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Pink Floyd – Tear Down The Wall 1981 (Zeus Z901001/2)

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Tear Down The Wall 1981 (Zeus Z901001/2)

Westfalenhalle, Dortmund, Germany – February 14th, 1981

Disc 1 (57:42):  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, Young Lust, One Of My Turns, Don’t Leave Me Now, Another Brick In The Wall Part 3, Goodbye Cruel World

Disc 2 (54:57):  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

Seven months after the first Earls Court run of Wall shows, Pink Floyd brought the massive production to Dortmund, Germany for eight nights.  These are the only Wall shows played on the continent and represents an interesting choice of venue for the band.  As one collector writes: 

“The Wall in Germany….Or…The German Wall 
It is quite interesting that Pink Floyd chose Dortmund, Germany to be one of only four cities in the world that would see a live Wall performance. Though the show describes the development of an emotional and psychological wall, at the time of these Dortmund shows, the German people were coping with a physical wall – the Berlin Wall. It is ironic that on July 21st, 1990 Roger Waters returned to Germany to perform The Wall once again in celebration of the fall of this barrier and the reuniting of the country. 

“The show must have been difficult for the German audience on a number of levels. Again, the death of Pink’s (Water’s) father at the hand of the German army is made clear at the beginning of the show. With the multiple psychological difficulties for Pink clearly developing after this event, blaming the German Nazi’s for Pink’s dysfunctional life is certainly understandable. Gerald Scarfe’s animation sequences during the show only reinforce the destructiveness of war and the Nazis as one of the clear villains of the story.

“The Marching Hammers, the Nazi-like arm bands, the morphing of a dove into a menacing German eagle and Pink’s own transformation into a Hitleresque figure during ‘In The Flesh’ are just some examples of this clear portrayal of the German army as evil. It is therefore also ironic that the Red Army Choir was used on stage during the 1990 performance. And yet, the audience viewing these shows must have understood Water’s message since most of them in 1981 would have had no memory of a unified Germany and therefore would likely empathize with Pink (and Waters) when presented a story about separation and barriers.”

February 14th is the second date in Dortmund and exists on an excellent and atmospheric stereo audience recording.  It isn’t as good as the February 20th Dortmund show (but what is?), but is still highly enjoyable.  Zeus present the complete show with two cut and repeats:  one before “Don’t Leave Me Now” and one during Waters’ introduction to “Run Like Hell.”  Both should have been edited out but Zeus decided to leave them in for the only real flaw on this title.

The performance is quite standard for The Wall.  Since this is the second show after many months there the looseness isn’t present as it would be for the final show of this run.  It is very tight however and the audience clap and sing along at every opportunity.  They are particularly loud and vocal during “Another Brick In The Wall Part 1,” “Happiest Days Of Our Lives” and all sing along to “Another Brick In The Wall Part 2.”  The first half of the show is brilliant as it ends with the clever “Last Few Bricks” (tracked with “Goodbye Cruel World” on the disc).  

The first half of the second part, basically side three of the LP, almost reaches a state of stagnation but is thankfully rescued by an emotional version of “Comfortably Numb.”  The audience reacts when the spotlight finds Gilmour on top of the wall singing his part of the song.  Gilmour also delivers the classic solo along with several interesting ornamentations.  Before “Run Like Hell” Waters says, “You leave our pig alone. (German accent) Ve haf vays of making you CLAP!  And this is one of them.  Called ‘Run Like Hell.’”  The fascist section is extremely intense as it leads up to “The Trial” and the ending “Outside The Wall.”  Tear Down The Wall was released in 1999 and is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with appropriate photos from the Wall gigs taking from an issue of Mojo magazine from earlier that year to celebrate the album’s twentieth anniversary.  Since this is the only silver release of this particular show it is by default the definitive edition and it worth having since so few of the Dortmund shows are available.     

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Pink Floyd - Tear Down The Wall 1981 (Zeus Z901001/2), 2.9 out of 5 based on 5 ratings

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  1. Avatar of DLee
    DLee says
    January 28, 2009, 8:45 pm

    I very much enjoyed getting this one in early 2000 – one of my favorite Wall shows at the time, especially since there were so few available on factory-pressed silver back then in those days.

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