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The Division Bell - Pink Floyd

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Genre: Rock - Progressive Rock / Artist: Pink Floyd / Audio CD released 1994-03-30 at EMI

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      05.05.2012 18:30
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      Pink Floyd at its best.

      "The Division Bell" is the 14th studio album by British psychedelic rock band, Pink Floyd. It was released in 1994 on EMI Records and produced by Bob Ezrin & David Gilmour. The line-up for the album was David Gilmour (vocals/guitar/bass), Nick Mason (drums) and Richard Wright (keyboards/vocals).

      Although not a concept album like some of Pink Floyd's earlier works, there is a recurring theme of communication and how talking things out can solve problems that ties the songs together. In this album they explore the various aspects of the benefits of communication on many levels, and the consequences of not talking things out. One example is at the end of the album, where there is a soundbyte of David Gilmour's stepson, Charlie, hanging up a telephone on Pink Floyd manager, Steve O'Rourke.

      Some songs could be said to be about Roger Waters, and the long term rift between him and the rest of the band. However, David Gilmour denies that the album or any of the songs on it are in any way directed to, or about, Waters. In 1994, Gilmour stated, "People can invent and relate to a song in their personal ways, but it's a little late at this point for us to be conjuring Roger up. The general theme of communication is reflected in the choice of name for the album; "The Division Bell" was inspired by the division bell rung in the British parliament to indicate that a vote is to take place."

      Featuring achingly beautiful, timeless guitar, inspired lyrics, fantastic organ and keyboards, and adaptive drums to fit the style of each song, this album is a masterpiece. Gilmour's vocals stand out on this album in a way they haven't before, showing a growth in that area too. Although it doesn't have the dark, edgy, almost sinister feel of when Roger Waters was in charge, there are some dark and melancholy moments. There is a feeling of a band playing for the love of music, as friends, that wasn't present in the Waters days.

      The album artwork was provided by Storm Thorgerson, who had collaborated with Pink Floyd for many years. The two metal heads were constructed in a field, photographed in profile as though facing each other, with the illusion they were perhaps having a conversation. The design also gives the illusion of a third face, or that the two together make a face. The sculptures, designed by John Robertson, each standing as tall as a double decker bus, are now in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

      "Cluster One" begins with an intro of white noise that lasts nearly a minute. This caused some listeners to initially wonder if their copy was somehow defective. However, the white noise is very symbolic of the silence that so often comes between people. The song is a brilliant instrumental with spacey overtones. It is a very keyboard oriented mixture of sounds and music, with an outstanding guitar solo that will make you glad you bought the album. I love the harmonious blend of synthesiser and guitar working together.

      "What Do You Want From Me" is heavily influenced by Chicago blues, and is heavier than the other songs on the album. The song begins with a drum roll into a guitar solo, with amazing guitar work throughout the song. Soaring, beautiful backing vocals provide even more dimension to the song.

      "Poles Apart" is, according to co-writer Polly Samson, speaking to Syd Barrett in the first verse and to Roger Waters in the second verse, although David Gilmour has said none of the songs on the album were in any way a reference to Waters. The song has a folksy overtone, which is an interesting departure from the norm for the band.

      "Marooned" is filled with stunning, improvised Gilmour solos. The use of sound effects, including seagulls and waves crashing against land gives the effect that you are on an island. A whammy pedal was used to create the high pitched notes. Wailing guitar from the original recording of "Echoes"can be heard in the background, adding texture to the song. This one really is a showcase for the talents of each member of the band, as it all comes together to become a brilliantly performed song.

      "A Great Day for Freedom" celebrates the euphoria of newfound freedom for a person or group of people, and the disappointment that follows when the hopes you had don't work out, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall. The chorus is very optimistic despite the almost melancholy feel of the verses. The guitar solo washes over you and draws you in, making you want more, as it plays out to end the song.

      "Wearing the Inside Out" features Richard Wright on lead vocals for the first time since "Time", on "Dark Side of the Moon". It is also the last time he performed lead vocals on a studio album. It is interesting that he didn't perform lead vocals more often, given that he really does have a great voice. The lyrics can be interpreted as speaking of when Syd was lost inside himself, unable to get out. They could also be about anyone who feels locked away, unable to communicate true feelings either out of fear or shyness. Moaning saxophone and a haunted tone to the lyrics lend to the feel of desperation someone feels when they want to communicate but can't reach out.

