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Pink Floyd – Breathe (In the Air) (Live at Wembley 1974) (2023 Remaster) Review

Revered by in-the-know fans and a massive loss to those not aware of it, Pink Floyd’s Live at Wembley 1974 recording is a fascinating beast. It has all the range of the best live shows and presents irrepressible creativity and performance of Dark Side of the Moon tracks. Goosebumps for fans of Pink Floyd are sure to surface after listening to this single, promoting another remastering of Pink Floyd’s work as the remaining members prepare to throw themselves into turmoil once more. Still, forty-nine years on from the initial performance of Breathe (In the Air), and it still sounds as good as it surely did right there on the stage for those lucky enough to hear it in the flesh. 

Having to cling to later reissues of Live at Wembley 1974 and the fracas of fractured releases has been a bit of a spit in the face of Pink Floyd fans. At least it is now put together in a box set. It was not that hard, was it? For their troubles, fans of the iconic progressive rock group find themselves in the throes of Breathe (In the Air), promoting the release alongside Us and Them. Unlike the questionable continuation of remastering Dark Side of the Moon, the latest remastering of Breathe (In The Air) has at least the sensible approach needed for a full release. Immersions and Experience editions are a little too sought after, and while it may be worth hearing this Live at Wembley set on record, it is still an uphill struggle to grab a copy. 

Its digital form still takes hold and sounds fairly solid. This brief interjection of lyrical wonder from David Gilmour is wonderful and brief, tucked in neatly toward the end of a track that acts as a lengthy bridge from song to song. Those songs are yet to release but it is clear where Breathe falls in place and the impact it has on a live outing of Dark Side of the Moon tracks. Mixing from Andy Jackson steadies the course for Pink Floyd, who sound as together here as they ever do, despite the fractured behind-the-scenes woes that still continue. Crisp playing from the opening is the real hook here, tremendous guitar work that replicates the intricacies of this Dark Side of the Moon track right there on the stage. 

Worries of a nostalgia pop are brushed aside somewhat, unlike the remastering of Dark Side of the Moon. This Live at Wembley 1974 piece offers listeners the chance to experience the live recording in full without the need for purchasing this edition or that record. It is difficult enough having to piece it together on YouTube Music or Spotify, but Breathe (In the Air) is a delicate single to offer up as the first available track. Rewarding, short and throwing listeners right into the fold of what is to come from what should be a quality remastering that makes sense to release, unlike Dark Side of the Moon, where a remastering of an album previously remastered less than a decade ago makes no sense at all.  

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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