The Wall – Live in Berlin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Wall – Live in Berlin
Live album by
Released21 August 1990[1][2]
Recorded21 July 1990
VenueDeath Strip (Berlin, Germany)
GenreProgressive rock
Roger Waters chronology
Radio K.A.O.S.
The Wall – Live in Berlin
Amused to Death
Roger Waters live chronology
The Wall – Live in Berlin
In the Flesh – Live
Roger Waters tours chronology
K.A.O.S. On the Road
The Wall – Live in Berlin
In the Flesh
Alternative cover
Reissued 2003 cover
Singles from The Wall – Live in Berlin
  1. "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2"
    Released: 10 September 1990
  2. "The Tide Is Turning"
    Released: 19 November 1990
Professional ratings
Review scores
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[4]

The Wall – Live in Berlin was a live concert performance by Roger Waters and numerous guest artists, of the Pink Floyd studio album The Wall, itself largely written by Waters during his time with the band. The show was held in Berlin on 21 July 1990, to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall eight months earlier. A live album of the concert was released 21 August 1990. A video of the concert was also commercially released.


The concert at a strip of land between the Brandenburg Gate and Leipziger Platz.

The concert was staged on vacant terrain between Potsdamer Platz and the Brandenburg Gate, a location that was part of the former "no man's land" of the Berlin Wall.

"I did an interview a couple of years ago for a guy called Redbeard…" Waters recalled. "He said, 'Would you ever perform The Wall again on stage?' And I said, 'No'… Indoors, it made no sense financially; it's too expensive. And, as it's partially an attack on the inherently greedy nature of stadium rock shows, it would be wrong to do it in stadiums… I said, 'Well, I might do it outdoors if they ever take the wall down in Berlin.'… The Memorial Fund was in a council meeting, and felt they needed some kind of an event to focus attention on it… So I agreed to have a meeting with Leonard Cheshire. And I was very impressed, and said I would do what I could, although I thought it was very unlikely that it would come off… Then, in November [1989], when the wall started coming down, we started negotiating."[5]

The event was produced and cast by British impresario and producer Tony Hollingsworth. It was staged partly at Waters' expense. While he subsequently earned the money back from the sale of the CD and video releases of the album, the original plan was to donate all profits past his initial investment to the Memorial Fund for Disaster Relief, a UK charity founded by Leonard Cheshire]. However, audio and video sales came in significantly under projections, and the trading arm of the charity (Operation Dinghy) incurred heavy losses.[citation needed] A few years later, the charity was wound up, and the audio and video sales rights from the concert performance returned to Waters.

The production was designed by Mark Fisher and Jonathan Park.[6][7][8] The stage design featured a 550-foot-long (170 m) and 82-foot-high (25 m) wall. Most of the wall was built before the show and the rest was built progressively through the first part of the show. The wall was then knocked down at the end of the show.[9]

Waters tried to get guests like Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen and Eric Clapton but they were either unavailable or turned it down. Rod Stewart, who was to sing "Young Lust", and Joe Cocker were confirmed but, when the planned concert date was put back, both were unavailable.[10] "To sell the idea to TV, I had to get people to commit themselves and it very nearly killed me," Waters recalled. "The likes of Joni Mitchell and Bryan Adams were prepared to say 'Yes' from the start, but there were so many others who were just waiting to see who else was involved before they made up their minds."[11]

In the 1989 interview with Redbeard, Waters stated, "I might even let Dave play guitar."[citation needed] On 30 June 1990 – during an interview before Pink Floyd's performance at Knebworth '90 – Gilmour responded to Roger's statement on an interview with Kurt Loder on MTV by saying that he "and the rest of Pink Floyd (Nick Mason and Rick Wright) had been given the legal go-ahead to perform with Roger but had not been contacted" and "he never asked us" (in a fake crying voice) with Nick Mason saying "if only that phone can ring".[citation needed] Two days later, on 2 July 1990 Waters appeared on the American rock radio call-in show Rockline and contradicted his Gilmour invite by saying, "I don't know where Dave got that idea".[citation needed]

In the end, Hollingsworth (with Waters assisting) brought in guest artists including Snowy White, Rick Danko, Levon Helm and Garth Hudson of The Band, The Hooters, Van Morrison, Sinéad O'Connor, Cyndi Lauper, Marianne Faithfull, Scorpions, Joni Mitchell, Paul Carrack, Thomas Dolby and Bryan Adams, along with actors Albert Finney, Jerry Hall, Tim Curry and Ute Lemper. Leonard Cheshire opened the concert by blowing a World War I whistle.

