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Sat Nov 30, 2019, 05:47 AM

40 Years Ago Today; Pink Floyd's album The Wall is released

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wall



The Wall is the eleventh studio album by English rock band Pink Floyd, released 30 November 1979 on Harvest and Columbia Records. It is a rock opera that explores Pink, a jaded rockstar whose eventual self-imposed isolation from society is symbolized by a wall. The album was a commercial success, topping the US charts for 15 weeks, and reaching number three in the UK. It initially received mixed reviews from critics, many of whom found it overblown and pretentious, but later came to be considered one of the greatest albums of all time.

Bassist Roger Waters conceived The Wall during Pink Floyd's 1977 In The Flesh tour, modeling the character of Pink after himself and former bandmate Syd Barrett. Recording spanned from December 1978 to November 1979. Producer Bob Ezrin helped to refine the concept and bridge tensions during recording, as the band were struggling with personal and financial issues at the time. The Wall is the last album to feature Pink Floyd as a quartet; keyboardist Richard Wright was fired by Waters during production, but stayed on as a salaried musician. Three singles were issued from the album: "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2" (the band's only US number-one single), "Run Like Hell", and "Comfortably Numb". From 1980 to 1981, Pink Floyd performed the full album on a tour that featured elaborate theatrical effects.

The Wall was adapted into a 1982 feature film of the same name and remains one of the best-known concept albums. The album has sold more than 24 million copies, is the second best-selling in the band's catalog, and is one of the best-selling of all time. Some of the outtakes from the recording sessions were later used on the group's next album, The Final Cut (1983). In 2000 it was voted number 30 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums. In 2003, Rolling Stone listed The Wall at number 87 on its list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". In the early 2010s, Waters staged a new Wall live tour that became the highest-grossing tour by a solo musician.

Background
Pink Floyd's In the Flesh Tour was their first playing in large stadiums. Bassist and songwriter Roger Waters recalled: "I disliked it intensely because it became a social event rather than a more controlled and ordinary relationship between musicians and an audience ... The front sixty rows seemed to be screaming and shouting and rocking and swaying and not really listening to anything. And those further back could see bugger-all anyway." Some audience members set off firecrackers, leading Waters to stop playing and scold them. In July 1977, on the final date at the Montreal Olympic Stadium, a group of noisy and excited fans near the stage irritated Waters so much that he spat at one of them. Guitarist David Gilmour refused to perform a final encore and sat at the soundboard, leaving the band, with backup guitarist Snowy White, to improvise a slow, sad 12-bar blues, which Waters announced to the audience as "some music to go home to". That night, Waters spoke with music producer Bob Ezrin and Ezrin's psychiatrist friend about the alienation he was experiencing. He articulated his desire to isolate himself by constructing a wall across the stage between the performers and the audience. He said, "I kept saying to people on that tour, 'I'm not really enjoying this ... there is something very wrong with this.'"

While Gilmour and Wright were in France recording solo albums, and drummer Nick Mason was busy producing Steve Hillage's Green, Waters began to write material. The spitting incident became the starting point for a new concept, which explored the protagonist's self-imposed isolation after years of traumatic interactions with authority figures and the loss of his father as a child. The Wall would study the performer's psychological separation from the audience, using a physical structure as a metaphorical and theatrical device.

In July 1978, Pink Floyd reconvened at Britannia Row Studios, where Waters presented two new ideas for concept albums. The first was a 90-minute demo with the working title Bricks in the Wall. The second was about a man's dreams across one night, and dealt with marriage, sex, and the pros and cons of monogamy and family life versus promiscuity. The band chose the first option. The second option eventually became Waters's first solo album, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking.

