What does it sound like?:
This is one of those semi official albums that HMV seems to have a plethora of these days, usually taken from FM broadcasts in The States which are now presumably out of copyright.
What attracted me to this is that the two cd set contains a full show, recorded at Radio City Music Hall in March 1985, including a complete performance of the Pros and Cons album. This is one of the most underrated pieces in the Floyd/Waters canon and is very much a companion piece to The Wall, sharing many musical and lyrical connections. The show has been around as a bootleg for many a year, but the sound quality of this version is significantly better than I’ve heard previously, although still not on a par with that which you would expect on an ‘official’ live album. Nevertheless, it’s interesting as a historical piece as there’s not many other good quality recordings of this tour available, although sadly by the time of this performance Eric Clapton had departed the band to undertake his own dates.
The first set comprises a run through of some highlights from the Floyd back catalogue, unusually including tracks like The Gunners Dream, Southampton Dock and Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert from The Final Cut, and perhaps even more surprisingly If from Atom Heart Mother. While the songs are as competently performed as you’d expect, they don’t particularly add much to the originals. Nonetheless, it’s a well-chosen set, not relying too much on The Wall and DSOTM as Waters has tended to do in more recent years, and all the better for that.
The prize of this set though is the second disc, which has the full Pros and Cons album, with some songs extended beyond the studio versions with additional lyrics and music, followed by an encore of Brain Damage/Eclipse. A very good performance of a much neglected album.
The booklet lets the side down unfortunately, giving just a few perfunctory details about the tour.
What does it all *mean*?
I’m not too sure about this type of album; they seem to be something of a grey area, albeit they are increasingly common. However, as Waters seems to have forgotten all about this album in recent years, this is probably the only way to get hold of a decent recording from this tour – and at a tenner for the full show, lasting over two and a quarter hours, it certainly offers good value for money, even if the sound is not quite all you would wish for.
Goes well with…
Remembering this show being performed at Earls Court – a long long time ago now.
Might suit people who like…
Classic Floyd/Waters stuff.