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Roger Waters|Amused To Death

Amused To Death

Roger Waters

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War is Roger Waters' great muse, the impetus for so much of his work, including the semi-autobiographical 1979 opus The Wall. The Final Cut, his last album with Pink Floyd, functioned as an explicit sequel to The Wall, but 1992's Amused to Death acts as something of a coda, a work where Waters revisits his obsessions -- both musical and lyrical -- and ties them together with the masterful touch of a mature artist. Certainly, Waters' narrative of a society filtering all manners of ugliness through a television screen isn't as sci-fi silly as that of its immediate predecessor Radio K.A.O.S., but a greater point in its favor is that it's a richer affair than that stiff, synthesized relic of the late '80s. Working with Patrick Leonard -- a veteran collaborator of Madonna's who also dabbled with the latter-day David Gilmour-led Pink Floyd -- Waters gives Amused to Death forward momentum, an aspect conspicuously absent from the still, meditative The Final Cut and Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking, both of which seemed to be comprised of song poems. The tunes on Amused aren't quite hooky or melodic but they do have structure, as does the production by Waters, Leonard, and Nick Griffiths. The tapestry of found sounds, choirs, televisions, washes of organ, lonely acoustic guitars, and blues leads by Jeff Beck does recall Floyd at their '70s peak, but Amused to Death sounds grander and more expansive; it's a creature of the CD age, using up every one of its available 72 minutes. At this length, it's a mere ten minutes shorter than The Wall, and although it can sometimes feel indulgent, it never feels excessive. Unlike the other two Waters solo albums -- or The Final Cut, which is a Waters project masquerading as a Floyd album -- Amused to Death feels cohesive and complete as an anti-war rock opera. If it winds up being Waters' last original rock album, so be it: it is a masterpiece in the sense that it brings together all of his obsessions in one grand, but not unwieldy, package.

© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Amused To Death

Roger Waters

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1
The Ballad of Bill Hubbard
00:04:20

Roger Waters, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Producer - Patric Leonard, Keyboards, Percussion, Producer - Jeff Beck, Guitar - R. WATERS, Composer, Lyricist - Nick Griffiths, Co-Producer - Luis Conte, Percussion - Hayden Bendall, Engineer - Jerry Jordan, Engineer - Stephen McLaughlan, Engineer - MIKE BOSLEY, Assistant Engineer - Andy Bradfield, Assistant Engineer - Chris Brown, Assistant Engineer - Brian Burrows, Assistant Engineer - Ross Donaldson, Assistant Engineer - Steve Heinke, Assistant Engineer - John Lowson, Assistant Engineer - Marc Moreau, Assistant Engineer - Dary Sulich, Assistant Engineer - Roy Sweeting, Assistant Engineer - Jeremy Wheatley, Assistant Engineer - James Guthrie, Mixing Engineer - Sean O'Dwyer, Mixing Engineer - Alf Razzell (Royal Fusiliers), Mixing Engineer - Doug Sax, Mastering Engineer - Ron Lewter, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1992 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

2
What God Wants, Pt. I
00:06:00

Roger Waters, Associated Performer, Bass, Main Artist, Producer, Synthesizer - Patric Leonard, Keyboards, Producer - R. WATERS, Composer, Lyricist - Katie Kissoon - Nick Griffiths, Co-Producer - Doreen Chanter - Hayden Bendall, Engineer - N'Dea Davenport - Jerry Jordan, Engineer - Natalie Jackson - Kenneth Bowen, Conductor - Stephen McLaughlan, Engineer - MIKE BOSLEY, Assistant Engineer - Geoff Whitehorn, Guitar - Andy Bradfield, Assistant Engineer - Andy Fairweather Low, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar - Chris Brown, Assistant Engineer - Brian Burrows, Assistant Engineer - Graham Broad, Drums - Ross Donaldson, Assistant Engineer - Steve Heinke, Assistant Engineer - John Lowson, Assistant Engineer - Marc Moreau, Assistant Engineer - London Welsh Chorale, Associated Performer - Dary Sulich, Assistant Engineer - Roy Sweeting, Assistant Engineer - Randy Jackson, Bass - Jeremy Wheatley, Assistant Engineer - James Guthrie, Mixing Engineer - Sean O'Dwyer, Mixing Engineer - Doug Sax, Mastering Engineer - Ron Lewter, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1992 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

