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Pink Floyd

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Pink Floyd The Wall album cover
4.09 | 3277 ratings | 229 reviews | 45% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (38:58)
1. In the Flesh? (3:17)
2. The Thin Ice (2:28)
3. Another Brick in the Wall, Part 1 (3:41)
4. The Happiest Days of Our Lives (1:20)
5. Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2 (3:56)
6. Mother (5:32)
7. Goodbye Blue Sky (2:48)
8. Empty Spaces (5:36)
9. Young Lust (2:03)
10. One of My Turns (1:33)
11. Don't Leave Me Now (4:22)
12. Another Brick in the Wall, Part 3 (1:17)
13. Goodbye Cruel World (1:05)

CD 2 (41:43)
1. Hey You (4:39)
2. Is There Anybody Out There! (2:40)
3. Nobody Home (3:25)
4. Vera (1:38)
5. Bring the Boys Back Home (0:50)
6. Comfortably Numb (6:49)
7. The Show Must Go On (1:36)
8. In the Flesh (4:16)
9. Run Like Hell (4:22)
10. Waiting for the Worms (3:56)
11. Stop (0:34)
12. The Trial (5:16)
13. Outside the Wall (1:42)

Total Time 80:41

Line-up / Musicians

- David Gilmour / lead & rhythm guitars, bass, synths, sequencer, clavinet, percussion, lead vocals, co-producer
- Richard Wright / piano & electric piano, Hammond, synths, clavinet, bass pedals
- Roger Waters / bass, rhythm guitar, synths, sound effects, lead vocals, co-producer
- Nick Mason / drums, percussion

- Lee Ritenour / guitars (1.10,2.6)
- Joe (Ron) di Blasi / classical nylon guitar (2.2)
- Trevor Veitch / mandolin (2.13)
- Bob Ezrin / piano, Hammond, synths, reed organ, orchestral arrangements, backing vocals, co-producer
- Fred Mandel / Hammond (1.1,2.8)
- Frank Marocco / concertina (2.13)
- James Guthrie / percussion, synthesizer, sound effects, co-producer
- Michael Kamen / orchestral arrangements
- Phil Taylor / sound effects
- Larry Williams / clarinet (2.13)
- Jeff Porcaro / drums (1.6)
- Joe Porcaro / lead snare drums (2.5)
- Bobbye Hall / congas (2.9)
- New York Philharmonic Orchestra (2.3-2.6,2.12)
- New York City Opera / backing chorus (2.5)
- Pupils of Islingtown Green Primary School / backing chorus (1.5)
- Joe Chemay / backing vocals
- Stan Farber / backing vocals
- Jim Haas / backing vocals
- Bruce Johnston / backing vocals
- Jon Joyce / backing vocals
- Toni Tenille / backing vocals
- "Vicki & Clare" / backing vocals
- Harry Waters / child's voice
- Chris Fitzmorris / male telephone voice
- Trudy Young / voice of the groupie

Releases information

Artwork: Gerald Scarfe with Roger Waters (design)

2LP Columbia - PC2 36183 (1979, US)
2LP Harvest - SHDW 411 (1979, UK)

2CD Harvest - CDS 7 46036 8 (1984, Europe)
2CD Columbia - UDCD 2-537 (1990, US) Remastered by Krieg Wunderlich
2CD Harvest - CDEMD 1071 (1994, Europe) Remastered by Doug Sax with James Guthrie
2CD EMI - 50999 028944 2 3 (2011, Europe) Remastered by James Guthrie with Joel Plante

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy PINK FLOYD The Wall Music

PINK FLOYD The Wall ratings distribution

(3277 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(45%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

PINK FLOYD The Wall reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by maani
4 stars Dark it may be, but The Wall is deservedly considered an album equally great in its own way to Dark Side, and among the most phenomenal albums every conceived and recorded. (It is also eerie - if not downright prescient - that the album was released just as the Berlin Wall fell (11/9/79), which means that its conception and recording were completed BEFORE that.) With another trademark PF theme (uncatharted anger over the circumstances of one's birth, upbringing and education) - and with one of the most complex, state-of-the-art productions in rock history - The Wall was an instant masterpiece, and remains so. Nitpick if you will. But the overall effect of this album is so powerful that it is almost too difficult to get through: like cramming a year of therapy into 80 minutes.
Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Fifty words to describe this when all of my dear colleagues did such a fine job? Well, let me explain why this does not get the maximum rating, then. Actually, it gets 4.5 stars but there are moments I avoid on side 3 (from Is there Anybody out there? to Vera Lynn to Comfortably Numb included - I overdosed on the last number).

I never bought the CD to replace my vinyl since I rarely have the urge to listen to this anymore (I know every note by heart) and got the live version recently released (Is There Anybody Out There?) instead which I think is superior. I also saw the film about twenty times, and always wondered why the first number (depicting the death of Pink's father in WWII) never appeared anywhere in the studio and live recordings.

So the debate is: which of the three versions should you not get: The Movie, the live version or the original studio one? They've all got little plusses and a few minuses. The movie has the images that help you grasp the story best and has the Corporal Fletcher Memorial track but is with Geldof singing some tunes and lacks the superb Hey You! (it is in the bonus features, though) . The studio version lacks the Fletcher track and the images but has the tracks as originally sung. The live album is tremendous and a good rendition of the concerts and has an extra track on it and has the false PF band playing. I got all three but will never have the studio version in digital form.

As for that Immersion boxset of 2011 The boxset of this huge concept album is probably more interesting than the WYWH one, not only because there are more discs, but it's more complete. Aside the multi-speaker versions of the original albums, we're finding the Is There Anybody There live album (released 10 years ago or so), the usual DVD video stuff, including three documentary interviews (one concentrating about the movie) plus concert animation visuals and a video-clip Another Brick of yesteryear. You might be pleased with the illustrated concert picture book, and the other one concentrating on the album (lyrics, gatefold and piccies of the project and memorabilia), but the huge foldable "poster" with the lyrics is absolutely useless. If you already own the studio and live versions, the more interesting discs are the work-in-progress tracks, where some of these tracks are in a very different state than the final version. Very interesting to hear once or twice, but your mileage will vary on these, but most likely it won't get regular spins. The only thing positive about the oversized width of these Immersion boxes is that you'll find space for the Parker movie DVD package, which is sadly missing here. Hardly essential, unless you have nothing about this huge and bombastic concept album.

Review by loserboy
5 stars Often after I listen to music I realize that the website is missing many great albums and this was the case with "The Wall". Sometimes the most obvious is not so obvious until you sit back and look at it... "The Wall" was in my opinion the crowning moment for PINK FLOYD. Requiring 2 albums to fully explore, Waters, Gilmour, Wright and Mason take us into the dark world of a warped out rock star who builds walls to survive in his world. "The Wall" is a remarkable concept album which has become one of the all time most popular double album sets. Songs and themes vary from the "nightmare'ish" court room scene to the dark and repressive schoolroom where teachers engage in physical measures to teach their students. If you have not heard "Another Brick In The Wall" or "Run Like Hell" then I would say you need to buy this album right away. Clearly a masterpiece all the way through.
Review by lor68
4 stars Their most famous concept album, the output of such "Roger WATER's alienation": well actually this album is prolix and in my opinion is not in compliance with a true "team work". That is it seems the output of the music efforts by WATERS alone, despite of recognizing some great moments of their typical "FLOYDian trademark", which can not be emulated!!
Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The Wall is the best of the Pink Floyd albums! The Wall is a double album really well made: Roger Waters is the genius behind that! He is able to put orchestral arrangements in his stuff to produce an outstanding serious rock chef d'oeuvre. Waters doesn't care about the technical performance of rapid and complex progressive moods. He produces a really accessible and addictive record.

He rather does in the smooth, relax, moving, serious arrangements for a classical rock theme, which, in fact, is very pleasant to hear because it is professionally made. David Gilmour plays pleasant and emotional solos, and he has a solid sense of catchy acoustic and electric rhythmic guitars arrangements here. Wright's keyboards are more merged with the overall music, and they often consist in delicate piano, ambient organ parts and mellow effects: with the omnipresent orchestral arrangements, the keyboards occupy a less substantial part in the music, or at least they are more discreet. Subtle & special sounds, like explosions, conversations, phone tonalities, fanatic crowds, closing doors , birds sound emulation, TV movie sounds, passing cars, playing children, helicopter, steps, among others, are present more than ever.

The Wall is not a complex music; the album must be seen as a whole, because it has a real story to transmit. It sometimes happens that music has not to be complex to be excellent; simple music can be good or very good, but you have to be a genius like Waters to create EXCELLENT simple music!!

Roger Waters is a genius in a certain way, and he still proves it with his outstanding solo album "Amused to death", which may be considered as "The Wall part 2".


Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Built on shifting sand

A disappointing, overlong Waters led monster, or the band's finest hour? Pink Floyd fans themselves are very much divided on it, with many considering it a masterpiece, while others rue the final demise of the Syd Barrett influences.

For me it's the disappointing etc. option. "The Wall" does indeed have some fine moments, but it's ironic that the best is Dave Gilmour's contribution to "Comfortably numb". Waters is far too dominant on the album, which not only makes it somewhat mundane and dull, but also results in a collection which might have made for a far better single LP.

Part of the problem is that Waters has something "important" to say. As a result, at times he relegates the music to second place, some distance behind the need to voice his opinions and personal grievances. There are some rare moments of lighter relief; the surprise hit single "Another Brick in the wall part 2" for example.

The album lacks any sense of excitement. It is single paced, with far too many lyrics, and far too few instrumental passages. The story is too obscure to make any real sense, and tends to drift along without any real focus. There are enjoyable passages, but they are few and far between.

When compared to the band's finest hours, "The Wall" is found to be very poorly built.

Ironically, the live album "Is there anybody out there" captures the essence of "The wall" far better than the studio rendition, and is thus the one to go for.

Review by James Lee
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I hate to think that I would have liked this album more had I heard it less while I was growing up...unfortunately, in a mass media world, we are constantly bombarded with sensory input and for me in the 80s that included not just this album and the singles (which are STILL overplayed on classic rock stations worldwide) but the film and the images that go along with it. I find it difficult to be objective; it may not be a coincidence that "When the Tigers Broke Free" as well as the extended version of "Empty Spaces" are some of my favorite musical moments and yet they appear only in the film. Seldom are the instrumental talents of the band members put to full use, and improvisation is almost non-existent. For a band whom I loved mainly for the instrumental voyages they took me on, that's a killing blow. On the earlier post-Barrett albums ("Ummagumma" through "Dark Side"), it was very clear that this was a group of guys who enjoyed making weird music, who had fun creating scary and 'trippy' sounds. The transition came around the time of "Wish You Were Here" and "Animals", where that impulse starts to get weeded out in favor of establishing a concept, and as a result we have a darker, less noisy and random, and more obviously alienated mood. It worked very well- "Wish You Were Here" was a melancholy paeon and "Animals" still scares me- but by the time of "The Wall", Water's dedication to portraying alienation had succeeded in distilling out almost everything I liked about the band. It sounds sterile to me, as emotionlessly theatrical as a lackluster high school musical, and devoid of any emotion but dull bitterness for much of the album. How much can someone enjoy listening to a millionaire rock star complain about his life? Even worse, how much can someone enjoy listening to a stilted semi-theatrical production based on those complaints (listen again to "The Trial"'s the musical equivalent to a bad B-movie that wants to be an art film)? Still, I have to admit there are classic moments on the album which make it worth hearing if you don't have every note burned inescapably into your brain the way I do. I still get the shivers over "Hey You" and "Goodbye Blue Sky"; I adore Gilmour's guitar work on "Comfortably Numb" and "Mother" as well as others. The other members of the band, obviously, should have been allowed to make a bigger contribution, for the actual amout of music on the album is surprisingly limited (there are only two main melodic motifs, reoccurring endlessly throughout these 80 minutes..and beyond, as they return in parts of "The Final Cut" and Waters' solo album "Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking"). I suppose if you are new to Pink Floyd, you HAVE to listen to "The Wall", but please dig deeper and you may find, as I did, that you enjoy almost every other album more...I give it one star for being the last real Waters/Gilmour/Wright/Mason album, one star because I recognize it to be an important "classic" rock album, and one star for having a few still-enjoyable musical moments after all these years.
Review by frenchie
4 stars On the animals tour, an incident occured where Roger spat in a fans face, thus making him feel alienated from the great audience that had built up around the bands astonishing career. This alienation was used to build up the amazing double concept album, The Wall. One of pink floyds more experimental pieces but none-the-less there is top pink floyd quality here across both discs.

The Wall is made up of lots of smaller length tracks than the usual pink floyd albums, no epics, suites or side-length tracks here, but the album plays as one flowing track with no gaps between the songs. There are often revisited guitar riffs in songs like "In the Flesh?", "Hey You" and "The Trial" to give the whole album a sort of claustrophobic feel and to help link the songs together. The story may be hard to follow unless you have seen the film but that doesn't matter because as a piece of music this is a solid piece that flows brilliantly and shows off some of the bands best musical work and lyrics.

Unfortunately this was the last album keyboardist Richard Wright would appear on (until his return in 1987) after being layed off by Roger. This in mind, Richard still plays with all his heart and it is a great note to leave off on. Unfortunately nothing after this album was as good as the 60's and 70's floyd. The Wall is perhaps the final masterpiece and the last time the band would work as a full unit.

This is brilliant stuff. Highlights include "Another Brick in the wall (Part Two)" with its attack on education and use of a school choir and impressive guitar solos, "Hey You" with its impressive dark riffage and flowing vocals, "Comfortably Numb" with its inspiring guitar solo and "The Trial" with its dark humour and voice impressionism by Roger. This album is lyrically flawless and easy to listen to baring in mind the length of the album. The only problem is it can be inconsistant at times with songs like "Stop", "The Show Must Go On" and "Bring The Boys Back Home" which are just annoying fillers. Add this album to your collection.

Review by penguindf12
5 stars Man, I keep changing my mind about this album! When I was 14, it was THE BEST THING EVER PERIOD. At 18, it was "not proggy enough." Now, at 22, it's "Really Great!"

I'll level with you - this album holds a special place in my heart. I was obsessed with it for months; I'd never heard anything like it before. It was so "deep," so "intelligent" & cohesive. I STILL think it is all of these things, but I'm pretty biased.

The music here isn't complex or "Progressive." It is more along the lines of classic rock stuff from that era, and sounds a LOT like Alice Cooper's "Billion Dollar Babies" album in terms of "sound" - in fact, it sounds way more like Cooper than Pink Floyd; it's no coincidence that Bob Ezrin produced both albums.

The lyrics are excellent. I can't do them justice; read Bret Urick's complete analysis for a wonderful take on that subject:

Some highlights for me:

"In the Flesh?" erupts like a phoenix from ashes. It's bloated cheese-metal, for sure, and it wobbles along in a menacing crawl - it's the sound of a man that just doesn't care any more. A brilliant introduction that sends shivers down my spine.

"Goodbye Blue Sky" is beautiful. If I say more I might start sobbing. "Empty Spaces" really gets me as well. "What shall we use to fill the empty space where we used to talk?" --- What indeed?

"Young Lust" has a great riff.

"Don't Leave Me Now" is incredible, and VERY underrated. Ambient & heart-wrenching, especially when the drums swoop in for the final chorus.

"Another Brick in the Wall Part III" is my favorite of the three.

"Hey You" is probably one of the best songs ever written under the Floyd name.

"Is There Anybody Out There?" gives me goosebumps. I love the acoustic guitar threnody that forms its coda - it's some of the loneliest music ever recorded.

"Nobody Home" is another great song that doesn't get enough attention. Sing it at home sometime. You'll end up memorizing the little samples of television dialogue that permeate the background.

"Vera Lynn" is also underrated, but it only makes sense if you understand the context.

"Bring the Boys Back Home" occupies a strange place in my perception. I don't like it - but it does form a nice contrast to the incessant softness of the first half of Disc 2.

Everyone likes "Comfortably Numb." If you don't, get stuffed.

"Waiting for the Worms" just plain sounds awesome. VERY Bob Ezrin, but captures a lyrical nihilism like no other. "Sitting in a bunker..."

"Stop." I sing it when I am alone, curled up in the corner of some bathroom. It resonates beautifully.

Absolutely essential. It doesn't sound like Pink Floyd, but it does sound great.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars And the five star ratings keep rolling for probably the best band of all time. Am I delusional? I think not....The Wall comfortably continued where Animals started really and it is a wonderful concept double album piece. There is not a track on it that is poor although I do agree with one of the other reviewers on overdosing on ' Comfortably Numb'. The story is now well documented so I will save on that element just to say that if it took 2 years to release the Wall how the hell does it now take Roger Waters 12 years to release a new studio album? That amazes me...The Wall is mainly Waters doing the composing and lyrics, yes he had more control of the band then. I personally have no problem with that as we needed a dark cynical paranoid character to deliver the feel and vibe of the message that needed to be conveyed. Let's admit it Roger Waters is the master of cynicism and had tons of rage too.Sure he made enemies but what did he deliver in return...wonderful albums. The Wall for me is excellent from beginning to end but I will highlight the following songs only because IMO they do standout above the rest,' Mother', ' Goodbye Blue Sky', ' One of my turns', ' Hey You', ' Vera Lynn' " Nobody Home' and the epic dark' Don't leave me now'.Twenty five years ago this album was released, tempus fugit.
Review by Guillermo
1 stars Maybe the messages in the lyrics in this album are very good, but they are difficult to understand without the support of the images as in "The Wall" Movie, which is better than this album alone. This album is depressing, boring. The best songs of this album are "the best" because David Gilmour contributed to the songwriting and also have his very good guitar playing and vocals: "Young Lust", "Comfortably Numb" and "Run Like Hell". "Another Brick in the wall part 2" is good too, but it is because it sounds as the other members of the band played in this song. This was the album which totally finished Pink Floyd as a real band during the Waters`s ego reign (1977-83). Rick Wright`s contributions in previous albums were ignored and he was fired during the recording of this album, only being recruited under salary for "The Wall" live performances (to give the impression that the band was still a quartet). And he was the only one of the "members" who earned money from those performances, because they lost money and as he was paid as a hired hand, he earned money!
Review by erik neuteboom
5 stars The first time I listened to this double-album my opinion was very close to 'crap': too many short songs, no long tracks with floods of keyboards, no long soloing and I couldn't understand the whole idea behind this album, far too dark and vague. But after a few sessions (most of my prog rock friends were very enthusiastic about the album and played it on and on) my opinion turned 180 degrees and I became a hugh fan of the album because of the splendid combination of the lyrics, the music and the visuals (from Gerarld Scarfe, sharp as a razor blade). Enjoy the alternating climates, wonderful coloured by the musicians, from the almost tear jerking "Mother" to the aggressive "Young Lust", from the bombastic "Vera" to the moving "Hey You" (one of the best guitar soli in the prog rock history) and from the maniacal "One Of My Turns" to the disco-like "Run Like Hell". For me "The Wall" is a masterpiece that never bores, keep that in mind Mr. Collins!
Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 1979 was not a good year for Progressive Rock, the famous bands were taking the easy road towards a more commercial approach, changing epics and concept albums for songs in short formats, the old but glorious mellotrons and Hammonds were being replaced by simpler and smaller keyboards that tried to simulate with little success the incredible sound of their predecessors. Neo Prog' was trying to keep the interest in Progressive Rock but in a much simpler format, in other words, it was not the time for complex conceptual albums any more.

But against the odds, Roger Waters defied the evolution of rock and released The Wall, an album conceived, and composed by him and for his own glory, it was not a typical Pink Floyd Album but a Roger Waters project with the assistance of Pink Floyd, somehow like The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway with Peter Gabriel, The Wall was Roger Waters son.

But how to rate an album that was without doubts one of the best releases of the year but not so good according to Pink Floyd standards, well it's a hard task.

The music is strong but lacks of the deep atmosphere of Dark Side of the Moon or the nostalgic mood of Wish You Were Here, but it's still Pink Floyd and David Gilmour in songs like Comfortably Numb or Run Like Hell doesn't let us forget that. But I believe the most important legacy of The Wall is not the music alone, but the complex and intelligent concept.

Somehow the story is a combination of Roger Waters political views with his childhood traumas and a bit of Franz Kafka influence, especially from his masterpiece The Trial, but still I can feel some clear references from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Honestly I was clueless when I first listened the album, but when I finally caught the thread of the story, I found it very intelligent and interesting.

Won't try to review the album song by song because a conceptual album must be listened as whole entity that is more valuable than the sum of it's parts, and IMO the album as the concept itself are strong, but not enough to reach the level of a masterpiece.

I believe four stars is not the exact rating (3 1/2 would be precise), but the ambition of the project and the effect on the prog' culture deserve some recognition and three stars would not be fair.

Review by el böthy
3 stars Conceptually, perfect. The best idea for an album ever, you can't top this one! The story excellent, the lyrics among Water's very best, man could this be one hell of an album. if only. if only the music was just as strong. Yes, it's a real pity, but it's true. There is just so much potential here. what a shame. Of course things are really not that bad, as a matter of fact the music does go quite well with the concept and the feel. but it's significantly weaker than their previous 4 or so albums. I'm sure Floyd didn't see it as a step back, but forward and I don't think they consider this to be wrong, obviously they must be, or had to be, quite happy with the end result (maybe not. but highly unlikely) and I would never call this one a bad album. But, if only the music had been better jejeje, if only they had followed a similar path than they did with their previous ones, cause this one is really quite outside the box if you look at their back catalog. Is it a transition album then? Probably, because The final cut would follow quite in the same direction as this one, but then again, Water's left the band after that one so. who really knows?

.man, could this have been one hell of an album

Review by Man With Hat
COLLABORATOR Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team
3 stars 3.5 stars really.

I am rewriting this review. My first time I gave it five stars. I still think its one fantastic album, but in terms of having it in a progressive collection it is unworthy of having the five star rating. Pink have done much better (in terms of progressivness), as have many other bands. Anyway, as I said this is a great album. Its at times very minimalistic, bombastic, controversial, and groovy. There are many famous songs from this album and even some that are overplayed. But that should not hurt the albums rating. The concept is strong and one of the better ones, at least from this time. This album should appeal more towards fans of Roger Waters or classic rock, however, i think all Floyd fans need to at least listen to it. 3.5 stars.