      "Take it Back" gets its sound from David Gilmour using an e-bow, a hand held battery operated electronic bow used instead of fingers to play notes on electric guitar. It is moved by electromagnetic field created by the device, which creates sounds that could not otherwise be made on electric guitar but can be used on acoustic and other stringed instruments. He used it on an acoustic guitar and it was processed into an effects box. The lyrics are widely interpreted as Mother Earth getting tired of the abuse we all heap on her, although she sustains life. Another interpretation can be of a relationship, where the woman keeps on giving as the man singing takes and doesn't return her kindness.

      "Coming Back to Life" is, according to an interview with David Gilmour, about his then girlfriend (now wife), Polly Samson. The song opens with the drone of a synth chord leading into a guitar solo, which provides a graceful intro. There is an impressive solo near the end, which returns at the end to finish things off brilliantly. The lyrics are well written, making it a very moving song.

      "Keep Talking" features audio samples of Stephen Hawking's voice, originally used in a BT advertisement in the UK. David Gilmour was very moved by the sentiment of the statement, and asked permission from British Telecom to use it in a song. The message fits the theme of the album perfectly. The use of a talk box guitar effect adds extra creativity to the song, and the passionate lyrics sum up the truth that life works better when everyone keeps open lines of communication.

      "Lost For Words" opens with a steel lap guitar riff reminiscent to the "Wish You Were Here" opening. The guitars are not as heavy on this one, with a simple chord sequence. It is a prime example that simple, uncluttered songs are just as amazing as technically complex ones. Because of the simplicity of the music, the lyrics really stand out.

      "High Hopes" tells of David Gilmour's childhood in Cambridge, and leaving his hometown, from an autobiographical angle. The lyrics tell of things one may have gained and lost in life, through the process of growing as a person. Deep, meaningful lyrics, passionately performed, take you back to childhood memories, and how everything was sweeter and greener, nearly perfect then, at least in your memories. The title of the album comes from a lyric in this song, and interestingly, due to the last line of this song, the last words on a Pink Floyd studio album, at least at this time, are 'Forever and Ever'. The song begins with the ringing of bells, and ends with the faint sound of Pink Floyd manager, Steve O'Rourke talking to one of Gilmour's children.

      In summary, this is an outstanding album, with a return to the sound of a band working together as one. There are people who say it isn't as good as when Roger Waters was in the band, but those are Roger Waters fans and not Pink Floyd fans. One man does not make a band, and with Pink Floyd's ever evolving style it is impossible to compare one album to the next, no matter who is in the band. The songs, other than "High Hopes", which is incredible in its simplicity, are complex, stunning works of musical art that are a joy to listen to over and over. As always, Pink Floyd delights us with not only their musical talent, but the use of clever sound effects to add even more to the songs. I can easily recommend this album for anyone. It is in a class above anything else that was released at that time. Although other musicians might aspire to the greatness contained on this album, it is the talent a musician is born with that creates songs of this calibre.

      1. Cluster One
      2. What Do You want From Me
      3. Poles Apart
      4. Marooned
      5. A Great Day For Freedom
      6. Wearing the Inside Out
      7. Take it Back
      8. Coming Back to Life
      9. Keep Talking
      10. Lost For Words
      11. High Hopes

      My rating: 10/10

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      20.09.2011 02:10
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      Great final album.

      **Introduction**

      As a fan of Pink Floyd I was rather pleased with the recent BBC Four series of special programs on the history of the band including a miscellany of Pink Floyd hits from the early years right up to the final reunion performance at Live 8. Although the career of the band was hit with various bouts of in-fighting that didn't stop the great music flowing. In 1985 Roger Waters left the band to pursue a solo career and a long drawn out battle over the name threatened to derail any hopes of any more Pink Floyd music yet after it was sorted Richard Wright was brought back into the fold after his sacking by Waters and Gilmour, Wright and Nick Mason began work on the comeback album "A Momentary lapse of reason which was released in 1987. Seven years later after various tours from the band They released their final album.

