on May 28, 2004
Pink Floyd's 1983 album "The Final Cut" is a sadly underrated gem in the band's vast music catalog. While the album lacks the strong musicality of "The Dark Side Of The Moon" and "Wish You Were Here" and the dramtic theatrics of "The Wall", "The Final Cut" still qualifies as a strong effort and is an outstanding piece of work.
"The Final Cut" is largely a solo work by Floyd bassist Roger Waters with drummer Nick Mason and guitarist David Gilmour acting more as sidemen than bandmates. Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright was completely out of the picture when this album was made having left (or fired by Roger Waters depending on what you read) after the extravagant "Wall" tour. The rest of the album's sound is filled out by session musicians and a full orchestra.
The album's overall concept deals with war and politics and was written as a tribute to Roger Waters late father who died in WWII. Besides its strong musical contributions, "The Final Cut's" lyrics are gripping and seem almost autobiographical. Its content alternates back and forth between contemplative tenderness and ranting raging bitterness (a trademark of Waters).
The newly remastered version of "The Final Cut" displays the album in its best sound quality yet giving more punch to the drums and bass. The sound effect sequences heard throughout the album have an eerie realistic quality to them as if you're standing in the middle of a war zone. If this isn't enough, the reissue includes one bonus track "When The Tigers Broke Free". This song had been released as a single at the time of the "Wall" movie's release but was left off the "Final Cut" album for various reasons. Now, we can finally hear the song in its proper context slotted between "One Of The Few" and "The Hero's Return". It's like reading a missing chapter in a book and having the rest of the story make sense because of its inclusion.
While "The Final Cut" is personally still not my favorite Pink Floyd album, it is still a great album to listen to. With its superb remastered sound quality and extra material, it makes it worth buying the album all over again.
on July 10, 2004
"The Final Cut" is not for you if you are searching for "quintessential" Pink Floyd. This album finds Roger Waters in complete creative control of the band (at this point a trio due to Richard Wright's expulsion). David Gilmour's solos are few and frequently far between, and Waters' brooding lyrics are clearly the centerpiece of this melancholy work. Imagine the "sedate" parts of "The Wall" (i.e. "Nobody Home" and the beginning of "One of My Turns") and you have nearly the entire "Final Cut" (with the exception of "Not Now John".) The effect is that the music is a texture, rather than a discernible melody, and sometimes this is great (as in "the final cut") However, it sometimes makes the music sound fabricated and unoriginal ("Behind Paranoid Eyes"). Overall, I believe it to be a great collector's item, but not a "must-have" for fans of the pre- "Wall" Pink Floyd.
on June 29, 2004
Pink Floyd's The Final Cut was originally released in April of 1983. The album was the first Pink Floyd album of new material since 1979's 23 million plus seller The Wall. The album was mainly the work of Roger Waters(bass player/vocals) with muted contribution from drummer Nick Mason and guitarist/vocalist David Gilmour. Keyboardist Rick Wright was kicked out the band during The Wall sessions by Waters. The Final Cut was supposed to be the soundtrack to The Wall movie but instead became a gloomy vivid portrait of a morally crumbling post-WWII/Falklands War era England. The album is fixated on the second World War and what the personal and societal sacrifices of that conflict meant to Great Britain in 1982/1983. "What have we done to England?/Should we shout, should we scream/'What happened to the post war dream?'" lyricist Roger Waters asks on the opening The Post War Dream. Throughout the album, Roger(whom had lost his father in World War II) explores that inquiry. Your Possible Pasts are taking shots at then UK and US leaders Thatcher and the late Ronald Reagan, which dates this song slightly. The main character in this album is the teacher from The Wall whom was disappointed in the generation they preserved (One of the Few and The Hero's Return), trying to keep a fellow serviceman's dream alive(The Gunner's Dream which is one of the album's best tracks), pursued by ghosts (Paranoid Eyes). Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert is great and is followed by my favorite song on the album The Fletcher Memorial Home which depicted Thatcher and Reagan as overgrown infants and tyrants(though I did like Reagan but c'est la vie). Southampton Dock was about Thatcher waving goodbye to the men and not about wives waving their husbands goodbye to go to war. The title cut is a great song too. Not Now John is a superb rocker and was the only Gilmour vocal on the record(him and Roger fought like mad and David took his name off the credits but still got paid to produce the album). The haunting Two Suns in the Sunset closed the album. Session Andy Newmark plays drums on this track as Nick was forced out as well. By the time this album was finished, Pink Floyd broke up. The album was a #1 album in the UK but in the US, The Final Cut hit #6 and sold a modest 2 million in the US but was a flop compared to its predecessor. In May of 2004, The Final Cut was reissued/rereleased with a slightly amended tracklisting featuring When the Tigers Broke Free, which was originally recorded for The Wall Movie and intended to go on The Final Cut but was left off as they felt the song was out of place. Ironically, the song works very well throughout the context of the album. At first, it was strange hearing this track after One of the Few because the clocks faded and then bang into The Hero's Return on the original Columbia issues. Now, with Tigers in tow, this is the true version of The Final Cut. The sound quality on this reissue buries the original Sony remaster from 1997 and James Guthrie(one of three co-producers on the original album) painstakingly remastered this album with much better sound. I sold the Sony version of this album after I bought this. This expanded version of The Final Cut is highly recommended!
