Year 4, Day 15: Pink Floyd – The Wall
- In The Flesh?
- The Thin Ice
- Another Brick in the Wall (Part I)
- The Happiest Days of Our Lives
- Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)
- Goodbye Blue Sky
- Empty Spaces
- Young Lust
- One of My Turns
- Don’t Leave Me Now
- Another Brick in the Wall (Part III)
- Goodbye Cruel World
- Hey You
- Is There Anybody Out There?
- Nobody Home
- Bring the Boys Back Home
- Comfortably Numb
- The Show Must Go On
- In the Flesh
- Run Like Hell
- Waiting for the Worms
- The Trial
- Outside the Wall
About the Album
The Wall is the eleventh studio album by English progressive rock band, Pink Floyd. The album was recorded from December 1978 through November 1979 and released on November 30th 1979 through Harvest Records (EMI Records) and Columbia Records. The album is a concept album. The album was massive success, certified 23x Platinum in the United States alone, making it one of the highest certified albums in the United States ever… of all time. The Wall has sold well over 13 million copies in the United States of America to date.
Thoughts on the Album
As I’ve posted about before, Pink Floyd is an acquired taste.While they made some incredible and an unbelievable music, they have made some incredibly weird and strange music. And as I’ve stated before about another Pink Floyd album, today’s album by Pink Floyd has held up so incredibly well, it’s still selling. Today’s album is none other than The Wall.
The Wall is a concept album. For those that don’t know what a concept album is, a concept album is a studio album where all of the musical or lyrical content tells a unified story. The Wall tells the story of a protagonist (named Pink) who is modeled after Syd Barrett and Roger Waters. The album is an incredible 81 minute journey that you should only listen to, in order to believe it. At both a critical and commercial level, the album was massive success.
Some Highlights of the Concept
The Wall tells the story of a rock star named Pink and his downward spiral into madness which is caused by all the things in that have happened to him in life. Another Brick in the Wall (Part I) is about the death of Pink’s father who died in a war when he was young child. This begins Pink’s metaphorical wall building from a young age.
Daddy’s flown across the ocean, leaving just a memory
Another Brick in the Wall (Part I) leads into Happiest Days of Our Lives which tells the tale of Pink’s abuse by his school teachers. The track has a low semi-disco like rhythm before it launches into one of the most famous Pink Floyd tracks ever. It leads right into the anthemic Another Brick in the Wall (Part II). Another Brick in the Wall (Part II) is arguably the most famous song from the band ever. Featuring one of most memorable anthemic choruses ever:
Hey, teacher! Leave those kids alone!
The track also features school choir singing during the song as well. David Gilmour’s disco-esque guitar riff is amazing. The track was a massive radio hit and according to my dad, the track received the same if not more airplay than Adele or Taylor Swift or some other big artists do today.
The production of the album is incredible… from the prodigious stereophonic mix of the tracks to the treasure trove of sound effects and voices used throughout the album. But it’s the final tracks of the album that are both the darkest and the grandest of the album. Comfortably Numb is a soaring and epic track that has both powerful vocals and guitars.
The child is grown, the dream is gone
David Gilmour constructed one of the best guitar solos ever on this track that combines passion and technicality perfectly. The track also contains a second guitar solo that is essentially a screaming ball of emotion that never loses it’s effect… even after repeated listens.
The Trial, the penultimate track, is where Roger Waters sings his most manically. The track is about the trial that is going on between the different characters in his head. Waters’ voice changes to correspond to the different characters speaking. The first two-thirds of the track is highlighted by orchestra backing the moving the track. For the final third of the song, Gilmour’s guitar comes crashing in like a thunderous wave and mighty thunderous vocals as well which represent a judge. The track ends as the wall collapses.
The album ends quietly with Outside the Wall.
I could keep talking The Wall, but then I’d be here all day. It’s a prodigious and extraordinary album that should only be listened to, in order to get the full experience. There are some albums you need to listen to, this is one of them. It’s an experience.