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Pink Floyd – Lost Documentary (Siréne-265)

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Lost Documentary (Siréne-265)

Lost Documentary is a comprehensive, multi-media presentation issued by the Siréne label. Over two CDs and a DVD, this covers several key documents that have surfaced over the past couple of years related to Pink Floyd’s epic masterpiece The Wall. The decade between 1969 and 1979 was the time when many bands were producing rock operas and concept albums, pushing the boundaries of rock into a cohesive narrative structure. The Who’s Tommy, although it isn’t the first rock opera, is the first one that attained any popular success.

Pink Floyd’s The Wall is the final time any group attained much artistic and commercial success in the genre. Both Tommy and The Wall are concerned with one’s reaction to trauma in one form or another with the latter piece of work serving as a reflection of the decade of dinosaur arena rock. The process of recording the masterpiece took more than a year and included at lest six different studios in four countries.

The earliest work is in London at Britannia Row Studios before the band moved to the south of France for the summer of 1979 and worked at Super Bear and Miraval Studios. Final recording and mixing took place in Los Angeles in the autumn of 1979 before the album’s release on November 28th in the U.K. and December 8th in the U.S.

Britannia Row Studios, London, England – September to December, 1978

Disc 1 (74:49) The Wall “Work In Progress” Demo Recorded at Britannia Row Studios, London, UK September-December 1978: In The Flesh?, The Thin Ice, Another Brick In The Wall Part 1, The Happiest Days Of Our Lives, Another Brick In The Wall Part 2, Mother, Goodbye Blue Sky, Empty Spaces Part 1, Young Lust (instrumental), One Of My Turns, Don’t Leave Me Now, Empty Spaces Part 2, What Shall We Do Now?, Another Brick In The Wall Part 3, Goodbye Cruel World, Is There Anybody Out There? Part 1, Vera, Bring The Boys Back Home, Is There Anybody Out There? Part 2, Is There Anybody Out There? Part 3, Comfortably Numb, Hey You, The Show Must Go On, In The Flesh, Run Like Hell (instrumental), Waiting For The Worms, Stop, The Trial, Outside The Wall

The tape on the first disc of this set is called The Wall “Work In Progress.” This tape surfaced in 2000 and was first posted on line on the A Fleeting Glimpse website for download. It appears on two fan-produced roios, Under Construction and Building The Wall (Roaring Mouse) and the silver releases The Wall Demos (no label) and The Wall In Progress (Head Co. HC016).

All releases, including Siréne, give this a September to December, 1978 attribution that on closer scrutiny of the timeline isn’t exactly correct. Roger Waters produced an initial demo after the Animals tour in September 1977, finished it in January 1978 and presented it to the group in the summer. The original cassette demo is titled Bricks In The Wall (it still exists although no copy has ever circulated) and has the following running order:

Side 1:

We’ll Meet Again (Vera Lynn)

Brick 1, Reminiscing

Mother

Brick 2, Education

Teacher, Teacher (aka “The Hero’s Return” which appears on The Final Cut)

Young Lust (with different lyrics)

Instrumental interlude

Sexual Revolution (an early version of the song that finally appears on The Pros & Cons Of Hitch Hiking)

Don’t Leave Me Now

Brick 3, Drugs

Empty Spaces

Backs To The Wall (aka “What Shall We Do Now?)

Goodbye Cruel World

Side 2:

Bleeding Hearts (aka “Outside The Wall”)

Follow The Worms (“Waiting For The Worms”)

Death Disco (which contains lyrics used for “In The Flesh”)

Is There Anybody Out There?

Vera

Bring The Boys Back Home

Is There Anybody Out There? (Blues version)

Hey You

Trial By Puppet (early version of “The Trial”)

Who’s Sorry Now? / It’s Never Too Late (aka “The Show Must Go On”)

Instrumental theme (the heavy music that is found on the finished version at the very end of “The Thin Ice”)

The initial sessions with the band did occur at Britannia Row Studio in London between September to December 1978 and the band produced a demo which was completed by January 9th, 1979. The tracks ran:

 Side 1:

We’ll Meet Again

Reminiscing (aka “Another Brick In The Wall, part 1″)

Thin Ice

Goodbye Blue Sky

Teacher, Teacher

Another Brick In The Wall (aka “Education”, a short version of “Another Brick In The Wall, part 2″)

Side 2:

Young Lust

Mother

Don’t Leave Me Now

Sexual Revolution

Another Brick In The Wall (aka “Drugs”)

Backs To The Wall (combination of “Empty Spaces” and “What Shall We Do Now?”)