By September, Pink Floyd was experiencing financial difficulties and urgently needed to produce an album to make money. Financial planners Norton Warburg Group (NWG) had invested £1.3–3.3 million, up to £18.6 million in contemporary value, of the group's money in high-risk venture capital to reduce their tax liabilities. The strategy failed when many of the businesses NWG invested in lost money, leaving the band facing tax rates potentially as high as 83 percent. "We made Dark Side and it looked as if we'd cracked it," recalled Waters. "Then suddenly these bastards had stolen it all. It looked as if we might be faced with huge tax bills for the money that had been lost. Eighty-three per cent was a lot of money in those days and we didn't have it." Pink Floyd terminated their relationship with NWG, demanding the return of uninvested funds. "By force of necessity, I had to become closely involved in the business side," remarked Gilmour, "because no one around us has shown themselves sufficiently capable or honest to cope with it, and I saw with Norton Warburg that the shit was heading inexorably towards the fan. They weren't the first crooks we stupidly allied ourselves with. Ever since then, there's not a penny that I haven't signed for. I sign every cheque and examine everything."

To help manage the project's 26 tracks, Waters decided to bring in a producer and collaborator, feeling he needed "a collaborator who was musically and intellectually in a similar place to where I was." At the suggestion of Waters's then-girlfriend Lady Carolyne Christie, who had worked as the secretary to producer and musician Bob Ezrin, the band hired him on. Ezrin had worked with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Kiss, and Peter Gabriel. From the start, Waters made it clear who was in charge, telling him: "You can write anything you want. Just don't expect any credit."

Ezrin and Gilmour reviewed Waters's concept, discarding what they thought was not good enough. Waters and Ezrin worked mostly on the story, improving the concept. Ezrin presented a 40-page script to the rest of the band, with positive results. He recalled: "The next day at the studio, we had a table read, like you would with a play, but with the whole of the band, and their eyes all twinkled, because then they could see the album." Ezrin broadened the storyline, distancing it from the autobiographical work Waters had written, and instead basing it on a composite character named Pink. Engineer Nick Griffiths later said: "Ezrin was very good in The Wall, because he did manage to pull the whole thing together. He's a very forceful guy. There was a lot of argument about how it should sound between Roger and Dave, and he bridged the gap between them." Waters wrote most of the album, with Gilmour co-writing "Comfortably Numb", "Run Like Hell", and "Young Lust", and Ezrin co-writing "The Trial".

Concept and storyline
The Wall is a rock opera that explores abandonment and isolation, symbolized by a wall. The songs create an approximate storyline of events in the life of the protagonist, Pink, 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, which is where Pink starts to build a metaphorical wall around himself. The album includes several references to former band member Syd Barrett, including "Nobody Home", which hints at his condition during Pink Floyd's abortive US tour of 1967, with lyrics such as "wild, staring eyes", "the obligatory Hendrix perm" and "elastic bands keeping my shoes on". "Comfortably Numb" was inspired by Waters' injection with a muscle relaxant to combat the effects of hepatitis during the In the Flesh Tour, while in Philadelphia.

Plot summary
Pink is a rock star, one of the many reasons which have left him depressed. Pink imagines a crowd of fans entering one of his concerts, and we begin a flashback on his life, and it is revealed that his father was killed defending the Anzio bridgehead during World War II, in Pink's infancy ("In the Flesh?" ). Pink's mother raises him alone ("The Thin Ice" ), and with the death of his father, Pink starts to build a metaphorical wall around himself ("Another Brick in the Wall, Part 1" ).

Growing older, Pink is tormented at school by tyrannical, abusive teachers ("The Happiest Days of Our Lives" ), and of these traumas become metaphorical "bricks in the wall" ("Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2" ). As an adult now, Pink remembers his oppressive and overprotective mother ("Mother" ) and his upbringing during the Blitz ("Goodbye Blue Sky" ). Pink soon marries, is about to complete his "wall" ("Empty Spaces" ). While touring in America, he turns to a willing groupie ("Young Lust" ). After learning of his wife's infidelity, he brings the groupie back to his hotel room, only to trash it in a violent fit of rage, terrifying the groupie out of the room ("One of My Turns" ). Pink, depressed, thinks about his wife, and feels trapped in his room ("Don't Leave Me Now" ), and dismisses every traumatic experience he has ever had as a "brick" in the metaphorical wall ("Another Brick in the Wall, Part 3" ), Pink's wall is now finished, completing his total isolation from human contact ("Goodbye Cruel World" ).

