Pink Floyd – Is There Anybody Out There? – The Wall Live 1980-1981 (2000)

Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980–81 is a live album released by Pink Floyd in 2000. It is a live rendition of The Wall, produced and engineered by James Guthrie, with tracks selected from the August 1980 and June 1981 performances at Earls Court in London. The album was first released in The Netherlands by EMI Records on 23 March 2000, who released a limited edition in the United Kingdom on 27 March. The general release followed on 18 April 2000 with US and Canadian distribution by Columbia Records.

The shows involved the construction of a wall on stage throughout the first half of the show. Once complete, members of the band performed in small openings in, atop, in front of, or even behind the wall. The album artwork featured the life-masks of the four band members in front of a black wall; the masks were worn by the “surrogate band” during the song “In The Flesh“. “Goodbye Blue Sky” and parts of “Run Like Hell” were taken from the 17 June 1981 show, the very last performance by the four-man Pink Floyd until the 2005 Live 8 concert.

Is There Anybody Out There? contains live versions of all the original songs along with two additional songs: “What Shall We Do Now?” and “The Last Few Bricks“. “What Shall We Do Now?” was planned for the original album but removed just before release. (It remained on the lyric sheet for the original LP, but excised from future CD re-releases.) “The Last Few Bricks” was an instrumental bridge between “Another Brick in the Wall (Part III)” and “Goodbye Cruel World“, and contained themes from “The Happiest Days of Our Lives“, “Don’t Leave Me Now“, “Young Lust“, “Empty Spaces” and “What Shall We Do Now?“, all transposed to D minor. It was played to allow the bricklayers to almost completely seal off the stage before Roger Waters appeared in the last brick-wide space in the wall to sing “Goodbye Cruel World”, ending the first set of the show. This music never had an official title before the release of the live album. Fans named the track “Almost Gone” on some bootleg albums of the shows, but the official name was suggested by producer James Guthrie during the mixing of the live album. The album also contained two spoken tracks titled “MC: Atmos” (“Master of Ceremonies” for the first North American release), which served as introductions to the songs “In the Flesh?” and “In the Flesh”, respectively. These were performed by Gary Yudman, MC for the Earls Court and Nassau Coliseum shows. The second version was a section of a recording of his speech from the first version, played at slower speed to parody the frustration (“The band is about ready to begin, I think … No, not quite yet”) of waiting for the band to start.

The tracks differed slightly from the studio album, primarily in terms of longer intros and extended solos. Due to the constraints of vinyl records, the band had been forced to severely edit many songs for the album, removing whole sections, many of which were restored in concert. For example, “The Show Must Go On” had an extra verse that was deleted from the original studio recording (but included in the lyric sheet, even on the latest CD releases.) “Outside the Wall” was longer and re-arranged with mandolin, accordion, clarinet, acoustic guitars, tambourines and more natural-sounding vocal harmonies from the quartet of Joe Chemay, Jim Farber, Jim Haas, and Jon Joyce. (This would be the third official version of “Outside the Wall” available to the listener, following the extended orchestral version from the 1982 film.)

The album was released to commemorate The Wall album and concerts’ 20th anniversary. In a 2000 US radio interview to promote the album, Roger stated that he was against the release of the album and refused to have it released (he was outvoted on the matter 4 to 1 by his former bandmates David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Rick Wright and former manager Steve O’Rourke) and also objected to the use of Storm Thorgerson for the album’s artwork instead of Gerald Scarfe calling it an attempt to scrape the bottom of the barrel. Then Roger’s son Harry persuaded Roger into releasing the live concerts as Harry told his dad that fans love live music and Roger relented and was pleased with how well it came out.

During the tour, Richard Wright performed as a salaried musician rather than a full member, having been fired by Waters during the sessions for the original album. But he was allowed to play the concerts as a salaried musician.

All four Pink Floyd members were duplicated by the “surrogate band”. Andy Bown, the bass player, would play the bass parts with the band more than Waters, due to the fact that Waters was more as a character playing numbers in front and back of the wall.

Disc one
1.  “MC: Atmos” (7 August 1980; includes excerpt from “We’ll Meet Again”) – 1:13
2.  “In the Flesh?” (7 August 1980) – 3:00
3.  “The Thin Ice” (7 August 1980/13 June 1981) – 2:49
4.  “Another Brick in the Wall – Pt 1” (7 August 1980) – 4:13
5.  “The Happiest Days of Our Lives” (7 August 1980/15 June 1981)  – 1:40
6.  “Another Brick in the Wall – Pt 2” (8 August 1980/9 August/14 June 1981)  – 6:19
7.  “Mother” (16 June 1981)  – 7:54
8 . “Goodbye Blue Sky” (17 June 1981) – 3:15
9.  “Empty Spaces” (14 June 1981) –  2:14
10.  “What Shall We Do Now?” (14 June 1981) – 1:40
11.  “Young Lust” (7 August 1980) – 5:17
12.  “One of My Turns” (7 August 1980)  – 3:41
13.  “Don’t Leave Me Now” (7 August 1980)  – 4:08
14.  “Another Brick in the Wall – Pt 3” (7 August 1980) – 1:15
15.  “The Last Few Bricks” (7 August 1980/9 August 1980) – 3:26
16.  “Goodbye Cruel World” (9 August 1980)  – 1:41
Total length: 53:50

Disc two
1.  “Hey You” (16 June 1981)  – 4:55
2.  “Is There Anybody Out There?” (7 August 1980)  – 3:09
3.  “Nobody Home” (8 August 1980/15 June 1981) – 3:15
4.  “Vera” (13 June 1981) – 1:27
5.  “Bring the Boys Back Home” (7 August 1980)  – 1:20
6.  “Comfortably Numb” (9 August 1980/15 June 1981) – 7:26
7.  “The Show Must Go On” (16 June 1981) – 2:35
8.  “MC: Atmos” (16 June 1981) – 0:37
9.  “In the Flesh” (7 August 1980) – 4:23
10.  “Run Like Hell” (14 June 1981/15 June 1981/17 June 1981) – 7:05
11.  “Waiting for the Worms” (13 June 1981) – 4:14
12.  “Stop” (9 August 1980)   0:30
13.  “The Trial” (9 August 1980) – 6:01
14.  “Outside the Wall” (8 August 1980/9 August 1980) – 4:27
Total length: 51:31

All lyrics written by Roger Waters; all music composed by Roger Waters and   David Gilmour.

Pink Floyd
Additional musicians

Released: 23 March 2000
Recorded: 7–9 August 1980 / 13–17 June 1981, Venue Earls Court, London, England
Genre: Progressive rock
Length: 105:21

Label – EMI Records

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