on April 12, 2004
So this isn't Floyd's best, and isn't experimental. The songs bare no resistance to dark side of the moon. It seems, to me, like Roger was a little influenced by Lennon's death three years earlier. The resemblence is striking on tracks like the gunner's dream (listen to imagine), and like John's music, this is strikingly honest, political and personal. Weither or not John's death contributed to these things is your own call, I think it did, in part.
This stands as one of the harshest political statements in ages, in fact it reminds me of how Dante used the inferno to condemn political figures to hell. The statement in Fletcher Memorial is similiarly strong, exposing leaders as being "overgrown infants."
The song "Two Suns in the Sunset" almost brings me to tears when I hear, "and you'll never hear their voices" "Daddy! Daddy!". So powerful.
I simply love the sick sarcastic setting for "get your filthy hands off my desert." It illustrates the level in which those in power are detached from those without. The totally ironic strings come in with lame pompus music, its almost comical.
Possible Pasts show cases the way in which what could have been haunts us. In fact, like butterflies, they play around just out of reach.
In the song "not now John" I am trying to figure out if John is lennon. Although the first time i heard it i dennounce the possiblity, I am now not sure. It talks about how we are putting art, the environment, and indeed our own education behind the needs of the state to be powerful. Either it is that John Lennon is being used as a symbol for artists and works of Art, or John means a common person, like Joe and they are telling John not to indulge in art. If anybody knows, they arent' telling me.
All in all a very theatrical release and I love it.
on June 11, 2004
Pink Floyd's last studio album to feature Roger Waters is getting a full audio polish and having the track, 'When the Tigers Broke Free, mixed into it's running order. WTTBF was originally written by Roger Waters for the Pink Floyd film 'The Wall and has only ever appeared on the album 'Echoes - The Best of Pink Floyd. A 7" vinyl release did appear in 1982, and curiously has a sticker on the front that read, "from the forth coming Pink Floyd album - The Final Cut." At the time the next Pink Floyd album was going to be a medley of songs from the film, first titled 'Spare Bricks then 'The Final Cut. As Roger watched the Falklands War unfold, he felt moved to write an album that looked at the post war dream. When 'The Final Cut album was finally released in 1983 there was no WTTBF or any music from the film, 'The Wall.
Between July and December of 1982, 'The Final Cut was born via various recording studios in England. Pink Floyd no longer featured Rick Wright who had played out the live 'Wall shows (1980 and 1981) knowing he was no longer required as Pink Floyd's keyboard player. His replacement on the next Pink Floyd record would be Michael Kamen; who would play piano and harmonium on the album. While Rick Wright didn't appear on the album at all, David Gilmour, who's vocal requirements on 'The Wall had been more sparse than previous Pink Floyd albums, would now only sing lead on one song 'Not Now John. Indeed Dave's very recognisable guitar solos would also hardly appear on the album, it seemed Roger saw 'The Final Cut, more as a solo project. In sound and vocal delivery 'The Final Cut has far more in common with Rogers' solo album 'The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, than any previous Pink Floyd albums. History would show that 'The Final Cut was Rogers last studio album with the Pink Floyd, his announced quitting of the band in 1985 did not surprise those close to the band or journalists who had witnessed close at hand the defragmenting of the band over the last 10 years. 'The Final Cut, is a very personal record for Roger Waters, something that is only fully understood when you discover the small dedication in the CD booklet, "For Eric Fletcher Waters 1913-1944, Eric was Roger's father who was killed during World War II. The subtitle for the album is 'a requiem for the post war dream. Roger's strong belief and concern that ran through the album, was that the promise of peace, post the second world war was being ethically and morally compromised.
