From the tongue-incheek title to the anchored dancers on the cover (shot in sunny Dungeness), A Collection Of Great Dance Songs was always a curio in Floyd’s catalogue. Released at a time when they barely recognised the compilation format, it hardly holds up to more recent offerings such as 2001’s Echoes, 2011’s A Foot In The Door or the Early Years releases. What it does do, however, is contain a couple of rarities that may not have set the world on fire back in 1981, but these days have collectors salivating. Namely a re-recorded Money (in America their then US label refused to licence the track to Columbia), performed by David Gilmour and original sax player Dick Parry at New Roydonia Studios in Hertfordshire, a truncated Shine On You Crazy Diamond and a re-edited Another Brick In The Wall (Part II). The album reached No 37 in the UK charts on release. It would go straight in at Number One today!
Your view of post-Waters Floyd probably depends on your age. This writer, too young to catch the band with Waters, saw them for the first time on the A Momentary Lapse Of Reason tour at Wembley Stadium and was suitably blown away. So, like the rest of their output, 1988’s Delicate Sound Of Thunder (the first Floyd live album, recorded during a five night run at Nassau Coliseum) sounds good to these ears. But this writer was always more of a Gilmour man than Waters. So whilst there will undoubtedly be plenty of Floyd fans who remain sniffy at the band’s very existence after 1983 (this writer will admit to thinking The Divison Bell is better than …Momentary… however), and possibly even more so about their recorded output, we’d be more than happy to shell out money for this new vinyl version of the live album. Whether the same could be said for A Collection Of Great Dance Songs we can’t readily say, given a dog-eared copy still lurks in this writer’s record collection. But there’s no faulting the quality of the material that the record actually contains.