The Pink Floyd classic gets an apocalyptic makeover.

Since David Gilmour decided Roger Waters, one of Pink Floyd’s founding members, wasn’t allowed access to the band website or social media, it appears Waters has taken a Taylor Swift-esque approach to releasing the band’s music. They are his songs, after all.

Waters has been performing Pink Floyd’s classic Comfortably Numb on near enough every tour he’s done since the song came out in the 1979 album The Wall. It’s usually an encore, getting the audience up and moving, sometimes shouting in joy, nearly always crying. However, for This Is Not A Drill, his latest tour, Waters has chosen to open the entire show with a much darker, spookier version to emphasise the name of the concert.

The live version is its own thing, but Waters has solidified it in rock history with a studio recorded single, titled Comfortably Numb 2022. The song clocks in at eight and a half minutes, and seems to be a completely different entity to its original self. The whole thing has been pitched a full step down, and the two signature David Gilmour guitar solos have been replaced by a stunning screamed vocal performance not unlike The Great Gig in the Sky, from 1973’s The Dark Side of the Moon.

Waters’ signature sound effect of dogs barking in his songs is surprisingly not present here, but if you want to hear him answering a phone call then you’re in for a treat. The screeching seagull-like guitar first heard in Pink Floyd’s 1971 epic Echoes also makes an appearance, and some audio snippets from a television broadcast. The scary atmosphere of dread in this track is undeniable, and the thunder and lightning will keep you on edge throughout.

The tour band is back as well! Jonathan Wilson can be heard on guitar and vocals, while Jon Carin provides synths. It’s a real group effort. For the music video, Sean Evans is also working his magic. It’s the visuals from the live show, with crowds of sullen humans aimlessly wandering in the streets as a pig circles a penthouse high up in the clouds. It’s signature Waters. Watch it below!

The original Comfortably Numb is a killer. The live versions are even better (particularly the one on 1988’s Delicate Sound of Thunder). Now, Roger has completely knocked them out of the park without overshadowing them. I think this one is a real winner.


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