Why PF didn’t release Live albums during Classic period?

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space triangle
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Why PF didn’t release Live albums during Classic period?

Post by space triangle »

Pink Floyd released their first Live album, the live disc om 'Ummagumma' 1969. It would be nearly 20 years before the band would put out its second live album, 1988's 'Delicate Sound of Thunder,' and it was only after Roger Waters exodus.
I checked a little bit some other bands and artist, and many of them have released a lot of live albums during their ‘golden years'.
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Re: Why PF didn’t release Live albums during Classic period?

Post by twcc »

Maybe, just maybe, after putting out Pompeii (1972) they decided to chase perfection and just release 'polished' studio albums.
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Re: Why PF didn’t release Live albums during Classic period?

Post by Master_Chief »

I reckon it was largely down to two or three factors that prevented them from releasing a live album during their "Golden Years".

First and foremost is length. When you look at a bootleg from said era, the overall length varies well over the 100 minutes mark. In the mid-70s this would've exceeded the acceptable length for a double-LP and probably would've cost an arm and a leg. Pink Floyd would've been far from happy to have their show spliced here and there to make it conform to a conventional standard. Or at least Roger would've probably had a word or two to say.

When you look at other live albums, most are well below the 100-minute mark and had various alterations (such as entire songs, tuning up and band/crowd interactions cut). Alchemy by Dire Straits was cut by five minutes between LP and CD release, and Queen's Live Killers omitted four songs and still ran up to 90 minutes.

The other factor is the content they played live during this era. First and foremost the set usually consisted of songs in demo form, such as You Gotta Be Crazy, Raving and Drooling, The Mortality Sequence and such. There would've literally been no point in releasing a live album from these concerts before the eventual studio album was released, and certainly no point afterwards as people would already have been attached to the studio versions.

Another minor factor could be the band's belief that their concerts at the time couldn't be accurately represented simply by a live LP. You had to actually see the visual effects and feel the music, something a live LP would never be able to convey. But then again I'm too young to have experienced any of this so it's purely theoretical.
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Re: Why PF didn’t release Live albums during Classic period?

Post by Hadrian »

Generally speaking I am a fan of live albums only when they are used to capture versions of songs/instrumentals different from those already released as studio material (longer, evolved, scaled-down, acoustic, etc.). I have hard time even then, because I really dislike any audience noise. Hearing a live version of something played in the same way it was played on a record, now with people screaming a shouting over it, is not my cup of tea. Concert videos, on the other hand, designed to capture what it all looked like live, can be both by the book and different.

There was no need for Pink Floyd to release these during the classic era. I think that getting these out there now, during the (permanent?) hiatus years, is a far better idea, in terms of how interesting it is to the fans.
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Re: Why PF didn’t release Live albums during Classic period?

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Master_Chief wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:39 amThe other factor is the content they played live during this era. First and foremost the set usually consisted of songs in demo form, such as You Gotta Be Crazy, Raving and Drooling, The Mortality Sequence and such. There would've literally been no point in releasing a live album from these concerts before the eventual studio album was released, and certainly no point afterwards as people would already have been attached to the studio versions.
You're probably right. But, it begs the question why did Pink Floyd abandoned a practice of playing songs first in demo form when it cames to ‘AMLOR’ and 'Division Bell'? (TER not included here). I believe 'AMLOR' would have been a much better album if a songs were first played live for a some time in demo form. That would probably be the case with 'Division Bell' as well.
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Re: Why PF didn’t release Live albums during Classic period?

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space triangle wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:59 am You're probably right. But, it begs the question why did Pink Floyd abandoned a practice of playing songs first in demo form when it cames to ‘AMLOR’ and 'Division Bell'? (TER not included here). I believe 'AMLOR' would have been a much better album if a songs were first played live for a some time in demo form. That would probably be the case with 'Division Bell' as well.
I reckon largely due to their legal fees that were quickly accruing thanks to the court case with Roger Waters. All the others wanted to do was throw together an album and then tour it as soon as possible. Maybe it was Roger who was the driving force of playing songs live first, then moulding them based on the fans' reactions. Who knows?

But I also agree with Hadrian with regards to the types of songs on a live album. I usually really enjoy different variations on an original song, which is probably why I loved The Early Years so much, with the longer versions of Fat Old Sun, Set The Controls and Atom Heart Mother.
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Re: Why PF didn’t release Live albums during Classic period?

Post by Hadrian »

space triangle wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:59 am why did Pink Floyd abandoned a practice of playing songs first in demo form when it cames to ‘AMLOR’ and 'Division Bell'?
Piracy. During the 20 years that Pink Floyd was active on stage again (1987-2007), ability to record things from the audience got progressively advanced, with devices getting smaller, being increasingly able to capture the sound better, etc. Also, the ability to share that increased exponentially.

Nevertheless, material from both albums got a chance to breathe and evolve live on stage in the tours that followed record releases. Some of the pieces continued to evolve further during Gilmour's solo tours as well, with or without other band members present.
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Re: Why PF didn’t release Live albums during Classic period?

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

They were ahead of the curve in terms of visuals, special effects, and theatrics. Roger especially was of the mindset that their shows were an experience that couldn't be captured on an LP. He was against a film of the original Wall tour being released at the time for that reason - they were only filmed because they intended to use some of the footage in the actual movie (Roger also intended to play "Pink" himself, but his screen tests...did not go well).

The live disc of Ummagumma was only included to "retire" those songs, but they ended up playing then for several more years due to the popularity of the album - which further contributed to their lack of interest in releasing live albums.

Pompeii was a response to critics who claimed they were hiding behind their equipment (hence that question being the focus of the interview segments).