      **The Division Bell**

      The Division Bell is the fourteenth and last studio album by Pink Floyd and was recorded between 1993-1994. The album was produced by Bob Ezrin and was engineered by Andy Jackson and Saxophonist Dick Parry also appears on the album to complete the line-up of Pink Floyd stalwarts. The album was recorded on David Gilmour's boat "The Astoria" which is moored on the River Thames near Hampton Court, the studio was also where parts of the previous album "A momentary lapse of reason" were recorded as were various other projects including David Gilmour's critically acclaimed solo album "On an Island". In place of Roger Waters, Gilmour played the Bass Guitar parts along with one of the additional musicians Guy Pratt.

      1.) Cluster One

      This is an excellent track which gets the album off to a strong start, It's an instrumental track which features some lovely guitar work from David Gilmour and the usual experimental electro sounds which come courtesy of David Gilmour and Richard Wright. It is one of two instrumental tracks from the album both being Gilmour and Wright collaborations. Once in full swing it's a lovely gentle piano and guitar led track which is rather relaxing. Although the band never performed the track as part of the tour, it was featured in the sound collage tape played before their 1994 concerts.

      2.) What do you want from me?

      This changes the mood a little to a brooding guitar gem courtesy of Gilmour and Polly Samson who is his wife but was his girlfriend at the time. Gilmour has described it as a "straight Chicago blues tune" and the Blues influence is there for all to hear. It's a superb track with a fantastic drum roll introduction from Nick Mason and the guitar work from Gilmour is exceptional. I love the way the track builds with the music and the backing vocals. Guy Pratt played the Bass Guitar on this particular track and does a decent job replacing Roger Waters.

      3.) Poles Apart

      The track is another Gilmour & Samson collaboration but with the additional writing from Nick Laird-Clowes. The tracks opening verse is speaking to Syd Barrett and the second verse is to Roger Waters. This is the second longest track on the album and features some excellent keyboard work from Richard Wright along with the usual guitar from David Gilmour. Michael Kaman put the orchestral arrangements together and that gives the track a lovely backing feel. This is a decent track which moves along well and has subtle changes in the right moments. lovely solo to top things off by David Gilmour.

      4.) Marooned

      This piece was written by David Gilmour and Richard Wright and the track is the second of two instrumental tracks on the album and for me it's an excellent addition here. It starts gently with the usual soaring guitar that you would expect from Gilmour and the gentle keys and bass add to the overall feel. I love the way the track progresses as soon you get the drums come in from Nick Mason and the track moves along beautifully with what turns out to be somewhat largely improvised guitar work from David Gilmour which sounds sublime. A lovely instrumental track which does a lot for the genre. The track was given a Grammy Award in the category of Best Rock Instrumental Performance at the Grammy Awards of 1995.

      5.) A Great day for freedom

      This is another of several Gilmour-Samson collaborations and according to Gilmour is about "the great hopes following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disappointment that followed". This is one of the more slow moments on the album and Gilmour is in a more ponderous mood than on much of the album. The track builds wonderfully until it's topped off by a trademark solo from Gilmour. Interesting the track has seem by some as a tirade against Roger Waters in that "the "Great Day For Freedom" would be the day Waters left the band, giving the other members freedom to determine the band's future direction". This has been flatly denied by those involved and I don't agree that this was the case either.

      6.) Wearing the Inside Out

      It is the first Pink Floyd song since "Time" from The Dark Side of the Moon where Richard Wright sings lead, as well as his final lead vocal on a Pink Floyd album, His vocals are decent and this is one of the best songs on the album. I love the backing vocals from Sam Brown, Durga McBroom, and Carol Kenyon which give the track a soulful feel which combines well with the guitar work of David Gilmour and the lovely saxophone from Dick Parry. Gilmour also palys Bass on this track and sings the lead on the third verse. This was another track which wasn't performed by the band on tour.

      7.) Take It Back

      Interestingly for this track, Gilmour used an E-bow on a Gibson J-200 acoustic guitar that was processed through a Zoom effects box to make the different and rather catchy sound. It works well on this catchy track which moves along at a fair pace. Guy Pratt and Tim Renwick also appear as additional musicians on this one on bass guitar and guitar respectively. Sam Brown, Durga McBroom, Carol Kenyon & Claudia Fontaine provide haunting backing vocals in the chorus parts. This is a very good track with some excellent parts from all three band members.

