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Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd

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Genre: Rock - Progressive Rock / Artist: Pink Floyd / Original recording remastered / Audio CD released 1994-08-01 at EMI

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      06.11.2013 02:47
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      Great album.

      **Introduction**

      Pink Floyd are one of the most expansive and diverse bands in the History of Music. The duo of David Gilmour and Roger Waters wrote some of the most well known songs around and along with Nick Mason and Richard Wright they carved out a signature sound that was both experimental and filled with great musicianship. Despite strife and in fighting the band managed to record twelve albums with founder member Roger Waters still there. In 1987 they released the album "A momentary lapse of reason" which was the first without Waters after he decided to quit not expecting his band mates to carry on without him, This caused a big legal battle.

      **Wish You Were Here**

      Wish You Were Here is the ninth studio album from Pink Floyd and one of their most memorable for various reasons. It was released on 12th September 1975, having been recorded in January of that year at Abbey Road Studios. The album only features five tracks but the long "Shine on you crazy diamond" acts as a bookend for the album as parts 1-5 open the album and 6-9 close the album. What is between them is the title track and two other cuts which are Rogers' tirades about certain people in the music industry. The album featured saxophone from Dick Parry, additional lead vocals from Roy Harper and backing vocals from Venetta Fields and Carlena Williams as well as violin from an uncredited Stéphane Grappelli.

      1.) Shine on you crazy diamond 1-5

      This is without a doubt one of the most sensational tracks from Pink Floyd, It's the tribute to Syd Barrett who went mad after using too much acid. I was not particularly a fan of Barrett era Floyd but this touching tribute is just superb. Roger Waters takes on lead vocals and the track began with four chords from David Gilmour which he developed into a song with the help of Waters and Wright. Featuring plenty of organ and synthesizer this track takes a while to get going but once it gets going it is a triumph, The opening pulls you in and then the development keeps you sucked in. Gilmour's guitar work on the track is exceptional and really brings the emotion of the song as one of Pink Floyd's more Bluesy tracks. Not only does this track sound great musicianship wise it is also a stunning recording for 1975. As the track develops you get some wonderful music with a lovely Minimoog solo by Wright and ends with some stunning saxophone from Dick Parry but the real star of the show is David Gilmour for his brilliant guitar playing throughout the track. Remember there's 6-9 to come yet.

      2.) Welcome to the machine

      This is one of two track from the album that were solely written by Roger Waters, The track tells of how the band felt disillusionment with the music industry as a money-making machine rather than a forum of artistic expression. The track heavily features synthesizers and acoustic guitars, as well as a wide and varied range of tape effects. It has a fairly long introduction before it develops with the acoustic guitar and David Gilmour's vocals. It's a contrast from the opening track bit still has some good artistry from the band. There are some sounds which are reminiscent of work on "Dark side of the moon"

      3.) Have a Cigar

      Another track which takes aim at the ills of the Music Industry. This time Roger Waters sounds off about the hypocrisy and greed within the music business. The vocals are performed by Roy Harper as Waters was struggling with the effect he wanted, He later said he wish he had been able to do the job as he would have done it better. There's a churning riff throughout which is played by Gilmour and Waters on electric guitar and bass. There are also some synthesizer effects and electric piano from Wright which add to the overall sound. Gilmour's solo which comes in at the end is excellent and tops things off well.

      4.) Wish you were here

      Here we have the title track from the album, It's a lovely ballad which is also about Syd Barrett and his breakdown. The intro is from a twelve string guitar and takes a while to come in, The simple acoustic guitar part develops and Gilmour's vocals come in with an emotive feel, the drums and other instruments come in gently and the song is soon into it's flow. There's an excellent guitar solo from Gilmour which also features some fine scat singing alongside which makes the sound even more gentle. I like the vocal parts from the band which come in for the chorus. There are some really lovely moments on this track.

      5.) Shine On You Crazy Diamond 6-9

      The track begins with the fade-in of a dense G-minor synthesizer pad and there's the bass guitar from Waters, As the other instruments come in you hear the "Shine On" sound again and as it develops into a more cohesive sound it really shines. Gilmour's guitar work is again extremely impressive on the track and the band produce an excellent sound together. Richard Wright plays the Minimoog and David Gilmour plays lap steel guitar to take the track to a new sound which continues on developing until the next part where things change with the vocals coming back with some excellent electric guitar work which brings the track back to the sound of the opening parts. We're back to the fabulous backing vocals and twangy guitar licks and soaring vocals. Next you hear another guitar played by Waters which fades into the next part which features gentle drumming from Mason and then some bluesy keyboards from Wright which leads into a different sound entirely which has jazzy and bluesy elements. The volume quietens and then the next parts come in to end the track with some lovely sax and simple drums and keyboard which form the backing for the guitar to come in. To end we have some fantastic blues guitar from David Gilmour which tops things off wonderfully.

      **Overall**

      This is a fabulous album which features a very ambitious idea which is delivered to almost perfection. The three songs which are book ended by "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" parts 1-9 are excellent but the real worth goes to the stupendously good 25 minutes or so of music which forms the musical tribute to a former bandmate who actually turned up at the studio when they were recording parts of the song, They hadn't seen him for two years and barely recognised him as he was bald and had put on a lot of weight. Not only is the song a touching tribute to a good friend it is also a stunning piece of music that is as diverse as it is brilliant. The title track is "Wish you were here" but the real triumph is of course "Shine on you crazy diamond" particularly the first 5 parts which are just stupendously good in my opinion.

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        23.04.2012 20:05
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        Stellar music tribute to Syd Barrett

        "Wish You Were Here" is the 9th studio album by British psychedelic rock band, Pink Floyd. It was released in 1975 on Harvest Records and produced by the band. The line-up for the album was David Gilmour (vocals/guitar), Roger Waters (vocals/bass), Nick Mason (drums) and Richard Wright (keyboards).

        This is the second Pink Floyd album done as a concept album. The material was inspired by material composed and events that occurred while the band were touring. Originally, "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" was intended as a side long composition, but Roger Waters decided to split it and join it with the other three songs. The album is a tribute to Syd Barrett but also captures the feelings Roger Waters had at the time about the loss of camaraderie the band once had. The album also serves to point out the darker side of the music industry, and how Waters felt betrayed by some of those who were meant to help bands along. In true Pink Floyd fashion, this album is a complex, stellar performance with intricate music and almost poetic lyrics.