Review by FloydWright
2 stars As with its predecessor, Animals, this album is very much an exercise in what could have been. Unlike Animals, which had strong music, but a weakly constructed concept, The Wall has one of the strongest concepts in PINK FLOYD's catalogue--but some of the weakest music. Hearing the live rendition of The Wall (Is There Anybody Out There?) makes it even more painfully clear what's missing from the studio album. Even before I learned the band's history, I always felt a distinct chill in the atmosphere of the though something had been forcibly drained from it.

That said, I should note that The Wall as a concept is very coherent...though unfortunately, it is the classic example of a concept so overbearing that it has completely overrun the music (and as such I rate it lower than Animals, because if not for the music, what would we have but a glorified poetry reading?). It was a first, and last, for PINK FLOYD (mostly Roger WATERS at that point with some input from David GILMOUR) to attempt to tell such an intricately narrated story, with a character and plot. Until The Wall (and also after WATERS' departure), their concept albums had been somewhat more cryptic, interpretive explorations of a central theme. The Wall leaves very little room for interpretation, relegating the listener to the part of passive spectator if one cannot identify with the experiences of the character, "Pink".

The strengths of The Wall are mainly lyrical and conceptual, although both vocalists are in fine form, and so is the guitar playing. Personally, I do not have a problem with the songs others might call filler--from my perspective they do serve to advance the narrative. Another main strength of The Wall is the use of sound effects and TV clips to help create the album's atmosphere, or even to make comments about the lyrics themselves, such as the following example where a clip from Gomer Pyle is placed to make a sarcastic remark: "...when I try to get through on the telephone to you (surprise, surprise, surprise!) there'll be nobody home." In light of the studio album's deficiencies, it's a good thing these were there.

In PINK FLOYD works before The Wall and after The Final Cut, there was often a spooky, unusual, sometimes experimental musical atmosphere that helped to set the tone of the album without a word. This music could be interpreted however the listener wanted. I believe a large part of this was the work of keyboardist Richard WRIGHT. Unfortunately, he was forced by Roger WATERS to give up his position in the band. The Wall's lack of that ethereal grace is what leaves the album cold. Except for a few beautiful parts like his synth solo on "Run Like Hell", it's clear WRIGHT had no more freedom left--and for this the music suffers.

Ultimately, I gave The Wall 2 stars, as I felt that the musical lack on the studio album was a very serious flaw. The live album, Is There Anybody Out There?, shows how much better that could have been--that version receiving 4 stars from me.

However, I'm going to suggest that those interested in similar themes to The Wall, but with far stronger music and a less overbearing concept (not to mention one with a much healthier coping process) check out AYREON's The Human fact, you'll even hear on this album some of the vintage synthesizers the FLOYD could have taken greater advantage of had WRIGHT's talents not been restrained. While lyrically not quite as strong, the difference in experience is like the contrast between night and day, and it is The Human Equation that actually caused my opinion of The Wall to drop below the 3 stars I would have given it awhile back.

Review by richardh
5 stars Maybe not reckoned to be one of PF's very best by their die hard fans but I love it.Ideally music should be emotionally appealing as well as carrying intellectual clout.This does both.Roger Waters has managed to create a work that although dark in design has moments of rare beauty.The 2 massive talents of Gilmour and Waters combine majestically on classic songs such as Comfortably Numb and Goodbye Blue Sky.If you havn't heard this album at least once..then WHY NOT??!
Review by MikeEnRegalia
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars IMO this is a masterpiece ... even though there are other Pink Floyd albums that are even better - like Wish You Were Here and Dark Side of the Moon. Those albums are more progressive in many ways and an amazing team effort, whereas this is essentially a Roger Waters solo album. It is also regressive, it might even be considered easy listening by the standards established by their previous albums. But then again progressiveness and musical complexity cannot be the only criteria.
Review by con safo
4 stars Conceptually, its brilliant. Musically, its a little weak. This mostly due to Gilmours waning influence. This more of a Roger Waters album with pink floyd doing backup. This shows in the writing, which is absolutely brilliant. But the music falls short. Inconsistent track quality bugs me. Great songs like "Comfortably Numb" are contrasted sharply by songs like "Young Lust," which is the worst song on the album, and one of my least-favourite floyd songs of all time. There is no denying the lyrical and conceptual brilliance this album contains, but the music just does not live up to it.
Review by Cluster One
5 stars I think to properly appreciate PINK FLOYD's discography, you must own "The Wall". It is most often the starting point for people getting into the FLOYD. Hell, it is a lot of people's first introduction to rock music in general. "The Wall" is PINK FLOYD 101.

This album echoes teenage angst and youth in general. There is so much that young people identify with on this album: alienation, loss, self-seclusion, aversion to authority, etc

It is also, all too frequently, the ONLY album by PINK FLOYD that people usually own (along with "Dark Side of the Moon"). And for that reason it has become somewhat of a cliche. FM Radio continues to this day to belch out heavy doses of 'Another Brick', 'Young Lust', 'Hey You', 'Run Like Hell' and especially 'Comfortably Numb'. Is this a bad thing? Unfortunately most music elitists feel it is. After all there is so much more to FLOYD's music than this commercially successful monster of a double album. I see things differently. I see "The Wall" as precisely what it should be: a bridge or a gateway to other (better) FLOYD music. And then hopefully, the newly converted will be moved to explore other greats in the progressive and classic rock realms.

As for the record itself, Waters appears to have had too much material for just a single album, but most definitely not enough for a double album! Sides 3/4 (or CD #2) are notoriously weak in places ('Bring The Boys' / 'Vera Lynn' for example). However to say that this album is 'musically weak' is farcical. Yes it does not have any any typical 'long' tracks. Although, one could say that "The Wall" is a single 80 minute long piece of conceptual music if one so wishes.

One of the Top 5 best selling records of all time. Essential.

Review by Yanns
4 stars The thing with The Wall is that it goes two ways. It absolutely must be in every prog lover's collection, because, I mean, it's The Wall, for crying out loud. It's a staple of rock music as a whole. However, it is not a masterpiece. The concept behind it is one of the best concepts for an album ever, and the music is exceptional. Waters does an incredible job at telling a story through music. Although it is a must-own, 5 stars is too high for it. Here, I won't go song by song, as I usually do, because 26 songs is a lot to go through. However, the standouts are: In The Flesh?: A legendary album opener. Another Brick in the Wall, Parts 1, 2, 3: Yeah, just pure incredible. Goodbye Blue Sky: Blew me away. Hey You: Can't really describe it. Is There Anybody Out There?: I feel this is an underrated and overlooked song. It gives me chills. Comfortably Numb: Nope, no words to describe it. The Trial: Best listened to in context with the whole album.

Well, don't get me wrong. Every other song is at least good. And you must own this album, because it is legendary in the world of music. But, strictly speaking, 4/5 stars.

Review by chessman
5 stars I bought this on double tape when it came out. Unfortunately, I was going through a strange and not altogether happy period in my life, and I found this album quite dark and cold. Eventually, I lent the tape to a friend, and never got it back. For Xmas 2004, however, I asked my sister to get me the remastered cd, and she did. It all came flooding back to me, and I can now appreciate it better than ever. This is Floyd at their most cold and cynical, yet also at their most effective. What this band have done with this, as they did with Dark Side, is manage to create unusual and disturbing images, whilst always retaining their superb ear for melody and dark humour. Like their other masterpiece, the tracks here flow seamlessly together, and the musicianship is of a very high standard. Yes, it is bleak, and the follow up, The Final Cut, was undeniably disappointing, but not this. This can be listened to as a series of good tunes, or, at a deeper level, as a crucial comment on modern life in the spotlight. Too many songs here to choose a favourite, though the obvious 'Comfortably Numb' springs to mind, as do 'Hey You', 'In The Flesh' and 'Waiting For The Worms'. Not a weak track here however. Is this their magnum opus? Hard to say. For me it is still a toss up between this, Dark Side and Meddle. I just enjoy all three. I suggest you do too!
Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I think that the music of this album works much better in the magnificent movie made by this record, but as a pure aural experience this gets too boring for my taste. The songs quite basic rock songs, and there's not much any imaginative or moody elements on it. The best song here is "Comfortably Numb". A big disappointment for me.
Review by Zitro
5 stars This is without a doubt a masterpiece of Rock. IT may not be prog, but it has the famous emotional story of a rock star in it. It is much less virtuosic and restrained than the previous 'animals' but it has songwriting of the highest level, and unlike 'lamb lies down on broadway' this album contains strong material in both CDs.

Starting out with strong and heavy 'In The Flesh', the album starts already in frustuation, sadness, and anger. The musician "Pink"'s father has died in the World War II when he was a baby. The first CD is about him hating reality and building a wall on his mind to hide from it and let insanity take over him. This CD includes the highlights 'another brick on the wall pt I' with its echo guitar; 'mother' with its beauty and guitar solo ; "Goodbye Blue Sky" also with mellow darkness, "Don't Leave Me Down" due to the psychedelic atmosphere. The rest of the songs are all solid and at the end of the CD, The wall is complete.

The Second CD is about Pink being inside the wall, losing all sense and becoming insane imagining being a Hitler like figure, until he shouts 'STOP!' and confronts his problems and succeeds. The opener is a big highlight of the album with its pretty acoustic section contrasted with the heaviness following which contains the trademark Wall riff (E, F#, G, F# ... E, F#, G, F# ... and so on). The next song is also a highlight with its soft acoustic piece of beauty. Comfortably Numb is a famous tune which contains a great sing along chorus, and two of the best guitar solos from Gilmour. My other favorites are Run Like Hell in which you can clearly feel paranoia in the music and of course the climax 'The trial' which contains a very majestic arrangement of strings and explodes in guitars and a deep Voice of the Judge.

Because this album is not progressive, it doesn't mean it is not good. This is a landmark of music history, and we should be glad this album is famous. WE should be angry if Linkin Park becomes famous which feels like it has already happened.

Non-prog cannot get better than this. It blows away most non-prog albums, and the material sounds much better on a live format. My Grade : A

Review by The Wizard
3 stars I'll give it credit for ambition, but otherwise this album fails to deliver. It's got none of the things that made the Pink Floyd before great, except a few thought provoking lyrics and guitar solos. In parts it's way too commercial and in other parts it's too self indulgent. It's kind of depressing that people's knowledge of Pink Floyd are limited to the radio hits of this album. And the fact that it came after the masterful Animals is just as depressing.
Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The most ambitious but highly overrated final album by the classic line-up!

Even though this LP was amongst of those which forced me into music addiction in the first place, today I can more feel that this well-elaborated concept album is a bit outdated. I like Waters' baritone but here his voice is often too stressed and neurotic. The operetic concept was interestingly devised at the time, but now I don't enjoy this boring arena- sounding pomposity. "The Wall" is as close as PINK FLOYD gets to mainstream pop-rock fused with some punk aggressiveness and hate. While that is not necessarily bad thing, quite on the contrary, Waters' frustrated and angst-filled libretto is very difficult to follow. The best moments are nevertheless among my all-time favorite Floyd songs: mini- epic "Another Brick In The Wall", "Mother", "Good Bye Blue Sky", "Empty Spaces", wonderful ballad "Hey You", beautiful instrumental of "Is There Anybody Out There" and "Comfortably Numb". And by chance on most of these Gilmour has a prominent role as collaborator/vocalist. The rest pretty much consists of the Waters' exhibitions and boring and painful stuff that is better to skip. I would say this is a good album for Floyd fans and for general pop-rock listeners.

Review by Eclipse
5 stars PINK FLOYD's rock-opera The Wall is definitely one of the most artistic and perfect pieces of music ever written. Roger Waters' concept and lyrics are a work of genius, and while this is not as complex musically as many of previous FLOYDian progressive works, the band still manages to maintain the typical atmosphere of their music present here, in a full emotional and meaningfully deep work. The highlights here are of course "Hey You" and "Comfortably Numb", but as with any concept album you must listen to it entirely...and i don't have trouble doing this since i don't consider any of the 20+ songs here barely weak, i have a deep love for each one on their own way, even the unfairly maligned "Young Lust" has a place in my heart, so has the apparently forgotten gems "The Trial" and "Is there anybody out there?", each one is special and beautiful. "The Trial" and "Outside the Wall" mark one of the most epic and beautiful album closers ever done by the band, if you don't feel moved and hipnotized by the people screaming "tear down the wall! tear down the wall!" you really don't understand the point of PF's music. Period.

Essential album, perfect masterpiece and despite not being as prog as many previous FLOYD albums, it still was done to test your emotions like all FLOYD music does: touching your brain and heart at the same time, with intelligent and moving music.

Review by Tony Fisher
3 stars Reasonable album overall but miles below some of the earlier material like Wish You Were Here, Animals or Meddle. Waters is too dominant in the composition and it's only when Gilmour gets involved that the music rises above the just OK, as on Comfortably Numb. There are some real horrors too; how did Young Lust ever get recorded? Floyd are best when Wright and Gilmour are let loose and Wright is almost anonymous on this album. Would have been better with the crap removed and in single LP format; there's too much padding. Interesting concept, imperfect execution.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album represents the peak of Roger Waters career with Pink Floyd as the follow-up album "The Final Cut" was perceived by most observers as Waters' solo project. When "The Wall" came out I was happy as many people who previously did not know the band's name were becoming aware of it due to the popularity of "Another Brick In The Wall" Part 2. Quite entertaining for me as previously none of my friends knew the band very well until The Wall was released.

The opening track "In The Flesh" sets the whole atmosphere of the album with great combination of guitar, bass, soaring keyboard and powerful drumming enters the music in a high emotion. It flows into a silent part where transparent voice enters the scene and the music returns back on high state and ends up beautifully. It flows seamlessly to baby cry voice followed with bluesy music under "The Thin Ice". What follows is a great keyboard program and bass lines that accompanies vocal to open the great song "Another Brick In The Wall" Part 1 and 2. This presentation of five opening tracks has indicated how powerful this album is. There is no such thing as bad or mediocre track on Disc One so I give disc one a full five stars rating.

Disc Two starts off with a ballad style with bluesy style and ambient nuance "Hey You" with excellent acoustic guitar work. The bridge "Is There Anybody Out There" is a very good one - with very nice acoustic guitar work augmented with cello - that brings to my best favorite track of this album "Nobody Home". Yeah, Nobody Home gives me a sense of excellent melody, powerful lyrics as wells as top notch vocal quality. Musically it comprises mainly vocal and piano, violin / orchestral arrangements plus other sound effects (typical Pink Floyd music). I always repeat this track over and over. It's so powerful! I love how Waters vocal characterizes the song. "But I've got nowhere to fly to .. fly to .. fly to . Uh .. Babe who'll pick up the phone? There's nobody home ." . what a great and memorable lyrical parts! "Vera" is another great follow-up of "Nobody Home". "Bring The boys Back Home" contains colossal orchestration which elevates the overall album nuance.

Who does not know the heartbreaking "Comfortably Numb" which has become a title which reflects musical ecstasy? It's a wonderfully crafted song with great natural flow from start to end. Without any intention to demean other tracks, my ultimate favorites of this album are three tracks that form a very good story under: "Waiting for The Worms", "Stop", "The Trial". One thing that I really like about these three tracks that must be enjoyed in its entirety is the opera style of the song.

No one should argue with this wonderfully crafted concept album. The composition is tight, the musicianship is great, the songwriting and performance are top notch. So, you should not miss this phenomenal album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I remember when I first bought the Wall back in January of 2003. I was not prepared at the time for what the album contained. I listened to it endlessly for days at a time, truly convinced that this was the perfect album. I hailed it as a masterpiece for 3 years. Now, in retrospect, I look back at The Wall fondly. But at the same time I am disappointed a bit by it. Roger Waters had now taken full creative control of Pink Floyd, and the results is a mixed album of strong ideas and weak ideas all amalgamated into a mammoth concept album about the mental decomposition of a disillusioned rock star who has been, throughout his life, tormented and has had his soul tortured. The story behind this album, dark and dreary as it may be, also is a bit uplifting, teaching us values of not letting ourselves be put behind mental barriers and to try and communicate with those outside of ourselves. But for the most part, you'll feel really down by this album, because it's not a very positive one.

The album opens with In the Flesh?, which is in my opinion one of the strongest on the album. A strong guitar riff and some nice hammond work are highlights, and Roger Waters lyrics are great to say the least. It segues into The Thin Ice, which is a pretty useless piece in my opinion, despite a nice guitar solo from Gilmour, it doesn't really have any context with the story. After The Thin Ice comes the first of the three part Another Brick in the Wall. The modulated guitars (phased and delayed) surely inspired some later works from Steve Rothery of Marillion, but to get back on track, the riffs and guitar themes in this song are okay at best. I wouldn't really consider them to be terribly strong. The Happiest Days of Our Lives/Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 will go down in history as the most overrated songs in my opinion. Nothing but a steady dance beat from Mason and some lyrics pertaining to the youth's dislike to the education system. Even Gilmour's solo can't save this piece, which in my opinion, is totally overblown.

Goodbye Blue Sky makes up for that though, with some haunting acoustic work augmented with droning layers of synthesizers to give it a more frantic feel. The lyrics in this song are also among the strongest on the album. The harmonies that Gilmour and Waters create are great as well. Empty Spaces/Young Lust are another segue couplet, with a particularly uninteresting guitar theme for Empty Spaces and a moderately strong theme for Young Lust. The guitar solo in Young Lust is also among the best on the album. One of My Turns follows, and it takes a more keyboard oriented approach this time around... that is in the first minute though. After the first minute, the piece explodes into a frantic piece of muddy chords and passionate screaming from Waters. Don't Leave Me Now follows, and it is among my favorites on the album. Dissonant organ drones and delayed guitar rhythms conquer this song, but towards the end the whole band enters and gives the piece a formal ending. Another Brick in the Wall Part III/Goodbye Cruel World ends the first half of the album, in a similar fashion, nothing particularly interesting again.

While the first half was filled with uninteresting pieces, the second disc takes a turn for the better. Hey You opens it, Gilmour doing a great job on fretless bass on this one. The solo on this track is also among the best on the album. In There Anybody Out There? is next, this acoustic lead piece is another beautiful display of Gilmour's ability on guitar. The depressing chordal progression really suits the feel of the album nicely. Nobody Home follows, and it is a piano based song where Roger gets really personal. It's among my favorites on the album as well. Vera/Bring the Boys Back Home follows, and that's where the album takes a turn for the worse (again). Shortly thereafter, though, the best song on the album is played. Comfortably Numb is one of the best Pink Floyd tunes out there, mainly because of the overly impressive and emotional guitar solos from David Gilmour, these solos are often hailed as his best solos on guitar ever, and I can see what they mean. The Show Must Go On is a song that features some great harmony vocals and some great vocals from Gilmour. In the Flesh is a reworking of the opening song of the album, with Pink's fears being fully realized. Expect essentially the same as the first one.

Run Like Hell features more echoey and delayed guitar tones as well as a strong main theme compliments of Gilmour. Wright's synthesizer solo is also very strong. Waiting for the Worms/Stop/The Trial/Outside the Wall end the album. The best of these songs being the Trial, which features a great orchestral score (compliments of Bob Ezrin and conducted by Michael Kamen). In the end, the album ends with the same theme that began the album, and thus one of the biggest selling albums ever concludes.

Overall, I like about half of the album and I dislike about half. There certainly is a nostalgic value of this album for me, but I feel left cold and unimpressed after I listen to it. It's not a bad album at all, it's just been wrought by people hyping it too much, therefore in my opinion it is a bit overrated. Pink Floyd fans and Classic Rock fans will enjoy this album. 3/5.

Review by Marc Baum
4 stars - Uncomfortably numb

Ah, the famous concept-album "The Wall". The Floyd's most commercial successful effort together with Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, but also as brilliant as these two incredible masterpieces? Well, IMO the answer is nope. That doesn't mean that The Wall is not a great album though, but it has it's flaws.

The concept behind The Wall is Roger Water's two disc meditation on the travails of a rock star, whose unhappy life causes him to build a psychological barrier between himself and the rest of the world.

The musical content contains brilliant songs, as well as some flawed ones. Most of them are short interludes between the "real" songs, which seem like filler material. The album definitely has it's flow, like any great concept album should, only that The Wall hasn't the consistence of other great concept works, like for examples, Operation: Mindcrime, Metropolis pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory, The Perfect Element, Quadrophenia, The Lamb lies down on Broadway or even American Idiot (purists may now want to hang me up on my balls, but that's the same to me). Before you are going to write me hate-letters to my private messenger mailbox, I want to say I really like The Wall. Roger Waters is a passionate, if very depressing songwriter, who threads on nagative things like war, hate, familiy/society struggles with pointful, aggressive disapprovement in his lyrics. I highly respect that, even if some listeners may have problems with the general dark tune of the music, which is immensly collaborated by the lyrics, which set the tune for the music. Like said before, in lyrical terms it ranks as one of Pink Floyd's best works, but not always musically. Highlights including the strong opening "In the Flesh?" which flows perfectly into the short but effective "The Thin Ice", the three essential "Another Brick in the Wall" parts, the emotive masterpieces "Mother", "Goodbye Blue Sky", "Hey You" and "Comfortably Numb" (co- written by David Gilmour, including one of the greatest guitar solos ever), the underrated "Is there Anybody out There", the beautiful piano piece "Nobody Home", the aggressive rock'n'roll vibe of "Young Lust", the dance-compatible "Run Like Hell" with it's amazing guitar work by Dave Gilmour and the fitting closer of CD 1, "Goodbye cruel world". The double album seems like a rendez-vouz, where meets light and darkness. There are also dull pieces like the mostly awful "Don't leave me now" (the only good thing about it is the guitar solo at the end), the annoying "Bring the Boys back Home", the Beach Boys-alike but pretty uninspired "The Show must go on", the annoyingly strange "Waiting for the worms" (which has a good guitar work though) and the misplaced "The Trial", which is not that bad but would be better fit on a Gabriel-era Genesis album, specially The Lamb lies down on Broadway.

By some (Roger Waters) fans considered as Pink Floyd's biggest or even finest hour, or by some press-people called the best concept album of all time, I must say it's great, but could have be done better. Without a doubt highly influential and it's essential to any PF fan and progressive rock lover, alone for the highlights this release includes. But if it's truely a masterpiece, then a flawed one. I prefer the criminally underrated The Final Cut (The Wall part 3?), which I find more consistent and doesn't scream "hype" at all.

album rating: 8.5/10 points = 85 % on MPV scale = 4/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Review by OpethGuitarist
2 stars Necessary to call yourself a fan of prog, just because of its historical importance. However, most of us here know that this is not their greatest work, and really sub par when compared to other PF works like WYWH and Dark Side. Comfortably Numb is a great song, but it certainly can't carry the whole album. The work is never really able to stand on its own two feet. Much of it feels out of place and is not very inspiring or interesting. Nevertheless, it's necessary to have because it's still a Pink Floyd album.
Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Well, the sensation after re-hearing "THE WALL" is just the same I had more than 25 years ago when I listened to it for the first time: it reminds me a fair, neat, honest movie but perhaps you won't see it again at least for a good period of time. Unlike other Floyd's works something here does not run accordingly which means not the train derailed although it was close. Maybe the over worn theme - school and childhood problems, parents' absence, madness; all look recurrent in band's output or maybe the pomposity, the same noted in "Dark Side of the Moon" but thankfully not observed in the two previous albums.

