Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

Discussions about Pink Floyd and Solo Official Album CDs and DVDs.

Rate This Album

5 - Best
21
18%
4
43
37%
3
23
20%
2
20
17%
1 - Worst
9
8%
 
Total votes: 116

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Re: Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

Post by mastaflatch » Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:02 am

Take It Back - i must admit that the e-bowed classical guitar loop that kicks off the song is pretty clever. it's not a sound i've heard before and i'll tip my hat to mr.Gilmour for that. what come after this, thought, is far from original; the palm-muted guitar pattern sounds like the baby of Run Like Hell and One Slip and the drum punches are quite predictable...and then, we're in for a pseudo-country beat with a bass line that sounds wonderful but is a carbon copy of RLH's. Gilmour's delivery is pretty cool in the verses, full of verve and surprisingly free-flowing whereas he usually sounds more contrived - well, maybe not but he uses to follow the main melody rather than weave around it. the chorus is (to me) the weak part of this ok tune - no great hook there; it doesn't soar, it's not a "rewarding" chorus. the bridge is the best part for sure. here, we get to learn that Nick is actually alive! i have no idea what are the kids singing there though but it brings an eerie feel to that bit and then Gilmour plays his layered guitar ostinatos - this is one of the greatest moment on the album for me with a plus factor that i don't consider it a proper solo thus making TIB the only song off TDB without a guitar solo (but alas, they'd soon return with a vengeance). the rest of the song doesn't expand much on what has been done before the bridge although the outro sets a pleasant mood.
the lyrics here, although not Wateresque, are a my second favorites on the record. the whole Earth=Woman thing is not new but it works well and again, they're delivered as if Gilmour means it (which he probably does).

CBTL - this song contains everything i dislike about TDB. too many anonymous guitar solos: i must say that i'm not a fan of Gilmour playing a Telecaster. that sound doesn't suit him. he's a Strat guy. anyway, there's like six guitar solos on this song? that's a lot. Gilmour complained in the past about the balance between music and lyrics, welp, to me, guitar wanking is not music, at least not entertaining music. his "less is more" philosophy should apply to this as well. none of these lead parts comes to the heel of FOS, Echoes, Time, Money, SOYCD, Dogs, Mother, CN, TFMH, TFC, etc. it's just filler. i assume that Gilmour likes to play them but they don't add anything positive to his resumé. aside from the guitar issue, this song holds many horrid elements: the DRONE, the syrupy intro, the march drum beat (cowbell :smt078 ), the excessive reverb and echo in Gilmour's voice, the fact that this song keeps on repeating the same chord sequence over and over for over six minutes and the cheesy ending. i could go on about details but i think you guys catch my drift :D
when i thought that i was done with the negativity regarding this song, i realize that there's also an awful set of lyrics to it ](*,) . my take on them is that, again, they're directed towards US, the fans. here, David asks us where we were when he was burned and broken (well, FTR, i was probably in badder shape than you, David and yet, i was listening to your music all along). another very problematic line is "while you were hanging yourself on someone else's words, dying to believe in what you heard". i tend to take it as a Roger referrence, i may be wrong on this though, but if i ain't, it's a cheap shot at a) the fans who didn't care about that crappy feud and b) Waters (because Gilmour was as classless as him in the 80s/90s turmoil). "dangerous but irresistible pastime" wtf is that pastime? riding planes? playing guitar? being the leader of Pink Floyd? i don't relate! and to end it all: "i took a heavenly ride though our silence, i knew the waiting had begun and headed straight into the shining sun". this part puzzles me to no end because it's supposedly an update on the verse before but it's so nebulous, i'll take it for what it is: crytpism for cryptism's sake ie. a big bowl of nothing.

Keep Talking - this is the first song i've heard from TDB. i wasn't overwhelmed. i was whelmed. i think that it's a less imaginative take on Yet Another Movie, which is in many ways superior to this. i like the little delayed guitar riff that runs throughout the song, the Take It Back classical guitar loop, most of the blobs are alright too, they enhance the claustrophobic nature of the lyrics - i also like the hammond B3, the guitar solo is good but not great while the synth solo that segues seamlessly into the former is much more memorable (maybe it's because there wasn't a hundred Rick's solos before on the album) and i LOVE the drum fill before we get into the last part of the song. i'm not fond of Gilmour going all Peter Frampton on us at the end but i rekon that it (the talk box) fits into the concept of the song. btw, his talk box fucked up in Montreal 1 94 which i attended. i thought it was a pretty nice moment of levity 8) . i happen to dislike the female mini-choir. they sound good though but it's not something i'm interrested in. a duet with Sam Brown would have been much more à-propos. i don't know why they put that Hawking speech in there - i know it makes sense but it's not a revelation. i mean, Stephen Hawking is a genius; that not the kind of speech i expect from a genius such as him but whatever...
the lyrics are ok. no clunker in there really but nothing extraordinary either.