        "Shine on You Crazy Diamond (1-5)" begins the stunningly brilliant tribute to founding member of Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett, and pays tribute to the impact he had on the band as a member and a friend, and the music industry alike. It also chronicles his mental decline as he slid into madness. As the parts progress, you get the feel for his musical genius and how at the beginning his madness attributed to the genius of his music before taking over completely. There are many brilliant solos, bluesy riffs, and sound effects throughout the five parts. One sound effect is wet fingers rubbing the rims of glasses. Pink Floyd have a knack for taking the simplest sound effects and weaving them brilliantly through their music. Some solos have distortion, which adds to the mournful feel of knowing a friend is beyond your help. The use of a Hammond organ adds flair to the songs, and Dick Parry on saxophone is a wonderful addition.

        "Welcome to the Machine" is the story of a child prodigy who has been groomed his whole life to make it big in the music industry. Once he gets there, the pressure and the fame are more than he can handle because no one prepared him for it. You can see how the music industry can chew someone up and spit them out if they are emotionally fragile to begin with. It is easily seen as another tribute to Syd, and also shows Roger Waters' feelings toward music industry bigwigs. It can also be seen metaphorically to describe life in general. By far the angriest track on the album, it gives a sense of the depth of anger Waters feels.

        "Have a Cigar" is a chance for Roger Waters to unleash an angry fury of sarcasm against the music executives who do all they can to cash in on young, inexperienced music acts. The song begins with sound effects including laughter before a churning riff on bass and guitar. Other instruments rounding out the sound are electric piano, synthesiser and other guitars. The song ends with a guitar solo that is interrupted by synthesiser sound effects before fading off into the sound of a radio that is not quite tuned to a station. It is the most rock oriented song on the album. Roy Harper, an English folk singer, provided lead vocals. This is one of only two Pink Floyd songs with a guest lead vocalist.

        "Wish You Were Here", as with the other songs on the album, is in reference to Syd Barrett. The title has two meanings, wishing he was still in the band, and wishing he was still coherent. The third meaning of it deals with Roger Waters' feelings of alienation toward other people during this time. Segueing from "Have A Cigar" via the sound of a car radio being tuned from one station to another, the car radio was recorded in David Gilmour's car. That sound is followed by Gilmour playing on a twelve string guitar with the sound processed to give it the tinny sound of music played on AM radio. There is also another effect that makes it sounds as if a car is accelerating and slowing down. The song contains several Gilmour solos with the accompaniment of scat singing. The end of the song is the final guitar solo fading, along with wind effects reminiscent of "One of These Days" from the "Meddle" album.

        "Shine on You Crazy Diamond (6-9)" follows on from "Wish You Were Here" with an intro of howling wind. The wind effect fades into Gilmour on bass guitar, then Roger Waters on bass, followed joined by Richard Wright on a string synthesiser. Other instruments used are a lap steel guitar, keyboard and a clavinet. There are bluesy guitar riffs throughout, and moments where keyboards dominate, lending and ever changing feel that manages to stay tied together. David Gilmour has described part nine as "a slow 4/4 funeral march... the parting musical eulogy ". So many lyrics throughout each part have meanings not only in the band's history with Syd Barrett, but in his own life and how he lost control due to mental illness made worse because of drug use.

        In summary, this is an outstanding album from start to finish. The music alone is brilliant, but the addition of the lyrics which are often thought provoking and very poetic only serves to make each song even better. It takes a certain flair to make great music, and each member of Pink Floyd has that flair. Together they work musical magic. This is one of those albums everyone should listen to, if only once, and even if they aren't into rock music. It is so much more than that, it is a fantastic, everlasting tribute to a friend and legend of the music industry.

        1. Shine on You Crazy Diamond (1-5)
        2. Welcome to the Machine
        3. Have a Cigar
        4. Wish You Were Here
        5. Shine on You Crazy Diamond (6-9)

        My rating: 10/10

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          13.01.2011 13:33
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          One of their finest records

          Following the astronomical success of their previous effort 'Dark Side of the Moon', this record could so easily fall into the 'yeah, but it's not as good as their last one' category. However, Pink Floyd were on top of their game, and instead of trying to do DSOTM version 2, they turn to salute their founding member with this album.

          Continuing with their trademark sound of seguing epic pieces together into a cohesive whole, the showpiece of the record is 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond', the 'crazy diamond' in question being their founding member, Syd Barrett. Barrett had been absent from the music scene for several years, and had little to no contact with his former band mates, mainly due to personal problems of stress and anxiety. This piece is a touching homage to their lost friend, and is split into several different movements over the album, sandwiching the other tracks in between. Its haunting, airy sound is defined by Wright's classically influenced lines, punctuated with Mason's well-placed drum fills and Gilmour further sealing his reputation as possibly the most sublime electric guitar player on the planet. Mostly instrumental in nature, it has echoes of, err, 'Echoes', throughout it, with its mutating musical themes and shifting moods. In a strange moment of synchronicity, Barrett showed up at EMI studios while they were recording the track. Completely unrecognizable, his visit was by all accounts an upsetting experience for the band. Perhaps it is fitting that this be his tribute, as they were never to see him again.

          Lodged between these spacey workouts are 'Welcome to the Machine', which is in stark contrast to 'Shine On'. With its mechanical, jarring sound and pained vocals, this is Waters back to what he does best - cynical and concise observations of human behaviour. In this uncomfortable listen, Waters suggests that all our hopes and dreams are manufactured, and as an example, being a rock star and having the world on a plate isn't all it's cracked up to be (a theme that he would return to with 'The Wall'). The biting line 'it's alright, we told you what to dream' is , perhaps, a savvy warning through the bedroom spearkers to his army of listening teenage rock fans...

          Next track is 'Have a Cigar', with folky icon Roy Harper guesting on vocals. It's another shot of cynicism from Waters, recounting a meeting with a typical musically and culturally ignorant record promotions man, and again segues into the title track in rather a neat fashion via a re-tuning AM radio sound. 'Wish You Were Here', one of the band's most famous tracks, is a lush, acoustic driven song, with rather obscure lyrics. It sounds like a love letter full of personal secrets, coded between the two parties involved. Engimatic and lovely. The album then closes with the final movements of 'Shine On', and fades out with a few, subtly re-arranged bars of 'See Emily Play' played by Wright, an apt closing and tribute to its original writer.

