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"The Wall" is the 11th studio album by British psychedelic rock band, Pink Floyd. It was released in 1979 and produced by Bob Ezrin, David Gilmour, James Guthrie and Roger Waters. The line-up for the album was David Gilmour (vocals/guitar), Roger Waters (vocals/bass), Nick Mason (drums) and Richard Wright (keyboards).
With a slightly more theatrical feel to it than Pink Floyd's other works, "The Wall" is one of the most widely recognized concept albums ever produced. The central character in this rock opera is a musician named Pink, who could be based on Roger Waters or possibly Syd Barrett. The story takes us from the loss of Pink's father during WWII, when Pink was still a child, through the years with his smotheringly over protective mother, emotionally and verbally abusive teachers, and into adulthood. In adulthood we see his marriage collapse, and the isolation he imposes on himself. Each song on the album tells of a moment or part of his life, and represents a brick in the wall he is building around himself.
There are three parts to "Another Brick in the Wall", which explore and explain different times of Pink's life that deeply affected him and contributed heavily to the wall he built around himself. "Another Brick in the Wall Part 1" is quiet, with soft vocals and a long guitar solo. Background effects are subdued, but contain wailing, shouting, children's voices and more. The song reflects the loss of Pink's father. "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2" is edgier, with stronger drums, a heavier bass line and incredible guitar. The use of children singing the chorus and sound effects of an overbearing, abusive teacher shouting at them tells of the effect Pink's school years had on him. "Another Brick in the Wall Part 3" begins slowly with a feeling of despair and builds into a frenzy of rage as the listener is exposed to just how Pink's life has left him a bitter man, full of sadness and anger, and helps us to understand why he is building the wall.
"Bring the Boys Back Home" begins with snare drums, includes an orchestra and choir, and has vocals that have been described as 'melodic shouting'. The song has a slightly military feel to it, and reflects the time when the soldiers were returning from war, being greeted by loving family members. Pink had no father returning to him, leaving him feeling even more lonely and isolated than before. Up to that time there could be a glimmer of false hope, since although he was told his father was dead, he could pretend there was a chance of him returning.
Pink's battle to cope with the world around him and his desire to be left alone is told in "Comfortably Numb". His doctor is trying to get him medicated enough to perform, and he is sitting in his hotel in a nearly unconscious state. This song contains some of the best guitar solos on the album, or any Pink Floyd album.
While listening to the album, you get the sense that Pink's life has been a series of one sad event after another, and you start to feel for him. This masterful album is well thought out and performed as only the creative genius of the members of Pink Floyd could make it. The addition of the sound effects they chose for each song adds another dimension to each one and rounds out the feel of the story. It is an album anyone of any age could listen to, and enjoy, not just for the music, but for the story being told. I highly recommend it to anyone.
1. In the Flesh?
2. The Thin Ice
3. Another Brick in the Wall Part 1
4. The Happiest Days of Our Lives
5. Another Brick in the Wall Part 2
7. Goodbye Blue Sky
8. Empty Spaces
9. Young Lust
10. One of My Turns
11. Don't Leave Me Now
12. Another Brick in the Wall Part 3
13. Goodbye Cruel World
1. Hey You
2. Is There Anybody Out There?
3. Nobody Home
5. Bring the Boys Back Home
6. Comfortably Numb
7. The Show Must Go On
8. In the Flesh
9. Run Like Hell
10. Waiting For the Worms
12. The Trial
13. Outside the Wall
My rating: 10/10
The BBC has just hosted a Pink Floyd night and with my return to the world of reviewing, I thought I'd take some time to celebrate and review one of my favourite albums of all time: Pink Floyd's 'The Wall'.
This album was the first Pink Floyd album that I ever listened to. I was enamoured with it for weeks but soon moved on from this album to explore their earlier works, including some of their more abstract and experimental albums. However, I always returned to 'The Wall'.
Undeniably, most Floyd fans will sing praises of the 'Dark Side of the Moon' and understandably so - it was an album which raised their standing from a group of talented experimentalist musicians to Mozarts of the rock world. The album's success was stratospheric and it has been included in top 10 album lists since.
Nevertheless, 'The Wall' will always be my favourite Pink Floyd album. It certainly is the most accessible of all their albums, quite a departure from their lengthier experimental music. However, I don't love it because it is more accessible. I love it because the way in which the story and melodies are weaved throughout the whole album. Each song, telling part of the story, is iconic and memorable in its own way. Even without the film or a stadium show, it is an album which resonates on a theatrical level through the music alone.
'The Wall' is the rock opera of all rock operas. It tells the story of a character 'Pink' (loosely based upon bassist/vocalist Roger Waters) and his progression through a difficult childhood with abusive teachers, an absent father (killed in WW2), an overprotective mother and the latter breakdown of his marriage. He experiences an adulthood troubled by his past, by insanity and by drug abuse (surely references to past band member Syd Barrett?). Unable to deal with his life's troubles, Pink begins to build up a metaphorical wall, isolating himself from society and the world around him.
Musically, the album is an absolute delight. The opening track, 'In the Flesh?' is possibly one of my most favourite rock tracks of all time. I will never forget seeing Roger Waters perform this live in May this year. This song features a powerful and explosive guitar part that never fails to move me. Seen live, it made my hair stand on end and gave me goosebumps. The track itself introduces the narration of Pink, an individual who has begun to create a divide between him and the world. Pink assumes the persona of a fascist dictator and the audience participate in a twisted political rally. It is a song that builds up to a furious climax with the sound of a dive bomber followed by a baby's cries. This is reference to the death of Pink's father during the war, followed by Pink's birth soon after. It introduces one of the many difficult influences upon his life.
Every track on this album is memorable in its own way and integral to telling each part of Pink's story. Amongst the tracks, is the iconic 'Another Brick in the Wall Part 2' - unforgettable with its distinct disco beat, bass line, guitar sound and children's choir. It is an empowering song even if you feel no real reason to be empowered. A protest song with a rebellious spirit, the lyrics surely resonate with an older generation, when (as my dad has told me) teachers were more inclined to be unkind and corporal punishment was a popular form of discipline.
'Another Brick in the Wall' is a powerful song because it is all about standing up to the status quo. Upon its release, this was recognized by Non White protestors in South Africa who adopted it as the anthem of their nationwide school boycott which resulted in the ban of the song by the South African government.
Another iconic song on the album is 'Comfortably Numb', featuring the soothing vocals and amazing guitar solos of David Gilmour. This is a song which revolves around the idea that Pink is losing a battle and is continuing to shut himself off completely from the world around him. This song is firm favourite of many Pink Floyd fans. Just as Pink loses himself, it's easy to lose yourself listening to this song...
The next two songs which I am going to mention are personal favourites of mine. The first is 'Run like hell'. Following the reprise of 'In the Flesh', Pink has struck up the audience into such a frenzy they have grown into a furious mob. During the 'In the Flesh' tour of 1977 Roger Waters developed an animosity towards the crowds at their gigs and began to feel a sense of alienation towards those around them. An altercation with an audience member provoked him to spit on them and a bit of scandal surrounded this incident. As a result, Waters expressed a desire for an imaginary wall to be erected between the fans and the band so that they could enjoy their music without actually interacting with each other. It was through this idea of an imaginary wall that the concept of the album 'The Wall' was born.
I view the songs 'In the Flesh' and 'Run like Hell' as a sort of derisive commentary about mindless worship that can occur amongst crowds, such as at rock concerts. These fans are caught up in a frenzy, portraying an unnerving, almost violent, adoration of the band. This mindless adoration is one that resembles the relationship between a fascist dictator and his loyal followers. Within Pink's fascist dictatorship, there is discrimination but it is not discrimination against race but discrimination against feeling, against emotions. Putting on his 'favourite disguise' and keeping his 'dirty feelings deep inside' Pink sets out to purge himself of all the emotions which have caused him trouble throughout his life.
The other song which I love on the album is 'The Trial'. I love it because it is like a piece of musical theatre, a genre of music I am passionate about. The song has a fabulous orchestral backing which is complemented by the introduction of Gilmour's appropriately menacing guitar part someway into the track. This has further confirmed my view that rock guitarists and orchestras need to play together more often.