3
Perfect Sense, Pt. I
00:04:14

Roger Waters, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Producer - Patric Leonard, Producer - R. WATERS, Composer, Lyricist - Nick Griffiths, Co-Producer - Hayden Bendall, Engineer - Jerry Jordan, Engineer - Stephen McLaughlan, Engineer - MIKE BOSLEY, Assistant Engineer - Andy Bradfield, Assistant Engineer - Chris Brown, Assistant Engineer - Brian Burrows, Assistant Engineer - Ross Donaldson, Assistant Engineer - Steve Heinke, Assistant Engineer - John Lowson, Assistant Engineer - Marc Moreau, Assistant Engineer - Dary Sulich, Assistant Engineer - Roy Sweeting, Assistant Engineer - Jeremy Wheatley, Assistant Engineer - James Guthrie, Mixing Engineer - Sean O'Dwyer, Mixing Engineer - Doug Sax, Mastering Engineer - Ron Lewter, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1992 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

4
Perfect Sense, Pt. II
00:02:51

Roger Waters, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Producer, Synthesizer - Rogers Waters - P.P. Arnold - John Dupree, Arranger, Conductor - R. WATERS, Composer, Lyricist - Steve Lukather, Guitar - Rick DiFonso, Guitar - Bruce Gaitsch, Acoustic Guitar - B.J. Cole, Steel Guitar - Luis Conte, Percussion - Graham Broad, Drums - Brian MacLeod, Snare Drum - Patric Leonard, Associated Performer, Keyboards, Producer - Marv Albert, Associated Performer - James-Johnson, Bass - Nick Griffiths, Co-Producer - Hayden Bendall, Engineer - Jerry Jordan, Engineer - Stephen McLaughlan, Engineer - MIKE BOSLEY, Assistant Engineer - Andy Bradfield, Assistant Engineer - Chris Brown, Assistant Engineer - Brian Burrows, Assistant Engineer - Ross Donaldson, Assistant Engineer - Steve Heinke, Assistant Engineer - John Lowson, Assistant Engineer - Marc Moreau, Assistant Engineer - Dary Sulich, Assistant Engineer - Roy Sweeting, Assistant Engineer - Jeremy Wheatley, Assistant Engineer - James Guthrie, Mixing Engineer - Sean O'Dwyer, Mixing Engineer - Doug Sax, Mastering Engineer - Ron Lewter, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1992 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

5
The Bravery of Being Out of Range
00:04:44

Roger Waters, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Producer - Patric Leonard, Producer, Synthesizer - R. WATERS, Composer, Lyricist - Natlie Jackson - Nick Griffiths, Co-Producer - Lynn Fiddmont-Linsey - Hayden Bendall, Engineer - Tim Pierce, Guitar - Jerry Jordan, Engineer - Stephen McLaughlan, Engineer - Denny Fongheiser, Drums - MIKE BOSLEY, Assistant Engineer - Andy Bradfield, Assistant Engineer - Chris Brown, Assistant Engineer - John Pierce, Bass - Brian Burrows, Assistant Engineer - Ross Donaldson, Assistant Engineer - Steve Heinke, Assistant Engineer - John Lowson, Assistant Engineer - Marc Moreau, Assistant Engineer - Dary Sulich, Assistant Engineer - Roy Sweeting, Assistant Engineer - Jeremy Wheatley, Assistant Engineer - James Guthrie, Mixing Engineer - Sean O'Dwyer, Mixing Engineer - Doug Sax, Mastering Engineer - Ron Lewter, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1992 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