          Jarring in its juxtaposition of cold, mechanical observation and touching, relaxing instrumental passages, this is an album that perhaps more than any other shows the two facets of Pink Floyd. Despite all the underlying anger and unease that pervades Pink Floyd's work under Waters' leadership, they were also capable of moments of genuine beauty, and this album contains many of those moments.

          You can pick this album up for about five pounds on CD, or if you want the ultimate, track down a 1975 issue on vinyl with the black wrap, extra inner and bonus postcard which are missing from most issues. Worth it just for 'Shine On' alone.

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            20.02.2007 15:56
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            Pink Floyd's 9th studio album (1975)

            There’s not a great deal I could say about Pink Floyd’s 1975 album that hasn’t already been said. But obviously, you know, I’ll try and stuff. (This is why I normally write about bands like Subterranean Masquerade, whom you’ve never heard of).

            The sequel to the phenomenally popular ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ was always going to be a huge seller based on legacy alone, which is a shame as this inevitably led to the band adopting a more radio-friendly and commercial sound forever after. The crazy kids whose boundless musical (and, I suppose, substance) experimentation produced such inspired 20-minute classics as ‘Echoes’ and such ridiculous 20-minute embarrassments as ‘Atom Heart Mother’ in equal measure, were now making albums targeted at the mass international audience they had snared. The band’s early discography is packed with incredible highs and lows, and though much of it is inherently rubbish, the audacity alone makes it enjoyable. Now a sensation thanks to the single ‘Money’ (I won’t bother pointing out the irony. Oh, whoops), the band were locked on board the gravy train, and the only way to de-rail it would be through an exhausting process of relentless alienation. This was almost accomplished before the ‘Household Objects’ project was scrapped, which would have seen the band producing an entire album by playing household appliances and things as instruments. They wisely chose to just continue being good, though it would have been interesting to hear a toilet solo.

            ‘Wish You Were Here’ was the not-too-long-awaited next album, and is easily the band’s most blatantly commercial effort so far. This doesn’t come at a cost to artistic integrity, and indeed it’s difficult to consider an album book-ended by two incredibly long halves of a nine-part suite as a ‘sell-out’ record, but by this point Pink Floyd knew how to make popular music, and how to present it to the public. The album’s production job is polished to the point that Rick Wright’s keyboards and David Gilmour’s melodic guitars, both the highlights of the album, seem almost to slip off the edge of the CD as each track fades into the next. The innovative samples famously incorporated into ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ are even more prominent here, and are arguably unnecessary in bridging these afore-mentioned gaps. The throbbing machine at the opening of track two is perfect, but the fuzzy crowd noise at the end, and the long wind that segues between the title track and the final song, seem more like deliberate attempts to make this all one piece of music in the way ‘Dark Side’ almost was. Gilmour and Roger Waters take turns at the microphone, and there’s even time for a nice, short acoustic song for people who don’t really like Pink Floyd. Add Storm Thorgerson’s cool photographic album sleeve and this becomes the archetypal album of Pink Floyd hereafter, the template Gilmour would fall back to after escaping from Waters’ domination in the late 80s.

            ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond’ is one of Pink Floyd’s most famous songs, and I might as well say one of their best. The last great long song they would ever record, and probably only the second great long song after ‘Echoes,’ this nine-part suite is split in two and shoved to alternate ends of the record. It would make more sense as a complete song, but the interference of major record labels saw that this wasn’t allowed to happen. Who wants to buy a four-song album that takes half an hour to get going? The first half of fifteen minutes or so is the best, as the second half is largely a reprise aside from some great bass and guitar solos. Beginning in grand minimalist style with Wright’s booming and hypnotically slow spacey keyboards, Gilmour’s famous four-note melody creeps in, soon to be accompanied by drums and a whole load of other loud sounds. Waters’ vocals follow the trademark ‘whispered’ style of singing, but the chorus is bombastic and energetic. Some peoples’ attention spans will be too short to appreciate this song in its entirety, so it’s probably fortunate that it’s divided this way.

            The middle of the album is notoriously weak in comparison to the incredible opening and closing pieces, but what we’re given is still highly enjoyable and a little diverse, at least in terms of which instrument is being favoured. ‘Welcome to the Machine’ is an ambiguous anthem of conformity that makes great use of faux-acoustic guitar over the hubbub of noises, but it’s nothing too exciting. ‘Have a Cigar’ is more upbeat and satirical and a chance for Wright’s keyboards to shine, even if that mostly means playing a prominent and potentially irritating riff between the verses. The vocals, criticising the music industry, are weirdly handled by Roy Harper, as Waters apparently had a cold and Gilmour wasn’t prepared to groan the hateful lyrics. This was probably the right decision, as his later attempts to handle such issues on ‘A Momentary Lapse of Reason’ were really terrible and unconvincing; he’s just not a nasty man. Following some phony radio transmission, presumably from an irritated listener who just couldn’t handle the satire of the last track, a tinny acoustic guitar is heard. The penultimate song sticks out from the synth-washed atmosphere and is the acoustic title track, ‘Wish You Were Here.’ With some nice lyrics and a catchy melody, this has remained a live favourite, but sounds a little out of place so far into this recording, a void escaping Wright’s Rick-Wakemen-esque domination of the airwaves elsewhere.

            Another great Pink Floyd album, produced by a band with a different aura. Waters would take full creative control after this release, leading to the less impressive ‘Animals’ and the pop-rock-opera ‘The Wall’ that’s actually really good, whiney as it is. If Pink Floyd under Gilmour ever release another album, which is incredibly unlikely but not impossible, ‘Wish You Were Here’ will be their main reference point to make it ‘sound like Pink Floyd,’ just as they did for the last release ‘Division Bell’ thirteen years ago. The majority of this album, excluding tracks two and three, will continue to form part of any future live setlist, and the other two make quite a nice pair, their morals not being mutually exclusive. Wright recalls this album as one of the only Pink Floyd records he can listen to for enjoyment, and he really is at his best here, before his talents and contributions were watered down and finally fired the hell out of the band several years later. Gilmour is excellent too, while the bass aspects of Waters’ bass guitar and Nick Mason’s drums don’t impress in the same way, but keep the whole thing grounded. Dick Parry has a great squealing sax solo in ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ too.

