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

WISH YOU WERE HERE

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.62 | 2795 ratings

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nuncjusz
3 stars I am surprised to see so many people praise it as the ultimate prog masterpiece, as it isn't even Pink Floyd's best album. Don't mean it's bad, it's good, it's very good. But a masterpiece? Of PROGRESSIVE music? No way!

I must admit though that some (maybe most) of the material is very, very solid. We have a great title track, my favorite acoustic number of theirs, very emotional piece of music, even if I grew a little bit tired of it due to criminal overplay on classic rock radio stations. And then we have "Welcome to the Machine" - the most intriguing and atmospheric song here, very well arranged with acoustic background and some great keyboard/synth work on top of it and a haunting vocal performance by David Gilmour. These are, in my opinion, the two best songs here. "Have a Cigar" is not so impressive, a nice rocker, but quite straightforward in its structure, only Gilmour soloing near the end gives it some kind of edge, which saves it from being pretty generic. And of course we have that classic transition with "WYWH" - one of the most original song transitions ever put on record.

The main problem, for me is, the suite, "Shine On You Crazy Diamond". Praised by many as one of the best things ever done in prog, I have a really hard time digging what's so great about it. Apart from the intro, which is - I must admit - quite an impressive piece of mood-building, all we got from it is just a - quite generic - 20-minute BLUES song. You got it right. At least during the remaining 8 minutes of part 1 (the intro lasts 5 minutes or so) we have nothing but blues. It may be good blues, with some great guitar playing but first of all: not the GREATEST blues ever written, and second of all: we're talking about - supposedly - PROG masterpiece here. What's so prog about blues, especially in 1975? Then we have part 2 which for most part is just an instrumental jam. Pink Floyd aren't really masters of their instruments, so unless they create some spacey or dark atmosphere, there is no point in instrumental jamming at all. So they start this second part with a 'dark' bassline and they gradually start to build up on it, but this time it is less effective than at the very beginning of this record. Then we have a reprise of the familiar chorus from part 1, followed by some instrumental jamming which basically lasts till the end of this album (about 6 minutes or so) and is not really impressive, neither musically, nor 'emotionally'. It just drags. And that's the main problem with this 2-part song. There are some good sections but they never know when to stop. I mean, of all its 26 minutes, there is 10, maybe 15 minutes of really creative music. Actually, the edit of this song that can be found on "Echoes" compilation works way more effectively than this album version, although if I had my way, i'd cut it even more (but certainly not to 6 minutes, as on "Collection of Great Dance Songs", that intro really HAS to be heard - it's one of the best things on the album!).

Generally, my overall evaluation of this album is still closer to positive than negative, there are some classic moments here that rank among some of the greatest things ever done by this great band. I thought about giving it 4 stars because it really is an 'excellent addition', but granted that this album has so many enthusiastic reviews already, i felt the responsibility to emphasize rather the FLAWS of this album (even if they are in minority compared to its positive sides), which many people seem to ignore, awarding "fives" without any really deep insight. So I'm going to give it a 3 (OK, be it 3,5 rounded down). Still meaning, it's GOOD, but really, not essential, when compared to some of the milestones of progressive rock, like "ITKOTCK", "CTTE", "TAAB" or "SEBTP" or even "DSOTM" for that matter...

nuncjusz | 3/5 |

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