      8.) Coming back to life

      This is the only track solely written by David Gilmour and is a beautiful tribute to his wife Polly Samson who was then his girlfriend. It opens with a synth droning a C major chord, leading to a slow guitar solo played with a clean sound. This is a lovely ballad which features some excellent use of a hammond organ from Richard Wright and then the track gets going when the catchy guitar and drums come in. The track is catchy and features some fine solo work from David Gilmour. One of the tracks on the album that features excellent progression.

      9.) Keep Talking

      The song was included in the 2001 compilation, Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd and opens with some gentle keys, guitar and cymbals. As it progresses a sample of Stephen Hawking's electronic voice is taken from a BT television advertisement at this point the rolling bass hooks and drum beat comes in with Gilmour's catchy guitar, Next come the dark vocals from Gilmour which are backed by the female backing vocalists Sam Brown, Durga McBroom, Carol Kenyon & Claudia Fontaine. This track features some excellent guitar work from Gilmour as well as some great programming.

      10.) Lost for words

      The track opens with footsteps and a closed door. The track takes a while to progress but does so when a steel guitar part come in and the track is soon flowing. It's probably the weakest track on the album and doesn't have the same spark as the best tracks on here but it still has some excellent parts to it. I like the breakdown for instance which leads to some nice bass work from Guy Pratt who again provides additional playing and a fine laid back acoustic solo by Gilmour. There was some belief among fans that the song is an oblique reference to keyboardist Richard Wright's firing by Roger Waters during the Wall sessions.

      11.) High Hopes

      We end on perhaps the best known track on the album, This is a wonderfully vibrant track which opens with a church bell played by Nick Mason and some lovely spiky piano from Richard Wright. The bass and vocals then come in and the song builds wonderfully when Nick Mason's drum comes in with a heavy feel. The track is about the bands time in Cambridge. Michael Kaman provides some excellent orchestration and the track builds thanks to some fabulous military style drumming and then David Gilmour completes the track with a lovely solo after another bout of church bell and piano. This track really showcases the musicianship of the band. A wonderful end to the album.

      **Overall**

      When it comes to ranking this album amongst all the other Pink Floyd albums you need to judge it on it's own merits. The best tracks on here would get into any Pink Floyd album and if you put those songs together then you have one fine resume. This may not be the premier line-up without Roger Waters but what David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright have made here with the help of others is something very important. It's the last ever Pink Floyd album and not a bad one at that. Some superb stuff is carried on the album and I believe it further enhanced the legacy of the three members involved. You can reminisce about the best line up but take this for what it is and that's a damn good album.

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        20.01.2011 17:31
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        A somewhat disappointing end for this band.

        Released in 1994, this is Pink Floyd's last studio album. By this time, the band's identity had shifted yet again, with Roger Waters leaving the band after some serious feuding after the release of 'The Final Cut', and losing the rights to use the name 'Pink Floyd' to Gilmour, Mason and Wright. This is the second post-Waters album, after the frankly lacklustre effort 'A Momentary Lapse of Reason' in 1987.

        As Waters had come to dominate the group, it had become difficult for the other members to have the creative input they once enjoyed while they were on a more equal footing, before circa 1977. Yet as dictatorial as he may have been, Waters was a vital element in their compositions, particularly lyrically. During the recording of this album, Gilmour admitted that he had difficulties stepping to the fore as a lyricist, and it does show. Waters denounced his songwriting as'nonsensical rubbish'; perhaps a little harsh and tainted by the acrimonious nature of their parting, but his comments contain more than a little truth.

        Whilst Waters was ready to pour his scorn on his former band members' works, it isn't all bad. It opens with the Rick Wright penned 'Cluster One', which is a quite beautiful, minimalist instrumental piece that wouldn't sound out of place on 'Wish You Were Here'. Yet it sets itself up for a bit of a deflated listen, as whilst this does feel like a Pink Floyd album in places, it doesn't provoke in the way that is expected. Songs like 'Coming Back to Life', 'Take It Back' and 'Wearing the Inside Out' slump into rock mediocrity. 'Keep Talking' samples Stephen Hawking's contribution to the BT advert of the time, and makes for a slightly surprising moment on the album. Yet it's not just the lyrics which are pretty weak. Sometimes it feels as if they are on autopilot; Gilmour's playing on ''Poles Apart' sounds like he's copying a U2 recording, and the production sounds quite dated as well. Whereas 'Dark Side of the Moon' sounds like it could have been recorded yesterday, this most definitely sounds like it was cut over 15 years ago. Ultimately, without Waters to act as a foil to their instrumentation, Pink Floyd lack the incisive lyrics and bigger vision needed to make them truly effective.