            ‘Shine On’ was being performed by the band before they had even made plans for a new album, and as such the rest of the material is a little weaker and forced in an effort to fill up space, making me wonder what other delights or atrocities may have appeared if this had been produced in the digital world of longer playing times. A tribute to their old comrade Syd Barrett, a mad visionary with a penchant for gnomes, bikes and LSD, there was a famous incident where Syd turned up to the studio half-way through its recording and asked if he could ‘do his bit.’ There were tears and hugs from his former bandmates, and the spirit of Syd would dominate this entire recording. Some crazy people claim that this album syncs up with Ridley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner’ in the same way ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ fits tenuously with ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ These people are wrong, and mad.

            And if they really liked Syd Barrett that much, they probably would have let him do his bit, or at least a bit of something. But no cigar.

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              22.02.2006 23:18
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              The peak of prog rock immortality as done by those who can.

              A pink hamster. That is what the name Pink Floyd meant to me up until I was 18. When I was a child my cousin had a piercing bright hamster affectionately named after the band and I wouldn’t hear the name again until I was a fresher and someone handed me a copy of ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ to go home with.

              I heard the revelatory sounds of this genre-breaking epic, was hooked and took in all the prog rock I could find from the sixties onwards.

              I picked up ‘Wish You Were Here?’ and felt bemused there was only five tracks on it. After repeated listening and learning of the legend behind the record, I found it had left an indelible mark on me.

              A tribute to founding member Syd Barrett, whose overindulgence in hallucinogenics forced him into an exiled existence he still lives today, this is praise to the thin line between genius and madman.

              ‘Shine on you Crazy Diamond’ is something of a reference point for prog rock fans and a template for most musicians who aim to create epics. The track bookends the album, clocking in at over ten minutes for each part, but never once losing momentum. Built upon a crescendo of organ and strings until the first vocal hits after eight minutes, it would be sold short as the soundtrack to a moon landing.

              The trio of other compositions feel incidental in comparison. ‘Welcome to the Machine’ hisses and bubbles but fails to impress as much as ‘Have a Cigar’, with it’s funky lilt and sarcastic stabs at record industry besuited hypocrisy and hyperbole. The title track is the best, emerging as a beautiful lullaby to Barrett and simply an acoustic lament to peaking too soon and the futility of existence. Basic questions form couplets ‘Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail? A Smile from a veil?’. Everything floats gently over a bed of acoustic guitars. Grown men wept.

              Viewed as a flawed follow up to Dark Side of the Moon upon release, Wish You Were Here shows a dark beauty enthusiastically plagiarised by others but never bettered since. To think it is regarded as one of Floyd’s inferior efforts is proof of their limitless ability.

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                23.01.2006 20:50
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                Their second best album.

                In the midst of the psychedelic sixties, a band emerged from the haze of the darkest London suburbs called The Abdabs. In 1965, three ordinary guys named Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright were the basis of this new band and it was only when they requested the poetic genius of Syd Barrett that they thought that the name Pink Floyd had more going for it. At least it meant some would take their music seriously…

                It was Barrett who supplied the gentle, drifting vocals and guitar. He was also responsible for the bizarre, ‘out of this world’ lyrics. He became the leader, guiding his newfound flock into depths of creation and shrouded, unspoken imagination. Richard Wright graced our ears and took us to distant plains of the mind with his keyboards. Nick Mason was the man behind the beautifully timed drums and percussion and Roger Waters was responsible for bass, more percussion and vocals.

                It wasn’t long before they were a resident musical interlude at certain discerning clubs. Already with the ‘Ally Pally’ under their belts, they had there, headed one of the most presstiduous psychedelic events in music history. It was a gruelling 14 hours titled the ‘Technicolor Dream’- a perfect fuzz filled name for a gathering of musicians, travellers, hippies and other walks of life. It was one of those ‘you had to be there’ type events, but for Pink Floyd, it was enough to grace the ‘amateur hall of fame.’

                Their first single release was the ordinarily titled ‘Arnold Layne’ in March 1967. (About a thieving washing line transvestite.) The Position of number 20 was a modest claim for a new diverse band, for when a time when everything ‘swung’ and the chart was a ‘free for all’, it was a chance for Pink Floyd to strike a timely chord with the alternative listeners. ‘See Emily Play’ immediately followed this single and it reached an impressive number 6. It was surprising that due to these fairly well ranking singles, the band didn’t release anything until December 1979; 12 years had gone by with only a handful of albums to go on before we heard the unique ‘Another Brick In The Wall Part Two.’ It was obvious from the start that Pink Floyd were not a band to bash out one single after another, in fact, this band were playing to a more selective audience of intellectual listeners who sat cross legged and analysed music intensely rather than bopped to it.

                In the hysteria of the late Sixties, it was clear that Barrett’s lyrics were being fuelled by a strong drug addiction. Unfortunately for geniuses of that era they either swam with the drug fuelled tide and rode on the waves of creative writing or they sank like a stone whose voice, no one could understand. It was the latter that crowned Barrett. Because of the failed man finding LSD more favourable than writing studio work or turning up to gigs, a talented young man stepped in by the name of David Gilmour whilst Barrett fell out. The shadow left shortly afterwards under a strained cloud. The band then could have been in trouble creatively, no unlike the legendary Peter Green on leaving Fleetwood Mac. The backbone had been Barrett and the rest practically picked short straws as to who was going to write.

                From 1967 to 1975 they released 10 albums, all doing well in regard to position and staying power. The release of ‘Atom Heart Mother’ hit the number one slot straight off and ‘Obscured By Clouds’- a soundtrack released in June 1972 managed an almost permanent residence completing 82 weeks in the album chart.

