Pink Floyd’s legendary film, Live at Pompeii, makes its DVD debut on 20 Oct 2003. The Director's Cut of Live at Pompeii by director Adrian Maben contains additional new and archive footage that has never been seen before.
Live at Pompeii was filmed in October 1971 at the ancient Roman amphitheatre, amid the ruins of Pompeii, which lies in the shadow of the still-active volcano of Mount Vesuvius. It catches Pink Floyd at a pivotal moment in their career, just before the release of their ‘Meddle’ album that broke them from an underground cult band to a major rock group, hitting Number 3 in the UK charts.
The band – bassist Roger Waters, guitarist David Gilmour, keyboard player Richard Wright and drummer Nick Mason – are seen performing ‘One Of The Days’ and ‘Echoes’ from the ‘Meddle’ album, songs that would form the cornerstone of their impressive live shows over the next few years. They also play classic songs from their earlier, psychedelic past including ‘’A Saucerful Of Secrets’, ‘Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun’ and ‘Careful With That Axe Eugene’.
Director Adrian Maben chose to film Pink Floyd in the deserted amphitheatre as a deliberate contrast to the traditional in-concert rock movie. The walls of the amphitheatre give the sound a special resonance while the volcanic antics of Mount Vesuvius provided an awesome backdrop for the band’s experimental, progressive music. The film also includes a never-released Pink Floyd song, ‘Mademoiselle Nobs’, featuring an Afghan hound on vocals.
Live at Pompeii also includes rare and historic footage of Pink Floyd at work in London’s Abbey Road Studio early in 1972, recording tracks for ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ which would become one of the most successful rock albums ever released. It remained in the American Billboard Top 200 continuously from March 1973 to October 1988. To date the album has sold over 30 million copies worldwide with the total rising by around 200,000 a year.
When Live at Pompeii was premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in September 1972, ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ was still six months away from being released. By the time the film went on general release in 1974, however, Pink Floyd were superstars. They followed the phenomenal success of ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ with ‘Wish You Were Here’ (1975), ‘Animals’ (1977) and ‘The Wall’ (1979) that spent an extraordinary 15 weeks at the top of the American charts. Their spectacular concerts now featured crashing airplanes, flying pigs and giant inflatables, not to mention a 30-foot wall that divided the band from the audience.