Pink Floyd
Live at Pompeii


4.5
superb

Review

by Hernan M. Campbell STAFF
March 28th, 2012 | 118 replies | 8,510 views


Release Date: 1972 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A spellbinding performance that will leave the listener breathless.

The Pink Floyd performing in this album is not the familiar Pink Floyd that is known to most of the world, the legendary group that wrote acclaimed classics like; The Dark Side Of The Moon and The Wall. No, this album better acquaints us with a band that was just beginning to define themselves and their music. A band that had become a shadow of its former self after being stripped of their identity at the hand of its former leader, Syd Barrett, and spending an extend amount of time in their career rediscovering themselves. This performance consists of tracks from albums like Meddle and A Saucerful Of Secrets, ironically this is an era that today is often overlooked by fans and even Pink Floyd themselves. But it was within these albums that we saw Pink Floyd beginning to develop the unique sound that would later define them.

Songs like "A Saucerful Of Secrets" display the more experimental side of their earlier efforts. An avant-garde piece that explores new dimensions within their music, while pushing themselves to even stranger realms. "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun" is another track from the same album and even shares a similar fascination with astronomy, but the two differ in sound. "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun", with its cosmic sounds of ambient psychedelia, is orchestrated to mimic the experience of an astral voyage through the vast distances of outer space. This performance displays an emphasis on atmospheric textures than typical rock music as most of the compositions contain lengthy instrumental passages. But that is the beauty of this performance, to hypnotize the listener into a trance while having them descend deep into their mind as they lose themselves in a musical haven.

"Careful With That Axe, Eugene" displays a more traditional musical structure, but it's a haunting piece of music. It has an almost irresistibly alluring quality, Inducing an ominous yet delicate atmosphere before revealing its more aggressive side. For the most part, this composition is an instrumental piece but throughout the track there are various vocal deliveries, menacing in tone so as to add to its gloomy ambience. "One Of These Days" projects a similar aesthetic, but reveals a more different agenda. This composition is very reminiscent of a horror scene, as we resume the role of a character walking alone in a dark place. We advance, timid yet cautious. The tension begins to rise because we know that the murderer is just waiting for that perfect moment of opportunity to strike. It's an exciting piece because as the song progresses, we feel like it's building-up to something, and it almost teases us because we're succumbed with paranoia just waiting for that moment of release. And then, just when everything is slowly calming down, a sudden warning arises; "One of these days, I'm going to cut you into little pieces."- The song erupts into an intense delivery, reflecting the inevitable turmoil where we meet our demise at the hands of our antagonist.

But now let us move on to the highlight of this performance, "Echoes". This song is composed of everything we love about Progressive Rock- the ambient decorations of Psychedelia, and of course those long musical voyages of mesmerizing musicianship. This song is an odyssey through time and space, descending through a multitude of instrumental realms as we discover just how far these musicians can go. Every member displays a phenomenal performance in this piece, whether it's Roger Waters carrying us along with his basslines, Nick Mason who keeps the song alive with his rhythmic drumming or Richard Wright's touches of hypnotic ambience throughout, but this song would be nothing without David Gilmour's contribution. He just erupts with a set of relentless solos, his performance is truly incendiary with the roaring bursts from his guitar as it cries for mercy. This version of "Echoes" is divided into 2 parts in the album, both as the opening track and the denouement. As a great admirer of this song, I feel the division disturbs the hypnotic quality of this truly beautiful piece of music. But even still, it's an enjoyable work of art. This album is often the ignored one of Pink Floyd's Live discography as it doesn't contain most of their well known songs. It is composed entirely of their earlier work, the ambient and the experimental; music that is not suited for the average listener. But I encourage fans of Pink Floyd, and any admirer of Progressive Rock, to give this album a listen as it will be sure to satisfy if given the attention and enthusiasm it requires.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2012



4376 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There 2 versions of this album one including the original performance (What I reviewed) and another that was released years later with material from Dark Side Of The Moon.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2012



5896 Comments


I have the DVD from this, it is really awesome.

Digging: Electric Citizen - Sateen

SCREAMorphine
March 28th 2012



1751 Comments


Nice review, I've always wanted to listen to this

TheNotrap
March 28th 2012



7962 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Acid journey.

Nice review, have a pos.

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

taylormemer
March 28th 2012



4913 Comments


DVD is brilliant.

MO
March 28th 2012



18191 Comments


what taylor said, so good

KILL
March 28th 2012



70363 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

amazing

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

MO
March 28th 2012



18191 Comments


the live performance of set the controls gets me everytime

CaptainDooRight
March 28th 2012



28297 Comments


cool



Digging: IQ - The Road of Bones

bloc
March 28th 2012



34663 Comments


Oh man that Youtube video of Echoes live is one of my favourite videos.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

CaptainDooRight
March 28th 2012



28297 Comments


"This performance displays an emphasis on atmospheric textures than typical Rock & Roll, as most of the compositions contain lengthy instrumental passages. But that is the beauty of this performance, to hypnotize the listener into a trance and having them descend deep into their mind, to lose themselves within a musical haven."

awesome wording!! pos

dannyboy89
March 29th 2012



11894 Comments


Pos. I'm not really interested in live albums, but nice review.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2012



4376 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Bloc
Me too!

Sowilei
June 18th 2012



20 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Set the controls for the heart of the sun, the heart of the sun, the heart of the sun. . .
Echoes, One of these days, I'm going to cut you into little pieces, are great.
Mademoiselle Nobs makes the inventory of fixtures in our brains, just before the crazy part 2 of Echoes, with THE SOUND, which one introduce the marvelous melody of the killer whale
They are the best. DEFINITELY the best.

KILL
August 16th 2012



70363 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the original cut of this is fucking amazing

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
September 23rd 2012



15696 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Echoes pt 2 fantastic on this.

Digging: Synaesthesia (UK) - Synaesthesia

wacknizzle
November 13th 2012



12572 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYMyxTFwuz8&feature=related


3:04 Roger Waters creates black metal ;)

Digging: PVRIS - Paris

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 13th 2012



15696 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

haha

wacknizzle
November 13th 2012



12572 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

m/ this film is amazing, the directors cut is especially neato.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 13th 2012



15696 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4FLSj4kQ4I

most spine tingling music ever recorded



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