Even neutrals not entirely possessed by Pink Floyd would agree their fans deserve better. A release of a sought-after concert recording, but not entirely. To feature all of this live showcase would have made sense, and Pink Floyd has not done that since Wish You Were Here. Still, listeners cannot get picky when the parts present are so well scrubbed and released. This is still an essential live recording of a crucial album. It is just hard not to question the structure of release when right here is one of the best performances Wembley will likely ever see, and listeners can access it online in a properly released state. Still, here it is. The Dark Side of the Moon: Live at Wembley Empire Pool, and what a release it is, even in a fractured state.
With a powerful transition from warm-up Speak to Me into the strengths and flowing charms of Breathe (In The Air), Pink Floyd finds themselves in great company when it comes to live acts. Roger Waters and David Gilmour are in fine form and that is no surprise considering the volatility, the raw power of some of these tracks in both the studio and live experience. Necessarily intense and often breaking the pace up to include inclusive instrumentals, the space-age style of On The Run, the patter of footsteps and the fear-filled atmosphere it creates are incredible. Length was never an issue on the powerful studio releases, but here it takes quite the toll at times, the segments left in here provide something that would be more suitable to a visual release. Even then, it is hard to stomach the jittery pacing present on the Live at Wembley Empire Pool set.
For those impressed by Pink Floyd’s work on The Wall, this release will settle well. There are still charming performances but much of it is just build-up or experimentation with chimes, space-age sounds and a lack of urgency in getting to the meat of it all. Time and Us and Them are gorgeous instrumental pieces that do not rely all that much on Waters or his vocals. An excellent transition into The Great Gig In The Sky continues the momentum Pink Floyd find right in the middle of the album. That core is where the stripped-back and fearsome dissection of these tracks lies. Beauty, power and raw strength lie in the vocals of The Great Gig in the Sky while
Strong performances mired by a horrible release, The Dark Side of the Moon is rattled out yet again, but at least this remastering comes in a live format. Any Colour You Like is the clear highlight of a fantastic ten-track piece that could have easily included the rest of the performances. Still, ten is better than none and Pink Floyd, as well as those in charge of the mastering, release and copyright, do well to not fluff it even further. All of it, every gorgeously worked live section, is far stronger than the recent remastering of The Dark Side of the Moon. Hear the warbling and satisfied conclusions of Brain Damage and Eclipse for proof of that. The lunatic is not in the head but in the heart of a stunning live release.