Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.62 | 3762 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I heard the old man tell his tale!

When WISH YOU WERE HERE came out, its predecessor had already acquired classic status, and critics moaned that Pink Floyd's new album was not on the same exalted level. If you look at today's Progarchives ratings, WISH YOU WERE HERE has reached an amazing level of popularity. Still, I think I'll go along with those early critics and state that, purely as a collection of songs, WISH YOU WERE HERE is much less distinguished than THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON.

Sure, 'Welcome to the Machine' and 'Have a Cigar' are fine, cynical tunes, but they lack both the urgency and the formal perfection of the vocal tracks on THE DARK SIDE. Songs like 'Time' or 'Us and Them' could only have been written and performed by the Floyd at their best. 'Machine' and 'Cigar' could have come from any half-decent band. Even the vocal parts of 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' (well-intended though they may be) sound more forced, less spontaneous and less majestic than their counterparts on THE DARK SIDE.

What we are left with is the title tune, 'Wish You Were Here' itself, one of the most moving songs in the entire Pink Floyd canon; and the album's instrumental bits. Dave Gilmour's guitar solos are superb: some of the most beautiful and most influential in prog; and I have always loved Dick Parry's sax solo. Rick Wright's contributions on keyboards are less distinguished. I must admit I rarely play this album until the end.

So what shall we say? An essential masterpiece? Not quite. Non-essential? No, that's too harsh; this is definitely an album you need to know. In spite of its flaws, let's give WISH YOU WERE HERE four stars.

fuxi | 4/5 |


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