        It does flash with their talents from time to time though. 'What Do You Want from Me?' is a weightier effort, with Gilmour's playing taking on a bluesier feel, and 'Marooned' is another instrumental that has some spirit to it. The album's closer 'High Hopes' is the probably the standout track on here. Its distinct, choppy rhythm sounds a bit like a carnival organ gone wrong, conjuring up the English eccentricity of Syd Barret-led Floyd, with overtones of their darker side brought on by Gilmour's yearning lyrics and a doomy, tolling bell.

        It also seems as if some of these songs are a sounding board for Gilmour to have a stab at Waters. With references to 'the cut', the wall' (A Great Day for Freedom), and during 'Lost for Words' there's quite possibly a word-for-word account of Gilmour trying to communicate with Waters, it can grow a bit wearing, akin to Lennon and McCartney spitting at each other via their solo albums in the early 1970s. If there's any overarching theme to the album, as one might come to expect from a Pink Floyd album, this would seem to be it...

        This is a bit of a disappointing end to this band's recording career. Whilst 'Pulse' is a great live testament to at least one portion of Pink Floyd's work, it is sad that this is their final studio effort. Many people may have shared my optimism at seeing the reunited Pink Floyd perform at Live 8 in 2005, that their personal and legal differences had been laid aside and they would come together for one last cohesive, classic statement. But this seems all but impossible now, as Rick Wright passed away in 2008 and the remaining band members are pursuing their own projects. Maybe they'll surprise us all and go for it, but it would seem that this is their final testament under the banner of Pink Floyd.

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          08.02.2009 22:15
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          The last ever Pink Floyd Album.

          ==Background==
          Pink Floyd had enjoyed a very successful career since the late 60's, each album progressing further, developing more uniqueness as they went along. From the psychedelic sounds of 'Piper at the Gates of Dawn' in 1967, to 1973's world renowned 'Dark Side of the Moon', a record which probably resides in 99% of people with good musical taste's music collection. Each album saw changes, experiments, and in 1983 they released 'The Final Cut', an album so dominated by Roger Waters, that the others needn't have been there. After that, Waters decided that the band was over.

          Gilmour and Mason didn't agree though, and they carried on without Waters, (Wright having been fired by Roger during the sessions for 'The Wall'). After a legal dispute, Gilmour and Mason won the rights to continue the Pink Floyd name, and in 1987 released 'A Momentary Lapse of Reason'. Wright then re-joined the band as a full time member, and in 1994 they released 'The Division Bell'.
          The Tracks
          1) Cluster One

          (Gilmour/Wright)
          This instrumental piece weighs in at 5:59, a peaceful gentle opening to the album, with some gentle feelings of some of the Floyds early works. "Cluster One" is mainly a guitar and piano led piece, soft and flowing, with a gentle echo on some notes. This track is so relaxing, it perfectly lends it self to a night watching the stars, or something like that. After 4 and a half minutes, a soft clatter of the cymbals comes in and it sounds like a battle between the piano and guitar, with them taking turns to churn out a delicate rift, before Gilmour swops into a short but full of feeling guitar burst.
          Song Rating: 8/10

          2) What do you want from me?
          (Gilmour/Wright/Polly Samson)

          This song starts with a slight 80's rock feel, gentle and is then stolen by a moody swing from Gilmour's guitar. The song has the guitar underlining all the song, and some fairly decent lyrics.
          Song Rating: 6/10

          3) Poles Apart
          (Gilmour/Samson/Nick Laird-Clowes)

          Starting with a gentle patter from the guitar, this song features some brilliant lyrics, which relate to the two estranged members of Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett and Roger Waters.
          The first verse speaks to Barrett, with lines such as:

          Did you know...it was all going to go so wrong for you
          A reference to the breakdown which caused him to be forced from the band in 1968. It also makes reference to Waters with lines such as:

          Hey you...did you ever realise what you'd become
          Waters was not at all a fan of the new Pink Floyd, and described this album as "rubbish". Here was clearly an animosity between them, which presents itself in a couple of songs on the album.

