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Pink Floyd - When the Tigers Broke Free CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.30 | 65 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Surprisingly, only one review preceeds mine.

This song deserved to be included in the Echoes compilation since it's a non-album track (featured in the film). I'm not a big fan of Pink Floyd The Wall directed by Alan Parker. It's in practice a silent movie (ie. no dialogue really), or an extended music video, only this time based on a double album instead of a single song. And it's a very depressing thing to watch. Gerald Scarfe's animation sequences save a lot, to many they are the real meat of the whole film.

The song - or the sequence in the film - is dealing with the main character Pink as a little boy who finds some wartime memorabilia, a soldier's uniform and other stuff that are more or less the only things that have been left behind of his father who was killed in WW2 (the 'tigers' are war planes, not animals). A lonely boy who plays with toy soldiers and whose relationship with his mother doesn't seem very warm. Pink is of course quite autobiographical, in that sense, to Roger Waters - whose loss of father, and the painful relationship to wars in general, has been a major issue in his writing. OK, that fate of Pink's father comes pretty clear in the movie even without this scene (via numerous war flashbacks that are disturbing and actually not quite needed at all), but nevertheless I think the scene is (or could have been) one of the emotional highlights and gives some psychological depth. (Edited later: having recently seen the scene, I must say it's not as good as I remembered.)

Listened separately the song has a better effect. Starting very queitly and intimately, Roger's voice backed by low humm-humms that give the music a sacred, funeral-like tone, and little by little increasing the tension. "... and that is how they took my daddy away from me!" Sharp stop. The lyrics are wonderful, no doubt written with heart blood.

One reason why I entered this single's page here was to see its B-side content. 'Bring The Boys Back Home'. Bah. That short march-like tune is not among highlights, neither of the album, nor of the film. Well, maybe in a narrative level it is essential, but it's hardly enjoyable as music. So in this case the flipside doesn't offer any reason to get this single.

Matti | 3/5 |


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