Lee Speaks About Music… #210

The Wall (Limited Special Edition) – Roger Waters


Roger Waters has always been one for putting on SPECTACULAR! shows and Us + Them that I reviewed back in 2020 was certainly one of them and well worth getting on Blu Ray. I have to confess that even though I knew this particular world tour of The Wall was done well before then and released on Blu Ray back in 2015 it never enticed me to buy it. One of the main reasons for that is not being that fond of the album.

To be honest, when it comes to The Wall I actually prefer the Alan Parker film that starred Bob Geldoff in relation to the double album that Pink Floyd released back in 1979. I’ve never been a fan of Geldoff or The Boomtown Rats either but I felt he sang some of those songs quite well and did more than an amicable job with the acting role.

I do remember seeing the concert of The Wall he did in Berlin back in the early 90’s on the TV and that thing bored me to death which is why I never bothered buying it. I am pretty sure that this concert we have here was also broadcast on Sky Arts a couple of years ago but I missed it. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been humming and harring over whether to rent it on Amazon Prime.

Although the price of £3.49 might seem reasonable enough for some it’s very rare I would rent a film from there for more than £1.99. Not only that it would add even more expense to the blu ray if I liked it and it enticed me enough to buy it. However, as it happens I personally think I added even more expense by doing a silly thing and getting this limited special edition.

There are other reasons that put me off buying The Wall which I will go into in this review. I would also say the way it has been presented might sit better with Movie buffs rather than people like myself who are more into the musical side of things. But before I go any further let’s take a look at the packaging and artwork.

Packaging & Artwork…

The Limited Special Edition comes with 2 Blu Rays and I have to admit that upon first looking at how the package is presented in its die-cut red cardboard slipcase it looks very neat and presentable. However, whoever designed this package should have been presented with the WALLY! of the year award because it’s extremely disappointing when you dig into it.

To be perfectly honest I have no idea who did the packaging and this package has pissed me off that much that I am not going to go out of my way by doing some research to find out who the Dickhead is. Not even they want you to know by the looks of things and furthermore, they do not want you to know anything about this concert whatsoever simply because there is not one shred of information written inside it.

No liner and production notes, no credits or informative information. It does not even tell you who the hell is playing on the damn thing. Well Roger this is one person you should have had SHOT! is all I can say about it 😊😊😊.

I should however stress that was my first impression of the package and the only reason I left it in was that it made me laugh myself to tears when reading it back. Having dug a bit deeper inside the package the second time around I did eventually come across the liner production notes and credits though I still think things could have been done a lot better.

Inside the red slipcase, the discs are stored in a 3-panel Digisleeve to which the first disc comes in a hinged pocket making it easier to retrieve. The second disc however is stored in the middle and is a lot harder to retrieve because the pocket is fixed to the panel. What also doesn’t help is that the third pocket on the right (that holds all the Nik-Naks that come with it) is a lot thicker.

The discs themselves are retrieved from the sides instead of the top like the Nik-Naks making it much more difficult to get your fingers in the pocket to retrieve the disc. You will have to be extremely careful otherwise you will wind up ripping it.

The extra Nik-Naks that come with it I don’t generally bother looking at although I did read that it came with a 34-page booklet and upon my first inspection all I could see were photos in it which is why I put it back and never noticed any written information at all. It was not until a few days later that I took the photo above of them for my review that I had a closer look at the booklet and found the liner, production and credit notes right at the back of the booklet.

As you can see above not much thought went into putting this booklet together especially when you look at how they tried to squeeze all that information on the righthand side. Why on earth they did this is beyond me especially when you have got 34 pages to play with.

The trouble today is that most designers tend to think that pictures speak volumes and they tend to dedicate the biggest majority of the booklet to those things rather than give you any real informative information about the product you are buying.

What I will say about the booklet however is that it is made of quality material. The photos are also of high quality which is a damn sight more than I can say for the photos that came in the 60-page book of the 2022 Individual release of Pink Floyd’s Pulse that I reviewed last month.

However, the quality of the pictures on the 4 photo cards that come with it is NAFF! and pointless including them. The small poster is well printed, though I would think that most like myself would only keep it stored in its pocket rather than hang it on the wall. It’s perhaps aimed at the younger folk and they would see it more as an extra than us old farts on that score 😊😊😊.


