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


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.95 | 756 ratings

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4 stars P-U-L-S-E is a pretty damn good album, altogether, and there's been a lot said about its various strengths. However, its weaknesses don't get quite as much attention as they deserve, so here it is.

RUN LIKE HELL is crap. I'm not sure why some people consider this the 'definitive' version, because it's horribly clumsy and clanging. The REAL definitive version appears on "Is There Anybody Out There - The Wall Live 1980-1981". It's one of those songs that bites without Waters - and here's why. Pratt's base is terribly undermixed. You need Waters to counterpoint Gilmour's voice, the way it is on this recording it's two guys who sound alike screaming; Waters' tortured voice vs. Gilmour's on ITAOT is incredible. In the intro Gilmour waffles around on the guitar in a way he thought was cool but isn't. Waters' live rants from The Wall's tour really made the song what it was, next to the flying pig (but you don't get that in an audio recording anyway, so...)

The Division Bell had some good songs. Okay, two good songs - WEARING THE INSIDE OUT and HIGH HOPES - and one okay song - WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME. P-U-L-S- E, for reasons I don't fully understand, leaves out WTIO, Wright's triumphant vocal return, and instead gives us the truly awful KEEP TALKING and the majestically boring COMING BACK TO LIFE.

HIGH HOPES is purely brilliant both in this and the original recording, however.

Pink Floyd have NEVER done LEARNING TO FLY well live. The studio version is pure bliss, the two live versions suck in a previously unknown way.

MONEY is very very good. It's essentially the version from Delicate Sound Of Thunder with the SUPREMELY IRRITATING 'Woo woo!' from the backup singers toned down a notch.

ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL PART TWO, obviously included to sell copies and for no other reason, is done so terribly that Cyndi Lauper is probably pleased as punch.

The end guitar solo on COMFORTABLY NUMB is, as mentioned before, utterly brilliant. However, without the howling-in-tandem effect from Delicate Sound of Thunder, the replacement for Waters' vocal parts is terribly lacking, especially when every word is pronounced like it came out of a dictionary (a little inflection doesn't hurt guys). If it was the howling from DSOT with the guitar solo from P-U-L-S-E it'd be the best version of the song ever; as it is, the best is still, sadly, the studio version. Oh, yeah, David? It's "A distant ship, smoke on the horizon" NOT "a distant shipsmoke on the horizon". You got it right on the album, why do you continue to make an ass out of yourself?

The live set of Dark Side is tremendously good with the exception of BRAIN DAMAGE and ECLIPSE, which (I sound like a broken record but it's TRUE) is a Waters-sung song and Gilmour doesn't put the same effort into it. And on ECLIPSE he sounds like he's reading the lyric sheet, because there's too many ands.

WISH YOU WERE HERE is done very blandly, contrary to what most people seem to be saying. If you want the perfect version of this song listen to the FULL lineup perform it at Live8. No person who likes this song should be able to disagree with that. That version was chilling and tear-jerking.

BREATHE is great, ON THE RUN is great, TIME is great but the Wright sections are lacking in vocal quality, MONEY is excellent, US AND THEM is great, ANY COLOUR YOU LIKE has never been done right live so this is no surprise.

ASTRONOMY DOMINE is the best version ever recorded, beating the original and the live Ummagumma version hands-down.

SORROW is pretty decent, but the DSOT version is much better. And SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND is decent too, but I miss Waters voice. Gilmour doesn't hit the same notes.

IT SHOULD BE NOTED that I find most of Waters solo-performance versions of the Pink Floyd songs are lacking where David's vocals are supposed to be, even when he has someone to mimic Dave, so it's not bias so much as personal preference.

All in all, P-U-L-S-E, despite what I've said about it, is a great album. Just be sure to flick Disc Two off before it gets to the encores.

| 4/5 |


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