Within the plot of the whole album, this song is the climax of the story, when Pink is at a breaking point psychologically and has built up the wall all around him. In his own mind, he hears the perspectives of a judge, his schoolmaster, his wife, his mother and of himself. Voiced rather interestingly by Roger Waters in various British dialects, each character represents certain influences upon his life that have caused him to build his mental barrier between those around them. In the end, Pink is forced to face the idea that is the guilty one, driven mad but accountable for the mess he has made of his own life and the negative affect he has had upon others. Facing his own guilt, the judge, a figment of his own imagination, tears down his metaphorical wall and he is left exposed to society in his weakened crazed form.
All in all, 'The Wall' is an epic 26 track masterpiece and there is not one track on there that I have a bad word to say about. It is certainly not the cheeriest of albums, melancholy all throughout and dealing with dark issues including mental illness, alienation, broken marriages and drug abuse. I would suggest that if you are easily depressed, don't sit yourself down to listen to 'The Wall'. Go listen to Reel Big Fish or the Beach Boys or something. In this album Pink is constantly facing his demons. His wall may very well have been destroyed towards the end of the album but rather than stand up to and overcome his problems, he sinks into a deeper, darker pit of despair. By 'Goodbye Cruel World' he seems to have wished farewell to society entirely. This is a rather depressing conclusion to such a dynamic album. Nevertheless, I still find the album to be strangely uplifting. This is no doubt due to the power of the music and the themes that run throughout it. Furthermore, whilst it is an album with great depth and thought-provoking lyrics, ignoring all of this it still is essentially a fantastic album with some of the greatest rock tracks of all time. You have tracks like 'In the Flesh' which has one of the most gripping and inspiring guitar parts I have heard and 'Another Brick in the Wall', with its distinct lyrics and musical backing which, undeniably, makes it one of the best rock songs of all time.
Excellent musicianship and thought-provoking lyrics combined, I consider 'The Wall' to be one of the most outstanding and influential albums of the 20th century.
*~Thank you very much for reading my review :-)~*
*~Also published on Ciao under 'Renza' - September 2011~*
Having sold millions of albums and conquered various packed stadium arenas on their 1977 'In The Flesh Tour', there really was very little else for Pink Floyd to achieve in terms of commercial success. However, commercial success doesn't always lead to positive feelings of purpose and creativity, and tensions between band members had become strained. Roger Waters felt perplexed by the sheer facelessness of the crowds he faced each night and how impersonal the whole 'rock star' thing had become, and this idea of a boundary between himself and much of the world had become the seed for the idea of 'The Wall'.
Whilst the coldness of the reality and the isolation it can bring was nothing new to Pink Floyd's work, the approach had always been one of almost third pary observations. Here, Waters tackles the subject head on in a fairly transparent ,semi-autobiographical manner. The concept revolves around the formative years and subsequent slip into isolation of the character 'Pink' (played by Bob Geldof in the accompanying film of the same name). As the album progresses, more 'bricks', i.e. traumatic experiences, are added to the wall being built between Pink and the society around him. An interesting idea in theory, but unfortunately Roger Waters is far more interesting when directing his scathing tongue towards societal injustice rather than recounting his own personal problems.
Spread over two discs and spanning over an hour, this album is an unfocused, downright miserable experience. Whereas 'Animals' was all anger, snarls and bile, this wallows in self pity and lacks any overall coherent structure. Musically, it simultaneously strips their sound down to a more focused 'rock group' sound on certain songs, yet throws in strings, horns, choirs, sound effects and disco beats to others. There is no overarching 'feel' here, and it seems as if ego perhaps overruled good sense to leave some of these songs on the cutting room floor. Songs like 'One of My Turns', 'Don't Leave Me Now' and 'Empty Spaces' really are forgettable and ultimately dreary with no element of catharsis, whereas the music-hall pomp of 'The Trial', 'Vera' and 'Bring the Boys Back Home' jut out in a confusing way. It also seems as though the band don't quite have the creative mileage to stretch it out to the full two discs either. The album, and possibly the band's, most famous song 'Another Brick in the Wall' is revisited three times, with the musical theme barely changing. Its disco-driven sound gave the band a hit single, but has become a bit of an albatross as it also grossly misrepresented them and their capabilities, in the same way 'Paranoid' did for Black Sabbath.
Yet it's not all bad, and there are flashes of brilliance that rise to the surface on occasion. 'Comfortably Numb' spoils us rotten as it contains two of Gilmour's most atmospheric guitar solos of his career. 'Run Like Hell' is a breathless frenzy, and 'Waiting for the Worms' is quite glorious with its maniacal, pseudo-Nazi scariness. Tellingly, Gilmour describes 'Comfortably Numb' as " the last embers of mine and Roger's ability to work collaboratively together" and it shows. The shifting, sonic landscapes that defined their sound on previous albums is missing here, mainly due to the lessened inclusion of Rick Wright. This is the sound of a band not working as a band any more.
It's quite a pricey album as it's a double, and you'll rarely see it for under £10. The artwork is great though, with satirical cartoonist Gerald Scarfe getting really stuck into caricaturing the various characters found in the storyline; the dicatatorial scholmaster morphing into a hammer, and the judge in 'The Trial' portrayed as no less than a giant, anthropomorphic backside.
I've tried to embrace this album, but find little to cling to in it. I'll most likely get virtually lynched with a load of 'not useful' ratings by Pink Floyd purists and fans of this album, but for me it doesn't stand up as the classic it's meant to be. I've since sold my copy and don't really regret it.
Quite often, the most thought provoking and outspoken albums come about from one individual moment that flicks a switch and marks a turning point along a road already laden with risks galore. Pink Floyd, probably the most famous progressive rock band, had arguably a number of turning points and pivotal moments throughout their extensive and public career, but one that was highly commercialised was the one that reportedly led to the concept for this album.
The lead up to this album being released saw some of the band members going their own way for a short while to concentrate on personal endeavours. Roger Waters had an altercation with a fan in the crowd, and ended up spitting in retaliation. It was well documented and he was portrayed as a bit of a public enemy for a short while. Angered, he spoke about wanting to put up an imaginary wall between the band and the general public, so that they could make the music, and enjoy it, and the public could experience the music whilst enjoying it, but without any interaction coming about as a result. Initially voicing a concern, what resulted was The Wall.
It's a large piece of work, to be honest, and is a double side CD, with 26 tracks in total. Waters' idea had to be pushed forward, and took a while, with plenty of projects thrust forward for inclusion. This may be the reason for so much being present, but what you do get is a lot of expression and emotion through instrumental prog rock as opposed to the usual experiences through the vocals. The Wall certainly skimps on vocals, and Pink Floyd, never a band known for using ten words where one would do, certainly lived up to this here, with some tracks extremely minimal in their lyrics. Waters himself penned a lot of it, and despite not being the frontman as much as Dave Gilmour was, it's perhaps his mental state that comes through more here, and I know that I associate the album more with him than necessarily with the rest of the band.
Musically, there's a lot of drawn out expression that starts straight away, the first track In The Flesh almost like a presentation introduction. It reminds me a little of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, where the album is a story of a show, and In The Flesh certainly wouldn't be out of place in introducing such a phenomenon. It finishes with sound effects as a plane whooshes over, and sound effects such as this are used throughout the album. I find it creates a bit of extra tension and atmosphere, and using it at the end of a track is almost as if Waters is presenting the song and then adding a drowning out sound immediatelt afterwards instead of acknowledging any audience that may be listening to it.
It's a slow start, but the familiarity on a commercial level creeps in with the third track, Another Brick In The Wall Part 1. This doesn't have the immortal lines featured in Part 2 about education, but reading into it there's a lot of reference to adult influences over children's lives and then continues it as a character going through life and facing a number of disappointments and being let down. It is reportedly an album that tells the tale of one character, Pink, and how he builds up a wall around him to protect him from harm.
I like albums that have a story. It makes it easier for the music to come together as more of a stage show production than just an eclectic collection of music that doesn't quite fit. This allows the band to have more licence to mix and match and dawdle, and what the album seems to present itself as is more like a bunch of mates having a jam session than anything else.
