Roger Waters’ album AMUSED TO DEATH returns in a remastered release from Columbia Records Legacy Recordings on July 24′. Amused to Death sounded the alarm about a society increasingly -and unthinkingly - in thrall to its television screens. Twenty-three years later, Amused to Death speaks to our present moment in ways that could scarcely have been anticipated two decades ago.
“I’m remembering the record from [over] 20 years ago, that most of what I had to say then sadly still pertains today and is maybe even more relevant to our predicament as people in 21)15 even than it was in 1992,” says Roger Waters.
An unblinking look at an entertainment-obsessed society. Amused to Death addresses issues that have only grown in complexity and urgency over the past two decades. In 2015, television is just one option in an endless array of distractions available to us anytime, anywhere, courtesy of our laptops, tablets and smartphones. With eyes glued to our screens, the dilemmas and injustices of the real world can easily recede from view.
The 2015 editions of Amused to Death feature a new 5.1 surround remix of the album on high-definition Blu-ray audio and a new remastered stereo mix completed by longtime Roger Waters / Pink Floyd collaborator and co-producer, James Guthrie. The cover and gatefold art has been updated for 2015 by Sean Evans, the creative director of Waters’ 2010-2013 “The Wall Live’ tour and movie.
Produced by Roger Waters and Patrick Leonard, Amused to Death is a musically ambitious work featuring a stellar lineup of musicians. Guitar legend Jeff Beck figures prominently on the album, bringing his signature virtuosity to eight songs. Guest vocalists include Don Henley (it’s a Miracle”), Rita Coolidge (“Amused to Death”) and soul singer P.P. Arnold (“Perfect Sense” Parts I and II). Also contributing were Waters’ longtime collaborators, guitarist Andy Fairweather Low and drummer Graham Broad; percussionist Luis Conte; and Pat Leonard, who played keyboards on several tracks. The album reunited Waters with composer/arranger Michael Kamen, who supervised orchestral arrangements for The Wail, Waters’ semi-autographical concept album with Pink Floyd. Kamen arranged and conducted the National Philharmonic Orchestra Limited’s contributions to the songs “Too Much Rope” and “What God Wants, Part III.”