The packaging and design were actually done by a woman who goes by the name of Amelia Tubb. She is a creative director, photographer and filmmaker and also works in design. She has spent the last 15 plus years working across multiple industries and besides doing work for Waters she has also done work for other artists such as Prince in the past and magazines such as Vogue, Spin and BBDO. Other clients include Sony Music and LiveNation UK/USA.

Whilst I think that some of her work is of good quality apart from the actual red slipcase that comes with this package, I do tend to think she lacks a lot of thought and attention to detail. Though I should stress that she is far from the only person I could say that about and there are many I think that should stick to what they do with magazines rather than work with music media packages.

Other Format Releases…

The Wall was released in 5 formats including the Digital Download. Although I will say these days you would have to be a fool to purchase the Digital Download which costs around £12.99 on Amazon UK. As to why this is still priced that high I cannot see the logic especially when there are two physical formats that cost a lot less.

The DVD is the cheapest way to get your hands on it and is priced at £4.99 on Amazon UK. To be honest I cannot see why Amazon Prime is still charging £3.49 to rent the movie, especially after all this time. At this low price, you may as well buy the DVD.

The 2 CD package is also amazing value on Amazon UK and right now it can be had for as little as £8.99. As you can see it also comes in a neat 3-panel Digisleeve with a booklet and small poster. It also includes a free Digital Download which is another reason why you would be a mug to buy the download.

Next up we have the single Blu Ray Edition which is not limited. This is currently priced at £12.71 on Amazon UK though prices do fluctuate from time to time and I have seen it for as little as £11.17. It was actually seeing it at that price via one of the many emails they send out that spurred me to check out the 2 Blu Ray Special Limited edition.

The Special Limited Edition that comes with 2 Blu Rays I would not advise anybody to get from Amazon UK as it’s ridiculously overpriced at £127.48. I do believe that when this was originally released back in 2015 it was priced at around £22. It’s not that hard to get your hands on it today in used condition and I ended up paying £29.99 including p+p on eBay. It was not brand new but it was in mint condition. I have also seen brand new copies being sold for around £39.99.

The Special 2 Blu Ray Limited Edition was reissued in 2019 and sold exclusively on HMV. The only difference as far as I can make out is that it comes in a white cardboard slipcase instead of red. You can still buy this today from HMV for £21.99. The only reason I never opted for it was that at the time I was not sure if it came with 2 discs.

It was also released on Vinyl and with this package, you get 3 X 180gram LPs for around £35.36 on Amazon UK. It is still today the most expensive format as to why I honestly still cannot get my head around it. The single Blu Ray for £12.71 will give you way better audio quality plus something to watch. Still, I guess those who prefer all the snap crackle and pop have to pay more for it 😊😊😊.

The Wall In review…

This particular Special Limited Edition of The Wall by Roger Waters was released on the 18th of November 2015. I do believe other editions were released at the end of the previous month. Unlike the concert of The Wall that Waters did back in 1990 in Berlin, this newer version is done in the way of a Concert Movie in that it contains other film footage of him on a road trip driving across Europe documenting the history of his father to which influenced the concept story behind the original album.

The documentary footage Waters directed himself in 2014 and was added to the concert footage that was taken from two shows he performed earlier in Quebec City, Canada and Athens in Greece respectively. Waters took the concert tour of The Wall on the road for 3 years playing a total of 219 shows between September 2010 to September 2013 taking in 118 cities across North America, South America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Helping out with the direction of the concert itself was the creative director Sean Evans. Unlike Alan Parker, who has been involved in many films the only films Evans has been involved in are the one we have here and Waters later concert film Us + Them. It’s perhaps hardly a résumé in relation to Parker to even be called a director. However, as I mentioned in my review of that later concert two heads are better than one and Evans does also have a keen eye for photography which would certainly help with the creative side of things.

The first leg of the North America tour (which ran from September the 15th to December the 21st of 2010) grossed over $89.5 million from 56 concerts. It was the second-highest-grossing concert tour in North America in 2010 and the third-highest-grossing concert tour worldwide as of 2013. Back in 2013, it did hold the record for being the highest-grossing tour for a solo musician, surpassing the previous record-holder, Madonna. Though of course records like that are only there for so long before they get broke and it was later eclipsed by Ed Sheeran. It is however currently the 7th highest-grossing tour of all time.

