Amused To Death Discography
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Amused To Death


During October 1987, Waters took time of his Radio KAOS tour and took the Bleeding Heart Band to do some recording at Compass Point Studios, Nassau in the Bahamas. It was designed to be a follow up to the Radio KAOS album with the same musical style and format with Jim Ladd and Billy appearing, and with Doreen Chanter prominent. Six untitled songs were recorded plus an instrumental based on Going To Live In LA, plus they were also thinking about including Get Back To Radio. It was hoped to be released early in 1988. The working title for this album was Amused To Death (the title coming from Neil Postman's 1986 book Amusing Ourselves To Death), and a Gerald Scarfe album cover was purported to include a huge martini glass with three bodies lying in it. After more work on the album in London during 1988 and early 1989, in February 1989, EMI admitted that Amused To Death had been shelved because Waters was not happy with it. They promised a release by early 1990, either a rerecorded version or a new project, but it was to be many years later that a release was forthcoming. The CA IRA opera and the Berlin Wall concert was deemed more important at the time.

18 months of recording in ten different studios was needed to complete Amused To Death based on the demos that already existed. In fact, the song order was shuffled 7 times to try and obtain the best result. Apparently the backing drums in Perfect Sense were the only studio material from the 1987 sessions to make it onto the album. The title Amused To Death was dropped at one stage with Waters claiming it was "too final". A September 1988 Penthouse interview quoted two verses of what was to become the title track, and it is known that The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range was another early track because it was sung acoustically during the Berlin Wall rehearsals. Apparently the first two verses were in the original, but the third verse was changed from being about Berlin to focus on the Gulf War. Three Wishes was another early one, while the last thing recorded was a re-recording of It's A Miracle as used on the album to replace the up tempo version that included Flea of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

The origin of the album can be traced to Stanley Kubrick's "2001 - A Space Odyssey" where a monkey clutches a bone in his hand and, smashing it against a rock, realises it can be used as a weapon. It uses the analogy of a monkey or gorilla watching TV and flicking through channels searching for something that interests him. Amused To Death is concerned with the ever increasing power of TV which Waters sees as a two-edged sword. It can save us by allowing us to communicate and understand each other and be used as an educational tool. On the other hand, it may be used to manipulate our way of thinking by governments attempting to sell itself or take the focus away from important issues or problems. Waters states that "television, when it becomes commercialised and profit-based tends to trivialise and dehumanise our lives." The TV theme was not new to Waters. In a 1983 interview with Jim Ladd about The Final Cut album, he said "I keep harping back to this theory about TV. In the 17th, 18th, 19th and early twentieth century ... the only contact you had with your leaders was by reading about them in newspapers ... It's only recently that we, the ordinary folk, have had a chance to observe them at reasonably close quarters." Radio KAOS also had a theme of the soap opera state, with leaders spending an increasing amount of time entertaining the masses in the search for popularity.

The album is dedicated to Private William Hubbard (1888 - 1917) of the British Royal Fusiliers. His friend, Alf Razzell was forced to leave him in no-man's land to die during the battle of the Somme in France during World War One. The album is framed by Razzell's reminiscence from a BBC documentary. Waters was very moved by this example of one of the many war veterans who feel guilt at having survived the conflict while many, including friend, perished. The album also canvasses important events of recent years including the Tripoli bombing in 1986 in retaliation for the Libyans training, supplying and supporting terrorist groups, the Gulf War, and Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 when a student democracy protest was brutally crushed by the Chinese government forces.

Co-producer Pat Leonard (notable for his work with Madonna and who incidentally played keyboards on A Momentary Lapse Of Reason) was a major factor in the finished project as was guitarist Andy Fairweather-Low. The talents of Jeff Beck, who graces 7 songs on the album, was another important contributing factor, most notably on the first single What God Wants which was originally called Fallen Angel. As Waters explains, this song "was written as an irritable response to the idea that God can be on somebody's side and not on somebody else's side." Like the first single from Radio KAOS, Waters was incredibly annoyed at the refusal of the BBC to play the What God Wants single. He said, "If it said Pink Floyd on it, I'd sell 10 million albums. It's extraordinary how difficult it is to cross that line, for people to understand who I am and what my work is and what it was in the past." Yet Waters admits he was happy to get on with his own work away from the conflict with his former band mates and has come to terms with the fact that ,many people don't associate him with his old band.