6
Late Home Tonight, Pt. I
00:04:01

Roger Waters, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Producer - Patric Leonard, Producer - R. WATERS, Composer, Lyricist - Nick Griffiths, Co-Producer - Hayden Bendall, Engineer - Jerry Jordan, Engineer - Stephen McLaughlan, Engineer - MIKE BOSLEY, Assistant Engineer - Andy Bradfield, Assistant Engineer - Chris Brown, Assistant Engineer - Brian Burrows, Assistant Engineer - Ross Donaldson, Assistant Engineer - Steve Heinke, Assistant Engineer - John Lowson, Assistant Engineer - Marc Moreau, Assistant Engineer - Dary Sulich, Assistant Engineer - Roy Sweeting, Assistant Engineer - Jeremy Wheatley, Assistant Engineer - James Guthrie, Mixing Engineer - Sean O'Dwyer, Mixing Engineer - Doug Sax, Mastering Engineer - Ron Lewter, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1992 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

7
Late Home Tonight, Pt. II
00:02:12

Roger Waters, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Producer - Patric Leonard, Producer - R. WATERS, Composer, Lyricist - Andy Fairweather Low, Guitar - Nick Griffiths, Co-Producer - Michael Kamen, Conductor, Orchestrator - Hayden Bendall, Engineer - Jerry Jordan, Engineer - Graham Broad, Drums, Percussion - Stephen McLaughlan, Engineer - Luis Conte, Percussion - MIKE BOSLEY, Assistant Engineer - Andy Bradfield, Assistant Engineer - Chris Brown, Assistant Engineer - National Philharomonic Orchestra Limited, Associated Performer - Brian Burrows, Assistant Engineer - James-Johnson, Bass - Ross Donaldson, Assistant Engineer - Steve Sidwell, Cornet - Steve Heinke, Assistant Engineer - John Lowson, Assistant Engineer - Marc Moreau, Assistant Engineer - Dary Sulich, Assistant Engineer - Roy Sweeting, Assistant Engineer - Jeremy Wheatley, Assistant Engineer - James Guthrie, Mixing Engineer - Sean O'Dwyer, Mixing Engineer - Doug Sax, Mastering Engineer - Ron Lewter, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1992 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

8
Too Much Rope
00:05:47

Roger Waters, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Producer - R. WATERS, Composer, Lyricist - Patric Leonard, Keyboards, Producer - Katie Kisson - Nick Griffiths, Co-Producer - Michael Kamen, Conductor, Orchestrator - Doreen Chanter - Hayden Bendall, Engineer - Jerry Jordan, Engineer - Geoff Whitehorn, Guitar - Stephen McLaughlan, Engineer - Andy Fairweather Low - MIKE BOSLEY, Assistant Engineer - Luis Conte, Percussion - Andy Bradfield, Assistant Engineer - Graham Broad, Drums - Chris Brown, Assistant Engineer - Brian Burrows, Assistant Engineer - Ross Donaldson, Assistant Engineer - Jessica Leonard, Associated Performer - Steve Heinke, Assistant Engineer - Jordan Leonard, Associated Performer - John Lowson, Assistant Engineer - National Philharmonic Orchestra Limited, Associated Performer - Marc Moreau, Assistant Engineer - James-Johnson, Bass - Dary Sulich, Assistant Engineer - Roy Sweeting, Assistant Engineer - Jeremy Wheatley, Assistant Engineer - James Guthrie, Mixing Engineer - Sean O'Dwyer, Mixing Engineer - Doug Sax, Mastering Engineer - Ron Lewter, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1992 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

9
What God Wants, Pt. II
00:03:39

Roger Waters, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Producer - Patric Leonard, Keyboards, Producer - R. WATERS, Composer, Lyricist - Katie Kissoon - Nick Griffiths, Co-Producer - Doreen Chanter - Hayden Bendall, Engineer - Tim Pierce, Guitar - Jerry Jordan, Engineer - Andy Fairweather Low, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar - Stephen McLaughlan, Engineer - MIKE BOSLEY, Assistant Engineer - Graham Broad, Drums - Andy Bradfield, Assistant Engineer - Chris Brown, Assistant Engineer - Brian Burrows, Assistant Engineer - Randy Johnson, Bass - Ross Donaldson, Assistant Engineer - Steve Heinke, Assistant Engineer - John Lowson, Assistant Engineer - Marc Moreau, Assistant Engineer - Dary Sulich, Assistant Engineer - Roy Sweeting, Assistant Engineer - Jeremy Wheatley, Assistant Engineer - James Guthrie, Mixing Engineer - Sean O'Dwyer, Mixing Engineer - Doug Sax, Mastering Engineer - Ron Lewter, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1992 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

