Buy “Roger Waters – Amused to Death – Music” Online
I am writing this specifically about the new 5. 1 mix on the Blu-ray. Those of us who have loved this album for over 20 years are more interested in what’s new than opinions on the album itself, so this is for us. If you’re like me and bought the gold cd to get the highest possible audio quality, you can put that in the closet. This album was MADE for surround audio. I remember playing this album back in college and jumping at the sound of the dog barking or the wood chopping or the phone ringing. It is even more startling now, since they come from distinct channels and with crystal clarity. What God Wants, in my opinion, benefits the least from the remake – not because it does not benefit, but because the others benefit more. When the crickets start chirping, you will swear you are listening to this in the middle of the woods. And it is not just the sharply localized sounds that make this worth buying – the distinct channels make everything clearer even when it is all coming from the front. I heard the album in a new way, and picked up on things that I had not heard before (as many times as I had heard Amused to Death, I didn’t think that was possible. )In short, I would buy this for nothing else than The Ballad of Bill Hubbard by itself. This is among my favorite surround mixes already – if you love Amused to Death and have a 5. 1 or 7. 1 system, don’t even think about it. ..just get it. Check it out!
Amused to Death Review
My copy of the 2 disc Amused To Death showed up a couple of days ago, really psychedto get this, the CD sounded great even in the car, and so far the 5. 1 mix sounds evenbetter at home on the HT 5. 1, even though I cannot crank it absurdly loud here. However, I can already tell the difference between listening in the car, let’s say,versus hearing the drums and just the power of the overall 5. 1 mix on a largeHT system at home, is really dramatic, as well it should be. I’m also not sure how thrilled I am with the "remix" of Bravery of Being Out of Range,I sort of prefer the original for some reason, some of the new flourishesdidn’t add much to the song, for me, but overall, the Blu-ray and CD bothsound amazing to me. It’s clear this album is even more relevant now, somehow,than in 1992. I recall having a hard time assimilating this album back then. As enjoyable as it is, it’s still a difficult and dense work in 2015, but of course,more topical and relevant than ever before for a myriad of reasons. I haven’t bought the vinyl as yet, so cannot comment on that. The packagingand graphics on the 2 disc edition are really great, and the booklet containsall the lyrics, which is also a nice touch. The Blu-ray disc has its ownsleeve (with battlefield Desert Storm etc. imagery wrap-around), the CDdoesn’t, but that’s ok since the CD has its own insert in the tri-foldsleeve anyway and the cardstock seems pretty durable. Clearly the usual James Guthrie and Team care went into this project, and hopefullynow Amused To Death will get the true due it should have received(sort of did, but not quite) upon initial release. This reissuewas several years in coming, and it was clearly well worth the waitand meticulous reconstruction work! I imagine the fact thatRoger didn’t tour this album might’ve had something to do with it,although I suppose it’s also because it’s a very complex work,and confrontational, and "difficult" and bound to be divisive,no matter what. Of course he did a good deal of the album livelater on, the selections on the In The Flesh live DVD/CDs are excellent testamentto what a live Amused To Death tour might’ve been like. This album may not be "loads of laughs" (what Waters album really is? They’reall pretty "heavy" listening) but it will grow on you and seem more and moreimpressive and devastating with every listen. Definitely glad I bought this. This is one Waters project that truly deserved this treatment and HQreissue, and I’m sure it’ll be receiving frequent airings in my house! -Read Reviews-
This review is about the 5. 1 Blu-ray release, but will touch on the original 1992 CD. When Amused to Death came out (1992), I found it a little bit disturbing. While a wholehearted Pink Floyd/Roger Waters fan, there were philosophical elements of the lyrics that made me uncomfortable. I recall the first time I heard this recording: I was with my friend at his brother’s house. My friend’s brother had a nice stereo system (for the time), and it was the first time any of us had heard this CD. The experience started out well enough, beyond expectations really, but when the ladies started singing "What God Wants," my buddy took the CD out of the player and said "You can’t handle any more right now" and we left. It was that bizarre. Despite all that, this album has remained one of my personal favorites over the years, even though I could generally only listen to it by myself (because of the lyrical commentary). Fast forward 25 years later. ..I just listened, nay, experienced, the Blu-ray 5. 1 release for the first my media room. Full disclosure – more watts than I need, big sub woofer, flat screen, wall treatments, surrounds, etc, etc. What I find most interesting is how prescient Roger Waters really was. In 1992, the lyrics were 20, 30, heck, maybe 40 years before their time. All the lyrical issues Waters spoke about have come to pass, or IMO are on their way. In any case, they are much more accepted by the mainstream public today than they were 25 years ago. As forward-thinking as the recording may have been, there are also some references that begin to date it somewhat. Such as "Uzi machine gun" (what street gang uses those any more?) , "Jessica Hahn" (unfortunate 1990’s political figure), etc. Now on to the music. ..The 5. 1 mix was off-putting to me for the first one or two tracks. The old man’s and the lady’s voice on the radio seemed to emanate from the left surround speaker only. It was DIFFERENT. I was not sure whether to be outraged and take the disc out of the player and leave, or to sit tight and remain optimistic. I stayed. What followed was nothing short of marvelous. In my estimation, the 2015 producer (Guthrie) starts the presentation slowly (i.e. one speaker) and then builds momentum, first to the mains, then the surrounds, then the sub. Along the way, what is most pleasing to me are all the the choral accompaniments, almost unnoticed on the original release. The recording progresses to near sonic bliss towards the end. If you are an Amused to Death fan and have Blu-ray and 5. 1, then just get it. And yes, this is still a thinker’s album. Much of the frontal philosophical assault remains (on the first half), but the second half lulls you into pleasant 5. 1 joy. Somehow it seems a shame that it has taken us 25 years to live up to Roger Waters’ vision. But I can understand why this was Water’s last (rock) recording, his opus. Some bands want to make music and have fun (Grateful Dead?) and some artists want to do all that and change the world, too. This may well be the greatest single recording ever made.