Considering "THE WALL" as a movie soundtrack then all tracks have a reason of being but evaluating it as a musical feature then the filler is notorious. However, some filler tracks have better tunes and solutions than those one could call main tracks. The general feeling toward the short (filler) tracks may vary according to the moment and also from hearer to hearer.

Interesting to notice are the common places surrounding "THE WALL": the last output of prog's golden era, the nail in the prog-rock coffin, the ultimate Floyd's work. None of these urban legends proved to be correct. Prog's first golden era had finished a couple of years before album's release; there wasn't and still isn't any coffin prepared for prog-rock facing the issue that it is still alive and well (even with some periodic medication); Pink Floyd was able to release other fair productions in the following years.

"In the flesh", the opener, has a kind of thunderous motif providing great expectations for things to come, hence it promises more than what's really supplied. "Another brick in the wall" is really album's main theme, repeated in three different parts along the album, being the so-called 'part 2' the most well-known, video-clip included. This song was so exhaustively played that we forgot sometimes that it sounds great, catchy, intense - one of the best in the album. "Goodbye blue sky" is probably the most beautiful of the short tracks, with fine acoustic guitars and Beatle-esque vocals. Keyboard background brings some comparison to old Floyd stuff and some Moody Blues tunes."Hey you" is a well-known song, very emblematic of that Pink Floyd era, in the turn from the 70s to the 80s, but it's a good and pleasant song, being not its guilty the fact it was so much radio friendly. "Comfortably numb" is another well-known song that has been since then radio and TV aired in a frequent basis, in spite of or even so the music quality is great, with fine arrangements and almost certainly the best album track. Other tracks are hearable, no need for skipping here - if you're in a mood to hear the album with a considerable time gap from another hearing. Pay attention to "Run like hell", a really good rock.

Fair to mention that band member's musicianship was high and album production was great, since at this time Pink Floyd had reached the peak of their fame and label treated them quite distinctively. It's also good to remember that the year "THE WALL" was released (1979) was not properly the most adequate for a progressive work - someone could claim that this is not a real progressive piece, and the courage to release it, during those dark times, shall be permanently enhanced.

An important note: "THE WALL" is comprised of a double album or a double CD, and it's quite noticeable that disc 1 is a bit superior than disc 2, but the result is more or less balanced, with the good and bad parts well distributed.

Overall, a classic and essential album, compulsory at any music collection, but not truly a masterpiece. Final rating: 4.

Review by Joolz
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Musically varied, and somewhat difficult for those hoping for a rerun of Dark Side Of The Moon or Wish You Were Here, The Wall carries some of the band's best music tucked in amongst some quite different fare from brass bands, orchestra, strings and the like, as well as the infamous contribution of a bunch of school children. But it is the story that dominates the album, a semi-autobiographical tale of the rise and fall of a rock star - Pink - and the personal hell he endures while building a metaphorical wall around himself to keep the world out.

Which one is Pink? Well, he is each one of us to some degree - I can recognize something of myself in there, which makes the story personal and poignant. The Wall can only be understood through reference to the storyline and specific lyrics, for instance 'Vera' on its own makes little sense until it is seen in context. Overall, a brilliant creation, though the live version 'Is There Anybody Out There' is now the definitve performance of this masterwork in my eyes.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars OVERATED.

Roger was so "paranoïd" that he imagined to get a wall being constructed between the audience and themselves while they were performing it live (this idea grew already during their supporting tour for "Animals". Dear friend Roger also wanted to kick Rick out of the band.

Rick mentions : "Roger came up with the whole album on a demo, which everyone felt was potentially very good but musically very weak. Very weak indeed. Bob Ezrin, Dave and myself worked on it to make it more interesting. But Roger was going through a big ego thing at the time, saying that I wasn't putting enough in, although he was making it impossible for me to do anything. The crunch came when we all went off on holiday towards the end of the recording. A week before the holiday was up I got a call from Roger in America, saying come over immediately. Then there was this band meeting in which Roger told me he wanted me to leave the band. At first I refused. So Roger stood up and said that if I didn't agree to leave after the album was finished, he would walk out then and there and take the tapes with him. There would be no album, and no money to pay off our huge debts. So I agreed to go. I had two young kids to support. I was terrified. Now I think I made a mistake. It was Roger's bluff. But I really didn't want to work with this guy anymore."

Like a lot of double concept albums (starting with "Tommy" - the greatest in the history IMO), it is normal to have some weak or transition tracks. The problem with "The Wall" is that it really gets too much of them (ten or so). The record company (or Roger) were hesitating whether to release a double or even a triple (!) album out of this).

Fortunately, for the time being we'll get only a double (but we'll get the extra stuff later on).

"In The Flesh" opens the album quite well I must say. High hopes (this reminds me of something ...).

The main theme is being split into three parts : the best known being their hit single and video clip form Part 2. I wasn't any longer very much into Floyd in 1979 and this track was really not my cup of tea. But the relative weakness of this album makes this trilogy not too bad after all (the inclusion of "The Happiest Days..." working quite well I must say). "Empty Spaces" being another good song from this first part.

Half of the numbers from disc one are monotonous and have poor melody (" The Thin Ice", "Mother ", "Goodbye Blue Sky") this leading to some kind of boredom at the end.

Disc two is slightly better. It contains the best three tracks of the whole (of which two are co-signed with Gilmour if you see what I mean). These are of course : "Hey You", "Comfortably Numb" and "Run Like Hell". Some fillers as well (but less that on the first disc) like "Nobody Home", "Vera" or "Bring the Boys Back Home".

I quite like "The Show Must Go On" and "In The Flesh" (part two). At last a bit of emotion in the music. The last two tracks ("Stop" not counting as a track) are rather weak (specially "The Trial") and leaves the listener with a bitter taste. Where is the grand finale ? Not here, man.

The tensions within the band were inmense. I quote Nick "The recording was very tense, mainly because Roger was starting to go a bit mad. This was the record when he fell out badly with Rick. Rick has a natural style, a very specific piano style, but he doesn't come up with pieces easily, or to order. Which is a problem when other people are worrying about who did what and who should get the credit. There was even talk of Roger and Dave elbowing me out and carrying on as a duo. There were points during The Wall when Roger and Dave were really carrying the thing. Rick was useless, and I wasn't very much help to anyone either."

Roger will tell "The most unnerving neurotic period of my life with possible exceptions of my divorce".

So, no wonder this album could not lead to a true band effort.

It is more a Waters solo effort than anything else, although two of the best songs are co-signed Gilmour / Waters ("Hey You" and "Comfortably Numb").

I guess you can call me a HUGE Floyd fan : starting to love them in 1971 with Meddle, having all their offical catalogue + forty non official recordings. This allows me just to be honest with this review as I have been with some of their early work (studio album from Ummagumma, AHM, and OBC).

Just a last comment : I have been listening at least 200 times to "The Lamb Lies Down" or to "Tommy" in their entirety. I will NEVER be able to listen to even a tenth of these ones for The Wall.

As I mentioned already, there are only three great tracks on this DOUBLE album, which is kind of weak for Floyd. A few days before I started to work on this review (about six weeks from now), I was attending a live concert from the tribute band "The Machine" (which I really recommend). They were playing "Wish You Were Here" and "The Wall" in their entirety. That's where you understand that one is a masterpiece (WYWH) while the other one is quite hard to "digest". This one will hit Nr. 1 in the US and Nr. 3 in the UK.

For me it only deserves three stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars As many have stated this is a concept album about a rock star who has been buiding a wall around himself in order to protect himself from reality and life that has caused him so much pain. Written by Roger Waters this is pretty close to his life's story with a few changes thrown in. We see our subject starting to build the wall from his youth because of his teachers, because of his mother, because of his father not coming home from war, and because of his wife betraying him. Yes this is a dark, cold album about fear, loneliness, humiliation and heartbreak. To our subject the wall represents freedom, but in reality he is building a prison for himself. He ends up trying to commit suicide and becomes hooked on sex and drugs.

Disc one opens with "In the Flesh ?" and the organ work of Richard Wright really stands out. The jets screaming at the end of the song is so cool. Nice ripping guitar solo on "The Thin Ice". "Another Brick In The Wall" comes in three seperate parts.The first one is more psychedelic and atmospheric and is my favourite of the three. The second one is of course the one you heard on the radio all the time back in 1979. The third is more raw and aggressive sounding. "Mother" is such a great tune. The lyrics are biting and emotional. "Goodbye Blue Sky" is a good representation of the mood of this record, as it is very melancholic. Great vocals on "Young Lust" and some raw sounding guitar as well. "One Of My Turns" is another favourite of mine. The fragile vocals that give way to the explosion of sound that are led by powerful vocals is quite dramatic. "Don't Leave Me Now" is a dark, sad song with theatrical vocals.The same mood is even darker in the song "Goodbye Cruel World" to end the first disc.

Disc two starts off with "Hey You" and is another favourite of mine with great drumming,axe work and vocals. "Is There Anybody Out There !" is so eerie in the beginning with a haunting background throughout. "Nobody Home" has this line "I got a little black book with me poems in". This is such an uplifting song, very emotional. To hear Gomer Pyle in the background on the TV is cool. Yes I do remember watching that on the TV when I was a kid. "Vera" is really too emotional, as I always think of Roger. "Bring The Boys Back Home" is as powerul as hell. "Comfortably Numb" has an almost 2 minute guitar solo that is one of the best I have ever heard. Perhaps Gilmour's finest moment. "Run Like Hell" has such a good beat. Great tune. For me the final 7 songs (except "Run Like Hell) are just ok.

This album for me is easily 4 stars and one of Waters finest moments.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The final of the three Floyd masterpieces.

Pink Floyd created three masterpieces in their time together. First was Piper which was Syd's revolutionary mind bomb, second came the warm perfection of Dark Side, and last the conceptual Waters triumph of The Wall. Just a few years later Floyd released its last real album The Final Cut and it was all over.

I can remember being knocked out the very first time I heard The Wall when one of the older kids got on the middle school bus had his tune box cranked. Back then we all thought the radio songs were cool but in reality it is the intricate little pieces that are the glue to this great work. This is such a complete masterpiece of lyrical perfection, great musical beauty, and complete epic grandeur. It is strange to me that so many people don't like The Wall so let me address some of the complaints.

Lots of people feel that The Wall is too dark, too disturbing, too bitter. Hmmm..Lots of great rock music has been built on derision, pain, and outrage. Think about Plastic Ono Band, or Townshend, or punk/metal stuff. Others miss the great long instrumentals and there I can sympathize completely. True there are no epic jams here like Shine On or Dogs but even these short pieces work brilliantly for the stage play style of this album. And look beyond the hits! The best songs on this album are some of the least known: The Thin Ice, Goodbye Blue Sky, Empty Spaces, One of my Turns, Is There Anybody Out There, The Show Must Go On, Nobodys Home. The only lesser tracks are Young Lust and perhaps Run Like Hell which can get pretty old hat after a while. But then you have classics like Hey You, Mother, and Comfortably Numb. What's not to like? While the melodies may be simple ones they are numerous and instantly memorable. Finally, people say that The Wall is too Roger and not enough Dave. True, but Gilmour was simply not supplying adequate good material in the late 70s and someone had to do the work. Gilmour has admitted that Roger did the heavy lifting while the rest of them were content to go home at 4pm for early supper. Dave is a great singer and guitar player but let's be real: without Roger to write the majority of the great songs from Dark Side/Wish/Animals/Wall, you'd have four more Momentary Lapses instead of those classics. Scary, isn't it? It's the material that matters, not who can sing prettier.

The Wall was really the end of the Floyd for all intents and purposes and WHAT a finale it was. The Final Cut has some nice moments but is essentially outtakes from The Wall. Now if they would just release a definitive live DVD from the Animals or Wall tour, we could all die happy. I know Pink must have such footage stashed away next to the little black book with the poems in.

"You are only coming through in waves. Your lips move but I can't hear what you're sayin'. When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse, Out of the corner of my eye. I turned to look but it was gone. I cannot put my finger on it now. The child is grown, the dream is gone. And I have become comfortably numb." [Waters/Gilmour]

Review by ClemofNazareth
5 stars I think the most amazing thing about this album was that it was released by a band that was frankly in decline in 1979. This was due to a number of reasons of course: they were famously broke due to a series of bad business deals; the seventies were coming to a close and most of the sixties psych bands were considered anachronisms from long ago; and they had released only two albums in the more than six years since ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ exploded on the scene. Plus it’s very unusual for a band to have their biggest smash hit a dozen years and a dozen albums into their career. It’s much more common for that pinnacle release to happen (if it ever does) early in a band’s career. Anyway, disco was king in 1979 and Billy Joel was at the top of the charts. This was a very unlikely hit, although the band has always been big enough to have anything they put out at least sell a few million copies.

Actually I remember the movie coming out more than the album. The film gave a greater context to the lyrics and overall theme of the music, as up to then it seemed like the album was mostly getting played at the uber-cheesy “laser” light shows that stoners went to at the town cosmosphere on Friday nights.

Even though most of us in our forties have heard this thing 10,000 times and almost never play it anymore, it is still an unquestionable classic masterpiece of rock music.

For me the album ranks as one of the better (but unexceptional) Pink Floyd albums right up until “Goodbye Blue Sky” creeps in. Everything changes after that. “Empty Spaces” sets the tone for the next forty minutes or so, and “Young Lust” thrusts the band (pun partially intended) into the eighties. That song is the definitive separation between ‘Animals’ and ‘A Momentary Lapse of Reason’ as far as I’m concerned. Almost everything the band did before then was at least nominally connected to the band’s psychedelic roots. After “Young Lust” they became a larger-than-life rock band.

Anyway, ‘Lust’ was a turning point, but “Hey You” will probably always be one of a handful of tunes that instantly characterizes this band. Waters, Gilmour, and Mason are all dead-on for this one. Wright is typically understated, but that’s par for the course too. I think Gilmour really perfected a whining sustain here that carried him in his solo work and next couple of Floyd albums to come.

And I’ll take back part of what I said about “Young Lust”. I do think it was a split with their former selves for the band, but there is one brief relapse on “Comfortably numb”, which is the quintessential stoned-Floyd bubble-gum psych number. Brilliant – don’t get me wrong, but really this one sounds like it was engineered by Alan Parsons it’s so silky smooth.

I’ve always thought the climax and ending for this album were a bit muddled and hurried. The band (well, Roger Waters) spends well over an hour telling Pink’s story in a fair amount of emotional detail and with exquisite visual clarity, only to bring things to a crashing and hanging close in just five short minutes. It’s all too abrupt really. Not artistically, but aesthetically. Waters intended this to be a three-disc album, and I have to wonder if they had spent the extra time while the band was still clicking so well in the studio to finish out the ‘Final Cut’ tracks and other assorted studio cut-outs, this could have easily been stretched to three discs with a drawn out ending / epilogue. Of course, it probably wouldn’t have sold 30,000,000 copies if that had happened, which is of course why it didn’t happen.

No matter, this is an essential classic, no question in my mind. I played it today for the first time in over five years, and it was like I just heard it all the way through yesterday. I think I’ll be able to play this when I’m sixty and the words and notes will still comes rushing back to my mind completely intact. How many albums can you say that about?


Review by 1800iareyay
3 stars There appears to be a curse on all double LPs released by classic prog bands. They have the remarkable affect of splitting their fanbases into two camps: those who believe the album to be the greatest the band ever released, and those who wish the band had curbed the pretentious ramblings into a more coherent set. For whatever reason, I always seem to find myself in Camp B. Lamb Lies Down, Tales From Topagraphical Oceans, and this album all seem way overdone to me. With Animals Waters assumed full lyrical and instrumental control, and The Wall is a continuation of this tyranny. Lyrically, the album is founded on a good idea (the price of fame), but it, like the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, repeatedly loses its focus and becomes a chore to decipher.

To be sure, there are a fair number of Floyd classics here. In the Flesh, Another Brick in the Wall, and Comfortably Numb are some of the finest Floyd songs out there. Numb is the highlight of the album, which amuses me as it is the one where Waters did not have total control (there's a lesson in that). Gilmour's emotional solo is searing, and it stands as my favorite Gilmour performance. The rest of the album has its moments, but it really loses steam in the final push of the album.

The Wall is seen by many as the apex of Floyd's career. I would say DSOTM is the rightful zenith, but it takes all kinds to make the world turn. While I didn't mind Waters' dominance on Animals due to its lyrical sophistication and instrumental brilliance, this one shows Roger reaching beyond his grasp and this album would likely have sounded much better if the rest of the band was given input, judging from "Comfortably Numb."

EDIT: 4/22/2008

I've gone back to Floyd after nearly a year-long sabbatical, and the second place I went (after Animals) was this album. I've come to appreciate the album a lot more, and I thought about deleting my review and starting over. However, I stand by everything I said the first time I wrote about The Wall the first time I reviewed it; I merely do not view these flaws as harshly as I once did.

Too much of the album is merely there for Roger Waters to blame everything he perceives as wrong with his life on others. He blames his father, who was killed in action in World War II, and his overprotective mother for his childhood. He blames his teachers for trying to break him. He blames his audience for...I dunno, liking him (what a bizarre issue to have). However, even though The Wall exists as his own soapbox at the expense of the band's input, the music itself is superb. Mother is a track that has steadily grown on me. It's somber message over a light acoustic tone and the sudden searing blast of electric guitar is sublime. Goodbye Blue Sky is another song that uses a light sound to convey a dark message. Really, the album is noteworthy for being able to simultaneously depress and uplift you, which makes it rather unique. I just wish Roger hadn't lost the lyrical focus and had invited other members to contribute.

Grade: C+

Review by The Whistler
4 stars (Another Brick in the Wall Part 4.5)

I had long celebrated The Wall as the greatest Pink Floyd album, an erroneous statement on my part. Not that it's not the greatest; oh, it is. Dark Side of the Moon? HA! There's not a single "Pink Floyd" album that can really hold up, as a whole, to either of the first two "Pink Waters" albums, this one in particular. See, my problem was that I didn't actually own it. I'd just seen the movie. The soundtrack kicked ass of course, but the album cost over thirty bucks! Stupid Pink Floyd; had to be a popular band AND release a double album. So, more than an examination of the music or philosophy of the album, this review should be read as a guarantee that your thirty plus bucks...were well spent. Let's go.

The best song might just be the ferocious album opener "In the Flesh." That cold riff, girded by blocky organ chords and powerhouse drumming might seem like a perfect combination for a genericky classic metal number, but, so what? It's totally un- Floyd. It's awesome! This is one of Pink Floyd's best, most honest hard rock efforts. Besides, it was supposed to be played by the "support band," right?

"The Thin Ice" has awfully familiar lyrics. Where have I heard that before? Skating away on the thin ice of something? Oh well. It's actually a kinda cool number. "Another Brick in the Wall Part 1" has eerie soloing, chilling vocals, and a real nice bassline.

"The Happiest Days of our Lives," aside from some fantastic lyrics (I dare you not to love the line "fat and psychopathic wives") provides a fairly driving and funky opening to "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2." Which is, of course, the "we don't need no education" song. I used to hate it, 'cause it got played on the radio so much, but in the context of the album, it's actually pretty good.

"Mother" is a nice ballad that takes a turn for the electric. Creepy lyrics though. Which is, I guess, the point. I love those final lines, "Mother did it have to be so high?" "Goodbye Blue Sky" is a ballad with a pretty chorus. It always SEEMS like it's ready to go over the top, but it never does. Atmospheric "Empty Spaces" is just plain creepy; I'm aware of the lighthearted purpose behind the backwards noises, but to hear 'em blasted through your headphones? Scary man. "Young Lust" is a fairly pointless song, but it's angry enough to slip by without any damage.

"One of My Turns" starts out with a sad little melody, depressing lyrics, but then it absolutely slams you against the wall (excuse the joke) with those violent vocals. Nice guitar work at the end too; once was my favorite song on the album. This morphs into "Don't Leave Me Now." Now, I used to HATE that one, what with Roger singing purposefully off key, until I listened the lyrics. That's gotta be one of the most sincere expressions of love (or NEED) that I've heard this side of Peter Gabriel's Us. Cool ascending guitarline at the end too.

"Another Brick in the Wall Part 3" has since become my favorite part of the trilogy. It lacks the atmospheric values of "Part 1" and the melodic values of "Part 2," but it's just angry, In fact, I'm surprised that we close the album with "Goodbye Cruel World," a bit of that's too short to really do anything.

The second half of the opera opens with the hopeful, desperate "Hey You," which contains perhaps the most gorgeous moment on the album in the form of that descending chorus, as well as a good solo and a reprise of our favorite riff (nice nods, melodically and lyrically, to Animals sealed in there too). It actually holds a decent shot for best song on the album.

Unfortunately, we hit a bit of a slump from which we cannot rise until...well, you should have a pretty good idea by now. "Is There Anybody Out There?" is certainly less creepy than "Empty Spaces" (cool acoustics though). The best aspect of piano ballad "Nobody Home" is that weird intro with Roger shouting at someone to shut up. The tune is okay, but Mother does it have to be so long? Or maybe it just seems long because "Vera" is essentially the same thing. Okay, tune, almost pretty, but not very effective. "Bring the Boys Back home" is also an almost good tune, but underdeveloped. Or perhaps it's TOO developed; the brass band is a bit bombastic even for me. Not to mention it sounds totally out of place in the album. Was Rog so angry he HAD to insert a blatant anti-war song on its head right here? ...Yeah probably. Cool enough though.

Now what's all this rot about "Comfortably Numb?" I can't see why THIS is the song that everyone remembers. It's not like it's evil or anything; the tune is, like most of the stuff at this point, decent enough. But the soloing is utterly forgettable (the first one is okay, but the second? Ugh. I find what's going on underneath the solo far more captivating). It's not heavy enough to be a power ballad, so I guess it's...soft rock? Don't you like your Dave angry? I know I do. Gimme "One of My Turns" anytime.