10
What God Wants, Pt. III
00:04:08

Roger Waters, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Producer - Patric Leonard, Keyboards, Producer - R. WATERS, Composer, Lyricist - Kenneth Bowen, Conductor - Nick Griffiths, Co-Producer - Michael Kamen, Conductor, Orchestrator - Hayden Bendall, Engineer - Geoff Whitehorn, Guitar - Jerry Jordan, Engineer - Luis Conte, Percussion - Stephen McLaughlan, Engineer - Graham Broad, Drums - MIKE BOSLEY, Assistant Engineer - Andy Bradfield, Assistant Engineer - Chris Brown, Assistant Engineer - London Welsh Chorale, Associated Performer - Brian Burrows, Assistant Engineer - National Philharmonic Orchestra Limited, Associated Performer - Ross Donaldson, Assistant Engineer - James-Johnson, Bass - Steve Heinke, Assistant Engineer - John Lowson, Assistant Engineer - Marc Moreau, Assistant Engineer - Dary Sulich, Assistant Engineer - Roy Sweeting, Assistant Engineer - Jeremy Wheatley, Assistant Engineer - James Guthrie, Mixing Engineer - Sean O'Dwyer, Mixing Engineer - Doug Sax, Mastering Engineer - Ron Lewter, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1992 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

11
Watching TV
00:06:06

Roger Waters, Acoustic Guitar, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Producer - Patric Leonard, Piano, Producer - R. WATERS, Composer, Lyricist - Don Henley - Nick Griffiths, Co-Producer - Guo Yi & The Peking Brothers, Bass, Dulcimer, Lute - Hayden Bendall, Engineer - Jerry Jordan, Engineer - Andy Fairweather Low, Acoustic Guitar - Stephen McLaughlan, Engineer - Jeff Beck, Electric Guitar - MIKE BOSLEY, Assistant Engineer - Andy Bradfield, Assistant Engineer - John Patitucci, Bass Guitar - Chris Brown, Assistant Engineer - Brian Burrows, Assistant Engineer - Ross Donaldson, Assistant Engineer - Steve Heinke, Assistant Engineer - John Lowson, Assistant Engineer - Marc Moreau, Assistant Engineer - Dary Sulich, Assistant Engineer - Roy Sweeting, Assistant Engineer - Jeremy Wheatley, Assistant Engineer - James Guthrie, Mixing Engineer - Sean O'Dwyer, Mixing Engineer - Doug Sax, Mastering Engineer - Ron Lewter, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1992 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

12
Three Wishes
00:06:52

Roger Waters, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Producer - Patric Leonard, Keyboards, Producer - R. WATERS, Composer, Lyricist - Katie Kissoon - Nick Griffiths, Co-Producer - Doreen Chanter - Hayden Bendall, Engineer - Tim Pierce, Guitar - Jerry Jordan, Engineer - Andy Fairweather Low - Stephen McLaughlan, Engineer - Luis Conte, Percussion - MIKE BOSLEY, Assistant Engineer - Graham Broad, Drums - Andy Bradfield, Assistant Engineer - Chris Brown, Assistant Engineer - Brian Burrows, Assistant Engineer - James-Johnson, Bass - Ross Donaldson, Assistant Engineer - Steve Heinke, Assistant Engineer - John Lowson, Assistant Engineer - Marc Moreau, Assistant Engineer - Dary Sulich, Assistant Engineer - Roy Sweeting, Assistant Engineer - Jeremy Wheatley, Assistant Engineer - James Guthrie, Mixing Engineer - Sean O'Dwyer, Mixing Engineer - Doug Sax, Mastering Engineer - Ron Lewter, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1992 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

