- All of it.
A short piece of it may have survived as the 33 seconds or so as the transition between “Bring The Boys Back Home” and “Comfortably Numb”.
Co-producer James Guthrie worked on mixes and overdubs for two versions in a long, 14-hour session at Producers Workshop.
“Overture for Comfortably Numb” is an unreleased track from the original Wall recording sessions. Very little is known about this unused track, yet pieces of it may (or may not…) have been hiding in plain sight.
What we know for certain is that the track was recorded for the album. On October 9, 1979, co-producer James Guthrie worked on mixes and overdubs for two versions of the track in a long, 14-hour session at Producers Workshop in Hollywood, California. After that, the track is never mentioned again in the session logs. It’s assumed that the track would have preceded “Comfortably Numb” on Side 3 of the album. According to David Gilmour, “The whole side three bit with the orchestra all got shortened radically,” and it would stand to reason that “Overture…” was a casualty of that.
It did not appear on Waters’ original Wall demo (even “Comfortably Numb” itself came along later). It was also never listed as part of any of the three band production demos spanning January 9 through August 12, 1979.
As far as we know, it’s never been released or performed in any form. It doesn’t appear on the Immersion box set or any of The Wall Demo bootlegs.
A short piece of it may have survived as the 33 seconds or so of the cacophony of sound in the transition between “Bring The Boys Back Home” and “Comfortably Numb” on the album.
Another short piece of the music may have been performed live one time only by Roger Waters on April 1, 1992. During his short, 5-song set for the Concert for Walden Woods, about 36 seconds of a previously-unreleased instrumental precedes “Comfortably Numb”. Unlike the chaotic soundscape from the The Wall album, this piece is tranquil, airy and organic sounding with none of the album’s sound effects — almost like, well, a pond in the wood. This may be less a piece of “Overture for Comfortably Numb” and more to do with the fact that Roger was performing with Don Henley’s backup band (along with Andy Fairweather-Low) and may not have been able to secure or integrate the original sound effects. It’s an interesting piece of music nonetheless. Although MTV network filmed the concert, Roger’s performance was never released commercially in its entirety. A fairly decent audience recording of the performance surfaced in 2005 and the CD Coming Back To Life by Don Henley and Friends can be found where such recordings are found.
Last update: December 20, 2017