"The Show Must Go On" has some weird, Queen-like vocal harmonies...told you this was the least Floyd Floyd album...but it's just a precursor to "In the Flesh." Yeah. That one again. It still kicks ass. Really evil lyrics here; probably my favorite Nazi rocker of all time. Can't sing THESE as you waltz down the street like your precious Dark Side material, can ya?

"Run Like Hell" is the final Gilmour contribution. And, actually, it's probably the best, a driving, effective rocker (the lyrics are pure Waters though). But I still prefer "Waiting for the Worms," a march-like anthem of fascism. It's a smooth collection of some of our favorite themes, and Roger's encoded howl parallels Dave's smarmy intonations perfectly. Not to mention that it spills perfectly into "Stop," a desperate little number that, in turn, spills perfectly into "The Trial."

"The Trial" is just as bombastic as "Bring the Boys Back Home," however, it fits perfectly into the opera. It's got this back and forth verse alternating with the floaty chorus perfectly. And, at the end, where it gets all metallic? Awesome. Of course, the Wall must come down, and "Outside the Wall" is a fantastic ending, totally countering the bloated "Trial" with its simple, pretty, accordion/mandolin (?) based medley, as well as countering the entire plot as we've (thought) we've known it.

In fact, that's what makes this Wall thing so great, perhaps the most important record to ever come out of the progressive movement. At least, considering that a classic band, at the end of the era, when everyone else was either selling out or releasing a low key, sorta okay, progressive product, the fact that Waters pulled through with such an artistic statement AND sold it has got to mean something. And the other wanted him dead. Fools.

Okay, I know it's very personal, but it's still intelligent: the fact that the meaning of the thing is turned on its head by those last two tracks, and that it starts back up again, has got to make you rethink at least a couple of things. Like, where are we when start? Is the wall up or down or what? And what about "Hey You?" Is that being told from the inside, the outside, or...both?

Oh well, it's hardly my (or anyone else's really) place to tell you what the Wall is about. No one really knows anyway, not even ole cold, calculatin' Mr. Waters (he admits that he's still not sure what happens at the end). That's actually a bit of a dent in the artistic integrity. Hmm...maybe that Roger dude ain't so clever after all. I mean, the plot does sound somewhat familiar...kid, pilot dad dies in the war, raised by an involving yet distant mother, gains celebrity, launches global campaign, is turned on by followers, everything ends badly. Now, Who did that before? Can you hear me? Actually, I prefer to think of the Wall less as Tommy's evil clone, and more of its dark anti-thesis (Tommy dealt with pseudo-religious fantasy, The Wall is about the horror of insanity (NOT a descent though; Pink was always nuts. If you think it's a descent, you've missed the point of the opera)). Either way, it's a hell of a ride.

In fact, barring that slump towards the start of the second record, it's a really stable piece. A bunch of repeated themes to be sure, but it's an opera! Get over it. Besides, the whole thing flows like a well oiled machine: the melodies, the lyrics, the sound effects, everything. That first record is probably one of the most perfect albums in prog (and has less than a half of a Gilmour song! HA!). Very Thick as a Brick that.

Oddly enough, the best musician on this album is...Nick Mason. He really drums his guts out here. Uh, in a relative way (Nick Mason drumming his guts out just means that they get all over the kit, as opposed to Bruford, who'd get 'em all over the studio). Suffice to say that the last time I was ever this AWARE of Nick was on "One of These Days;" a single song.

Everyone else? Well, ole Dave serves out some his usual bag of guitar chops, but I'm more impressed with the intense riffage than the soloing. Roger gives himself some solid enough bass parts, but his strength is the vocals; what? Was he trying to outdo Peter Gabriel or something? The lyrics are not quite as good as those on Animals, but still, some real choice material ("One of My Turns," "Hey You").

What places this farthest from all other Floyd albums is Rick Wright; the synths are toned way down, there are no keyboard solos to speak of ("Run Like Hell," and...that's it?), and Rick sticks to piano and organ. Any synth effects are used for atmosphere, and most of the atmosphere is handed off to the sound effects anyway. I'm not complaining though; Rick was never a Wakeman at the keys, so a restrained performance from him takes on very noble connotations.

Obviously, The Wall is almost endlessly debatable (I didn't even question when the reality ends and the fantasy begins)...assuming that the "debate" never settles into the comfortably numb world of name calling (I think Pink's wife was innocent." "Yeah? Well, I think you're a stupidhead!" Hey, this'll be fun! Let's check in on 'em later). However, I do feel I can answer the question I posed at the start of the review. YES, this album is worth your thirty-five dollars and ninety-nine cents. Besides, I had a thirty percent discount...

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
3 stars On The Wall, Roger Waters takes the concept album to its limits. The question is: did he overdo it? I'm of the opinion that yes, he did. And it's mostly due to a complicated and long storyline that covers a lot of personal issues for Waters. It takes many, many listens to fully understand the message of The Wall. Many listeners will be left wondering what on earth the blasted thing was about. Even watching the film that was based on this album, one may still have confusion concerning the whole story. This is definitely an intellectual work and if that's not what you're looking for, The Wall could be a dreadful experience.

Waters is entirely behind The Wall album, as the other members of the band took a back seat only contributing musically. Wright had a falling out with Waters and even though he is credited, his contributions are minimal as Waters hired several session musicians to fill in, plus an orchestra. With this in mind, you'll notice right away that this doesn't sound much like earlier Pink Floyd efforts. All of the songs are short pieces of a larger concept with the focus more on vocals and lyrics than anything else. So musically, it suffers because of it. There is very little room for musical development. Another point worth making is that if you listen to Waters' solo albums from the 1980s and 1990s, you'll notice they have a similarity in structure and format with The Wall. This is Roger's baby, just using the Pink Floyd name.

With all of that in mind, The Wall at times is an enjoyable listen, and at other times is a skipping parade in the CD player. My thoughts are that Waters' concept needed to be trimmed down a bit to fit the format it was to fill. Taking the best tracks and separating them from the garbage, one is left with about one LP worth of decent material. In other words, Waters fell victim to what troubled Peter Gabriel's The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. The music suffered and there were way too many lyrics. It's a shame Gilmour, Mason, and Wright didn't put their collective feet down and rein in Waters when he took the concept too far. Also, if you thought Animals was bleak, The Wall is probably one of the most depressing albums ever made.

Definitely a good album, but I don't think this is essential for the progressive rock genre, so my conclusion is three stars. Every Pink Floyd fan should have this and if overdone rock operas are your thing, you'll probably love this. For the rest of you, I'd recommend starting with their previous three albums.

Review by Prog Leviathan
3 stars A vastly overrated, hit-and-miss conceptual nightmare that features some amazing, memorable moments (such as: anything you'll hear on the radio), and many many eccentric experiments which fall flat on their face... making it very difficult to work up the effort to make it through this album's bloated entirety. The songs are not as complex, dynamic, or as emotive as anything found in earlier albums, and Water's vocals are well... bad, making for some goofy moments here and there (the "Trial" anyone?).

I recommend a new comer to Floyd's classic library to save this one for last.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 2 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Review by russellk
5 stars A terrifyingly bleak tour of the mind's disintegration and concomitant social alienation, PINK FLOYD's 'The Wall' is a seriously flawed but ultimately brilliant masterpiece, ROGER WATERS' magnum opus and the centre of his life's work.

This album is brutally compelling. Anyone with sensitivity will be overwhelmed by the relentless outpouring of vitriolic lyrics and the incessant pounding of the music, and will be drawn into the plot until the main character's probable suicide at the end of 'The Trial' becomes a cathartic relief. This is a million miles away from 'Grantchester Meadows'.

But isn't this where we came in? A fair question on every level. WATERS has examined the question of madness before, most notably as a central theme of 'Dark Side of the Moon' and obliquely on 'Wish You Were Here'. Associated with this is the well-known fate of the band's original guru, SYD BARRETT. This is not the first time, then, we've heard these sentiments, but they have never been more powerfully expressed. Moreover the album itself is a cycle: the album opens with the words '...we came in?' and finishes with the words 'Isn't this where...' indicating that the self-destruction pictured here reoccurs in society. Powerful stuff.

However, there are a myriad of problems with this work. By this stage in PINK FLOYD's existence they were almost completely a one-man band. WATERS would go away and make the demos, and would hire a wide variety of musicians (some of whom might coincidentally be his band-mates) to do the bits he couldn't. Thus the bitterness - the incipient madness this semi-autobiographical tale references - remains unsweetened by the melody or grandeur GILMOUR and WRIGHT might have introduced. Everything here is tight-sphinctered, teeth-grinding, utter depression. It's a shattering experience to listen to it once, but repeated listenings merely serve to grind one's soul into the dust.

Moreover, WATERS invites his family to the party. In fact, this would better be titled 'The Waters Family Album' as the death of his father in the war looms large throughout the record, giving us many a pointless and distracting moment. Rock operas work best when they stick with one theme: the concept becomes diluted on Side 3 when the album becomes an anti-war diatribe. There are half a dozen complete songs on this record, and the rest are song fragments. I can't help feeling the complete songs needed a little more space. Some excellent songs - 'Mother', for example - could have done with expanding. I can't help feeling that the first two sides could have been expanded to cover three sides. Thus 'Goodbye Cruel World' would be followed by 'Comfortably Numb' and then 'Hey You' would lead into Side 4 (which is where it should be, as it introduces the worms that are the central subject of Side 4).

There are many places on the web that will walk the neophyte through the intricacies of WATERS' vision. I'm more concerned with the music. The space-rock PINK FLOYD has vanished, replaced by a much more condensed art-rock feel. There's little one would normally consider progressive here, though I'd argue that the album as a whole can be treated as one progressive track, particularly as there are a number of recurring leitmotifs throughout the work. The 'Another Brick' theme, the main riff from 'ABITW Part II', which appears repeatedly on Side 4, the continual television samples filling the silences and lifting the paranoia level ever higher, the cries of 'Oooh Babe' ... the list goes on. Each is a clever device to link the disparate parts of the record together.

I must mention a few songs. 'Another Brick in the Wall Part II' is often disparaged for its disco beat, but such a beat is repeated throughout the album, a reflection of the marching hordes (hammers, fascists etc) that populate Pink's mind. I see it as artistic necessity, not a sell-out. The guitar solo is superb. 'Empty Spaces' is a compelling song fragment, and industrial throwover to 'Welcome to the Machine', a powerful moment that ought to have been expanded. 'Comfortably Numb' is a GILMOUR masterpiece, originally intended for release on his 1978 solo album, and is cruelly cut short by the limitations of the vinyl. I concur with those who rate this solo as one of the best - if not the best - of all time. It is introduced by a lovely build, begins with that distorted harmonic and is underlain by compelling rhythm and chords: like the solo on 'Stairway to Heaven', much of the magic is in the context. Then, just as he reaches for the heavens, bending those notes like only he can, GILMOUR is cut off by the end of the side. If only some of the pointless stuff beforehand had been pruned a little: this song needs more room to breathe.

'The Trial' is unique in the annals of progressive rock. I'm a WATERS critic, I believed his megalomania and the band members' indifference destroyed the band, but here he got it exactly right. The music-hall style trivialises the various participants, yet the power of the music and the sheer weight of what has gone before means that when GILMOUR starts in with the leitmotif guitar theme we are horrified at what is happening. The intensity cranks up moment by moment until the chants of 'Tear down the Wall!' assume Nazi-like proportions, petrifying in their menace. I cannot praise the conclusion to this album highly enough, nor its pathetic denouement. Some may laugh, but I consider this moment the climax of WATERS' musical career. Somewhat ironic, that, when you think about it.

Yes, there are serious flaws in this album, sufficient that the rating is a fair reflection of its overall merit. It could have been even better than it is. However, there is enough sheer brilliance in this record that, despite the misgivings, its masterpiece status must be acknowledged. If any album in these archives can be considered essential, this, the last great rock opera, certainly can.

Review by progrules
3 stars There is a siginificant similarity between Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall to me. Both albums are considered masterpieces to most people/fans but somehow I have a really different opinion about them. Both albums are granted two stars less by me than the usual of 5 stars. And interesting enough: both albums contain one or two songs of the very highest standard: Money and Time on DSotM and Comfortly Numb on The Wall. And in both cases I have to say I don't really care about the rest of the songs.

The only difference is: I almost dislike the rest of DSotM and in the case of The Wall I think the other tracks are ok but are qualitywise some light-years behind the mentioned masterpiece track. On the other hand I have to admit that tracks like Mother, Hey You and Run like Hell have grown on me through the years and aren't bad at all of course. But for some reason I cannot appreciate the whole album (like many people can) despite its obvious class and significance in pop and prog history. All in all 3 stars for The Wall (3,2).

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars All in all this is really just another review of The Wall

Now here's one that I've put off touching for a long time. This is one of those albums that you either love or hate, and while the entire rock community seems to have an immense love for this album it's clear that the reactions in the prog community are mixed. Yes, it is considered one of Floyd's greatest, but still people disregard it. There's many things to like and dislike about the album, and those I'll get to in a second, but first let's examine the style of the album. For anyone who is still unfamiliar with the album and how it plays this one is different from anything and everything the Floyd have done prior. While their previous albums had been full of long and spaced out songs even going into their ''classic'' era (post Dark Side) this one takes a sharp turn for the shorter side of things. While other albums had their long, winding tracks connected by theme, this one has short, sometimes choppy tracks connected by a story. Yes, this is a rock opera. And it's a thick one. Indeed, the concept can be very hard to get into at times, especially when you're just trying to listen to the music. The lyrics are omni-present and urge you to listen. Is there any time for you to simply get lost in the music? Yes. But first you have to get immersed in the music.

To talk about the music even more let's get into the sound. This album sounds a lot more emotional and a lot more geared towards ''rock'' than anything the band has done before. The songs are heavy and not really all that spacey. At all. This is fine if you're someone looking for something to sing along to, but if you're a prog purest looking for instrumental goodness then just be warned. Songs like Another Brick In The Wall are very much radio friendly, but they still have their charm, especially the three segments of the previously mentioned track, two of which are scarcely known, being as they really have that prog feel to them.

I'm not going to get into the actual story or it's meanings because that would be mostly semantics, but I'll do a quick overview. If you didn't know - this is the story of a rocker who goes pretty much crazy and builds up a ''wall'' around himself thanks to all the crazy forces in his life and becomes something of a hermit. It also touches on the false idol worship of rockstars and the lot. Written by Roger Waters after spitting on a crowd member at a concert who tried to spit on stage, Waters felt that he was separating himself from the audience, and mixing that with his own childhood memories of his father and the misadventures of Syd Barrett, he created this tale.

Something to note about the album is the age group it seems to effect. Now - this is by no means accurate, but someone once told me something that resonated with me. He told me that it was a very teenage album - an album which is very emotional and whose story can snag people in around that age so that they gain a kind of obsession with it. This definitely rang true with me when I first listened to it so many years ago, and it seems that way with most of the people I've known - they were all younger when they got into the album - although I'm positive that this is by no means the rule.

So this is a prog flavored rock opera with a lot of tracks. While a lot of the tracks are simply intro/outro tracks to press the songs forwards and segue them with the next tracks there's a few songs of high interest. The opening In The Flesh? gets the ball rolling with a bang as Water's lyrics come in to start the show. Mother is a good, slower number which is sure to attract some of the more brooding of the younger audience with it's lyrics (although that's not the only draw). Young Lust paired with One of My Turns makes for a great way to portray rage at it's finest - the sharp and eerie lyrics match well with the hungry guitar to make for a rocking couple of tracks. Other tracks make for a truly lonely and isolated feel that works quite well on the album such as Don't Leave Me Now and Hey You, and especially the haunting Is There Anybody Out There?.

Of course what would the album be without a couple of it's most famous tracks? Run Like Hell is an excellent rocker who's sing-along lyrics actually work quite well, another brooding track with it's underlying message. But of course the definitive standout on the album has to be the masterful Comfortably Numb with it's almost pretty delivery and wonderful solo from Gilmour. The Trial is another amazing track, finishing the album with a bang as the terrifying Judge comes in to make for a very unique Floyd track. As the climax of the story and album you'd want this one to deliver - and it does.

I must say that while it does get mixed reactions this is an essential prog album, like it or not. Whether it be for the story or the music or the love of Floyd there's a lot to like here. The bad things to be said about it are the exception rather than the rule and I'd recommend this one to everyone! 5 cruel worlds out of 5!

Review by The Prognaut
5 stars A long time ago, daring to confess that merely ever since I first joined the Archives; I determined that if I ever made it to the one hundred reviews, PINK FLOYD "The Wall" would have that respected place on the achieved numbering.

Among all possible reasons that drove me down to that particular decision, the fact of growing up along this album through most of the inner experiences over my childhood up to my now extinct first days as a youngster, set those past memories on fire burning anxiously in my head, waiting to be quenched throughout words.

"The Wall" is to me a generational record, a point of departure cornerstone, the milestone made music and the best rock opera I've aver lent ears to. Besides, the idea of elapsing the total running time altogether in a record was new to me, thus, I was unfamiliar with the term "concept album" and later on, after having myself surrendered to the dazzling story within, I embraced that kind of musical creations as one of my favorites.

I discovered "The Wall" through brief sessions of listening to excerpts from most of the known songs such as "Another Brick in The Wall Pt. II", "Mother", "Hey You" and of course "Comfortably Numb" being this last one, the track that makes my mind wander into de depths of rock star "Pink" performed by Bob GELDOF on the motion picture.

And speaking of the motion picture, when I hopelessly got to "see" the music depicted in images, the loose ends in my head finally entangled perfectly to a whole new world of perspective. As many of you out there I presume, I felt irremediably bonded to "Pink", seeing reflected on that character most of my youth fears, desires, dreams, gathering together to tear down "the wall".

On the lyrical development and far beyond finding the perfect match of words with Gerald SCARFE's animation; I noticed this solid togetherness the band displayed on every single chord, on every single bit of music, on every and each one of the arrangements to come up with a true masterpiece. The rareness and sensitivity of the songwriting is quite different from previous releases by the band, the sounds of interactive backgrounds were unique, the refined composing and the elaborated mind-pictured scenarios fitted just wonderfully.

Every once in a while, I spin the record from beginning to end as I kick back and let my emotions drift away and still, I get those adolescent shivers and creeps, I can sense the aroma of rusty old dreams and feel my soul trying to claw its way to the other side of the wall.

Almost thirty years from its creation have gone by and the reminiscent tracks in our minds are fresh as the first listen. Go dust this album off and let yourselves relive the unforgettable days but if you feel young or even so, are young enough indeed, just get captivated over and over again.

Review by TGM: Orb
2 stars Review 72, The Wall, Pink Floyd, 1979, double-album

StarStar (ooooh....)

There are few albums that inspire as much of a mixture of feelings in me as The Wall. On the one hand, the heights are absolutely brilliant, and some signature characteristics are used immensely well, on the other, there is nothing remotely memorable about several of the pieces, some leave me completely uninspired and some of the 'filler' (will explain what I mean by this later when I come to them) is really nothing more than that. In addition, the ending is feeble and so utterly unconvincing to me that it alone brings down the album somewhat. I'll try to explain the pluses and minuses in a bit more detail:

On the positive side, the inclusions of phone calls, voice clips, film moments and sound effects is generally very, very nicely done. It fits into the pieces very well, keeps up album flow and adds a bit more interest. Equally, the guitar work and vocals are generally quite clean and forceful, and is responsible for most of the album's real high points. Lastly, when everything does come together, which isn't often enough for my liking, it comes together magnificently.

On the minus side, there are plenty of individual tracks that draw my finger towards the dreaded skip button. More generally, the lyrics don't really satisfy me that much overall, being very self-referential, a bit ridiculous story-wise, but without the clever allegorical style that made albums like The Lamb and A Passion Play so enjoyable from that perspective. Additionally, a few of the pieces seem lyrically so un-needed as to make me cold to them by default. Finally, Wright and Mason are mostly boring on this album. At times, they do make valid contributions, but nothing remotely comparable to their roles on, say, Meddle or Wish You Were Here.

In The Flesh (I), after the light theme of the opening (echoed in the closer) provides a relatively effective start to the album with superb hammond sound from Wright and really grappling guitars from Gilmour. Mason, also, is on top form, with bass pedal throbs and very fitting clear percussion sounds. The vocals and lyrics, equally, are pretty good ('If you wanna find out what's behind these cold eyes/ Then you'll have to claw your way past this disguise!'). A superbly bombastic start to the album, with taste moderating the intentionally overboard sound.

A baby wailing brings us onto The Thin Ice, another solid cut, with some really haunting work from Wright's swirling synths and cautious piano as a highlight, and excellent vocals from Gilmour, whether or not they stretch the 'oooh'ing a bit too much. Waters' more aggressive vocals contrast neatly, and a fine snarling solo from Gilmour also marks the piece. The end segues through a thunking, almost electronic bass beat...

to Another Brick In The Wall pt.1, which is the first of the few really fantastic songs on the album, with extremely well-written and accusing lyrics, as well as a brilliant harmony of empty menace over the minimalistic electronic bass-line merging with some little guitar and keyboard effects. Children's voices and the occasional shout punctuate the background.

The Happiest Days Of Our Lives is a moderate mix of biting anti-school aggression and the defiant mockery of these oppressive figures. The rhythm section, unusually for Floyd, takes a really dominant part and handles it finely, and the screeching segue is almost unmatched...

Unlike the following Another Brick In The Wall pt. 2, where, simply, not a lot is going on. The guitars and riffs are very much repeated, the loud children's chorus is simply irritating, and so horrifically out of tune that I usually end up skipping. The lyrics are solid, and the bluesy solo in the middle ain't bad, but those are the only nice things I'll really say about it. The first of the 'let's throw in a few vocal loops' things flops a bit. A phone segue takes us onto...

Mother, which is one of the most lauded songs of the album. Unfortunately, it bores me. A couple of the creepy lyrical lines and deliveries are pulled off with great menace ('ooh ma, is it just a waste of time?', but the acoustic theme is simply un-interesting to me. The additions are mainly propping that up, and since I'm not too keen on it, they don't really help... equally, the self-referential lyrics are a bit of an irritation for me, but that's just preference speaking. The final couple verse and answer are a bit of an improvement, but still not so incredibly fascinating that the words 'classic' come to my mind.

Goodbye Blue Sky has a much stronger and more interesting acoustic, with some haunting background bass supplementing it as well as dark and fairly assertive additions. Much as a couple of the lyrical lines feel a bit basic, it works, and the piece is overall quite enjoyable while handling a psychological menace.