                ‘Wish You Were Here’ was their second number one album. Released in September 1975, an album indirectly dedicated to Syd Barrett who strangely turned up one-day whilst the band were recording the six-month album. His presence certainly their in the control room and yet also on the album. Even though it had been several years since Barrett left, Pink Floyd still hadn’t got the ghost out of their systems. ‘Shine On’ was a specific tribute to Barrett and even seen as a letter to him from the member of the band. Perhaps the title of the album itself may denote certain smugness towards Barrett at the success he had decided to leave behind. Already with ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ behind them, perhaps their greatest album to date, they could afford to poke a little fun at the defenceless Syd Barrett, although, Waters was reported to have said in recent years that when recording this album, they had all wished they were somewhere else….

                With only five tracks but yet all of some considerable length, it was chosen to be digitally remastered in 1994 and this is the album that can be purchased today. Written predominately by Waters, it wasn’t seen as their greatest album but to a newcomer of Pink Floyd, it offers a good starting point without commitment…

                Known for their adverse ‘Salvador Dhali’ style album covers, these sleeves represent the depth of the creation within. Pink Floyd represented themselves, a ‘no holes barred’ approach to experimental rock. Mixing futuristic machine themes and strangled keyboards with mellow guitar riffs, they wrote a line that undoubtedly appealed to all.

                The opening our album is the piece titled ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Part One)’ I shall call them pieces as any Pink Floyd album is quite like listening to a instrumental tale, (Peter Gabriel’s Genesis minus the lambs and foxes) rather than just an album with one track following another. Pink Floyd presents us with themes rather than songs and they flow gently together like one long artistic project, so this is how I will try to respect that….


                It is Wright that has the upper hand as this first piece opens gently, soothing us for what is to come. Gilmour idly teases the strings for a short time that is rather like a backdrop for soaring over the Scottish Highlands. A harsh four noted riff sounds like satanistic bells and then we are finally taken into the extended introduction to the piece. Gilmour flutters effortlessly around the strings to a mellow and sleepy blues theme. The whole theme to this piece is bluesy jazz whilst the member takes us through the instruments at their fingertips. Wright works his way through the repertoire of the keyboard just as Gilmour, who sounds instantly woken from heavy sleep? The listener get this feeling that they are just masters at instruments and is pleasantly surprised when their voices blend beautifully, however, like with all Pink Floyd albums, it is the quality of music that is the fundamental basis for the success of this band, not the lyrical content although it has always seen as an added bonus What does ironically make the album work is the primary subject, Syd Barrett and in this piece they are truly talking about his life, his highs and falls. ‘Well you wore out your welcome with random precision, rode on the steel breeze…’

                What we do experience with this first piece is fusion of both instruments and musicians. They naturally inject each piece with euphonious conclusions of mind and spirit. This first piece breathes life and that life is consistent from beginning to end.

                With souls cleansed and mind free of all dark, intrusive thoughts, we are awoken to the second piece from this album entitled ‘Welcome To The Machine.’ It is the second leg of our journey. As with all albums by wide ranging artists, and it even can be said for commercialism, production line Brit pop to an extent, that an album is a piece of history in the long range event of that artist/bands life. Here, we are exposed to the joys and more than not, sorrows that were the epitome of Pink Floyd.
                A man presses a buzzer to open a steel door inside a giant machine orientated factory, presses another buzzer and the pulse of the machine from behind the door thunders louder as we hear another door open. It is questioned where the direction was pointing when Roger Waters wrote this futuristic, harsh piece. Through the lyrics we can hear perhaps another tribute to the downfall of Barrett, but we must remember that by the time this album was recorded, the flattened, worn out, crushed spirited Pink Floyd were yet another super group to become disillusioned with touring and screaming to crammed stadium audiences who wailed so much that they couldn’t have possibly heard the band above the din. Like The Beatles had retreated to the studio for something for them, Pink Floyd had become distant to the world and Waters couldn’t bear the stadium thought again. Ironically what they had created with this album was another run up the ladder nearer to another packed out stadium.
                The door closes on this synthesized, unmelodic piece. It is a cold piece and holds none of the warmth from the previous piece. The machine is unwelcoming and after a listen once or twice, we may start to feel uncomfortable with the musical content laden with lyrics that show no emotion. To describe a machine using lyrics and sounds, then it’s perfect.

                Waters then presents us with another solitary written piece entitled ‘Have A Cigar.’ A heavy blues theme runs the length of this piece and the lyrics are little tongue in cheek. We experience some beautifully gliding pieces of Gilmour’s guitar work. To turn the tables, the listener becomes the listened. This piece ends with the actually the track being played on a radio. Our listener get fed up and tries to find another suitable station, he flicks around for a short while when his ears stumble across a slide guitar being picked away at in solo mode. The listener picks up a guitar and picks out an accompanying riff to the radio. Gently, our other members join to open the fourth leg of our tour around the minds of Pink Floyd, entitled ‘Wish You Were Here.’

                This piece was collaboration between Waters and Dave Gilmour. We wonder actually if they are perhaps reciting the lyrics to each other. To say that this might be yet another piece directed at the lost presence of Syd Barrett could be open for argument. I feel that in this stage of the album, they could well be having a dig at each other. We must remember that despite the title of this piece and the album, this was not a time of exciting highs for the band. They were practically worn out form working and the untrained ear through their voices can hear it. The lyrics, ‘So, so you think you can tell heaven from hell, blue skies from pain…’ may be seen as the idea that Pink Floyd were running thin creatively still from the departure of the very visionary who lead the members through the eyes and mind of himself. With the theme on the same vein as the blue than blues piece, ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’, we find that perhaps this is the album where we hear the band playing collectively, not unlike The Beatles, all so individual at the time, coming together to produce the very together ‘White Album.’ The piece is soothing to our ears and we hops soothing to the players, despite the digging lyrics. The wind blows and dies and the listener shudders as perhaps another ‘Machine’ piece, but what we are hearing is apart from a double note from the bass of Waters, is the second and concluding part of the story which is titled ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Part Two).’

                Predominately instrumental, it is a part two, but yet not sounding the same. The members ramble around their instruments like a quick practise session in the studio of nothing at all before recording. Perhaps this is how part one actually started off in the fist place? Gilmour shows us exactly what he can do with a guitar, he leaves nothing to the imagination of sliding great lengths up and down to the plundering blues drums of Mason, then suddenly the tempo changes and we hear the unmistakeable twang of guitar that can only be ‘Part One’, with a quick burst of recognisable lyrics of Part one to please the listener, its time to linger back into a meandering guitar riff, a tap of soothing drums and percussion and the band are back to pleasing themselves again. Once again Gilmour and Wright play at a double act together and we wonder if we are being intrusive to there private jamming session.

