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THE PROS AND CONS OF HITCH HIKING

Roger Waters

Crossover Prog


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Roger Waters The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking album cover
2.99 | 214 ratings | 36 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1984

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. 4.30 Am (Apparently They Were Travelling abroad) (3:11)
2. 4.33 Am (Running Shoes) (3:22)
3. 4.37 Am (Arabs With Knives and West German Skies) (2:21)
4. 4.39 Am (For the First Time Today, Part. 2) (2:44)
5. 4.41 Am (Sexual Revolution) (4:49)
6. 4.47 Am (The Remains of Our Love) (3:08)
7. 4.50 Am (Go Fishing) (6:49)
8. 4.56 Am (For the First Time Today, Part. 1) (1:48)
9. 4.58 Am (Dunroamin, Duncarin, Dunlivin) (3:03)
10. 5.01 Am (The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking part 10) (4:36)
11. 5.06 Am (Every Strangers Eyes) (4:48)
12. 5.11 Am (The Moment of Clarity) (1:28)

Total Time: 42:07

Lyrics

Search ROGER WATERS The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Roger Waters / rhythm, bass, guitar and vocals
- Andy Brown / Hammond organ & 12 String guitar
- Ray Cooper / percussion
- Eric Clapton / lead guitar
- Micheal Kamen / piano
- Andy Newmark / drums
- David Sanborn / saxophone
- Madeline Bell, Katie Kissoon, Doreen Chanter / backing vocals
- Raphael Ravenscroft, Kevin Flanagan, Vic Sullivan / horns
-The National Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted and Arranged by Micheal Kamen

The Actors:
- Welshman in Operating Theater / Andy Quigley
- Wife / Beth Porter
- Man / Roger Waters
- Hitch Hiker & Waitress / Cherry Vanilla
- Truck Drivers / Mannig Redwood
- Hells Angel / Jack Palance
- Hells Angel's girlfriend / Madeleine Bell

Releases information

Lp: Harvest/EMI-SHVL 2401051-UK-1984 / CD: Columbia-WCK 39290-Can

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to pirkka for the last updates
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ROGER WATERS The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking ratings distribution


2.99
(214 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
15%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
32%
Good, but non-essential (32%)
32%
Collectors/fans only (14%)
14%
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)
6%

ROGER WATERS The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars Three and one-half-star in my book

At first this album was just as complicated to get into as Final Cut which was really also a solo project from him. But unlike The Final Cut, this one has a sort of humour totally absent in Floyd music and although not immediately apparent, in concert (with Clapton doing all of the Floyd classic in the second and me in the fourth row) one was surprised to see how that strange album came to life, made sense, especially with the animations and inflatable characters in the background to underline the key moments of the album.

Roger's storyline is not one of great interest and certainly wouldn't fit the Floyd scheme, especially with some members more interested in some non-musical activities; it was wise of Roger to make this album a solo project. I don't think this would've fit either Dave or Nick. An over-looked classic especially in the very poor 80's.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#29233) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, April 05, 2004

Review by daveconn
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars "The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking" (**1/2) ROGER WATERS' first post-FLOYD album is stylistically similar to "The Final Cut": the swaying between outrage and amusement, the whispered confessionals, the dropping of the other shoe. What "The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking" lacks are actual songs, instead hovering in the same musical holding pattern like one long coda. The album is intriguing in construct, based on a reverie in which WATERS imagines an encounter with a female hitchhiker. Despite the similarities to FLOYD's last album, "Pros and Cons" is a work that only Waters could make, in part because he'd have a hard time explaining this concept to his bandmates (who probably would have rejected the idea out of hand). There are fleeting moments when Hitchhiking clicks, but generally this is an elusive effort. The supporting cast is a mix of readers/singers (CHERRY VANILLA, JACK PALANCE) and musicians (MICHAEL KAMEN, ERIC CLAPTON), not unlike PETE TOWNSHEND's Psychoderelict. CLAPTON gets off a few nice leads (though, in retrospect, he was probably sorry he came along for the ride), DAVID SANBORN explodes on occasion, and MICHAEL KAMEN's piano plays an important part in the final product, but musical showmanship is not what Hitchhiking is about.

That said, I'm not really sure what this album is about: a musical mid-life crisis, a long scratch of the playwright's itch, a purging of more inner demons? It could be seen as the last in a trilogy begun with "The Wall", since the three works sound so similar, and yet that comparison diminishes Hitchhiking. "The Wall" was monumental, The Final Cut parochial, and Hitchhiking inconsequential. It ends where it began, back in the warm arms of an immeasurable ennui, smug despite having delivered on none of its promise. You can tag along if you want to, but I can think of more cons than pros.

