Pink Floyd – Pulse (1995)

FrontCover1Pulse (stylised as p·u·l·s·e) is a live album by the English rock band Pink Floyd. It was released on 29 May 1995 by EMI in the United Kingdom and on 6 June 1995 by Columbia in the United States. The album was recorded during the European leg of Pink Floyd’s Division Bell Tour in 1994.

The album is notable for including a complete live version of The Dark Side of the Moon. It also features “Astronomy Domine”, a Syd Barrett song not performed since the early 1970s. The track “Another Brick in the Wall, Part II” features small portions of the songs “Another Brick in the Wall, Part I”, “The Happiest Days of Our Lives” and “Another Brick in the Wall, Part III”. “Take It Back” was originally going to be on the album with the recording from 25 September 1994, Stade Olympique de la Pontaise, Lausanne but was cut due to length.

Unlike the previous live album Delicate Sound of Thunder, no parts of the songs were re-recorded in the studio. However, the band and Guthrie fixed songs that had bad notes (as heard on some bootlegs) by lifting solos and corrected vocal lines from other performances as the band recorded most of the European leg. The album was mixed in QSound, which produces a 3D audio effect even on a two channel stereo system.
Release history

In the United States, despite a price of $34.99 (which included flashing spine light and two AA batteries) Pulse debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 during the week of 24 June 1995 with 198,000 copies sold, it became the first multidisk album to top the Billboard 200 since the chart started using SoundScan data in May 1991. The next week it fell off to number three on the chart. It remained on the chart for twenty two weeks. It was certified two times platinum by the RIAA on 31 July 1995 for shipments of one million units.

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On 1 July 1995 the video version of Pulse debuted at number one on the Billboard’s Top Music Videos chart with 16,500 units sold. The video was certified eight times platinum by the RIAA on 31 July 2006 for shipments of 800,000 units.

The video version (on VHS and Laserdisc) also featured the song “Take It Back,” and an almost complete performance from their 20 October show at Earl’s Court, London. The Pulse DVD was released on 10 July 2006.

The vinyl version was released as a four-LP box set and included “One of These Days” (also heard on the cassette release) as well as a large version of the photo booklet.

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The original CD cover features an “eye-like” machine that has clock pieces inside, there is a planet in its centre, and on the outside it shows evolution as it moves backwards. It starts in the sea, moves to the bacteria which evolve into fishes, then into egg type creatures, then into eggs that hatch birds, and birds follow the trail of an aeroplane. There are six pyramids in the desert, and in the bottom of the sea, one can observe a city in the shore.

The debut of the album was highlighted by a light show from the top of the Empire State Building in New York City with music simulcasted on a New York City radio station.

Early CD versions came with a flashing red LED on the side of the case. This was designed by EMI contractor Jon Kempner, who was awarded the platinum disc, using the now discontinued LM3909 LED flasher IC. The circuit was powered by a single AA battery; the battery life was stated to be over six months. Some versions were also made with two AA batteries and later editions of the CD set did not feature the blinking LED.

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“Essentially, it’s a device which we thought was entertaining. It’s an idea of Storm Thorgerson’s which related to Dark Side and the pulse, and it’s a live album so the box is “alive”. After that, in terms of seriously deep meanings, one might be struggling a bit.”
— Nick Mason,  (by wikipedia)

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Pink Floyd claim they had no intention of recording another live album when they began the Division Bell tour, but performing Theley Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety convinced the group to release another double-live set, called Pulse. There’s no question that the group is comprised of talented musicians, including the number of studio professionals that augmented the trio on tour. Whether they’re inspired musicians is up to debate. A large part of Pink Floyd’s live show is based on the always impressive visuals; on the Division Bell tour, they closed each show with an unprecedented laser extravaganza. In order for the visuals and the music to coincide, the group needed to play the sets as tightly as possible, with little improvisation. Consequently, an audio version of this concert, separated from the visuals, is disappointing. Pink Floyd play the greatest hits and the new songs professionally, yet the versions differ only slightly from the original recordings, making Pulse a tepid experience. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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I was somewhat surprised to see that All Music gave this live album such a low rating. Two things on this double live album warrant a higher rating by themselves. Of course you have the usual excellent guitar/vocal work of David Gilmour playing live with the extended guitar solos on disc one as well as the keyboard playing of Richard Wright, once again a full member of the band, and the excellent drumming skills of Nick Mason. The other musicians and backing vocalists along with the excellent mix makes for a wonderful listening experience if you are a Pink Floyd fan. But for me, what sets this set apart is disc two.

