Pulse (Pink Floyd album)

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Pulse
Live album by
Released29 May 1995 (1995-05-29)
Recorded17 August–23 October 1994
GenreProgressive rock
Length147:59
LabelEMI
Producer
Pink Floyd chronology
The Division Bell
(1994)
Pulse
(1995)
London '66–'67
(1995)
Singles from Pulse
  1. "Wish You Were Here (Live)"
    Released: 20 July 1995

Pulse is the third live album by the English rock band Pink Floyd. It was released on 29 May 1995 by EMI in the United Kingdom and on 6 June 1995 by Columbia in the United States.[1] The album was recorded during the European leg of Pink Floyd's Division Bell Tour in 1994.[2]

Content and recording[edit]

Pulse includes a performance of the entirety of Pink Floyd's 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon. It also features "Astronomy Domine", a Syd Barrett song not performed since the early 1970s. "Another Brick in the Wall, Part II" features small portions of the songs "Another Brick in the Wall, Part I", "The Happiest Days of Our Lives" and "Another Brick in the Wall, Part III".

Unlike the previous Pink Floyd live album, Delicate Sound of Thunder, no parts of the songs were re-recorded in the studio.[3] However, the band and Guthrie fixed songs that had bad notes (as heard on some bootlegs) by lifting solos and corrected vocal lines from other performances as the band recorded most of the European leg. The album was mixed in QSound, which produces a 3D audio effect even on a two channel stereo system.

Packaging[edit]

The outer packaging for Pulse with the light compartment and holder removed and placed on top.

Early CD versions came with a flashing red LED on the side of the case. This was designed by the EMI contractor Jon Kempner, who was awarded the platinum disc, using the now discontinued LM3909 LED flasher IC. The circuit was powered by a single AA battery; the battery life was stated to be over six months. Some versions were also made with two AA batteries and later editions of the CD set did not feature the blinking LED.

Essentially, it's a device which we thought was entertaining. It's an idea of Storm Thorgerson's which related to Dark Side and the pulse, and it's a live album so the box is "alive". After that, in terms of seriously deep meanings, one might be struggling a bit.

Release[edit]

In the United States, despite a price of $34.99 (which included flashing spine light and two AA batteries) Pulse debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 during the week of 24 June 1995 with 198,000 copies sold, it became the first multidisc album to top the Billboard 200 since the chart started using SoundScan data in May 1991.[5] The next week it fell off to number three on the chart.[6] It remained on the chart for twenty two weeks.[7] It was certified two times platinum by the RIAA on 31 July 1995 for shipments of one million units.[8]

On 1 July 1995 the video version of Pulse debuted at number one on the Billboard's Top Music Videos chart with 16,500 units sold.[9] The video was certified eight times platinum by the RIAA on 31 July 2006 for shipments of 800,000 units.[8]

The video version (on VHS and Laserdisc) also featured the song "Take It Back," and an almost complete performance from their 20 October show at Earl's Court, London. The Pulse DVD was released on 10 July 2006.[citation needed] On 16 December 2021, the band announced on social media platforms[10][11] that a re-release of "Pulse" on DVD and a first-time release on Blu-ray format will be on 18 February 2022. The packaging will re-introduce the blinking LED featured with the original CD release from 1995.[12]

The vinyl version was released as a four-LP box set and included "One of These Days" (also heard on the cassette release) as well as a large version of the photo booklet. The debut of the album was highlighted by a light show from the top of the Empire State Building in New York City with music simulcasted on a New York City radio station.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[13]
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music[14]
NME2/10[15]
Rolling Stone[16]

Writing for NME, Paul Moody wrote that Pulse comprised "a rehash of the usual prog meanderings ... Every perfectly recorded note and every immaculately reproduced photo tells you that this is music for the sort of hand-wringing hippies who still like to think they're in tune with the cosmos even though there's a BMW in the drive."[15] He was critical of the flashing LED on the packaging, saying it “represents the multi-million pound rehabilitation of Pink Floyd by a generation who progged out in the 70s, sold out in the 80s and started gloating about it in the 90s in the gauchest possible terms". In Rolling Stone, Rob O'Connor argued that the "studio perfection" of The Dark Side of the Moon did not translate well to live performance, and criticised the "loud, annoying" audience.[16]

Track listing[edit]

Disc one
No.TitleMusicLead vocalsLength
1."Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts 1-5 & 7" (20 October 1994, Earls Court, London)David Gilmour13:35
2."Astronomy Domine" (15 October 1994, Earls Court, London)Syd Barrett
  • Gilmour
  • Wright
4:20
3."What Do You Want From Me" (21 September 1994, Cinecittà, Rome)
Gilmour4:10
4."Learning to Fly" (14 October 1994, Earls Court, London)Gilmour5:16
5."Keep Talking" (17 August 1994, Niedersachsenstadion, Hanover)
  • Gilmour
  • Wright
  • Samson
Gilmour6:52
6."Coming Back to Life" (13 October 1994, Earls Court, London)GilmourGilmour6:56
7."Hey You" (13, 15 October 1994, Earls Court, London)WatersGilmour, Jon Carin4:40
8."A Great Day for Freedom" (13 September 1994, Torino, Italy, & 19 October 1994, Earls Court, London)
  • Gilmour
  • Samson
Gilmour4:30
9."Sorrow" (20 September 1994, Cinecittà, Rome)GilmourGilmour10:49
10."High Hopes" (20 October 1994, Earls Court, London)
  • Gilmour
  • Samson
Gilmour7:52
11."Another Brick in the Wall, Part II" (20, 21 October 1994, Earls Court, London)Waters
 