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Posted Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What a perfect follow on from the beautifully tragic The Final Cut. Yes if you dislike that album then you will probably not like Roger Water's solo works. Pros and Cons has a great storyline about a dream of hitch hiking, passionate sexual liaisons along the way, depression and just general fears about life. Even references to his beloved green lamborghini! Musically he has a collection of geniuses like Eric Clapton,the late Michael Kamen and David Sanborn as back up. Clapton's guitar work on ' Sexual revolution' is a must listen. Apparently Clapton nearly went nuts working with Waters and although I cannot qualify it I heard that Clapton reckoned Waters was one of the most frustrating perfectionists he ever had to work with...hmmmm, well that perfection sure does show in his music. Maybe that is what pissed off the other Floyd members a few years previously.As an album this and The Final cut are probably Water's best where he sing/narrates his way through pieces. On Pros and Cons the flow of the material works well the moods portayed and the sheer thrill of it all comes across exceptionally well. this is a classic album with all the Water trappings. Listen to it in its entirety, ' Dunroamin, duncarin, dunlivin' is excellent as is the favourite now live rerun of ' Every Stranger's Eyes'. Roger Waters, I salute you.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#29238) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, September 24, 2004

Review by FloydWright
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Frankly, the only reason I continue to own this album is because it belongs in my PINK FLOYD collection. I'm not sure whether I have worse problems with Pros and Cons or NICK MASON's Profiles, but I decided to give this one a slightly higher rating because there ARE a couple of good songs on here that I actually find genuinely moving: "Each Stranger's Eyes"/"The Moment of Clarity". These songs, where he manages to find some actual empathy are the only really touching part of the album, and the reason I'm giving this half a star more than I did Profiles. All of the others are, sad to say, utterly and completely ruined by one factor or another, even where there might have been parts with potential.

On musical grounds there is, for the most part, much better to be found. ERIC CLAPTON sounds mechanical here; it seems that rather than feeling anything he's playing, all he's been hired to do is to "outdo GILMOUR". Perhaps on technical merits he might have pulled that off--but the result is that he sounds completely devoid of all emotion, which renders his work null and void. The saxophone certainly does not come up to the standard of Dick Parry. I can't really remember what MICHAEL KAMEN did here, but my suspicion is that his best FLOYD-related effort was The Final Cut, so if his work interests you, I suggest that instead. This album, frankly, is not much more than a demo, and is drop-dead boring from a musical standpoint.

The other problem comes in with the concept. This should have never seen the light of day, period. Trust the judgment of RICHARD WRIGHT, NICK MASON, and DAVID GILMOUR; there's a good reason they didn't take this one on instead of The Wall when ROGER presented both of them...because it was awful. Maybe ESE/MoC could've been adapted and put with something else, but otherwise, this was a mistake. For one thing, although it might be good from some high-brow "art" standpoint, this thing is so incoherent that it loses a great deal of power right there. While it can take a lot of intellect to create something that abstract, to be sure, there IS something to be said for actually making a connection with the audience--and that's sorely lacking here.

The other problem I have, frankly, is the absolutely disrespectful, if not violent attitude I hear, as a woman, listening to this. Let me note here that I am NOT some kind of raging feminist; rather, I am egalitarian in philosophy. Maybe some women find the mixture of violence and sex to be a turn-on, but not me. "Yeah, but tonight lie still / While I plunder your sweet grave": sounds like the female character here is getting no choice in the matter. Frankly, this gets into EMINEM territory--and on a FLOYD-related record? What gives? I have absolutely no use for someone's misogynistic fantasies. Supposedly ROGER dreamed this, and I DO know a person has no control over what happens in their dreams--especially the dreams that come from the lower mind such as this one--so let me make it clear, I am NOT blaming or accusing the real-life individual in any form or fashion. But, I DO think ROGER should've used his brain before he wrote this one down and sold it.

To sum it up in one sentence: The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking is a near-complete disaster that should have never been released.

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Posted Sunday, December 05, 2004

Review by Hangedman
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The best way I can describe this album is the most demented broadway musical I have ever listened to. Its quite good, and angry, and very hard to listen to. Id suggest it only to fans of Roger Waters or people into deviant music from all periods.

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Posted Sunday, March 06, 2005

Review by Cluster One
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This album is extremely creative and full of pure angst. As the opening moments of 'Apparently They Were Travelling Abroad' appear in your headphones one realizes that this album is going to be dark, very dark. The story starts off with the narrator having a nightmare, and thematically, that is the best way to describe what this album is musically and lyrically: a long, dark, dreamlike journey. The majority of this album is played in minor, which only adds to the dark, sombre mood.

