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Articles Home » 1994 Articles » Pink Floyd - 1994 The Division Bell
Pink Floyd - 1994 The Division Bell

ARTIST: Pink Floyd
ALBUM: The Division Bell
SERIAL: 7243 8 28984 1 2
YEAR: 1994
CD REISSUE: 2011, EMI, 50999 028961 2 0 (the Discovery Edition)


LINEUP: David Gilmour - lead vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, bass, keyboards, programming * Nick Mason - drums, percussion, programming * Richard Wright - keyboards, piano, vocals

Additional Musicians: Guy Pratt - bass * Tim Renwick - guitars * Gary Wallis - percussion * John Carin - programming, keyboards * Bob Ezrin - keyboards, percussion * Dick Parry - tenor sax * Sam Brown, Durga McBroom, Carol Kenyon, Jackie Sheridan, Rebecca Leigh-White - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Cluster One * 02 What Do You Want From Me * 03 Poles Apart * 04 Marooned * 05 A Great Day For Freedom * 06 Wearing The Inside Out * 07 Take It Back * 08 Coming Back To Life * 09 Keep Talking * 10 Lost For Words * 11 High Hopes


The fourteenth and last Pink Floyd album has sold over twelve million copies since its release in March 1994. Not bad for a band that were the most successful of the first wave progressives yet never cared to be associated with the likes of Genesis, ELP or Yes while very much cut from the same cloth. Floyd's overall chart successes and sales numbers were and still are astounding and their stadium-sized live shows were even more impressive with the 'The Division Bell' tour alone selling just short of five and a half million tickets. Meanwhile Roger Waters who did his best to permanently end Pink Floyd following 1983's 'The Final Cut', continued to scoff at his former band as a 'clever forgery' and rejecting the opportunity to re-join Floyd on the European leg of the tour due to his songs performed in large venues. Sour grapes as Waters has since gone on to play numerous large-scale shows himself in the years since but such has been the world of Pink Floyd where pigs can fly and the dark side of the moon is littered with madness, money and endless self-created drama.

The Songs
Like nearly every Pink Floyd release, visual presentation was of the utmost importance and 'The Division Bell' is one of my favourites with its classic Storm Thorgerson photo of massive metal-head sculptures facing each other to form a third face. Cool stuff and it's easily the band's strongest set since their classic 'Animals' album. Like their previous effort 1987's 'A Momentary Lapse Of Reason', a bevy of top shelf session players and songwriters were brought in where needed and this time keyboardist Richard Wright is back in the fold as a main player, having a prolonged rocky relationship with the band going back to 'The Wall' sessions. He plays a big part in creating the album's atmospheric and drifting sound over the course of eleven stellar tracks opening with the brooding but intensely creative instrumental 'Cluster One'. Follow-up 'What Do Want from Me' hit FM radio with a wallop while 'Poles Apart' gives us typical Floydian spaciousness that's been so often copied but never bettered. Living up to his guitar-god status, David Gilmour's guitar solos are some of the best he's committed to tape, including 'Marooned' which lifts its gorgeous melody line from the iconic 'Dark Side Of The Moon' but in the end is far more interesting as is the record's first single 'Take It Back', the closest Pink Floyd ever came to opening the neo-prog door. Saving the best for last, 'High Hopes' culminates in dramatic fashion, everything that made late-period Pink Floyd a force to be reckoned with; dynamic, dreamy and melodic with an otherworldliness that on their post Waters output is always intriguing and rarely disappointing.

In Summary
Falling in line with my previous Glory Daze commentary on Pink Floyd's music, its 'The Division Bell', 'A Momentary Lapse of Reason' and 1977's 'Animals' I'll spin when in the mood which isn't very often. This could be due to oversaturation by radio in my formative years, space rock never moved me as much as melodic/neo progressive or the fact the occasional Hawkwind album is usually a far more entertaining proposition. Not to mention the perplexing appeal of 'The Dark Side Of The Moon' LP which I'll probably never come to grips with and yet there's no denying Pink Floyd's enormous and influential contribution to rock music which puts them in a unique and enviable class all by themselves.

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#1 | gdazegod on August 20 2012 01:12:44
OMG, I can't believe this is our first Pink Floyd review..! Shock
#2 | AOR Lee on August 24 2012 08:59:01
Not sure it's worth 12 million sales but Division Bell is a fine Sunday afternoon record
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