This performance had several differences from Pink Floyd's original production of The Wall show. Both "Mother" and "Another Brick in the Wall, Part II" (like in the 1980/81 concerts) were extended with solos by various instruments and the latter had a cold ending. "In The Flesh" (also like the 1980/81 concerts) has an extended intro, and "Comfortably Numb" featured dueling solos by the two guitarists as well as an additional chorus at the end of the song. "The Show Must Go On" is omitted completely, while both "The Last Few Bricks" and "What Shall We Do Now?" are included ("The Last Few Bricks" was shortened). Also, the performance of the song "The Trial" had live actors playing the parts, with Thomas Dolby playing the part of the teacher hanging from the wall, Tim Curry as the prosecutor and Albert Finney as the Judge. The repeated proclamation of "Tear down the wall!" and subsequent destruction of the on-stage wall was for this show accompanied by a projection of a section of the actual Berlin Wall on the cardboard bricks used on stage. The show officially ended with "The Tide Is Turning", a song from Waters' then-recent solo album Radio K.A.O.S. The Wall's original closing number, "Outside the Wall," was affixed to the end of "The Tide is Turning."

The Wall – Live in Berlin was released as a live recording of the concert, and the Laserdisc video in NTSC can still be found through second sourcing. A DVD was released in 2003 in the U.S. by Island/Mercury Records and internationally by Universal Music (Region-free).

Hollingsworth's company Tribute, a London-based "good causes" campaign company, sold worldwide television rights, with 52 countries showing the two-hour event. Twenty countries showed up to five repeats of the show and 65 countries broadcast a highlights show. There was also distribution of a double music CD and post-production VHS videotape by Polygram.


All tracks written or co-written by Roger Waters.

Tracks 9, 14, 21, and 23, co-written by David Gilmour.

Track 26, co-written by Bob Ezrin.

Track Title Performing Artist(s) Notes
1. "In the Flesh?" Scorpions
2. "The Thin Ice" Ute Lemper & Roger Waters and the Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir
3. "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 1)" Roger Waters Sax solo by Garth Hudson
4. "The Happiest Days of Our Lives"
5. "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" Cyndi Lauper Guitar solos by Rick Di Fonzo and Snowy White, organ solo by Nick Glennie-Smith, keytar solo by Thomas Dolby
6. "Mother" Sinéad O'Connor and the Band Accordion by Garth Hudson, vocals by Rick Danko and Levon Helm; acoustic instruments by the Hooters
7. "Goodbye Blue Sky" Joni Mitchell and the Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir Flute by James Galway
8. "Empty Spaces/What Shall We Do Now? Bryan Adams, Roger Waters and the Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir Listed as "Empty Spaces", but in reality is the similar song "What Shall We Do Now?"
9. "Young Lust" Bryan Adams Guitar solos by Rick Di Fonzo and Snowy White
10. "Oh My God – What a Fabulous Room" Jerry Hall Intro to "One of My Turns"
11. "One of My Turns" Roger Waters
12. "Don't Leave Me Now"
13. "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 3)" Roger Waters and the Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir
14. "The Last Few Bricks" Roger Waters
15. "Goodbye Cruel World"
16. "Hey You" Paul Carrack
17. "Is There Anybody Out There?" The Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir Classical guitars by Rick Di Fonzo and Snowy White
18. "Nobody Home" Roger Waters and the Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir Guitar solos by Snowy White
19. "Vera"
20. "Bring the Boys Back Home" The Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir, Band of the Combined Soviet Forces in Germany and Red Army Chorus
21. "Comfortably Numb" Van Morrison, Roger Waters, the Band, and the Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir Guitar solos by Rick Di Fonzo and Snowy White
22. "In the Flesh" Roger Waters, Scorpions, and the Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir
23. "Run Like Hell" Roger Waters and Scorpions
24. "Waiting for the Worms" Roger Waters, Scorpions and the Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir
25. "Stop" Roger Waters
26. "The Trial" The Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir, featuring:
27. "The Tide Is Turning (After Live Aid)" The Company (lead vocals by Roger Waters, Joni Mitchell, Cyndi Lauper, Bryan Adams, Van Morrison and Paul Carrack) and the Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir.
28. "Outside the Wall" Roger Waters Excluded from CD and vinyl releases


The Company[edit]

The Bleeding Heart Band[edit]

  • Rick Di Fonzo – guitars
  • Snowy White – guitars
  • Andy Fairweather-Low – bass guitar, guitar, backing vocals
  • Peter Wood – keyboards, organ, synthesizers
  • Nick Glennie-Smith – keyboards, organ, synthesizers
  • Graham Broad – drums, electronic percussion
  • Stan Farber – backing vocals, percussion (credited as Jim Farber)
  • Joe Chemay – backing vocals
  • Jim Haas – backing vocals, percussion
  • John Joyce – backing vocals


Performance notes[edit]

  • Sinéad O'Connor was intended to sing Waters' original vocal for "Mother," but she refused to participate in the actual concert, prompting Waters to sing the part instead. The recording with O'Connor that appears on both the audio and video versions of the concert is taken from a rehearsal.
  • The Wife's part of "The Trial" was reshot at London's Brixton Academy after the original sequence was deemed to be of insufficient quality due to camera shake. What is seen in the video issue is a close-up of Ute Lemper, shot against a dark background, lip-syncing to the original live sound.[10]
  • Since the concert was to take place on Potsdamer Platz, the no-man's land between East and West Berlin, the producers didn't know if the area would be filled with mines. Before setting up, they did a sweep of the area and found a cache of munitions and a previously unknown SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler bunker.[12]
  • The live Van Morrison version of "Comfortably Numb" is used in the Martin Scorsese film The Departed. It is later used in HBO's The Sopranos. Morrison also performed this version in his 2008 concerts.


