I logged into my Napster account for the first time in forever (figured I am paying for it, so may as well use it). I read a quick review of the Echoes best of Pink Floyd album where the guy rips the Division bell and Final Cut albums (both of which are represented on the compilation). He calls the D-Bell “decidedly mediochre” and that kind of pisses me off.
True, Pink Floyd music is not really suited for the “best of” format. They are concept album masters as everyone knows. The songs flow into each other and have meaning as a whole, with the possible exception of the soundtracks they recorded.
The thing that pisses me off is that the Division Bell is, in my humble Pink Floyd fanatic opinion, one of their finest, with or without Roger Waters. It is an album like The Wall, or DSOTM, or WYWH that takes you through a variety of moods and cleverly expressed lyrics combined with well done music.
I think that D-Bell is one of the better albums musically, as there are parts in The Wall that you really have to be in the mood to hear if you just let it play (“The Trial” for example). I have always maintained that Roger is the writer and Dave is the music and voice of Floyd, but the band is enjoyable in any and all iterations, including the Syd era stuff. The band have evolved from the Syd era, through the Roger era, and into the Dave era. I doubt they will ever produce anything new again, but they probably will play together again in the future (in some Live 8 type of cause).
The point is, a band that endures change like a Floyd or a Van Halen offers the fans something new to keep the interest alive. Different, yes, but better or worse, I don’t think so. If you look at it as a whole body of work from start to finish, era to era, you see the evolution and change, and all of it can be enjoyed because all of it speaks to you in different ways–one song or album fits one mood, and so on. Why would you want the same thing over and over again? If you want that, buy the Def Leopard or AC/DC library. Otherwise, thank bands like Pink Floyd for the solid foundation and many years of evolving music that has the ability to “speak” to your many moods, feelings, and your own evolution as a person. Dammit.