Artist: Roger Waters
Album: Roger Waters The Wall
Release Date: 11/20/2015
Regardless of one’s feelings about Roger Waters’ role in the break-up of Pink Floyd, or his controversial comments about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it’s hard not to admire his commitment to craft and creativity. When he brought his monumental concert production of The Wall Live to audiences worldwide, it became one of the most elaborate and extravagant recreations of a single album in rock history, a stage show so vast that it eclipsed anything even his previous band had ever attempted. The tour was captured on film for posterity, and its original soundtrack, a live representation of The Wall in its entirety, effectively captures the music as it was recreated onstage. For anyone who considers that album a turning point in terms of sheer ambition and imagination, this will likely be considered a mandatory acquisition.
In a way, that’s understandable. Music this remarkable deserves a second coming. After all, it only takes a quick inventory of the many incarnations of Tommy or Sgt. Pepper to see that when it comes to masterpieces, the public never seems to tire of revisiting them. Still, with an album like The Wall, there’s only so many ways to reinvent it, and given that there’s already been a concert version staged at the site of Berlin Wall, and it was subsequently released as a live album over fifteen years ago, a new recorded version seems rather redundant. And let’s not forget the animated feature that became a true stoner’s delight. So while the video documentary might make for an engaging viewing, another audio take, sans the spectacular visual effects, is just that – another rehash of a work that’s all too familiar. Yes, there is immortal material therein: “Is There Anybody Out There,” “Goodbye Blue Sky,” “Hey You,” “Comfortably Numb” and “Run Like Hell” among them. But, to paraphrase its signature song, who needs another brick in this wall?