          Musically, this song follows a rather soft flow, and around 4 minutes in has a bit of a sea feel to it, with a gentle recurring bell being sounding. Towards the end of the song is a solo from Gilmour, which is fantastic.
          Song Rating: 8/10

          4) Marooned
          (Gilmour/Wright)

          The second Instrumental song on the album, running in at 5:28. "Marooned" is a really 'pretty song', it is soft and well played. The tempo is slow to medium, and this song gives strong connotations of being on a beach at sunset.
          Song Rating: 9/10

          5) A Great Day for Freedom
          (Gilmour /Samson)

          This song is rather slow, and sang over a piano base. The chorus gives more strength, but it still lacks a huge grandeur, and is a song that can easily be overlooked. The songs main redemption is yet another sweet bit of guitar from Gilmour,
          Song Rating: 5/10

          6) Wearing the Inside Out
          (Wright/Anthony Moore)

          Written by Wright and Anthony Moore, this is the only song sang purely by Rick Wright. It starts off with a bit of saxophone by Dick Parry, which adds some real jazz mood to the song. Wright's soft vocals over the gentle backing, with slow drums and a faint twang of Gilmour on his guitar. The chorus features some backing singers, which add a real beauty to the song, especially when added to the slight increase in guitar. This layering really gives some atmosphere. In the middle of the song, the volume increases slightly, which is then followed by a nice little solo from Gilmour.
          Most of the previous songs have been a bit poor compared to Pink Floyd's normal standards, however this song brings things back around, and so far is the highlight of the album.

          Song Rating: 10/10
          7) Take it Back

          (Gilmour/Samson/Laird-Clowes/Bob Ezrin)
          The most upbeat track so far, this song is more catchy, and much more single material (was actually released as a single), there have been various interpretations about this song, one of which is it being about Mother Nature.

          Song Rating: 7/10
          8) Coming Back to Life

          (Gilmour)
          Gilmour said that this song was written about his wife Polly Samson. The song opens with a nice little guitar, the notes being clear and well defined, which is one of the things I really love about Gilmour's guitar work, its technical, its in place for a reason. The song starts pretty slow, until around 3 minutes when the drums come in, and the song changes direction, it immediately becomes more upbeat and in my view, better.

          Song Rating: 8/10
          9) Keep Talking

          (Gilmour/Wright/Samson)
          this song was another single release, and features some vocals by Stephen Hawking, which was taken from a BT advert. This is my fourth favourite song from the album, and the lyrics are pretty good, especially with the backing vocals, giving two perspectives to the song. Gilmour's voice has a slight gravelly sound to it, which really improves the song.

          Song Rating: 9/10
          10) Lost for Words

          (Gilmour/Samson)
          This song is the second favourite of mine from the album, and has some brilliant lyrics. The song contains an acoustic guitar which adds softness. The lyrics contain more references to Waters, with the lines:

          _Because there'll be no safety in numbers
          When the right one walks out of the door_
          Which is a reference to Waters leaving the band, this song is probably the song which contains the most references to it, with most lines being interpretable to fit the scenario.

          Song Rating: 10/10
          11) High Hopes

          (Gilmour/Samson)
          Ah, finally the best song of the album. Beginning with the chiming bells, before one resonates over the top, a soft few notes from the piano then comes in, before the vocals. This song has a real sad overtone, soaked in drama and feeling. The music is moody, well timed and strong.

          _Encumbered forever by desire and ambition
          There's a hunger still unsatisfied
          Our weary eyes still stray to the horizon
          Though down this road we've been so many time_
          The lyrics are the best from the album, and are sang with Gilmour's amazing voice, which furthers the feeling of the song. This song is always best listened to in the dark, the feeling it gives is immeasurable.