Immediately after the wall's completion, Pink questions his decisions, ("Hey You" ), and locks himself in his hotel room ("Is There Anybody Out There?" ). Beginning to feel depressed, Pink turns to his possessions for comfort ("Nobody Home" ) , and yearns for the idea of reconnecting with his personal roots ("Vera" ), Pink's mind flashes back to World War II, with the people demanding that the soldiers return home ("Bring the Boys Back Home" ). Returning to the present, Pink's manager and roadies have busted into his hotel room, where they find him drugged and unresponsive. A paramedic injects him with drugs to enable him to perform ("Comfortably Numb" ).

This results in a hallucinatory on-stage performance ("The Show Must Go On" ) where he believes that he is a fascist dictator, and that his concert is a Neo-Nazi rally, at which he sets brownshirt-like men on fans he considers unworthy ("In the Flesh" ). He proceeds to attack ethnic minorities ("Run Like Hell" ), and then holds a rally in suburban London, symbolizing his descent into insanity ("Waiting for the Worms" ). Pink's hallucination then ceases, and he begs for everything to stop ("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.

</snip>


The whole album:


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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply 40 Years Ago Today; Pink Floyd's album The Wall is released (Original post)
Dennis Donovan Nov 30 OP
Cartoonist Nov 30 #1
Ohiogal Nov 30 #3
BlancheSplanchnik Nov 30 #2
ramen Nov 30 #4
calimary Nov 30 #5
3Hotdogs Nov 30 #6
I_UndergroundPanther Nov 30 #14
nolabear Nov 30 #7
spike jones Nov 30 #8
Lochloosa Nov 30 #9
ArnoldLayne Nov 30 #10
maxsolomon Nov 30 #11
3Hotdogs Nov 30 #18
Aristus Nov 30 #12
I_UndergroundPanther Nov 30 #13
UniteFightBack Nov 30 #15
byronius Nov 30 #16
LeftInTX Nov 30 #17

Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 06:17 AM

1. Comfortably Live

Best guitar solo ever. Starts at 4:55

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 07:16 AM

3. Takes my breath away, literally

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 06:38 AM

2. Kick! and Recommended.

Great post! Great band!

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 07:29 AM

4. 40 years.. good lord

That doesn't seem right at all

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 07:30 AM

5. This wall I definitely celebrated.

Still love Punk Floyd!

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 07:34 AM

6. I was at the Nassau Coliseum album tour.

The first half of the concert was stage hands building a wall, probably cardboard. Second half opened with — probably Waters in the middle of the wall, maybe thirty feet off stage. He was in a chair, facing a tv with static on the screen.

Wall was later blown up.

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Response to 3Hotdogs (Reply #6)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 09:31 PM

14. I was at that concert!

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 07:39 AM

7. What a great article. Floyd is one of the finest ever.

I wonder if they could even do what they did today.
There’s certainly good and deep music out there but it’s not at the top.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 08:13 AM

8. Twenty years ago Seattle WTO Protests.


Local news clips
[link:|

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 08:41 AM

9. Very interesting read.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 02:08 PM

10. Kick

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 02:39 PM

11. Where I got off the Floyd train.

I loved a lot of the music on it (Gilmour solos!), but Water's libretto was so overwrought. Even then I liked my music less narrative. I sold my copy to my little brother's friend.

20 years ago my kids spent a quarter learning listening to this album at school - specifically to talk about depression and anxiety! I thought that was a good use of the content, and I've come to terms with this album.

I couldn't get all the way through it again, however. Give me Meddle anytime.

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Response to maxsolomon (Reply #11)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 11:41 PM

18. Meddle - Echoes is excellent.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 03:14 PM

12. The first time I ever got high on marijuana, I watched 'The Wall'...

...and promptly fell asleep...

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 09:30 PM

13. The wall was my favorite

Album when it came out. I was dealing with trauma in my life but didn't know how bad it was.So it spoke to me on a deep level. I used to sing the entire album in various voices and tapping on the tiles when I got put in solitary at the hospital where I spent years trying to heal..

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 09:44 PM

15. Fucking Masterpiece. I remember getting all the kids to sing we don't need no education on the bus.

My life's greatest achievement.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 10:52 PM

16. I obsessed over this album. Listened to nothing else for a full year. Still listen to it.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 11:05 PM

17. The music video of The Wall is very graphic!

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