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Radio K.A.O.S.

3.8 out of 5 stars 201 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 16, 1987
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Things were never the same for rock auteur Roger Waters after he split from Pink Floyd in the early '80s. While Floyd has soldiered on as a dumber, but still popular version of its old self, Waters has seen his own creative vision left mostly unrealized. Like his other solo projects, Radio K.A.O.S. too often falls flat without the hypnotic musical passages he enjoyed with Floyd. Not helping are the album's thin electronic sounds that haven't aged well since its 1987 release. Radio K.A.O.S. tells the quasi-sci-fi tale of a boy "vegetable" who can recieve radio waves in his head. Along the way, Waters attacks Reagan, Thatcher, nuclear war, commercial radio, and all the usual suspects. --Steve Appleford
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 16, 1987)
  • Original Release Date: June 16, 1987
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 41 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000026BN
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,129 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bill R. Moore on April 13, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I really like this album. I've heard some bad things about it, and, although it's not on par with Roger's Pink Floyd work, or Amused To Death for that matter, it is still quite good. Maybe the reason some people don't like it is because, musically, it isn't what you would expect from Waters. It's really a period piece... it is soooooooooooooooooooooo 80's. However, Roger's instantly recognizable lyrical touch and unifying vision serve to make this album have more of a lasting appeal than it's 80's-sound and Cold War paranoia would normally allow. The vocals on this album are interesting. Everybody knows that Roger is not noted as an outstanding singer, but his vocals on this album are distinctive and inspired, quite unlike, at times, anything he has done before or since. Also, the backing vocalists are used far more effectively here than they were to be on Amused To Death. The music itself is far less guitar-oriented than his other work, it consits mainly of the aforementioned 80's style synths and sounds. Of course there is also no Eric Clapton or Jeff Beck on this album. Despite this, all the songs are interesting, some for musicality, but all for Roger's novel lyrics and dry, caustic delivery. The lyrics, focused as they are, aren't as universal as past Waters efforts, but he still hits home and his wit is ever-present. The album flows together nicely, so there aren't really any standout songs, but all of them are good. A big improvement over Pros and Cons, and a step toward his masterpiece Amused To Death, a recommended album for Waters fans.
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Format: Audio CD
This album, though a bit dated in its sound, is good. However, like most 80s albums, it suffers from thin production. There is little bass, and everything else is just flat. If this album were remastered, or perhaps even remixed, it could reveal itself to be great. It would also be nice to have the tracks that were deleted from the album for reasons of time (LP limitations - which was really stupid in 1987, but that's the record industry for you) restored. These include Molly's Song, Going to Live in L.A., and Get Back to Radio (all of which were released as b-sides).

So how about it, Powers That Be? Bring on a remaster!
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Format: Audio CD
In my attempts to write reviews for Amazon, I have increasingly found myself trying to make concerted attempts to offer an opinion as unbiased as possible by my nostalgic feelings for the given album. In some cases, this is very difficult, and using this standpoint makes me wary of reviewing albums that were influential in my youth. I fear that many of my favorite albums by Rush, Yes, Tears for Fears, and Marillion may never see reviews because of my biased viewpoint. However, this afternoon I was quite randomly inspired to briefly discuss why "Radio K.A.O.S.," despite its status as a possibly flawed project, is one of my favorite Roger Waters recordings.

In short, it is the singular Roger Waters solo album that sonically distances itself from Pink Floyd's generally identifiable aesthetic. I am particularly referring to the sound that Waters refined on "The Wall." While "Radio K.A.O.S." still exhibits the conceptual rock-opera high-mindedness that exemplified his post-"Animals" work, it is indelibly marked by the recording practices of popular late `80s production. This serves to distance Waters' work on "Radio K.A.O.S." from his traditional role as an artist borne of the late `60s and early `70s, perhaps to the chagrin of his longtime fans.

In addition, it is also the only recording by Waters in which he does not try to recast the roles of his fellow musicians in Floyd with hired guns. Admittedly, Eric Clapton was great on "The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking" and Jeff Beck is incomprehensibly expressive on "Amused to Death," it seems to me that their inclusion on these recordings is a deliberate attempt to recreate Floyd (particularly Gilmour's voice) with admittedly talented but ultimately hired musicians. "Radio K.A.O.S." is conspicuously naked of such references.
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Format: Audio CD
a few here have said it's very 80's, well thats when it was done, and dont think the theme of this album is taken very lightly, the miners strike still opens raw wounds of Thatchers Britain, I suppose you had to live through it to go through the emotions of this amazing album,I am not going to pick the album apart track by track, just surf the net get all the info about the strike (not the official stuff of the government, its lies) but the true real life stuff by real people ,then go through this albums lyrics, then it becomes something of a different animal.... and believe me the have and have nots are still here today, nothing has changed, just rubbish pop music that does not touch on real life here like this music does...... Why do you think this guy got slated so much in the press etc... coz the truth hurts and he came to close to it.
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Format: VHS Tape
Some reviewers picked apart this excellent work of Roger Waters below. What they fail to realize is that this was written for a live concert which I saw back in 1987, and yes, it has an 80's sound to it, but do not let that distract you from its impressive work. Being a story concept, each song is linked together with a concept which can be followed on the inside jacket cover of the CD.
One of the worst concept alblums of all time? The KISS "Elder" alblum from 1983. Another intersting concept alblum was the rush disk about the kid who finds a guitar in the future when music is outlawed.
As far as concept alblums go, I saw definatly plop down your 18 bucks and go with this one. Its deep. Listen to it several times and you will keep hearing new things. Great disk to pop on when you have a couple of buddies over and you are shooting pool. GREAT CD to pop in and listen to while you are on a road trip driving at night.
Happy Listening. The Intellegence that Roger Waters utilized in crafting this masterpiece is amazing.
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