Archive for Pink Floyd

40 Years Out: Dark Side of the Moon

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , on March 26, 2013 by 30daysout

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Well, happy birthday Dark Side of the Moon. The classic Pink Floyd album turned 40 years old this past weekend, and for one, I celebrated by playing it all the way through Sunday on my back porch patio.

Very early. Very loud. The neighbors love me.

The album came out when I was a senior in high school, and it blew my mind. Since then it has become one the most iconic and best-selling rock albums of all time.

You can buy about 10 different versions of the album – a couple of years ago Pink Floyd released an “immersion” box set for the album that included the original music remastered, an early mix, a quadrophonic mix, demos, a complete recording of the album played live, and the entire program sung by Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Just kidding about that last one. But it’s all there, check it out.

Different mixes of some of the songs have turned up at various times. Here’s “Eclipse/Brain Damage” as it appears on the Pink Floyd compilation Works (1983). It’s a different mix than you’ll hear on the regular Dark Side, with the voices sounding a bit lower because it was blended from the quadrophonic masters, and slightly different intros/sound effects. (We have to do Soundcloud because our Divshare account was suspended for “abuse.”)

And if you want to hear a different version of “Money,” you should go to the 1981 compilation A Collection of Great Dance Songs. The original Dark Side of the Moon album was on EMI/Capitol, but by then Pink Floyd had signed with Columbia/CBS Records. Capitol Records refused to license “Money” for use on the album, so David Gilmour re-recorded it all by himself, playing all of the instruments. Dick Parry reprised his saxophone role on the track.

There are some differences between the re-recorded version and the original; mainly in the saxophone and guitar solos and the overall use of reverb and Gilmour repeating “away” at the end instead of the high pitch scat singing on the original. The drumming is noticeably different from Nick Mason’s, especially during the guitar solo, with very little of the tom tom fills heard on the original.

I got that last bit from Wikipedia – I just listened to the damn thing and it still sounds like “Money.”

Don’t know what else to say about Dark Side of the Moon, unless: if you haven’t heard it yet, you can’t call yourself a rock music fan.

40 Mind-Blowing Facts about Dark Side of the Moon

Pink Floyd/Dark Side of the Moon 40th anniversary official web site

Rock and Roll Identity Crisis

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2011 by 30daysout

Axl Rose with guitarist DJ Ashba, ostensibly Slash's replacement - is it really GNR?

Walking into Houston’s Toyota Center for the big Guns N’ Roses show last week, we overheard people asking each other incredulously: “Slash is NOT with them???” Well, no. The guitarist left in 1996, on not-so-friendly terms with lead singer Axl Rose. As did pretty much all of the other original band members. So who was playing that Friday night in Houston?

Was it Axl and a bunch of no-name scabs? Hardly – this version of Guns N’ Roses can certainly deliver the goods and is totally worthy of the name. But what happens when other popular rock groups hit the road with just one or two original members in tow? Is it still the same group we know and love?

Lynyrd Skynyrd's current guitar lineup includes (from left) Rickey Medlocke, Sparky Matjeka, original member Gary Rossington and bassist Robert Kearns.

Just a week before GNR, we saw Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top in Austin. Skynyrd has had more attrition than any other rock band in memory, after a plane crash that killed original lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and his sister and backup singer Cassie Gaines. Other original members have also died or retired; the current Skynyrd lineup contains only one original member, guitarist Gary Rossington.

Skynyrd became stars in 1973 with their debut album, so the crash meant that the classic lineup was in the national limelight for only about four years. The new Skynyrd lineup has been together, with various members, since 1987. So is it Lynyrd Skynyrd? Probably it’s a really good tribute band – paying tribute to itself.

In some cases it’s clear cut: it can never be the Rolling Stones unless Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts are involved, but if John Fogerty hired a new rhythm section and toured as Creedence, why not? If Van Halen tours with David Lee Roth, the only person who may dispute the authenticity would be Sammy Hagar, sitting in his living room. Classic ’70s bands Foreigner and Journey hired new lead singers and have both re-recorded their old hits – Walmart shoppers picking up the new CDs probably don’t know, or don’t care.

It gets stickier with bands with well-known, or even beloved, members playing behind the lead singer. Can Bruce Springsteen tour without Clarence Clemons and still call it the E Street Band? Heartbreaking as that may be, that’s probably what he will do. If Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine and Bruce Johnston hit the road next year, can they still call themselves the Beach Boys? Probably. The Kinks? Only if Ray and Dave Davies are both on board.

What's Bruce Springsteen gonna do without Clarence Clemons?

Some years ago David Gilmour fronted a Pink Floyd lineup that included original members Rick Wright and Nick Mason, but not Roger Waters. It worked for millions, if not for Roger. The Who have been diminished by half, but Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend still sell a lot of tickets under the Who banner. If Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones can talk Robert Plant into a tour, Led Zeppelin will most certainly pack ’em in.