But don't let this fool you into thinking this is an album that's fun to listen to. The music may be sublime, but ultimately, it's a bit depressive. There's lots of talk about being let down or picked on, from the character's father leaving and not coming back during the War, over restrictive teachers, an unsupportive mother and a fickle wife. You can understand the isolation in the lyrics, particularly in tracks on the first disc such as Empty Spaces, which talks about not being able to fill the empty voids people sometimes leave. The first disc progresses to the point where you feel the character is going to do something rash, he is so lonely, and then it ends with the word 'Goodbye' at the end of the 13th track, Goodbye Cruel World.
The start of the second disc, however, is almost like giving yourself a pep talk. The somewhat more positive sounds come straight away, with Hey You a bit like a cry for help, saying that giving up is not an option after all. From here on in, the music is a lot more aggressive and determined, less thoughtful and has an air of positivity about it. Don't get me wrong, there are still heavy notes of disappointment and this is where the Wall in question gets examined in a bit more detail. Now the onus has flipped, and it's about trying to trust people, and how the Wall is the most important thing, but it blocks out not only those you want to get rid of, but also the ones who love you the most. The powerful lyrics of the last track, Outside The Wall, makes for compelling listening, and ends the album on an incredibly powerful note, really making you think about the protective bubbles we place around ourselves.
It's hard to talk about the individual tracks on here, as they all form part of a story. It's good to see an album which has things in a proper order, and that there is a reason for each word in each track. Here, there is no filler. Each track has its place, and is very open. Whether it deals with issues within the group or with Waters' issues with external people or forces, the emotion and honesty seem rather bold, and with constantly thought provoking and near depressive sounds from start to finish, it may have proved too much. Luckily, some of the tracks have a bit more of an upbeat and disco feel to them, with the electronic sound of the released Another Brick In The Wall single, as well as Comfortably Numb and The Trial (among others), making things a bit easier on the ear.
Themes run throughout, as I have said. It's a message to people, with a schoolmaster, a groupie and others featuring as spoken word for quite a few parts. I do highly recommend getting the album and listening to the lyrics whilst relaxing to the instrumentals and the emotional feel of the presentation. Don't get it out if you're getting ready for a night out: it's just not that sort of album. It's thought-provoking and, above all else, interesting. There's no doubting the ability of the individual band members, and the professionalism is there, despite it being a bit of a rant. The artwork is well done, too, for the album's presentation. It's minimalistic, with a white background and dark lines completing it as a wall. Its release in the late 1970s was met with great reverence, and still is today. Recommended.
... one of the biggest selling albums in history, and one that still provokes discussion by Pink Floyd fans. Was The Wall the last great Floyd album; the start of their decline; the point of no return; or the bands unsurpassed masterpiece?
Everything about this album smells of ambition. In many ways, its bass player / new vocalist Roger Waters personal pet project. From the unusual double album format (a 4-side LP in the olden days, later updated to double CD) to the repetition of themes in the lyrics and melodies to the appropriation of the bands name for the protagonist in the albums storyline, its almost as if Pink Floyd finally felt ready to record their magnum opus, six years after theyd already accidentally done that with Dark Side of the Moon.
The Pink Floyd sound is intentionally stripped down and simplified for The Wall, a departure from the extended jams and ambient instrumentals that typified their sound through the seventies. This shallow sound cant be blamed on the near-absence of keyboard player Rick Wright (who Waters fired during the making of this album) as the previous release Animals achieved a comparable atmosphere to the synth-heavy Wish You Were Here with only minimal use of keyboards, as did much of their early work. The style would seem to be a combination of Waters style-over-substance attitude, the focus being on his intelligent concept through the lyrics, and the desire to produce a more profitable and commercial album filled with shorter and simpler radio-friendly material, following the somewhat disappointing sales of Animals with its ten-minute-plus Orwellian rants. The concept of The Wall is intrinsically linked to its sound and overall style, more so perhaps than in any other big-selling album, and as such has to be dealt with in addition to the music itself.
1. In the Flesh?
2. The Thin Ice
3. Another Brick in the Wall part one
4. The Happiest Days of Our Lives
5. Another Brick in the Wall part two
7. Goodbye Blue Sky
8. Empty Spaces
9. Young Lust
10. One of My Turns
11. Dont Leave Me Now
12. Another Brick in the Wall part three
13. Goodbye Cruel World
The first disc is by far the more impressive of the two. The opening is strong, the songs are good and the pace doesnt let up for a long time, only losing my interest in the bleak section at the end. The Wall Disc One stands strong as an independent album, as the repetition of musical themes is successful (namely in the Another Brick in the Wall pieces) and the songs are varied enough in style and mood to make for a successful album. Even the all-important Pink Floyd concept draws to something of a conclusion here, though the existence of the second disc benefits the story greatly by offering solutions to the characters grief and presenting the consequences of his actions, elevating the concept above the cynical, world-weary rant it would have been at forty minutes.
Lyrically, disc one is a speedy scene-by-scene, brick-by-brick overview of Pinks formative years and experiences, the wailing babys birth immediately preceded by his fathers roaring plane crash and the lyrics dealing with school and an over-cautious mother. After track seven the listener (or even reader) is brought back to the present: Pink the rock star failing to find contentment living his dream and spiralling deeper into despair. The concept is cool, and its carried out well by the music, although its a shame that the brief and intriguing voice samples from early in the album give way to lengthy performance pieces later on, as in the opening to One of My Turns when Pink invites a groupie to his hotel room. The arbitrary, trivial criticisms of the insane headmaster in the early tracks are fun to listen to (how ken ya havany puddeng if ya dornt eat yer meat???) and theres some nice foreshadowing in the almost inaudible ringing phone.
Musically, disc one is loud, mid-tempo rock music that ranges from the grand opening chords to the anthemic Another Brick hit single to the quiet and reflective Mother and Goodbye Blue Sky to the mellow pop-rock of Young Lust and, finally, the drawn-out bleakness of Dont Leave Me Now and Goodbye Cruel World. The opening song is great and energetic, and although its a little disappointing that this power fades away so soon with the piano-led The Thin Ice, the Brick sections at least keep things bouncing and plodding along in a relatively satisfying way, even if that infamous school choir on Another Brick part two sounds pretty grating, especially at the high volume that the production of this album demands.
The stripped acoustic style of Mother works incredibly well, and the eruption into to Dave Gilmours guitar solo works perfectly, a feat that is sadly never achieved again in the course of this disc. Both One of My Turns and Dont Leave Me Now attempt the exact same thing, only the contrast between the quiet body of the song and the electric finale is more pronounced in these latter two, and the resulting solos and melodies are cut off before going anywhere interesting in both instances. This reliance on pointless volume-tinkering and a contrived electric guitar wow factor would later be one of many failings of the follow-up album, The Final Cut. In Gilmours praise, he makes excellent use of the limited time hes given on these later tracks, no matter how much they clearly demonstrate his losing position in the bands compromise with its control freak of a bass player.
1. Hey You
2. Is There Anybody Out There!
3. Nobody Home
5. Bring the Boys Back Home
6. Comfortably Numb
7. The Show Must Go On
8. In the Flesh
9. Run Like Hell
10. Waiting for the Worms
12. The Trial
13. Outside the Wall
While some of the second discs failings are down to loss of the initial enthusiasm listeners may have got a kick out of as they realised disc one was telling a story, there are also clear reasons why it fails in places as a strong album. For a start, the tracklist is deceptive and exaggerated: Is There Anybody Out There!, Bring the Boys Back Home and Stop are all mere interludes with very little merit either on their own or even in their positions on the album, although the first would have seemed more fitting as the opening for disc two, as was originally intended, continuing the hopelessness of disc ones finale rather than seemingly going backwards here after the more optimistic Hey You. It would be unfair to condemn Vera, The Show Must Go On and Outside the Wall as not being true songs just because theyre all very short also, but they are eclipsed by the longer and more worthwhile songs, which end up comprising only seven of the thirteen tracks.
