Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Pink Floyd - When the Tigers Broke Free CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd

Psychedelic/Space Rock

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Conor Fynes
4 stars 'When The Tigers Broke Free' - Pink Floyd (Single)

Although it would later be heard on the controversial record 'The Final Cut', Pink Floyd's song 'When The Tigers Broke Free' was originally heard on the film 'The Wall'. One of the few tracks that was not from the album of the same name, one of the highlights from 'The Wall' for me was the particularly emotional and poignant scene where the boy looks through his dead father's old war gear. The song fit perfectly into the scene, and it is just as moving on the record alone. A Waters-driven piece, 'When The Tigers Broke Free' is a story told through a film score- style orchestra, and although it is incredibly brief, it leaves a longer lasting impression on me than most of the band's other work.

Without blandly summarizing the lyrics of the song, 'When The Tigers Broke Free' details a narrator lamenting and reminiscing over his father, who died defending against a tank advance in the Second World War, as well as the very impersonal way that the powers-that-be dealt with the casualty. Although there are plenty of anti-war songs out there, telling it from the perspective of someone losing a loved one to the war makes it somehow even more moving, as well as the deeply melancholic way Rogers has chosen to tell the story through the lyrics. Musically, the song is based around a single melodic idea that gently gets built upon, with some sombre choral arrangements humming in the background. Rogers' voice is not nearly as technically precise as the rest of the sound, but the emotion depth is there in full, making things feel absolutely devastating once the orchestral flourishes kick in. The b-side to this single is not nearly as powerful, instead being a reprise of what has been heard on 'The Wall' album. However, 'Bring The Boys Back Home' does mesh well with 'When The Tigers Broke Free', due to the fact that they share the same orchestral sound and lyrical themes.

Suffice to say, this is one of the most emotional songs Pink Floyd has ever done.

Report this review (#457511)
Posted Sunday, June 5, 2011 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#640766)
Posted Saturday, February 25, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' was not just an album of course but a masterful film and I was always quite intrigued as to the missing songs from the film that never made it to vinyl. One of those songs was the Waters' composition When the Tigers Broke Free. It was a powerful part of the movie were Pink was going through his late father's war memorabilia and he finds a number of war trophies such as bullets, photos and the uniform. He dons the uniform as the song is heard quietly on the soundtrack and mimics his father's war look. The single here is the song that was missing from the double album and as such is quite a curio and worth hunting down.

The B side is another song lifted straight from the film and therefore is quite different from the studio version. Unfortunately it is only a short version of Bring the Boys Back Home and not really worth anything. In any case the single sleeve with screaming Pink and the aforementioned title track is well worth hunting this little treasure down for. Collectors will love it.

Report this review (#753107)
Posted Monday, May 14, 2012 | Review Permalink

PINK FLOYD When the Tigers Broke Free ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of PINK FLOYD When the Tigers Broke Free

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.