Back Against the Wall follows the original running order of The Wall (Except for "Goodbye Blue Sky,”).
Aditionally, this recording includes a listing for CD2 - track 14 Isn't This Where We Came In. This is the track which closes the movie of The Wall howerver this track is a phantom and is not actually on this CD release.
This CD is listed as Re-Building The Wall - A Tribute To Pink Floyd at The Orchard and on EMusic. They are the same albums but Rebuilding (which is listed separately on Proggnosis) was issued in 2007 and has 2 extra tracks and improved sound quality.
It is not hard to believe in the real quality of this tribute. I think that a simple look at the artist list that has contributed to the album will be enough to raise expectations to a high level, and fortunately those expectations are matched when we start listening to this version of The Wall.
One of the things that make this version a winner is the fact that Billy Sherwood was able to maintain the balance and focus of the original album, by avoiding the sense of different bands playing each track. In fact, the whole album seems to be played by the same band, despite the change in guest musicians.
The other winning factor is that the producer here does not strive to make completely new and different versions from the original recording, as he has chosen to maintain the exact spirit and even basic playing of the tracks, adding them with more subtle and intelligent variations than obvious and structural ones.
Those subtle details are the prime source of pleasure for the listener, especially if he is very well acquainted with the original (as I am), for they offer interesting and enjoyable variations on the music, sometimes even having the merit of improving the original. These are the cases of, and narrowing the number of examples: the flute solo of Ian Anderson in The Thin Ice and Is There Anybody Out There?, the acoustic guitar of Steve Howe in the awesome version of Vera or Rick Wakeman’s Piano on Nobody Home, which finally provides the mentioned (in the lyrics) Grand Piano to “prop up his mortal remains” !!!
If in most cases the versions are quality equals to the originals, and we can even find some winners, there are exceptions where the tracks just don’t sound as good as they should. But these is a rare case in this album, and it only really applies (in my opinion) to Young Lust and Run Like Hell.
There are many delicious details in this The Wall version, but one of the most amusing things in my listening experience was the waiting for the guitar solo in Mother. As I was listening to the album, I noticed that almost all solos had slight differences to the original David Guilmour ones. So considering that the guitar solo in Mother is for me one of the most beautiful and best achieved solos in Rock history, I was very curious to discover what Adrian Bellew might do here. Well, apparently Adrian must have a very similar opinion to mine, as he has chosen not to change the solo a bit. Instead, he prolonged it a bit….This has put a big smile on my face, really!
I would also emphasize the excellent interpretation of the Actor Malcolm MacDowell (most famous from his work in the cult movie Orange Cloxkwork) in the The Trial.
Well, this has turned out to be an exceptional version of the Rock Opera Masterpiece The Wall, and easily surpassed in quality terms all other Pink Floyd Tributes I have heard in the past.
All was done with care and obvious love for the original, and all the exceptional players involved clearly showed that they cherish the album and wanted to positively contribute to the remaking of a true classic. They have done it with respect and talent, and so the result is pure and passionate.
Nothing more to add than saying that, if you like the Original, you will also Love this version. A must buy!