And I suppose that’s what it all boils down to: will the audience accept a lineup that isn’t original? Ask Axl Rose, while he’s counting the gate receipts from the current Guns N’ Roses tour, and the answer is yes – in some cases.

– Denny Angelle

YouTube: Guns N’ Roses playing “Sweet Child O’ Mine” in Houston (the sound is horrible, but you can see it was a crowd favorite).

This one’s MUCH better – “Welcome To The Jungle” on 11/17 in New Jersey

Why Pink Floyd?

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , on October 2, 2011 by 30daysout

Unauthorized photo from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame showing part of the Pink Floyd "The Wall" exhibit

Don’t know about you, but I spent most of this past weekend listening to Pink Floyd. I admit it, I bought into the hype of the new “Why Pink Floyd?” campaign that started last week with a massive re-release program encompassing remastered CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, SACD, an array of digital formats, viral marketing, iPhone Apps and a brand-new single-album ‘Best Of’ collection. Kind of like the Beatles remastering onslaught from a couple of years ago.

Guess the boys stopped bickering long enough to agree on stuff like a remastered Dark Side of the Moon in two different versions: a two-CD “Experience” set, and a six-disc “Immersion” edition.  You can read about all of the different versions here.

It would be great if we could look forward to a tour with the surviving Pink Floyd members (founder Syd Barrett died in 2006, keyboardist Richard Wright passed in 2008) but Roger Waters and David Gilmour have made it very clear they can’t stand each other. Roger Waters is currently touring with his version of The Wall and he promises to come back for more U.S. dates in 2012; David Gilmour tours fitfully and when he does he leans heavily on Pink Floyd material – so who knows? there may be some kind of grand finale to all this.

In case you want to buy something you haven’t bought two or three times before (I happen to own Dark Side of the Moon in formats including regular LP, Half Speed Mastered LP, 8-track tape, cassette tape, CD, remastered anniversary CD and most likely one of the new remastered versions) – Best Buy in the States has an exclusive six-track “sampler” that includes a couple tracks that won’t appear for a while.

In addition to remastered versions of the familiar “Money,” “Wish You Were Here” and “Another Brick In The Wall Part 2” the sampler features an alternate version of “Have A Cigar” with Gilmour/Waters singing (instead of Roy Harper) and a full-band demo of “Another Brick In The Wall.” Best Buy offers the sampler online, but  international buyers will need a U.S. address to get it delivered to, as Best Buy won’t ship abroad.

So enjoy Pink Floyd this week … I will offer you something not available in the campaign, the four selections played by a reunited Pink Floyd at Live 8 in 2005.

MP3: “Speak To Me/Breathe/Breathe (Reprise)”

MP3: “Money”

MP3: “Wish You Were Here”

MP3: “Comfortably Numb”

Pink Floyd official website

 

Swine Flu Alert!

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2009 by 30daysout

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Seems like we have a little swine flu problem on our hands.  Now you know what to do: call in sick, even if you don’t feel too bad.  No use taking any chances.  Turn on the TV, that will certainly help to calm you down.  Fox News Channel is particularly calming – according to them, it’s all Obama’s fault for not building that wall along the Rio Grande.

OK, you know what the symptoms are.  Fatigue.  Fever.  Chills.  Nausea.  Vomiting.  The same things you get from watching Fox News Channel.  You can’t get it from a pig, you can’t get it from bacon, but you can get it from Barbara Bush (even though she has a pig valve in her heart).  You can also get it from your wife, your kids and all of your friends.  Cover your mouth when you sneeze, listen to all of these songs, take two aspirin and call us in the morning.

MP3: “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu” by Huey “Piano” Smith & the Clowns

MP3: “I’m So Tired” by the Beatles

MP3: “Chest Fever” by the Band

MP3: “Calling Dr. Love” by Kiss

MP3: “Shakin’ All Over” by the Swingin’ Blue Jeans

MP3: “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd

MP3: “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu” (live) by the Grateful Dead

MP3: “Fever” by Elvis Presley

MP3: “Dear Doctor” by the Rolling Stones

MP3: “Ambulance Man” by the Felice Brothers

MP3: “I’m A Hog For You” by Clifton Chenier

MP3: “Rock and Roll Doctor” by Little Feat

MP3: “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu” by the Flamin’ Groovies

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention swine flu facts

And from our friends in Mexico, the “Swine Flu Cumbia.”  Gracias!

Gettin’ Into The Grooves

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 17, 2009 by 30daysout

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The old-timers among us can remember owning one or two albums in every popular format: vinyl LP, cassette, 8-track and CD (nobody really bought open reel tapes or 4-track cartridges – did they?).  I’ve owned a bunch of albums in all of the four formats listed – and a few albums I’ve owned in a fifth format!