The American Columbia promo sheet that came out to record stores and radio stations details the promotional tools set up to give Amused To Death widespread exposure up to the September 1 release date in the USA. It seemed geared to fully exploit the new release in all aspects of the media, even giving dates of various advertising activities: "The extensive press exposure, the Columbia and Westwood One specials, radio sponsored listening parties, MTV and radio teasers, combined with various other elements ... can only lead to one conclusion: Amused To Death will be a juggernaut for the music business this fall." Many other countries got in on the act, such as Australia premiering the album in the Jubilee Room in the Melbourne Zoo, September 11 1992. The UK release of the album came on September 7.

The video of What God Wants was premiered on MTV on August 17. The promo sheet states, "We believe this groundbreaking clip will set the video world spinning off its axis. Count on this clip being a most requested at every music video outlet!" Perhaps a little over-exaggerated, at least as far as MTV was concerned because after the world premiere, the video was not to appear very often again, even though it would be later nominated for a grammy on February 24 1993. It was officially released with two different video versions (one the standard promo and one a band performance filmed at Abbey Road Studios on May 12 1992). Also included on the official release was part of a Waters interview with Jim Ladd. The video of the second single, Three Wishes, also received very little attention.

It was in October 1993 that Waters decided not to go ahead with a tour, because the album had only sold half of the 3-4 million he claimed would necessitate a tour. So the only live performances so far have been the debut of What God Wants, at the Guitar Legends concert in Seville on October 18 1991, which formed part of Expo 92. There was also an incomplete solo acoustic run through of The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range, at the Berlin Wall rehearsals. The only other Waters live performances since 1990 has been the Walden Woods Benefit in California on April 1 1992, where only songs from The Wall were played.

LP

AMUSED TO DEATH
(Holland: Columbia 01-468761-20) limited edition 2LP with lyric booklet
(Holland: Columbia 01-468761-20) 2LP without booklet
(Spain: CBS/Sony 12-468761-20) 2LP

CD

AMUSED TO DEATH
(UK: Columbia CK 47127)
(SC: Columbia COL 468761 2)
(USA: Columbia CK 47127)
(USA: Sony/Columbia CK53196) limited edition gold master CD. Comes in longbox sized white cloth and plastic case with cover sticker and gold picture CD
(USA - CK 53196) longbox Gold Master
(USA - CK 64426) reissue Gold Master
(Japan - SRCS 6766) Gold Master
(Canada - MCK 53196) Gold Master

12 INCH

WHAT GOD WANTS PART 1 (video version) / WHAT GOD WANTS PART 1 (LP version) / WHAT GOD WANTS PART 3
(Costa Rica: Columbia 81019092)
(Holland: Columbia 658139 6) p/s with a misprint: Cover/Label: Rogers Waters

THE BRAVERY OF BEING OUT OF RANGE

(Costa Rica: Columbia 81012792) promo

7 INCH

WHAT GOD WANTS PART 1 (video version) / WHAT GOD WANTS PART 1 (album version)
(Holland: Columbia 658139 0) first pressing with thick p/s
(Holland: Columbia 658139 0) second pressing with thin p/s
(USA: Columbia 38-74363)
WHAT GOD WANTS PART 1 (video version)
(Spain: CBS/Sony ARIC 148) one sided promo
WHAT GOD WANTS (I) / Bellamore (Francesco De Gregori)
(Italy: JC 15318) white label jukebox-promo
THE BRAVERY OF BEING OUT OF RANGE
(Spain: CBS/Sony ARIC 171) one sided promo

CD SINGLES

WHAT GOD WANTS PART 1 (video version) / WHAT GOD WANTS PART 1 (LP version)
(Australia: Columbia 658139 2) (Australia: Columbia 658139 2) silver promo stamp
(USA: Columbia 38K 74363)
WHAT GOD WANTS PART 1 (video version) / WHAT GOD WANTS PART 1 (LP version) / WHAT GOD WANTS PART 3
(Holland: Columbia 658139 2)
(UK: Columbia 658139 5)