13
It's a Miracle Explicit
00:08:30

Roger Waters, Associated Performer, Bass, Main Artist, Producer - Patric Leonard, Piano, Producer, Synthesizer - R. WATERS, Composer, Lyricist - Jon Joyce - Nick Griffiths, Co-Producer - Stan Laurel - Hayden Bendall, Engineer - Jim Hass - Kenneth Bowen, Conductor - Jerry Jordan, Engineer - Stephen McLaughlan, Engineer - Jeff Beck, Guitar - MIKE BOSLEY, Assistant Engineer - Jeff Porcaro, Drums - Andy Bradfield, Assistant Engineer - Chris Brown, Assistant Engineer - Brian Burrows, Assistant Engineer - Ross Donaldson, Assistant Engineer - London Welsh Chorale, Associated Performer - Steve Heinke, Assistant Engineer - John Lowson, Assistant Engineer - James-Johnson, Bass - Marc Moreau, Assistant Engineer - Dary Sulich, Assistant Engineer - Roy Sweeting, Assistant Engineer - Jeremy Wheatley, Assistant Engineer - James Guthrie, Mixing Engineer - Sean O'Dwyer, Mixing Engineer - Doug Sax, Mastering Engineer - Ron Lewter, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1992 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

14
Amused to Death
00:09:06

Roger Waters, Acoustic Guitar, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Main Artist, Producer - Patric Leonard, Keyboards, Producer - Rita Coolidge - Nick Griffiths, Co-Producer - Alf Razzell - Hayden Bendall, Engineer - Katie Kissoon - Jerry Jordan, Engineer - Doreen Chanter - Stephen McLaughlan, Engineer - MIKE BOSLEY, Assistant Engineer - Geoff Whitehorn, Electric Guitar - Andy Bradfield, Assistant Engineer - Graham Broad, Drums - Chris Brown, Assistant Engineer - Brian Burrows, Assistant Engineer - Ross Donaldson, Assistant Engineer - James-Johnson, Bass - Steve Heinke, Assistant Engineer - John Lowson, Assistant Engineer - Marc Moreau, Assistant Engineer - Dary Sulich, Assistant Engineer - Roy Sweeting, Assistant Engineer - Jeremy Wheatley, Assistant Engineer - James Guthrie, Mixing Engineer - Sean O'Dwyer, Mixing Engineer - Doug Sax, Mastering Engineer - Ron Lewter, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1992 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Album review

War is Roger Waters' great muse, the impetus for so much of his work, including the semi-autobiographical 1979 opus The Wall. The Final Cut, his last album with Pink Floyd, functioned as an explicit sequel to The Wall, but 1992's Amused to Death acts as something of a coda, a work where Waters revisits his obsessions -- both musical and lyrical -- and ties them together with the masterful touch of a mature artist. Certainly, Waters' narrative of a society filtering all manners of ugliness through a television screen isn't as sci-fi silly as that of its immediate predecessor Radio K.A.O.S., but a greater point in its favor is that it's a richer affair than that stiff, synthesized relic of the late '80s. Working with Patrick Leonard -- a veteran collaborator of Madonna's who also dabbled with the latter-day David Gilmour-led Pink Floyd -- Waters gives Amused to Death forward momentum, an aspect conspicuously absent from the still, meditative The Final Cut and Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking, both of which seemed to be comprised of song poems. The tunes on Amused aren't quite hooky or melodic but they do have structure, as does the production by Waters, Leonard, and Nick Griffiths. The tapestry of found sounds, choirs, televisions, washes of organ, lonely acoustic guitars, and blues leads by Jeff Beck does recall Floyd at their '70s peak, but Amused to Death sounds grander and more expansive; it's a creature of the CD age, using up every one of its available 72 minutes. At this length, it's a mere ten minutes shorter than The Wall, and although it can sometimes feel indulgent, it never feels excessive. Unlike the other two Waters solo albums -- or The Final Cut, which is a Waters project masquerading as a Floyd album -- Amused to Death feels cohesive and complete as an anti-war rock opera. If it winds up being Waters' last original rock album, so be it: it is a masterpiece in the sense that it brings together all of his obsessions in one grand, but not unwieldy, package.

© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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