While there has been no Pink Floyd reissue news for nearly a year now since the release of a deluxe edition of The Division Bell, fans can look forward to revisiting one of Rogers Waters’ solo projects with the newly announced reissue of Amused to Death.
Death was released in 1992 and was Waters’ third solo outing after 1984’s The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking and 1987’s Radio K.A.O.S. As is common for Waters’ LPs, it is a concept album. The songwriter based it upon ideas from Neil Postman’s book Amusing Ourselves to Death, a look at television and culture. Waters utilized themes from the book and melded them loosely to the concept of a monkey flipping through channels on television for the concept of the album. Jeff Beck, Don Henley, P.P. Arnold and Rita Coolidge were all enlisted to bring Waters' sonic visions to life. With biting commentary on a society addicted to distraction and mindless entertainment, the album peaked at No. 21 in the U.S. but climbed to No. 8 in the U.K.
Legacy Recordings’ upcoming reissue contains no bonus tracks but does feature a new stereo remix and remaster and will be available in six formats: CD, CD/Blu-ray, SACD, Hi-Res digital download, 2-LP 200- Gram Vinyl and limited edition 2-LP picture vinyl. The Blu-ray features, excitingly, a new 5.1 mix of the album (the SACD presumably has this as well, although the press release is not clear on this). All of these will be available on July 24.
We’ve got the press release with more details and the full tracklisting below. Active pre-order links can also be found below for many of the formats!
NEW YORK - Roger Waters’ album AMUSED TO DEATH returns in a remastered release from Columbia Records / Legacy Recordings on July 24th. Amused to Death sounded the alarm about a society increasingly – and unthinkingly – in thrall to its television screens. Twenty-three years later, Amused to Death speaks to our present moment in ways that could scarcely have been anticipated two decades ago.
“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 Roger Waters.
An unblinking look at an entertainment-obsessed society, Amused to Death addresses issues that have only grown in complexity and urgency over the past two decades. In 2015, television is just one option in an endless array of distractions available to us anytime, anywhere, courtesy of our laptops, tablets and smartphones. With eyes glued to our screens, the dilemmas and injustices of the real world can easily recede from view.
The 2015 editions of Amused to Death feature a new 5.1 surround remix of the album on high-definition Blu-ray audio and a new remastered stereo mix completed by longtime Roger Waters / Pink Floyd collaborator and co-producer, James Guthrie. The cover and gatefold art has been updated for 2015 by Sean Evans, the creative director of Waters’ 2010-2013 “The Wall Live” tour and movie.
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-autobiographical 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.”
“… damned if Roger Waters’ 14-track rumination on some of our choicest social ills doesn’t score some serious points, especially in ‘Late Home Tonight,’ which, with music that evokes both a kiss at a drive-in and the peace of the wide-open sky, shows us an American pilot soaring toward Libya to bomb children, giddy as an exuberant teen with the sheer joy of flight.” Grade: A-, Entertainment Weekly, September 11, 1992
“It is the poet's responsibility to foresee the future, 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.” - Timothy White, “Music to My Ears,” Billboard Magazine, July 1992
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.
Legacy Recordings has collaborated with Analogue Productions / Acoustic Sounds in the United States on the release of the 2LP 200 gram vinyl as well as SACD and DSD download audio products.
Amused to Death is available for pre-order at RogerWaters.com where fans will have access to an exclusive music and merchandise bundle including their choice of an Amused to Death t-shirt or sweatshirt. Amazon links can be found below!
Roger Waters, Amused to Death (Columbia CK 47127, 1992 – reissued Columbia/Legacy Recordings, 2015)
CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
CD/Blu-ray: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
DD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2-LP Picture Disc: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Standard Vinyl: Amazon U.S. TBD/ Amazon U.K.
Hybrid SACD: Amazon U.S. TBD / Amazon U.K.
- The Ballad of Bill Hubbard
- What God Wants, Pt. 1
- Perfect Sense, Pt. 1
- Perfect Sense, Pt. 2
- The Bravery of Being Out of Range
- Late Home Tonight, Pt. 1
- Late Home Tonight, Pt. 2
- Too Much Rope
- What God Wants, Pt. 2
- What God Wants, Pt. 3
- Watching TV
- Three Wishes
- It’s a Miracle
- Amused to Death