Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980-1981
Columbia Records, 2000
REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 11/01/2004
Strictly for the fans, this is the live version of The Wall with a couple of extra filler tracks from the stage show thrown in. However, it is superior to the studio version because of the sound and the little extras that flesh out the unfinished songs.
Basically, this is The Wall the way it was meant to be presented. We finally get the introduction to "Young Lust" and the ending of "Empty Spaces," a short tune called "What Shall We Do Now?" A cool instrumental review of the first half called "The Last Few Bricks" pops up during the first half, while "Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2" and "The Show Must Go On" are elongated.
As for the songs everyone knows and loves, the expected high points outstrip their studio counterparts. David Gilmour's solo on "Comfortably Numb" is transcendent, "Hey You" is as mesmerizing as ever and "Run Like Hell" vastly outpaces the original, especially with Roger Waters spitting vitriol at an audience that doesn't seem to realize they are being made fun of ("This is for all the weak people in the audience. Is there anyone here who's weak? Pathetic").
Unfortunately, because this follows the album to the letter, all of the sound effects, underwritten transition songs and embarrassing moments are kept in, such as the racist rant of "In the Flesh," the awful "Don't Leave Me Now," the filler of "Vera" and "The Thin Ice," and so forth. However, you may get caught up in the drama once the show rolls around to "The Trial" and "Outside the Wall."This is not an essential purchase by any means, but if you happen across it don't be surprised if you enjoy it more than the studio version.