Goodbye Cruel World

Side 3:

Bleeding Hearts (aka “Outside The Wall”)

Is There Anybody Out There?

Vera

Bring The Boys Back Home

Is There Anybody Out There?

Hey You

Comfortably Numb (The Doctor)

Side 4:

Run Like Hell

Follow The Worms (“Waiting For The Worms”)

Trial By Puppet (aka “The Trial”)

Never Too Late (“The Show Must Go On”)

Instrumental theme (heavy theme from “The Thin Ice”)

The band reconvened at Britannia Studios and worked more on the piece, producing a demo on March 23rd, 1979 with the same running order as the tape we now have. Thus, the studio is correct, but the attribution of 1978 is too early and the correct date is several months later. The sound quality is very good to excellent and all of the songs are before their final form.

It begins right with the crashing power chords of “In The Flesh?” (called “The Show” on the demo). The melody is the same but this version is missing the Hammond. The final lyrics are the same that would be used in the final produce in this song’s reprise by the end: “I’ve got some bad news for you sunshine / Pink isn’t well, he’s at home in his bed / And they sent us along with a surrogate band / We’re going to find out where you fans really stand.”

This fades to the loud buzzing of a dive-bomber, ending with the baby scream heard on the final version before the narrative picks up with “Thin Ice.” Most of the lyrics are the same with the difference in the middle, where Waters sings “Dragging…Paying attention, it’s a house and a car / and a trunk full of things for the wife.” It is interesting to note that he sings the line “If you should go skating…boy” with the intonation of an old man (same thing Peter Gabriel does in “The Music Box.”)

“The Happiest Days Of Our Lives” has the same vocal melody as the final version but lacks the drums, the choir, and the lyrics are in the third person singular instead of plural (begging the question of who exactly Waters had in mind?) “Another Brick In The Wall, part 2″ (called “Another Brick In The Wall: Education”) has almost the same lyrics (except for “We don’t need no crowd control / Your dark sarcasm in the class room”), but is the same musical arrangement as “Another Brick In The Wall, part 1.”

“Mother” has some alterations in the lyrics but the musical arrangement is very close to the final version found on The Wall. “Goodbye Blue Sky” also has an arrangement close to the final version, but the first verse is simply repeated twice; the second verse had not been written yet. “Empty Spaces” again has the same musical arrangement with slight alterations in the lyrics, and “Young Lust” included on this tape is purely instrumental and sounds much more disco than the final track.

The high-pitched keyboards give it a heavier dance feeling. On the final version of “One Of My Turns” Canadian actress Trudy Young voices the part of the groupie, but Waters does it himself on this demo through what sounds like a pinched nose. The dialogue is similar, an admiration for the hotel room, but includes variations like “Wow, look at that piano! Can I just sit here for a while and take it in?”

“What Shall We Do Now?” (still called “Backs To The Wall” at this point) wasn’t included on the final album but was in the set list in live performance and the film. The beginning of the track is the same as “Empty Spaces” on the LP where Waters sings “How shall we fill the final places / How shall we complete the wall?” The song ends with “with our backs to the wall” repeated many times before segueing into “Another Brick In The Wall, part 3.” The musical arrangement is similar to the other versions of this song and the alterations in the lyrics include, “I don’t need your tongue to cut me…I don’t need your arms around me.”

“Goodbye Cruel World” has the same gentle arrangement with slight difference in the second verse where Waters sings “Goodbye, cruel world / There’s nothing you can take from me.” On The Wall this closes side two of the vinyl and is followed by “Hey You” on side three. That song wasn’t moved into that position until late in the production and on this demo there is a forty-five second instrumental of “Is There Anybody Out There?”

“Vera” contains identical lyrics and the same acoustic guitar melody, but the keyboards are not yet finished. “Bring The Boys Back Home” is simply Waters singing the lyrics to an electric guitar melody. Michael Kamen in would record the orchestral and choir arrangements in New York later in the year.

“Is There Anybody Out There, part 2a” is a spooky little number with lyrics that would later be incorporated into “Hey You,” including “out there on your own / naked by the telephone / casually leaning on the wall / to stop you falling / waiting for the call / hearing footsteps in the hall / the knock on the door / cannot stem the sensation of seemingly endless fall.”