The growling aggression of Empty Spaces is a complete and delightful contrast, with wailing guitar, psychedelic force added by Wright's effects and the German distorted spoken additions, and a forceful and compelling beat. The vocals have this guttural, probably distorted, power behind them, and the piece as a whole, though brief and mainly intended as a lead up, is very effective.

Unfortunately, the following Young Lust is simply not a piece I enjoy. The rhythm section is pretty basic, Gilmour's guitars have such a synthetic edge and the plain rock ends up mainly being plain, without quite enough action to keep me interested. Wright's chords on the hammond have a simply bored vibe, and the lyrics are for the first time a bit of an insertion, rather than a necessity. Not as awful as I'm making it sound and it does at least do the decency of being memorable, but it does nothing for me. Noch ein phonecall-based segue...

Straight into One Of My Turns, also sometimes lauded as a highlight, with a bit more plot-exposition and some very disjointed keyboard work, which I can understand, even if it doesn't hit me. The vocals for the first time feel a little too vulnerable and empty, much as that is the only real option for the piece, and the lyrics do have their moment in the opening section. The musical side... well, it's just not especially fascinating for me.

The breathless and dark Don't Leave Me Now is another very Wright-driven track, even if it's not quite as fascinating as some of the previous ones, and, much as the lyrics are horrific and dark, the rather thin delivery simply doesn't quite work out the way I think it meant to. Three minutes I didn't need to spend, and one superb conclusion, with a whirling guitar, some moving piano touches and the 'oooh babe' motif being used really well.

The biting and hammering aggression of Another Brick In The Wall pt. 3 is the real highlight of the first side for me. The lyrics are brilliantly written, and the forceful, striking electronic-ish beat backed up with little band additions is incredibly compelling. Vocals, effects, guitars... everything works.

Goodbye Cruel World ends the first disc in a subdued way, with a fairly feeble two-note bass thing over some repeats of the organ riff from Another Brick pt. 3, and a simple lyrical set to signify the completion of The Wall (a theme which I've stopped following mentally by Young Lust, anyway...). It doesn't make a great impression.

The second disc starts out promisingly, with the exceptional Hey You. A more medieval-feel guitar theme holds up neatly by itself, giving enough space for the other additions to really hit home. Simple though it is, everything fits neatly, and emphasises the emotions of the narrator. More importantly, we get the amazing guitar theme (diao-da-da-dao...) that will be repeated in the second side in its purest and most stunning form. The vocals also express themselves much more clearly and freely than I feel they've done on the majority of the first side, and the lyrical content is again quite impressive ('Hey you! Would you help me to carry the stone/Open your heart, I'm coming home'). Superb in and out of context.

Is There Anybody Out There is another menacing piece, with just one repeated, maddened line arranged precisely and a mass of psychedelic keys with a couple of guitary and bass sounds, even reminiscent of Echoes. A really pretty acoustic solo from Gilmour highlights the second part of the piece, and much as I'm not the biggest fan of his acoustics in general, this one works beautifully.

Nobody Home features some fiddling with a vocal repeat, as well as a generally good vocal side. The orchestra feature for the first time, if generically, and Wright's piano gets a little space to expand. The first half of the lyrics I really enjoy, the second... don't really impact on me. Overall, however, it is a satisfying piece overall.

Vera is the first of two lyrically pointless pieces. There is absolutely no conceivable reason for it to be where it is, in my opinion. Perhaps on the first disc, it would have fit a lot better, with the touching vocal from Waters and the lush cello not dragged down by plain irrelevance.

Bring The Boys Back Home is the second. The bombastic orchestra is pretty generic, but the highlights of the song is in the vocal wailing accompanying it, truly bizarre. Unfortunately, the segue has the worst of the vocal loops overuses, despite the menacing Is There Anybody Out There? reprise.

Comfortably Numb is a piece I have mixed opinions on. The lyrics are great, but clearly a complete insertion. Equally, the music is fine, but it doesn't match the album, which, at its best is downcast and sullen... the rather upbeat themes of this one have never fit for me. The orchestra inclusions irk me a little, as does the chorus-dragging-on-so-much part. The guitar solos... well, I like them enough, the second much more so than the first, but wouldn't really consider them mindblowing, especially since I'm not the world's biggest guitar person. It's understandable why it is so popular, but I feel quite confused as to why I'm listening to it in the middle of a clear concept album, which it isn't an integral part of.

The Show Must Go On, comparatively, is a piece that was clearly well-meaning, but simply feels like a bit musically invalid to me, especially the vocals. It's clearly trying, but I simply don't like the harmonies and Gilmour's voice on it. The lyrics... equally, feels a bit fill-up inspired. The only substantial plus is the semi-yodel thing handled in the opening harmony.

In The Flesh (II) echoes the first one pretty precisely, in terms of its musical content, albeit acoustics and slightly more stretchy choral things feature prominently. Lyrically, however, the altered context and vocal performance really does give it a fair bit of validity. The lines are again well-written, and quite neat, albeit I completely fail to understand why Pink (erk!) decides he's being Hitler for the evening... The conclusion is, however, great.

Run Like Hell features another more basic beat, and some guitar 'waves' (I like to call them) that, while perhaps interesting to a guitarist, don't get me. The vocals, while experimental and cleverly arranged, also have no effect on me. So we have. a song where I really feel either of the leads and the rhythm section is pretty basic. A slightly redeeming synth solo from Wright marks the end of the piece and returns of the Another Brick 3 theme work, but that's all I can really find to like.

Waiting For The Worms, after a slightly slow opening, features a kicking guitar theme from Gilmour as well as menacing multi-tracked vocals and vicious lyrical madness. Repeats of the godly guitar-theme of Hey You are like ambrosia for my ears, and the overall piece is a very impressive and compelling one despite a vulnerable beginning.

Stop is a deliberate, short anti-climactic break, with really nice high piano playing from Wright.

The following The Trial features the orchestra in its full role, really arranged for maximised effect, and an array of the bizarre characters involved in the album arrayed against our protagonist. The vocals around the line 'crazy... toys in the attic, I am crazy' are wonderfully supplemented by the harp playing. Meanwhile, however, the refrains on that just don't work for me. Though it features again that phenomenal guitar theme, added to the judge's blustering, the piece could have been so much more enjoyable for me with a tiny bit of trimming, and the 'tear down the wall' shouting, while really the obvious way to do it... feels so obvious that it's almost out of place.

Outside The Wall provides possibly the world's most ineffectual conclusion, especially in the context of such a dark piece. With a really light sax theme echoing the opening, and a slightly irritating light vocal complete with daft refrains not really doing anything for the lyrics. An instrumental repeat... well, why bother. Doesn't work for me.

So, individually, a lot of the pieces are alright, a few are really, really strong, and not a huge number really fall flat horribly. However, as a whole, it simply doesn't feel quite there to me, and it falls down to aggressive examination. I'm not that keen on the concept, and I really do not like the ending. Also, I really don't have the money spare to do what some have suggested and head for the film just to understand the concept a bit better... if I'm not the album's greatest fan, and I think the concept is basic, I'm not going to splurge on it, to be honest. It is quite an interesting album from a few perspectives, but the interest... it passes too quickly, and one listen will generally give me just as much information as ten on any individual feature.

Two stars is admittedly a bit harsh, but I simply don't find it entirely satisfying, and that's even as someone who's generally positive towards Floyd. If you're not a fan of the band, it is admittedly so big and influential a recording that it's probably a necessity. Equally, it's interesting to look at why this album succeeded so highly, but in and of itself it isn't, in my view, the masterpiece some proclaim it to be.

Rating: Two Stars Favourite Track: Another Brick In The Wall pt. 3/Hey You

Review by poslednijat_colobar
5 stars Unique album! It's the first studio album I've ever called my favourite. Now it's not my favourite,but I regard it as one of the top albums in the world of rock music. This is also the last masterpiece by Pink Floyd and the most remembered Pink Floyd's album by the mainstream community. Moreover, I think this is the best Pink Floyd's album in terms of lyrics. It's also one of the most dominated Pink Floyd's albums by Roger Waters (only behind The Final Cut and prior to Animals). It's obvious that the tendency from Animals continues on The Wall - I mean this album is similar to Animals and was born from the ideas of Animals. Its genre is more understandable than Animals' genre. The album is in strong artistic manner, just what I love to hear. Richard Wright is totally overshadowed by the then leader - Roger Waters - and can't show his musical abilities, but that's not a reason for less than 5 stars, is it?
Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's amazing what a little spit can do. This whole concept got going because during one show, Roger Waters spat in the face of an overzealous fan who attempted to climb onto the stage. Waters mused that their was a figurative wall between himself and the rest of the world. This album follows what is essentially a loose alter-ego of his. While many see this as Pink Floyd's greatest work, I find it is a little too drawn out, especially for its "story" (which is really almost stream of consciousness). I'll keep my comments on the loose story limited, as there are manifold interpretations offered elsewhere.

"In the Flesh?" If one listens carefully, one can hear that this album begins where the very last track left off, mid-sentence. Then some dark organ and guitar come in for one hell of an introduction. Waters's voice graduates from calm to quirky to mad, which is something of a trademark of this grandiose vocalist. The sound of a bomber closes the song.

"The Thin Ice" This one begins with a baby crying, and some soft vocals over piano, before Waters takes over and Gilmour gives a ripping guitar solo.

"Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 1" While not the one most people think of when they hear the title, this song carries the same iconic melody as its more popular successor, and has some incredible delayed guitars.

"The Happiest Days of Our Lives" The sound of a helicopter and someone shouting gives way to a splendid bass-dominated part. Waters does a great job describing the tyranny of the schoolteachers (and that of their wives). This short section moves right into the next song.

"Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2" Perhaps one of Pink Floyd's most recognized songs, this is similar to part one, but fuller. It features a children's choir the second time the verse is sung, and Gilmour does a magnificent job playing his solo- it's one that imprints itself on the listener's memory with just a few cursory listens.

"Mother" This song is a loitering one, even between lines; it probably could have been much shorter and just as effective. It's primarily an acoustic guitar-driven song, but there are other instruments that add to it. Waters's lyrics are especially good and fitting here, and Gilmour once again does not fail to deliver on the guitar solo.

"Goodbye Blue Sky" This song juxtaposes beautiful guitar work and ominous synthesizer. It has lovely vocals.

"Empty Spaces" This short interlude prepares the listener for the next song. Waters' voice drags over heavy guitar.

"Young Lust" Another radio staple, this is a pop-oriented song with a strong beat and a catchy chorus. As always, the electric guitar work is very strong. The song ends with the voice of a real-life unwitting operator.

"One of My Turns" This song has a lot of variety to it, but even so, it could have been popular on the radio too. Despite the dark lyrics, most of them are sung over upbeat music.

"Don't Leave Me Now" This track is terribly boring and depressing, and it lingers on, increasing the monotony. Even when things pick up, it's drawn-out and repetitive.

"Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 3" This is a short revisiting of the two parts that preceded it with even darker lyrics.

"Goodbye Cruel World" This would be a throwaway track if it wasn't an integral part of the story- there isn't any music to speak of, and the singing is almost spoken.

"Hey You" Likewise a depressing song, this one achieved radio popularity, featuring verses with a basic guitar solo sandwiched in between. The riff used underneath the solo is a variation on the melody for "Another Brick in the Wall." The lyrics use a lot of imagery, not the least of which describe worms gnawing into the protagonist's brain.

"Is There Anybody Out There?" This piece is the most psychedelic of the bunch, particularly with the haunting vocals and the strange synthesizer. The acoustic guitar section is the more enjoyable part, though, and my opinion is that the band should have expanded on this idea.

"Nobody Home" This is by far one of the most depressing tracks on the album. The lyrics describe isolation, a subject Waters often wrote about.

"Vera" Vera Lynn was a British singer during World War II. The song ironically references her song, "We'll Meet Again," such that the protagonist (and Waters, for that matter), knows he will not meet his father again.

"Bring the Boys Back Home" This sounds like a patriotic war anthem, but the lyrics take an anti-war stance. More broadly (and more accurately), the brief song is about not letting one's career- whatever that is- be more important than one's family and friends.

"Comfortably Numb" One of Pink Floyd's greatest songs, this one has dark verses (sung by Waters) and a buoyant chorus (sung by Gilmour). The two guitar solos in this song are amazingly structured well executed. The lyrics do not describe drugs (well, not in an illegal sense, really) as many believe, but tell the next part of the story. This is my favorite song on the entire album.

"The Show Must Go On" This is a short piece that is derivative of earlier chord structures. It's mostly just an interlude to give information on the protagonist's thoughts about his life.

"In the Flesh" As the title would suggest, this is a reprise of the first song on the album, only it's "live," with Waters shouting offensive things at the least "desirable" members of the audience (gays, blacks, Jews, pot-smokers, the diseased), ordering them "up against the wall."

"Run Like Hell" Yet another radio hit, this one is decidedly simplistic in its structure. It has a basic guitar riff and a simple beat. What makes this stand out, however, are not just the wild lyrics, but the manner in which they are sung. Waters sings with himself, each line panning to one side or the other. This song is the only one on the entire album to have a synthesizer solo, and it's a crazy one.

"Waiting for the Worms" This song compares the protagonist with a Nazi dictator (the counting is even in German and the song references "showers" and "ovens"). The music starts off softly, but builds into musical insanity. The guitar plays the melody of "Another Brick in the Wall" as someone delivers a speech through a megaphone to a hateful crowd.

"Stop" This is just a thirty section interlude that gives insight into the protagonist's mind at this point in the story.

"The Trial" This quirky song is meant to give the impression of an English courtroom. The protagonist's refrain throughout the song is "Crazy, toys in the attic; I am crazy." This is the most dramatic of the songs, and Waters even uses a variety of voices to represent the different characters. The final judgment is rendered: "Tear down the wall."

"Outside the Wall" The closing song is inconclusive about the protagonist's fate after his mental wall is demolished. It's quiet, and almost anti-climatic, but the sound cuts off, directing the listener back to the beginning, where the question "Isn't this where we came in?" is completed.

Review by Conor Fynes
5 stars 'The Wall' - Pink Floyd (8.5/10)

Put simply, this is not just one of Prog's greatest moments, but one of the greatest works of Rock music in general. It's hard to deny the significant power this album has. From memorable, powerful songs, to pitch-perfect recording quality, to a all-together cohesion that is yet unmatched anywhere else, this is Pink Floyd's crowning acheivement, and that is saying alot.

The year was 1980. The 'Classic Rock' styles of the 70s' were being slowly but surely replaced by more disposable forms of Synthpop, and other styles that sharply contrasted what can generally be considered good music. Keeping this in mind, a masterpiece like this was truly a diamond in the rough.

Now, on to the music itself...

This is everything a rock opera could hope for... A bombastic, full-force prog sound, heavily drawing from Symphonic influence, with a palette of different, strange styles. Of particular note is the absolutely beautiful recording job done on this album. The sound is perfect, and that can only be said for a handful of albums. Each of the beautifully driven instruments comes out onto speakers in a crystal clear light, and it only adds to the beauty of it all.

Songs such as 'Comfortably Numb', 'One Of My Turns', and 'Waiting For The Worms' stood out for me, not because there were ten different time signature changes every minute (a la Dream Theater) but a conveyence of uncompromising emotion. You really get a feeling that each part of the song is engineered to make you feel a very specific emotion, but it doesn't sound contrived at all! The solo in Comfortably Numb is of particular note; each note is perfect, and it has the power to take the listener to heights previously unheard of.

Other tracks, particularly 'The Trial' verge on being Avant-Garde in nature, simply because of how 'out- there' they are. These mesh in very well with the more conventional tracks, and give a good jolt of extra unique-ness to everything.

Performance wise, nothing that wouldnt be expected of Pink Floyd is on here. All instruments and vocal performances are well done, although not technically virtuosic. This album is honestly recommended to everyone who has a sense of hearing, and the time to digest a double album. While it is a masterpiece however, there are a few parts that are 'filler;' 'Is There Anybody Out There?' for example, is a track that I would be prone to skipping through, among others.

This album is one of a kind, one that deserves it's place as being one of the best selling records in history.. This album has sealed it's place in history; an essential classic.

Review by horsewithteeth11
3 stars "Just another brick in the wall"...this album that is.

Like Dark Side, I have utterly failed to see what other people see in this album. The only difference is that unlike Dark Side, this album actually gets on my nerves. Honestly, if I have to hear Another Brick in the Wall or Comfortably Numb on the radio one more time, it might convince me to take a physical brick, not a metaphorical one, and smash it repeatedly against my head until I see brains coming out. If it wasn't for the fact that I've been forced to listen to those songs so many times, then I might actually enjoy them, two of the few gems, or more like really good-looking fake diamonds, that I've ever found on here.

Some people may think I'm crazy to give this album such a low rating of 3 stars, but I think it fits very well. Not because I think this album is awful (and it's not, I just can't listen to it much anymore because my interest in it has dropped rapidly), but because I think bigger fans of the band would enjoy it much more than I could. And instead of me going on a long tirade of how this album has wasted much of my life when I could listen to better Pink Floyd albums, I'll simply end this here with a recommendation of 3 stars. While The Final Cut was tolling death bells for this band, The Wall was the beginning of the weakness in the structure. For me anyway. A few decent songs, but not much more.

Review by The Sleepwalker
4 stars The Wall is one one of Pink Floyd's most popular album, together with Dark Side of The Moon and Wish You Were Here. The precesor to The Wall, Animals, was the beginning of Pink Floyd being controlled by Roger Waters. The three albums under Waters' lead barely contain songs composed by other members than himself. The Wall is a concept album, it's a story about rocksinger Pink, the story is partly autobiographic to Roger Waters and partly fiction. The Wall had some very impressive live shows, during the first half of the show, a big wall was build, at the end the wall collapsed, this also was an idea of Roger Waters. During the In The Flesh tour (Animals tour) Roger Waters got annoyed by screaming fans who didn't seem to really want to listen to the songs, the wall was some sort of "payback".

The first song, "In The Flesh?" has a very powerful riff. The song opens with the softly spoken words "we came in?", the final song of the album closes with the words "Isn't this were". In The Flesh starts out with distrorted guitar and evil organ. After a while Roger is heard singing and the riff repeats. A very powerful and exciting opener.

The second song is "The Thin Ice", which discusses the birth and the first years of Pink's life. The song starts out with a quite simple chord progression and David singing. After a little while Roger does his vocal part and a powerful solo is heard. The Thin Ice is not as good and strong as In The Flesh, but is a very nice song.

The third song is "Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 1". The song is autobiographical to Roger, in the song Pink misses his father, who died in war, and he starts the building of his wall. The song has some delayed, trippy guitar playing and has a powerful chorus. It's not a special song, but it's nice.

Next is "Happiest Days Of Our Lives", a song about teachers. This song also is autobiographical and describes how Pink is being abused by teachers. The song can be seen as an interlude between Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 1 and Pt. 2. Though being very short it's a powerful and fun song.

The big hit single "Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2" is next. Just as the previous song it's about teachers abusing Pink, which causes him to further build a wall around him. The song is very accesible and doesn't really interest me at all, the guitar solo is very good though.

Next is "Mother", which is about Pink's over-protective mother. In the lyrics are lines such as "Mother is gonna make all of your nightmares come true", which makes it clear Pink doesn't like being over-protected. The song has a very catchy guitar solo and overall is a pretty good song.

Next is "Goodbye Blue Sky", a very dark song about the death of Pink's father. The song has dark acoustic guitar playing and great vocals, Pink continues building his wall.

"Empty Spaces" is a short song about Pink wanting to fill the empty spaces in his wall, to be completely away from everbody else. The guitar playing in this song is powerful which characterizes the song.

The first of David Gilmour's contributions on this album is "Young Lust", a straight on rock song. The song has a catchy riff and a powerful chorus, also the bluesy guitar solo is very good.

Next is "One Of My Turns", which is about Pink's relationship with his wife, that is not going very well. The song starts with a telephone conversation with segues into a typical Roger Waters Song, very much like he would later do in The Final Cut. After the quiet vocal part the song gets more bombastic and ends with a short and simple guitar solo, I like this song a lot.

"Don't Leave Me Now" is about Pink's wife leaving him. The song is very dark and just as One Of My Turns very much like the next album, The Final Cut. Also, this song starts ou quiet and gets more bombastic later on. I really like it.

Don't Leave Me Now segues into "Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 3", were Pink completes his wall. It's the shortest of the three parts, but is the most "rock" of them all.

The first disc ends with "Goodbye Cruel World", a song with a simple bassline, it's simply menth as the outro of disc one, nothing special.

Disc two opens with the fantastic "Hey You", which maybe is the best of the album. It starts with high octave arpeggio's and David's soft vocals. After two verses the strong mid section comes. It's a guitar solo based around a distorted riff which sounds like the "We don't need no education" line of Another Brick In The Wall Pt.2. The solo is followed by a bridge, and the high octave riff is heard again after that. Hey You is really a marvelous song, one of the best of the album.

Next is "Is There Anybody Out There?", which start out with Pink asking if there is anybody out there, while he is completely isolated by his wall. After the vocal part an acoustic guitar solo is played, the song is very haunting and pretty good.

"Nobody Home" is next, it's a gentle, poppy, but still kind of dark, song. Nobody Home is in the same style as One Of My Turns and Don't Leave Me Now, very Final Cut like.

"Vera" is a very short song which also shows the early signs of The Final Cut, the vocal part the song starts out with is one we will hear several times on The Final Cut. Vera is a nice, short song.

Another shorty, "Bring The Boys Back Home". The song is very bombastic and Roger is heard with his shivering screaming vocals. Near the end of the song sounds of earlier song are heard, such as the teacher and the is there anybody out there line.

It segues into "Comfortably Numb", another contribution by David Gilmour, the song is very famous for it's two amazing guitar solo's, especialy the second one is very impressive. In the storyline, Pink gets ill, and needs medicines. The song is very mellow and bombastic at the same time, it's a very epic piece.

After having had the medicines Pink starts to trip, at this time he already is a big rockstar, and while tripping he has to perform. "The Show Must Go On" describes this moment, it's one of my least favorite songs of the album.

"In The Flesh" is next, a different version of the first song of the first disc, with different lyrics and slightly longer. At this point Pink is really tripping and he thinks he is a nazi commander. The song is basically the same as In The Flesh? apart from some slight changes.

"Run Like Hell", David's third contribution is next. Pink tells his audience to run to the streets and start a riot. The song has some delayed guitar just as Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 1 and powerful vocals, it's not a bad song at all...the only problem is that I don't think it really fits on the album with the other songs, which doesn't make it a great moment for me.