The album itself is similar in style to "The Wall" and "The Final Cut" in that it is more like one long song, broken up into short parts. And yet there are no real 'singles' here, and you truly need to listen to the record straight through to fully appreciate it. I am never left disappointed when I do.

I am also the furthest thing from being a 'fan' of ERIC CLAPTON, but his guitar work is most impressive on this album. Must be nice to be able to so easily replace one legendary guitarist with another. CLAPTON's coda hook, which resonates throughout almost every song is highly addictive. I cry though when I think that DAVE GILMOUR could have been playing the guitar on this album. The tone and sound that he could have brought to this work would have been something to behold. Think, an even MORE melancholic and depressing sound than what you hear on 'The Fletcher Memorial Home' or 'Comfortably Numb'...

The album is also very saxophone heavy, so consider yourself forewarned. I think this instrument echoes WATERS' moody music quite well, but it might not be for everyone. Also the title track 'Pros & Cons - Part 10' is extremely weak and poppy, complete with sixties-like female backup singers doing the 'shoo-wop'.

For the average prog listener, this album warrants 3/5 stars, if only because it is stylistcally similar to the narrative dominated "The Final Cut." (i.e. not for those with a short attention span!) If you are a ROGER WATERS fan, or a later FLOYD fan ("Animals-The Wall-The Final Cut") then you will adore this album, and it would deserve 4/5 stars. By far "Pros & Cons" is my favourite WATERS solo album and an unappreciated musical gem of the lean, pop oriented 1980's.

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Posted Monday, March 21, 2005

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This record has some similitudes with the Pink Floyd's "Final cut" album. It contains more mellow and delicate parts than "Final cut", so that it is much more relaxing. Instead of David Gilmour on electric and acoustic guitars, Waters goes with Eric Clapton, and let me tell you that the result is quite impressive: Clapton is intensely bluesy here, as reveal his visceral & complex solos! The keyboards are discreet: there are mainly Hammond organ and piano parts; anyway, this record does not really need elaborated keyboards. Michael Kamen still conducts some excellent & subtle background orchestration. David Sanborn plays many flashy saxophone parts. There are many Waters' outstanding female backing vocals: Doreen Chanteer, Katie Kissoon and Madeline Bell, who are omnipresent and at their best here. The rhythm is quite slow. Waters' lead vocals are, as usual, very emotional and sometimes hysterical. I like the couples of subtle orgasmic female whispers on 4:33 AM. There is an excellent European accordion melody on 4:37. Waters still employs miscellaneous sounds to enhance the refinement of this record: passing cars, clock ticks, thunder, birds sounds, car door closing, dogs barks, kids voices among others. Please, do not listen it with a cheap radio! Waters' stuff requires HI-FI equipment, as usual.

Rating: 4.5 stars

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Posted Friday, April 01, 2005

Review by russellk
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars Appalling. The prime candidate for the 'Worst Record In My Collection' award. The acerbic Lennon to GILMOUR'S saccharin McCartney, ROGER WATERS cut off from his band is exposed as being cruelly one-dimensional: he needs someone to sweeten his bucket of bile. PINK FLOYD would perhaps made something of this, but we'll never know. They made the sensible decision to go with THE WALL instead of this self-indulgent, mysoginistic, tuneless material.

So what's wrong with it? First, it's every worrying trend in the Floyd's post WISH YOU WERE HERE music inflated, exaggerated and rolled into one. Elaborate orchestration over synths, the alternation of quiet and loud passages with the increasingly annoying 'surprise' effect, WATERS' concomitant whisper or shout - by this time he seems to have forgotten that anything between the two exists - and the abandonment of music for message. WATERS seems to think people are prepared to pay bucks to listen to him get angry about stuff. His label execs ought to have said to him: 'go take a listen to Grantchester Meadows, Roger, chill out, then come back and do this again.'

STEVEN WILSON might well have been describing ROGER WATERS when he wrote: 'The music ... makes you wanna rage, but it's made by millionaires who are nearly twice your age.' To be honest, I found this material unconvincing when it was first released, and downright offensive when I listened to it today.

An album for which the 'Poor, only for completionists' label was made.

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Posted Sunday, July 01, 2007

Review by progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars If you exclude Roger Waters' collaborative work with Ron Geesin, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking marked his debut as a solo artist. The beginnings of this album date back to 1978 when Waters played demos of it and The Wall to his band mates in Pink Floyd. They of course decided The Wall was better, so The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking sat on the shelf for awhile before Waters returned his attention to it.