The concept of disc two is predominantly routed in the present tense of the characters experiences, as he is forced to continue living and performing under medication, and reacts by abusing his position on stage by turning his concert into a fascist rally. Pink retreats into his own mind once again, this time to confront his demons, the bricks in his symbolic wall personified by the characters whose negligent attitudes were responsible for his descent. The ending is ambiguous: Pinks fate is unknown, but the Wall is audibly demolished and, of course, the CD loops back round to Pinks fathers death, the first brick, to begin construction all over again.
The musical style is even more varied than on the first disc, but this isnt necessarily a positive thing. Opener Hey You is my favourite on the album, a short but progressive song with a great rock chorus, effective contrast of moods and even a nice electric reprise of the Another Brick guitar riff for the first of several instances on this disc. The other hit singles are also the most prominent songs on this side, the sombre Gilmour classic Comfortably Numb, proof if any was needed that Pink Floyd was never all about Waters, and the disco beats of Run Like Hell, one that Im not so fond of. The music once again ties perfectly to the tone of the lyrics, the boost of energy that accompanies the protagonists performance permitting the sequel / prequel (it depends on your point of view) In the Flesh. It also means that anyone bored by the melancholic sound at the end of disc one can look forward to things improving as the second disc continues, the quieter acoustic pieces sounding more reflective and chilled out than dismal.
My main issue with the second disc is that the story is permitted and encouraged to completely overpower the music on several occasions. While Comfortably Numb is implicitly about injecting the character of Pink with some kind of drug so hes ready to perform, it could be about anything, and thats why people request it for their funerals. By complete contrast, The Trial is a disappointingly melodramatic conclusion to the album that offers very little in the way of musical entertainment and is mainly a chance for Waters to put on an even sillier Irish accent than usual and scream a lot. Bring the Boys Back Home also sounds very out of place, to the extent that I cant see where in music it could possibly have any place, and doesnt even succeed in making the point about cheery wartime propaganda that I guess its making. The song sounds really obstructive and annoying before Comfortably Numb, and could have been handled differently, in any other way, and been more pleasing. The albums true (but still disputed) finale is nice and pleasant.
The Wall doesnt match up to Dark Side of the Moon, its immediate rival within the bands discography. In fact, I dont think it matches up to much of their output prior to this, but I also think its a huge step above the dismal disappointment of the Waters-dominated The Final Cut, and the mediocre albums the band produced after his departure. Dark Side is an incredible listening experience that works from start to finish, while The Wall features too many slip-ups and inconsistencies, not to mention that its really stretched out at just over 80 minutes. Where Dark Side innovates new ways of sounding, The Wall deliberately rejects them and oversimplifies itself for consumers; unnecessarily, as the record buying public were already eager for anything with the Pink Floyd name.
At least there are some fantastic songs amidst the filler, especially those that are full band collaborations. Sadly, all the band members are restrained and consequently dont get to sound much like themselves, especially notable in Wrights diluted Hammonds (that nevertheless improve the album greatly) and Nick Masons reduction to time-keeping percussionist. Waters relies too much on understatement in the mistaken belief that low volume is somehow more meaningful than loud rock music (so what are those amps all about?), and this means that only around one-third of the albums softer pieces end up being good songs. The best cuts are In the Flesh? (and its similar, punctationless companion), Another Brick in the Wall part 2 (grudgingly), Mother, Goodbye Blue Sky, Hey You and Comfortably Numb, with perhaps Run Like Hell added if you like disco. The rest of the album is mostly nice, but acts as a bridge between the good stuff.
The lasting legacy of The Wall is that it gives attentive listeners a fair amount to think about. It cant all be about the depressed rock star plot, as the music has to back up the story with equal brilliance, and it mostly succeeds. While the jingoistic upbringing, rock star privileges and drug abuse motifs prevent this from being an everyman tale (imagine that. A whole generation of Roger Waterses. Depressing or what?), some aspects of the album are nicely open-ended for interpretation. Watching Alan Parkers 1982 film version of this album would probably help in spoiling it all for you with some kind of definitive message, but luckily I havent seen that.
Personally, I view some of the albums louder, more typical rock and roll moments such as In the Flesh and the Thin Lizzie esque Young Lust as being songs from the guitar and repertoire of (the fictional character) Pink Floyd, especially as the latter sounds so different and so much more consciously commercial and genre-based than anything else off the album. If Young Lust is indeed an ironic parody of the mellow, gravely voiced, swinging guitars hard rock style, its a damn good parody it was even released as a successful single! The album would have been even more impressive if more songs were open to interpretation, and things like the over-exposure of The Trial were watered down. The album should have been shorter.
Its not enough for the album to rely on the merits of its lyrical complexity, as this serves at best, giving a theoretical example (thats not at all based on my own experience ), to immediately wow listeners with its intelligence, have them reading all about it on the internet and then deciding that The Wall is one of their new favourite albums because its so clever, only to listen to it again at a later date and realise that the musics not actually that revolutionary or inspired at all. And feeling cheated by myself. I mean, themselves. The theoretical people that arent me. Its a nice gimmick to split a vocal sample over the end and then the beginning of the album, but that alone isnt necessarily enough to encourage cyclical playing.
Of course, this was a massive selling album and not everyone who owns it is going to be interested in burdening themselves with exploration of the concept. They just want good rock songs played by great musicians at their peak, and for this reason The Wall is ...
If there was ever an excellent conceptual album then The Wall by Pink Floyd surely is it. I first listened to The Wall around about a year ago, id heard a few of the songs, you know Another Brick In The Wall, like alot of people had and i liekd it it was a good song ya know, but until you listen too the full album you can't begin to understand what a master piece this album really is. The album is all about 'Pinky' a fictional character i supposed based around the idea of the band being one individual person rather than a band in some sense. It follows this Pinky from his childhood through to his personal battle with drugs, depression, a fixed sense of being an almighty and powerful rockstar, and he's got a mental load that building up inside and eating him away. His live starts as a young las trapped in a struck nation with a father lost to his duties within the war, and with a over possesive over protective mothet. His mother's over protection in a sense scuplts and mould Pinky in an over protected way. In essence Pinky starts to build his own mental world, which infact is more of a wall between him and the people around him in the world. Each event in his life seems to be a brick in the wall, each brick in turn is a memory and mental scar of the major events in his life. The loss of his father is one, his over protective mother, stardom, drug use, a turbulant, on the rocks kind of marriage. All theses thing link up to create was it the wall which Pink has built thanks to his own feelings, memories and dark shadows within his mind. In the end all of these events seem to accumulate and create a sort of look back and judgement of his own life, which results in some extremely emotional and depressing pictures and views of his life. Thats the basic story and plot shall i say of the album, as this album rather than being a collection of songs, as some albums can be, this is a album with meaning feeling and an a
lmost endless amount of links between each song and almost in essence life in general for some people. I find i can relate to alot of the songs in a sense, not down to a tea as i haven't been born into a war struck nation, but in a sense i have, we are going to war, war has happened, is happen and with corruption and al of the others issues in life alot of them link in a small way to the events of this album. In terms of the music within the album its great, with some excellent guitar riffs and some extremely chilling and emotional vocals it really is beutiful. Songs like In the flesh which is split into 2 parts and is a dramatic sort of view of a rockstar who's obbsesion with the power he has and the grasp he has on the fans. Its like a sort of similar thing to hitler, except Pink is the the hitler, and the fans are the Nazi germans. The songs deals with racial accepts of life of a phsycotic mad powerful leader and the views which he has. Using words like 'quere', 'coon', 'jew', 'one smoking a joint', 'one with spots' it in a sense is a stab at hitler but in a way related Pink to Hitler in that he is a power mad pshycotic leader in some sense. Thens theres songs like Mother, which basically tells the story of his over protective mother and shows his mother views and the queries Pink has towards his mother. It tells of Pink's mother keeping him, protected from 'dirty women', his mother keeping him clean and so on. He has quedtions for his mother like, 'should I build a wall', 'will they put me in the firing line'. He mentions his mother putting her fears into him, making his nightmares come true, his mam hepling him build a wall, which relates to his mam in a sense causing his pain and memories which he uses to build his wall. Another brick in the wall, the classic that everyone will have heard, in 3 parts and in a sense talks about his memories in a whole
mainly talking about his dad going to war, 'daddies gone across the ocean', 'the snapshot in the family album', he talks about his fathers duties with war being the brick in the wall. The fact that he lost his dad and his father didn't leave much for him except memories and personally belongs, they left a scar which in turn created another brick. Then this song talks about his teachers, you know the line' teacher leave those kids alone', as he was at scholl in the days of the cain and exceptionally strict rules of conduct. The teacher would bully the childron and basically mould them into marching zombies. Then the third and final parts is about him building the wall in sense saying that he doesn't need the wall, he doesn't need the drugs, basically refering to mroe bricks in the wall. Probably one of my favourite songs has to be Comfortably Numb, an exceptionally relaxing, mellow, almost hypnotic trance state of a song. Its in a way about his drug use, feeling down, and the drugs will help him get him back onto his feet and so on. He talks about the effects and feeling experience of his hypnotic drug states. Its in a way a look towards his physcotic mad man side, of his in essence 'trippy' views, thoughts and emotions. It has some brilliant guitar work in there, with great vocals, drums, well hell its just a great song. Theres a hell of alot more i can talk about but i basically say if you liek the song Another Brick in The Wall, and you like conceptual music, that beems with amazing talent or if you are basically a rock fan, you need this album. Its an amazing piece of art and is possibly one of the bands finest moments, its 2 cd's so its great value, plus its full of amazing songs, which i find exceptionally good for listening too when entoxicated :). GET THIS ALBUM YOU HAVE TO HEAR IT BEFORE YOU BELIEVE IT!!
