I wandered onto YouTube last night and amid the “new releases” there was a video of “Comfortably Numb” by Roger Waters. Liking both the artist and the song, I innocently hit play.
Not because it was part of his live show, as other videos indicate. This seems effective for a concert performance and I would have loved to have experienced it.
Not because of the chilling apocalyptic visuals, though they are worth seeing, so go to YouTube and search “Roger Waters Comfortably Numb 2022” to enjoy more than these screen grabs.
What awes me is the music. We have known this song for 42 years, yet here it gets a rebirth. From the dramatic opening thunder to the sparse and spooky production (mostly keyboards, soft bass and drums, voice overs, Waters’ near whisper, an “oohing” chorus, and a female vocalist whose plaintive power and range replaces guitar leads), this recording is gripping and feels incredibly current.
This iteration of “Comfortably Numb” also inspires the irrational fan in me, one I thought I had long outgrown. The thought rose by mid-song, and only strengthened in the face of all logic with each repeat viewing.
“I want Roger Waters to release a version of The Wall done like this, right now!”
My allegedly mature side argued the impossibility of this request. But as I found myself inside the music, the fan in me ridiculously argued, “He can do it like Taylor Swift re-recorded her first albums!”
That is not going to happen (he only released it as a single and I’ve heard zero about any further plans, sadly), though, my inner fanboy voice screams, it is a great dream to have, and, based on this recording, the possibilities would be astounding. At least we can enjoy this amazing version. Wear headphones. The mix is so worth experiencing.
Give it a few plays, especially on Thanksgiving morning before the relatives arrive.