1994 - Your Thoughts on The Division Bell Album?

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Keith Jordan
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1994 - Your Thoughts on The Division Bell Album?

Post by Keith Jordan » Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:20 am

Although not one of Pink Floyd's best albums (it was voted 6th in the big Pink Floyd survey though) I do think it is a good piece and certainly worth owning.

What are your thoughts on it?

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Re: 1994 - Your Thoughts on The Division Bell Album?

Post by sherer » Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:02 am

not their best but I still enjoy listening to it.

Really like High Hopes which is a fitting end to the final PF studio album.

Loved the two instrumentals and wished they had done a few more tracks similar to this.

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Re: 1994 - Your Thoughts on The Division Bell Album?

Post by Stephen » Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:54 am

At the time I was excited at the prospect of a new Floyd album but that soon started to wear off. I do still like High Hopes though.

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Re: 1994 - Your Thoughts on The Division Bell Album?

Post by Meandthem » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:32 pm

Heard it on max volume while washing floor and it lacks something - the Waters-filter, I think...
Though certain numbers stand out - among them High Hopes (last part)

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Re: 1994 - Your Thoughts on The Division Bell Album?

Post by David Smith » Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:57 pm

It's a bit of an uneven album. A handful of classics sit amongst the filler. Tracks like Take It Back, A Great Day for Freedom and Wearing the Inside Out are the kind of thing i'd only ever hear if i'm putting the whole CD on (which happens fairly seldom). Some wonderful vocal performances by Dave on it though, especially on Lost for Words and Coming Back to Life, while High Hopes finishes the album on a highpoint. Beyond the half way point it definitely feels more like a collection of songs that an actual album (in the opening tracks you get some nice little moments like the bell starting to ring and the songs flow a little more effortlessly in to one another) but is definitely a much stronger way to close a career than AMLOR and possibly TFC. That final solo on High Hopes really feels like the end to a career in the best possible way.

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Re: 1994 - Your Thoughts on The Division Bell Album?

Post by moom » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:32 am

Hailed as being the closest to "the Pink Floyd sound" (reference intended) since Wish You Were Here, it certainly does have it's solutions like on that bittersweet dedication to a friend; however, instead of anti-showbiz tracks and, in places, anger we get more polished production and, I'd say, a bit scientific approach to it (the Stephen Hawking sample being the main source of such impression, also the observatory in the booklet).
This is Waters-less Wish You Were Here, which also means lack of his signature lyrics, but with Gilmour and Polly Samson (and Wright on Wearing The Inside Out, I believe) taking the spot; that said, I would like to give them credit for some good lyrics, but of course they would rarely scrape the heights of their ex-svengali. As a songwriter overall, Waters was in-your-face, to put it mildly; Gilmour has always been "cleaner", more easy-going, maybe, as have been Rick and Nick - especially Nick, that third most cheerful drummer in the world after "Moony" and Ringo. Besides, Dave could not always - actually, hardly ever - relate to lyrics of Waters. If only I had that Schaffner's book next to me right now to find to quote about Dave not digging as deep into his past as Roger (I do have the book, but it's at home right now and I'm not)...
So, I can quite see why some people turned away from Gilmour and co when they decided to carry on without their ex-principal songwriter. And that 80s production on Momentary Lapse... certainly did not pay off.
But I would not completely agree with Waters saying the last two PF albums are a nice try copying him but not good enough. Because, A) it's simply impossible to copy Waters - he's one and only, and B) the remaining trio proved once again that Waters was not Mr Pink Floyd, that them lot certainly did more than just help out; and this time around they simply put forward the best THEY could do - and it's not lyrics, it's melodies that, despite sounding like 90s prog-rockers in places (aka polished, though with potential) and like a U2 number (Take It Back), still haunt much like Shine On You Crazy Diamond.

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Re: 1994 - Your Thoughts on The Division Bell Album?

Post by danielcaux » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:17 pm

Contrary to popular belief, the lack of good melodies and memorable musical sections is what totally kills this album IMO. The awful lyrics are just the cherry on top. Nice sounding album but completely uninspired.

It also suffers, badly, from the CD-era syndrome. It runs over an hour or so, but it has 20 minutes too much of dull sleep-inducing music. Had this been edited down to the 45 minutes average running length of their 70s albums we would have then a more much liver and stronger record, not as good as the classic ones, but a lot more closer to the quality of AHM and Meddle, instead of being just AMLOR younger sibling.