My acquaintance with Pink Floyd and The Wall began about six months ago. A French friend of mine raved about it, and lent me the video of the film (the double-album being officially the film's soundtrack). Noting the involvement of great cartoonist Gerald Scarfe I eagerly started the tape and watched the first few minutes. Unfortunately, it was a French video cassette, and was thus rendered in less than impressive black and white. I took a look at a shot of someone swimming in what was probably supposed to be a swimming pool of blood and thought: 'Nah. This isn't going to do it justice.' Then, a while later, I found a copy of the 'soundtrack' going cheap in HMV. With a sleeve design by Scarfe, and a white brick wall motif running right through the accompanying booklet, it was clearly doing its best to tie in with the film. However, without knowing anything about the film, or indeed the history of this album, or even the history of Pink Floyd, I still can't shake the feeling that this whole film was just an excuse to call the album a soundtrack rather than the commercial suicide of the 'concept album' label. Because that's clearly what this is. The story, such as it is, features Pink (bizarrely played by Bob Geldoff in the film), a rock star who builds a psychological wall to cut himself out from the outside world. We are introduced to Pink in the opening track, where he invites us into his head, then proceeds to bombard us with his various reasons for isolating himself from reality, until he's trapped with only his own demons for company. There then follows quite a lot of angst until Pink starts to realise that his barrier is causing him even more anguish and forces himself to rejoin the real world. This subconscious trek takes place against a background of impossibly funky guitars, orchestras and even a bizarre moment in praise of Vera Lynn. Yes, this is in fact a prog-rock opera. T
his is made perfectly clear from the epic overture. In The Flesh makes heavy use of bowel-rumblingly deep vibrato notes before suddenly swelling into a magnificently funky display of string bending and power chords. Once the musical mood has been set, Roger Waters lets rip with a welcome to a rock concert. However, things go strange just a few lines in, as he asks: 'Is this not what you expected to see? If you wanna find out what's behind these cold eyes, You'll just have to claw your way through the disguise!' The string-bending starts up again, culminating in a sound not unlike a diving aircraft. The sense of mystery created so aggressively by this opening barrage makes listening to the rest of the saga almost compulsory. So, naturally, the pace instantly slows right up to confound your expectations. The Thin Ice is a much quieter song, although still containing a descending guitar solo of eye-opening coolness. Pink starts to talk about his parents, a theme which continues for much of the album, and hints at a sudden crisis of confidence which has left him clawing at the thin ice of modern life. Effectively this is a second introduction, revealing Pink's vulnerability and sensitivity. It leads to a very famous tune. Another Brick in the Wall is probably Pink Floyd's most famous song. Not only does it come in three parts throughout The Wall but the main riff becomes virtually omnipresent later on. In part one, Pink begins to build the Wall based on his father's disappearance from his life. 'Daddy's flown across the ocean,' he sings softly, before complaining about how he has nothing left of his parent but a photo and a vague memory. This plaintive cry suddenly breaks out into a savage cry of 'Dad, what d'ya leave behind for me?' followed by the grim acknowledgement that this childhood bitterness is just a contributory factor to Pink's introversion, 'just another brick in the wall'.
The Happiest Days of Our Lives continues the savagery of Pink's complaint against his father by attacking vicious teachers who made his childhood a misery. The only way children could deal with the pain inflicted on them was by reflecting that the teachers' were the victims of domestic violence. Cycles of abuse, parental issues, this is all getting quite Freudian, isn't it? Bear in mind this is a product of the seventies. As Pink sings about teachers getting their just desserts, he is almost screaming in glee, as an orchestra springs up ready to introduce the hit single... Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2). The most well-remembered song on the album, as a chorus of voices insist that they don't 'need no education'. Chanted to ironic effect in the otherwise uninspiring The Faculty a few years back, this is the song everyone knows, although its context is generally misunderstood. Far from being a 'doin' it for the kids' anthem, it's more along the lines of part one, with Pink acknowledging schoolyard torment as an inevitable part of his withdrawal from humanity. The laidback guitar work of the solo manages to be the coolest point yet and the background yelling of psychotic teachers is hilarious. Really getting into blaming his life on other people, Pink turns his attention squarely onto his Mother. Accusing his mother of smothering him with too much attention in his father's absence, it is suggested that Mum has helped build most of the Wall by dominating Pink's life and forcing him to reflect her own fears and neuroses. Pink seems fairly grateful at this point, as the first half of the song is filled with him asking for her help and advice. It is only at the end when he realises the extent of the maternal influence on his current state that he wonders: 'Mother did it need to be so high?' The relaxed acoustic feel is a nice contrast to the sheer volume of the previous track, even wh
en the obligatory funktastic electric bridge bursts in. Goodbye Blue Sky brings in the theme of fear of nuclear war. The horror is evoked effectively by a spoken opening where a girl says: 'Look Mummy, there's an aeroplane up in the sky.' The girl's light tones are then contrasted immediately with some menacing deep chords. Pink betrays a deep political cynicism, and his inability to live in a world free from threats of mass destruction is leading him to reject the world all together. Empty Spaces sees a slight change in emphasis after its really long but subdued introduction. Where the overture almost seems to be an invitation to join Pink inside his self-built wall, and childhood events seem to have isolated him from humanity in spite of himself, Pink now consciously wonders how he can complete the barrier and seal himself off completely. This is the point at which at least one of my mates reckons the tone lurches into pretentious adolescent twaddle. I agree to a point, but it's still very cool, and it leads straight into - Young Lust appears to be a last attempt to reconnect to the real world as Pink tries to find a woman. Or maybe it's a memory. Either way, Pink is trying to deal with reality for the last time. And the extent of his fall is made clear by the fact that what he says he wants to find is 'a dirty girl'. The outro is gradually buried by a sequence where American operators try and connect a call to Mr Floyd, and he keeps cutting them off. One of my Turns. Giving a fairly clear glimpse of the madness to come, Pink loses himself for the first time at this point. Clearly, given the spoken dialogue that introduces the song, he has found his 'dirty girl'. She wanders around his flat admiring his guitar collection until Pink starts screaming about axes and how he wants to try and fly. The vocals begin in whining mode, and it's almost a relief when Waters starts screaming aga
in, accompanied by smashing crockery, and REALLY funky piano, keyboard and electric guitars. This fit is clearly the last straw in his dislocation. It eventually subsides into Don't Leave Me Now, in which our hero fails to understand why his dirty girl has left him, thinking his abusive behaviour is pretty much normal in the world he has experienced. It's more whining, and a track that tends to get skipped, even if there are a few weird sound effects that sound like Darth Vader. Another Brick in the Wall Part 3 sees the wall pretty much complete, and Pink declaring that he doesn't need anyone in his life, after kicking something to pieces. The rhythym of this most famous song has become even more urgent and intense, and the power chords following each line even sound like insanity. The entire world is to blame for Pink's self-imprisonment. 'All in all you were all just bricks in the wall.' Goodbye Cruel World is an unremarkable affirmation of Pink's complete divorce from the human race. It concludes the first CD on a simple 'goodbye', which is a well-cool piece of timing, and the whining tone of the vocals is offset by the fact that Pink is making a firm, conscious decision rather than bleating about how miserable he is. Having spent a whole CD building his wall, Pink spends the second half of the album trying to get out again, and the effects of his estrangement become ever clearer and more chilling, and ultimately become a stark warning against what happens when people cut themselves off from emotional contact. The main riff from Another Brick in the Wall reappears with increasing regularity and increasing urgency throughout, and it's all impossibly intense for the most part. Hey You is in the same vein as Mother in that it's a largely acoustic song. Pink calls to people outside his wall, begging them to come and help him. But, as the narrator lets us know, as the inevitable overdr