Lost For Words - this tune has a pleasing sound that's quite different from the rest of the album's. until the bridge it manages to sound quite close to the listener's ears - not as distant as on many other TDB songs. the guitar playing is tasteful throughout although a little organ solo from Rick would have been much welcomed. Gilmour's voice is perfect from beginning to end there. the instrumental break is something we've got to get used to on TDB: a break in the drum beat, reverb, echo and sound effects and some voices. here, a sportscaster for a boxing match...it reminded me of a song on an album released in 1992 by some guy named Roger - ok nevermind...
this one is a lyrical burst of frustrations that's badly organized. "i felt persecuted and paralyzed" is far less subtle than anything that Waters ever wrote in The Wall but people always blame Waters for sounding miserable - go fucking figure. "is it true that you beat your fists on the floor?" well now that's poetry! "you know you just can't win" - well said buddy!
as an aside, i think that this kind of intra-band fighting was best left in the papers. Waters never openly wrote a song about his old bandmates and much power to him. you know how songs about current news tend to age pretty bad? well, the Waters vs. Gilmour feud wasn't a headline back then; it mattered to some Floyd fans to a certain extent but this band have kept such a low profile in the press that writing a song about it was pretty much irrelevant. it is a shame that Gilmour chose to include this vitriolic song just before the last proper song of the Pink Floyd canon. on an album on which everything seems so calculated, they should have known better.

to be continued again! <ii>

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Re: Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

Post by Jimi Dean Barrett » Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:38 am

The main riff to "Lost For Words" always reminded me of a pop version of WYWH played faster?
But please, keep it coming! [-D-]

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Re: Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

Post by J Ed » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:51 pm

I like the detailed analysis
I too have always found Coming Back to Life to be the nadir of the album, and thats in the middle of a string of bland songs in a row that could easily have been left out to make a better album
I dont know if I said so anywhere in the 7 previous pgs but I have an extra issue with this song cuz Dave likes to play it so damn much
its on PULSE, its on his MeltDown dvd , its on the Remember That Night dvd and Im sure its on Gdansk .. I think he also included it in a 3song festival set a few years ago, some Stratocaster anniversary event? he's always playing this boring ass song
when I saw him in Massey Hall he played it and Dominoes in place of Fat Old Sun and Wots Uh the Deal, so the boring song owes me just for that particular ripoff
he introduced it that night as for his "girlfriend" (Polly) so I assume thats why he keeps playing it instead of more interesting songs from the same album, apparantly it means something extrapersonal to him regardless of any (lack of) aesthetic merit for his poor fans
and I suppose the lyrics have something to do with her changing his life around but Ive never bothered to listen any more closely than that

Keep Talking on the other hand I rate much more highly than most everybody else

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Re: Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

Post by Keith Jordan » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:59 pm

The bell is used in the local neighbourhood of the Parliament to signal a division is occurring and that members in the Commons or in the House of Lords have eight minutes to get to the appropriate Division Lobby to vote for or against the resolution. The call for a Division is also displayed on the Annunciator screens throughout the Parliamentary buildings.
How does that relate to the album? Its good to talk?

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Re: Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

Post by Peter Harold » Mon May 03, 2010 3:13 pm

mastaflatch wrote: to be continued again! <ii>
Please, do continue! :-)

I do think you judge this album very honestly, and I had to confess that I agree with you a lot. But I could express same hard opinions about the DSOTM or WYWH-albums; they are classical Pink Floyd albums, but none of them are 100% perfect.

To me, in the position of Mr David Gilmour, I had cut away one or two songs of TDB, and perhaps re-worked the instrumental "Marooned" because that song leads to no-where. I do agree with you on that point.

Your review of TDB-album makes me think how the band was thinking during the production of the record. We know they left a few songs that were too weak (or too close to other groups/artists), but still they did the "errors" you described. Perhaps our judgement is cuased by the taste of our time 15 years after?

I also did bought this album of the day of its release. After the first listening, I had a feeling that this record could have served better if they had prepared the songs a little bit more. I remember that my first impression was that "this album is closer to Alan Parsons [project] than Pink Floyd". I still agree with that opinion. APP is not bad music.

Over the years, I haven't seen TDB as the last Pink Floyd album. We have been "promised" the satelite album of that record with a more ambient style. So to my mind, TDB have for a long time being a promise of that there is still more - and better - to come. TDB was just the Pink Floyd taking a deep breath before making their next 5-star rated album. That expectations have failed. It never happend.

