By Damian Fanelli
As some friends of ours reported last week, Roger Waters is set to release a remastered version of Amused to Death, his critically acclaimed 1992 album.
One of the album’s noteworthy guest musicians was guitar great Jeff Beck, whose brilliant playing is a true highlight of several tracks, including “What God Wants, Part I”—and seven other songs.
Beck (and his Fender Strat) even play a major role in the new version of Waters’ “What God Wants, Part 1” music video, which you can check out below.
“I still don’t know how he does it,” Waters says of Beck in the bottom video below. “He’s incredibly technically gifted in ways the rest of us can’t even begin to think about. He also has incredible pitch. When you play a harmonic and then play a melody on the whammy bar, it’s quite extraordinary to listen to.”
Amused to Death sounded the alarm about a society increasingly in thrall to its TV screens. Twenty-three years later, the album speaks to our present in ways that could scarcely have been anticipated two decades ago.
“I’m remembering the record from [more than] 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,” Waters says.
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 Waters/Pink Floyd collaborator and co-producer James Guthrie. The cover and gatefold art has been updated by Sean Evans, the creative director of Waters’ 2010-2013 “The Wall Live” tour and movie.
Besides Beck, the album features guest vocalists include Don Henley (“It’s a Miracle”), Rita Coolidge (“Amused to Death”) and 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 Michael Kamen, who supervised orchestral arrangements for Pink Floyd’s The Wall.
The 2015 editions of Amused to Death will be available on CD, CD/Blu-ray, SACD, hi-res digital download, 2LP 200-gram vinyl (pressed at Quality Record Pressings) and limited edition, numbered 2LP picture disc vinyl.
Amused to Death will return July 24—better than ever—courtesy of a new remaster from Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings. It is available for pre-order at RogerWaters.com.