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

WISH YOU WERE HERE

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.62 | 2851 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is probably PINK FLOYD's most acclaimed album here on PA. I think it's a masterpiece, but a flawed one.

And the flaw, in my view, is that the record, while stupendous when heard all at once, can seem a little bit fractured when individual songs are selected, especially in the case of the two parts of "Shine on You Crazy Diamond". I'll explain myself near the end.

On the other hand, the music is still magnificent, with moments of real magic, in part thanks to the even freer guitar of David Gilmour, which now has more time to take us to other realities with its constant amazing solos. In general, the psychedelic factor has been taken up a notch, with a song like "Welcome to the Machine" that is a complete exercise in atmospherics and mental-alienation, with little-or-no rock in it but a lot of electronic sounds.

At the same time, PINK FLOYD dares to include a proper radio-friendly track this time around. "Money" and everything in "Dark Side of the Moon" became popular in spite of its odd-time signature or ultra- psychedelic sound; here, the title-track is just ready, was born to be a hit.

"Shine on you Crazy Diamond - Part 1" (9.5/10) is a fantastic track, featuring some of the greatest guitar work by Gilmour. I particularly love the fact that the actual sung-part of the song arrives very late into it, preceded by some of the best music in all prog, in an opening that would be imitated countless times, but as I've said before in PINK FLOYD reviews, never equaled.

"Welcome to the Machine" (9.5/10) is another brilliant track. As noticed earlier, the rock element is all but missing here, replaced by a musical tale of a world which is a machine, where feelings are dead and cold iron is thriving; a very narcotic track, is one of the best of its kind.

"Have a cigar" (9/10) used to be my least-favorite but now I can see the great music on it. The riff that gives the track its main shape is pure psychedelic bliss, all the way through its irregular ending notes. The vocals by Harper fit the PINK FLOYD style perfectly. Fantastic song.

"Wish you were here" (8/10) is the best-known track in the album and, with the exception of "Another Brick in the Wall Pt II", in all PINK FLOYD. I think it's a good melodic track but it's nothing to really write home about. Maybe it's the fact that I've heard so many awful (and not awful) bands cover this track that I've realized how mundane it can really be. The guitar work as always shines, but I've heard better songs in this style before. If anything, at least it fits in this ever-changing record semi-nicely.

"Shine on you Crazy Diamond - Part 2" (8.5/10) The conclusion to the saga is not as successful as the beginning. One of the best things about the first part was the gradual build-up towards the vocal part; in part 2 everything happens more quickly and with less effect.

And there's where I find a flaw in this record. If one listens to it from start to finish, everything clicks, "Part 1" and "Part 2" make absolute sense and its original, unique positioning in the album fit perfectly. Many bands, again, have created epics divided in two parts with this same approach: the first part at the beginning of the record, the second one at the end. And, for a change, I think that in this case some bands have actually improved upon a structure that PINK FLOYD built, because here in "Wish you Were Here" it gets difficult to appreciate any of the two tracks (especially the second one) without listening to the entire album first. As individual songs, especially "Part 2" doesn't work. I know: art-rock albums are meant to be appreciated as a whole, but then again, this is the very-rare case where others seem to have perfected the job.

This is not a major complain, though, and while I'd say that the average rating of the album is a little bit lower than that of "Dark Side of the Moon", some of the best moments in "Wish you Were Here" reach actually higher places, and it's just impossible to deny it the status as a masterpiece, worthy of 5 stars.

The T | 5/5 |

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