"Waiting For The Worms" and the very short "Stop" is next, Pink realizes what he doing is absolutely wrong and he doesn't want to go on. Stop is the shortest song Pink Floyd has ever made, only lasting thirty seconds. Waiting for the worms is very powerful, it has some different parts, like the intro which is sung by David, the megaphone vocals and the riff which is nearly the same as the mid section of Hey You. Waiting For The Worms are a nice pair of songs.

"The Trial" is next. Pink wants to get rid of his wall and joins a trial in is head, in which he realizes that the wall he's made was a big mistake. In the song people like Pink's mother and the teachers are telling Pink what they think of him. The song is sung by Roger Waters, accompanied by an orchestra and later in the song heavily distorted guitar, this makes the song pretty epic.

"Outside The Wall" is the final song, in which Pink destroys his wall. The song is very gentle and ends with the words "isn't this were we...".

Of course, because this is a concept album, you shouldn't just judge the songs on their own, cause it's in fact one big experience. It's like a movie, it's a lovely expierence if you watch the whole thing and follow the storyline, watching the scenes all apart doesn't really do what it's purposed for. The album is not as great as most of the 70's Pink Floyd albums and The Final Cut, but is still very good.

It does deserve more than only three stars, so I give the album four stars, the fourth star being a tiny one, however.

Review by Neu!mann
2 stars First an unapologetic confession: I've been avoiding "The Wall" for thirty years now, and for a lot of reasons, among them the absurd popularity of "Another Brick in the Wall, Part II", maybe the silliest Top-40 song cluttering the airwaves in 1979. Pink Floyd had apparently stumbled on the perfect recipe for a hit single at the time: bad grammar and a disco beat, in this case with trite anti-authority sentiments borrowed wholesale from Alice Cooper (remember "School's Out"?).

Yes, I understand the album is considered a masterpiece by listeners who didn't grow up with "Dark Side of the Moon", or who never risked exposure to the band's more subversive back catalogue (Ummagummawhat? Syd who?). I'm also equally aware of just how valuable a slice of musical and cultural history it is.

But in retrospect Pink Floyd's (more precisely, Roger Waters') magnum opus has a lot to answer for. Contrary to received opinion Punk Rock didn't kill Progressive music; it was lumbering behemoths like this fan favorite that delivered the final axe blow to Prog's swelling head and shrinking ideals. The album showed exactly how far the 14-Hour Technicolor Dream had devolved by the end of the 1970s, in this case into an artless misanthropic rant, expending a lot of time and energy on a very simple (and dubious) theme: that post-war British middle class society was a cruel and stifling environment for aspiring rock 'n' roll stars.

A crummy film adaptation didn't exactly recommend the album either. Heck, it was even dismissed by Roger Waters himself, and harshly. And I don't even need to critique the music itself (since I'm probably the only Proghead on planet Earth who, until yesterday, had never actually listened to the entire album from beginning to end), except to note the bombastic arena-rock clichés, and belatedly acknowledge the album's influence on an entire generation of Neo-Proggers. Not unlike the movie, the album was a triumph of empty cosmetic style, albeit thankfully lacking director Alan Parker's overwrought visual cues.

But enough ranting on a sore subject. I think what really riles me about the album is that it signaled the end of what had once been a tightly knit creative unit. In the time it took to conceive, write, and record all four sides of the original vinyl, the energy driving the 1977 "Animals" album had completely drained away from what was left of the rapidly disintegrating band. The music snob in me wants to respond by punishing it with a single dismissive star before having heard a single note of music, but I have to at least acknowledge Waters' conviction, and the singleminded care (bordering on obsession) he brought to the project. I also need to applaud graphic artist Gerald Scarfe for copying all those pages and pages of lyrics in his inimitable shorthand scrawl.

It seems to me that Roger Waters was guilty at the time of exactly what he would later accuse bandmate David Gilmour: exploiting the marquee value of the Pink Floyd name to market what really was a solo album. This had been a band that could never be dismissed as sell-outs. But, despite its obvious scope and ambition, that's exactly what "The Wall" represented.

Review by The Truth
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Pink Floyd left their spaced out music and concepts and took their music down a whole new direction, (or Roger Waters did at least,) to the realms of rock opera. The storyline is a pretty amazing one and is laid down perfectly, (Waters has a tendency to do that). As for the music it sounds like a rocked out version of Dark Side or Animals without the instrumental breaks. People already know tracks like, Another Brick In the Wall Part 2, Comfortably Numb, and Run Like Hell are good, but try not to overlook tracks like Empty Spaces and Don't Leave Me Now which sound quite a bit like old Floyd. The Trial is as far away from old Floyd you can get but it is still one of the best tracks they've ever released with Waters being quite operatic throughout the track. All-in-all this is not a Wish You Were Here or Dark Side of the Moon sound-alike but even the people looking for one will be impressed.
Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars How to review the album that has been the first piece of real music that you came to appreciate back when 10 years old? How to do so for an album that has been your trusty companion and quality touchstone for so many years?

I'm sure each of us has an album like that. The Wall may even have been that very album for many of us. So, how to review this in the supposedly analytic and detached way that we are supposed to?

I don't know frankly. Because, when I listen to it now, it disappoints. I can hear many great songs, not really progressive but still intelligent and heartfelt. But I also hear lots of filler. I could easily do without all the songs that come between Dirty Woman and Comfortably Numb. Hey You excepted of course.

My general feeling now is that if they had cut this down to a 60 or 65 minute CD (as technology now allows), a true masterpiece of rock could have come out. But since they had to fill 90 minutes with Waters' self-indulgence, they kind of failed. 3.5 is what I give if I got to know the album now.

Review by Negoba
4 stars Together We Stand, Divided We Fall...We Fall...We Fall...

Growing up in the 80's and graduating in 1990, there was really no album as important as Pink Floyd's the Wall. From grade schoolers blindly singing "We don't need no education" to teenagers gravitating to the morose dark themes, this album held a social place for a wide span of time like really no other during that decade. Released in 1979, it's sounds looked definitely forward. The use of the triplet slap-back delay, used by Floyd as far back as Meddle, becomes a defining element on the Wall, and the Edge used the sound to form one of the biggest bands in the history of rock.

This album, among others, taught me how to play guitar, starting with the perfectly concise solo on the "Another Brick in the Wall" single, on through "Hey You" and "Comfortably Numb" being among the most played and enjoyable songs in my playing career. In college, late night viewings of the movie were a regular pass time. I remember a girl singing "Mother" a capella for a class project. The album appealed across clics, it's introspective ruminations and depression hitting home for almost any adolescent.

Indeed, this is Roger Waters' magnum opus. It is his vision and his psyche that make the album go. And for one last album, the rest of the guys still bought in and made significant contributions. (Unlike the Final Cut, basically a Waters' solo album with perfunctory appearance of his band mates) It is this lopsided balance of power that leads to the albums drawbacks. As many have said, it's too long, too morose, not enough balance.

It is extremely difficult to sustain a work through 2 whole CDs and the pacing here is the major problem with the work. Unlike the Lamb, which was clearly conceptualized more like a story or play, the Wall seems to have evolved as a concept and songs brought in to feed the concept. Certainly, many musicals work this way. A loose plot to tie the big numbers together. But here the plot is so dark, and the intervening pieces are so ponderous, the work looses gas under its own monsterous weight.

The high points are of course all time classics. And this fan, for one, has always listened to the disc piecemeal. And I've always enjoyed it that way. It is without a doubt excellent.

But the fact that I fell asleep during at least half of those late night viewings tells you something.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "The Wall" is the 11th full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act Pink Floyd. The album was released through Harvest Records/EMI Records in the UK and Columbia Records in the US in November 1979.

After "Dark Side Of The Moon (1973)", "The Wall" is the most commercially successful album by Pink Floyd. The album has up until now sold around 30 million copies. The album is a concept album. The main theme is personal isolation and the title the wall is supposed to symbolize the the seperation between the main character Pink and his surroundings (family, society...etc.). The Pink character is close to being autobiographical for bassist/vocalist Roger Waters who wrote the initial concept which was reworked into the lyrics on the album. Roger Waters wrote most of the music for the album too but guitarist/vocalist David Gilmour also contributed with material. At that point the members of the band weren´t exactly friends anymore and producer Bob Ezrin was brought in to make sure that the two main songwriters Roger Waters and David Gilmour were able to work together despite their differences. Keyboard player Richard Wright left the recording sessions but returned for some of the later concerts supporting the album. This time not as a full-time member of Pink Floyd but as a hired musician.

The music on the album is quite different compared to the music on their last album "Animals (1977)", which was a very progressive and at times even experimental album. The tracks on "The Wall" are generally short and vers/chorus structured and the longer instrumental sections which were a dominant part of "Animals (1977)" are few and far between on "The Wall". The songs that are are not vers/chorus structured are usually shorter interludes or desperate sounding ballad type songs. Roger Waters sings most lead parts on the album and his distinct and desperate sounding vocals are rather original sounding but also a bit hard to appreciate in larger doses. There are some absolutely brilliant tracks on the album like "In the Flesh?", "Goodbye Blue Sky", "Hey You", "Comfortably Numb" and the orchestral and quite dramatic "The trial" but all tracks on the double vinyl/double disc CD release are high quality material.

The production is the most clean sound production an a Pink Floyd album up until then. It´s a very professional sounding production and the music prospers greatly from the sound. It´s also what I would call a timeless sound production, that doesn´t necessarily tell you that "The Wall" was released in 1979. It could have been released 30 years later and you would probably still think it was brilliantly produced.

"The Wall" is a classic rock album in any way possible. It´s sold millions of copies and it´s widely regarded as a great artistic achivement and as a result it holds iconic status among many rock fans and deservedly so. "The Wall" is a one of a kind type of album and a 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

Review by friso
4 stars With 'The Wall' Pink Floyd did a lot to cement their legacy with the classic rock crowd. The 2LP would end up having multiple hits like 'Another Brick In the Wall', 'Goodbye Blue Sky', 'Hey You' and 'Comfortably Numb'. Furthermore, it served as a sort of early 'alternative' rockalbum for distinguished youths and a much loved concept album for the progressive rock crowd. For the latter group the album also stirs up a lot of debate; mainly because of the course set by Roger Waters that would end up alienating keyboardist Richard Wright (who toured with the band as a 'guest musician') and eventually guitarist David Gilmour as well. With Roger Water as the sole song-writer for this rockopera the lyrics got even more political, dramatic and full of teenage angst. Though full of criticisms of society and his personal history (his farther fighting in the war), its actually quite hard to distillate much meaning from concept album; its more a summation of a lot of psychological ugliness and moaning about hiding behind 'an inner wall'. Roger Waters would however end up performing 'The Wall' in every decade since the seventies and projecting various deep thoughts on it. Musically, this is an album full of variation. From bold psychedelic rock songs, eighties symphonic rock, acoustic ballads and a mini opera. David Gilmour would famously use his clean guitar with long digital delays on some of the songs. Though I'm not that enthusiastic about the concept itself, I do love the flow of the album. After I listen to it, it feels like the satisfaction of finishing reading a book. The quality of the hits and some others songs ('Empty Spaces', 'Young Lust', 'Nobody Home' and 'The Trial') can't be denied, as well as the effective use of interludes. The production has some unique sounds to offer for high-fi equipment. Maybe it should have been released as the first Roger Waters solo album, but then again; here's your super famous progressive rock band putting evergreen progressive rock hits on the radio. Do avoid the later live recordings of this album though.
Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Masterpiece I'll say without any hesitation. Not even second. This album (and also movie) is simply so deep rooted in my heart that it's as a part of my life. A Clockwork Orange, Nineteen Eighty-Four and The Wall, limits of human imagination as far as I can remember. Of course, now I know even more "strong" stuff, but let's stick with bricky barrier, shall we ?

The wall is extraordinary in its suggestive force. It can really brings you into the story and you can feel with main hero, Pink. I studied for a long time lyrics, materials about it, images, various analyses, tried to listen to both CD's many times, to separate songs, asked many people about i t. Including my father, who introduced me into this. This is psychedelic, but as a psyche dream, where you want to wake up, but fate won't let you. Dices are cast and there's no escape. After let's say hundreds of listen (is it enough ? it never will be enough for this), I'm still not sure about everything, all these double/tripe/multiple meanings hidden in it. And my father (47), who spend a lot of time thinking about it feels similar about it. It simply is difficult album. Even I'm sure not everyone will feel good about it, this won't let you go. It's too strong. And if you know the story, at least basics (but the more the better), it helps a lot to understand it all. So where's this big deal ? It's so truth, that's it. You know that these things (even magnified) happened, even to lesser degrees, or worse - it can happen. It's sinister pointing finger raised up and warning us about this.

5(+), the best of them all.

Review by Matthew T
4 stars If You don't eat you meat you won't get any pudding, that maybe so but this double album released by Pink Floyd in late 1979 is really the bands swan song and the majority of the meat on this album was done by Roger Waters with the assistance of co-producer Bob Ezrin. David Gilmour's contributions are with Roger Waters the main one being Comfortably Numb and even then compromise had to be meet by both musicians over the final take, also Another Brick in The Wall,Young Lust and Run Like Hell had Gilmour input. Richard Wright the bands Keyboard player left in mid production and was he sacked or did he quit but after that he was only ever on salary with them. Not a happy production but it was a distinct change of sound for the band and this album was the 2nd biggest selling album after Darkside of The Moon and it rocketed to number 1 in the charts.

The album is concept based on a burnt out, psychotic rock singer Pink ( based on Roger was the rumour) and the first single taken off the album was Another Brick In The Wall Pt,2 which sold in huge quantities and the song today is still the preffered song amongst todays teenagers and children with relevances to school etc and the use of the choir and that superb quick Gilmour solo at the end of the track is a real grabber. The song that is by far the best song on the album was the last track on side 3 of the original double record Comfortably Numb and David Gilmour's guitar solo at the end of the track is one of the finest moments on this album. Snippets of TVs, phones and sounds from the war are used throughout the album. Other songs worth a mention are Thin Ice, Mother, Hey You and there are a few others but The Trial,Waiting For the Worms could be considered at the other end of the spectrum.

I have to admit that the production is over blown and the last of the album side 4 is bordering on absurdity, it still is a Classic and in 1979 any Pink Floyd was better than no Pink Floyd. The three prevoius albums that the band released to the Wall are the more highly regarded and rightly so but eight times platinum which means one in thirty seven people owns the album here in Australia. It was big down here and the only thing one can say. Is There Anybody Out There.

Review by thehallway
4 stars The Wall is an experience. It is theatrical and operatic. And so, much like a film or play, the 'experience' of The Wall is most intense while actually listening to it, but fades away quickly after it's over. This is why one could rate The Wall with five stars immediately after sitting through it, but the next day only give it three or four. Of course everyone remembers good parts of an album, and indeed bad parts, but it IS difficult to criticise such a narrative when you're mid-way through it. The Wall is heightened by it's tape effects, characters, production, themes, and a whole bunch of other luxuries on stage. The raw music itself, pre-decoration, is actually not so great. It's hard, dark and powerful, but often mediocre and repetitive (sure, some themes are repeated as part of the story for effect, but this is taken advantage of).

Waters' proves with The Wall, that he is an imaginative and incredible lyricist. But musically, I miss Gilmour (I miss Wright even more; his contributions have been minimal since 'Dark Side'). The shining moments on this album all happen to be David's guitar solos. And whilst I dig the storyline to The Wall, that music-lyric balance is not present. The narrative is prioritised. Therefore, I could never give the album the same rating I gave 'DSOTM' because that album preserves the essential formula. The Wall has an unforgettable story, but forgettable music. It's more like a great book [/film] than a great album.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The story of "The Wall" obsession.

Once upon a time there was a song on the radio and a teenager heard it and it changed his life. My quest for "The Wall" began at an impressionable age. I was 17. Every lyric I have become obsessed with, knowing it off by heart. I thought I was weird walking along humming the tunes and having the lyrics swirl in my teenage brain, but of course everyone in 1982 was talking about it due to the movie release. It seemed to go by unnoticed in 1979 in Australia. Before I get to the music, let me indulge. This is the 531st review so everything has been said anyway so here's a new slant.

I remember sitting in the sound lounge at college and a guy walked in and said you have to hear this. He put on In The Flesh and we sat there at lunch listening intently and seriously. He said these words I will never forget. ""The Wall" is the best album ever! The film is the best film ever! Pink Floyd are the best band ever!" Not exactly ground breaking words but somehow I could not get them out of my head. Now, you have to understand, I had never heard the album or even Pink Floyd but I was willing to give it a go after hearing a few songs I liked. Another Brick in the Wall part 2 was on the radio all the time. The music was excellent to my young ears, the consistent rhythm of Dm clanging on the clean guitar, almost reggae, that was the framework for some enigmatic lyrics "We don't need no education, we don't need no full control" I kind of agreed with that. It was rebellious and comforting at the same time. I liked the ominous vocals, the children choir rebelliously shouting the mantra. It all made perfect sense and there was nothing on the radio like this. The lead guitar solo was incredible, I had never heard a lot of great lead guitar being into the glam rock scene and a hopeless Kiss addict, but this was David Gilmour's guitar; soaring, harmonious and virtuoso guitar work that is unforgettable. It intrigued me and I knew I would eventually own it. These days as a teacher I cringe when I hear "No dark sarcasm in the classroom, teachers leave us kids alone", as that's what I do now!

I bought the single on vinyl in 1982, a re release to cash in on the movie, it was great to hear it pumping out the speakers but I knew I needed more. The B Side was One of my Turns and it was "cold as a razor blade, tight as a tourniquet, dry as a funeral drum...." the freakout section in the instrumental passage was creepy, so emotional and heavy, I was stunned. "Would you like to watch TV or get between the sheets or contemplate the silent freeway..." It was not a popular song to play in front of my parents that's for sure. I wanted to hear the rest. I had to save up big because it was a double album. But hey, I managed it delivering newspapers door to door.

Finally the day came. I walked into the music store and those white bricks screamed off the shelf. There was an entire section with a screaming face and grim teacher and tons of polystyrene bricks. It was a monument to the album. I pulled out the $20 note and grabbed the album. It felt good in my hands. Heavy like gold. "This is so popular," the young girl said behind the counter. I smiled. "I have been wanting this for ages." "Enjoy it", she said. So I bought this off the shelf brand new on vinyl after hearing so much about it in magazines and friends at college.

I raced home, locked my bedroom door and put it on the record player stereo system. The first crashing chord blasted, and then after a divine lengthy intro of choral voice harmonies, Waters estranged voice chimes out, "So you thought you might like to go to the show........" It was love at first listen. I was stunned at how the songs merged together, I had never encountered this on albums, the way it ran together seamlessly like one huge track, this was the first true prog album in my collection. The beginning of my obsession.

Waters is the backbone of the album and Gilmour's soft vocals and intricate guitar breaks are the skeletal structure for me. I always liked his contribution the best including the soft sweet, The Thin Ice, "Mother loves her babe and daddy loves her too...." It just sends a shiver down my spine every time. It is difficult to understand listening to it now as a cohesive work that the band were in turmoil. Rick Wright was eventually ejected from the band by the time the recording sessions ceased. The producer Bob Ezrin actually completed the album in Los Angeles using studio session musicians, can you believe that? Waters wrote, breathed, ate, slept this album; it was his baby and he nurtured it. The script, the concept, the entire screenplay of the burnt out musician was his idea right down to the references to poor old Syd. It is a magnum opus of epic proportions. I know many fans of this album that do not even like Pink Floyd, such is the impact of "The Wall".

The spirit of the album is encapsulated in a series of bonafide highlights that always jump out and bite me on every listen. It was always Gilmour who provided the most glorious tracks including the best track on it; the incredible Comfortably Numb. The low key verses are portentous and foreboding and then that uplifting chorus with vocal techniques that would be emulated by many prog artists especially Mostly Autumn's Josh, "There is no pain you are receding, a distant ship smoke on the horizon... when I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse out of the corner of my eye, I turned to look and it was gone, I cannot put my finger on it now... " masterful, perfect, unforgettable. The lead guitar solo at the end of this is legendary and I have heard many live versions which are even better with an extended screaming solo section, while a massive chandelier UFO light contraption opens above the audience sending out cascading rays of light upon them. A magic moment.

Run Like Hell is an infamous concert closer for the band. This single begins with those scratching guitar scrapes and then the echoing trademark rhythm that we hear all through the album begins to chug along. The guitar 4 chord shapes to follow have been emulated by guitarists worldwide, and why not? They are fabulous atmospheric riffs. The lyrics were always edgy and dangerous, "Cos if they find you in the backseat trying to pick her locks, they're gonna send you back to mother in a cardboard box, you'd better run!"

Mother "do you think they'll drop the bomb... hush now baby baby don't you cry, mother's going to put all of her fears into you". At the time I had no idea what Waters was on about back in 1982 but since then the song has grown on me, I have even sung it as a lullaby to my kids (an abridged version), and it is a perfect song to learn guitar to with easy G C D F chords and a strong rhythm. Gilmour's guitar break is beautiful and sombre perfectly aligned with the melancholy tone... "Mother did it need to be so high" always troubled me.

Goodbye blue sky has a beautiful acoustic feel and ominous chords as the planes fly overhead, see the animation of Gerald Scarfe to gain full appreciation of this. I love the extended breathtaking line that is said without any breaks; "Did did did did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter when the promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath a clear blue sky". I always sung that with a huge breath at the beginning. I loved the feel of this song and still count it as the best song on side 2.

Empty spaces is fabulous but there is a longer better version on the film with a crunching rhythm and lead solo.

Don't leave me now always resonated with me, I could sense the sheer hopelessness and it still has the same ethereal effect on my senses. A very powerful song that captures the sense of a breakup, losing a girl, "I need you babe to put through the shredder in front of my friends..."

Side 3 began with the incomparable acoustic flourishes and Gilmour's soothing warm vocals 'Hey you "out there in the cold getting lonely getting cold can you feel me... out there beyond the wall". A delicate song excised from the film but always has a dear place in my heart.

Is there anybody out there! maybe overlooked by many but that atmosphere is chilling and the acoustic instrumental is melancholy and lovely, almost uplifting. It is the scariest part in the film too, where Geldof shaves, becomes insanely obsessive creating a war scene with rubbish and broken record pieces, and later is found in the asylum by the war torn child. The picture of a total breakdown and burn out.

Nobody home is notable for the cool lyrics, that I like especially "I've got wild staring eyes, and I've got a strong urge to fly, but I've got nowhere to fly to... when I pick up the phone, there'll be nobody home". This is emotional lyrical work at its best. The aftermath of a broken marriage.

