Post by tootull on Jul 7, 2014 18:54:24 GMT
Pink Floyd's 'Division Bell' re-release primes pump for 'Endless River'
By Darryl Sterdan ,QMI Agency
First posted: Monday, July 07, 2014 12:27 PM EDT | Updated: Monday, July 07, 2014 12:49 PM EDT
Pink Floyd’s Division Bell is ringing again. And anew.
On Saturday, guitarist David Gilmour’s wife and frequent collaborator Polly Samson revealed on Twitter that the first Pink Floyd studio album in 20 years is due for release in October — a story later affirmed by long-time backup singer Durga McBroom. Details are still sketchy, but here’s what we know so far:
1) The album will supposedly be titled The Endless River, which is a lyric from High Hopes, the final song on 1994’s The Division Bell.
2) It will apparently be based around the band’s long-fabled Big Spliff project, which consisted of unreleased instrumentals from the productive DB sessions.
3) It will reportedly include new contributions from Gilmour, drummer Nick Mason, bassist Guy Pratt and others (with the obvious exception of keyboardist Richard Wright, who died in 2008, and the expected exception of estranged singer-bassist Roger Waters, who did not play on the album).
4) Some incarnation of the band may tour — presumably to mark the 50th anniversary of their 1965 inception.
Fans will have to wait and see how it all pans out, of course. But they don’t have to wait to reacquaint themselves with Floyd’s Division Bell. In what is surely the polar opposite of coincidence, Samson’s announcement came days after the British psychedelic gods’ 14th studio disc was released in a 20th anniversary, seven-disc box set. More importantly, her revelation seems to explain the motive behind the curious reissue.
Let’s be honest: Fans haven’t been clamouring for an upgraded version of The Division Bell. Anniversary or no, their second post-Waters set is hardly a beloved and essential entry in the Floydian canon. A loose concept album about communication (and the lack thereof), the 66-minute disc is dominated by meandering songs and slow-burning jams, peppered with noodly instrumentals and New Age ambience, and accompanied by lyrics from Samson and other outsiders. No wonder it spawned no memorable hits (though Marooned did earn a Grammy for Rock Instrumental Performance) and garnered, well, divisive reviews — including a scathing dismissal from Waters, who dubbed it “rubbish” and “nonsense from beginning to end.” And it’s not as if this version tries very hard to counter that argument; aside from some superbly upgraded audio, 5.1 mixes and an artsy video, it offers no previously unreleased songs or liner notes. So when it arrived at my door last week, it seemed peculiar and pointless.
Now, of course, it makes perfect sense. It’s Pink Floyd’s typically enigmatic way of coming full circle. Picking up where they left off. Priming the pump for their return. And, not to put too fine a point on it, getting faithful fans to shell out $125 — the price of the box at one prominent online retailer — for an album they probably already own but don’t particularly love.
Still, having said that, there’s no denying that the package is a gorgeous collectible.
Here’s what you get inside the LP-sized box:
• The 2011 remaster of the original album in a cardboard sleeve.
• The full album on two vinyl LPs in a thick gatefold sleeve (this is a first; the original vinyl pressing was a single disc with edited songs).
• A Blu-Ray disc with a 96 khz/24 bit of the album in stereo and various 5.1 formats, plus a new Marooned video shot in Ukraine earlier this year.
• A 12” single of High Hopes on etched blue vinyl with a picture sleeve.
• A 7” single of High Hopes on clear vinyl with a picture sleeve.
• A 7” single of Take it Back on red vinyl with a picture sleeve (and a live version of Astronomy Domine on the B-side).
• A glossy 24-page LP-sized booklet of photos and lyrics.
• Five LP-sized prints of the Easter Island-inspired statues from the cover.
• Half a dozen “film cards” (a.k.a. photographs) of artwork for High Hopes.
• A double-sized promo poster for High Hopes.
• A download card so you can access 320 Kbps MP3s and 24-bit wav digital copies of all the tracks.
If that turns your crank, by all means open your wallet, fire up your home theatre and enjoy. Just remember: If you find the album itself somewhat underwhelming, you can’t unring this Bell.