iven riff smashes through, he's incapable of breaking free, and is now trapped within the wall, alone with his demons, the 'worms' which dominate this second half. There are shades of Rocky Horror Picture Show and Superheroes at this point, I think, a song somewhere between exhausted vestiges of hope and utter despair, ending on a bleak note. Is There Anybody Out There contains only the title as a lyric, repeated over and over, over a background of what sounds like a really old film and more acoustic pickings which now have a fairly classical sound. It's a haunting little melody which adds little to the epic beyond a sense of Pink's desolation now that he's finally got his wish and isolated himself. By the time we reach Nobody Home, the singer's misery is more than apparent, as the song is introduced by the schoolteacher's yells once again. The funkiness appears to have disappeared in favour of acoustic melodies and piano tunes, with the occasional orchestral swell to give the proceedings a bit of body. Pink has everything he ever wanted, it appears, all the trappings of fame, but no sense of direction, and a feeling that his life has become empty. Either TV or an old film can be heard blaring meaninglessly in the background and all is wonderfully bleak. This is the point where things start to get really bizarre, as Pink suddenly asks if anyone remembers Vera Lynn, even reproducing one of her lyrics. This seemingly random reflection introduces the military theme which, together with the worms, makes up the really unpleasant contents of Pink's heads. Suddenly a martial theme is blaring, full of Nazi spite, as an operatic choir exhort the listener to 'Bring the Boys Back Home'. And just when you thought things were getting really weird, a voice starts repeating 'Time to go.' The album has become truly disjointed and unsettling (thefrogprincess couldn't in fact listen to the
whole album: 'turn it off, Andy'), as martial themes, overdriven riffs, piano tinklings, gentle violins and acoustic strummings all compete for attention in surprising combinations. Pink may have become Comfortably Numb, but the listener can not do the same. One complaint about much of Pink Floyd's work is the lack of proper songs that stand alone. Comfortably Numb is one of those rare beasts, although it is key to the saga. A doctor has given Pink some kind of injection to get him back to the world to give a concert. To reflect his brief re-emergence, we get a fantastic guitar soundscape bubbling through the layered ryhthym sections. It sounds like mojo. The great thing about these guitar solos is their sustained notes, rather than relying on a million notes a second as would become a problem with later bands. The Show Must Go On sees Pink taking stock of his surroundings, and beginning to realise the consequences of his withdrawal. 'I didn't mean to let them take away my soul.' In The Flesh takes us to the concert, and opens with a reprise of the overture. However, this time it's all very different when Pink starts his vocals. The delivery is far slower and menacing. After the first few lines, a sneering Pink (although he claims to be from a different band) decides to find out 'Where you fans Really stand'. Quickly he singles out gays, Jews, blacks, pot-smokers and spotty people as people to be put against the wall. Pink has cut himself off from humanity, and his lack of empathy has turned him into a monster. He has become one of the vicious fascists he hated while at school. Run Like Hell's pulsing rythyms sound like a bizarre mixture of Destiny Child's Bootilicious and 80s synth-pop. Life in Pink's head has become hell on earth, a police state where the only option is to run for your life. Waiting For The Worms sees the obvious conclusion to Pink's isolation. Despair and
fascism have him in their conclusion. Nazism is evoked in almost every line, with references to 'bunkers' the 'final solution' and the Holocaust. The song is even introduced by a German voice counting time. The worms are the forces of hatred overwhelming Pink's soul. As that omnipresent riff kicks in, we face Pink's last temptation. He is in perfect isolation. It's a truly unpleasant hymn to racism and bigotry of every kind, but luckily Pink shouts: STOP Stepping back from the brink in a short interlude, we get a little breathing space before the last proper song of the album. The Trial OK, this is odd. The song is pretty much in the musical tradition. All the various characters (the worms, the schoolteacher, mother and the dirty girl) appear to testify against Pink, who is only able to repeat that he is crazy. The solitude, leading Pink to face the dark, scabby side of his own nature, has almost broken the man. The judge, however, singing along to the Another Brick riff, condemns Pink to having the Wall torn down, and he is forced to confront the world again. The judge sounds like a Vogon from the Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy (probably deliberate, Douglas Adams was a massive fan). Outside the Wall. Seemingly whole again, this wry little conclusion sees Pink noting that there were people ready and waiting and constantly trying to get through to him throughout his bizarre episode. Essentially, the whole album is a map of the human soul, truly highlighting how much we are dependent on other people, and the terrible consequences of abandoning society. It does become a little pretentious in its bleating occasionally, but ultimately it's one of the most powerful albums in my collection, second only possibly to the Holy Bible.
Pink Floyd's the wall is the masterpiece of Roger Waters design. It is one of the most creative, ground breaking, and greatest albums ever made. Contrary to popular belief Dark Side of The Moon is not better than this. That is a purely stoner album. This is better in almost every way. Push play and descend into the warped brain of Roger Waters who wrote all but 4 songs on his own. The other 4 he co-wrote with David Gilmour. The story is about the downfall and comeback of a man who goes insane. His name is Pink. The album starts out rocking with IN THE FLESH?. This song is a guitar driven great opener. This is him in his evil state, which was a shock to most Floyd fans who expect the same mellow relaxing music. "Is this not what you expected to see?" asks Pink. Brilliant. "If you wanna see what's behind these cold eyes, you'll just have to break through this disguise" he tells us and then spends a great deal of the rest of the album showing us how he reached that point. The Thin Ice is a warning.. something his parents tell him about life how it could break down and he could lose his mind in the process. This is the beginning of his breakdown. ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL part 1. first part of the classic song that many have heard. This one is about how his father left for the war and died leaving him feeling unwanted and lonely. This just the first major cause of his downfall(hence being another brick in the wall) The wall is his barrier of insanity to the outside world. After his father left him he still went through school like any normal child. The sarcastic title of "THE HAPPIEST DAYS OF OUR LIVES" tells it all. The lyrics are genius. "Well, when we grew up and went to school, There were certain teachers, Who would hurt the children in any way they could, By pouring their derision, Upon anything we did, Exposing every weakness, However
carefully hidden by the kids. But in (but in) the town it was well known, When they got home at night, Their fat and psychopathic wives would thrash them, Within inches of their lives." This directly leads into the well known ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL part 2. This part is the lashing out and rebellion against the thought control of the education system. This is a rally cry for those children whose spirits are crushed by the schools. The use of real kids for the chorus is creepy and was a genius move. Completely unforgetable. This is the other brick in his wall of insanity. It ends with the music fading out and a teacher screaming at children while they cry "Leave me alone". MOTHER is about the one thing of comfort in his life. She protected him from the outside with her own "wall" of love. The song starts out asking a lot of question for Mother to answer. The song explains how her protection made him unable to cope with other things in live. This is essential to the story because he searches for that type of comfort later in the story. GOODBYE BLUE SKY is one of my favorite songs ever. About war and it's devasting effects. This, I think, is trying to say how the government and their lie of a great world was a huge letdown. Incredible. I can't say much else about it. Just read the lyrics and you'll understand.. "Look, Mummy. There's an airplane up in the sky(child's voice) Did you, did you see the frightened ones? Did you, did you hear the falling bombs? Did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter, When the promise of a brave new world, Unfurled beneath a clear blue sky? Did you, did you see the frightened ones? Did you, did you hear the falling bombs? The flames are all long gone, But the pain lingers on. Goodbye, blue sky. Goodbye, blue sky. Goodbye." PERFECT.
