1994 - Original Live Broadcast
The October 20th, 1994 live broadcast was the seventh concert of the Earls Court dates (eight, if we count the cancelled first performance). This specific date was broadcast live to UK and Europe, and the TV event was simply called “Pink Floyd in concert - Live From Earls Court London” at the beginning of the video. A most generic title indeed.
This broadcast was characterized by several unique elements:
- There was a couple of bad guitar notes played during Shine On You Crazy Diamond.
- There is a noticeable flickering of the image at the end of “Learning to Fly”, probably due to the frequency of the flashing lights not synchronizing correctly with the live TV feed.
- No “Forever and Ever” line is sung at the end of High Hopes.
- The word “ENIGMA” was clearly seen on the screen. This is the only time “ENIGMA” was shown on screen in all the tour. Other dates showed different texts.
- There were some bad guitar notes during the final Comfortably Numb solo.
A digital transfer (VHS to DVD) of the German premiere broadcast can be found on specialized Pink Floyd trading sites/Hubs.
1994 – Pay Per View (PPV)
During the month of November, 1994, the PPV event was broadcast in several countries in different dates. The video is essentially the same as the OLB, but with the following differences:
- The bad guitar notes played during SOYCD were fixed. The most noticeable occurred at the same time of the close-up of the screen video of the boy opening the door while smiling. In the PPV this close-up was replaced with a wider shot of the stage.
- In the OLB the beginning of the lyrics in SOYCD showed a lengthy wide shot of Mr. Screen’s yellow lights focusing downwards on Gilmour, but the PPV replaced that shot with a close-up of him singing.
- During Learning to Fly, the OLB showed a short (5 seconds) take of the stage during Renwick’s last riff, while the PPV used a shot of Gilmour in front of the background singers.
- During the transition between LTF and High Hopes, the OLB had the camera fixed on Gilmour and he’s seen adjusting the acoustic guitar. This PPV broadcast instead uses a wider shot of the stage while Gilmour puts on the guitar.
- The intro to HH had a very long close-up of the bell tolling in the OLB. In the PPV this was interspersed with wide shots showing the full stage.
- In HH, the PPV also uses a different camera angle when Gilmour leaves the microphone and sits on the lap guitar just after the lyrics end. While this is clearly seen in the OLB, the PPV uses several wide shots from other angles only focusing on Gilmour already sitting after a while.
- Same as in the OLB, there is no “Forever and ever” line sung at the end of HH.
- When Gilmour thanks Roger after Eclipse, the PPV cuts to a different camera focusing on Mason. The OLB showed a longer shot of Gilmour while he spoke.
- Comfortably Numb is essentially the same long version as in the OLB, except the PPV replaces a very short shot of Gilmour of a camera from behind him (present in the OLB) with a wide arena shot showing the mirror ball. This is just around 5 seconds or so.
- While the OLB had all the credits rolling at the end of Run Like Hell (they start a few seconds before the final fireworks explosion), in the PPV the director and producer credits appear after the explosion as still texts and then the other credits start rolling afterwards.
- All through the concert there are three or four other different camera shots, but they’re so short (less than 3 seconds), or so similar to the OLB that they’re not worth mentioning.
A digital transfer (VHS to DVD) of the North American PPV broadcast was made by Pigs On The Wing (POTW-DVD15) and can be found on specialized Pink Floyd trading sites/Hubs.
1995 - P·U·L·S·E (VHS / LD / VCD)
The video was commercially released on June 6th, 1995, and is a heavily reworked version of the original broadcast. It was released on VHS, VideoCD, and Laserdisc. The LaserDisc had the exact same camera edits as the VHS and VCD, but a different track order to accommodate Dark Side of the Moon uninterrupted on side 2 of the first disc, leaving OOTD, WYWH, CN, and RLH on side 3, all as encores (side 4 of the LD was empty).
And when I say “heavily reworked” I do mean it: while the October 1994 OLB and the later November 1994 PPV coincided in more than 98% of their video edit, the 1995 VHS release coincides with it in about 60%. There are many shots taken from different cameras, many close-ups are different, and there are also many different wide shots from other angles. And it was the first time the P·U·L·S·E name was affixed to the video.
But this 1995 release also had some very remarkable differences besides just the camera angles. Here is a complete list, as compared to the OLB/PPV:
- During High Hopes the 1995 version dubbed the “forever and ever” line into the audio (not present in the OLB) and this was kept in subsequent releases.
- During the final solo of Sorrow, 40 seconds were removed. The rest of the audio seems to be the same, only a few bars were cut.
- The “ENIGMA” word at the beginning of Another Brick in the Wall, part 2, is now disguised with additional strokes, but still readable.
- The 1995 video deleted a couple of seconds at the beginning of One of These Days, and additional 22 seconds were cut out in the middle of the same song.
- The 1995 video deleted 32 seconds in the middle of On the Run.
- After Eclipse, while Gilmour thanks Roger, the audio is the same. But the 1995 release uses a shot from behind the stage; and curiously enough this shot is footage from a few seconds later when the band raises their hands and waves goodbye.
- Understandably, the 1995 video deletes 40 seconds of audience sound between Eclipse and Wish You Were Here.