That would be the “Half-Speed Mastered” albums that first appeared in the late 1970s.  Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs, which began in 1977, started to create new versions of classic albums for the audiophile market, in the form of Half-Speed Masters albums.  They painstakingly (so they said) tried to find low-generation copies of master tapes and pressed these albums on thick virgin vinyl.  The term “half-speed” refers to slowing the cutting lathe to half-speed while cutting the album stamper, resulting in a more accurate and deeply etched groove that held low tones better.

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Review: “Live In Gdansk,” David Gilmour

Posted in Review with tags , , on September 27, 2008 by 30daysout

Recorded during the 2006 tour for David Gilmour’s On An Island, the new Live in Gdansk relives some of the best moments of Gilmour’s solo work and dips deeply into the Pink Floyd catalog with a few surprises tossed in.  This two-disc set was recorded at Poland’s Gdansk Shipyards, the spiritual holy ground for that country’s freedom movement, with a full philharmonic orchestra.   Not that you’d notice – the versions here closely approximate what you’d hear on the studio cuts, but they are impeccably played here.  This is not a bad set at all … disc 2 is completely Pink Floyd, and Gilmour dusts off the psychedelic “Astronomy Domine” and “Fat Old Sun” as great surprises in the set list and tops those with a 25-minute version of the classic “Echoes.”  Awesome.  A couple more, “High Hopes” and “A Great Day For Freedom,” are from the latter-day Floyd (without Roger Waters) but they fit well in this company.  And this album is worth having because it is most likely the last recorded appearance of Richard Wright, original Pink Floyd keyboardist, who is part of the band for this memorable concert. 

MP3: “A Great Day For Freedom” (live)

David Gilmour official website

Rick Wright of Pink Floyd, R.I.P.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on September 16, 2008 by 30daysout

Rick Wright, a founding member of Pink Floyd, has died of cancer at age 65.  His keyboards helped define the band’s sound, and he wrote some of the Floyd’s enduring classics, such as “Great Gig In The Sky,” “Us And Them” (both from Dark Side of the Moon), and the instrumental “Echoes.”   He put out a few solo albums, including Wet Dream in 1978. 

David Gilmour pays tribute to Rick Wright

MP3: “The Great Gig In The Sky” by Pink Floyd 

MP3: “Us And Them” by Pink Floyd

MP3: “Echoes” by Pink Floyd

MP3: “Mediterranean C” by Richard Wright (from Wet Dream)

MP3: “Against The Odds” by Richard Wright (from Wet Dream)

MP3: “Holiday” by Richard Wright (from Wet Dream)

Back To School

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 23, 2008 by 30daysout

It’s that time of year again.  I used to like the new notebooks full of paper, pencils and a ruler (and they were like that only on that first day) and I hated the sack lunch and the very first class of the very first day.  But hang in there, kids: there’s only one thing worse than getting up to go to school every day – and that’s getting up every day to go to work! 

We dedicate this post to everyone going back to school in the coming days.

MP3: “Knockin’ On Mine” by Paul Westerberg

MP3: “I Love You Period” by Dan Baird

MP3: “Those Who Can’t Do …” by Jack Black (from School Of Rock)

MP3: “School” by Supertramp

MP3: “Be True To Your School” (album version) by the Beach Boys

MP3: “School Days” by the Runaways

MP3: “Homo Erectus” (live) by Kinky Friedman & the Texas Jewboys

MP3: “Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2” (live) by Pink Floyd

Paul McCartney’s Top 10 Guest Shots

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2008 by 30daysout

During and after his stint in the Beatles, Paul McCartney was one of the most important rock musicians in the world.  Songs written by McCartney alone were hits for other artists (see our post from May 26, “With A Little Help For Their Friends”) and any time he showed up at someone else’s recording session it was an event.

But those Beatle boys were rascals and more often than not they would get into some tomfoolery; McCartney was no exception.  Some of his cameos could be called bizarre at best.  Nevertheless, today we’ll count down his top 10 guest appearances on record (and video).

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Rock Moment: Pink Floyd Reunion, 2005

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , on June 10, 2008 by 30daysout

 

After years of saying “never,” Pink Floyd’s classic lineup reunited June 12, 2005, at the Live 8 charity event in London.  Roger Waters, who acrimoniously quit the band in 1984, seemed quite genuinely thrilled to be onstage again with David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason.   After the monster success the band achieved in the 1970s, the others began to resent Waters’ dictatorial control of Pink Floyd.  Nevertheless, after he left to go solo Mason and Gilmour successfully sued to regain control of the Pink Floyd name and successfully mounted a couple of world tours. 

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