“Is There Anybody Out There, part 2b” is a mellow bluesy with “is there anyone out there?” repeated several times broken by Waters singing “Do you sometimes get lonely at night / You’re out there tonight” rapidly. This is followed directly by and early version of “Comfortably Numb”, which was still called “The Doctor” at this point. The melody is pretty much the same and Waters and Gilmour alternate the verses and chorus. The lyrics are quite different, however. The first verse is:

Hello?

Is there anybody in there?
Is anybody needing
Is there anyone at home?
Come on, Come on,
I know you’re hiding
I can hear you screaming (with your needles)
Call me on the phone
Listen, Listen, Listen
I am a physician
I can handle your condition, like a magician
If you show me where it hurts?

The second verse is:Wake Up
Pull yourself together
Get out and meet new people
I’m sure they’ll understand
Come on, Come on,
Put away the shotgun
Yeah, have another blue one
Have your fingertips gone numb
Goodbye, Goodbye
Try and see the bright side
Listen to some Pop Groups
Hit the road
Go out and see some shows
Go out and see some shows.

There is a guitar solo that isn’t nearly as effective as the final one, which is from about five different recorded versions edited together by engineer James Guthrie.

“Comfortably Numb” is followed by “Hey You” which is remarkably very similar to the final version with only slight changes in the lyrics. Changing the context of the song alters the meaning slightly, since in the position in the demo means a final cry for help by the protagonist before descending into his fascist laden psychosis.

“It’s Never Too Late” (“The Show Must Go On”) begins with footsteps in a brick corridor and the familiar “Oooo Ma, Oooo Pa.” Waters edited on top two verses that are not found on the final version where he sings, “Am I really on show / Wild eyed, in the spotlight / Fuck me, What a nightmare / Who’s there, Have they all gone… It’s OK, now you’re in love, girl / Ones that fled the rising sun / their evil power is on the wane / Forget the past and start again.” Gilmour sings the familiar verse that begins “It was just a mistake / I didn’t mean to let them take away my soul / Am I too old, is it too late?”

The reprise of “In The Flesh” has lyrics that contain very small variations from the final version. “Run Like Hell” is only in an instrumental form on the demo. “Waiting For The Worms” has the same lyrics and the identical bullhorn speech which is used for the final version.

And “Trial By Puppet” (“The Trial”) is simply Roger Waters singing the words accompanied by Bob Ezrin on the piano. The final orchestral arrangement wouldn’t be recorded until much later. This tape came out about the same time as the outtakes for The Final Cut and both caused a lot of excitement because Pink Floyd outtake and rehearsal material is quite rare.

Paramount Studios, Los Angeles, CA – February 1st, 1980

Disc 2 (75:25) Live Rehearsals at Paramount Studios, Los Angeles, CA – February 1, 1980: 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, “Sort Yourself Out James”, Another Brick In The Wall Part 3, Goodbye Cruel World, Hey You, Hey You (restart), “Don’t start the tapes James”, Is There Anybody Out There?, Nobody Home, Vera, Bring The Boys Back Home, Comfortably Numb, The Show Must Go On

The Wall has a long gestation period and there must be much more outtakes in existence. With this tape surfacing, it raises the question whether or not an more will become available. The second disc contains a dress rehearsal tape from Paramount Studios in Los Angeles from February 1st, 1980.

It can also be found on Behind the Wall (Stonehenge STBX 022/23/24), a big three disc set with the February 28tj Nassau Coliseum. The packaging is beautiful but the tape is in very poor quality. Other releases include The Wall Rehearsals (Elephant ROTA 04), Brick By Brick (Great Dane GDR CD 9313/ABC), The Wall Rehearsals (Floydweed 02) and as a bonus cdr by Highland on The Show Must Go On (HL001SEX), one of their last silver releases.

It is a full band run-through of the piece and captures the band from “The Thin Ice” to “The Show Must Go On” before the tape cuts out. February 1st is a week before the very first Wall performance on February 7th at the Forum. There is nothing particularly enlightening musically on the tape since it the band rehearsing the songs in their final form, but it does display how Waters directs the entire operation by barking orders to James Guthrie, the backing musicians and the stagehands.

He shouts out the count during “Empty Spaces” to keep time to the build up to “What Shall We Do Now?” The rehearsals are smooth and professional but there is some tension with Waters, who is feeling the stress and tension from orchestrating the massive production.