WHAT SHALL WE DO NOW? is a transition poem that is not on the album but is in the lyric book. I don't know why but the poem is about Pink maturing into adulthood and listing his choices of what to do in life. These choices include his ultimate career of becoming a rock star. EMPTY SPACES. He is now using his rock stardom to fill the void he feels but it doesn't make him complete or protected and he then asks "How should I complete the wall?". awesome song. In a further attempt to feel complete he falls into sexual desire in YOUNG LUST. It is an upbeat and fun song about groupies... you know the rock and roll cliche. Big surprise this does not solve his problems of loneliness and feeling vunerable. This song was one co-written by David Gilmour. As indicted in ONE OF MY TURNS, these shallow things he has used to make him feel better are losing there effect. The song starts out by a short skit which consists of Pink going into his apartment with a groupie and turning on the tv. He completely ignores the girl even when she asks if he wants to "take a bath" with her. The song describes how everyday he feels more isolated and empty, then in the middle of the song he loses him mind. He gets out of his chair starts screaming and tearing apart his apartment. The girl freaks out and the song ends with Pink asking the girl insanly "Why are you running away?!" After his rampage comes the calm after the storm. Now he's lost everything that made him slightly happy in DON'T LEAVE ME NOW. He spends the song calling for his girl to come back, but it's slightly more twisted than that. He says he wants her back to "put her through a shredder" or to "beat to a pulp"... crazy stuff. This was the final straw to him going insane. Which leads into ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL part 3. This one is a battle cry that he no longer needs anything. The song is a lot more aggres
sive than the last two. He has built The Wall and is now hiding behind it. GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD is his lonely final farewell to reality.. he is leaving and never coming back. DISC 1 ends. DISC 2 begins. HEY YOU is classic Pink Floyd. Very stoner rock stuff, mellow and relaxing. This song is about Pink's inner self calling out to the person behind the wall. They are trying to save him "but it was only fantasy, the wall is too high as you can see." It is sung in two different voices, his two halves if you will... at the end he says "Together we stand, divides we fall". IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE? is next. Pink is numb and is no longer a real person he just sits in his apartment and stares blankly into a television but doesn't really watch it. In this state he's just reflecting on himself. NOBODY HOME is about everything that he has. All the good things in his life and yet sadly he explains "when he picks up the phone, there is still nobody home." All he has is still not enough. VERA is a weird song. I don't see how this fits the storyline at all. It's not a bad song, it's just unimportant to the album. COMFORTABLY NUMB is one of the best songs about drugs ever. It talks aobut how comforting you are and does a good job describing the feeling. The music puts you in that kind of state as well. This is how he ended up sustaining his wall, through being stoned. But he can't stay out of the world forever. He is forced back into the world because he is a musician(money to be made) as his manager pulls him out of his isolated room in THE SHOW MUST GO ON. The manager has put him back into the real world but Pink is still crazy and instead of letting himself from behind the wall Pink transforms himself into an evil entity which leads us to the point Pink was at in the first song(a tad confusing but it makes sense when you here the album).
Enter the evil song and the reprise of IN THE FLESH. He starts refering to pink as a seperate person as he assumes a Hitleresce character using his fame to lead thousands on a rampage of hate and violence. The lyrics say it all: "So ya thought ya might like to go to the show. To feel the warm thrill of confusion, that space cadet glow. I got me some bad news for you, Sunshine. Pink isn't well, he stayed back at the hotel, And he sent us along as a surrugate band. We're gonna find out where you fans really stand. Are there any queers in the theatre tonight? Get 'em up against the wall. -- 'Gainst the wall! And that one in the spotlight, he don't look right to me. Get him up against the wall. -- 'Gainst the wall! And that one looks Jewish, and that one's a coon. Who let all this riffraff into the room? There's one smoking a joint, and another with spots! If I had my way I'd have all of ya shot." RUN LIKE HELL is the song where is now army of "nazis" take over and trash a town. It describes the chaos pretty well. Awesome song. One of the best on the album. WAITING FOR THE WORMS is basically Evil Pink campaigning through a town spreading his message of hatred through a megaphone while his army marches beside him. The lyrics grow increasingly inaudible as the song goes on and the marching gets louder and louder. I think this is symbolic of his chaos getting the best of him. Pink has gone as far as he can. STOP is him wanting out of this self-created evil hell and wonders if he is really the cause of all his pain. So he begins to judge himself and it begins. THE TRAIL is really the climax to the story. Absolute genius, unique and amazing. I can't describe how awesome it is, you just have to hear it. Pink goes through every element of his insanity and the consequences of his actions before
witnesses and a menacing judge. The judge then sentences him to "TEAR DOWN THE WALL!!" and become human again. It ends with the crash of a wall crumbling down. As the dust settles a serene and peaceful melody pokes through and Pink sings with a quiet backing of children. This makes up the final song as he is OUTSIDE THE WALL. I urge everyone to really listen to it. BUY IT NOW! you don't know what your missing. Whew.. that took a long time.
During the 70's all of the key progressive rock bands released a concept album. Genesis threw us into the world of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Yes made us travel Tales from Topographic Oceans and right at the end of this era Pink Floyd showed us paranoia of a falling musician. The Wall is without a doubt their greatest achievement; an album of consistency and pure magnitude...Dark Side of the Moon was only a prototype of what was to come. Roger Waters voice takes on many characters throughout the album as Dave Gilmore's vocals for other key songs such as 'Comfortably Numb' and 'The Thin Ice' stand out as two of the greatest rock ballads ever written. This was Roger Waters' baby, something which was very personal to him, yet a piece of work which all the band members could relate to - the wall representing a barrier between a person and the outside world (in parallel, between Waters and his fans). The ironic part being was Pink Floyd were still continuing there heated discussions, where they could have quite literally ended up stabbing each other. Thematically, this album concentrates on individuality vs conformity and autonomy vs authority; Waters' choice of words fit perfectly and are quite understandable if at times controversial - the live show immediately falling on the latter with the huge production design and it's resulting full scale wall placed between the band and their fans. The wall was to be slowly taken away, blown up and projected on through the course of the live show - an act of great magnitude. Although not as imaginative as Peter Gabriel's tale of split personality in The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, The Wall is by no means a worse album. It is a more commercially successful album and is just as consistent in the way it has been produced and does not lack anything it's closest relation has - it just depends which world and who's mind you want to travel to.