Waters' debut is very similar in style to Pink Floyd's The Final Cut, which many consider a Waters solo effort since he was the dominant force behind it. So, the album is filled with lots and lots of lyrics delivered in Waters' trademarked style. Musically it's more upbeat than the depressing The Final Cut or The Wall, although it has its usual biting moments of paranoia and such. Michael Kamen does a nice job on the piano and Eric Clapton performs lead guitar. Though this is not Clapton's best work, he makes a suitable "replacement" for Gilmour, thus giving The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking that Waters-era Pink Floyd feel. An interesting addition to this work is a group of "actors" who read lines between and during some of the short musical interludes giving this album the feel of a musical drama. Some of the "actors" include Jack Palance, Cherry Vanilla, and Madeleine Bell. Waters of course plays the main role.

I find the major downside to this album to be, like most of Waters material, a lack of musical development. It is literally bombarded with endless lyrics which often take front stage. The music itself has some promise but never fully develops because it plays a minor backing role throughout the whole album. Roger, you've got Eric Clapton! Why not really use his skill to make something amazing? Instead Clapton fills in short solos between Roger's endless verses. Another problem is trying to figure out what it's about. Apparently it's about a man's mid-life crisis, but there's so much else thrown in and it wanders on so much that the concept is basically lost.

Not as depressing as The Wall or The Final Cut, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking is still a worthwhile purchase for the Pink Floyd fan. For the rest of you, good but hardly essential. Three stars.

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Posted Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars The pros and (mainly) cons of leaving Pink Floyd

While "The pros and cons of Hitchhiking" was nominally Waters first solo album, "The wall" and "The final cut" were of course very much his babies. Even prior to that, along with the other members of Pink Floyd, he had enjoyed a lengthy solo spot on the "Ummagumma" album.

At the time of its release, this album generated a certain amount of controversy (and continues to do so), with many considering it politically insensitive, mainly in terms of the lyrics but also the sleeve illustration. Waters of course maintains that they misunderstand the message.

The album titles take us in real time from 4:30am through to around 5:15am, each track having a narrative sub-title. The line up of musicians is impressive to the point of indulgence, including as it does such luminaries as Eric Clapton, Andy Bown and the National Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to this, we have a list of actors which includes Water playing the part of a man.

At times it is hard to distinguish this album from The wall, 4:37 - Arabs with knives. even including the accented stand still laddie type shouting. This is perhaps forgivable, as The pros and cons.. was written around the same time as The wall, Pink Floyd choosing to record the latter when given the option.

While there is a certain appeal to the music here, for me it is far too one dimensional. Each song seems to take on the same doomy character, with Waters ranting on remorselessly. The verbosity of the lyric sheet makes it clear that this is not to be an album with lengthy instrumental breaks, and indeed we find ourselves listening to Waters voice virtually from beginning to end. Eric Clapton does his best to infuse some interesting guitar work, but for me even this is of dubious merit. Clapton's guitar prowess is beyond question, but his cold bluesy style does not fit well with Waters compositions, which cry out for the warm emotion of David Gilmour's style.

Above all though, what the album really needs is a Money or One of these days to liven things up. Even something along the lines of Another brick in the wall would break the tedium.

It is a pity really, as this could have been a good album. Had Pink Floyd decided to take this Waters creation on and been permitted to develop it democratically, perhaps we would be hailing this as another bright star in their catalogue. As it is, I hesitate to recommend this to anyone other than devoted fans of Waters. Even then, I would suggest listening to no more than two or three tracks at a time.

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Posted Sunday, April 06, 2008

Review by CCVP
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Even farther from the space rock and knee-deep in blues rock

Roger Waters, for a considerable long time, was the main thinking force behind Pink Floyd and during that time the band sound slowly changed from the trippy, psychedelic, experimental and rather detached space rock they developed in the late 60s and early 70's to a more bluesy, focued and emotionally deep music, which, to this day, does not have a better definition than Pink Floyd music.

After leaving Pink Floyd, Roger took those blues influeces (and the lots of unsolved emotional issues) even further, which can be sees pretty clearly throughout his first (actually second, but does Sounds from the Body even count as a music album?) solo album, called The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, that was actually composed at the same time as The Wall. Due to that, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking have some melodies that are quite similar to The Wall and to the Final Cut song The Fletcher Memorial Home. It is also importanto to note that in The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking the guitars are definitely the main instrument, possibly because Eric Clapton is the lead guitarrist (that may be also why there are so many blues influences here, but oh well . . . )

This alsbum is also a concept album about a man that as dreams and nightmares about several different subjects, most of which concern marital issues / sex / women in three places: (West) Germany, England, and USA.

