Pink Floyd-Live At Knebworth 1990.

Label: Pink Floyd Records.

Format: CD.

On June the ‘30th’ 1990, some of the great and good of British rock made their way to the village of Knebworth, in the north of Hertfordshire where they were to be presented with the Silver Clef Award for outstanding contributions to UK music. They would also take to the stage and take part in an all-star concert. It featured Dire Straits, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Genesis, Paul McCartney and Pink Floyd who were the headline act. 

That night, Pink Floyd took to the stage in front of 120,000  fans. What they were unaware was that the tapes were rolling and the performance was being recorded for posterity. Sadly, it was twenty-nine years before the concert was eventually released.

Shine On You Crazy Diamond, a truncated version of Comfortably Numb and Wish You Were Here featured on The Later Years: 1987–2019 when it was released on the ‘29th’ of November 2019. It was a highlights disc that was akin to a musical amuse bouche.

Just two weeks later, on the ‘13th’ December 2019 Live At Knebworth 1990 made its debut on the eighteen disc limited box set, The Later Years. Sadly, it was way beyond the budget of many of the group’s loyal fans who hoped that one day, Pink Floyd Records would release Live At Knebworth 1990 as a standalone release.

Just sixteen months later and Live At Knebworth 1990 was released on CD by Pink Floyd Records on the ‘30th’ of April 2021. It’s a reminder of what was historic concert where the giants of UK rock were raising money for the Nordoff Robbins Music Centre and The BRIT School For Performing Arts and Technology. Stealing the show was the headline act Pink Floyd led by Dave Gilmour.

That Saturday night, 120,000 lucky concert goers watched as the great and good of British music took to the stage. This included  Cliff Richard and The Shadows, Dire Straits, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Genesis, Jimmy Page, Mark Knopfler, Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Robert Plant, Status Quo and Tears For Fears who at the time, were one of the most successful British bands. However, late on that Saturday night Pink Floyd took to the stage.

Earlier in the evening, it’s alleged that Paul McCartney had argued with members of Pink Floyd over who should be the headline act. The progressive rockers won the day, and now that darkness had descended took to the stage to play truncated versions of seven of their classic tracks.

With Roger Waters no longer a member of the band the lineup featured drummer and percussionist Nick Mason, bassist Guy Pratt, keyboardist and backing vocalist Rick Wright and guitarist and lead vocalist David Gilmour. They were augmented by saxophonist Candy Dulfer, guitarist Tim Renwick, keyboardists Michael Kamen and Jon Carin plus percussionist Gary Wallis. Adding backing vocals were Clare Torry Durga McBroomSam Brown and Vicki Brown.

Opening the seven song set was an eleven minute version of Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts 1-5 from Wish You Were Here, one of Pink Floyd’s classic album. They were joined by Dutch saxophonist Candy Dulfer as they unleash a stunning version of a progressive rock classic and set the bar high for the rest of the set.

Joining Pink Floyd is Clare Torry who shares the lead vocal on The Great Gig In The Sky. She’s the perfect foil for lead vocalist David Gilmour her emotive vocals soaring high above the slick arrangement on the first of three tracks from the group’s Magnus Opus Dark Side Of The Moon. It results in a rapturous response from the 120,000 crowd.

The classic tracks kept on coming with a poignant rendition of Wish You Were. It’s a flawless performance with David Gilmour delivering a vocal that’s emotive and full of sadness. 

The one surprising inclusion in the Knebworth set was Sorrow, which is from Pink Floyd’s thirteenth studio album A Momentary Lapse Of Reason which was released in the UK on September the ‘7th’ 1987. The song started life as a poem penned by David Gilmour who added the music at a later date. Although the opening lines were borrow from John Steinbeck’s The Grapes Of Wrath the song is still regarded as one of David Gilmour first songs. It became a live favourite and in 1988 featured on The Delicate Sound Of Thunder which was the progressive rockers first live album. Two years later the group vowed the audience at Knebworth with an extended version of the song. 

This was followed by the Roger Waters’ composition Money, which was the second track Pink Floyd played from their 1973 classic album Dark Side Of The Moon. Candy Dulfer returns and her saxophone plays an important part in the sound and success of the track. It features the group at their slickest and is one of the highlights of the seven song set.

Joining Pink Floyd for the final two tracks was American keyboardist Michael Kamen. He augments the group on two tracks from The Wall which was released on the ‘30th’ November 1979. The first was Comfortably Numb which by 1990 was already one of the group’s best known songs. Here the extended lineup of the band are at their tightest and the beautiful verse harmonies play an important part in what’s one of the highlights of the set and Live At Knebworth 1990.

Pink Floyd then close the set with Run Like Hell which is also from The Wall. During the track progressive rock and fusion melts into one as David Gilmour barks out the lyrics as the appreciative audience enjoy every minute. Then after seven magical minutes the track reaches a crescendo and the headliners exit stage left.

Pink Floyd stole the show during the legendary all-star concert that took play at Knebworth on Saturday, June the ‘30th’ 1990. The competition was fierce with the great and good of British rock taking to the stage and running through a selection of some of their best known songs. Some of these artists and groups had been around for over twenty years. 

This included Pink Floyd who by 1990 had been together for twenty-five years and has released thirteen studio albums and one live album, A Momentary Lapse Of Reason. It’s regarded as Pink Floyd’s finest live album with Pulse which was released in 1995 coming a close second. That was still to come.

By 1990, Pink Floyd were still on of the biggest selling British bands and since forming in 1965 had released a string of classic albums. They revisit some of these classic albums including Dark Side Of The Moon and Wish You Were Here during a triumphant seven track set. It finds Pink Floyd rolling back the years on Live At Knebworth 1990, which is a near flawless where they steal the show in front of an adoring and appreciative audience which.

Pink Floyd-Live At Knebworth 1990.

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