(UK: Columbia 658139 9) limited edition numbered box set with 2 prints

THE BRAVERY OF BEING OUT OF RANGE / WHAT GOD WANTS PART 1 / PERFECT SENSE PT 1

(Austria: Columbia 658819 2)
(USA: Columbia CSK 4830)

      

THREE WISHES (radio edit) / WHAT GOD WANTS PART 1 /THE BRAVERY OF BEING OUT OF RANGE

(Austria: Columbia 658899 2)

PROMO ONLY CD

AMUSED TO DEATH
(UK: Columbia COL 468761) promo box set of CD and music cassette
WHAT GOD WANTS PART 1
(UK: The Hit Factory London HFL 018) testpressing
WHAT GOD WANTS PART 1 (video version) / WHAT GOD WANTS PART 1 (LP version) / WHAT GOD WANTS PART 3
(UK: Columbia APCD 2), 14:56, two different stickers:

1. CBS Chart Entry This Week At No...45

2. The Release Date Of This Single Is 24/8

WHAT GOD WANTS PART 1 (album version) / WHAT GOD WANTS PART 1 (video version)
(USA: Columbia CSK 4607) lyric insert
THE BRAVERY OF BEING OUT OF RANGE
(USA: Columbia CSK 4830), 04:46 lyric insert
THREE WISHES
(USA: Columbia CSK 4941), 04:22, lyric insert

SPECIAL CD

AMUSED TO DEATH GOLD CDs:

RADIO SHOW CD

OFF THE RECORD
(USA: Westwood One OTRSP 92-42), 59:02, 1CD Waters interview with Mary Turner, broadcast week of October 12 1992
SUPERSTAR CONCERT SERIES: ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME '93 (USA: Westwood One 93-03), 59:33/30:00, 2CD, various artists with Waters live tracks, broadcast week of January 16/17, 1993 UP CLOSE
(USA: Media America Network 9311/12) 2CD music and interviews, broadcast weeks of February 14 and (USA: Westwood One 93-03), 59:33/30:00, 2CD, various artists with Waters live tracks, broadcast week of January 16/17, 1993 March 04, 1993
SUPERSTAR CONCERT SERIES: PINK FLOYD - RETROSPECTIVE
(USA: Westwood One 94-19), 62:17/29:21, 2CD with music and interviews, broadcast week of May 2 1994
SUPERSTAR CONCERT SERIES: PINK FLOYD / ROGER WATERS
(USA: Westwood One 95-25), 38:14/42:48 2CD, with live music, broadcast week of June 12 1995

COMPILATION PROMO LP

ROCK PROMO
(Brazil: Sony 52.231) 6 tracks include What God Wants Part 1

SAMPLER CD

SONY MUSIC DANKE '92 POP
(Germany: Columbia SAMPCD), 67:17, 21 tracks include What God Wants Part 1 What God Wants (I) is only a segment
HAKURAIKUN '92 VOL. 5
(Japan: Sony XDCS93094), 61:42, 13 Tracks with What God Wants (I)
THE ULTIMATE MASTERSOUND SAMPLER
(USA: Sony), Gold CD, 44 Tracks information from the title-page of the German magazine OLDIE-MARKT.
WHAT'S NEW 2/92
Deutschland: Columbia SAMPCD 1687), 64:38, 17 Tracks mit What God Wants (I)

SONGBOOK

(see REG 7)
Apart from the obligatory music transcription in such a songbook, these 80 pages only further include 4 full page colour photos of Waters, plus another on the rear cover and a small one on the inner cover.

