On October 29, Sony and Pink Floyd Records will break out another title from 2019's mammoth Pink Floyd: The Later Years box set. A Momentary Lapse of Reason - Remixed and Updated features the David Gilmour-overseen presentation of the band's 1987 studio album. Remixed by Andy Jackson with Gilmour, assisted by Damon Iddins, this version will be released on CD/DVD, CD/BD, double 180-gram, half-speed mastered 45 RPM vinyl, and digitally with stereo and 5.1 mixes. Additionally, the album will be made available digitally in 360 Reality Audio (described as "a new immersive music experience that closely mimics the omni-directional soundscape of live musical performance for the listener using Sony's object-based 360 Spatial Sound technologies"), Dolby Audio, and UHD (Ultra HD) Audio. The press release notes that all of these digital formats "will continue with other Pink Floyd releases."
The remix of A Momentary Lapse of Reason, produced by Gilmour and Bob Ezrin, features re-recorded drum tracks by Nick Mason and additional keyboard work from the late Richard Wright. Addressing the title as part of the review for The Later Years, The Second Disc opined:
"The first release of the new, Roger Waters-less Pink Floyd featuring Gilmour, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright was A Momentary Lapse of Reason. Though the songs were good (in fact, "Learning to Fly" hit No. 1 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart), the album's production hasn't quite aged well. The synth-heavy collection even gained a reputation among some listeners as a David Gilmour solo album with guests, thanks in no small part to the electronic drums and infrequent appearances from Richard Wright. The Later Years corrects these issues with a new, remixed, and updated version of A Momentary Lapse of Reason which seeks to "restore the creative balance" between the members with new contributions from Nick Mason and keyboard parts flown in from recordings of the late Richard Wright. While little is written about the sources of these pieces, Wright's parts are likely taken from live concerts and rehearsals. The results are particularly clear on the surround sound version included on Blu-ray.
Comparing the old and new versions of "Learning to Fly," the 2019 mix strips away some of the over-the-top, gated reverb-y drum machine fills, replacing them with live drums. Newfound fills from Wright are also added in, giving the song a more band-like feel while keeping some of the sonic fingerprint of the original. The whole album remains tastefully done - an alternate experience that will sure to be a treat."
Gilmour explains in the press release: "Some years after we had recorded the album, we came to the conclusion that we should update it to make it more timeless, featuring more of the traditional instruments that we liked and that we were more used to playing. This was something we thought it would benefit from. We also looked for and found some previously unused keyboard parts of Rick's which helped us to come up with a new vibe, a new feeling for the album."
Nick Mason adds, "Initially it seemed a bit odd to start re-assembling a record after 35 odd years, but the public's appetite for alternate views of the same work has undoubtedly increased immeasurably over time. Inevitably the opportunity to revisit earlier work from a period where digital technology was the brave new world became increasingly interesting. There's little doubt of the advantages in being able to find new elements within the music, or more often uncovering elements that became overwhelmed with all that new science...I think there is an element of taking the album back in time and taking the opportunity to create a slightly more open sound - utilizing some of the things we had learned from playing so much of the album live over two massive tours." Mason concludes, "I enjoyed re-recording drum tracks with unlimited studio time. Momentary Lapse had been recorded under considerable stress and time constraints, and indeed some of the final mixing was done at the same time as rehearsals for the forthcoming tour. It was also nice to have an opportunity to enhance some of Rick's work. Again, that positive tidal wave of technology just might have provided too many digital opportunities to overwhelm the band feel. Hopefully that's one of the benefits of this remix!"
A Momentary Lapse of Reason: Remixed and Updated also boasts a new album cover using an alternative photo by Robert Dowling from the original album cover shoot directed by the late Storm Thorgerson. The 2021 artwork has been designed and art-directed by Aubrey Powell (Thorgerson's partner in the original Hipgnosis art collective) and Peter Curzon/StormStudios.
The "Learning to Fly" video is streaming now on YouTube. If you watch the video with headphones, you will experience simulated 360 Reality Audio sound. The complete album in 360 Reality Audio, Dolby Audio, and UHD will be available on October 19. The physical format follow on October 29. You'll find pre-order links and the track listing below.
Pink Floyd, A Momentary Lapse of Reason: Remixed and Updated (Pink Floyd/Sony, 2021)
- Signs of Life
- Learning to Fly
- The Dogs of War
- One Slip
- On the Turning Away
- Yet Another Movie
- Round and Around
- A New Machine Part 1
- Terminal Frost
- A New Machine Part 2
DVD/BD contains A Momentary Lapse of Reason Remixed and Updated in Stereo PCM 48/16; 5.1 Dolby Digital 48/16; and 5.1 DTS 48/16 (DVD) / Stereo PCM 96/24; 5.1 DTS-MA 96/24; 5.1 PCM 96/24 (BD)
- Learning To Fly (Music Video)
- Album Cover Photo Shoot 1987
- Learning To Fly (Alternate Version)
- Signs of Life (Concert Screen Film)
- Learning to Fly (Concert Screen Film)
- The Dogs of War (Concert Screen Film)
- David Gilmour and Storm Thorgerson Interview Re: Cover Photo Shoot
- The Dogs of War (Live, Atlanta 1987) (Audio Only)
- On the Turning Away (Live, Atlanta 1987) (Audio Only)
- Run Like Hell (Live, Atlanta 1987) (Audio Only)