Our resident classic rock columnist is back and this week he throws the spotlight on one of 2014’s most anticipated releases.
Read his views exclusively right here on RUSHONROCK.
I should be counting down the days with increased anticipation yet the truth is I’m slightly uneasy by the forthcoming release of The Endless River, Pink Floyd’s 15th studio album on November 10.
On first hearing the surprise news that Floyd would be releasing their first album since 1994’s The Division Bell, I was ecstatic.
Along with Led Zeppelin, they are probably my favourite band and in my music collection, I own every piece of music they have officially published.
But then I remembered that same sense of excitement back in 1983 when it was announced Led Zep would be releasing a new album, called Coda, two years after the death of John Bonham and the subsequent break-up of the band.
We were warned at the time that Coda was more a collection of previously unreleased material, deemed surplus to requirements for earlier albums than anything fresh.
Nevertheless, it was still a disappointment. With the notable exception of Wearing And Tearing – Zeppelin’s startling answer to punk rock – it was easy to understand why every other track had been left off those albums released in Bonham’s lifetime.
Floyd are releasing The Endless River as a tribute to their late keyboardist Rick Wright who died six years ago.
He has credits on 12 of the tracks which band colleagues David Gilmour and Nick Mason have been working on for the past 18 months from sessions recorded at the time of The Division Bell’s inception.
Only one “Lost For Words” which has been played on Radio Two and Planet Rock during the past week, has lyrics with Gilmour’s wife Polly Samson sharing lyric duties with the guitarist just as she did on Floyd’s last album.
It’s a good song, though not a great one, more reminiscent of material from Gimourr’s 2006 solo album On An Island than anything Floydian though no definitive conclusions can be reached by listening to just that.
Of course, I’ll buy The Endless River on the day of its release, just as I will to AC/DC’s Rock Or Bust, whose existence was exclusively revealed to the rock world by the esteemed editor of this website.
As with Floyd’s new album, my anticipation levels have remained in this stratosphere not least because I’m distinctly underewhelmed by the pedestrian Let’s Play Ball, the first song we’ve had the chance to hear from Rock Or Bust.
That’s in stark contrast to my heady reaction on listening to Rock n’ Roll Train, a few weeks before Black Ice hit the shelves.
Those of us past a certain age, who can remember these rock titans at their creative peak accept that no new material will ever have quite the same effect on us as let’s say Wish You Were Here, Physical Graffitti or Back In Black.
It’s probably fair to say that most classic rock bands released their best albums in the seventies or early-80s though there have been some stunning efforts over the past decade, notably Rush’s Clockwork Angels which many fans would include in their top three releases of the Canadian trio and indeed the aforementioned Black Ice.
Then there’s Last Road Out of Eden by The Eagles, released an incredible 24 years after The Long Run, which if not quite another Hotel California, deserved to take its place alongside their earlier albums.
Of course, The Endless River won’t be another Dark Side Of The Moon but for all my best efforts to keep my own expectation levels down, I’ll make one prediction here.
It might just squeeze into my top ten albums for, which will be published on this site in December!