“The Wall” by Pink Floyd - album review

TJR says

Following on from “The Dark Side of the Moon” (1973), “Wish You Were Here” (1975) and “Animals” (1977), the eleventh Pink Floyd long-player, “The Wall” was conceptualized once again by Roger Waters, with producer Bob Ezrin playing a big part in fleshing out a 40 page script for the storyline and Dave Gilmour co-writing three of the individual pieces. For me, this is the best of their concept-era releases, but I remain largely unmoved by their brand of rock opera, or by any type of rock opera to be honest. The core group remain: Roger Waters (vocals, bass guitar, synthesizer), David Gilmour (vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitar, synthesizer, clavinet, percussion), Nick Mason (drums, percussion) and Richard Wright (acoustic and electric pianos, Hammond organ, synthesizer, clavinet, bass pedals). The 26 pieces, running over 80 minutes were spread over a two-record set, their first double album since “Ummagumma” in 1969. The outline of the story via the tracks themselves is brilliantly told at Wikipedia:

The Wall is a rock opera that explores abandonment and isolation, symbolised by a wall. The songs create an approximate storyline of events in the life of the protagonist, Pink (who is introduced in the songs “In The Flesh?” and “The Thin Ice”), a character based on Syd Barrett as well as Roger Waters, whose father was killed during WWII. Pink's father also dies in a war (“Another Brick In The Wall (Part 1)”), which is where Pink starts to build a metaphorical wall around himself. Pink is oppressed by his overprotective mother (“Mother”) and tormented at school by tyrannical, abusive teachers (“The Happiest Days Of Our Lives”). All of these traumas become metaphorical “bricks in the wall” (“Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)”). The protagonist eventually becomes a rock star, his relationships marred by infidelity, drug use, and outbursts of violence. He soon marries and is about to complete his “wall” (“Empty Spaces”). While touring in America, he brings a groupie home after learning of his wife's infidelity. Ruminating on his failed marriage, he trashes his room and scares the groupie away in a violent fit of rage (“One Of My Turns”). As his marriage crumbles (“Don't Leave Me Now”), he dismisses everyone he's known as “just bricks in the wall" (“Another Brick In The Wall (Part 3)”) and finishes building his wall (“Goodbye Cruel World”), completing his isolation from human contact.

Hidden behind his wall, Pink becomes severely depressed (“Hey You”) and starts to lose all faith (“Vera”). In order to get him to perform, a doctor medicates him (“Comfortably Numb”). This results in a hallucinatory on-stage performance where he believes that he is a fascist dictator performing at concerts similar to Neo-Nazi rallies (“The Show Must Go On”), at which he sets brownshirts-like men on fans he considers unworthy (“In The Flesh”). Upon realizing the horror of what he has done (“Waiting For The Worms”), Pink becomes overwhelmed and wishes for everything around him to cease (“Stop”). Showing human emotion, he is tormented with guilt and places himself on trial (“The Trial”), his inner judge ordering him to “tear down the wall”, opening Pink to the outside world (“Outside The Wall”). The album turns full circle with its closing words “Isn't this where …”, the first words of the phrase that begins the album, “… we came in?”, with a continuation of the melody of the last song hinting at the cyclical nature of Waters' theme.

The Jukebox Rebel
21-Mar-2016

A1 [03:16] 4.7.png Pink Floyd - In The Flesh? (Roger Waters) Prog
A2 [02:27] 3.2.png Pink Floyd - The Thin Ice (Roger Waters) Rock
A3 [03:21] 5.0.png Pink Floyd - Another Brick In The Wall [album version, part I] (Roger Waters) Rock
A4 [01:46] 5.0.png Pink Floyd - The Happiest Days Of Our Lives (Roger Waters) Prog
A5 [03:59] 6.2.png Pink Floyd - Another Brick In The Wall [album version, part II] (Roger Waters) Rock
A6 [05:32] 6.7.png Pink Floyd - Mother (Roger Waters) Rock
B1 [02:45] 4.8.png Pink Floyd - Goodbye Blue Sky (Roger Waters) Songwriter
B2 [02:10] 3.4.png Pink Floyd - Empty Spaces (Roger Waters) Prog
B3 [03:25] 2.7.png Pink Floyd - Young Lust (David Gilmour, Roger Waters) Rock
B4 [03:41] 3.7.png Pink Floyd - One Of My Turns (Roger Waters) Prog
B5 [04:08] 3.0.png Pink Floyd - Don’t Leave Me Now (Roger Waters) Prog
B6 [01:48] 5.3.png Pink Floyd - Another Brick In The Wall [album version, part III] (Roger Waters) Rock
B7 [00:48] 4.9.png Pink Floyd - Goodbye Cruel World (Roger Waters) Songwriter
C1 [04:40] 3.5.png Pink Floyd - Hey You (Roger Waters) Rock
C2 [02:44] 6.0.png Pink Floyd - Is There Anybody Out There? (Roger Waters) Songwriter
C3 [03:26] 5.7.png Pink Floyd - Nobody Home (Roger Waters) Songwriter
C4 [01:35] 4.0.png Pink Floyd - Vera (Roger Waters) Songwriter
C5 [01:21] 5.5.png Pink Floyd - Bring The Boys Back Home (Roger Waters) Prog
C6 [06:23] 3.3.png Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb (David Gilmour, Roger Waters) Rock
D1 [01:36] 4.9.png Pink Floyd - The Show Must Go On (Roger Waters) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
D2 [04:15] 4.7.png Pink Floyd - In The Flesh (Roger Waters) Rock
D3 [04:20] 5.1.png Pink Floyd - Run Like Hell (David Gilmour, Roger Waters) Rock
D4 [04:04] 5.3.png Pink Floyd - Waiting For The Worms (Roger Waters) Rock
D5 [00:30] 5.0.png Pink Floyd - Stop (Roger Waters) Songwriter
D6 [05:13] 7.2.png Pink Floyd - The Trial (Roger Waters, Bob Ezrin) Crooner / Cabaret
D7 [01:41] 6.1.png Pink Floyd - Outside The Wall (Roger Waters) Crooner / Cabaret




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