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Pink Floyd – Definitive Wall (Sigma 49)

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Definitive Wall (Sigma 49)

Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY – February 28th, 1980

Disc 1 (58:04): MC Intro, In The Flesh, The Thin Ice, Another Brick In The Wall Part 1, Happiest Days Of Our Lives, Another Brick In The Wall Part 2, 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 Part 3, Goodbye Cruel World

Disc 2 (54:41): Hey You, Is There Anybody Out There?, Nobody Home, Vera, Bring The Boys Back Home, Comfortably Numb, The Show Must Go On, MC Intro, In The Flesh, Run Like Hell, Waiting For The Worms, Stop, The Trial, Outside The Wall

Of the five New York Wall shows, the February 28th tape is the best sounding and has (arguably) the best performance. 

The earliest vinyl boots include the three-LP set  And The Walls Came Down  (BH410).  Others are Pink Floyd – Live In Concert (BH-410), The Wall (Creative Artistry HPL 2773), The Wall Comes Alive (White Knight WK272), and the Japanese release The Wall Show In New York ’80 (427). 

Compact disc versions include Another Brick In The Wall CD (On Stage CD 12088), Behind The Wall (Stonehenge STBX 022) three discs in a gorgeous box with the LA rehearsal tape, Wall Power (64-64-32/55) two discs with more muffled sound and gaps between the tracks on disc two, Monopoly (Digital Floyd Project DFP-103) and Welcome To The Wall (PR-Records 0103008).  Brick By Brick (Great Dane GDR CD 9313) is a three-disc set with this show plus the Los Angeles rehearsal tape in gorgeous packaging.

The latest releases are Home, Piggy, Home! (Tarantura TCDPF-4-1, 2) and a four disc set Your Favorite Disguise (Sigma 23) with the February 26th show included on the first two discs.  Definitive Wall is the second incarnation of the show on the Sigma label, issued about a year after the first.  The difference in sound between the two, even by the label’s own admission, is minimal.

The press reports concerning the New York run of Wall shows were both laudatory (“the most lavish stage show in the history of rock” John Rockwell writes in the New York Times) to disparaging (Paul McGrath in The Toronto Globe And Mail complained about the music being lost in the spectacle and the musicians being “relentlessly tedious.”)

Pink Floyd always placed a heavy emphasis upon the visual interpretations of their music in concert, resulting in a tightly rehearsed and scripted stage show.  Hearing these tapes is only on aspect of the experience and the full impact is obviously lost. 

This show is interesting because the band were comfortable enough with the material to expand some of the numbers with unique jams.  The concert begins with Gary Yudman’s announcements which dissolve into the opening, heavy metal power chords of “In The Flesh?”  “Another Brick In The Wall Part 2″ was the big hit and the audience responds accordingly. 

About two minutes into the song the band lose count, but Mason brings them back on track.  This is followed by version of “Mother” that reaches almost eight full minutes.  After “Empty Spaces” (aka “What Shall We Do Now?”)  Waters simply asks if everybody is having a “marvelous time” before introducing “Young Lust.” 

The “Last Few Bricks” medley is tracked together with “Another Brick In The Wall Part 3″ and features Wright emphasizing the “worms” sound over the melodies.  After the twenty minute intermission the second half of the show begins on disc two, but the first verse of “Hey You” is missing.  During the “hotel room” interlude, channels from New York television are audible. 

This is a gimmick carried over from the last tour where “Wish You Were Here” began with a random journey through the radio dial.  Several commercials can be heard as well as a mention of then Chicago Blackhawks coach Eddie Johnston. 

“Comfortably Numb” is an obvious highlight and Gilmour delivers a note perfect solo in the song’s middle.  “Run Like Hell,” their big disco hit, is extended to almost seven minutes.  The crumbling of the wall at the end of “The Trial” sounds massive in this recording.  During “Outside The Wall” Waters hits a couple of bum notes on the clarinet.

February 28th was the final time the four of them played together as Pink Floyd in America.  Definitive Wall is not a significant upgrade over Your Favorite Disguise and those who already own the four disc set don’t really need this.  But this is good for those who do need the show. 

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