- Audio CD (March 23 2009)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: Best of, Live
- Label: Sony Music Canada Inc.
- ASIN: B00004SVID
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette
- Average Customer Review: 121 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #50,870 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall: Live 1980-1981 (2CD) Best of, Live
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See all 16 tracks on this disc
|1. Hey You|
|2. Is There Anybody Out There?|
|3. Nobody Home|
|5. Bring The Boys Back Home|
|6. Comfortably Numb|
|7. The Show Must Go On|
|8. Master Of Ceremonies|
|9. In The Flesh|
|10. Run Like Hell|
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Exactly what was Pink Floyd's The Wall? Rock opera? Concept album? Performance art? Mere entertainment? While the truth may lie in a combination of all of the above, during the band's tour of 1980-81, The Wall was a bona fide spectacle. More than anything, Is There Anybody Out There? captures the volume, the bombast, and the grandeur of these famed performances with remarkable accuracy. Meticulously recorded, these concerts are astonishingly faithful to the band's studio versions and flow out of the speakers with practiced authority and absolutely fantastic sound. That said, there are few new revelations to be gained from hearing The Wall live that can't be gleaned from the studio version. Some moments do have an additional spark, however. "Run Like Hell" is launched with blistering intensity, and the first notes of "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 1" will surely raise a shiver. The release also includes two tracks ("What Shall We Do Now," "The Last Few Bricks") left off the original release due to space constraints. Essential for Floyd fanatics as well as those wishing to hear just how terrific a live concert can sound. --S. Duda
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However, it's the surreal music of "The Wall" which ultimately supports the purpose of all these visual presentations, which doesn't make the lack of a DVD or home video too much of a disappointment (though it would have been a great compliment for the rest of the album). Nonetheless, "Is There Anybody Out There: The Wall, Live" is the supreme document of all the glory of the theatrical rock presentation. Though some consider it to be just another double live album that Pink Floyd tends to release during their no-studio-recording hiatuses (and they may be right), "Is There Anybody Out There" separates itself from other live sets "Delicate Sound of Thunder" and "Pulse" in that it actually has a point. The music within, recorded 1980-81 during the Earls Court performances, "The Wall Live" is a clear, atmospheric live recording, yet still packing the sterile punch of the studio album. Many of the songs, like 'The Show Must Go On' and 'Empty Spaces' contain additional or alternate lyrics, while some songs didn't appear on the studio album at all, like 'What Shall We Do Now?' and the instrumental 'The Last Few Bricks.' There are also many musical changes that add a new dimension to "The Wall" while still appreciating the original album. This is most notable in 'Another Brick in the Wall Part 1' and 'Outside the Wall.' Even announcements by the master of ceremonies are included, one at a slow speed to express the delusional mind of the main character of the musical concept. Roger Waters' vocals are also more maniacal throughout this telling.
It's a fact that "The Wall" has been exploited time and time again to reignite its fortunes, but "Is There Anybody Out There" exceeds them all (including the ill-fated 1982 film version). Aside from being the best of the "Wall"-revivals (although its purpose isn't very inspired), this live document is also no doubt one of Pink Floyd's most worthy live offerings, even though it isn't a new studio release fans have been praying for.
For now let's ignore the packaging which, while incredible, gives only tiny samples of what the show actually looked like. If the video footage exists it should be released.
Let's concentrate on the music. By now everybody should know the history of "The Wall". Spawned from Roger Waters' hatred of arena rock and the spitting incident in Canada during the "Animals" tour, this album became as much of a milestone as "Dark Side Of The Moon". Waters attempted this live, but the motley collection of celebrity guest stars never quite caught it. The problem was that, as much as Roger insists that "he" was Pink Floyd, the guitar sound of David Gilmour was just as big a part of the overall band sound. And this is highlighted on this album. Hailed by Gilmour himself as the best song he ever wrote, "Comfortably Numb" is the showcase. The studio version of the solo was incredible. This version is totally awesome. I can't even begin to imagine him playing this, bathed in the glare of a spotlight, standing on top of "The Wall".
The venom of some of Roger's lyrics is way more apparent live, and the original sting of the playing and performance is heightened in the live setting. That the band were actually falling apart at the time due to the old favorite "musical and personal differences" makes the fact that this album is so good a testimony to the undoubted talents of Messrs Waters, Gilmour, Mason and Wright.
OK, there isn't too much that's different to the studio version. The inclusion of "The Last Brick In The Wall" is the only major variation, although some tracks include all of the lyrics which were originally printed on the sleeve of the studio album.
What makes this an incredibly satisfying album is knowing that the band could carry the whole thing off on stage in what must have been an awe-inspiring sight. That David Gilmour's reformed Pink Floyd have reintroduced the entire "Dark Side Of The Moon" live is a testimony to the "concept" album. Believe it or not they did work, even though they were condemned and pilloried by most prog-rock critics.
As a parting thought. How many bands around today could release a live album 20 years after it was recorded and still sell??
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