There was speculation that Roger Waters
would created a sequel to his 1987 album "Radio K.A.O.S." During breaks in his "K.A.O.S." tour, he recorded some material at Nassau's Compass Point Studios and The Billiard Room, the recording studio in his Barnes, West London, house. With a tentative release date of 1989, the album was to be named "Amused to Death," and even had an album cover design already in the works. Created by Gerald Scarfe
("The Wall," "The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking"), it showed three men drowning in a martini glass. Those with even a passing knowledge of Pink Floyd, didn't have to think too hard to realize who the three represented.
Eventually, the project would be put on hold when Waters became disenchanted with his record label. A few years later, 1992, the album would finally be released. While the title, taken from Neil Postman
's book, "Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business," was the same, Waters abandoned his original plans to continue the tale started in "Radio K.A.O.S."
Instead, the album would be a collection of numbers focused on the violent and political side of the world, including everything from World War I to the Tiananmen Square incident. It would reach the 21st position on the Billboard album chart in the United States.
The album was produced by Waters with Patrick Leonard
, who had done work on the post-Waters Pink Floyd's "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" (1987), and sports many guests. Most notably, guitarist Jeff Beck
makes appearances on a few tracks; Don Henley
(Eagles) sings back-up on "Watching TV"; Rita Coolidge
appears on the title track; and sportscaster Marv Albert
shows up on "Perfect Sense, Part II."
The album was reissued on July 24, 2015, as a Surround Sound Blu-ray disc, and a remastered CD, by James Guthrie
Around the time of the reissue, Floydian Slip's Craig Bailey
hosted a syndicated radio special devoted to the album, which includes extensive interview material with Waters and selections from the album's 14 tracks.
Listen to excerpts from the show and read the complete transcript