As with any tour putting a show like this one on the road, takes a lot of planning, a lot of people (hands) and a lot of money that can also run into millions of dollars. Unlike most concerts, The Wall is presented like a Movie and was distributed by Picturehouse Entertainments and released by Universal to which the rights are reserved to Universal Studios.

The film first premiered in Canada at the Toronto International Film Festival back in 2014 at which both Waters and Evans were present. It raked in around $458.6 million at the box office rising to around $533.48 million by 2021.

There can be no doubt that selling the film on like this would have helped generate some of the money that it cost to put on an extensive tour like this in the first place and careful planning had been well thought out before they went on the road with it.

The way The Wall does present itself like a Movie and is perhaps more aimed at Movie buffs rather than people like myself who buy DVD’s and Blu Ray’s to watch a live concert as I mentioned in my introduction. The very fact that most of the GREAT! features the Blu Ray had many years ago have disappeared does not really help. So let’s now take a look at the two blu rays and look at some of the pitfalls.

The Blu Ray.

I honestly get the feeling these days that the Blu Ray gets treated like shit especially when you look at what some people put on the format. My previous review of the Pink Floyd Early Years box set and individual volumes that were released back in 2016/17 is a perfect example of what gets thrown onto the format, especially regarding old film footage that has nothing to do with high quality whatsoever.

I am pretty sure that when the format was introduced back 2006/07 they had restrictions on what you could actually put on it and it was intended for high-quality purposes only. Back then it also came with many different useful features such as BD-Live, Multiple Angles and many more that have simply disappeared over the years.

BD-Live was a great feature and a very useful source to get informative information. These days it’s dead and it was actually Universal Studios who was the last to support it and they did up until last year. Although it’s been very rarely seen on any blu ray since around 2011 and dormant for years. The same can be said for Multiple Angles and that feature was first introduced with the DVD.

The Wall is a concert film that contains interspersed documentary and interview footage throughout it and one useful function that whoever done the authoring never had the hindsight to include is a skip function. In the past, this special feature was put on many DVD’s that contained interspersed film footage in between the main featured footage. These days it’s a function that has been widely incorporated into Television and is simply forgotten by many who work on authorizing DVD & Blu Ray.

Most movies can be a pain in the arse with all the rigmarole you have to go through to get to the main menu. Many of them even come with film trailers though I will say that the biggest majority do include a skip function. You can also use the “Next Chapter” button on your remote to skip them one by one but in some cases, none of those functions work and are forbidden.

Disc 1. The Main Feature.

When you insert the disc into your player I was going to say you might just as well go and make a cup of tea, but before you do it would be a good idea to choose the language from the menu that pops up after the opening screen. Then go and make a cup of tea because all the warning screens that you are going to be presented with will well and truly piss you off if you just sit there watching them.

To be honest out of the hundreds of DVD’s & Blu Rays I have in my collection I have never seen so many warning screens. You might get the odd one that will pop up at the beginning but in general, these things are put up right at the end of the closing credits. The only time you do see as many is when they have them in many other languages and those are also at the end of the closing credits.

When you finally get to the main menu you have the choice of five options to choose from as follows: “Play”, “Chapters”, “Audio”, “Subtitles” and “Bonus”. Luckily the menu is fast and responsive and everything pops up so there is no time wasted loading to another screen.

The “Chapters” section takes up 3 screens as you can see above and I suppose you could use the skip button on your remote to view only the concert footage. Although judging by how many chapters there are that might prove to be a pain in the neck too.

The “Audio” section gives you two choices to choose from and by default, it’s set to Dolby Atmos. The Atmos mix is most unusual in that it gives you a 4.0 Quadrophonic mix. For those like myself who don’t have Atmos, you get a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 24/48k mix instead. The PCM Stereo mix is 16/48K.

The “Subtitles” menu is the same as the one you are presented with when you insert the disc. As to why they give you it twice sounds a bit silly when you’ve already chosen your language. It gives you a total of 24 different languages to choose from.

