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Pink Floyd - Live At Pompeii (The Director's Cut) CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.58 | 612 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Pink Floyd - Live at Pompeii DVD (1971, reissue 2003)

Ok, I'd swear I already written a review about this dvd, but apparently I did not. This is one of my most celebrated moments of prog. An alignment of the right time and a band in it's right stage. A true highlight of the symphonic and psychedelic genre and my favorite moment of the band, which of course has a lot to offer. Ok I must admit, I like the Atom Heart Mother suite equally much.

What have we got? Pink Floyd plays live in an ancient theater in Pompeii. No public, just a band, a wall of equipment and a film-crew. Besides footage of the band, there's some great photography of Greek art on the walls of a fallen city. Furthermore there's some really good footage of lava and volcanic eruptions.The band is filmed playing in daylight (both Echoes parts, A Saucerful of Secrets, ) and at night (Careful with that Axe Eugene, One of these Days, Madmoiselle Nobs, Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun). The footage shot at night is really good because of the many lamps that look really mysterious.

The band. At this stage Pink Floyd has become a stellar live band with some of the most effective songs. The band is very professional, has a great sound and perhaps all of the best equipment available. All instruments sound equally amazing.

The gig. Pink Floyd plays some of it's best material, and the live versions are all significantly better than the (since you've listened to this) dull studio-material. Echoes becomes an epic of interstellar proportions with it's amazing guitar parts, it's relaxing jam-part and it's intense ending section. Careful with Axe Eugene isn't very recognizable, but this re-work is for sure one of my favorite Floyd tracks ever. The atmospheres are so dark and dynamic, can't find the words to describe it. A Saucerful of Secrets is also given proper treatment with a long avant-garde noisy improvisation and a nice symphonic/melodic ending section. One of these Days also sounds a bit different, but the live version is a bit more dynamic. The solo's of Gilmour are again great. Set the Controls to the Heart of the Sun gives me an experience equal to Careful with that Axe Eugene. Divine Spaciness with a spiritual feel. The spacey middle section is innovative whilst the the intro and the outro evoke a dark spiritual atmosphere. Shocking live material this is.

The original film has a lot of documentary material between the songs. The interviews are very good and the right questions are asked. However, I prefer the version without interviews (also available on this dvd). The version without interviews also has the original cut, which is better in my opinion than the recut with digital images.

Conclusion. This is one of the few documents that really shows the full potential of the progressive genre. Buy.

friso | 5/5 |


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