By Steve Newton
Roger Waters fans—and Jeff Beck freaks—have reason to rejoice today, as Legacy Recordings has announced the reissue, in various remastered forms, of Waters’ solo album Amused to Death.
That was the 1992 disc that concerned itself with society’s obsession with entertainment, in particular its addiction to TV. Obviously, folks’ current preoccupation with screens of all kinds makes it an apt time for a second look at Amused to Death.
“I’m remembering the record from [over] 20 years ago, that most of what I had to say then sadly still pertains today and is maybe even more relevant to our predicament as people in 2015 even than it was in 1992,” says Waters in a press release sent out last week.
At the time of its initial release Amused to Death drew critical raves, like this one from Billboard magazine’s editor-in-chief Timothy White:
“It is the poet’s responsibility to foresee the future,” wrote White, “and it is his neighbor’s duty to prevent the worst of it from taking place. With Amused To Death, surely one of the most provocative and musically dazzling records of the decade, Roger Waters has fulfilled his part of the bargain.”
Not only that, but the album featured the world’s greatest living rock guitarist, Jeff Beck, on no less than eight tracks, so you know I had it.
Here’s some promotional bumph:
Produced by Roger Waters and Patrick Leonard, Amused to Death is a musically ambitious work featuring a stellar lineup of musicians. Guitar legend Jeff Beck figures prominently on the album, bringing his signature virtuosity to eight songs. Guest vocalists include Don Henley (“It’s a Miracle”), Rita Coolidge (“Amused to Death”) and soul singer P.P. Arnold (“Perfect Sense” Parts I and II).
Also contributing were Waters’ longtime collaborators, guitarist Andy Fairweather Low and drummer Graham Broad; percussionist Luis Conte; and Pat Leonard, who played keyboards on several tracks.
The album reunited Waters with composer/arranger Michael Kamen, who supervised orchestral arrangements for The Wall, Waters’ semi-autographical concept album with Pink Floyd. Kamen arranged and conducted the National Philharmonic Orchestra Limited’s contributions to the songs “Too Much Rope” and “What God Wants, Part III.”
The 2015 editions of Amused to Death will be available on:
- CD / Blu-ray
- Hi-res digital download
- 2LP 200 gram vinyl (pressed at Quality Record Pressings)
- Limited edition, numbered 2LP picture disc vinyl.