The “Bonus” section contains a couple of extra features the first titled “A Visit To Frank Thompson”. Here Waters visits the grave of Thompson who was the brother of the English historian writer and socialist peace campaigner E.P. Thompson. Frank Thompson was captured by the Nazis during world war 2 in Bulgaria and was brutally tortured and murdered by them.

The next couple of extras you get on the first disc contains a speeded-up time-lapse video of the concert stages in Athens and Buenos Aires being set up. In total, you get an extra 15 minutes, 38 seconds spread over the 3 clips of footage.

Disc 2. Extra Bonus Footage.

The bonus disc contains a further four extra bits of film footage although I will stress that quite a bit of the footage you get on this disc is taken from the feature film and it also contains repeated footage. You also have to go through the same rigmarole of all the copyright warnings as on the first disc to get to them. All the extra content you get on this disc is in stereo only.

The first of the extras you get here is titled “Driving” and to be honest I am not really sure that this is an extra at all as what you get here is just some of the driving scenes and other bits of scenes taken from the actual film. There is nothing new here at all and it runs for 6 minutes and 38 seconds.

The second of the extras “Facebook” is the longest and runs for 57 minutes, 54 seconds and this is made up of 31 mostly short clips of footage that I can only presume Waters posted on his Facebook wall during the making of the film.

The final two extras “Comfortably Numb” and “Outside The Wall” were taken from the O2 in London and feature special appearances from Dave Gilmour and Nick Mason playing on those songs. Though the latter of the two only plays the tambourine. Here you get an extra 17 minutes and 9 seconds of live footage and I guess for most it would be their favourite bonus feature.

The Picture & Film Editing Quality.

The picture quality is pristine and sharp in detail as to be expected everything has been captured with HD Cameras. Although it does say in the end credits of the film that 4K was used and it was shown in the cinemas in 4K. The blu ray itself is of 1080p HD quality only and not 4K like the Us + Them blu ray that came out much later. To be honest there are only a few minute concerts that have been put out in 4K perhaps around 1% or even less and it’s mostly used for feature films more than anything else.

The concert film footage from the two venues was captured by 27 camera operators and supervised by John Simmons according to the end credits of the film. To be honest, the end credits provide more of a vital source of information than the booklet that comes in this package and so many things have been left out of the liner and credit notes including the supervisor and the cameramen.

Much of the crew Waters had onboard later for the Us + Them live tour and film he had with him for this film documentary and Katie Mcquerrey did the editing for them both. I cannot fault the editing at all, it captures all the right angles and the musicians in the right place and no doubt she knows her job.

The Surround & Stereo Mixes.

The stereo and surround mixes were done by James Guthrie who has been both Pink Floyd and Roger Waters mixing engineer for that long he’s almost part of the furniture. As to be expected his consistency and reputation working in this field as held up strong with both camps over the many years and in general his work even in the field of surround mixes is quite good. Though I will stress he is not on my personal top list of surround mixing engineers and I do tend to find that his decision to work mostly with Dolby (especially Dolby Digital) instead of DTS is what lets him down at times.

Strangely enough, here he has gone with a Dolby Atmos 4.0 Quadrophonic mix although not having Atmos myself I could not really tell you how good it is. These days I am more impressed by Quadrophonic mixes that were done back in the 70’s and engineers well before Guthrie started out. I do also feel that many of those engineers from back then had more of the know-how to do them than many of the engineers that are out there today.

The 7.1 mix is quite good but nowhere near the quality of the surround mix that was done for Us + Them which was done by Nigel Godrich & Sam Petts-Davis. The Wall with all its gunfire and explosions I certainly feel would have benefited more from those two engineers and they would have given it more of a Cinematic approach like you get with a movie where the explosions would shake the room and make it more lifelike. This is where I feel Gutrhie has let this down slightly with not having that hindsight.

To be honest I am not sure if Waters has had a fallout with Gutrhie or if he decided that his vision for surround mixes did not quite meet his expectations which is why he dropped him. One of the things that support my way of thinking is that back in 2016 Gutrhie did a 5.1 mix of Pink Floyd’s 1971 album Meddle that was intended to be released on Volume 5 Reverber/ation of The Early Years box set. However, it had to be removed and the rumours for the reason tend to be aimed at Roger Waters not being happy with the mix.

