Roger Waters released his own and very personal version of the Pink Floyd classic album Dark Side Of The Moon just over a week ago. In addition to my thoughts on his album, the reviews are in from the media and the public after time to listen to his interpretation. There are some wide differences in opinion out there, with the traditional media more favourable than some music sites and compared to some general public views.
From those general listeners, it's a sad thumbs down for Waters' latest output. But there are some positives in this relatively small sample below. Across many reviews online there was a touch of sadness and perhaps regret at Waters' attempt to reinterpret the album.
In the traditional media, The Telegraph praised the album and awarded 4/5 stars. The Financial Times rating is slightly lower but still at an acceptable 3/5 stars. Online music media outlets tended to be more in line with the general public view. TheQuietus.com refers to ‘A saucer full of sour milk’ and makes a pointed comment.
Roger Waters presents Dark Side Of The Moon… and a duck
"If there is one thing that ruins Roger Waters' rerecording of Dark Side Of The Moon – Roger Waters' Dark Side Of The Moon Redux – then it's Roger Waters."- J.R. Moores, The Quietus.com
While UltimateClassicRock.com concluded:
"Dark Side of the Moon was written by a man in his prime – but it was interpreted and expanded upon by a band in its prime. Together, they completed something best left alone."- Nick DeRiso, Ultimate Classic Rock
Perhaps that’s all only to be expected given the original has been such a favourite of so many people across the years. Comparisons of new versions often don't go down well as listeners are so used to the originals. While it hurts me to suggest it, some music journalists may be younger and less attached to the original. Having said that, many of the public comments signposted far better covers and reworks of Dark Side Of The Moon tracks than Waters had produced, indicating plenty of open minds on old music reworked.
Waters also took to the London Palladium stage on Sunday, October 8. He was giving the first live performance of the new album since its release two days earlier. In his normal style, this wasn't without controversy and mixed opinions.
There are reports of fans walking out and an irritated Waters swearing at some frustrated audience members. It seems the trigger point was Waters reading out notes about his pets, including a duck named Donald, out loud for a prolonged period. That was followed by a 19 minute video about the album. The audience though were there in their expensively ticketed seats expecting and wanting to hear his music
To be fair there was a standing ovation at the end. The new album clearly went down better there, live and on stage. That apart, the event does seem to sum up the public views of many about Waters again letting his ego run away and overlooking what he and others had already achieved.