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Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here CD (album) cover

WISH YOU WERE HERE

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.62 | 3714 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Review Nš 4

This is my first review of a Pink Floyd's album. Pink Floyd was a group who kept the same line up all over the years with David Gilmour (vocals and guitars), Richard Wright (backing vocals and keyboards), Roger Waters (vocals and bass guitar) and Nick Mason (drums and percussion) until their eleventh studio album "The Wall", released in 1979. The only exception was their debut studio album "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" released in 1967. On that album the guitarist was Syd Barrett, one of the founder members of the group, who left the band because his mental instability caused by LSD. He was substituted by Gilmour, a very close friend of him.

My first contact with this album was in the middle of the 70's, through my schoolmate friends who lent me it. The music has some floating musical atmosphere, which brings us a state of a great peace of mind.

"Wish You Were Here" is their ninth studio album and was released in 1975. It was inspired by the material they have composed while they were touring across Europe. It was recorded over numerous sessions at the famous London's Abbey Road Studios, the studio where The Beatles recorded almost all their albums.

"Wish You Were Here" is my favourite musical work from the band, and it's also their darkest, nostalgic and melancholic piece of music. It occupies also one of the four first places on Progarchives for so many times with "Selling England By The Pound" of Genesis, "Close To The Edge" of Yes and "Thick As A Brick" of Jethro Tull.

"Wish You Were Here" has five tracks. "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" is a composition divided into nine parts. The original intention was to write a song to complete one side of a vinyl disc. However, the song grew so much that it had to be separated into two tracks and it was used to open and close the album. So, parts one to five were included on track one and parts six to nine were included on track five. So, the first track of the album "Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)" was written by Gilmour, Wright and Waters and represents a Pink Floyd tribute to their former guitarist Barrett. This is a great opening piece of music for the album with an undeniably melancholic mood and which perfectly well documents the musical talent of the band. It seeks to reflect Syd's perspective of the world and how it affected the group. The second track "Welcome To The Machine" written by Waters explores the band's negativity and disillusion with the music industry, as a factory with the perspective of make money instead of being a forum of artistic expression, and in general with the world as a whole of an industrialized society. This is a very dark and distressful song that shows an excellent and very interesting musical atmosphere created by the group. The third track "Have A Cigar" written by Waters represents another critic to the music industry. The music is sung by Roy Harper who coincidentally was also recording an album in the Abbey Road studios when the group was recording the album. Roger Waters, who initially wished to sing the song, didn't do that, and David Gilmour refused to sing it. This is a song that brings a different tone to the album and where the music is also excellent and its melody became extremely memorable. The fourth track is the title track song "Wish You Were Here" and was written by Gilmour and Waters. This composition is once more a tribute to Barrett, but it can also been interpreted as a feeling of a person who misses another. This is the simplest song on the album and it's the most beautiful too. It's mostly an acoustic song that features some of the most memorable musical and vocal moments on the album. The fifth track "Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts VI-IX)" was written by Gilmour, Wright and Waters and represents the second part of the Pink Floyd's tribute to Barrett. It returns to the musical elements of the first track, adding some more new elements in its musical texture and structure. The music is extremely beautiful and brings the perfect feeling to finish it in a superior way.

Conclusion: As we could see before, this is an album essentially about and dedicated to their founding member Syd Barrett and the farewell tribute by the group to their first leader. However, it represents more than this. It's also a critic to the music industry, such as the hypocrisy of make money essentially with commercial music without the minimum quality level. For me, it's very impressive that the band has made another masterpiece, and has even exceeded their absolutely incredible previous studio album "The Dark Side Of The Moon", released in 1973. Even Wright and Gilmour have declared that "Wish You Were Here" is their favourite Pink Floyd's album. "Wish You Were Here" is often overlooked when compared with "The Dark Side Of The Moon" and it's even often left behind when put up against Pink Floyd's classic albums such as "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn". I can't agree with that. This is one of the best Pink Floyd's albums and it always was my favourite album of them.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 5/5 |

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