Pink Floyd's reworked A Momentary Lapse Of Reason fails to fly

The remixed version of Pink Floyd's A Momentary Lapse Of Reason from the 2019 The Later Years box set released in 360 reality audio

ink Floyd: A Momentary Lapse Of Reason (2019 remix) cover art
(Image: © PLG)

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A Momentary Lapse Of Reason (1987) was the first album released by Pink Floyd following the departure of Roger Waters who, as the group’s principal creative architect, assumed they could no more continue without him than The Experience could minus Jimi Hendrix

David Gilmour, however, begged to differ. He re-recruited keyboardist Rick Wright on a wage, brought back in Nick Mason and also co-composed with outsiders including Phil Manzanera and Anthony Moore. 

The 2019 reworkings were designed to honour the late Wright by restoring some of his original keyboard contributions, while Nick Mason re-recorded new drum tracks. 

Gilmour had at the time described his collaborators as “catatonic” but these updated versions are designed to restore a Floyd-like balance and redress that insult. The album received mixed reviews, understandably. 

Signs Of Life flickers and stirs at a very leisurely pace, a firefly weave of early morning guitar phrases and keyboards, while Learning To Fly, inspired by the aviation lessons Gilmour was taking at the time, is strangely non-aerial, barely ascending above the turgid. 

Gilmour musters some passion on The Dogs Of War but Yet Another Movie and Terminal Frost are Floyd ordinaire. The too-brief A New Machine, parts one and two are the best moments, Gilmour’s voice triggering and shadowed by electronic effects in a unique, suspenseful meld. 

And the album would prove a commercial triumph, proof of the power of the Pink Floyd brand, which elevated what was essentially a Gilmour solo album into an international success.

David Stubbs

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.