The London Rehearsals (Godfatherecords G.R. 489/490)
Berlin Wall Rehearsals – May 2, 1990 London, England
Disc 1: (51:18) 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, What Shall We Do Now?, Young Lust, One Of My Turns, Don’t Leave Me Now, Another Brick In The Wall (Part 3), The Last Few Bricks, Goodbye Cruel World
Disc 2: (56:42) Hey You, Nobody Home, Vera, Bring The Boys Back Home, Comfortably Numb, In The Flesh, Run Like Hell, Waiting For The Worms, The Tide Is Turning, Waiting For The Worms, Stop, The Trial (Alternate mix from original studio version), The Tide Is Turning (Take 2)
The Bleeding Heart Band:
Rick DiFonzo – Guitar/Snowy White – Guitar/Andy Fairweather-Lowe – Guitar, Bass, Backing Vocals/Peter Wood – Keyboards/Nick Glennie-Smith – Keyboards/Graham Broad – Drums/Stan Farber – Backing Vocals/Joe Chemay – Backing Vocals/Jim Haas – Backing Vocals/John Joyce – Backing Vocals
Roger Waters’ decision to stage a massive production of The Wall in 1990 came after an interview in 1989 where he stated he would perform The Wall again if the Berlin Wall came down. Four month later the wall came down putting the show in motion.
Along with The Bleeding Heart Band and The Rundfunk Orchestra and Choir directed by Michael Kamen, the show was to feature a special cast of guest appearances. The final production included performances with the Scorpions, Ute Lemper, Cyndi Lauper, Thomas Dolby, Paul Carrick, Sinead O’Connor, The Band, The Hooters, Joni Mitchell, Bryan Adams, James Galway, Jerry Hall, Van Morrison, Tim Curry, Marianne Faithful, and Albert Finney.
These rehearsals feature only The Bleeding Heart Band and either come from a very good soundboard tape or a superb ambient room mic that captures an excellent mix. My guess would be a live room mic but either way the sound quality is almost professional and is a pleasure to listen to. Although most of the rehearsal flows consistently, occasionally Roger can be heard cueing and communicating with the musicians, directing the performance. It is unclear if the entire band is present as most of the backing vocals seem to be missing.
Waters handles his own vocal parts during the rehearsals but whoever covers Gilmour’s vocals does an excellent job. Rick DiFonzo and Snowy White stay true to Dave’s guitar parts right down to the solos most of the time. Some of the tracks vary a little in arrangement from the previous Wall tours with new extended arrangements of “Goodbye Blue Sky” and “Comfortably Numb”. “The Last Few Bricks” is included in the set but for some reason Waters decided to eliminate “The Show Must Go On”.
The tape effects are absent from at least the first part of the rehearsal with no helicopter or choir for “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)”. They use the same arrangement as during The Wall tours with the added second guitar solo, and a noteworthy performance it is. Waters mimics the sound effect and the “look mommy, there’s an airplane up in the sky” to cue a beautiful version of “Goodbye Blue Sky”.
“Comfortably Numb” is near perfect with some truly outstanding guitar playing in the outro solos. This version also differs from previous live performances and returns to the chorus section again to finish the song. “The Tide Is Turning” from Roger’s solo LP, Radio K.A.O.S., was used to close the show after the wall came crashing down and is the end of the first rehearsal tape.
The sound quality improves for the remainder of the disc starting with the second version of “Waiting For The Worms”. This is from a different tape source and is surely from a soundboard recording. It cuts in, leaving only the last 1:48 but unlike the first take continues into “Stop” followed by “The Trial”. This source also includes another version of “The Tide Is Turning”.
The London Rehearsals present an excellent and very credible performance from the Bleeding Heart Band. Both tape sources are presented in phenomenal sound quality producing another Floyd related gem from Godfather. This is very nicely packaged in their tri-fold cardboard sleeve and is recommended to all Floyd fans.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)