Musicians & Credits…

Directed by Sean Evans & Roger Waters. Produced by Clare Spencer & Roger Waters. The concert footage was filmed & recorded at Les Plaines D’Abraham Québec, Canada on the 21st of July 2012 and at The Olympic Stadium Athens, Greece on the 31st of July 2013. Film Editing by Katie Mcquerrey.

Live Recording Engineer & Music Production by Nigel Godrich. Mixed in Dolby Atmos at The Michael Powell Theatre, Pinewood Studios, England. Stereo & Multi-Channel Mixing Engineer James Guthrie. Cover Design by Amelia Tubb. Photography by Sean Evans, Mark Fisher & Todd Kaplan.

Roger Waters: Vocals – Guitar – Bass.
Dave Kilminster: Guitars.
Snowy White: Guitars.
G.E. Smith: Guitars.
Jon Carin: Keyboards.
Harry Waters: Hammond & Piano.
Graham Bond: Drums.
Robbie Wyckoff: Vocals.
Jon Joyce, Pat, Mark & Kipp Lennon: backing Vocals.

The Film In Review…

The way The Wall has been done is a bit like how they have done many rock concert documentary films in the past where they use segments of other footage scattered throughout the concert footage that effectively takes you away from the main event itself. The Song Remains The Same by Led Zeppelin is a prime example of such a Movie and although some are interesting there are times when you just want to get on with the show so to speak.

I often find that live concerts done in this way are not the ones you will watch over and over and in the case of The Wall, it’s very much more of a personal thing that is related to Waters himself. So the extra footage that has been added will not appeal to everyone sort of thing. This is why I personally think it would have been better if they added a skip function so you do not have to watch the extra footage all the time and can get on with the show.

So Ya Thought Ya Might Like To Go The Show?

Speaking of the show or the concert footage itself it is quite spectacular with how everything on and around the stage has been set up no doubt those who actually went to see it live would have got their money’s worth. Although even ticket prices back then ranged from around £70 to over £100 but perhaps expected when you take into consideration how much it costs to put on a show like this in the first place.

As I mentioned earlier the concert footage was taken from two venues and the first of them was out in the fields in the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City, Canada. If you go back in history the fields were an actual battleground and the site it was on was where the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, took place on 13 September 1759.

It does appear that everything has to be a battle with Waters. The park or field is administered by the National Battlefields Commission and attracts millions of visitors and tourists every year for sports, relaxation, outdoor concerts, and festivals. The filming of this particular concert took place on the 21st of July 2012. It is believed that 75,000 to 100,000 people turned up to see the show.

Not so many turned up at the second venue where the concert was filmed which was at The Olympic Stadium of Athens in Greece on the 31st July 2013. The stadium can hold around 80,000 although only around 26,000 went to the show. It is a hard venue to fill and only the likes of U2, Michael Jackson and Madonna have done such a thing with sell-out shows. Pink Floyd did manage to pull in 60,000 on their Momentary Lapse Of Reason tour back in 1989.

On With The Show…

The concert movie has an overall playing time of around 2 hours and 12 minutes and it takes over 7 minutes to get to the first song on the album. You do actually get to see them roll out the first 6 songs (that made up the original first side of the double vinyl album) and he’s even added an acoustic coda to “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2” entitled “The Ballad of Jean Charles de Menezes” with new lyrics referring to the murder of the person in question which adds a nice touch to the album.

However, the first quarter of the album is not entirely undisturbed and you do get a short segment of Waters in his Bentley reading the letter his mother had of his father’s death in the services during World War 2.

I don’t think there are any real highlights that stick out much during this first quarter of the concert and I was perhaps more impressed by some of the sound and visual effects such as crashing aeroplanes and gunshots so to speak. I think the kids did a good job on “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2” and Waters even had himself synced up with the screen footage of Pink Floyd at Earls Court back in 1980 running in the background whilst singing “Mother“.

Both guitarists Dave Kilminster and Snowy White play the material really well and I personally don’t miss Dave Gilmour at all. The person who least impressed me was Robbie Wyckoff and his voice is perhaps a bit too airy-fairy for my liking, especially on  “Mother” though he does do much better with other songs to be fair. It’s back to Roger’s road trip for 5 or 6 minutes next before the second half of the album gets played and in this segment of film footage, he visits his grandfather’s grave with his own children.