- 1 minute and 16 seconds during the final solo of Comfortably Numb were deleted from this release to cut some not-so-perfectly-played bars.
- After Run Like Hell, all credits start rolling (no still credits).
2006 - P·U·L·S·E (first DVD release)
After a very long wait, the DVD release of P·U·L·S·E finally saw the light of day. The video received a major upgrade in terms of quality making it a lot sharper, with a better definition in details, and less color bleeding. Many parts of the video of the DVD coincide with the 1995 VHS release. However, there are several other shots that use different cameras, and some close-ups replaced wider shots. The most important differences between this 2006 DVD release and the previous versions are the following:
- While all the previous versions had a complete High Hopes, this 2006 DVD cuts several seconds of the beginning of the song skipping a couple of bell sounds. The video has been edited/rearranged at the beginning of the song to mask this.
- The Word “Enigma” is now replaced with “E=MC2” edited in the video. All the other writings of the screen remain exactly the same. This video was not taken from other show, but is an edit made during production of the DVD.
- At the beginning of Time, the 2006 DVD version deleted a couple of seconds, and deleted an additional half second in the transition of the animation.
- About one second was deleted between the transition of Time to The Great Gig in the Sky.
- Also in TGGITS, two separate segments of 21 and 16 seconds of vocal performance by Claudia Fontaine (37 seconds in total) were removed. This song was complete in previous versions.
- After Run Like Hell the credits use a different typography.
- During the final credits the “Special Thanks to everyone who came to the Earls Court Concerts” message that used to appear at the very end in previous versions, now appear in the middle of the credits.
2019 - P·U·L·S·E (The Later Years DVD/BD release)
In 2019 as part of The Later Years boxset, the P·U·L·S·E video received again a quality upgrade (as much as the tapes allowed) for its first release in BD.
All of the cuts and omissions of the 2006 DVD release are also present in this version, and again have been disguised with the video edition. This means that Sorrow, One of these Days, On the Run, TGGITS and Comfortably Numb are noticeably shorter than in the original broadcast, and the cuts done to High Hopes, Time, and other cuts between songs are also present.
The most notable difference of this version when compared to the others is that this time there are many more close-ups of the Floyd, the accompanying musicians, and the background singers. You can see much more of each in action. This is accomplished by sacrificing many shots of the Mr. Screen videos and shots of the arena. Meaning the spectator loses most of the visual narrative of the SOYCD and HH videos. This also happens during Time, where more shots of the band are shown during the song to avoid showing the old accompanying 3D graphics of the screen video.
For the 2019 version many shots of the background singers and the musicians are shown instead of the “ENIGMA” lettering on the screen at the beginning of “Another Brick in the Wall”.
The opening credits of the 2019 version are stylistically very different to the other releases. But essentially show the same information (minus “recorded at Earls Court”).
In the closing credits, the “Special Thanks to everyone who came to the Earls Court Concerts” message has been moved again to the end, and is now accompanied by a new “very special thanks to Polly Samson” message that had not appeared in any of the previous editions. A couple of additional lines about the video restoration have also been added to the end credits. Since now all the concert can be present in one disc, the intermission shows some more seconds of audience during the transition to part 2 of the show.
At the time of writing this article, the re-edited 2019 version of P·U·L·S·E could only be obtained by buying the Later Years boxset. It is presented in Blu-Ray and DVD.
While many of the shots that correspond to the beginning and endings of songs have remained mostly unchanged (or just very slightly changed) through the several incarnations of P·U·L·S·E, many in-between shots during the songs, solos and riffs have changed in every release. There are occasions when all 5 versions of the video coincide in the same shot during the songs, but they’re very short too. Some of the changes are minor, like slightly different cameras, or changing a static shot for a travelling shot. Remarkably, in quite a lot of places the Gilmour close-ups were changed from showing his right side in the original broadcast, to showing much more of his left side in the later releases.
The bigger changes are related to the cuts that effectively shorten the songs in the later editions. So, if you wish to have a complete P·U·L·S·E you’ll need to source a copy of the original broadcast or PPV. The second longest is the 1995 edition; for this you’ll need to get a very good rip of the VHS (or a good LaserDisc rip, but you’ll need to reorganize some of the songs).
Hopefully this document has helped to expose all the main differences between the several releases of the P·U·L·S·E video, and serves as a reference on the edits that have been made to the product in the course of 25 years.
Bogotá, Jan. 2020.
Some screencaptures comparing the main differences of the P·U·L·S·E releases:
Opening credits of the different versions.
Shine on You Crazy Diamond: the beginning of the lyrics.
Ending of High Hopes. Different shots in every version.
The ENIGMA lettering on the Screen during Another Brick in the Wall – Part 2.
Claudia Fontaine’s performance was shortened in the 2006 and 2019 releases.
Different shots during the Comfortably Numb solo.
Closing credits of the different versions.
For a PDF version of the above post to keep in your archives, please follow this link:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1iO5HZ ... Nr-gzpIHnf
Includes the same texts, but some more screencaps.
To download a complete side-by-side comparison video of the different versions of the P·U·L·S·E video, follow this link:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1unk7i ... 9ntoq7j0L3
It's 3.41 Gb, and 2H 30m in length, at 1920X1080 size. Feel free to share/upload/torrent/etc to other places.