Sound — 8
I was going to review Pulse before this one, but I think it's important to fill this tiny discography gap before proceeding with that review. Pink Floyd currently holds the distinction of being one of the most bootlegged bands in man's history. "The Man and the Journey" suites? Bootlegged. BBC sessions? Bootlegged. 1972 pre-relaese DSOTM? Bootlegged to death. So, why suddenly Gilmour & Co. decided to release a 'somewhat unnecessary' live album documenting the world tour in promotion for "A Momentary Lapse of Reason", 19 years after the best Floyd live release ever? But hell, this is sure not a really bad purchase. I gotta confess something. I still can't find a copy of this on CD, but I own a vinyl, which only lacks "Us and Them", and has a slightly tracklisting change on the third and fourth sides (second CD), so you may not complain. As for the first half, it's dull. It opens with an emotionless "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", followed by a pretty good version of "Learning to Fly". Then, the band throws almost half an hour of renditions of the worst moments of AMLOR ("Round and Around", "The Dogs of War"). OK, extended performances of "Sorrow" and "On the Turning Away" appear to save the day, but otherwise is the weakest part of the album. Then, fortunately, comes the second half, and all the problems of the first are redeemed, cause they're performing the classics! An amazing "One of These Days", a powerful rendition of "Time" (without "Breathe"'s reprise), an OK "Money" and an extended "Another Brick In The Wall" are on the third side. But the fourth side is the best moment of the record. First, a not-so-different from the original but still great "Wish You Were Here". Then, the best moment: "Comfortably Numb". OK, perhaps the vocals aren't so "great" without Waters, but the centerpiece here is the solo. Oh, and a crunchy version of "Run Like Hell" to close the set. It's not a bad album, after all.
Lyrics — 6
However, I have a major complain about the record: some of these songs are performed in the same way as they did in the studio. And that's one major problem of some live albums by artists. You know, meanwhile "Ummagumma"'s live half had extended performances of everything, with amazing passages of improvisation, this one depends on the lights show and on "Mr. Screen" (that giant screen Floyd used since "Dark Side"'s 1973 tour). Oh, and the lyrics, or better, the "singer skills", are low. David's voice, for example, on "Shine On" seems to lack a lot of emotion.
Overall Impression — 7
As the final word, I want to state that the greatest thing about Floyd's live performances was the massive lights, fireworks, and else show that was going in the background. Way too much technology for you? Not my case. I recommend to buy the video version of this (It hasn't been released on DVD yet, unfortunately) to enjoy the visuals, otherwise, the sonics aren't that different from the studio originals. And by the way, I was going to give this a six, but guess I enjoy some live albums more than other people do.