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Pink Floyd - The Wall CD (album) cover

THE WALL

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.05 | 2031 ratings

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friso
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Pink Floyd - The Wall (1979)

The world of music was changing, but how to adapt?

A lot of records of Pink Floyd are controversial and some aren't at all. Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and Animals are considered masterpieces (I myself happen to have rated them three stars however) and Meddle, Atom Heart Mother, Saucerful of Secrets and the début evoke some discussion. One record that somehow is completely isolated from the normal Floyd albums is the Wall. Hailed as the perfect concept album, but also bashed as a solo Roger Waters project with to little Pink Floyd-like atmospheres and compositions. I myself think the truth lies in the middle. It is a Rogers solo concept album, but the qualities of mister Gilmore are omnipresent. The musicianship of Wright and Mason are obviously neglected here. Mister Wright quite the band during the recording and did not actually play most keyboard parts and wasn't aloud to make compositions for the record. The drums on the Wall are very standard and do not give a clear picture of the possibilities of Mason. Drummer Mason never showed his talents from the moment Dark Side was recorded IMHO.

This Floyd records seems to lack a hell of a lot, but what precisely made this record so significant in rock history? From my perspective this record had some great songs that sounded like rock, but were actually very accessible for a large public that was already lured by the immense (live) reputation of the band. The lack of depth in most compositions seems to be completely compensated by the depth of the lyrics and the concept that allows everyone to put something of his own in it. It makes us think (Mother, Hey You), it shows true misery (Nobody Home, Empty Spaces, Stop), it makes fun of our often serious society and its bizarre values (The Trial, Show Must go On, Don't Leave me Now, Waiting for the Worms) and it deals with the feelings of being removed from society (Another Brick in the Wall parts, Is there anybody out there?, One of my Turns). Furthermore there are some classic Floyd tracks on this album like Comfortably Dumb, Another Brick in the Wall (which I think is really low quality material..), Goodby bluesky and Hey You.

My opinion on the Wall is that it's a good record with a lot of bad material. It's never really progressive (but Pink Floyd left prog during Dark Side years ago), it's almost never really beautiful, it's full of interpretations of rock and ballad clichés and the vocals aren't that good. It's just the connection with the music that's so strong about it. The misery of Don't leave me know, the anger of One of my Turns, the hopelessness of Goodbuy Cruel World, The Nostalgia of Vera and the bizarre ending and surrender on The Trial. These are remember-able moments! It almost makes me forget the very boring first side (side two and three are most interesting).

Conclusion. I accept this as an important milestone of rock, but not for progressive rock per se. It's rather a demise of the compositional values of prog and a dive into clichés. It is good, but not essential of a progressive rock collection. It has a lot to offer of everybody however as a classic rock album and a document of certain time. It's a way to adapt to the upcoming eighties for Pink Floyd and also the album which closed their mid seventies crossover period. I'm giving it three stars.

friso | 3/5 |

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