Delicate Sound of Thunder was at least partially motivated by their regret of not having a decent film or recording of any of their previous tours.
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Re: Why PF didn’t release Live albums during Classic period?

Post by Kerry King »

I can't hear any evidence that anyone in pf worked very hard on their musicianship other than Gilmour as a vocalist and as a guitarist with a distinctive, expressive style and superior tone. Waters was insecure about letting the live music stand on it's own at that time. I wouldn't be surprised if Gilmour dialed in the bass tones for Waters.
ZiggyZipgun wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:21 am (Roger also intended to play "Pink" himself, but his screen tests...did not go well).
It would have been better than Bob Geldof no matter how bad it was.

If it were up to me The Wall film would have been a concert film. I think it would be far more worthwhile.
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Re: Why PF didn’t release Live albums during Classic period?

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Kerry King wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:04 amI wouldn't be surprised if Gilmour dialed in the bass tones for Waters.
Dave's guitar tech, Phil Taylor, was the only instrument and amp technician they had. Dave had Phil get an Alembic preamp for the live bass rig, but ended up incorporating it into his own rig instead. Roger would use any Fender P-Bass, but if you look at the one displayed at the Interstellar Exhibition and Their Mortal Remains, it's Dave's bass - heavily modified like his guitars, with the big Gibson pickup heard on "Pigs"; I think he made a point to put that bass on display because he played bass on over half their albums. And the photos of Roger leaning over the keyboards so Rick could tune his bass...that's just strange.
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Re: Why PF didn’t release Live albums during Classic period?

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ZiggyZipgun wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:48 am And the photos of Roger leaning over the keyboards so Rick could tune his bass...that's just strange.
Roger says David and Rick had convinced him that he was ton deaf, what he thought was absolutely not true.

Roger Waters Says Pink Floyd Bandmates Thought He Was Tone Deaf

https://www.iheartradio.ca/news/roger-w ... -1.2121468

''Waters said his former guitarist and keyboardist would claim "that [he] was tone-deaf." "'Ooh, he's just a boring teacher-figure who tells us what to do, but he can't tune his own guitar...''
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Re: Why PF didn’t release Live albums during Classic period?

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space triangle wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 6:17 amRoger says David and Rick had convinced him that he was ton deaf, what he thought was absolutely not true.
...which is bizarre, if that's accurate. It has been mentioned that he is tone deaf, in magazine articles and books, since at least 1974, and in all of his very public griping about his former bandmates over the years, over hundreds of interviews, never disputed this until 2016? The reason you don't see Rick tuning his bass after 1974 is that they used Peterson (visual) strobe tuners after David hired Phil Taylor.

Waters also claimed he told Mason that "most" of his Inside Out book was "revisionist history", but didn't bother to halt its release - which Gilmour managed to do for years, but not for being inaccurate, merely too "flippant."
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Re: Why PF didn’t release Live albums during Classic period?

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ZiggyZipgun wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:11 am...which is bizarre, if that's accurate.
I don't know for sure of course, but I lean toward that Roger said is a true. I have watched over the years quite a lot of video material related to the Waters post-Pink Floyd solo career. But, I’ve never seen anyone on the stage tune his bass or acoustic guitar or whatever. As far as I know it could only be seen when he was a member of the Floyd.
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Re: Why PF didn’t release Live albums during Classic period?

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As I said, once everyone started using strobe tuners, around '74, you never had to hear or see them tune instruments on stage. Prior to that, Rick would play a note on the organ and Dave would tune his guitar to that. If Rick was tuning the bass, Roger would just be plucking each string, while Rick turned the tuning peg. It's hard to believe that Roger didn't have some sort of issue hearing pitch, because if he didn't, it would have been a very easy thing to prove. To claim he was bullied into thinking he was tone deaf by the most soft-spoken member of the group is...far fetched. Also, the fact that Roger is notorious for requiring many, many vocal takes in the studio also suggests he has trouble hearing pitch.

"A lot of people think I can't sing, including me a bit. I'm very unclear about what singing is. I know I find it hard to pitch, and I know the sound of my voice isn't very good in purely aesthetic terms, and Roy Harper was recording his own album in another EMI studio at the time, he's a mate, and we thought he could probably do a job on it." - Roger, 1975

"We have quite a bit of difficulty with vocals. I have trouble with the quality of my voice but I don't have much difficulty keeping in tune. On the other hand, Roger has no problem with vocal quality but he does have trouble keeping in tune." - David, 1975

In an interview with Marc Maron, Waters described the "toxic" environment that preceded the end of Pink Floyd. He said David Gilmour and Rick Wright, in particular, seemed to be out to quash his musical ambitions wherever possible. "I always felt insignificant and somewhat inept," he said. After leaving Pink Floyd, Waters came to realize he has "a fairly sophisticated musical brain." - iHeartRadio, 2016

"The real knee-slapper here, though, is the music. Waters has assembled a band that features Eric Clapton on guitar and ace sax man David Sanborn, both of whom give impassioned performances (Clapton, in particular, hasn’t sounded so rawly protean in years). But the central musical focus throughout is Waters’ creepy vocal, which departs from a narrative hiss only long enough to enunciate the occasional contemptuous snarl – usually something about feckless women or bloody foreigners. And you could count the actual melodies here on Mickey Mouse’s fingers." - Rolling Stone, 1984
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Re: Why PF didn’t release Live albums during Classic period?

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

I saw this mentioned on Reddit and had to look it up:

During a performance of "Cymbaline", David walks all the way over to Roger to tune his bass, because he's only playing two notes, and octave apart, and one of them is clearly flat. You would have to have trouble distinguishing pitch if you couldn't tell that one of your strings is out of tune with the others.

(Skip to 3:50)