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The Wall (Live In Berlin)

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Album Review

Nobody really expected the Berlin Wall to come down in 1989, and so suddenly. Roger Waters especially, because he had once made a promise never to perform The Wall again after the 1980 tour until the bricks fell in Berlin. But they did, and Waters had no intention to renege on his promise. The Wall became a star-studded megaconcert to benefit the Memorial Fund for Disaster Relief, with larger bricks, bigger inflatable puppets, and a larger audience than any of the original Pink Floyd shows. There was always a contradiction in performing such a personal work in a stadium setting, but here it becomes especially acute when opening up the vocal tasks to a variety of artists. Bryan Adams is actually an astute choice for the cock rock swagger of "Young Lust," but Cyndi Lauper ruins the spare funk of "Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2" with over-enthusiastic yelping. And you'll definitely want to skip Jerry Hall's reading of the background dialog before "One of My Turns" ("Oh my gawd, what a fabulous room! Are all these your guitars?" — a piece known word for word by every Floyd fan out there), as she seems unaware that a microphone can be used for amplification. By running through the album track by track, a lot of the effect of the live versions wears thin, as it invites constant comparison to the studio album. But the trial scene is handled well, with Albert Finney, Tim Curry, Marianne Faithfull, Thomas Dolby, and Ute Lemper taking on the characters in Waters' psychological drama. It's fun, a nice document, but only makes you want to return to the original album.

Biography

Born: 06 September 1944 in Great Bookham, Cambridge, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Roger Waters was Pink Floyd's grand conceptualist, the driving force behind such albums as Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and The Wall. In the wake of Syd Barrett's departure, Waters emerged as a formidable songwriter, but it's this stretch of '70s albums -- each one nearly symphonic in its reach -- that established him as a distinctive, idiosyncratic voice within rock and, following his departure from Floyd in 1985, he continued to create new works in this vein (notably, 1992's Amused...
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