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

WISH YOU WERE HERE

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.62 | 2831 ratings

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Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars I consider this to be one of the most overrated albums of all time. It's a good effort, with solid songs, and for once, Rick Wright gets to "shine," but I simply fail to see what many people see in this album. The first and fifth tracks epitomize tedium, even though I do enjoy them. In addition, there is nothing especially noteworthy about the three middle songs. The conceptual purpose of the album is twofold: It criticizes the money machine that is the record industry, and it pays tribute to former member Syd Barrett.

"Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Pts. 1-5" For four minutes straight, the first part of a monstrous composition features dense synthesizer and Gilmour bending away at his strings. Gilmour then plays the main riff of the piece. That main riff consists of only four notes, but what a great four notes they are. His bluesy guitar work dominates the song- the singing doesn't come in until after almost nine minutes have elapsed. The vocal work, to include both the tune and lyrics, is the highlight of this album. There is a raunchy saxophone solo, during which Mason changes up the beat.

"Welcome to the Machine" Mechanical noises govern the introduction to this, just before Gilmour strums his acoustic and the singing begins. The music is full of ominous strings, but Wright engages in a rare mini-Moog performance. Overall, the music pumps along mechanically, which works well artistically, but can make it an uncomfortable listen.

"Have a Cigar" This one is driven by dirty guitar, over-the-top synthesizer, and some creative vocal work. Wright mentioned once in an interview that, while the question, "Which one's Pink" sounds like a lame joke, it was a fairly common question. The lyrics are a scathing (and ironic) parody of the record industry. At the end, the lengthy guitar solo suddenly sounds like it's being played on an old transistor radio.

"Wish You Were Here" The segue from the previous song consists of Gilmour changing stations on his car radio. The signature guitar riff is made to sound like it is coming from the radio, and Gilmour's acoustic guitar soloing sounds like someone playing along to it. While, strictly speaking, not progressive rock (it's more of a campfire song, really), this is one of my favorite Pink Floyd pieces. Waters stated in 1975 that this was the only song where the lyrics ever came first in the songwriting process; given the lyric-swamped albums that would come during Waters's dominance of Pink Floyd, I can't help but wonder if this was the last.

"Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Pts. 6-9" The wind noises that drowned out the title track segue into the second half of this musical leviathan. Wright treats us to a wonderful synthesizer performance (I really like his tone here), and just as Mason changes up the beat again, Gilmour goes into a steel guitar solo. The lead instruments scream together for a while before things calm down, and Gilmour plays the vocal melody. After the vocals return, Wright dabbles in some electric piano and clavinet. The song is not unpleasant, but like the first five parts, linger on and just become monotonous.

Epignosis | 3/5 |

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