Weekly chart performance for The Wall – Live in Berlin
Chart (1990) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[13] 10
Austrian Albums Chart[14] 25
Canadian RPM Albums Chart[15] 12
Dutch Albums Chart[16] 15
French Albums Chart[17] 6
German Albums Chart[18] 10
New Zealand Albums Chart[19] 4
Norwegian Albums Chart[20] 17
Portuguese Album Chart[21] 2
Swedish Albums Chart[22] 34
Swiss Albums Chart[23] 11
UK Albums Chart[24] 27
US Billboard 200[25] 56
1990 year-end chart performance for The Wall – Live in Berlin
Chart Position
Canadian Albums Chart[26] 57
European Albums Chart[27] 100



Certifications for The Wall – Live in Berlin
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[28] Platinum 8,000^
Australia (ARIA)[29] Platinum 15,000^
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[30] Gold 25,000*
France (SNEP)[31] Gold 10,000*
Mexico (AMPROFON)[32] Platinum 20,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[33] Gold 2,500^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[34] Gold 3,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[35] Platinum 50,000*
United States (RIAA)[36] Platinum 100,000^

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


  1. ^ Barton, David (5 August 1990). "Time Catches Up With "Pandemonium"". Sacramento Bee.
  2. ^ Jaeger, Barbara (10 August 1990). "Waters, Prince Heat Up August With New Albums". The Record (New Jersey).
  3. ^ "Allmusic review".
  4. ^ Cross, Charles R. (2004). "Roger Waters". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 864. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  5. ^ Turner, Steve: "Roger Waters: The Wall in Berlin"; Radio Times, 25 May 1990; reprinted in Classic Rock #148, August 2010, p76
  6. ^ Lyall, Sutherland (1992). Rock Sets: the astonishing art of rock concert design: the works of Fisher Park. London: Thames and Hudson.
  7. ^ "ROGER WATERS, THE WALL BERLIN, 1990". StuFish Entertainment Architects. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013.
  8. ^ "About the Wall concert in Berlin". Archived from the original on 21 February 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  9. ^ Schaffner, Nicholas (October 1982). The British Invasion: From the First Wave to the New Wave. Mcgraw-Hill. p. 308. ISBN 978-0070550896.
  10. ^ a b "The Wall Live in Berlin" 2003 DVD edition documentary and liner notes
  11. ^ Blake, Mark (1992). "Still Waters". RCD. Vol. 1, no. 3. p. 57.
  12. ^ den Uijl, Oscar. "The location of Hitler's bunker in Berlin".
  13. ^ "Roger Waters – The Wall – Live in Berlin". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  14. ^ "Roger Waters – The Wall – Live in Berlin". (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  15. ^ "100 Albums". RPM. 52 (23). 20 October 1990. ISSN 0033-7064. Archived from the original on 15 March 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  16. ^ "Roger Waters – The Wall – Live in Berlin". GfK Dutch Charts (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  17. ^ "Tous les "Chart Runs" des Albums classés depuis 1985 dans le Top Albums Officiel". InfoDisc (in French). Archived from the original on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 24 March 2013. Search for Roger WATERS and click OK.
  18. ^ "Top 100 Longplay". (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 25 March 2013.[dead link]
  19. ^ "Roger Waters – The Wall – Live in Berlin". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  20. ^ "Roger Waters – The Wall – Live in Berlin". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  21. ^ "Top 3 Albums in Europe" (PDF). Music & Media. 7 (42). 20 October 1990. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  22. ^ "Roger Waters – The Wall – Live in Berlin". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  23. ^ "Roger Waters – The Wall – Live in Berlin". (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  24. ^ "1990-09-29 Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive | Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  25. ^ "The Wall: Live in Berlin – Roger Waters: Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  26. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1990". RPM. 12 December 1994. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  27. ^ Bakker, Machgiel (22 December 1990). "1990 REVIEW: Music & Media Year -End Awards . European Top 100 Albums 1990" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 7, no. 51. pp. 29, 38. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  28. ^ "Estadísticas – Discos de Oro y Platino" (in Spanish). Argentine Chamber of Phonograms and Videograms Producers. Archived from the original on 31 May 2011. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  29. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2006 DVDs" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  30. ^ "Brazilian video certifications – Roger Waters – The Wall - Live in Berlin" (in Portuguese). Pro-Música Brasil. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  31. ^ "French video certifications – Roger Waters – The Wall" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  32. ^ "Certificaciones" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Retrieved 13 September 2021. Type Roger Waters in the box under the ARTISTA column heading and The Wall: Live In Berlin in the box under the TÍTULO column heading.
  33. ^ "Certifications August 14 2005". Archived from the original on 1 October 2006. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  34. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards ('The Wall: Live In Berlin')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  35. ^ "British video certifications – Roger Waters – The Wall". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  36. ^ "American video certifications – Roger Waters – The Wall - Live In Berlin". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 13 September 2021.

External links[edit]