It was during the recording of Pink Floyd’s last album “The Division Bell” back in ’94 that they also recorded a number of pieces for an unfinished ambient album that went under the working title of The Big Spliff. These sessions captured the last Floyd recordings from Richard Wright who passed away two years ago and it is these recordings that David Gilmour and Nick Mason have reworked to create, according to Gilmour, “the final Pink Floyd album”, The Endless River.
So is this just a load of guitar and percussion tracks layered over Wright’s keyboard out-takes that were not good enough for release 20 years ago? Well, yes it is but it is much more than this.
Mainly instrumental, often minimal and ambient to the extreme The Endless River is an epitaph to a glorious career, revisiting and tipping its cap to all of the bands musical eras. From Syd Barrett’s psychedelic rock of the late sixties, through the grandiose prog concepts of the seventies to the pomp of Gilmour’s stadium filling Floyd of the 80’s and 90’s, They are all here, like looking back through a family photo album. Some elements stand out as direct reference points to the past, others just have a comforting Floydy familiarity, while yet other passages hint towards new directions.
Richard Wright is showcased throughout the album and the importance of his contribution to the Pink Floyd sound is undeniable. This is the Album That Floyd could have released if Wright had taken the helm instead of Gilmour when Roger Waters left the band in ’82. The absence of lyrics, barring Louder Than Words, serves as a reminder that the band’s songwriter (Waters) is absent and that as they have discovered on their last two albums – difficult to replace.
Cynics will delight in claiming this album is simply Floyd by numbers, a blatant attempt to use a tried and tested formula to resell us a repackaging of their greatest moments, but they will have missed the point. This album is a retrospective celebration of the collective works of a group of musicians who were not the best of friends, who fought and disagreed about musical direction at every junction.
“We bitch and we fight” sings Gilmour in the opening line of the final song, Louder Than Words, the only song with lyrics, and yet out of this friction came some of the most extraordinary, evocative and influential music ever to be put to vinyl.
Is this the Floyd’s finest hour? No, but then it isn’t meant to be. It is a celebration of all their finest hours, its a final chapter, a closure, and its a damn fine way to bow out…
__________________________ This thing that they do, its louder than words __________________________
CD & VINYL VERSIONS
01. Things Left Unsaid… (4:24)
02. It’s What We Do (6:21)
03. Ebb And Flow (1:50)
04. Sum (4:49)
05. Skins (2:37)
06. Unsung (1:06)
07. Anisina (3:15)
08. The Lost Art Of Conversation (1:43)
09. On Noodle Street (1:42)
10. Night Light (1:42)
11. Allons-y  (1:56)
12. Autumn ’68 (1:35)
13. Allons-y  (1:35)
14. Talkin’ Hawkin’ (3:25)
15. Calling (3:38)
16. Eyes To Pearls (1:51)
17. Surfacing (2:46)
18. Louder Than Words (6:32)
Total Time: 52:47
CD/DVD & Blu-Ray versions include: Album in high resolution 5.1 and Stereo | Plus non-album material (Approx 39 mins) | 6 video tracks + 3 audio tracks | 24 page deluxe hardback booklet | 3 collectors postcards| Stereo 5.1 DTS Master Audio and 5.1 PCM | All audio in High Resolution 96kHz/24bit | Archive video material from standard definition source.
David Gilmour – Guitars, Vocals, Voice Samples, Keyboards, Piano, EMS VCS 3 & Bass Guitar (2,4 & 7)
Nick Mason – Drums, Percussions & Voice Samples
Richard Wright – Hammond Organ, Farfisa Organ, Pipe Organ, Piano, Rhodes Piano, Keyboards, Synthesiser, Vibraphone & Voice Samples
Guy Pratt – Bass Guitar (9 & 14)
Bob Ezrin – Bass Guitar (11,13 & 18) & Additional Keyboards (1)
Andy Jackson – Bass Guitar (5 & 16) & Effects (15)
Jon Carin – Synthesisers (9,11 & 13) & Percussion Loop (11 & 13)
Damon Iddins – Additional Keyboards (4 & 12)
Anthony Moore – Keyboards (15)
Gilad Atzmon – Tenor Saxophone & Clarinet (7)
Chantal Leverton – Viola (18)
Victoria Lyon – Violin (18)
Helen Nash – Cello (18)
Honor Watson – Violin (18)
Durga McBroom – Backing Vocals (14,17 & 18)
Louise Marshal – Backing Vocals (18)
Sarah Brown – Backing Vocals (18)
Stephen Hawking – Voice Sample (14)
Record Label: Parlophone UK
Catalogue#: Various Options
Year Of Release: 2014
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