We all have one somewhere in our collection. An album that we love but the would-be tastemakers of rock and roll say we should shun like the plague. Some think Dylan‘s Self Portrait is a masterpiece. There are people who like the Stones‘ Dirty Work. Why, I know someone who actually thinks that Anderson, Wakeman, Bruford, and Howe is the greatest Yes album ever. I question his sanity, even as a devoted Yes fan myself, but there you are.
The year is 1987. Things were ugly in the Pink Floyd camp. Roger Waters and David Gilmour were no longer on speaking terms, Richard Wright was tooting up coke on his sailboat, and Nick Mason was polishing his prized and enviable classic car collection. Nothing had been done since the release of the tepid and strained The Final Cut, in 1983, and Floyd seemed to have come to a bitter and acrimonious end. However, something unexpected happened. Gilmour had been working on a solo album, but he changed his mind and devoted his efforts to a revived Pink Floyd. Against admonishments by Roger Waters, he brought Mason and Wright back on board, brought in The Wall collaborator Bob Ezrin to produce, and released A Momentary Lapse of Reason in September. Waters snorted in derision as he prepared a lawsuit over Gilmour’s seemingly unauthorized use of the Pink Floyd name. Reviewers were not kind but buyers didn’t care: the album was a multi-platinum smash and the subsequent tour was a monster.
To this day, people have written off A Momentary Lapse of Reason as weak and unimaginative fake Pink Floyd,a glorified Gilmour solo album, and a patchwork affair overly dependent on outside help. Never mind that Pink Floyd used soul-sister vocal sweetening, guest vocalists, and horn players since Dark Side of the Moon, not to mention an orchestra on The Wall. Ignore the fact that The Final Cut was basically a Roger Waters solo album with Mason and Gilmore as backing musicians and Wright left out in the cold. Me? I think Reason, while not perfect, is a pretty good album overall that largely manages to capture the grandeur and weight of latter-day Pink Floyd at its best. I’d rather listen to it than The Final Cut, Atom Heart Mother, and at least half of The Wall.
So what do you folks think about A Momentary Lapse of Reason? Also, what other album do you love that you’re supposed to hate?