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Peter

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Re: Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

Post by mastaflatch » Tue May 04, 2010 5:23 am

Peter Harold wrote:
mastaflatch wrote: to be continued again! <ii>
Please, do continue! :-)
thanks!
Peter Harold wrote:I do think you judge this album very honestly, and I had to confess that I agree with you a lot. But I could express same hard opinions about the DSOTM or WYWH-albums; they are classical Pink Floyd albums, but none of them are 100% perfect.
i don't feel the same way about a song from week to week - so my review is honest but not carved in stone. that being said, TDB is easier to define/hate than a Roger-led album. you don't yell "GENIOUS" as often as when you listen to DSOTM for the first or second time.
Peter Harold wrote:I also did bought this album of the day of its release. After the first listening, I had a feeling that this record could have served better if they had prepared the songs a little bit more. I remember that my first impression was that "this album is closer to Alan Parsons
it's sure worse than Pink Floyd any era combined.
Peter Harold wrote:Over the years, I haven't seen TDB as the last Pink Floyd album. We have been "promised" the satelite album of that record with a more ambient style. So to my mind, TDB have for a long time being a promise of that there is still more - and better - to come. TDB was just the Pink Floyd taking a deep breath before making their next 5-star rated album. That expectations have failed. It never happend.
upon first listen i thought it was the last album but then i've read Gilmour saying that it felt "like good start - seems like there are better things to come"...so i've been waiting all these years...

Peter Harold wrote: Best regards,
Peter
same except i'm Alex.

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Re: Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

Post by mastaflatch » Thu May 06, 2010 7:27 am

High Hopes - Arguably, this is the best post-Waters Floyd song. its haunting piano motif backed by the bell is just as compelling as anything from the so-called golden years, yet, the sound effects at the beginning harken back to the greenish pastures of Ummagumma/AHM. in fact, in a nutshell, this song sounds like an overview (or a bittersweet celebration if you like) of the band's high points and it almost manages to sound fresh. almost. while Gilmour's voice is quite eerie during the verses, due again to the use of reverb in it and and on the bass track, it sounds quite (willfully i guess) monotonous. that situation is soon fixed by the soothing yet plaintive chorus in which Gilmour's voice emerges in its glorious, subdued way, à la CN. still, one cannot say that the melody is the key element in this song; the verses' are pretty forgettable and the chorus' is, well, one melodic line repeated over and over with various degrees of despair. as an aside, i may sound bitter in this review, well, i am. i'm bitter towards many of this band's decisions over the years (from the 80s onwards). i have the feeling that those two Gimour-led albums and tours are so crammed with compromises that it watered down the substance of those scarce good songs that sneaked in there. it just spoils PF's body of work because decided to carry the burden of their past glories on its shoulder instead of just jamming out with Rick and Nick thus we've got the AMLOR masquerade and this mock concept album. instead of jamming and making songs up with his old buddies, he decided that his voice and guitar playing were the main elements of the band since Waters left. this stance is as bold as Waters touring as the "genius of Pink Floyd" or charging 800$ for a pair of tickets. we don't get any better music from them for that. i know that it can be less of a challenge to be alone than under a peer pressure. a sane peer pressure usually brings out the best in everyone.
(...)

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Re: Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

Post by Damn!t » Thu May 06, 2010 9:47 pm

Interesting posts flatch. Well done.

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Re: Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

Post by David Smith » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:08 pm

mastaflatch wrote:my take on them is that, again, they're directed towards US, the fans. here, David asks us where we were when he was burned and broken (well, FTR, i was probably in badder shape than you, David and yet, i was listening to your music all along). another very problematic line is "while you were hanging yourself on someone else's words, dying to believe in what you heard". i tend to take it as a Roger referrence, i may be wrong on this though, but if i ain't, it's a cheap shot at a) the fans who didn't care about that crappy feud and b) Waters (because Gilmour was as classless as him in the 80s/90s turmoil). "dangerous but irresistible pastime" wtf is that pastime? riding planes? playing guitar? being the leader of Pink Floyd? i don't relate! and to end it all: "i took a heavenly ride though our silence, i knew the waiting had begun and headed straight into the shining sun". this part puzzles me to no end because it's supposedly an update on the verse before but it's so nebulous, i'll take it for what it is: crytpism for cryptism's sake ie. a big bowl of nothing.
Gilmour has previously said that this song was all about reltionships - keep in mind that 1994 was also the year in which he married Polly Samson. In this context the song appears to be about going in to a relationship after being hurt from a previous one. In this context the dangerous/ irresistable past time would be sex (not sure where the danger comes in for any but the most deviant people) i guess the silence would probably be the point when you can communicate as much with a movement of the face than you can with words - when you know what each other is thinking and don't necessarily need to say it - and the light being the positive energy he associates with it... Though i must admit this is purely conjecture on my part, and doesn;t disguise that they are still a terrible set of lyrics
mastaflatch wrote:Waters never openly wrote a song about his old bandmates and much power to him
In fairness though, i'd say there is a greater pressure on pink floyd to address a new song-writer (to address concerns that they are not pink floyd) than there is for waters to address that he is now a solo artist (thus should not be associated with the band) and it's not like he didn't provoke it a little; what with the courtcase and the many interviews he'd done slagging them off prior to the division bell coming out

