August 20, 2012

1,000,001 CDs 1: Pink Floyd ~ The Division Bell CD

I started the Vinyl LP series because I have over 20,000 albums I am selling; each blog entry is about an album from my collection. Inquire for more information.

 blue glass Division Bell
photo by Styrous®
(click on any image to see larger size)
I know, I'm breaking the rules of this series of articles on my vinyl LP collection by writing about a CD but I have the vinyl version of the album as well so I believe it's ok if I stretch the rules a little. Besides, the packaging of the album is quite unique, if not sensational for CDs.

In 1994 I was wandering around Tower Records (it went out of business in 2006) and came across one of the incredible finds of my collection. A special release issue of Pink Floyd's The Division Bell. I remember there were four or five of them. They were all package damaged so they were marked down to half price but they were still expensive so I hesitated (who wants damaged goods?) for about two millionths of a second before I selected the one in the best condition and bought it. (Now I wish I'd bought the others too. Oh, Well.)

Released in 1994 (March 30 in the UK and April 5 in the US), The Division Bell was the last Pink Floyd studio album. It featured saxophonist Dick Parry of Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here fame. Parry played the dreamiest, sexiest sax I've ever heard. Wish You Were Here is one of my all-time favorite albums.

I recall scurrying back to my studio, placing the bag on a table, just looking at it for quite a while and anticipating opening it. Even though I'd switched to CD's 15 years before, I was still a vinyl junkie at heart; vinyl junkies do things like that.
original Tower bag where it's kept
photo by Styrous®

I had never been as excited about the packaging of a CD since I'd given up buying vinyl LPs, so with great expectations and a pounding heart, I removed the box from the bag and began removing the contents slowly and carefully.

damaged The Division Bell box
photo by Styrous®

The Division Bell box
photo by Styrous®

What I found in the box!

photos by Styrous®

The Division Bell T-shirt
(still unopened to this day)
photo by Styrous®

photo by Styrous®
photo by Styrous®

The Division Bell CD (still unopened to this day)
The Division Bell Photography
Tony May, Rubert Truman and Stephen Piotrowski
photo of The Division Bell CD by Styrous®

The Division Bell certificate #137
photo by Styrous®

The Division Bell marble plinth base
photo by Styrous®

The Division Bell presentation plaque
photo by Styrous®

I clearly remember looking at the plaque announcing it was 137 of 1,000 and thinking, "Yeah, right!". Since then I've discovered it was the truth.

I have a one in a thousand beauty.

The blue glass Division Bell
photo by Styrous®

The Music

There is the typical melancholy but lovely Pink Floyd feeling to the album. The songs are as brilliantly melodic and the modulations as intricately beautiful as only they had a knack of doing.

My favorite song on the album is, "Coming Back to Life". The slow, languid guitar and echoey vocal on the intro is sublime while the moderately paced but driving beat of the main melody is incredibly sensual and uplifting. It can be heard on YouTube.

And, of course, "What Do You Want From Me" with its moderately-slow but driving beat and female backup (see below) singing harmony is as exciting as anything the group has done. The song was filmed during a concert in Cleveland in 1994; it can be seen as well as heard on YouTube.

Other selections from The Division Bell album can be heard on YouTube.

Some Info

David Gilmour - lead vocals, guitars, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards, production, mixing, programming
Nick Mason - drums, percussion, programming
Richard Wright - keyboards, piano, vocals

Additional musicians:
    •    Jon Carin - programming, additional keyboards
    •    Guy Pratt - bass guitar
    •    Gary Wallis - percussion
    •    Tim Renwick - guitars
    •    Dick Parry - tenor saxophone
    •    Bob Ezrin - keyboards, percussion
    •    Sam Brown - backing vocals
    •    Durga McBroom - backing vocals
    •    Carol Kenyon - backing vocals
    •    Jackie Sheridan - backing vocals
    •    Rebecca Leigh-White - backing vocals 

The Division Bell CD production team:
Photography: Tony May, Rubert Truman and Stephen Piotrowski
Cover Design: Storm Thorgerson
Sculptures by Aden Hynes and John Robertson from drawings by Keith Breeden
Graphics: Peter Curzon, with Ian Wright

Illustrations by John Whitely and Sally Norris

The name Pink Floyd was a combination of the names of two venerable bluesmen, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. (The old joke went that the band could have ended up as Anderson Council – until a tribute band took the name.)

My thanks to Pink Floyd, a fantastic group that has given me a lifetime of listening pleasure and delight.

Check out 20,000 Vinyl LPs 11: Pink Floyd ~ The Division Bell LP  (blue vinyl LP)

My best to you.

The vinyl LP collection is for sale. Interested? Contact Styrous®

Styrous® ~ August 20, 2012

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