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Home arrow Reviews arrow Albums arrow Roger Waters The Wall Live - Soundtrack album (2CD)
Roger Waters The Wall Live - Soundtrack album (2CD) Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Saturday, 02 January 2016
Roger Waters The Wall Live - Soundtrack album (2CD)

Some rumbling...the approach of a distant plane, and Roger's plaintive trumpet playing the refrain from Outside The Wall leads the listener to a dynamic entrance of In The Flesh? at the start of this recently released 2CD set, the Soundtrack to Roger Waters The Wall Live. The distant plane, of course, was not a feature of the concerts themselves (other than the prop which flew down a wire from the back of the venue, to crash stage left), and the rumble was instead the mumble of conversation and anticipation felt throughout the sell-out crowd in each venue on Roger's tour, which spanned 2010-2013.

From the outset, Nigel Godrich's production reflects the show in great detail, with a lack of compression or overt loudness to ruin any subtleties. With the exemplary sound experienced live, with very few venues spoiling the audio (a testament to Roger's technical team) nothing more than a detailed, punchy yet in places delicate mix would do for this piece. In an ideal world I'd have liked to have heard the audience more, as this generally adds to the atmosphere of live recordings, but it can be a balance when audience noise is mixed in - ultimately one is after hearing the band rather than excited concertgoers.

The music itself is well known, with the exception perhaps of the Brick 2 coda now officially titled The Ballad of Jean Charles de Menezes, and the use of What Shall We Use Now - excised from the original LP - and The Last Few Bricks, used in the original 1980/81 shows as a loose jam to help the wall builders finish if running behind a little. Thus we won't go into a track-by-track analysis here. Neither will we go through the musicians, and their performances - we think they did a great job each night, and this album is a fine representation of this.

The soundtrack recording here is a different beast to the DVD/Blu-ray release, as it presents the concert straight, as heard live (on the whole) and without any interruption by Roger's road trip (interesting though that is). On hearing about the release of the DVD/Blu having a direct port of the theatrical/cinema release, a number of fans bemoaned the lack of the concert presented straight, in its entirety. Well, despite the lack of visuals, this double CD set provides just what those fans are after!

There have already been some (unfair) comments about the work missing David Gilmour's voice and guitar, but it has never pretended to be a Floyd recording - it's Roger and his band. If you are after a live recording of The Wall by the original musicians, look no further than Is There Anybody Out There? There have also been some comments about small changes to things from what people heard (or thought they heard) in concert - such as solos being cut short. The show did evolve over the 200 plus concerts, so changes did take place, such as Roger's sniff on Nobody Home ("I got a silver spoon on a chain...") which doesn't appear on this recording, but on any concert recording there can sometimes be edits anyway, normally for logistical reasons, for example to fit onto CD or vinyl better. Indeed, the original LP of The Wall was itself edited for reasons of space after the sleeves were printed (so, very late on) as seen by the different track order and additional lyrics which didn't make the final cut. Generally though, edits to live recordings tend to be small or not overly significant.

The CDs are presented in a trifold digipak, with the central pocket holding a small leaflet for the 2 disc Blu-ray edition, as well as a nicely designed 20-page booklet, offering lyrics, pictures and credits. There isn't clarification over what tracks were recorded where though. We understand that the lion's share (certainly in the film) were recorded in Manchester, England, in 2013. The booklet doesn't give any dates, and only states that there were recordings done in Manchester, Athens and Buenos Aires. This doesn't explain though the intro to Mother, with Roger speaking in French! Surely for an international release, an English introduction would have been more suitable for most? Not a major issue, of course, more a curious decision we feel to use the version they did.

With the release of the soundtrack on these CDs (and also on vinyl), the "missing piece" of The Wall Live is in place, with a straight concert performance officially available, much to many Waters fans relief it seems. Many of these fans still hanker after a pro-shot video of the concert without the road trip elements, but this will hopefully be an acceptable, and very enjoyable, alternative for those people! It's a great way to remember a tour which redefined what was possible from a staging technology and design point of view, and which proved a compelling experience for fan and non-fan alike.

CD Disc 1:

In the Flesh? / The Thin Ice / Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 1 / The Happiest Days of Our Lives / Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2 / The Ballad of Jean Charles de Menezes / Mother / Goodbye Blue Sky / Empty Spaces / What Shall We Do Now? / Young Lust / One of My Turns / Don't Leave Me Now / Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 3 / Last Few Bricks / Goodbye Cruel World

CD Disc 2:
Hey You / Is There Anybody Out There? / Nobody Home / Vera / Bring the Boys Back Home / Comfortably Numb / The Show Must Go On / In The Flesh / Run Like Hell / Waiting for the Worms / Stop / The Trial / Outside the Wall

The 3-LP vinyl runs from In The Flesh? to What Shall We Do Now? as record one, record two runs from Young Lust to Bring The Boys Back Home, and record three runs from Comfortably Numb through to the conclusion of the concert.

Ordering information for the physical versions from all Amazon stores are below. If you prefer things digital, orders can now be placed via this iTunes direct link.

DOUBLE CD EDITION:  Amazon UK  Canada  Germany  France  Italy  Spain 
TRIPLE (3LP) VINYL EDITION:  Amazon UK  Canada  Germany  France  Italy  Spain 
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