Thursday, December 22, 2016

127. Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

Flickr Download DeviantArt

It has been said that  The Division Bell deals with themes of communication  and the idea that  talking can solve many of
life's problems.  The album cover art looks like two heads  talking to each other and another  composed of these two and
facing the viewer.  My deviation added  four more heads,  which, taken together  with the originals,  may mean different
things to different people.  My point  was to portray  situations that make  communicating  ineffective,  futile or useless.

It has also been said that listening is the beginning of understanding. I noted that the heads have no ears.

The album cover for The Division Bell was designed by Storm Thorgerson. It depicts two metal head sculptures sculpted by John Robertson, each over three
metres tall and weighing 1500 kilograms.  These were placed in a field in Cambridgeshire  and photographed  throughout a two-week period regardless of
weather conditions.  Sometimes visual effects such as lights between the heads was used.  Ely Cathedral is visible in the background,  as are car headlights
visible through the sculptures' mouths. The sculptures are now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

No one seems to know the meaning of the album cover,  and Pink Floyd has yet to enlighten the masses.  People have been quarrelling over the meaning of
the cover ever since its release,  and although countless interpretations exist,  there has been no consensus.  While the meaning of the cover art remains a
mystery, the meaning of the album title has at least confirmed. The term "Division Bell" refers to England and Australia's parliamentary sessions.

If there is a disagreement about a matter, then a vote must be taken.  The House is said to be "divided" on the issue, and the division is rectified by a vote.
At this point,  the Division Bell is rung and parliamentarians  must immediately proceed to the House.  When the Division Bell stops,  the doors are shut and
anyone who is late misses the vote.

Thus, the Division Bell has an important role in communication and conflict resolution.  The album title was suggested by  Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
author Douglas Adams. Qoura

Two heads are better than one, but not if both are stupid.
So, how many more heads do you wish to see?

No. 234, Billboard, The 300 Best-Selling Albums of All Time; No. 719, The Virgin All-Time Album Top 1000

Album art design by Storm Thorgerson; sculptures devised by Keith Bredeen, constructed by John Robertson; photography by Tony May, Rupert Truman &
Stephen Piotrowski. Album produced by Bob Ezrin & David Gilmour. EMI, Columbia 1994.

The Division Bell deals  with themes of communication  and the idea that talking can  solve many of  life's problems.  In the Studio  radio host Redbeard
suggested that the album offered "the very real possibility of transcending it all,  through shivering  moments of grace".  Songs such as "Poles Apart" and
"Lost for Words" have been interpreted as references to the estrangement between Pink Floyd and former band member Roger Waters,  who left in 1985;
however, Gilmour denied this. The title refers to the division bell rung in the British parliament to announce a vote.  Drummer Nick Mason said: "It does
have some meaning. It's about people making choices, yeas or nays."

Produced a few years after the collapse of the Eastern Bloc,  "A Great Day for Freedom" juxtaposes the general euphoria of, for instance, the fall of the
Berlin Wall, with the subsequent wars and ethnic cleansing, particularly in Yugoslavia.  Audio samples of Stephen Hawking,  originally recorded for a BT
television advertisement,  were used in "Keep Talking";  Gilmour was so moved by Hawking's  sentiment in the advert  that he contacted  the advertising
company for permission to use the recordings on the album.  Mason said it felt "politically incorrect to take ideas from advertising,  but it seemed a very
relevant piece."  At the end of the album  Gilmour's stepson  Charlie is heard hanging up the telephone  receiver on Pink Floyd manager Steve O'Rourke,
who had pleaded to be allowed to appear on a Pink Floyd album.

In Uncut Magazine's  2011 Pink Floyd:  The Ultimate  Music Guide,  Graeme Thomson   wrote that The Division Bell  "might just be the dark horse of the
Floyd canon.  The opening triptych of songs is a hugely impressive return to something very close to the eternal essence of Pink Floyd,  and much of the
rest retains a quiet power and a meditative quality that betrays a genuine sense of unity."

Uncut reviewed the album once again in 2014 to celebrate the 20th anniversary reissue,  and in their review praised the album for its production,  citing
that the  album  sounded much  "more like a classic  Pink Floyd  album  than  1983's  The Final Cut"  and throughout  the album  noted  the empathy and
connection between Wright and Gilmour, stating that these moments were "at the album's musical heart." wikipedia

(A) Cluster One - What Do You Want from Me? - Poles Apart - Marooned - A Great Day for Freedom - Wearing the Inside Out

(B) Take It Out - Coming Back to Life - Keep Talking - Lost for Words - High Hopes

"A Great Day for Freedom" live from David Gilmour on YouTube

Previous: The Mystic Moods Orchestra - Emotions

Next: Funkadelic - Maggot Brain

Back to Gallery 4