Waiting for the worms is another would be throwaway but essential to the whole concept of the dictator rock star with delusions of godhood. "Waiting... to cut off the dead wood, clean out the city, fire the ovens... for the blacks and the jews"; the nazi references are quite astonishing and used to pummel my impressionable ears. It finishes with a huge loud instrumental that builds to a crescendo before "Stop!"

The trial was the most played song when I was a teen, I loved the weirdness of it, the various sections, the characters, especially the ex wife.... "you should've talked to me more often that you did, but no, you had to go your own way, have you broken any homes up lately, just 5 minutes, worm your honour, him and me alone..." It was a rock opera and I was not prepared at the time for such an incredible finale. On stage of course this section is a highlight. I saw it live with a Tribute band and they nailed this song, receiving a standing ovation.

The last song Outside the wall is the weakest and I have no idea what its saying but I always loved the way it finished abruptly. It is strange too that if you want to put the whole album onto a CD you have to leave this last song off or it will not fit. Did Pink Floyd do that on purpose, how would they know?

Pink Floyd's "The Wall" was the first album I truly immersed myself in as a teenager, the concept, the music, the lyrics, the sleeve art; everything captured my young imagination and it has never left my consciousness. I will never forget the incredible impact of hearing actual dialogue on an album, an actual storyline, I had never even dreamed bands would do this. The album was a monster in its day reaching top position on the US charts and it made it to No. 3 in the UK. The filmclip of the Brick single was on so much I got sick of seeing it. In a sense I have become too used to the music on the album and the impact has lessened but there is no denying that this is an epic achievement.

The live performances of the show have become legendary from both the Gilmour Pink Floyd and Water's version. He always went to greater lengths as it was his child, but the Berlin Wall came down and Pink Floyd celebrated with a full rendition of this album that is still one of the century's best ever concerts, featuring a plethora of guest artists. The movie directed by Alan Parker starring Bob Geldof as Pink, arrived in 1982, further enhancing the experience of the album. I persuaded my friend to drive me to the drive in and we sat there absolutely in awe watching the story unfold; a story that I had memorised in my head. It was a moment of clarity for me. I bought the movie lyrics book that has huge colour photos throughout. The images are powerful in any format. The album transcends mere music; like it or loathe it, "The Wall" is a monumental event. If this review hasn't convinced you, nothing will.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars My memory seems to suggest that The Wall was my introduction to Pink Floyd. I'm not even sure whether I happened to see the Alan Parker's 1982 feature film before listening to the actual album. Either way, there's no denying that this concept album had somewhat of an impact on me and I did play it quite a lot during my teen-years.

The style of this album is quite different compared to anything the band had done previously and it can be explained by the fact that The Wall wasn't much of a band effort. By this time, Roger Waters was in complete control of the band's direction which not only limited David Gilmour's and Nick Mason's contributions to a minimum, but also pushed Richard Wright completely out of the picture. This means no lengthy Space Rock passages like the ones on Echoes or Shine On You Crazy Diamond nor the instrumental perfection of Dark Side Of The Moon or Animals. One can attribute some of this change of style to the passing of a decade, considering the '80s were right around the corner, but the rest has definitely to do with Waters' steady grip on the direction.

Either way, The Wall is one excellent album experience that I can definitely recommend independent of whether you're actually a fan of progressive rock music or not. Does that mean that The Wall isn't really prog? I would be lying if I said that it had even the minimum Space Rock requirements to be a part of the movement. Fortunately, what it lacks in the arrangement it makes more than enough for in the concept department. After all, it's difficult to fuse great individual moments without loosing track of the full narrative and even classics like Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway or Marillion's Misplaced Childhood had to sacrifice a few instrumental passages to create a fluid narrative in those story arcs.

There's just no denying that The Wall is a great concept piece of work that can be embraced just as much by the mainstream crowd as the most hard-core prog rock fans. It was probably not really the Pink Floyd album fans expected at the time of its release but hopefully even time had proved them wrong. As for me, this record will always have a place on my shelf. I might not play it as much as I used to, but that doesn't mean I love it any less.

Mr. Waters, I'll be seeing you at the performance!

***** star songs: In The Flesh? (3:17) The Thin Ice (2:28) Another Brick In The Wall, Pt. 1 (3:41) The Happiest Days Of Our Lives (1:20) Hey You (4:39) Is There Anybody Out There? (2:40) Nobody Home (3:25) Comfortably Numb (6:49) Outside The Wall (1:42)

**** star songs: Another Brick In The Wall, Pt. 2 (3:56) Mother (5:32) Goodbye Blue Sky (2:48) Empty Spaces (5:36) Young Lust (2:03) One Of My Turns (1:33) Don't Leave Me Now (4:22) Another Brick In The Wall, Pt. 3 (1:17) Goodbye Cruel World (1:05) Vera (1:38) Bring The Boys Back Home (0:50) The Show Must Go On (1:36) In The Flesh (4:16) Run Like Hell (4:22) Waiting For The Worms (3:56) Stop (0:34) The Trial (5:16)

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars 1979. Disco wasn't dead yet, but it did suck. New wave was taking over. Prog was getting hard to find.

Word was out that Pink Floyd was about to release a new album. Their last three, Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here and Animals were home runs. And this was going to be a double album. Bliss.

On the release day, we got to the record store as soon as we could, took it home, and listened...

The first track started, and it was grandiose. And the album continued... and continued...

What a disappointment. Nick Mason was relegated to timekeeper. He even played a slowed down disco beat through the interminable reprises of Another Brick In The Wall. And Richard Wright is there. Barely. We'll get back to that later.

The songs tell the story of a man, who as a child lost his father in World War II, and through a series of unfortunate events, because people were mean to him, closed himself off emotionally from the world. And somehow, because of this, he reaches rock star status. Thing then fall apart, come crashing down around him, and he escapes from his self- created shell. You've heard this before? But there were some other characters like Cousin Kevin and Uncle Ernie? Yep! Despite having a hefty helping of Roger Waters' and Syd Barrett's histories (an apparent obsession of Waters') this sounds alot like "Tommy" (which had better music. Let's hope this catharsis gets it out of Roger's system once and for all.

The music for the most part is drab and boring. It's not surprising that Mason, and especially Wright (see, I told you I'd get back to him) lost interest. The saving grace is Waters' suberb production, and David Gilmour's fantastic guitars.

Among the two albums worth of filler are a few good songs, most notably Hey You and Comfortably Numb. So pick out the good ones, and don't torture yourself playing the whole thing through very often. Or watch Alan Parker's movie based on the album. At least that's way better than Ken Russell's hard-to-watch "Tommy".

Review by lazland
5 stars This is my 100th review on the site, and i thought that it really needed to be an exceptional album to celebrate this personal landmark.

Well, there aren't many more exceptional than this, the last of the great Floyd quartet that started with Dark Side of the Moon.

This album has never been one to approach lightly. It certainly isn't one that will be playing on your deck each and every night of the week. No, this is like one of those fine wines, a work to be savoured occasionally and treated with the huge respect it deserves.

The album was born out of two major events in Roger Waters' life. On the preceding Animals tour, he had become so disillusioned with the music business, as witnessed initially in Welcome To The Machine from Wish You Were Here, and the horrendous stadia the band were now obliged to play in on US tours, in particular, that he felt a terrible disconnection between the band and audience. This culminated in him spitting upon a fan in Canada when the said fan refused to listen to new material, screaming instead for "classic" stuff. In addition, the band had lost a fortune through the crash and financial management of Norton Warberg. They needed a hit album, and one fast, at that.

Waters had, of course, touched on themes of the war, modern society, and disenchantment in previous works. This was, though, to be the culmination of all of those themes into one coherent whole.

Many contributors to this site have argued that Walters is merely a moaner, and was not unique from his generation in having his father die during the war. The latter is certainly true. However, I think they miss the point a bit. Wars tend to produce very exceptional, and rare, written artists who seem to encapsulate the horrors and futility of it all, such as Remarque. In much the same way, I believe Waters spoke for an entire generation scarred by the horrors of losing a parent or loved ones during that conflict.

The album then takes us through a narrative on sides one through to three of a young boy growing up without his father, cast into an uncaring and unemotional school career, with an overbearing mother, through to adolescence, marriage, divorce, and, latterly, rock super stardom.

The great dividing line in the narrative is Comfortably Numb at the end of side three. For it is there that the semi autobiographical nature of the story is ripped asunder, and we then deal on side four with the true disengagement of artist from audience, and the slide into megalomaniac madness, with Pink at the head of a crazed fascist like movement before being cast asunder by society into the madhouse by the establishment judge reestablishing order. This part has always been played by Waters with utter glee live.

That, therefore, describes the narrative, one that spoke to many people at the end of the seventies such as me, an angry young man despairing of the world. It still does, by the way, as an angry middle aged man.

This would be essential enough, but, of course, it would be nothing without the music as well, and, on this score, the band reach such heights that are only dreamed of by other mere mortal bands.

There are so many highlights on this. Ironically, Brick in the Wall part two became a monster smash hit in the Christmas of 1979. I still, to this day, cannot believe the sheer dark beauty, with the images of killer bombers, in Goodbye Blue Sky, which, to these ears, features some of the loveliest guitar and vocals ever performed by Gilmour.

Any man who has had a row with a loved one, which has turned morbidly dark and angry, will empathise with One Of My Turns, culminating in objects being thrown out of a window in glorious surround sound. Equally, the joys of sowing one's oats are explored brilliantly in Young Lust, featuring a classic rock riff by Gilmour.

Gilmour continued to play the two most popular tracks on the album, Comfortably Numb and Run Like Hell, live long after Waters left. They are stunning. I saw the band perform live at Earls Court on the original tour, and i still have shivers running down my spine each time THAT guitar solo is played at the end of Comfortably Numb. An incredible piece of music.

I would also add here Hey You, the first track of side three, a plaintive plea from behind the wall to anyone passing who might just catch a glimpse of madness and come to the rescue, which features such delicate playing and vocals that you could cry in sympathy.

I can think of only one artist who could possibly match Waters' sense of theatre and narrative, and that is Pete Townsend. Like Townsend in The Who, by the time the Wall was released, Waters was the driving force behind the band, with the rest as a kind of "surrogate band" (this was not an accident, by the way, in the stage show). But what a surrogate band! Richard Wright, on his way out, plays superbly, Mason is reliable as ever, whilst Gilmour utterly excels.

Politics, you know, does matter. This is a political album, as well as being a personal and social narrative. It works on each and every level that it explores, and I simply love it.

Many albums have been awarded five stars on this site, many of them, I suspect, would be worth nine stars on a ten point rating. Not this one. The full five stars, or ten if you like, for a cultural landmark and an utterly essential album without which no prog collection would be entirely complete.

Thanks for indulging me on a long review, and peace and love to all.

Review by Sinusoid
2 stars I'm in a small minority that claims Pink Floyd has been on a downhill slope since DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, although the previous two albums have plenty of great moments. However, the band seems to have taken a severe nosedive from ANIMALS, binning their progressive psych-rock sound that made them famous in the first place and gaining made- for-FM-radio soft rock. The concept Roger brings is now comparable with ''Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous'' with weird left turns that make no sense. I've never really understood this concept, particularly the second half where most of the filler material comes in.

Songs like ''The Show Must Go On'', ''Vera'', ''Bring the Boys Back Home'', ''The Happiest Days of Our Lives'' and ''Nobody Home'' scream filler to me, serving no purpose other than pad the story length. A standard trick on the first side seems to begin the song quietly then let it erupt unreasonably (and predictably) halfway through like on ''The Thin Ice'' or ''Don't Leave Me Now''. Radio overkill ruined ''Another Brick in the Wall 2'' and ''Comfortably Numb'' for me; the former is lame and vacuous with a VERY disco drumbeat (I believe this wholeheartedly). ''Comfortably Numb'' has a great guitar solo from Gilmour, but that's the only positive I have; the keys lull me to sleep and the rhythm section is amazingly inept.

Highlights are few for me. ''Mother'' is the closest as it progressively builds to an interesting climax, ''Goodbye Blue Sky'' is a nice, poignant track and I can see the classic value in ''Hey You'' and ''Run Like Hell''. Most of the time, the songs themselves are just flat and lifeless, but Waters sometimes worsens them with his vocals. When he sings in a soft baritone, I can deal with it, but he screams in a higher register all too often that sounds like nails on a chalkboard. I also found the last two tracks utterly ridiculous; ''The Trial'' is nearly unbearable for me with the over-the-top and stuffy orchestra.

Is THE WALL an essential album of prog rock? Yes to a fault. THE WALL is a mammoth in the prog rock world in terms of popularity and appeal. And I will say that THE WALL is meant to be observed as a whole rather than a bunch of songs. But I find that the story is too superfluous and the music is much too in common with generic late 70's soft rock. There's way too much Waters and not enough Pink Floyd here, and that's enough of a difference for me to pan this one. There are better Pink Floyd albums out there for long- term usage.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars I can't help but rate this a masterpiece because of the incredible concept, the package/recording format (continuous television play connecting all songs), and the anger/emotion captured/conveyed in Roger Waters' magnum opus. Plus, some of rock and pop music's iconic lyrics ("Another Brick in the Wall") and solos ("Comfortably Numb," "Hey You") are present on these discs. This album came closest to achieving all that rock'n'roll music was 'supposed' to do (and what Paul Hewson, aka 'Bono,' says he's concluded is impossible): Change the world. Multi-kudos, Roger et al. You almost did it. Plus, 'prog' crossing over to top of the pops charts!?!?
Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
5 stars There's plenty of reviews and also books have been written about The Wall. "Inside Out" and "Pigs Might Fly" are two books on which it's possible to find a lot of information about the album, its background and the meanings of all the lyrics.

So instead of reviewing it song by song, analyzing the plot or speaking about the split up of Pink Floyd to come, I want just underline few facts:

Both the album and the movie have two significant predecessors: one is Tommy (The Who) and the other, less famous, is Privilege (The Blues Band). The final scenes of Privilege, in particular, seem to have inspired both "In The Flesh" (the Nazi part) and "The Trial". The concept of Privilege is represented by a rockstar entraped into an animal cage. The star system is a cage and the star is a captive animal. I don't know if Waters has seen that movie. The concept is so close to Syd's character that it's possible that it's just a coincidence.

One of the reasons why Waters has sent Rick Wright off is the lack (he said) of effort on the keyboards. On The Wall there's plenty of keyboards, even if simpler than usual. I can imagine Wright thinking: "If he has to write everything, I'll just play what he wants". The relationship was already broken actually. However Wright's work on tracks like "Hey You", "Mother" and also "Comfortably Numb" is impressive. It's not a case if the best album's songs are those where Wright is more present.

"Comfortably Numb" is considered the last collaboration between Waters and Gilmour. It's a patchwork instead. The chorus was part of a song that Gilmour was writing for his new solo album. There's a recording on an unofficial rarity boxset of this first version. The stanza is Waters' stuff. Then Waters added the lyrics and Gilmour the guitar solos. It's a masterpiece but it's the patchwork of two songs.

Micheal Kamen (RIP) is the orchestra director. He will work on The Final Cut, too and is the author of the non-Queen parts of the Highlander OST. He is the director of Mike Oldfield's orchestra on the Tubular Bells 2 live and I want to take this opportunity to mention his name to the proggers.

Rating this album? It's essential to understand the whole Pink Floyd history from the eyes of Roger Waters. So it's essential. A Masterpiece? Some songs are masterpieces, and even those that can be intended as fillers are functional to the concept.

It's not Pink Floyd's best, probably, but an album like this released by anybody else would have had 5 stars, isn't it?

Review by FruMp
3 stars Overrated disappointment.

The Wall is one of Pink Floyd's most recognisable albums, probably second behind Dark Side of the Moon. However, to any fan of their more progressive work it's hard not to attribute this to the radio friendliness and accessibility of a lot of the tracks.

In the Wall Floyd have followed up their progressive rock opus Animals - which contains 3 10+ minute tracks of the finest spaced out, nuanced prog/psych rock ever comitted to tape - with what is essentially their take on guitar-centric rock. It's no surprise that this departure in style marked the beginning of a rapid downward spiral in musical quality which probably wasn't helped one bit by the much publicised drama and animosity between the band members.

Having fully explored the bands discography I haven't ever found myself coming back to listen to the wall, it's a fairly unwieldy and awkward album that lacks much of what made their previous work so special.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Please, don't leave me now!

Maybe the band was starting to get tense between themselves and those words were actually thought by some of them, if not all. With "The Wall" we can appreciate the pinnacle of Roger Waters' as leader and main composer, of course we had already known his capacity with previous albums, but this time he really put an extra effort and exposed all their inner thoughts, abilities and feelings. We know this album has a personal and special meaning for him.

I had the luck of attending to a last year show that Waters offered in my country, due to The Wall Tour and it really left me speechless, what a night, what a show, I was completely astonished by the visual effects, the music, the feelings and all that was around us that night, a unforgettable one without a doubt. But well, I just wanted to express something of the background here.

Returning to the album itself, released in 1979, it represented a highlight in Pink Floyd's career, and also was truly recognized all around the globe due to the story and the movie with the same title that visually represents what it suggests. Its political context, the lyrics and the satire etc. are things easy to remember which can provoke good chats between people from the whole world. It was actually a controversial album, and I dare say it still produces uncomfortable things to some people.

Musically speaking, it was cleverly composed and divided in two parts. So this is a two-CD album divided in thirteen songs each one that together gives 80 minutes of excellent music. The most representative track is of course "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2", a song that reached first places in charts and a song that opened the gates of the commercial success of this album. With memorable lyrics and guitar riffs, this song has become an icon.

In the first CD we will find a wonderful mixture of moods, rhythms and sounds, with shorter and longer compositions that go together with the concept that is being told. There are no stops, all the album flows and it powerfully produces images and feelings in the listener, at least it works with me. Songs such as "Mother", "Young Lust" or "Empty Spaces" are difficult to forget, as difficult as the whole album actually. However, there are moments where one may lose track and get distracted and lose a little bit of interest, things that don't really happen with some other Floyd's albums prior to The Wall.

The second CD has also memorable and representative tracks, songs that the bands followers love and songs that even people who are not true fans or don't have a deep knowledge of the band surely know. I am referring specially to "Hey You", "Comfortably Numb" and "Run Like Hell", though I would like to remark some cool moments such as the instrumental short beauty "Is There Anybody Out There" or "The Trial", songs that show the band's compositional skills and creative process.

Despite all the above mentioned, and despite I really love this album, I would not really consider it a masterpiece, nor Pink Floyd's best effort, not at all, and I believe people may agree with me, anyway all is a matter of tastes and subjectivity, that is why I will give it four stars, and not the five someday I thought it deserved.

Enjoy it!

Review by Warthur
3 stars Pink Floyd's most theatrical album is a masterpiece... of cynical emotional manipulation, privileged self-pity, style over substance and mistaking daft tricks and gimmicks for genuine depth and intelligence.

Recorded during a period relationships within the band were going sour - and produced by Bob Ezrin, whose treatment by Roger Waters during the recording process was shameful - the album is Roger's exploration of the emotional barriers he had realised he was raising between himself and the audience on the In the Flesh Tour supporting the Animals album. His conclusion? He's an emotionally fragile and tortured soul who needs to bare his psychological scars to reconnect with people! Interesting idea in theory, though Waters' progressive isolation from his bandmates during the recording and over the ensuing years rather suggests that Waters didn't really put his own advice into practice - or if he did, it didn't exactly work out as planned.

The fact is that the album's concept is an infuriating pity-poor-me piece by an overprivileged rock star who uses the album to air grievances which might have better been addressed in a psychiatrist's office, coupled with lazy references to Syd Barrett which drive me up the wall - fine, the allusions on Dark Side of the Moon were appropriate in context and Shine On You Crazy Diamond was a decent tribute, but continuing to wheel out the ghost of Old Pink makes me doubt Waters' commitment to letting Syd rest in obscurity. If Waters were really committed to Barrett's privacy, he wouldn't have continually used the image of Barrett in such a way.

Musically speaking, the album is one of the most turgid and lifeless collections of indulgent but contentless classic rock tunes ever assembled, the band gambling on listeners mistaking sound samples and overbearing production for actual musical depth - and people fell for it hook, line and sinker. What decent musical and conceptual ideas are present on the album had already been presented better and more succinctly on Animals, or would be explored with a bit more nuance and depth on The Final Cut, leaving The Wall itself monumentally redundant except as a gravestone for the friendship between Waters and his bandmates. An ugly album from an ugly era.

And yet... if that's so, why do I keep coming back to it?

See, over time I have come to realise there's another side to all this. It might be hard to feel too sorry for poor, wealthy Roger Waters all alone behind his wall with only his fat piles of money and lack of any anxiety over paying the bills for company, but at the same time there is nonetheless something creatively interesting about how the album is structured as exactly the sort of open display of emotion that Pink is condemned to at the end of The Trial. The structure of the whole thing is, as such, more clever than you might first see, there's more incorporation of acoustic and near-pastoral moments than I sometimes give it credit for (especially on side 3).

Most of all, it was perhaps necessary to have rock stars indulging in this sort of very public self-examination and emotional inventory, and particularly male ones, in order to show their fans that it's OK for blokes to have feelings too and you don't stop being cool. Too much of commercial rock music, especially in the arena rock tier that Floyd occupied, was taken up with macho posturing and denial of all feelings entirely, so for Waters to go against the grain so startlingly was refreshing.

On the whole, treat it like the later Soft Machine albums - not as something which is a successor to what's come before, but a new project outright. In fact, think of it as Roger Waters' first solo album. Given the ego games in the band at the time, it is almost that anyway.

Review by Chicapah
5 stars Pink Floyd was one of those progressive rock bands that I sincerely admired during their heyday, albeit from a distance. In other words, I didn't buy their LPs. However, one would've had to live in a cave to avoid hearing their music so it wasn't difficult to become familiar with what they were creating. The thing that stood out to me most was the incredible fidelity and technical expertise involved in their work that made their records rise above the fray regardless of whether or not I related to the songs themselves. Truth is, even though I now consider the group to be the well-deserved, most recognizable face of prog, I kept them on the periphery of my consciousness until the new millennium dawned and I finally realized that I'd only been depriving myself of some of the best music ever produced. For example, I'd never sat down and listened to "The Wall" alpha to omega till a few days ago. Small surprise that I feel immensely stupid for waiting so long. Being an artist myself, I could readily empathize with the protagonist's struggle against his tendency to isolate and insulate himself from the very people he wanted so desperately to please. 'Tis the nature of the beast.