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On the second disc, you have the entire Dark Side Of The Moon, played live, track by track, in it’s entirety. And then the encore…Wish You Were Here which goes into Comfortably Numb. This version of Comfortably Numb, with it’s extended guitar solo at the end, is arguably considered one of the great guitar solos in rock history. The disc ends with a wonderful version of Run Like Hell. If you are a true fan of Pink Floyd, this live two disc set, which went to number 1 on both sides of the Atlantic, proved once and for all, that Pink Floyd was more than just “Roger Waters”, just as they were more than just “Syd Barrett” and also proved more than ever that Richard Wright deserved to be back in this band. (by Michael Scott)

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Personnel:
David Gilmour (vocals, guitar)
Nick Mason (drums)
Richard Wright (keyboards, vocals on CD 1 – 02., CD 2 – 04., 07. + 12,  background vocals)
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Sam Brown (vocals on CD 2 – 05.,  – background vocals)
Jon Carin (keyboards, vocals on CD 1 – 07.,  background vocals)
Claudia Fontaine (vocals on CD 2 – 05., background vocals)
Durga McBroom (vocals on CD 2 – 05., background vocals)
Dick Parry (saxophone)
Guy Pratt (bass, vocals on CD 2 – 13., background vocals)
Tim Renwick (guitar, background vocals)
Gary Wallis (percussion)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts I–V, VII (Gilmour/Waters/Wright) 13.35
02. Astronomy Domine (Barrett) 4.21
03. What Do You Want From Me (Gilmour/Wright/Samson) 5.09
04. Learning To Fly (Gilmour/Moore/Ezrin/Carin) 5.16
05. Keep Talking (Gilmour/Wright/Samson) 6.53
06. Coming Back To Life (Gilmour) 6.56
07. Hey You (Waters) 4.39
08. A Great Day For Freedom (Gilmour/Samson) 4.30
09. Sorrow (Gilmour) 10.49
10. High Hopes (Gilmour/Samson) 7.52
11. Another Brick In The Wall, Part II (Waters) 7.07

CD 2:
01. Speak To Me (Mason) 2.30
02. Breathe (In the Air) (Gilmour/Waters/Wright) 2.34
03. On The Run (Gilmour/Waters) 3.48
04. Time / Breathe (Reprise) (Gilmour/Waters/Wright/Mason) 6.47
05. The Great Gig In The Sky (Wright/Torry) 5.52
06. Money (Waters) 8.54
07. Us And Them (Waters/Wright) 6.58
08. Any Colour You Like (Gilmour/Wright/Mason) 3.21
09. Brain Damage (Waters) 3.46
10. Eclipse (Waters) 2.38
11. Wish You Were Here (Gilmour/Waters) 6.35
12. Comfortably Numb (Gilmour/Waters) 9.29
13. Run Like Hell (Gilmour/Waters) 8.37
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14. One Of These Days (Gilmour/Waters/Wright/Mason) 6.31

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John Peel & Pete Drummond – BBC Radio1 Top Gear (October 1, 1967)

FrontCover1Top Gear was a radio show known for its specially recorded sessions in addition to playing records. It began life in the mid-1960s and was revived with a progressive rock focus in 1967, running with that format until its end in 1975.

It was one of the BBC’s few attempts to compete with the pirate radio stations and Radio Luxembourg, who had attracted large audiences of young British pop music listeners in the absence of an “official” alternative. This was made explicit in the show’s title, which evoked the 1960s fascination with fast cars, jet planes and high-speed travel, but also the use of “gear” to describe fashionable Carnaby Street clothes and the 1960s Liverpool term “fab gear”, popularised by the Beatles as an expression of approval. The programme comprised a mixture of records and live sessions, was introduced by Brian Matthew, and featured many popular guests such as Jimi Hendrix, Free, The Beatles, Cream, The Who, Pink Floyd, Dusty Springfield, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, The Kinks and Manfred Mann.

The programme was first broadcast on 16 July 1964, produced by Bernie Andrews. The name, Top Gear, had been chosen after a national competition. The winning entry had been submitted by a young woman called Susan Warne, who attended the first recording and was interviewed on the programme. The guests on that first show included The Beatles, Mark Wynter and Dusty Springfield.
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It was revived, and evolved into a “progressive” music show, in the early years of BBC Radio 1 (from 1967 into the 1970s), with the same format of records and specially recorded sessions. It was hosted variously by Tommy Vance, Pete Drummond and, most notably, John Peel, who, with the help of sympathetic producers Bernie Andrews and John Walters, turned it into an award-winning show, while retaining the emphasis on new music. In 1971, the programme merged with the Sounds of the Seventies strand, broadcast on FM. It was still introduced by Peel, and moved from its weekend slot to two evenings a week.

It ended when the BBC, facing a serious financial crisis, was forced to make cutbacks in the Radio One schedules; most of the evening programmes of “progressive music” were scrapped. The final Top Gear show was broadcast on 25 September 1975; it was composed mostly of sessions by artists who had become famous after appearing on Top Gear, ranging from T.Rex, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin to Randy Newman and Bob Marley & The Wailers. On this show, Peel spoke of how influential and fashionable the programme had been in its heyday. He continued to be influential, hosting similar programmes of records and sessions for the BBC until his death in 2004.

And here´s the radio show from October 1, 1967 … with lot´s a great songs from this period !!!

John Peel

Tracklist:

BBC Radio1 Top Gear (October 1, 1967) 44.34:

01. The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown: Devil’s Grip (Crane/Brown)
02. Keith West: Real Life Permanent Dream (Hopkins)
03. Nirvana: Pentecost Hotel (Spyropoulos/Campbell-Lyons)
04. Pink Floyd: Set The Controls (Waters)
05. Tim Rose: Morning Dew (Dobson/Rose)
06. Jefferson Airplane: White Rabbit (Slick)
07. Velvet Underground & Nico: Sunday Morning (Reed/Cale)
08. Pink Floyd: Reaction In G (Barrett/Mason)
09. Velvet Underground & Nico: Sunday Morning (Reed/Cale)
10. Keith West: Carol Brown (West)
11. Amen Corner: The World Of Broken Heart (Pomus/Shuman)
12. Traffic: Paper Sun /(live in the studio) (Capaldi/Winwood)
13. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band: Yellow Brick Road (Van Vliet/Berman)
14. Big Maybelle And The Senate: Every Day I Got The Blues (A,Sparks/M.Sparks)
15. Move: Killroy Was Here (Wood)
16. Skip Bifferty: On Love (Bell/Turnbull)
17. Pink Floyd: Flaming (Barrett)
18. Tim Rose: Fairiwell

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Pink Floyd – Meddle (1971)

FrontCover1.jpgMeddle is the sixth studio album by English progressive rock group Pink Floyd, released on 31 October 1971 by Harvest Records. It was produced between the band’s touring commitments, from January to August 1971. The album was recorded at a series of locations around London, including Abbey Road Studios and Morgan Studios.

With no material to work with and no clear idea of the album’s direction, the group devised a series of novel experiments which eventually inspired the album’s signature track, “Echoes”. Although the band’s later albums would be unified by a central theme with lyrics written entirely by Roger Waters, Meddle was a group effort with lyrical contributions from each member, and is considered a transitional album between the Syd Barrett-influenced group of the late 1960s and the emerging Pink Floyd. The cover has been explained by its creator, Storm Thorgerson, to be an ear underwater. As with several previous albums designed by Hipgnosis, though, Thorgerson was unhappy with the final result.

The album was well-received by music critics upon its release, and was commercially successful in the United Kingdom, but lackluster publicity on the part of their United States-based label led to poor sales there upon initial release. (by wikipedia)

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Meddle represents the birth of Pink Floyd as we now know them today. After flailing somewhat after Syd Barrett’s departure in 1968, they had a surprise hit in 1970 with Atom Heart Mother, an album comprised of a difficult side-long suite, backed with individual group pieces. In many respects, Meddle, released a little over a year later, is the same again, only with much, much, better tunes and less clutter.

Everything about Meddle is allowed to breathe and grow. Rocking opener “One Of These Days” rises out of nearly a minute of wind effects; “Fearless” delivers its slightly stoned punch over six minutes. Even the throwaway track, “Seamus”, with the howling of Steve Marriott’s dog over David Gilmour’s blues, has a lazy charm which undermines the intelligence and ambition of the remainder of the record.

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Originally titled “Return Of The Son Of Nothing”, the side-long piece, “Echoes” dominates the entire work. It has a majestic grace, filling every one of its 23 minutes with the sophisticated mystery that came to define everything about Pink Floyd; slightly obscure; extremely special. Starting with a sonar pulse, the song – with one of Roger Waters’ finest lyrics – leisurely unfolds before climaxing with a funk workout; after another four minutes it dissolves to atmospherics before finally returning to the main theme. This is everything right about progressive rock; engaging, intelligent and compelling.

By the time the group began to hone this innovation and vision into bite-sized chunks on their next two albums, they were to become very big indeed. (Daryl Easlea)

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Personnel:
David Gilmour – guitar, vocals, bass (in unison with Waters) on 01. , harmonica on 05.)
Roger Waters (bass, guitar and vocals on 04.)
Nick Mason (drums, percussion, vocal phrase on 01.)
Rick Wright (keyboards, vocals on  – organ (Hammond and Farfisa), piano, co-lead vocals on 06.)

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Tracklist:
01. One Of These Days (Gilmour/Waters/Wright Mason) 5.43
02. A Pillow Of Winds (Gilmour/Waters) 5.30
03. Fearless (including “You’ll Never Walk Alone”) (Gilmour/Waters/ Rodgers/ Hammerstein II) 6.08
04. San Tropez (Waters) 3.43
05. Seamus Gilmour/Waters/Wright Mason) 2.14
06. Echoes Gilmour/Waters/Wright Mason) 23.31

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