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Pink Floyd - The Wall CD (album) cover

THE WALL

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.05 | 2065 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars OVERATED.

Roger was so "parano´d" that he imagined to get a wall being constructed between the audience and themselves while they were performing it live (this idea grew already during their supporting tour for "Animals". Dear friend Roger also wanted to kick Rick out of the band.

Rick mentions : "Roger came up with the whole album on a demo, which everyone felt was potentially very good but musically very weak. Very weak indeed. Bob Ezrin, Dave and myself worked on it to make it more interesting. But Roger was going through a big ego thing at the time, saying that I wasn't putting enough in, although he was making it impossible for me to do anything. The crunch came when we all went off on holiday towards the end of the recording. A week before the holiday was up I got a call from Roger in America, saying come over immediately. Then there was this band meeting in which Roger told me he wanted me to leave the band. At first I refused. So Roger stood up and said that if I didn't agree to leave after the album was finished, he would walk out then and there and take the tapes with him. There would be no album, and no money to pay off our huge debts. So I agreed to go. I had two young kids to support. I was terrified. Now I think I made a mistake. It was Roger's bluff. But I really didn't want to work with this guy anymore."

Like a lot of double concept albums (starting with "Tommy" - the greatest in the history IMO), it is normal to have some weak or transition tracks. The problem with "The Wall" is that it really gets too much of them (ten or so). The record company (or Roger) were hesitating whether to release a double or even a triple (!) album out of this).

Fortunately, for the time being we'll get only a double (but we'll get the extra stuff later on).

"In The Flesh" opens the album quite well I must say. High hopes (this reminds me of something ...).

The main theme is being split into three parts : the best known being their hit single and video clip form Part 2. I wasn't any longer very much into Floyd in 1979 and this track was really not my cup of tea. But the relative weakness of this album makes this trilogy not too bad after all (the inclusion of "The Happiest Days..." working quite well I must say). "Empty Spaces" being another good song from this first part.

Half of the numbers from disc one are monotonous and have poor melody (" The Thin Ice", "Mother ", "Goodbye Blue Sky") this leading to some kind of boredom at the end.

Disc two is slightly better. It contains the best three tracks of the whole (of which two are co-signed with Gilmour if you see what I mean). These are of course : "Hey You", "Comfortably Numb" and "Run Like Hell". Some fillers as well (but less that on the first disc) like "Nobody Home", "Vera" or "Bring the Boys Back Home".

I quite like "The Show Must Go On" and "In The Flesh" (part two). At last a bit of emotion in the music. The last two tracks ("Stop" not counting as a track) are rather weak (specially "The Trial") and leaves the listener with a bitter taste. Where is the grand finale ? Not here, man.

The tensions within the band were inmense. I quote Nick "The recording was very tense, mainly because Roger was starting to go a bit mad. This was the record when he fell out badly with Rick. Rick has a natural style, a very specific piano style, but he doesn't come up with pieces easily, or to order. Which is a problem when other people are worrying about who did what and who should get the credit. There was even talk of Roger and Dave elbowing me out and carrying on as a duo. There were points during The Wall when Roger and Dave were really carrying the thing. Rick was useless, and I wasn't very much help to anyone either."

Roger will tell "The most unnerving neurotic period of my life with possible exceptions of my divorce".

So, no wonder this album could not lead to a true band effort.

It is more a Waters solo effort than anything else, although two of the best songs are co-signed Gilmour / Waters ("Hey You" and "Comfortably Numb").

I guess you can call me a HUGE Floyd fan : starting to love them in 1971 with Meddle, having all their offical catalogue + forty non official recordings. This allows me just to be honest with this review as I have been with some of their early work (studio album from Ummagumma, AHM, and OBC).

Just a last comment : I have been listening at least 200 times to "The Lamb Lies Down" or to "Tommy" in their entirety. I will NEVER be able to listen to even a tenth of these ones for The Wall.

As I mentioned already, there are only three great tracks on this DOUBLE album, which is kind of weak for Floyd. A few days before I started to work on this review (about six weeks from now), I was attending a live concert from the tribute band "The Machine" (which I really recommend). They were playing "Wish You Were Here" and "The Wall" in their entirety. That's where you understand that one is a masterpiece (WYWH) while the other one is quite hard to "digest". This one will hit Nr. 1 in the US and Nr. 3 in the UK.

For me it only deserves three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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