          Song Rating: 11/10
          Conclusion
          This album was Pink Floyd's last release, and with the demise of Wright last year, it is now most probably going to be the last. In essence, this isn't what many would call a true Pink Floyd album, since it doesn't feature Waters, who some believe was the main driving force behind the Floyd. 'The Division Bell' certainly isn't the best Pink Floyd album either, but judging it as an album, and not in comparison to their other releases, it is defiantly worth buying.
          Some of the tracks are truly excellent, and Gilmour's guitar work is as good as it has ever been, with precision and accuracy. The album is full of feeling, mood and some of the tracks owe themselves to sitting down and relaxing with.

          My suggestion - pick a copy up, whether you are a Floyd fan or not.

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            26.01.2008 03:13
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            A legendary album that every guitarist should own

            Since the early psychedelic days of Pink Floyd their career has progressed smoothly and they still remain one of the most highly respected bands around today. David Gilmours vocals and unique guitar playing style and capability make him a legend amongst guitarists everywhere. The release of The Division Bell back in 1996 brought the best album ever released by the band.

            Since Gilmour took over as lead vocalist, the band seem to have moved more away from their heavier rock roots and focused on a very pleasant sounding album, extremely original in style, almost hypnotic to listen to and with lyrics that make you wish you wrote them yourself.

            The album starts off with Cluster One, a typical Pink Floyd track which seems to go nowhere and is just basically an introduction to the album before kicking in to What Do You Want From Me, a hard hitting bluesy anthem.

            What followed I found rather surprising. Lead guitar riffs and runs that had such an elegant beautiful warm sound, superbly structured and so well performed. Songs that made me close my eyes and drift off to the edge as I was taken further and further into profound relaxation.

            Then comes the overwhelmingly original and unique Keep Talking, which focuses on the very original theme of communication and evolution.

            Pink Floyd manage to retain a lot of their mystic value in the album and there is plenty of variety and a lot of effects throughout. Personally, I find that this album takes you on a trip, a unique beautiful experience which will make any guitar player jealous of David Gilmours unique and credible abilities.

            Marooned cannot be listened to without falling asleep or drifting off into some kind of trance, Coming Back To Life takes you on a rise through a crescendo and Lost For Words somehow makes you feel better about your insecurities.

            This album is so dynamic and so unique it is a must for any die hard Pink Floyd fans and guitarists everywhere.

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              17.03.2002 18:54
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              The Division Bell is the second studio album recorded after Roger Waters left, its more commercial than their earlier offerings, but it stands up as one of the best, and pretty much signalled a return to form. ~~The story so far~~ Pink Floyd began their recording life in 1967, a quartet made up of Roger Waters, Rick Wright, Nick Mason, and Syd Barrett. A year later Syd Barrett became too unreliable and was replaced by Dave Gilmore. In 1979 Roger Waters became too arrogant and demanded that Rick Wright leave (saying he wasn't pulling his weight in the band) after the completion of The Wall album.1983 and the band had all but split, in 1987 Nick Mason and Dave Gilmore came together to do another Pink Floyd album (solo ventures just weren't as successful). The record company had little faith in the two and so Dave and Nick went to lengths of paying the recording costs themselves, Rick Wright rejoined the band, a live album was released in 1988, and then The Division Bell album, in 1994. ~~The Music Of Pink Floyd~~ The band have a fairly unique sound, generally speaking its not the kind you'd dance to. Its extremely good, well sounded and the lyrics are well written and true to life. Its more experimental (well at the beginning of their recording career anyway), the music is varied, and invariably good, its more the kind of music you'd sit back to listen and relax to, its very meaningful and, well........ you really have to listen to it. Their best known song is probably Another Brick In The Wall - part 2, as every school kid will know (everybody sing - we don't need no education......). ~~The Division Bell~~ So, The Division Bell album is one of the best, the cover is the most striking since the Dark Side of The Moon album, (the covers on their albums are all very distinctive, one even having a picture of a cow on it). The music and lyrics are mostly written by Dave Gilmore, (who also wrote most of the pr
              evious album), its been suggested that some of the songs were directed at Roger Waters (who hated the fact the band continued without him and is still bitter about it), looking or listening to the lyrics, you can see why, '...........Because there'll be no safety in numbers When the right one walks out of the door.' (Rick Wright, perhaps?) 'So I open my door to my enemies And I ask could we wipe the slate clean But they tell me to please go f**k myself You know you just can't win' (Lost For words) ~~The Track listing~~ Cluster One What Do You Want From Me Poles Apart Marooned A Great Day For Freedom Wearing The Inside Out Take It Back Coming Back To Life Keep Talking Lost For Words High Hopes Listening to the album, I felt that it was clean and fresh, just the feel of it, the songs give the feeling of sadness, What Do You want From Me, and Keep Talking, seem to be about a relationship that isn't working anymore, A Great Day For Freedom is a song that fits in perfectly and ties in with the continuity of Pink Floyd songs (referring to the wall), High Hopes is a brilliant piece of music and has great words that conger up all kinds of images, its a very meaningful album, some tracks are just music, which is of course, very nice to listen to. Take It Back, and Coming Back To Life are quite up beat songs, so its quite balanced. I think its true to say that this is what they should have been doing before, but its taken a while for them to get round to it, its an improvement on the last album, and as I said it feels very fresh and clean. A live album was released not long after this called Pulse, and had many songs from the album on it, which is why I bought this album, I have it on tape, although I'd recommend you get the CD, probably costing £11.99. Stephen Hawking is thanked on the inlay card and possibly speaks o
              n the album, (well it sounds like him) also is Douglas Adams (the now sadly deceased author of The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy), apparently when Pink Floyd had finished the album they were stuck for a title, and sitting around with their friend Douglas Adams one day, they offered to donate some money to Douglas's favourite charity if he gave them a title, so he said, The Division Bell, which, as he said, was in the lyrics anyway. Its a pretty good album, and I'd wholly recommend it, I just wish they'd release something new soon (nothing new for 8 years is too long). Buy it, enjoy it, and tell your friends. The Solid Grey

