Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hey Dude, Have You Heard... 1

This is the first installment in a semi-regular column entitled "Hey Dude, Have You Heard..."

It's pretty self explanatory. Every few weeks or so, rather than do a full album review, I'm going to give a quick overview of something musical that I think is sweet, and that I think you may not have heard before. And that's that.

Hey dude, have you heard the London Philharmonic Orchestra's Us and Them suite? Basically, it's a recording of one of the most superb symphony orchestras in the world paying homage to some of the finest rock music ever written. It's grandiloquent and spacious and forceful in ways that only dozens of musicians working in concert can be. You've never heard Pink Floyd like this.

The Us and Them suite is a solid selection from the Floyd canon, featuring all the favorites: "Time," "Money", "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2", "Breathe in the Air", et cetera. Some of the performances are fairly true to Pink Floyd form. "Breathe" is fairly textbook, but, like all the songs on the compilation includes some truly phenomenal moments, in this case the initial triumphant burst that signified the opening of the first verse.

However, the London Philharmonic does indeed take some creative licence with several of the tracks. Most notably, "Brick (Part 2)" is a terrific departure from the raucous defiance of the original, it's grit traded for finesse. The LPO version is a stirring, repetitive anthem brimming with a sense of desperation bordering on despair. Which in my opinion is pretty tight.

London Philharmonic Orchestra - Time

1 comment: