- The Final Cut finally returns on vintage British vinyl with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout – reasonably quiet vinyl too
- Both sides are transparent, with excellent presence, and plenty of Tubey Magic, the kind that can only be found on the best vintage vinyl pressings
- Some of the copies we played had a tendency to sound dry and sterile, even analytical, but this one had the lovely analog warmth we were looking for
- “This may be art rock’s crowning masterpiece, but it is also something more. With The Final Cut, Pink Floyd caps its career in classic form, and leader Roger Waters — for whom the group has long since become little more than a pseudonym — finally steps out from behind the ‘Wall’ where last we left him.”
Everything we’ve looked for in a great copy of The Final Cut is here: incredible immediacy; punchy lows; extended highs; spaciousness and transparency; depth to the soundfield and so forth. In a word, the sound on this copy is POWERFUL — an excellent way to experience this music!
If you weren’t a fan of The Wall, I can’t imagine this one is going to be your cup of tea, but Pink Floyd fanatics will likely be very happy with the sound we found on this copy. Most of them we played weren’t anything like this!
This vintage Harvest UK pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.
What the Best Sides of The Final Cut Have to Offer Is Not Hard to Hear
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes even as late as 1983
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
What We’re Listening For on The Final Cut
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
- The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
The Post War Dream
Your Possible Pasts
One of the Few
The Hero’s Return
The Gunners Dream
Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert
The Fletcher Memorial Home
The Final Cut
Not Now John
Two Suns in the Sunset
Rolling Stone 5 Star Review
This may be art rock’s crowning masterpiece, but it is also something more. With The Final Cut, Pink Floyd caps its career in classic form, and leader Roger Waters — for whom the group has long since become little more than a pseudonym — finally steps out from behind the “Wall” where last we left him. The result is essentially a Roger Waters solo album, and it’s a superlative achievement on several levels.
Not since Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War” twenty years ago has a popular artist unleashed upon the world political order a moral contempt so corrosively convincing, or a life-loving hatred so bracing and brilliantly sustained. Dismissed in the past as a mere misogynist, a ranting crank, Waters here finds his focus at last, and with it a new humanity. And with the departure of keyboardist Richard Wright and his synthesizers — and the advent of a new “holophonic” recording technique — the music has taken on deep, mahogany-hued tones, mainly provided by piano, harmonium and real strings. The effect of these internal shifts is all the more exhilarating for being totally unexpected. By comparison, in almost every way, The Wall was only a warm-up.
The Final Cut began as a modest expansion upon the soundtrack of the film version of The Wall, with a few new songs added and its release scheduled for the latter half of 1982. In the interim, however, the movie, a grotesquely misconceived collaboration between Waters and director Alan Parker, was released to a general thud of incomprehension. Around the same time, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, irked by the unseemly antics of an Argentine despot, dispatched British troops halfway around the world to fight and die for the Falkland Islands.
That event, coming in the wake of his failed film statement, apparently stirred Waters to an artistic epiphany. Out of the jumbled obsessions of the original Wall album, he fastened on one primal and unifying obsession: the death of his father in the battle of Anzio in 1944. Thus, on The Final Cut, a child’s inability to accept the loss of the father he never knew has become the grown man’s refusal to accept the death politics that decimate each succeeding generation and threaten ever more clearly with each passing year to ultimately extinguish us all.
The album is dedicated to the memory of the long-lost Eric Fletcher Waters, and in one of its most memorable moments, his now-middle-aged son bitterly envisions a “Fletcher Memorial Home for incurable tyrants and kings,” one and all welcome, be they pompous butchers in comic-opera uniforms or smug statesmen in expensive suits. He presents a ghastly processional: “… please welcome Reagan and Haig/Mr. Begin and friend, Mrs. Thatcher and Paisley/Mr. Brezhnev and party…. And,” he coos, “now adding color, a group of anonymous Latin American meat packing glitterati.” With these “colonial wasters of life and limb” duly assembled, Waters inquires, with ominous delicacy: “Is everyone in?/Are you having a nice time?/Now the final solution can be applied.”