VIDEO

GUITAR LEGENDS
"Legendas De La Guiterra", Expo 92, Seville, Spanish TV, October 18 1991(35m)
- IN THE FLESH
- ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL (PT 1) / THE HAPPIEST DAYS OF OUR LIVES / ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL (PT 2)
- BRAIN DAMAGE / ECLIPSE
- WHAT GOD WANTS (PART 1)
- COMFORTABLY NUMB
"MTV News" October 14 1991 (2m) footage of In The Flesh rehearsal in a London studio plus interview
"MTV News", interviews and clips, 1991 (8m)
"MTV News", Pat Leonard interview and clips, 1991 (3m)
"MTV News" Waters with Don Henley, April 8 1992 (2m)
OFFICIAL

WHAT GOD WANTS PT 1 (promo) / Waters Interview with Jim Ladd / WHAT GOD WANTS PT 1 (performance) (15m)

- available on 10" laserdisc in Japan (NTSC)
- available on video in Europe (PAL) and the USA (NTSC)
UNRELEASED OFFICIAL INTERVIEW
1991 Amused To Death Sony/Columbia interview of Waters by Jim Ladd (67m) part used on the official video release
- transcribed in REG 6-8
TV ADS AND INTERVIEWS
"What God Wants (Part 1)" Columbia records ad, MTV, August 12 1992
WHAT GOD WANTS (PART 1), video preview, MTV, August 15 1992 (1m)
"What God Wants God Gets" Columbia records ad, MTV, August 18 1992
WHAT GOD WANTS (PART 1), MTV video premiere, August 17 1992
WHAT GOD WANTS (PART 1), MTV (Europe) Hitlist, September 7 1992 (1m)
WHAT GOD WANTS (PART 1) video shown at #34 on UK charts on MTV (Europe), September 9 1992
Amused To Death report, MTV, September 20 1992 (1m)
"News At Night", MTV (Europe) Waters interview about TV, PF, and What God Wants, October 12 1992 (3m)
"News At Night", MTV (Europe) Waters interview about Jeff Beck, October 13 1992 (1m)
Amused To Death Special, "Videomusic" Italian TV, October 21 1992 (22m) with Waters interview in English and clips
"Week in Rock", MTV, Gilmour and Waters questioned about Syd Barrett, November 22 1992
Amused To Death album ad, "Videomusic", Italian TV, December 17 1992 (30 sec)
Best Foreign Video Nomination, "Notte Rock", Italian TV, December 20 1992 (1m) with brief clip of What God Wants
"CBS Up To The Minute", USA TV, Randall Benjamin interviews Waters about DSOTM, April 15 1993
"Dancing In The Street: Eight Miles High", BBC documentary includes Waters and Pete Jenner interview, July 20 1996 - transcribed REG 14
PROMO
THREE WISHES, 1993 (4m)

AUDIO

LIVE RADIO BROADCAST
"Legendas De La Guiterra", Expo 92, Seville, October 18 1991 (35m)
SELECTED AUDIO INTERVIEWS
"Amused To Death premiere", USA radio, August 27 1992 (100m) transcribed in REG 3-4
SWF3 German radio, September 18 1992 (120m) live phone in, transcribed in REG 5-6
FM 100, Spanish radio, October 9 1992 (60m) Waters interview
"Off The Record" with Mary Turner, Westwood One USA radio, October 12 1992 (55m)
"Rockline", USA radio, February 8 1993 (90m) live phone in, transcribed in REG 5-7
"Up Close", Media America Network, USA radio, February 14 and 26 1993 (100m)

SAMPLER LP'S

      

HARVEST SWEETIES

(Germany: Harvest 1C 048-29772 L) includes Breathe, plus Octopus (Syd Barrett)
(Holland: Harvest 5C 048 24338) includes Breathe, plus If (Pink Floyd) and Octopus (Syd Barrett)
(France: EMI/Harvest 2C 048 24338 includes Breathe, plus Octopus (Syd Barrett)

COMPILATION CD'S

ROGER WATERS RARITIES VOLUME 1
(1997 The Digital Floyd Project DFP 128) This compilation of rare works is the result of Roger Waters Fans Worldwide. The DFP is a not for profit service.

OTHER BOOTLEG CD'S

WALDEN WOODS 1992
(Holland: Marooned Records (no catalog number), 27:03, Universal Amphitheater, Los Angeles, 01.04.92



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