It is also important to note that, despite the naysayers dismiss this album in almost as many ways there is, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking (and most of Roger Waters solo albums) are quite influential among recent progressive rock and progressive metal acts. Two very well-known progressive metal bands, Pain of Salvation and Riverside, are quite influeced by it, specially concerning the emotionally deep / troubled lyrics.

One last thing: many (also) throw rocks at Roger's solo career because of his singing. OK, I got to admit that Roger Waters is not the best singer there is, but his vocals fit perfectly in the music he presents us, specially when you consider the lyrics.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Roger Waters's solo albums, along with the whole Pink Floyd discography, are albums that I was raised listening. I literally listened them since I was just some months old, although The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking I only listened recently becase my father lost the album in his collection until recently, so it is really hard for me not to like this kind of music. Besides, this album does contain very good music in it, so the grade is 4 stars.

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Posted Thursday, April 30, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
1 stars When listening to the solo albums that Gilmour and Waters released in 1984, two conclusions can be made. The first is that while both are blues-rock at heart, they couldn't possibly be more different, the second being that none of both licked the heels of anything Floyd.

Waters continues the extreme quiet-loud, whisper-shout dynamics of The Final Cut and reveals that he has lost any remaining song writing skills he once had. Also his voice has lost all dynamics, tone and melodious qualities. It has become a grating listen, as can be witnessed on the finale of the odious kitsch of Go Fishing.

The music remains interesting for about 5 minutes, the first two tracks still promise a daring album of the level of the Final Cut, but the 40 minutes that follow don't bring anything new to this mix of mid-paced blues clichés, recitative drivel and tasteless gospel/soul background vocals. The well known single The Pros & Cons of Hitchhiking is the only sequence with a bit of melody and probably the ultimate bottom point of anything baring Waters' name.

This album has never gotten more then 5 spins over the 25 years since it was released. When listening to it for this review I've been desperately searching for a reason to give it more then 1 stars but I haven't found any. Even with a mediocre album like Aboutface, Gilmour wins the first round against Waters with ease.

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Posted Thursday, January 28, 2010

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars If you have ever took the time (and I would thank you for this) to read some of my Floyd's review, you would know that the "final" part of their work with Roger was not my fave one ("The Wall" and "The Final Cut").

I would still dedicate my utmost admiration for Roger's contribution to one of my most beloved band and so many masterpiece songs he has written. This being said, I am unfortunately not really passionate while I am listening to this album.

A concept album which is not clear to identify?Some fine acoustic passages à la "Wish You Were Here" (the track) while displaying "Running Shoes" but with very much less emotion as far as I am concerned.

I have been used to describe my feelings about music on this site just as I feel it. When an unknown band releases a great album, I grant them for it. When a great band releases a great album, I grant them for it.

And when a giant releases a so and so work, I can only express what I feel: some disappointment. Even if in Rodger's case, my admiration was stopped after the great "Animals" album.

This album is not bad, but it doesn't offer any passion (just like "The Final Cut" - what a title!). Unemotional vocals like during the bluesy "Sexual Revolution", non-existing great instrumental parts overall (if you would except the good guitar work during the title track). That's the bill I got here. To be fully honest, I would say that "Every Strangers Eyes" does hold emotion, skills and passion as a good old Floyd song. But this is only one out of many.

What has to be granted to Rodger with this album, is that he invented the real time music (since the album starts at 4:30 AM and ends at 5:11 AM , some forty minutes or so later). The successful 24 hours series might well have borrowed from here!

It is a shame that Clapton is not better used on this work. He ought to have been put more on the front line, in my opinion. The whole music reflected here is just average.

I can't really recommend this album. Nor to Floyd fans, unless they are keen on "The Wall" and the follow up album ("The Final Cut") which was just a left over of songs that should have appeared on the original project of a triple album and were rejected by the other band members.

Two stars.

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Posted Saturday, March 13, 2010

Review by tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars Can you imagine how different music history would be if the rest of Pink Floyd, when offered the choice of doing this or The Wall, had decided to go in this direction? Maybe it would have ruined the band's career; Roger would have gone solo anyway, he would have had a mild comeback with a Gilmour-less Wall, and his solo career would be treated better by history. Or maybe Pros and Cons might have ended up a big hit in the hands of Pink Floyd, and it would have been as big a hit as The Wall has ended up being. I can't help but giggle a little bit at the thought that, instead of frat boys singing, "We don't need no education," they'd be singing, "There were arabs with knives at the foot of the bed!"