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                03.10.2000 07:43

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                That is what the Division Bell is all about as far as I concerned. I have been a fan of Pink Floyd for some years, and was hesitant to buy this album because I had been blown away by Dark Side Of The Moon, I thought the Division Bell would be a disappointment for some reason, but far from it, each track melts into the other as do so many other Pink Floyd compositions, but each track also has it's own individuality. My favourite track is "What Do You Want From Me" If you are a PF fan but haven't bought this album yet, I urge you to.

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                30.08.2000 09:07
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                Pink Floyd! Don’t have to say much – ‘cos everyone knows them, and if you don’t – where the hell have you been? I was quite fascinated with the Division Bell album, did you know that on the CD cover there is braille so that the blind can read it! Amazing! I thought it was a brilliant idea and it was the first ever time I’d seen it on any CD. Pink Floyd are well known for their weird and wacky music and most peculiar videos, the song on the CD, ‘What do you want from me’ drew my attention almost instantaneously. It’s brilliant, and if you ever need an education in music –Pink Floyd should be one of the first bands that you study. I was lucky enough to see Pink Floyd in concert, remember when the stage fell down at thier Division Bell concert? Well, I went afterwards... and it was absolutely brilliant with giant pigs coming from out of the walls. Great instrumentals and backing singers that leave chills down your spine. Once in a lifetime opportunity!

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                16.07.2000 06:20

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                As an avid fan of Dark Side of the moom and Wish you were here, I was sure this album would never compare so put off buying it. When I was (strictly off the record) offered a copy in a pub, I gave in and was pleasantly surprised by the result. Yes there are a few weaker tracks and they seem to be trying to imitate Walters more than Walters himself ever was, but this has to be their best album bar the above mentioned. As an indication of how I rate this, when we were burgled some time later (poetic justice?), and the tape stolen, it was one of very few recordings I replaced. Favourite track - cluster one, very atmospheric.

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                11.07.2000 05:05

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                Dear Oh Lor what a pile of rubbish this album was. music to depress yourself!! We hated this album so much we gave it away. there are a couple of tracks which were used well on the advert that made you think this album was something special, it was not. I expect i would be counted as a philistine to pink Floyd fans but i know a good tune when i hear (one, or not!)If any one is tempted in the Clearance section of Our Price - don't!

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            • Product Details

              Disc #1 Tracklisting
              1 Cluster One
              2 What Do You Want From Me
              3 Poles Apart
              4 Marooned
              5 Great Day For Freedom
              6 Wearing The Inside Out
              7 Take It Back
              8 Coming Back To Life
              9 Keep Talking
              10 Lost For Words
              11 High Hopes