Personally, I think the songs that were written for the second side of the album have much more about them and I’ve always loved “Goodbye Blue Sky“. Just like how he did in Berlin back in the 90’s they are building the wall higher as each song from the album gets played. Only this time the wall is much bigger and they are using some very good projections on the wall itself that make each song visually quite SPECTACULAR!

To be honest the band do an amicable job of all the songs on the second half of the album. I was even surprised how well Wyckoff’s voice suited “Young Lust” which does require a lot more grit and balls to pull it off. I do also feel that the concert starts to come more to life at this stage and they even do an extended version of “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 3)” which is more or less an instrumental reprise of some of the songs on the album. Though once again this half of the album is not undisturbed with it taking you somewhere else and I personally feel it takes away some of the enjoyment with these distractions.

It is after a break from the show that the final song of this side of the album “Goodbye Cruel World” puts an end to the first ACT! They also put in the final brick of the wall and you get an intermission that displays photos and short bios of people lost in conflicts projected on the wall. This is also followed by another trip back on the road with Waters before the second ACT! begins.

The third side of the album does contain a couple of the stronger songs on the album such as “Hey You” and “Comfortably Numb” it also has a couple of little things like “Nobody Home” and “Vera” that are not too bad either. It’s always been side four of the album that never really sat with me due to it being more like a pantomime sort of thing. It also gives me the impression that the only song on that side of the album is “Run Like Hell” and I am not too keen on that.

To be honest, it’s not so bad watching it done live here and no doubt they have done a TOP JOB! in putting it all across and a lot of the visual effects also help I feel. The other notable thing is that throughout the whole of the second ACT! there are fewer distractions with other segments of Roger’s road trip getting in the way of the performance.

Summary & Conclusion…

To sum up and conclude my review of The Wall by Roger Waters. There is no doubt the concert footage is of high quality and looks SPECTACULAR! However, with how it has been presented in the way of a documentary film I personally feel that this is a film that you would be better off renting rather than buying. The way it has been done like this will most likely mean you will only ever watch it once unlike how most live concerts have been done.

I personally don’t think the bonus material on the second disc of this Special Limited Edition really gives you a great deal either and I certainly would not recommend buying this version just for the sake of it showing you David Gilmour play “Comfortably Numb” at the O2 in London.

Overall I think it’s quite good and I enjoyed it, but I can see myself selling this back on eBay at some point basically because it does not give me what his other two concerts In The Flesh and Us + Them have going for them. They also do not focus on one album which makes them much more interesting. When it comes to The Wall, I still prefer the Alan Parker film and I also think the 5.1 mix of that will blow your brains out more than what this thing will.

An Alternative Way Of Going To The Show…

The Blu-Ray track listing is as follows:

1 Missing Presumed Dead
2 On The Road
3 In The Flesh?
4 The Thin Ice
5 Another Brick In The Wall Part 1
6 The Happiest Days Of Our Lives
7 Another Brick In The Wall Part 2
8 Ballad Of Jean Charles De Menezes
9 Mother
10 Finding George Henry
11 Goodbye Blue Sky
12 Empty Spaces
13 What Shall We Do Now
14 Young Lust
15 One Of My Turns
16 Don’t Leave Me Now
17 Struck By Lightning
18 Refugee Flashback
19 Another Brick In The Wall Part 3
20 Last Few Bricks
21 Goodbye Cruel World
22 One For The Road
23 Hey You
24 Is There Anybody Out There?
25 Nobody Home
26 …..Ever
27 Vera
28 Bring The Boys Back Home
29 Anzio Beach
30 Comfortably Numb
31 The Show Must Go On
32 In The Flesh
33 Run Like Hell
34 Waiting For The Worms
35 Stop
36 The Trial
37 The End Of The Road
38 Outside The Wall
39 Credits

The Price Point Rating. 5/10.
The Picture Quality Rating. 10/10.
The Surround Mix Rating. 8/10.
The Stereo Mix Rating. 10/10.
The Bonus Material Rating. 3/10.
The Overall Concert Film Rating. 7/10.