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The Endless River

4.1 out of 5 stars 2,106 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Compact Disc:
Hardback Digibook
- 16-page booklet includes unseen photographs from 1993 sessions

The Endless River represents a return to the creative principles that informed the writing process that produced Pink Floyd classics like Echoes, Shine On You Crazy Diamond and Animals.

In early 1993, David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright set up their equipment in their own Britannia Row Studios in Islington and created more than hundred pieces of music by jamming together, interacting with each other's performances and recording the results.

They then honed the pieces at David's Astoria floating studio, played them live for 2 days at Olympic Studios in Barnes with an extended lineup (Guy Pratt on bass, Jon Carin on keyboards and Gary Wallis on percussion). After that, the core trio returned to Astoria, and worked further on the compositions, alongside co-producer Bob Ezrin, refining the structure, tempos and arrangements. The result, after lyrics and vocals were added, was the 12 million selling 'Division Bell' album.

At the time, there had been talk of a separate ambient album being created from the non-vocal tracks not subsequently issued on 'The Division Bell', but the idea was eventually dropped.

In 2014 David Gilmour and Nick Mason re-entered the studio and, starting with unreleased keyboard performances by Richard Wright, who sadly died in 2008, added further instrumentation to the tracks, as well as creating new material. The result is The Endless River, including 60% of recordings other than the 1993 sessions, but based upon them. The title is a further link, '... the endless river…' being part of the closing phrases of High Hopes, the final song of the previous Pink Floyd album.

David Gilmour describes the record as follows: "The Endless River has as its starting point the music that came from the 1993 Division Bell sessions. We listened to over 20 hours of the three of us playing together and selected the music we wanted to work on for the new album. Over the last year we've added new parts, re-recorded others and generally harnessed studio technology to make a 21st century Pink Floyd album. With Rick gone, and with him the chance of ever doing it again, it feels right that these revisited and reworked tracks should be made available as part of our repertoire."

Stylistically, The Endless River includes all of the musical elements that characterize Pink Floyd: mellifluous keyboards, jazz-tinged drums, musique concrete, ethereal vocals, and distinctive, emotional lead guitar. As well as Pink Floyd's trademark backing vocals, there is one vocal track, with lyrics by author Polly Samson, who also contributed to The Division Bell.
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Digital Booklet: The Endless River
Digital Booklet: The Endless River
Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 10, 2014)
  • Original Release Date: November 10, 2014
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Columbia
  • Run Time: 53 minutes
  • ASIN: B00NQKWA6S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,151 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sid Nuncius TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 10, 2014
Format: Audio CD
I think this is a lovely album. It's not a ground-breaking classic like Dark Side Of The Moon, Meddle or The Wall, say, (although there are musical references to all of them) nor does it have individual songs of the brilliance and beauty of Wish You Were Here or Shine On You Crazy Diamond, but in total it is a fine album with some genuinely beautiful music on it.

Put together from off-cuts from The Division Bell and then heavily re-worked and edited, this has been billed as a tribute to the late Rick Wright - and it's s fine tribute. There is plenty of his trademark keyboard sound, along with a lot of truly fabulous guitar work from David Gilmour. He's a great guitarist and there are very few people who can bring that degree of beauty and aching melancholy from the instrument. He's on fine form here, as is Nick Mason whose drumming perhaps doesn't get the recognition it deserves in creating the Floyd sound.

This is almost an ambient album in many ways, although there's more to it than that. There is an unbroken sequence of fairly brief tracks which are varied but hold together well as a unit. There are almost no vocals, just Steven Hawking speaking on Talkin' Hawkin' and a genuine song in the last track, Louder Than Words. Both are about the importance of settling disputes through talking and, appropriately, it is here that the absence of Roger Waters as a songwriter shows most clearly, because for me neither the melody nor lyrics are up to Waters' standard. It's a tiny blemish - not even a blemish at all, really, just a reminder - and the album as a whole is really good, I think.

This won't convert you if you don't like Pink Floyd, but if you do I think you'll really like this album. It's lovely music, beautifully played and produced, and I recommend it warmly.
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With an album of this magnitude (I.e. popularity) this reviewer is of the theory that the most objective reviews will be those of the three star rating. Those looking for another Dark Side of the Moon are going to give it 1 star and the Pink "Floydiacs" are going to give a David Gilmour fart 5 stars. I know I am guilty of enough five star ratings myself, but only when deserved.

The Endless River is definitely not worthy of a 5 star rating but it certainly is not worth of a 1 star either. For the most part, I got exactly what I expected, maybe just a little bit more. "Leftovers" put together to create some type of "whole".

TER is essentially a Pink Floyd instrumental piece. Only one song contains lyrics, the last one. Sorry, I don't count "Talkin' Hawkin'" as actual lyrics. As so many people will weigh in on this and try to categorize it I might as well do the same. For me, this album is quite similar to the often over looked PF album "Obscured by Clouds". This album actually came out between Meddle and Dark Side to little or no fanfare. It hit only # 46 on the US charts. It was the sound track to a movie, "The Valley" (La Vallée) by Barbet Schroeder, and like TER contains snippets of music that complimented segments of the film. Likewise, these too can be listened to as individual songs or as a whole piece of music. Obscured does have a few more lyrics but roughly half the segments are instrumental pieces. Personally, I really enjoy it; which is probably why I also enjoy "Endless River". ER can easily be imagined as a score to any number of nature documentaries or a Stanley Kubrick space epic. (Hint, hint, hint). In comparing it to more recent works it is definitely of the same timbre as Gilmour's "On an Island".
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Format: Audio CD
According to Dave Gilmour `The Endless River' is based around more than 20 hours of archived recordings from `The Division Bell' sessions in 1993 not included in the final album cut, with the late Richard Wright's keyboard work and compositional skills dominating the action. TER is reportedly a tribute to Wright's memory from Gilmour and Mason, who set about cleaning up the original recordings and added in new sections to spice them up.

The result is an ambient and almost completely instrumental collection: only the closer `Louder than Words' is an actual song, penned by Gilmour's wife Polly, and Stephen Hawking's voice guest-samples briefly on `Talkin Hawkin'.

This is unmistakably classic Floyd, with grand instrumental pieces redolent in many places of the towering magnificence of their music in the 1970s bookended by `Atom Heart Mother' and `Wish You were Here,' prior to Roger Waters taking control of the band's persona with the lyrically verbose & preachy epic `The Wall.' Gilmour's wailing guitar weaves around Wright's melodious synth phrases underpinned by Mason's stately, energetic drumming with never a note out of place. At the same time ambient and majestic, many of these pieces bring to mind not only `The Division Bell' but the musical ghosts of `Echoes' or `Shine on You Crazy Diamond'.

TER is probably going to be Pink Floyd's last album release, and it's a fitting one. Whilst not breaking new ground, this is Floyd (minus Waters) on top form, doing what they have always done best. Production values are first class, and this music will no doubt be played and enjoyed in millions of homes, cars and iPods for decades to come.
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