Pink Floyd continues to reissue music from its long and varied history. The latest project is Live at Knebworth 1990 (Pink Floyd Records/Sony-Legacy), as the group became one of the many who appeared at the Silver Clef Award Winners concert.
They were headliners on a historic bill that also included Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Robert Plant (with Jimmy Page), Status Quo, Genesis, Phil Collins, Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler, Tears For Fears and the Shadows. The show was for the Nordoff Robbins charity, to raise money for the BRIT School. The entire concert was broadcast on MTV, then not even 10 years old.
This performance was very much the end of the Momentary Lapse of Reason tour, the first to be mounted post-Roger Waters. Dates began on Sept. 8, 1987 in Canada, and concluded on July 18, 1989 in France. They then reconvened on June 30, 1990 at Knebworth for the last performance until Pink Floyd’s second tour without Waters kicked off on March 3, 1994 in Texas in support of The Division Bell.
Two of these songs were previously available on Knebworth: The Album, released in 1990, then the entire concert was remixed and released as one of the discs on 2019’s The Later Years box set. While it is now available as a standalone disc and via streaming, there is also now a newly remixed version, taken from the original master tapes and pressed on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl, with a 16-page booklet.
What makes this a truly special release is that the albums were cut at 45 RPM, making for a true audiophile experience. This is the first time Pink Floyd has had a vinyl release using this method. Considering Live at Knebworth 1990 features songs from a performance at a huge outdoor festival show, the sound is superb.
Featuring a somewhat of an abbreviated setlist, Live at Knebworth 1990 isn’t the normal Pink Floyd concert length from this period. The material is nearly all from Dark Side of the Moon (“The Great Gig in the Sky,” “Money”), Wish You Were Here (“Shine On You Crazy Diamond 1-5,” “Wish You Were Here”) and The Wall (“Comfortably Numb,” “Run Like Hell”), with “Sorrow” also included from A Momentary Lapse of Reason.
Special guests include Michael Kamen on “Comfortably Numb” and “Run Like Hell” and Candy Dulfer on “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” and “Money.” The extra special guest is Clare Torry, who again supplies the haunting vocal she did on the original studio version of “The Great Gig in the Sky.” This was the first time she had performed with Pink Floyd since 1973 at a benefit concert that also included Soft Machine.
David Gilmour is the star of the show, with his haunting vocals and evocative guitar work, but as always Nick Mason’s drumming is the grounding heartbeat of the Pink Floyd sound. Kudos to bassist Guy Pratt for stepping in and playing the iconic bass parts of Roger Waters. As for Richard Wright, probably had the hardest job of all in playing the studio-crafted keyboard parts that in concert must have been particularly tricky.
Live at Knebworth 1990 is now the second release from Pink Floyd from The Later Years, following the restored, re-edited and remixed edition of Delicate Sound of Thunder, which was also released on compact disc, Blu-ray and, most significantly, as a three-disc vinyl set. These vinyl sets are what collectors will seek out, whether they have the larger box set or not.
It will be interesting to see if any further standalone releases are issued from The Later Years. No releases are seemingly forthcoming from The Early Years box.
By: Steve Matteo.