12."One of These Days (LP and Cassette Exclusive)" (16, 17, October 1994, Earls Court, London)
  • Gilmour
  • Waters
  • Wright
  • Mason
Instrumental7:05
Total length:75:50
Disc two
No.TitleMusicLead vocalsLength
1."Speak to Me" (20 September 1994, Cinecittà, Rome, 20 October 1994, Earls Court, London)Nick MasonInstrumental1:53
2."Breathe (In the Air)" (20 October 1994, Earls Court, London)
  • Gilmour
  • Waters
  • Wright
  • Gilmour
2:33
3."On the Run" (20, October 1994, Earls Court, London)
  • Gilmour
  • Waters
Instrumental3:48
4."Time / Breathe (Reprise)" (17 September 1994, Módena, Italy; 20 September 1994, Rome, Italy & 20 October 1994, Earls Court, London)
  • Gilmour
  • Waters
  • Wright
  • Mason
  • Gilmour
  • Wright
6:47
5."The Great Gig in the Sky" (20 October 1994, Earls Court, London)
5:52
6."Money" (17 September 1994, Modena)WatersGilmour8:54
7."Us and Them" (20 October 1994, Earls Court, London)
  • Waters
  • Wright
Gilmour6:58
8."Any Colour You Like" (19, 23 October 1994, Earls Court, London)
  • Gilmour
  • Wright
  • Mason
Instrumental3:21
9."Brain Damage" (19 October 1994, Earls Court, London)WatersGilmour3:46
10."Eclipse" (19 October 1994, Earls Court, London)WatersGilmour2:38
11."Wish You Were Here" (20 September 1994, Cinecittà, Rome)
  • Gilmour
  • Waters
Gilmour6:35
12."Comfortably Numb" (20 October 1994, Earls Court, London)
  • Gilmour
  • Waters
  • Wright
  • Pratt
  • Carin
  • Gilmour
9:29
13."Run Like Hell" (15 October 1994, Earls Court, London)
  • Gilmour
  • Waters
  • Gilmour
  • Pratt
8:36
Total length:71:57

Personnel[edit]

Pink Floyd[edit]

  • David Gilmour – lead vocals, lead guitar, acoustic guitar and lap steel guitar (on "One of These Days", "High Hopes" and "The Great Gig In the Sky")
  • Nick Mason – drums, percussion (on "Time")
  • Richard Wright – keyboards, synthesizer, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Astronomy Domine", co-lead vocals on "Time", "Us and Them" and "Comfortably Numb"

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Guy Pratt – bass, backing vocals, co-lead vocals on "Run Like Hell"
  • Jon Carin – keyboards, backing vocals, co-lead vocals on "Hey You"
  • Sam Brown – backing vocals, first vocalist on "The Great Gig in the Sky"
  • Durga McBroom – backing vocals, second vocalist on "The Great Gig in the Sky"
  • Claudia Fontaine – backing vocals, third vocalist on "The Great Gig in the Sky"
  • Tim Renwick – guitar, backing vocals
  • Dick Parry – saxophone
  • Gary Wallis – percussion, additional drums
  • Doug Sax, Ron Lewter – mastering at The Mastering Lab

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Certifications and sales for Pulse
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[53] Gold 30,000^
Australia (ARIA)[54]
video
14× Platinum 210,000^
Australia (ARIA)[55] Platinum 70,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[56] Platinum 50,000*
Belgium (BEA)[57] Gold 25,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[58]
video
2× Platinum 100,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[58]
video - NTSC version, No Subtitles
Diamond 100,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[59] 3× Platinum 300,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[60]
video
Platinum 10,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[61]
video
Gold 13,965[61]
France (SNEP)[62] Platinum 300,000*
Germany (BVMI)[63] Platinum 500,000^
Germany (BVMI)[64]
video
7× Gold 175,000^
Italy (FIMI)[65] Gold 25,000*
Italy
Dvd 2006 sales
120,000[66]
Netherlands (NVPI)[67] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[68] Platinum 15,000^
Poland (ZPAV)[69] Platinum 70,000*
Poland (ZPAV)[70]
video
3× Platinum 30,000*
Portugal (AFP)[71]
video
4× Platinum 32,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[72] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[73] Platinum 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[75] Platinum 349,428[74]
United States (RIAA)[8] 2× Platinum 1,480,000[76]
United States (RIAA)[77]
video
8× Platinum 400,000^
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[78] Platinum 1,000,000*

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]