                There is a certain isolation that comes across from Pink Floyd. It is almost as if they have taken on the gloomy persona of Barrett to complete a highly acclaimed album. The mood is somewhat dark and pessimistic throughout and we asked ourselves what this album had been designed for. What we do understand is that it is there to illuminate how a strong influence of one man can have such an effect on the lives around him, even when he is far from the person he really is. We can feel a harmonious pull together from the members although it is perhaps tinged with an element of pain and even anger at the long departed Barrett. I do feel that the fundamental bottom line of this album and what it actually meant flew far above most heads at the time. It is only when the lyrics are read as words then we get an idea of what was hidden within.

                Musically, it was as ever inventive, dream inspired and insightful as the next Pink Floyd album, but one ends up seeing through that and finding the whole experience a little disturbing. The album, I have to be honest leaves me feeling uncomfortable, but I am the type to take notice of lyrics! It is an album worth having on a musical term. It portrays Pink Floyd at their second best, behind ‘Dark Side Of The Moon.’ But it feels strained, as said before, they had wished they were somewhere else…

                Pink Floyd today look more like our dads rather than accomplished gods of rock, and very wealthy ones at that too. They will continue to be worshipped as long as there is a shop to sell their records. Incidentally David Gilmour is on tour (again?!) packing out venues no doubt. He is covering a range of European dates including three at the Royal Albert Hall this year (May 29-31) These tickets will go very quickly.

                As regard to another electrifying reunion since Live 8, that’s debatable…

                I bought ‘Wish You Were Here’ about five years ago for around fifteen pounds. Unfortunately in the high street shops, because Floyd CD’s go by the bucket load, they will always hold a high price.

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                  18.11.2005 21:41
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                  excellent, original, innovative

                  The first thing that will strike you about this album, before you even play it is the cover design. Even more iconic than that of 'darkside of the moon', you may also be struck by the list of songs, just 5 songs.

                  This album starts in typical prog-rock fashion, meandering, elonggated introductions, swirling sythesisiers and ultimated climax with a roaring "shiiiiiiine on you craazy diaomand", ending in similar fashion, a sandwich with crazy diamond bread with a filling of gold fish and cigars.

                  The crazy diamond was of course, the former band memeber Sid Barret, who left the bad just before this recording of this album because of a mental breakdown. He was instrumental in thier rise to success, orchestrating much of thier earlier work, the more 'experimental' stuff, such as Arnold Lane, and Adams Atomic Breakfast.

                  The first song then, is long, perhaps too long for some, but the wait if well worth it, perhaps, never, not at least since Mozart, has an intro been so worth the wait as to the first line of 'shine on you crazy diamond'.

                  The next song, is 'welcome to the machine' The song is windy, it feels like air, there seems like nothing to hold on to. one can hear the cold tempest in the back ground, blowing over desolate concrete, or perhaps, a featureless void of earth after armegeddon. This sound is contrasted to sythesisiser, giving it a cold mechanical feel.

                  The next song, Wish you were here, ir perhaps my favorite, a beautiful song, yearning for their old friend Sid. One of the few songs which makes me shudder, telling of their lost innocent souls, "we're just two lost would swimming in a fish bowl, year after year, running over the same old ground, have we found, the same of fears, wish you were here". Wonderfulyl written, heart felt lyrics never really before seen by pink floyd, certianly a new found level of maturity of expression.

                  "come here dear boy grab a cigar, your gonna go far, your gonna fly high, your never gonna die, your gonna make it if you try they're gonna love you", the words of his father, the father figure, the super ego, teachers, parants, politicians, the wall, the machine? well, we are all familiar thats for sure. this is the second to last song, more up-beat, twanging guitars, sounds kind of like 'money' from dark side of the moon. Then we finish with a return to 'shine on you crazy diamond, more soaring female vocals and whirling sythesisers.

                  So, this album kicks ass, a prefer it to dark side of the moon. it has more feeling, more personal, darker, more depressing. It is not my favrorite pink floyd album however, that title belongs to 'The wall', i would high recommend it though. I picked it up for 9.99, should be easy to find for that price.

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                    27.12.2001 21:38
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                    Wish You Were Here was released after the huge success of Dark Side of the Moon, and so there was a lot of pressure on Pink Floyd to produce an excellent album. Floyd came up with this masterpiece, a memoir to Syd Barrett, their previous singer/guitarist/vocalist who had left after having a mental breakdown. This album, in some ways, is better than Dark side of the Moon and stays as my favourite Floyd album of all time. -------------------------------------- Those tracks -------------------------------------- Shine On You Crazy Diamond part1-- Originally over 25 minutes long, this song, maybe Pink Floyd’s best, was split in two hence part one and then part two at the end of this album. This is a masterpiece of epic proportions and for the most part is instrumental. When the lyrics do pop up they are some of the most moving ever heard. David Gilmour is a god on the guitar. The melody to this is amazing and Syd Barrett is immortalized by the song. A great tune.. 10/10 (20/10!!!!) Welcome to the Machine-- Crazy Diamond fades out and into this, which begins with the whirring noise of machinery. This is my least favourite song on the album and I still play it regularly! It is actually a great song! Roger Waters lyrics are cold and haunting and at first you won’t like this, but it creeps up on you and consumes you. 9/10 Have A Cigar— Yes, the Foo Fighters did a cover of this for the Mission Impossible 2 soundtrack. Have a Cigar is bluesy and stinks of irony. It is basically on the same topic as Welcome to the Machine but I think it’s better and slightly more accessible. “And did we tell you the name of the game, boy? We call it riding the gravy train.” 9.5/10 Wish You Were Here— Everyone has heard this heartfelt song. It was covered by Wyclef Jean but he couldn’t top this version. Gilmour
                    sings this and steals the show here. Priceless 10/10 Shine On You Crazy Diamond part 2 This is a continuation of part 1. And yes, it is brilliant also. The whole song is based around four notes that, as Floyd say, just fell out of Gilmour’s guitar. Amazing. You can’t help shouting out the lyrics with Roger as it reaches the climax- Shine!!!!!!! The fingerpicking of the guitar give the image of a diamond shining bright. I repeat, Amazing! 10/10 So there you have it. After that album Roger really took over with the experimental The Wall and they were never the same after. You must own this historic album from this historic band. You know you’re onto a winner when every track gets over 9/10. I suggest you buy Dark Side of the Moon first and then this gem. You won’t regret it.