This respected concept album impressively opens with "In the Flesh." Big, heavy and ominous guitar riffs contrast starkly with the subdued verse, giving a glimpse of the yin/yang conflicts to come. "So ya thought ya might like to go to the show, to feel the warm thrill of confusion, that space cadet glow," Roger Waters sings shakily, expressing the urge to be "special" that plagues us all from birth. "Thin Ice" begins as a somber lullaby, then morphs to a pseudo 50s doo wop vibe wherein Roger warns "Don't be surprised when a crack in the ice appears under your feet." After a brief return to the fat guitar riff the project's indomitable touchstone makes its first appearance. "Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 1" allows David Gilmour to do what he does so well, painting a masterpiece with his guitar on an unblemished canvas while Waters rues the father's unforgivable absence. "Daddy's flown across the ocean, leaving just a memory, a snap shot in the family album, Daddy what else did you leave for me?" he cries. The sarcastic "Happiest Days of Our Lives" then arrives with thunderous propellers whirling overhead and Nick Mason's drums pounding out a flurry of tribal beats. Roger rips into the demeaning world of public education with searing lines like "When we grew up and went to school there were certain teachers who would hurt the children any way they could by pouring their derision upon anything we did and exposing every weakness." "ABITW, pt. 2" is the cut that the population at large would come to consider the personification of the entire album, gaining massive airplay from day one and going on to become a mainstay of classic rock radio. The children's chorale is genius and Gilmour's guitar work shines brightly. Waters begs, to no avail, "Teachers leave them kids alone!"

The members of Pink Floyd have always excelled at using deceivingly simple folk chords and melodies to throw curves into their proceedings yet nurturing them to grow into something magnificent. I present "Mother" as an example of that gift. By employing alternating time signatures they present a tricky platform for Roger to sing of feeling safe in his mom's codependent arms on one hand while bemoaning her unrealistic expectations of him on the other. She set the bar for him, it would seem, and his response is "Mother, did it need to be so high?" "Goodbye Blue Sky" is a case of beautiful construction utilizing acoustic guitar, subtle singing and growling synth notes from Richard Wright. Now on his own, the hero intones, "The flames are all long gone but the pain lingers on." "Empty Spaces" is a bit of a throwback involving a metallic, industrial metronome that turns the mood markedly macabre. Waters voices the perceived need to protect oneself from being hurt. "How shall I fill the final places? How shall I complete the wall?" he asks. The slightly funky groove underneath "Young Lust" steadily guides the gritty rocker about sexual tension that David so tastefully decorates with a bevy of hot licks. The strange phone sequence at the end shows they still had a sense of humor. Wright stays in the background for too much of this record but his organ/synthesizer drone at the start of "One of My Turns" is pleasantly deep and rich in texture. The number features another simple verse that migrates into edgier territory. It's a very eclectic piece that conveys the trouble that the hero's neuroses have brought into his marriage. "But I have grown older and you have grown colder and nothing is very much fun any more," he gripes.

The tragic "Don't Leave Me Now" is a mysterious, dissonant segment in which Roger's voice is akin to that of someone losing their mind. One wonders if our hero notices the irony in words like "How could you go when you know how I need you to beat to a pulp on a Saturday night?" The band's sudden plunge into a cavernous hole is stunning. Slamming doors usher in a reprise of the album's central theme, "ABITW, pt. 3," and we find that the man's social quarantine is now complete. "I don't need no arms around me, I don't need no drugs to calm me, I have seen the writing on the wall, don't think I need anything at all," he claims. At this point the plot dissolves into an unadorned suicide statement via "Goodbye Cruel World." Our boy has given up hope. "There's nothing you can say to make me change my mind. Goodbye," he mumbles. However, his attempt at self-annihilation fails and he wakes up to sing "Hey You." The song begins as a sobering ballad, then escalates to towering heights courtesy of Gilmour's splendid guitarisms before returning to the initial gloomy outlook wherein Waters laments being incapable of even offing himself. "But it was only a fantasy, the wall was too high as you can see," he explains. A low drone drifts in like a dense fog to support Roger's repeated pleas of "Is There Anybody Out There?" The number's gorgeous combination of acoustic guitar and keyboards is arresting. "Nobody Home" is a piano-based ditty augmented by lush orchestration. The hero has gotten what he desired (to be left alone) but now he is disgusted and bored by his lot. "I've got the obligatory Hendrix perm and I've got the inevitable pinhole burns all down the front of my favorite satin shirt," he sings. "Vera" is a short, nostalgic segue piece that asks the poignant question, "Does anybody else in here feel the way I do?"

A marching cadence heralds the entrance of a grandiose symphonic extravaganza entitled "Bring the Boys Back Home" that, as it fades into the distance, paves the way for one of the finest Pink Floyd tunes ever, "Comfortably Numb." It's a wonderful juxtaposition of a haunting melody, profound lyrics and exquisite musicianship topped off by David's timeless guitar ride. How can you not stand in awe of words such as "When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse out of the corner of my eye, I turned to look but it was gone, I cannot put my finger on it now. The child is grown, the dream is gone and I have become comfortably numb." (I was oblivious to this tune's splendor until I caught a live performance on TV in the early 90s and it reduced me to tears.) "The Show Must Go On" is a queer composition that incorporates a sublime group vocal performance that keeps the listener on their toes throughout. "There must be some mistake, I didn't mean to let them take away my soul," he mourns. "In the Flesh" is a rerun of the curtain-raiser with its strong riff powering through and the verse section more "fleshed" out. The concert ending is no doubt a parody of what their onstage shtick had become to them. Gilmour's striking, almost Who-like chordings layered over Nick's throbbing pulse personifies what turns out to be a very contagious song, "Run Like Hell," that's unmistakably Floydian. Escape is a phantom, our boy has discovered. "Feel the bile rising from your guilty past, with your nerves in tatters as the cockleshell shatters and the hammers batter down your door. You better run," he exclaims.

"Waiting for the Worms" is a real eyebrow-lifter. The Beach Boys-styled intro is beguiling and the remarkably strange melding of musical flavors and influences is fascinating. Roger seems to be hinting at his own dressing room existence when he sings of "Sitting in a bunker here behind my wall, waiting for the worms to come, in perfect isolation here behind my wall, waiting for the worms to come." They concoct a frightening, claustrophobic atmosphere as the chanting audience closes in. "Stop" is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment but important as Waters warbles "Stop, I wanna go home, take off this uniform and leave the show, and I'm waiting in this cell because I have to know, have I been guilty all this time?" "The Trial" takes the cake as far as sheer audacity goes. Its bizarre, surreal "Broadway musical" aroma is shocking yet it fits perfectly into the story line as the hero is dragged kicking and screaming into the hypocritical court of public opinion. "The way you made them suffer, your exquisite wife and mother, fills me with an urge to defecate. Since my friend you have revealed your deepest fear, I sentence you to be exposed before your peers," he is told by the self-righteous judge. The angry mob at the door is unnerving so the wall-destroying explosion is a relief. "Outside the Wall" is the gospel-tinged finale that's delightfully weird. In it Waters issues a plea for the planet's populace to give its tortured bohemians some slack. "The bleeding hearts and the artists make their stand, and when they've given you their all some stagger and fall. After all, it's not easy banging your heart against some mad bugger's wall."

Released at the tail end of the fantastic 70s on November 30, 1979, "The Wall" signified more than just the end of the Pink Floyd four-man collaborations that effectively altered earth's orbit on several occasions. It marked the death of elaborately conceptualized tale-telling presented on a grand scale and, in some respects, the sad close of the golden age of progressive rock. In today's climate such a risky, courageous undertaking such as this would be rejected out of hand, much less listened to intently by the average Joe. "The Wall" is not what I thought it was. It is phenomenal. But I didn't know that until I gave it my full attention. You should do the same if you haven't already. You owe it to yourself. 4.5 stars.

Review by Wicket
4 stars I struggled between either 4 or 5 stars for the rating of this album, the album that essentially waved "goodbye" to the traditional era of prog, as the 1970's gave way to the 80's. But in the end, I settled for 4, not because there are faults with it that prevent me from giving it a higher rating, but it's just not my most listened to Floyd album.

I don't think people would disagree if I considered this a "rock opera", because that's essentially what it is (I'm not going to bother explaining the story behind it, most of you know by now, if not, just google it or read other reviews). But Pink Floyd established itself in the late 60's by taking the psychedelic style of music, forged from the 60's with help from the Beatles, and before long, a "signature sound" was developed, and "The Wall" took that signature sound (unusual forms of music-making, ambient soundscapes, hallucinogenic jams and "totally wicked" guitar solos) and cut them up into easily digestible chunks. Almost, too cut up.

After all, the hits you hear on classic rock stations ("Another Brick In The Wall", "Hey You", "Comfortably Numb", "Run Like Hell") weren't necessarily designed to be accessible, commercial commodities, born to assault the pop charts and launch the artists into fame and stardom. But then again, because of the way the album is scripted (similarly to an opera or broadway show, mind), the longer "hits" where bookended by smaller minute-and-a-half-or-so "bridges". Therefore, the attention immediately gravitates to those longer tracks. And because of that, I've heard these songs so many times on the radio, I've kinda gotten sick of them for the moment.

Of course, that all goes out the window you when you press play on "In The Flesh" and stick it out for the entire album. Then of course, it's a different experience, it's now a story, a movie in aural format. And frankly, that's not a bad thing at all. My biggest gripe is that I wished "Another Brick In The Wall" was not cut up into three parts (that's why when jam bands play this song, it's like 15 minutes long. It BEGS for an extended jam and guitar solo).

But despite the album maintaining the soundscapes, signature long jams and guitar solos, and unusual contemporary extended techniques (radios, groaning, symphonic samples, re-occurrence of themes), there is something profoundly missing from "The Wall" than other albums, something that I just can't quite put my finger on, something you really just can't explain:

There's no.... catch....

There's something with songs like "Atom Heart Mother", 'Dogs", "Echoes", "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", that you just literally just turn on, tune in and drop out. And yet, for some reason, I can't do that here. Maybe that's I'm comparing apples to oranges, as the songs I mentioned where gigantic psychedelic epics that just can't be compared to this album, and that's probably true. But something with this album just doesn't click, and maybe partially, that has to do with the length....

Which is weird, because recently I've lost interest with longer scale prog epics (Wobbler's first album immediately springs to mind), and perhaps it was all a sign of the end of prog's "golden age". When you comb through prog in the 70's and flash by Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, ELP, you could almost see the writing on the wall and expect it to end, perhaps because of eventuality, or maybe because of sheer boredom, which I can attest to. But then, when I play this album, and realize that this (right behind Yes' "Drama") heralded the end, I immediately get nostalgic for the jams from "Animals" and "Wish You Were Here". Or maybe that's because of my innate obsession of jams, improvs and non-stop noodling.

Or maybe it's the fact that the songs are too short that by the time you grasp onto them, however that may be, the song is over the story continues on without you. And perhaps that's why out of Pink Floyd's "golden age", this album is the least of my favorites, even behind "Atom Heart Mother" and "Obscured By Clouds". That of course means nothing in terms of the significance of this album, the incredible storytelling and attention to detail, and the way it pretty much signaled the end of Pink Floyd as we know it today in its most famous guise (Waters, Gilmore, Mason and Wight).

But as usual, I'm nitpicking between gold and silver. "The Wall" is one of the most iconic albums ever released, especially considering the time when it was released, the political upheavals all across the globe between the 70's and 80's, it's an album that always has, and will continue to resonate throughout the world, but maybe excluding songs like "Mother, "Comfortably Numb", it's really an album that's best appreciated when listened from start to finish with no interruption, and albums like that aren't for everyone. So really, it's more of an icon, a symbol, rather than just an album.

Musically, it may not be the easiest to grab onto, but for those who know, it's a symbol of a powerful image in a tumultuous time. An icon for sure.

Review by VianaProghead
5 stars Review Nº 94

"The Wall" is the eleventh studio album of Pink Floyd. It's a conceptual album released as a double album in 1979. It was performed live with elaborated effects and adapted to the film "Pink Floyd The Wall". It was also played live in Berlin, Germany, on 21 July 1990, to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall and to raise funds for the World War For The Memorial Fund For Disaster Relief. A live album and a video of this concert were also commercially released.

Hailed by critics and fans as one of the best Pink Floyd albums, along with "The Dark Side Of The Moon", "Wish You Were Here" and "Animals", it's also known as a classic rock album and their songs have inspired many contemporary rock musicians all over the world, even in our days.

As with their previous three studio albums, "The Dark Side Of The Moon", "Wish You Were Here" and "Animals" released in 1973, 1975 and 1977, respectively, "The Wall" is also a conceptual album. This time it deals with personal isolation. The creation of the album was a personal Waters' bet. The inspiration for Waters appeared during the "In The Flesh Tour", also known as the "Animals Tour", the live tour of "Animals" in 1977. Water's frustration with some spectators became so acute that he began to imagine building a wall between the performers and the audience. The story is a rock opera centred on the character of Pink, who is largely based in Waters' life. As the character Pink, Waters also lost his father during World War II. The album is also modelled by the decline of the band's original leader Syd Barrett. For instance, the album includes some references to Barrett, including "Nobody Home", which hints at his condition during the Pink Floyd's abortive US live tour of 1967. The story portrays fictionalized the life of an anti-hero Pink, which is mistreated by the society since the early days of his life. Suffocated by his mother and oppressed at school, he builds a wall in his consciousness to isolate him from the society and takes refuge in a fantasy world created by him. During a hallucination caused by drugs, Pink becomes a fascist dictator only to have his conscience rebel put it in court, where his inner judge ordering him to have his own wall down and he opens to the outside world.

All songs were written and composed by Waters, except "Young Lust", "Comfortably Numb" and "Run Like Hell" which were written and composed by David Gilmour and Waters and "The Trial" which was written and composed by Bob Ezrin and Waters. Due to be a conceptual album, the music flows together harmoniously. All the instrumentation on the album is lovely and the sound changes from track to track gently. Some songs are quite heavy and angry, while others are sad. All of the songs are worth a listen to and they never get boring, too long or repetitive. Despite some morbidity of most of the material on the album, there are some very beautiful and now classic tunes like "Another Brick In The Wall", "Hey You" and most notably "Comfortably Numb" with the Gilmour's searing guitar solo. It has become the single track that most defines Pink Floyd. This album showcases many different musical types. So, the sound of "The Wall" ranges from bluesy to hard, beautiful filled solos by Gilmour and very nice vocals by Waters that goes so well with the main character, Pink. However, for the most part it's a progressive hard rock opera.

During the recordings of the album, Richard Wright left the band but continued to play in the concerts of "The Wall" live tour as a salaried musician. He was forced to resign from Pink Floyd by Waters. He only returned to Pink Floyd after Waters have left the group, first as a session musician but later he returned as a truly band's member. After the legal battle over who had rights to use the name Pink Floyd, the band won the legal rights to use Pink Floyd's name and Waters won the legal rights to "The Wall". So, his name is most associated with this album, now.

Conclusion: "The Wall" is the most ambitious, difficult, challenging, complex and powerful conceptual album released by Pink Floyd and one of the most ambitious projects ever made, by any band. We can make some parallelism with two other studio albums released by two other great bands, Yes and Genesis. I mean "Tales From Topographic Oceans" and especially "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" which was also mentioned for being produced as a possible film project by filmmaker William Friedkin. Sincerely, I don't consider this album less progressive, too pretentious, too ambitious, too megalomaniac and also too commercial as some consider. Pink Floyd isn't guilty of being a famous progressive band and some songs from the album have passed very often on many radio stations. So, I think this is a great album from the band and is also unfortunately their last masterpiece. Sincerely and in my humble opinion, all of us who are unconditional fans of the progressive rock music should be proud for a progressive band like Pink Floyd and a progressive album like "The Wall" are so well known around the world, even in our days.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

3 stars **The Wall Is a Middling Album, and This Is a Hill I'm Willing to Die On** This part of the essay is a bit I've been eagerly anticipating writing for a long time. And if one were to scroll through my personal Reddit account, one could find embryonic versions of the ensuing discussion. The titl ... (read more)

Report this review (#2904355) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Monday, April 3, 2023 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Review #15! I wanted to like 'The Wall' because I like Pink Floyd, but there were two particular elements that made me dislike this album. (A)I personally found Roger Waters's vocals to be at their absolute worst on this record. (B)The blob of one-minute songs piecing each song to the next like ... (read more)

Report this review (#2901764) | Posted by Boi_da_boi_124 | Saturday, March 25, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Who am I fooling? I guess I fooled myself for years. Thinking that this album isn't as awesome as I perceived it when I was young. This album got me hooked. It turned me into a Pink Floyd fan. I can't recall how often I played this one. Over and over. I knew every second. Was amazed from star ... (read more)

Report this review (#2740827) | Posted by WJA-K | Saturday, April 30, 2022 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Ah, The Wall. Probably my all time favourite album. Just everything about this album screams perfection. It is a concept album centered around a rock star named Pink, who began feeing very isolated, alone and depressed and wanted to blame it on whoever he could. After pointing the finger at ever ... (read more)

Report this review (#2528221) | Posted by Cboi Sandlin | Friday, March 26, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Wall, released in 1979, is the eleventh studio album released by Pink Floyd. The Wall is a concept album that takes a look at the life of Pink, Pink is a depressed rock star who built a metaphorical wall around himself due to the many traumas of his life, be it the fear of what the war could ... (read more)

Report this review (#2507905) | Posted by Lieutenant_Lan | Monday, February 22, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Review #13 Is "The Wall" a Pink Floyd album or a Roger Waters album? It started in "Animals", which's well known, but in "The Wall" Roger Waters took the role of the absolute leader of the band and created a strong work which would be loved and hated by Pink Floyd fans because it doesn't sound ... (read more)

Report this review (#2463524) | Posted by Uruk_hai | Friday, November 6, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When in 1978 Roger Waters presented the other musicians with 2 concepts for them to decide which theme they want to develop for the group's next work, one became The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking, which ended up being a personal work by the bassist and singer with a modest success, and the other ... (read more)

Report this review (#2410826) | Posted by Hector Enrique | Saturday, June 6, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The cult of one: John or Paul? Peter or Phil? David or Roger? I listen to Pink Floyd thanks to my older brother Alex (that's rather a story about Atom Heart Mother), but to say it shortly, Pink Floyd has been the most influential band in my puberty, my top band. And if you asked me what albu ... (read more)

Report this review (#2340040) | Posted by Jochanan | Wednesday, March 4, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4.5: A masterpiece by Pink Floyd, it was released at 1977 being one of the most successful album of the band, and also the only one that put a single in the first place of the charts with Another brick in the wall Pt. 2. The concept of this album was almost entirely constructed by Roger Waters, a ... (read more)

Report this review (#2081087) | Posted by mariorockprog | Tuesday, December 4, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Review # 95. The Wall was the band's 11th studio album, and it was released on the 30th of November 1979 as a double album. It became a smashing hit almost everywhere. It was produced by Pink Floyd and Bob Ezrin. (Famous for his work with Alice Cooper, Kiss and Lou Reed among others). Th ... (read more)

Report this review (#2045563) | Posted by The Jester | Friday, October 19, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars REVIEW #17 - "The Wall" by Pink Floyd (1979). 08/29/2018 A quick foreword; I was personally surprised to see that this album has received such divided opinions among the ProgArchives community. I was also surprised to see this album come up on the random review generator; I did not expect to ... (read more)

Report this review (#2010736) | Posted by SonomaComa1999 | Wednesday, August 29, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Even More Relevant Today in the era of Trumps Wall Pink Floyd are the masters of the concept album, and The Wall is the ultimate concept album. While some fans of PA may be more (or only) interested in the musical side of progressive rock (and I include myself in this when it comes to a lot o ... (read more)

Report this review (#1695902) | Posted by Walkscore | Wednesday, February 22, 2017 | Review Permanlink

2 stars You know, I used to think that The Wall by Pink Floyd was the best thing ever. This was partly due to me having very little music at the time, and just happening to pull this dusty double album CD out of a random shelf and sliding it into my computer. I thought everything from the music to it's c ... (read more)

Report this review (#1328671) | Posted by aglasshouse | Thursday, December 25, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Where to start with this all-around gem of rock music? Pink Floyd have impressed us quite a bit in the past, and then they go and make one of the best concept albums of all time. From start to finish I don't think there is one song I dislike, though it certainly isn't as "proggy" as some of their ea ... (read more)

Report this review (#1145743) | Posted by ebil0505 | Monday, March 10, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Wall is the last of the four Pink Floyd classic albums from the 1970's. One of the reasons for this is that the Floyd are coming part at the seems. Roger Waters has continued to assert more control over the band; so much so that he had keyboardist and vocalist Richard Wright fired from ... (read more)

Report this review (#1079990) | Posted by tdfloyd | Friday, November 22, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Wall is most certainly more of a Waters solo album than a full-fledged Pink Floyd album. Some detractors claim it moves away from the Pink Floyd sound. I disagree completely. Up until this album, no two Floyd albums sounded alike anyway. The Wall is just an explosion of creativity in writin ... (read more)

Report this review (#1013211) | Posted by ster | Thursday, August 8, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I can clearly compare "The Wall" with "Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die!" from Jethro Tull - both albums has a good background idea, a good concept, but the music are just poor. Actually, I can stand Too Old To RnR, but I can't stand The Wall. The album starts with the song ca ... (read more)

Report this review (#1005710) | Posted by VOTOMS | Friday, July 26, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars That is going to make more than 30 years now ? More than thirty years than Pink Floyd will have taken out his double white ? If the notices are really contrasted on this album, anybody can deny that The Wall was an ambitious, revolutionary album and the swan song of the group. Indeed, pushed b ... (read more)

Report this review (#933592) | Posted by floflo79 | Thursday, March 21, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I can still remember the feeling of listening to this album for the first time ever. It's a feeling that human beings try to recapture or try to experience again and again but they never manage to do it. It's one of the best records ever made. Why? It's one of the most varied and diverse. It ... (read more)

Report this review (#894411) | Posted by Uncool | Wednesday, January 16, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Some years ago, my brother told to watch this movie called "Pink Floyd The Wall". At that time i was just a child, and i didn't have any specific musical preference. I recognize the words "Pink Floyd", i knew they were a band, but nothing else than that. So i gave it a try. An hour and half later i ... (read more)

Report this review (#793622) | Posted by RodrigoDeLeon | Monday, July 23, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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