Roger Waters: In The Flesh

The title of the new double live album is taken from the opening track of what is probably Roger Waters’ best-known work, "The Wall". Unfortunately, we have been offered relatively slim pickings from Mr. Waters in recent years, 1992’s Amused to Death was the last new piece, and "In the Flesh" contains only one previously unreleased song, "Each Small Candle". All songs are taken from his tour of North America and Canada in 2000 and consist of a good mixture of Solo work and Pink Floyd classics. It makes a refreshing change to hear some of the old Floyd songs that seem to have been shunned by Dave Gilmour & co on all of their recent tours. The version of "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" originally from the second Floyd Album, "A Saucerful of Secrets", gets a serious make-over and sounds as fresh today as it did back in 1968. Other Floydian rarities include "Southampton Dock", "Dogs" and "Get your filthy hands of my Desert". Of course he includes many of the old favorites from "Wish you were here" and "The Dark Side of the Moon" too. The closing track " Each Small Candle" promised to be part of a whole new piece of work that is yet to emerge. There is however a fairly interesting story behind the first verse of the new song, it was written by a South American who'd been a victim of torture. An Italian journalist, active in the initiative against torture in Northern Italy, had given Waters the short poem years ago. The poem lay in a drawer in Waters' studio until, during the crisis in Kosovo, he read a piece in The Times describing a Serbian soldier who saw an Albanian woman lying in a burned-out building. The soldier left his platoon to give aid to the woman, then rejoined his men and marched off. The image inspired Waters to set the short poem, "Each Small Candle," to music and pen additional lyrics. All of Waters’ post Floyd work seems far superior to what Pink Floyd have come up without him. Waters has managed to fill the gaping chasm left by Dave Gilmour with such accomplished musicians as Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Snowy White. How different may things have been if Waters had won the court battle for the right to trade under the name of "Pink Floyd". I guess we will never know. Still, I have deducted 1 point for not including any European venues in his last tour.


LixeL said...

I think that Mr Waters would have produced more work than he has if he had been awarded the rights to the Pink Floyd name. However I'm not sure that would have necessarily been a good thing given the output of the end of that Floyd era.

The music he has produced himself (personally I love Radio KAOS) is fundamentally different to the Floyd material he was writing and much better for it in my opinion, in the same way that Dave Gilmour produced his first solo album with some beautiful music on it.

At the time I like many others probably was gutted that the Floyd tore themselves apart, however on relflection it was probably for the best, given that since that point all of the artists have produced some fantastic music, and the post Waters Floyd era I feel was in some ways almost as good as the DSOTM, Amimals, WYWH era.