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                      30.10.2001 20:41
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                      After the success of 1973's "Dark Side Of The Moon", Pink Floyd went from cult band to mega-stadium rock giants. Though the band had become more successful than ever, it didn't really bring them any happiness. The band was starting to feel a lot of pressure to follow-up the mega success of "Dark Side". Earlier in their career, they just made records when they were really creative and weren't feeling any pressure. Now the pressure was on for the band. During the sessions for the album, the band received a surprise visit from original member Syd Barrett who was suffering from mental illness and years of LSD use back in the late 60s when Barrett was the leader of the band during the psychedelic 60s in England. Barrett would become the album's theme in "Wish You Were Here" which is certainly one of the band's best efforts in the 70s and became historical for its touching lyrics and music. "Wish You Were Here" starts with the thirteen-minute track "Shine On You Crazy Diamond Pt. 1-5". The track starts with a quiet and spacey synthesizer solo from keyboardist Richard Wright. Then a bluesy guitar solo from David Gilmour comes in with the keyboards at the background. The guitar then becomes more haunting then drums from Nick Mason and bass from lyricist Roger Waters start to come in and then becomes this bluesy and spacey instrumental for about a few minutes. Gilmour would then come out with these cool guitar solos and Wright would come out with a spacey synthesizer solo later on. After more than eight minutes, Gilmour and Water sings the song with lyrics like "Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun/Shine on you crazy diamond" which they were telling they're old pal Syd to shine on and be proud of his achievements in Floyd and as a solo artist. After Gilmour and Waters sing, a saxophone solo comes in from Dick Parry who belts in this cool jazzy sax solo to give the tra
                      ck a more bluesy and emotional feel to the band's fallen friend. "Welcome To The Machine" starts off with weird samples of noises and keyboard sounds. Then an acoustic guitar comes in with the synthesizer coming in the background. Gilmour then starts to sing "Welcome my son, welcome to the machine" where the synthesizers give the track a spacey and haunting feel. Gilmour sings to Barrett saying "You bought a guitar to punish your ma/And you didn't like school, and you know you're nobody's fool". The guitar comes in to give a melodic feel while the synthesizers get louder and more spacier feel. Gilmour then sings again and after he sings, a synth solo comes in to give a more haunting and weird feel to the song and it then ends with a sound of a car passing by and people talking in the background. "Have A Cigar" starts off with this cool guitar riff from Gilmour and then all the instruments come in along with a weird synthesizer solo from Wright. Roy Harper starts to sing to Syd "Come in her, dear boy, have a cigar/You're gonna go far, fly high" and then says to Syd which is the most famous line in the song "The band is just fantastic, which is really what I think/Oh by the way which one's Pink?" which refers to the band's image as faceless and the public's wonder on who is Pink Floyd? Easy, it's Syd Barrett. The song then refers to the recent of success of Floyd which is also satirical in some view. Roger Waters shows that the band can make a brilliant satire of the band in a great song. The song then comes out with this awesome guitar solo from Gilmour and then the volume of the song goes lower in a flash of a second at the end. After that is "Wish You Were Here". Gilmour sings for his fallen friend "So, so you think you can tell/Heaven from Hell, blues skies from pain" where it shows how much the band misses him especially in the final ver
                      se that says "How I wish, how I wish you were here/We're just two lost souls swimming in a fishbowl, year after year/Running over the same old ground. What have we found? The same old fears/Wish you were here". An ode to a lost beloved one and a beautiful piano accompaniment from Wright. The final track is "Shine On You Crazy Diamond Pt. 6-9" where it starts to have a windy effect then guitars come in along with a weird synthesizer solo and drums crashing in. The synthesizers would dominate track for about two-and-a-half minutes until a guitar solo comes in that would dominate the track for another few minutes until Waters and Gilmour start to sing more about Syd and praise him for greatness. Gilmour then comes in with this melodic guitar solo and then turns into a blues-like track with cool bass riffs from Waters and organ accompaniment from Wright. Then the song turns in into a space-like track dominated by a spacey synthesizer solo from Wright where after a few minutes, the song closes with just the synthesizer at the end. The album is a definite must: Not only for the "Pink Floyd" funs or the hippies of the 70s who want to revive their youth.It's for everyone who enjoys music, whether it's rock or not.

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                        02.06.2001 03:42
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                        "Wish you were here" released Sept 1975 and was the last Floyd album to be wholly recorded at Abbey Road as well as being the first to use 24 tracks. Reviewing the whole album would take too much time so how about the first track! "Shine on you crazy diamond" actually nearly became a whole album side on its own...now there is a long one..track I mean! At its first recording the track was 20 mins long but then became split inot two parts with the other tracks sandwiched in between, hence Shine on part 2 at the end of the album. The Crazy Diamond in question, as you may be aware, is Syd Barrett, former Floyd member, who spookily enough appeared during a mixing session wanting to add a guitar track..his offer was declined! Anyway enough of the background what about the music? The entire track was inspired by four notes which apparently "fell out" of Gilmours guitar during rehearsal..guess he should be more careful with them!! But lucky for him they led to this classic track. The track which lasts for 13:33 mins starts with synth string chords which etherially drift into your room giving a sense of space and openess. These float around in the cosmos with a melodic line on synth onto which a beautiful guitar melody arrives. Even though I am not a guitarist myself I admired Gilmour tremendously, he is not afraid to "hang onto" notes. Almost four minutes into the track, here arrives the afore mentioned Four Notes, which are played almost 10 times in succession, guess he REALLY liked them and they continue to appear as the track progesses. Each time you think that the lyrics may arrive they don`t, who needs them with a "voice" of such fine guitar?!! The lyrics actually arrive 8:42mins into the track and are still supported by fine musical ideas. These lyrics again are a reference to Syd Barrett. Even though it has taken me years to finally listen to
                        this album, that I always heard about, I find it a refreshing change from the music that I hear every day on the radio. Here music is the important feature, sound atmosphere and quality guitar playing.The entire album contains clever, atmospheric touches that take you back to the era of "opus" albums. I realise not to everyones taste but then again until you try, how can you judge? Someone once said that music wothout words is the door way for the soul, the track may not be devoid of lyrics but the track does allow you to close your eyes and drift. So light those candles, lay back, relax and let your soul have a journey