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Re: Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

Post by Jacek » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:23 am

I grew up with this album just as I grew up with [the great majority of] the rest of Pink Floyd's catalogue, and as a huge fan of A Momentary Lapse of Reason, of course I would enjoy The Division Bell at least as thoroughly, although (aside from the overall positivity) I actually find them very different from each other musically & thematically, especially as it really does mark the return of true Floyd, what with Nick actually playing lots on the record and Rick getting as many as five songwriting credits (not enough, but hey, Broken China was coming right up - an album I haven't heard, I should add, a situation I cannot wait to remedy). Furthermore, every song on The Division Bell is amazing, whereas AMLoR has a clunker (Dogs of War) and a rather middle-of-the-road track (One Slip).

Rick has always been my favorite musician in the band, with Gilmour a very close second, so all the interaction between the two on this record couldn't possibly be more up my alley. Cluster One and Marooned are great examples, and some of the loveliest instrumentals Floyd ever composed. Other songs may be more Gilmour-driven but are no less strong for it - I think this album (like AMLoR before it) is home to many of his best guitar solos. What we lose in the punch of his solos on albums like The Wall and The Final Cut, is made up for by the leisure and sheer beauty of these longer, slower solos.

And sure, there's no overarching concept or theatrical flair that Waters was (and continued to be, in his solo career) so good at providing with his lyrics, but I think the offerings here are, as a whole, very strong anyhow. Furthermore, they work well with the music. In other words, with lyrics as good and moving and poetic as these, I don't see why they would need Roger at all here... I mean yes, he's a spectacular lyricist (and much of AtD, released shortly before this record, is as good an example of that as you could find) but the other three active Floyds could do just fine without his contributions.

Though there isn't a single song on the album I dislike, and in fact consider each one very strong, I inevitably have my favorites (hard as they may be to choose): Poles Apart, Marooned, Wearing the Inside Out, Lost for Words, and High Hopes take highest honors (but look at that, I just named about half the album, hah). Still, the album - less so than Dark Side through Final Cut, granted - is still best experienced as a whole album. I love its balance of sadness and hope, light and darkness, and the conclusion which unites them both in a true tour-de-force and one of Floyd's best songs ever.

The Division Bell has long been & remains one of my absolute favorite Floyd records, up there as a crowning moment in their long & truly glorious history: in my mind, it's the five-star record of its time like Piper/Saucerful, Meddle/OBC, and WYWH/Animals are of theirs, and its best moments stand up to the best moments of all those.

5/5

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Re: Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

Post by JackRegan » Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:27 am

Jacek wrote:Furthermore, every song on The Division Bell is amazing, whereas AMLoR has a clunker (Dogs of War)

5/5
Love A Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell too. Always wonderin why Dogs Of War was so hated, it has great guitar solo and sax solo after all. Only "songs" that i hate on Momentary Lapse Of Reason are A New Machine Part 1 & 2. But those ain't songs anyway. One slip is more like Gilmour solo song (from 80's) but still like to listen that sometimes.

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Re: Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

Post by Jacek » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:30 pm

It's true, Dogs of War does feature excellent guitar and sax solos; my problem with the song is that the various parts, though most of them interesting and some of them great, do not fall into place in anything resembling a cohesive way... it's just like, this part here, that part here, then all of a sudden here's a completely different bridge! So I appreciate most of the parts, but the sum they make is less than satisfactory.

I still listen to and generally enjoy the song whenever I give A Momentary Lapse of Reason a listen, but I do think it is one of Pink Floyd's weaker efforts.

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Re: Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

Post by The Crazy Diamond » Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:59 pm

Its a great album , and proved that without Rogers over inflated ego input the surviving 3 Floydians coped without him and produced a brilliiant album , complete with many undertones and mysteries. Guy Pratt is a outstanding Bass player..IMO better without Waters !!!

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Re: Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

Post by SteveB » Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:05 pm

Hmm. I gave it a 4, and see I'm in the Herd. Well, great minds etc.
Obviously it isn't The Wall or Wish You Were Here, but it isn't awful by any measure.
I certainly wouldn't switch it off and tune in to the X-Factor instead.

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Re: Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

Post by Jimi Dean Barrett » Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:12 pm

Plus "Keep Talking" has the amusing/unnerving image of Stephen Hawking trying to chat you up in a nightclub whenever he speech appears!
I hope for more TDB posts so that startling image isn't the last word on it... 8-[