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

WISH YOU WERE HERE

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.62 | 2803 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

lazland
Prog Reviewer
4 stars So, you create a commercial monster, change the rules of rock, have all sorts of people laud you as the greatest musical happening since Wolfgang Mozart (all of which happened after DSOTM). What do you do next?

The greatest compliment you can pay to Pink Floyd is that they resisted the temptation to create a direct sequel to DSOTM. Instead, they came up with an album which feels and sounds wholly different, is far more symphonic, and also lays to rest the ghosts they had carried with Syd, not just by the way they said goodbye and paid tribute to him on the album, but also finally put aside all psychedelic rock to a very straightforward symphonic collection of songs.

David Gilmour has long stated that he regards this as the band's finest moment, and it is also the highest rated Floyd album on this site. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, an absolute classic, and a very important album in the annals of rock music, not merely progressive rock. Roger Waters revisits his major theme of madness, but also very cleverly integrates this into a none too subtle rant against the record companies (and EMI in particular). In hindsight, it is clear that the massive commercial success of DSOTM, and the wealth that this brought to the son of a Communist Party activist, provided extremely mixed blessings. I would also wager that many of the record company executives listening to this at the time just before release probably didn't have the wit to appreciate that it was they who were being confronted in such a brazen fashion.

It is also a very clever album in terms of its music. That massive chord change five minutes into Shine On, the exemplary sax solo by Dick Parry, and the (then) groundbreaking special musical effects, particularly on Welcome To The Machine. They also manage to create quite possibly the most laid back and understated rock anthem of all time in the title track, proving yet again that, in most cases, simplicity was as, if not more, effective than long and complex time signatures from their peers.

It is not, though, to these ears, the epitome of Pink Floyd in the studio. That would wait for the follow up and The Wall in my opinion. The Wright keyboard mid section in Welcome To The Machine sounds slightly dated now. In addition, Have A Cigar, whilst lyrically scathing and hilarious, does have a touch of the record filler attached to it. These are, though, minor quibbles. The symphonic suite that is Shine On is nigh on perfect, and the band never sounded as good musically as they did on this, and the Gilmour riff on the second part has, rightly, been lauded as one of the finest of all time.

I would award this 4.5 stars if I could on the site. I will, for the purposes of this review, round it down to 4 stars, if only because I feel that its immediate predecessor and two sequels are utter masterpieces, whilst this just, only just, falls short.

As I said on my DSOTM review, though, I can't see how anybody reading this hasn't already got it.

lazland | 4/5 |

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