Someday when they look at the great creative works of the 20th century, The Wall will be there looking back at them, a testament to we felt more isolated from each other than any other time in human history. The Wall is that, and more. It's a journey into the human psyche that connects to you like no movie ever could, including the movie made from the film. Having discovered Pink Floyd, I only became aware of The Wall after a friend of mine pointed out the songs "Comfortably Numb" and "Run Like Hell" on the radio. Oh, and I was also vaguely aware of a song called "Brick in the Wall, pt.II". Thinking these were pretty good, I risked my £28 to buy the album. I took it home, put in disk 1, and got an experience that not even Dark Side of the Moon had given me. Where Dark Side took me out of this world on a melodic journey, The Wall slapped me in the face, tore my brain apart, and showed me just what was hiding inside. Suddenly, strange feelings that I hadn't been able to name came flooding to the surface as I understood that I had been building brick upon brick into my own wall. This album showed me not only the consequences of the road I was on, but perhaps also some of the causes. When it was over, I felt energized and alive, convinced that I could change my life. To try and review The Wall song by song would be fallacy, since the album blends together into one coherent story. The story follows Pink, a rock star who had finally burned himself out with too many drugs, too much fast living with not enough substance. His life had become a shell on display for the world, and now he was paying the consequences. Now he sits in a hotel room, and slowly goes mad, disconnected from the world. In "In the Flesh", Waters almost seems to be mocking Pink with his lines "So ya, thought ya, might like to go to the show?", suggesting that he was getting what he deserved. The story goes on , telling
us how Pink's father was taken away in the war, and how he was left not quite a man because of it. "Another Brick In the Wall" Parts I and II allude to Pink's childhood, showing how both his raising and his his education left him without any substance. "Mother" goes along this vein explaining how Pink's mother was smothering, and kept him sheltered. This song contains some of the greatest lyrics on the album, including the line "Mother, should I trust the government?", which was spraypainted on the West Berlin side of another famous wall in the later 80s. The reasoning for Pink's emptiness being established, he goes on to continue putting brick after brick in his wall, until at the end of disk 1 he shuts himself off from the world with the words "Goodbye cruel world, I'm leaving you today...goodbye, goodbye, goodbye." Disk 2 opens with a Pink fully enclosed by his wall. It's also the point where Pink begins to resemble group founder Syd Barrett more than Roger Waters, who never quite seemed to withdrawl from the world. "Hey You" is a beautiful acoustic progression that is also a desperate cry for help. Pink begins to look for a way out, but finds none. Finally, he resolves himself to the fact that he's lost, exemplified in "Comfortably Numb", which asks the question "Hello, is there anybody in there?" It has now become obvious to those around him that Pink has lost himself, but they try to keep him going for the sake of profit. "Comfortably Numb" also features what has been often voted the greatest guitar solo of all time by lead guitarist David Gilmour. I saw Roger Waters in concert last summer, and three expert guitarists working together were unable to perfectly duplicate it. From here Pink takes the only way out he can find, and loses himself in the role of rock and roll dictator. He gives a vehemous diatribe against "inferiors&qu
ot; in the controversial reprise of "In the Flesh", and goes on to spit out hateful rhetoric and organize his followers as shown in "Run Like Hell" and "Waiting for the Worms", the idea being presented that rock fans have come to the point where they blindly listen to whatever their favorite artist releases. Of course, this artificial release can't hold up, and Pink is once again broken, on trial for his own mind in "The Trial." The case against Pink is presented as all the spectors of his past return to confront him. In the end he can't hide behind the wall, and he is ordered "to be exposed before your peers." A loud chanting of "Tear down the wall!" follows, and Pink's wall comes down. It is unclear whether or not this means Pink dies, or he regains his sanity, but I'm obliged to believe the later, that he comes out of his shell. After all, the last line on the album loops into the first, suggesting that building and tearing down your wall is a never ending cycle. The Wall may be the most brilliant album of the 20th century. To say it's a good listen would be to do it an injustice. The fact of the matter is that you may not enjoy the feelings that The Wall leave you with, but it will ignite your soul in a way that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Note: If you like The Wall, you must listen to Dark Side of the Moon, if you haven't already. In some ways, they're flip sides of the same coin.
Pink Floyd's career is one of the longest in the music industry. From the hippie drug-inspired days of Syd Barrett, through to the more accessible inspirational works of Dave Gilmour, Pink Floyd have continued to provide a unique kind of music. The Wall is possibly the best known of Pink Floyd's many albums over the decades, especially because of the accompanying film starring Bob Geldof as the notoriously insane pop star who shaves off his eyebrows ! The track Another Brick in the Wall was also a huge hit single, staying at Number 1 in the charts for several weeks. The video for it features children singing and shouting angrily, and is probably the first video I can vividly remember from my childhood. Personally, my favourite song on this album is the lesser known Comfortably Numb, which is also my favourite song of all time - it is beautiful, with breath-taking lyrics and a gorgeous tune. The songs on the album encompass many themes, the whole album telling the story of the character called Pink. Like the film, it explores childhood memories of the Second World War, insanity, depression, the physical and mental effects of drugs and the struggle to survive these events. As always, this album is a COMPLETE album, not just a series of tracks, but blending in to each other to make an entire piece of work, rather than a collection of individual songs. Beautiful.
This is my second favourite album ever and i don't think i was even born when it was first released!, i love the movie too which does have a story but is just like one long video which goes with the album because it's just like on long song (i mean that as a good thing.) it really is great it has really mellow sad parts and really heavy agressive parts and they mold togeher so well, It's baisically about a guy (named Pink) who has been through the usual at school (hense the famous "We don't need no education") and his Dad never came back from the war, and so on (i don't want to spoil it if you haven't heard it before), I think but don't quote me on this that some of the references are about band member Roger Waters i'm sure some of the more die hard Floyd fans will know that!, i'm just a part time fan, in that i'm not that keen on much of the other floyd stuff but i love this album and film. Anyway back to the point, it baisically tells the story of this guys life and he gets so down and wants to shut himself away from the world and eveyone around him, so he builds "the wall" (not a brick wall i'm sure you are aware) around his feelings etc.. and it goes through everything that has caused this. it's been called a rock opera before, and i saw a programme about it not long ago on tv and it showed the stage show when the band went on tour witht the album! it was amazing. The film that goes with the album is baisically the album playing (with a little bit extra) and Sir Bob Geldof playing the character Pink and it is just visuals to the music, partly acting (no speach really, just what you hear on the album) and the rest is animation (and it's really cool) this music is a work of art and i enjoy it more every time i listen to it.
Floyd co-writer David Gilmour describes this album as being purely a moan and when you listen to it you can see why. At the time of producing this album Waters was becoming increasingly dominant in the band and set about writing a concept album himself. The result of this was "The Wall" and the rest of the band did not contribute to it much at all(a notable exception being "Comfortably Numb", the best track on the album, which Gilmour co-wrote). It tells the story of a pop star who going mad and the anger in many of the songs is indicative of this. Of course most people remember it for "Another Brick in the Wall" and its groundbreaking video but there is a very deep meaning to this album. This is genuinely an example of an album where every song is related to eachother and the album requires listening to in order. It is certainly not like the albums of today which are purely a collection of individual singles thrown in a random order. I personally love this album and feel that Waters concept comes off very well, this view, however, is not so readily shared by the rest of the band.
Pink Floyd were the greatest lsd addict musicians of all time. now you can't tell me they didn't use drugs. it's all in the music. the slow, mythodicial guitarplaying, and the low, sometimes deathly singing. "Was the perfect attitude to acid induced tripping!"- from a rockhall.com sound byte. the whole band was great. even Dark Side of The Moon was great. but none of their albums were as great as The Wall! the wall was like the epitamy of their greatness albumwize. they had some great songs. great songs. if i could name them all, i'd be naming all the songs on the album. they like took music, and took it into a whole other world. they're what made bands like Marilyn Manson, Propellerheads, and Rob Zombie, by mixing their music with their drugs. they (among other bands from way back when) are what shape our music industry today. a music industry that's doing great. thanks to bands like Pink Floyd. And thanks to albums like The Wall.
I have of late been witness to some very malicious bullying going on under this dooyoo malarky . One of their 'Guru's' no less , plus girlfriend have been stalking the opinions of a very dear friend of mine (who is an extremely NICE person ) and taking it in turns to slate her opinions and thereby lower her ratings . These two little egotists of course only ever get 'very usefuls' themselves and by the ream . Well I am past being impressed by clones that masquerade as human beings and I am extremely unimpressed by little bullies that direct attacks against people who they just don't like the look of . Mr. Guru proudly states in his opinion 'As a hall of famer...' . Well Mr. Hall of Famer I graduated with an honours degree after being given firsts by a Labour MP in the current Government and you won't catch me with such a humungous head on my shoulders . Anyway , for all of the nice people that have said nice things about my opinions , I wish to say Thank you but I no longer wish to associate myself with dooyoo since the whole thing has such a potential for abuse by bullies . Ta ta all .
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 In The Flesh
2 Thin Ice
3 Another Brick In The Wall
4 Happiest Days Of Our Lives
5 Another Brick In The Wall
7 Goodbye Blue Sky
8 Empty Spaces
9 Young Lust
10 One Of My Turns
11 Don't Leave Me Now
12 Another Brick In The Wall
13 Goodbye Cruel World
Disc #2 Tracklisting
1 Hey You
2 Is There Anybody Out There
3 Nobody Home
5 Bring The Boys Back Home
6 Comfortably Numb
7 Show Must Go On
8 In The Flesh
9 Run Like Hell
10 Waiting For The Worms
13 Outside The Wall