I would have released it this way:

1. Cluster One - 5:56 (OK-ish SOYCD Part I knock-off)
2. What Do You Want From Me - 4:21 (Kinda updated 90s version of their Have a Cigar sound)
3. Poles Apart - 7:03 (90s update of their soft acoustic Meddle sound. Not great but not bad)
4. Marooned - 5:29 (Instrumental = no lousy lyrics = everyone's happy. Kind of a teethless and tamed OOTD though)
5. Wearing The Inside Out - 6:49 (Not very good I know, but leave it there just so they can have a Wright song again in an album)
6. --Some Filler-- *
7. High Hopes - 8:34 (The only proper high point of the whole thing)
-----------------------------
Total lenght: 45 min aprox.

It would be then kind of a Meddle-WYWH mediocre follow up with some fine moments of pretty good music thrown in. More enjoyable anyway than the 60+ minutes monster it turned out to be.

*I dunno, all the other songs are so dull I would skip any chosen one in the end. Although not very Floydian perhaps Take It Back would be the stronger cut from the leftovers? or Keep Talking? or Coming Back To Life? Better leave it as a 30+ min. album?

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Re: 1994 - Your Thoughts on The Division Bell Album?

Post by moom » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:32 am

danielcaux wrote: 1. Cluster One - 5:56 (OK-ish SOYCD Part I knock-off)
2. What Do You Want From Me - 4:21 (Kinda updated 90s version of their Have a Cigar sound)
3. Poles Apart - 7:03 (90s update of their soft acoustic Meddle sound. Not great but not bad)
4. Marooned - 5:29 (Instrumental = no lousy lyrics = everyone's happy. Kind of a teethless and tamed OOTD though)
5. Wearing The Inside Out - 6:49 (Not very good I know, but leave it there just so they can have a Wright song again in an album)
6. --Some Filler-- *
7. High Hopes - 8:34 (The only proper high point of the whole thing)
May I suggest Keep Talking as track 6?

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Re: 1994 - Your Thoughts on The Division Bell Album?

Post by danielcaux » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:30 pm

I still think "Take It Back" is the better song. "Keep Talking" is just a "Sorrow" rehash with a Pigs 3DO talk-box thrown in to give it more of a "Pink Floyd" sound. At least with "Take It Back" they were trying new things for them...

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Re: 1994 - Your Thoughts on The Division Bell Album?

Post by moom » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:46 pm

I'm just not into production on Sorrow. Thought it was TOO distorted. Keep Talking at least felt more natural to them. Just my opinion.

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Re: 1994 - Your Thoughts on The Division Bell Album?

Post by thefinalcut » Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:20 pm

It´s all full of crap, except for High Hopes.

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Re: 1994 - Your Thoughts on The Division Bell Album?

Post by mastaflatch » Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:19 am

danielcaux wrote:I still think "Take It Back" is the better song. "Keep Talking" is just a "Sorrow" rehash with a Pigs 3DO talk-box thrown in to give it more of a "Pink Floyd" sound. At least with "Take It Back" they were trying new things for them...
it's funny because i always saw Keep Talking as a Yet Another Movie rehash, mainly in structure but also in the guitar solo. YAM being the best in both areas imo.

i agree with most of your alternative tracklisting save for Marooned and WtIO. on an album crammed with pointless guitar solos and from a band that used to make them meaningful while still exciting, this is just Gilmour having a blast with his whammy pedal over a snoozefest. the only semi-interresting thing in there is Wright's piano but even then, it's in a very bad context. WtIO, while showcasing Wright's crucial input in the band, has pretty dull verses and chorus. in fact, what's bad about them are the arrangements. it doesn't sound like there's a band behind Wright but some kind of vaguely nameless Club-Med conglomerate. Wright's solo is nice. Gilmour seems to have phoned it in or left Wright having it his way. it's not a good RW song.
i think that my most-hated song from TDB is Coming Back to Life. "graying sensibilities" indeed! even with the strongest hallucinogenics and one of the most unique path of life, this song can't even dream of being a bit as good as Flaming.

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Re: 1994 - Your Thoughts on The Division Bell Album?

Post by El Vid » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:18 pm

Division Bell is one of my fave PF albums. I just love it, from beginning to end.
It was the Division Bell tour whan Pink Floyd visited my country for the first (and last time :( ).

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Re: 1994 - Your Thoughts on The Division Bell Album?

Post by Flying pig437 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:50 pm

I ignored it for many years but now I've givien it a chance I really like it. Saying that though I'll never quite come to terms with a Rogerless Floyd. I agree with someone else further up thread though. There's some awful lyrics on it. Too direct and personal even self-pitying and just downright bitchy.

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Re: 1994 - Your Thoughts on The Division Bell Album?

Post by David Smith » Wed May 02, 2012 12:20 pm

I always saw Take it Back as Pink Floyd try and sound like U2