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                          01.12.2000 05:16
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                          Stuck with the impossible task of following Dark Side Of The Moon, Pink Floyd did it with panache. The elegy for Syd Barrett, Shine On You Crazy Diamond is the mellifluous, rock gospel opener, but there's weirder stuff here. Welcome To The Machine was the nastiest thing they'd yet recorded- clangy, industrial, nihilistic, pointing the way towards Animals. Elsewhere, Roger Waters' lyrics are shot through with a punk persaging hate of the British establishment, and those snatches of plummy BBC radio voices opening the title track are simultaneously nostalgic and despicable. If this album had of included more songs of the same calibre it probably would have rivalled Dark Side Of The Moon for the title of best album ever. On the whole though the songs on the album are all of a high quality and are performed exceptionally well. I think it was a masterstroke by the band bringing in Roy Harper on Have A Cigar as he seems to have an understanding with how the music goes. Do yourself a favour and buy this album now.

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                            13.09.2000 19:44
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                            Wish You Were Here was the follow up album to Dark Side of The Moon. It's very different in many ways. The two part "Shine on you crazy diamond" is much more instrumental in it's outlook. This is also a very moving piece of music, which is a tribute to the previous chief song writer Syd Barrett. The track "Wish you were here." is slow and melancholic, whilst "Welcome to the machine." uses the technology of the time to great effect. "Have a cigar" is a cynical swipe and record companies pretending to like the music, when they really want the sales. The tone of this track is sarcastic, and the whole album emphasises, Roger Water's bleak view of humanity. Superbly innovative, this is a must for Pink Floyd fans.

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                              13.09.2000 01:47
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                              Wish You Were Here is arguably the best of Pink Floyd's albums. Written with the memories of their erstwhile lead singer Roger "Syd" Barrett in mind, the band tell the story of their creation with Syd, through to the tragic end. The "Crazy Diamond" unfortunately didn't shine on in musical terms, but is still living in Cambridge; original home of Gilmore, Waters and Barrett (not to mention Tim Renwick and Storm Thorgerson). Shine on demonstrates Pink Floyds excellent music tallents, and combines it with a superb ability to show emotion. 25 minutes (and then a reprise) may seem a long time to listen to one song, but as is Pink Floyds trademark, the music hits peaks and troughs, and has a beautifully composed lyrical section towards the end, where Waters cries out for the memory of an old and now departed friend. This, it would seem, was an album that was meant to be. During recording, a great number of years after Barrett had left, the bank were recording the track "Wish You Were Here", when a fat, balding man walked into the room, and simply sat listening. It took te group a while to reaslise that it was Syd!! He claimed that he wanted to rejoin; had a spot of lunch, and then disappeared from the Abbey Road studios, never to be seen again. This added impotus and meaning to the band, who now start ALL of their gigs, as do their famous tribute band "The Australian Pink Floyd" (A group given accolades by Gilmore himself for their excellence) with "Shine On (Part 1). No other person since Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame has had such a profound effect in such a short space of time upon the people around him. He may be gone from sight, but to true Floyd fans; he will never EVER be forgotten. This album is a MUST!

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                                10.09.2000 22:47
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                                For both my husband and myself our deepest regret is that we never managed to see Pink Floyd live. Anyone who has been lucky enough to see them live will know that the first song to be played in every concert is Shine On You Crazy Diamond from Wish You Were Here. Virtually every Pink Floyd album is a masterpiece of originality and experimentation that has helped to change the face of music forever. This album is testament to the experimentation side, it was the only Pink Floyd album that each band member recorded their contribution 100% independent from the others. This was how it started but of course then they took the results from this and reworked it to form what is an emotional tribute to former founding member Syd Barrett. This album is so strong due to the combination of the musical highpoints from Dave Gilmore along with poignant lyrics from Roger Waters. It would appear that the aforementioned subject matter inspired these two to combine to reach their full potential, this was never to happen again on a Pink Floyd album although not everyone will agree with me. Welcome to the Machine, Have a Cigar and the classic Wish You Were Here (in fact all but one of the songs) were written during the actual production, whereas other intended tracks were abandoned to appear on a future album. In my opinion this is a prime example of Pink Floyds confidence in this project and you can hear this when you listen to it. It does have the classic Pink Floyd sounds experiments but they are far more blended and the album is one piece of music that I would describe as ambient rock for want of a better name. Listeners of earlier Pink Floyd will love this album but it’s hard to think of other bands or groups to alike them to. If you like relaxed, meaningful, talented music then you could do far worse than buy this. Even if you’ve never been a huge fan this is probably the most friendly album to the general music listene
                                r. It is available as part of the shine on box set, a normal format cd/tape or a gold plated version for better sound. If this album is anything to go by then the memory of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd will always “shine on”.

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                                  16.07.2000 04:08
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                                  This is the album that the followed the mega seller "dark side of the moon", and contains one of the best tracks pink floyd ever recorded, namely "shine on you crazy diamond" in two parts that begin and end the album. This is the sort of track with the kind of ambience where you can close your eyes and just let it wash over you, I find a couple of beers often helps! Special mention to Dave Gilmour`s guitar playing and Dick parry`s saxophone-absolute bliss. The song has excellent lyrics too, an ode to Syd Barrett, one of the former members of the band. The other three tracks are also of high quality, "wish you were here" with its wistful lyrics being another of my favourite tracks. All in all a well rounded album that doesn`t sound dated and in my opinion definitely a classic Floyd album, Highly recommended

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                                • Product Details

                                  Disc #1 Tracklisting
                                  1 Shine On You Crazy Diamond
                                  2 Welcome To The Machine
                                  3 Have A Cigar
                                  4 Wish You Were Here
                                  5 Shine on you crazy diamond pt.2