATH keeps this kind of stuff to a minimum. Although this has been ha ... (read more)

Report this review (#493842) | Posted by mohaveman | Sunday, July 31, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Best album by Roger Waters, and for me my favorite album of the 90's. The last by Roger, "Radio Kaos" was good but it was missing some stuff. It contained too much 80's pop sound. Amused to Death doesn't have that sound at all. This is a progressive rock album. The opening song The Ballad of B ... (read more)

Report this review (#463761) | Posted by FloydZappa | Saturday, June 18, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After a series of not the best of solo alumbs, Roger went back to his roots, and decided to make an album that I feel is the closest to The Wall that Roger will ever perfect. This album is another concept album, based on the idea of a monkey watching the news on t.v. and pondering the decisions ... (read more)

Report this review (#282230) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Sunday, May 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When I read the reviews that has been written about this particular work I was not shure if I will spend my hard earned coin on this. I am not a big fan of TPACOH even with Clapton but the name Beck in the rooster called to my attention. I have great respect for Beckology so at first it was a ... (read more)

Report this review (#279173) | Posted by steelyhead | Friday, April 23, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Roger had PLENTY of Genius after he quit Floyd. This is his best album and absolutely essential for any fan of Pink Floyd, regardless of the era. The amount of texturing and layering of moods and sounds brings a very hypnotic feel. There is a terrific blues sound, resemblant of some tracks from T ... (read more)

Report this review (#172679) | Posted by Drew | Saturday, May 31, 2008 | Review Permanlink

2 stars If you thought the Wall was cynical, then you're surely up for a surprise with this release. Politics, religion: it's all here. Water's lyrical content is the most satirical, the most jaded he's ever written. Perhaps that last is debatable, but I'm sure many agree with me. With a staggeringly enor ... (read more)

Report this review (#128442) | Posted by Shakespeare | Saturday, July 14, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars "Doctor, there is something wrong with me?" ROGER WATERS' second solo effort again, like PINK FLOYD's "Animals", uses animals as a metaphor for people. This time, it is, ironically, a monkey watching television. The album has some of my favorite lyrics of alltime, however, like ... (read more)

Report this review (#117755) | Posted by jikai55 | Monday, April 9, 2007 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Amused to death is a boring album, really; The hystorical context, when the work was written by Roger Waters, coincided with the Gulf war in the first years of the nineties...and as usual Floyd ex bassist wrote down in music his own socialist ideas against it. The real problem with this album ... (read more)

Report this review (#114420) | Posted by Malve87 | Wednesday, March 7, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Year that frame the challenging and clear demonstration of WATERS to demonstrate that he is a great composer and who has surpassed that called stage PINK FLOYD, with this album demonstrates the interpretativo and lírico power to us, in this disc can be seen clearly that those sounds disappear ... (read more)

Report this review (#111580) | Posted by Shelket | Saturday, February 10, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is Waters' masterpiece, Jeff Beck's guitar work is amazing and Roger Waters' lyrics are just Beautiful. The Vocal work, both by Waters and various chorists is done excellent and flawless. The topic of the album is great it is very political and emotional. The whole album is a journey that ... (read more)

Report this review (#84961) | Posted by ndiego | Thursday, July 27, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Another dark, cynical, and utterly socialist outlook from Roger-Dodger. Whille I don't agree with his politics, I must admit, I love his music. He is unique in his ability to write the most biting and depressing lyrics. The way this album opens and closes with the haunting voice of WWI veteran ... (read more)

Report this review (#84386) | Posted by Mcgraster | Friday, July 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A brillinat album that, had it been preformed with Pink Floyd, would have outdone "The Wall" and perhaps even rivaled "Dark Side of the Moon" A houmoursely cynical album about the desensitization of the human race and how we sccumb to the mass media, "Amused to Death" paints a vivid picture o ... (read more)

Report this review (#79126) | Posted by echoes2112 | Tuesday, May 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A very very solid solo effort from Mr. Waters. I actually enjoyed "pros and cons of hitchiking" (mostly thanks to Eric Clapton spectacular guitar work). But this album is much darker and deeper. Moreover, this is the strongest album among all former Floydians (maybe only "On An Island" can be ... (read more)

Report this review (#73294) | Posted by dima_olkov | Tuesday, March 28, 2006 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of ROGER WATERS "Amused to Death"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.