After finishing The Final Cut, Pink Floyd didn't even bother to tour the album, and Roger went straight into the studio to work on this. At this point, Roger was clearly convinced that, not only was he great than Pink Floyd, but he was so beloved and popular that he could take whatever abstract rant he had in mind, set it to a minimal amount of melodies, and the public would gladly take it and ask for more. Apparently, Roger somewhat succeeded in that vein, as this album has amassed a sizable cult following to this day. You know what, though? I don't care. This album BLOWS.

The instinctual reaction of a thousand Roger-holics may be to flame me with accusations of being a simpleton who only likes "catchy pop songs." This is, of course, a ridiculous claim, as any reasonable reading of my reviews will show that my tastes go far beyond such things. I also want to specifically point out that I often enjoy it when rock albums have obscure concepts, and I take enjoyment in attempting to uncover not only the superficial concept (or the plot) but also the deeper, "abstract" meanings behind them. Furthermore, I've found that it's easier for me than for most others to uncover the meanings of such albums: I understood the plot of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway after just two listens (and had a good grasp of the deeper, spiritual ideas within just a few more listens), and I've even glimmered meaning and substance from the majority of Yes' Tales From Topgraphic Oceans. It says something, then, that for the most part, I don't know WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON in this album. Apparently, it's a bunch of surrealistic dream sequences with a common theme of marital infidelity, rife with Roger's weird lyrical twists (though these are VASTLY inferior to his work in Floyd). At least the concept of The Final Cut, the pain of losing a loved one to war when you know that it won't mean anything in the long run, is something that a great many families can relate to. But this ... um, who exactly is supposed to relate to this? Well, I guess if you like to cheat on your spouse, but do you think about being attacked by Arabs in the process? Um. Guh. And fans of this here album love to go on about how Roger's emotions just poor out all over the place ... huh? I get a nice emotional twinge in the penultimate track, "Every Stranger's Eyes," but I can't get myself to care about the rest of this album's subject matter at all.

This could be forgivable with strong music, but compared to the ones on this album, the melodies on The Final Cut were Beatles-quality. In addition to liking that album's lyrics and concept a lot, I really liked some of the melodies, and there were a lot of neat twists that I enjoyed. Here, though, the only significant element in this album's favor is the presence of Eric Clapton, whose gimmick-free but emotionally charged and technically flawless style of playing is totally different from Dave's but sounds just fine to me. There is a lot of enjoyable guitar work on this album, and the fact that Eric's able to come up with so many good solos, given how little he had to work with in the "meat" of the songs, only speaks to his credit.

In any case, if you're a really big Roger fan, you might love this, and if you do, more power to you. But for the rest of us ... just stick to The Final Cut. Or even A Momentary Lapse of Reason ...

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Posted Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
2 stars I have never rated any Pink Floyd or relatives thing less than 3 stars, but in this case I'm sorry: I can't say that it's "good". Non-essential for sure.

It's a fortune that when Waters went to present his two new concepts to the band thay have chosen to use The Final Cut. The concept of Pros and Cons is more complicated, in some sense more progressive, maybe, but it leads nowhere. All the songs are based on acoustig guitar and Waters "wallish" voice and screams but the result is really poorer than The Final Cut , and one of the reasons is Eric Clapton at his worse.

There is some good song like "Running Shoes" or the last two tracks, but all the rest is very repetitive and sometimes boring. It lacks of keyboards and the use of a "Dobro" guitar by Clapton gives it a touch of country-western instead of blues as it was probably in the intentions.

The lowest moment is the title track that I think lacks also in songwriting.

I have to admit that I like it with my heart of Floyd fan, but I can't suggest it to non Floyd addicts. It has Waters voice, it has gimmicks and some good moments, but the overall result is a poor album based on an uncomprehensible concept.

Clapton is a great guitarist but he doesn't fit well in Waters music and at the time when the album was recorded he was, I think, still recovering from his personal troubles, so he wasn't surely at his best.

Fans only is the right definition. Two stars.

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Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
2 stars I remember reading somewhere that Roger Waters began writing this album after the completion of Animals and even proposed the concept to the rest of the band. A concept album that took place in real time during a sleep was not the idea that the band had in mind by that point of their career, but at least Waters still got his own with his other concept album proposal.

It certainly didn't take Waters much time to materialize his concept and only a year after the release of The Final Cut came The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking. Being a huge fan of the last true Pink Floyd album, it really doesn't make sense for me to feel this offended by this material. It does sound a lot like a continuation of the themes available on The Final Cut, but that's only something that could be proposed by people who don't listen into the great attention to songwriting that was available on that record. The same can honestly not be said about this shallow release.