After “One Of My Turns” things break down there is a three minute track of Waters talking to James Guthrie and the crew:  “We don’t have any click track or count in the cans, James which makes it difficult. Go back to the beginning of that breathing tape and sort it out. Stop, stop building the wall!! Please? Thank you. We haven’t got any click track in the cans. Also…Steve and Gerry and everybody else. It feels now from what’s going on up here that this will be the best place for me to come out and not before. On the words ‘Why are you running away?’ There’s gonna be a platform running here so I can step down to that level there. James, can you speak to us about why we’re not getting any click tracks. Is there somebody on the headset at the desk? Because there should be always…as we all know. It’s taking a long time to get an answer. When we carry on we’re gonna go back into the end of the tune we were just playing. When we get back in here to ‘why are you running away?’ that’s when I’m gonna come out to the middle here and saunter down there. But I don’t think you should put any spotlights on until the next song starts because there’s plenty of light to see. Ah, hello James, answer me. How long is this gonna take because if it takes more than a few minutes we’re gonna carry on without the click tracks. Well, send it then. Send it NOW. Don’t keep building the wall, you’re cheating! You’re fucking cheating, you wall builders. STOP. You must stop when we stop or otherwise we will have no idea what is going on.”

The band proceeds without a hitch, playing “Another Brick In The Wall, part 3″ and “Goodbye Cruel World.” Things break down again three and a half minutes into “Hey You” after Gilmour plays the guitar solo. Waters: “Dave?” Gilmour: “What?”  Waters: “Can you tell us why you stopped?”  Gilmour: “I didn’t, Nick did. I have no idea why he stopped. He thought everyone else stopped. Ask him.”  Waters: “Let’s carry on.”

The track “don’t start the tape, James” is more dialogue by Waters directed at Guthrie, trying to figure out the timing of the televisions in the little hotel room he occupies at this point in the show. They increase the volume of the prop television to a Bob Hope Christmas special. The tape runs until they would stop in the performance for the second atmos before “In The Flesh.” Earlier releases of this tape were poor sounding, but this version is very good and clear with some hiss in the quieter parts.

Earl’s Court, London, England – August, 1980

DVD The Building of “The Wall” and “The Lost Documentary”, Earl’s Court Exhibition Hall, London, England – August, 1980 (approx. 25 minutes): Introduction, Roger speaks, Roger speaks, Creatures, Roger speaks, Sound check, Sound check 2, Outside the venue, Sound check 3, Happiest Days Of Our Lives Chorus Check, Another Brick In The Wall Part 2, Roger directs, Young Lust, ending. Bonus Track: Trailer

The DVD is a copy of “The Lost Documentary” that surfaced in 2003 and was briefly sold online. It is a twenty-six minute color videotape on a NTSC region free pressed DVD and was filmed in August, 1980 while the band and road crew were preparing for one of the Earl’s Court performances.

There are several interviews with Waters himself but the focus is upon the road crew talking about assembling the massive stage and sound system in Earl’s Court. It briefly shows Gilmour and Mason rehearsing onstage and smiling for the cameras. At the end it shows the tension with fans to obtain tickets for the show and how expensive scalpers were selling them for outside the venue.

Finally, there are brief shots backstage during the actual show. The story is this was produced with the intention for distribution on cable and video, but was lost in the years after Waters left the band and the ensuing court battles in the mid eighties over the rights to the name. There is nothing groundbreaking with this video but is a nice compliment to the documentaries that are already in circulation and were released officially with The Wall film.

Overall this release by Siréne is a comprehensive collection of behind the scenes documents for one of Pink Floyd’s greatest creations.  Lost Documentary is packaged in a standard fatboy jewel case that houses the three discs with many photos of the band taken from the performances. Siréne limit this to three hundred unnumbered copies.

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Pink Floyd - Lost Documentary (Siréne-265), 2.9 out of 5 based on 6 ratings

1 Comment

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  1. jabs1960 says
    June 22, 2009, 3:07 pm

    This is a beautiful set…disc one is, imho, a fantastic recording and I was easily entranced into the listening experience. It has been a while since any roio has taken me to that special place! Disc two, while not as enthralling as disc one, is still a great listen and is quite enjoyable… sound quality is very good on disc two, but not as good as the first. The dvd is interesting, but too short! I wanted more…MUCH more. The dvd is an excellent quality pro-shot… very, very clear, but again, way too short. The quality of the packaging is also excellent…glossy high-res photos from the period. This one is most certainly a must for the PF prisoner! I am more than happy with it!!

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