Roger Waters "IN THE FLESH" was released by Sony/Columbia on December 5th. The double CD recording of the entire live show, drawn from performances in Phoenix, Arizona, Las Vegas, Nevada, Irvine, California, and Portland, Oregon, is Roger's first full-length release since 1992's "Amused To Death." A deluxe DVD version of "In The Flesh" - featuring a Hi Definition live concert video with 5.1 Dolby Digital and LPCM Stereo music mixes, a 30-minute behind-the-scenes documentary, band biographies, still photographs, projected images, lyrics, and more - was released almost 2 years later.
Appearing with Roger Waters (guitar, vocals, and bass) on "In The Flesh" is his band of top-flight musicians including Andy Fairweather-Low (guitar), Snowy White (guitar), Doyle Bramhall II (guitar and vocals), Graham Broad (drums), Jon Carin (keyboards), Andy Wallace (keyboards), Katie Kissoon (vocals), Susannah Melvoin (vocals), and PP Arnold (vocals).
Throughout the U.S. tour, critics praised the power of Waters' performances, the timelessness of his music, the show's intimate production values and seamless structure. The San Jose Mercury News reported that the show "was rock as art, with the kind of concern for sound rarely seen today." And the Fort Worth Star Telegram raved that "his long, luscious two-set show made up mainly of Floyd classics was on a more human scale? this show felt like a celebration." The Los Angeles Times was equally enthusiastic and wrote, "the show illustrated the extent to which Waters operatic rock has influenced generations."
Tracks on "In The Flesh" include:
"In The Flesh" is produced and mixed by longtime collaborator James Guthrie, who has worked on Waters' music since co-producing and engineering "The Wall" in 1978 and has remastered the entire Pink Floyd catalog. Guthrie recorded the concerts as a 48-track analog recording before mixing it down to high resolution digital. "I just like the sound of analog," says Guthrie. "It's much more resolute. It's more real. It breathes. It's more three-dimensional."
"The strength of this record," Guthrie says, "is to hear Roger performing such a great cross-section of material from very early Pink Floyd, i.e. 'Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun,' to more contemporary Pink Floyd to Roger's solo career. It's a very dynamic performance. They are all important pieces of music."
And indeed, in comparison, this live album makes the best of all the tour bootlegs out there sound anemic. The sound quality is simply superb. And the performances sound more crisp, dynamic and consummate than any Pink Floyd performance I have ever heard. The musicianship sounds almost unparalleled, and Roger's voice sounds never better. Ever the perfectionist, Roger's performance is flawless. When listening to this album it's obvious that these exceptional musicians enjoy what they play so much that they become a part of the music itself.
This album brings back the awe, the excitement and the emotional trauma I felt as a fan at those shows. Listening to this music played upon the stage before us it seemed as if time stood still, as if we all were in a trance like reminiscence of the past, days gone by, people and places from memory, when these classic Floyd songs were new. The tear rolling down the cheek, as the words and music bring back the meanings these songs once held so personally for each and every fan. The concerts were indeed inspiring, and this album elicits touching memories of that exciting spectacle.
The album cover shows a city-scape scene in the background, (originally created by 4i for The Wall Live in Berlin show) the In the Flesh tour pig logo in solid black beneath, crossed barbed wire in the foreground, (similar to the graphics projected during the tour for Each Small Candle) a lunar eclipse in the upper right corner and in the upper left are the words Roger Waters in white block lettering with blue block lettering of in the flesh in lower case underneath. Quite a nice design.
On the back cover is the track listing above the same 4i city-scape amongst which are silhouettes of the hitchhiker, (from "...Pros and Cons...") the monkey watching TV, (from "Amused to Death"), and the Radio tower (from "Radio KAOS" even though no song that album is on the CD or was played during this leg of the tour). In the foreground is white feathered photo or Roger standing with his bass waving to his fans. The inside 24 page booklet is filled with great photos from the tour and of course the album credits. But it also contains a wonderful narrative by Roger Waters talking to Nick Sedgewick about the album, the tour, and the future. The CD's themselves are picture discs of a lunar eclipse with titles and track listing.
All in all, this album is perfection. One of the best albums in the last 10 years.
IN THE FLESH
(US: Columbia C2K 85235)
The Roger Waters "IN THE FLESH LIVE" DVD was released in the US on December 18, 2001, and in Canada on January 15, 2002. Sony released the Region 2 of the version of the Roger Waters "IN THE FLESH LIVE" DVD, in the UK and Europe on March 18th 2002. The VHS version Roger Waters "IN THE FLESH LIVE" has been released in the U.S. as well, so the PAL VHS tape version should also be released in Europe.
PLEASE NOTE that all of the DVDs sold by these US companies are encoded for Region 1, and will not play on most DVD players outside North America, and the VHS Video version is NOT PAL formatted so will not work in European VHS players.
(US: Columbia CVD 54185
(US: Columbia CV 54185