The instrumental arrangements sound completely superficial and the concept is flawed. The more I listen to this album, the more I get reassured about the weakness of this release and there isn't a single moment here that comes even remotely close to the great past of the artist. At the same time, I really can't give it the one star rating since I'm sure that his fans actually happen to enjoy some of this material. Therefore a weak collectors/fans only release.

**** star songs: 4.30 Am (Apparently They Were Travelling Abroad) (3:11) 4.47 Am (The Remains Of Our Love) (3:08)

*** star songs: 4.33 Am (Running Shoes) (3:22) 4.37 Am (Arabs With Knives And West German Skies) (2:21) 4.39 Am (For The First Time Today, Part. 2) (2:44) 4.41 Am (Sexual Revolution) (4:49) 4.50 Am (Go Fishing) (6:49) 4.56 Am (For The First Time Today, Part. 1) (1:48) 4.58 Am (Dunroamin, Duncarin, Dunlivin) (3:03) 5.01 Am (The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking Part 10) (4:36) 5.06 Am (Every Strangers Eyes) (4:48) 5.11 Am (The Moment Of Clarity) (1:28)

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Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Review by lazland
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is the first post-Floyd album released by Waters. By 1984, "Old Grumpy Boots" (in quotation marks because, apparently, he is anything but in the flesh, as it were) had left the band with which he made untold riches, and, ironically, Nick Mason confirmed that this was the best thing for his old band he could possibly have done, for, if he had "stayed", they would never have made another record.

This album was actually, in demo form, trailed to the rest of the Floyd when they got together to record the follow-up to Animals, when they were in the direst possible financial straits owing to being ripped off left, right, and centre by Norton Wahlburg. He also played them a demo of "Another Brick", and the rest is, of course, history.

Waters was, though, sufficiently interested in the project to resurrect it for the first part of his plan for world domination on his own. He assembled a rather stellar cast, the most stellar, of course, being Eric Clapton on lead guitar, and, by God, what a contribution the great blues guitarist makes. The whole album, as a result of this contribution, is a damn sight better than it ever would have been in his absence, and he lends to it a thoroughly, well, bluesy feel, dark, almost satanic in places, but also wonderfully evocative and moody.

Only one of the tracks survived to make it to subsequent Waters solo tours, this being the incredible and exceptional 5:06 a.m. (Every Stranger's Eyes), and it is here that you listen to this and really do wish Clapton had stayed a little bit longer (he left the project on the US leg of the subsequent, and not overly financially successful, tour) to see where the collaboration would have gone. It is a track that is steeped with emotional bitterness and sexual repression, and, as with much else on the album, it is, actually, nice to hear Waters pull together a concept that has little to do with politics, the war, or dear old dad (and I say this as a huge fan of the man and his music/lyrics, by the way).

The story, such as it is, centres around a chap driving along picking up a rather luscious female hitch-hiker (the cover, at the time, really upset the rampant feminist movement), and, in real time, tells us of his desires and dreams surrounding said female, most of which are utterly put down or repressed. One critic, in a very enthusiastic burst at the time, said that Waters would make a fine "quack". Most of the rest of the population actually thought he should go and see one.

As with much else of what the great man has done, it is impossible to single out too much as standout, because it is a continuous narrative that needs to be listened to in the round, but I, for one, absolutely love the female backing vocals and the whole blues ethos of the album. For no better example of these put together, listen to 4:47 a.m. (The Remains Of Our Love). The single from the album, the title track, is also huge fun.

However, as much as I enjoy this album, you have to say that, on this occasion, Gilmour, Mason, and Wright were right to reject it as a project. In hindsight, I regard this, and the follow up Radio Kaos, as a man unburdening himself from the rigours of a band he ended up hating, finding himself as an artist in his own right, and building himself up in both ways to the utter masterpiece that Amused To Death was and remains to this day.

It is all rather too bitty to be described as a classic, and an album which I listen to only occasionally these days. But, when I do, I am reminded that it is a good album, and hearing David Sanborn's exceptional saxophone on 4:50 a.m. (Go Fishing) and the whole blues feel, you wonder just what he would have come up with had he continued to develop this theme and way of writing/playing. I think it would have been exceptional.

I will not pretend that this is an essential album for Pink Floyd fans. It is not. What it is, though, is a very good album that will be enjoyed by those who enjoy something "out of the prog box", and class musicianship throughout. Oh, and Clapton/blues fans as well.

Three stars for this. It would get a lot better, but it wasn't such a bad start, you know.