As advertised on the circular sticker on the outer case of the CD, this album is remastered, but wasn't the 1997 reissue of 'The Final Cut also remastered. Well yes it was but, it is common knowledge that the understanding of digital transferring and the techniques now mastered by James Guthrie; have seen a huge leap in the abilities to remaster original analogue master tapes. Auditioning this new remastered version through headphones, reveals a fantastically rich sound and the space between each instrument is instantly recognisable. The CD booklet is also exactly the same as the 1997 reissue, which is 16 pages revealing additional art work over the 1983 original album release. The inclusion of the track 'When the Tigers Broke Free, has aroused some comments of concern but after a few plays it becomes part of the over all story and while Roger's vocal delivery on it does differ from the other songs on the album, the placing between the tracks 'One of the Few and 'The Hero's Return doesn't detract in any way the natural running order of the story. A pre-release CD was sent out (many thanks to Stuart) which comes in a simple paper cover with track details. In some European Countries a white label video EP was sent out as a promo item, this originally fuelled hopes that the OOP video EP might get a re-release but EMI and Pink Floyd Management Ltd (previously EMKA) have revealed there are no such plans. Although the album failed to chart in the UK this time, (in 1983 the album reached No. 1 with poor reviews!) it did receive positive reviews via the music press.
on May 5, 2004
First of all, I wouldn't go as far as to say that the added track is "unecessary" as it was originally supposed to be on this album anyways, and the subject of the song fits quite well with the theme of the album. Personally, whenever I heard the end of the song, in my mind I expected "The Hero's Return" to begin.
I gave the new remaster 4 stars of 5, because they REALLY should have included "The Hero's Return Part 2" ... Those of you who have heard that bit would probably agree with me on that.
Positives though, I have never heard this album sounds as crystal clear... the entire album doesn't sound even HALF as muddy as it used to. I didn't know HOW they could've made it better until I actually HEARD it. There were background vocals and sound effects I only BARELY heard before. Roger's whispering on parts sounded more like singing. It's just a beautiful remaster altogether and gave me a new appreciation for this project.
on December 2, 2014
This just isnt a very good album, in the year 2014 it seems very dated, like an old simpsons episode, yes some of the lyrics are good but in most cases they are not, and yes there are a few flashes of good music but for the most part not and it does have some pretty neat ambient sounds and sonic special effects, but not enough to get it over 2 stars.
This might be worth l;istening to once every 5 years or so when in an introspective mood, or you are thinking about how the powers that be are turning england/UK into an islamic state complete with zones where only muslims are allowed to go, you know the failure of the postwar dream, but apart from that, forget about it
this album could kill a party faster than accordian music
on January 21, 2004
It actually s#cks much better than a Hoover. Anybody who rates this album with 5 stars either needs serious consultation with a Psychologist, or consider it a soundtrack album to an imaginary movie called "Suicidal Tendencies". The Final Cut is the worst album by anybody at any time. It is dreary, drab, gloomy, depressing, morose, creatively desolate (to say the least), which are the best compliments I can think of. It is made up mostly of throw away tracks not included on The Wall - legitimate since its imaginative, insightful value is right up there with flushing a loaded toilet. It wasn't Pink Floyd, it was Roger Waters, who had assumed control of the band in the joyous method of coup d'etat. It was a painfully obvious love affair with Ego. Is there a better way to sell one's personal creation (even if it's musical sludge) than with the name Pink Floyd on it? Would anybody have rated this album 5 stars if it was by an unknown band called "Chucker and the Upchuckers"? At the time, if I were with Pink Floyd, I would have presented Mr. Waters with 2 options: either take a very long walk on a short pier, or go to the nearest highway, turn left, and never come back.
on December 31, 2003
After this one, ol Mr. Happy himself left the band. That's right, this is Roger Waters' final album, and, in fact, it's not really a Pink Floyd album. Rather, it's a Waters solo album with guests Nick Mason and Dave Gilmour. And it's a fantastic effort. Despite it being the most depressing rock album ever released, I listen to it all the time.
The title track alone warrants the purchase of the album. It just helps that every other track on the album is great. "The Gunner's Dream" should have been on the Greatest Hits package instead of "Fletcher Memorial Home."
"Not Now John" is a hilarious parody of Top 40 rock songs, like "Money." It's so happy in it's satirical racism and nonchalant usage of cursewords, insuring it could never be released as a single.
Get this underrated gem. It's depressing, but it's worth it.
on October 5, 2002
I miss the Floyd as they used to be;an introspective, experimental, phycadelic group who were not afraid to venture slightly beyond the realms of normal human understanding and experience. I just can't feel that much sympathy for Waters here, and the lyrics, while beautiful and poetic at times, do not convey subtle or layered messages, as his lyrics used to. Personally, I'd much rather listen to "Take up Thy Stethascope and Walk", which is an insanely dark song compared to this material. It seems like pretty much the only tradgity Waters has to go on is the death of his father when he was three months old. While that is certainly tragic, hey, my friend lost her dad when she was 11, which I think would be alot harder. Finally, I have a guestion to ask. After hearing this album for the first time, did anyone here say to themeselves "God Syd, I wish you were here".?