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Posted Thursday, December 01, 2011

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars It is unusual for a PINK FLOYD fan to avoid a ROGER WATERS solo album, but being that I'm more a DAVID GILMOUR man, decided to leave The Pros & Cons of Hitchhiking resting in the store shelves. Luckily about two weeks ago, a Punk listener friend sold me several albums I didn't had (Well, the albums his wife left after divorce), and here it was Roger's release shinning at the top, so before. After reading the contradictory reviews, decided to give the album a chance, and my feelings are very positive.

I like the music, even when it sounds like a mixture of The Wall and The Final Cut, so it didn't surprised me that some songs sounded so familiar, especially 4.47 Am (The Remains of Our Love) that for some moments was almost a copy of Mother, but I like his music and that unique mixture of whispers and screams so usual in ROGER WATER'S compositions.

Amazingly, I managed to listen the whole album without wanting to press the skip button in any moment because that rare brand of Prog Blues and whining always attracted me, and despite the poor concept that I'm sure FLOYD would never had accepted, the music itself narrates a story that sounds better and more coherent if you avoid paying attention to the lyrics and just concentrate in the melody and the voice just as another instrument that blends perfectly.

Of course, it's necessary to mention the amazing work of Eric Clapton in the lead guitar, Andy Brown in the Hammond and 12 string guitar without whom, the album would had lost a lot, but mainly David Sanborn and his wizardry with the Sax that adds that sound no PINK FLOYD related album should lack off.

Not a masterpiece, but surely a great addition to any Prog collection, so I will go with 4 solid stars with a special mention to 5.01 Am (The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking part 10), one of Roger's best song ever, with the addition of a Clapton that really rocks and solid Hammond passages.

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Posted Friday, February 15, 2013

Review by stefro
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Issued a year before he stormed out of Pink Floyd, this 1984 debut from Roger Waters features all the expected hallmarks - and more - of it's erstwhile creator. Developed by Waters sometime after the release of Pink Floyd's 1977 album 'Animals' and presented to the group for consideration whilst the quartet commenced sessions for new material in France, 'The Pro's & Cons Of Hitch Hiking' would ultimately be rejected by his former bandmates. Instead, they would opt to develop Waters 'Bricks In The Wall' project, which would eventually become 'The Wall'. Despite their enormous success, however, all was not well in the house of Pink Floyd during the dying days of the 1970's. 1976, of course, had brought the awful whirlwind of punk rock, the groups financial situation was, incredible as it may seem, a serious cause for concern, and most worryingly of all a nasty schism was developing between Waters and lead guitarist David Gilmour. This was manifested by some seriously egotistical behaviour from all involved, but especially so from Waters, who then started to dominate the group. After the enormous album-film-tour merry-go-round of 'The Wall' had finally been completed, an exhausted group were in pieces, with three of the four members barely on speaking terms, keyboardist Richard Wright fired, and Waters now scaling Napoleonic heights of megalomania. The final straw would come during the recording of the rightly-maligned 1982 album 'The Final Cut', an album seemingly constructed out of re-heated leftovers from 'The Wall' that simply weren't good enough for a new Pink Floyd album. Dominated, of course, by Waters, 'The Final Cut' continued the themes of war, emptiness and madness probed by Waters increasingly damaged psych on 'The Wall', only this time he was pretty much doing it alone. Sessions for the album were tense, fraught affairs often punctuated by vicious arguments, and by the end the relationship between Gilmour and Waters had completely broken down. It would take a further three years of non-activity until Waters finally walked, the incredible Pink Floyd story coming to a sorry end sometime during 1985. By this time, all four members had issued solo albums, with Gilmour's bluesy, stripped-down 1978 effort easily the best of a lacklustre bunch. Elsewhere, drummer Nick Mason - under the 'Sports' moniker - opted to produce a truly bizarre hybrid of jazz-fusion and avant-garde pop that barely got noticed, whilst keyboardist Richard Wright went all early-eighties new wave, teaming up with a trendy songwriter half his age for the now very dated 'Zee' project. So, when compared to his former colleagues efforts 'The Pro's & Cons Of Hitch Hiking' can actually look quite good, though the sad truth is that this is very much a decent album utterly overshadowed by the shrieking vocals of its supremely-talented yet mentally fragile creator. Charting 45 minutes of a very bad night for the album's protagonist(i.e. Waters), this can best be described as slickly-furrowed art- rock shot thru with a hefty dose of Waters surreal sense of self-importance. Wordy, clumsy and frustrating - but still with occasional flashes of lyrical brilliance struggling to work there way to the surface - this is an album that has to be experience several times to truly grasp; even then, however, making sense of 'The Pro's & Cons Of Hitch Hiking' remains a truly exhausting undertaking. In the end, Waters solo work will always be compared to his work with Pink Floyd, and sadly this doesn't even come close. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2013

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Send comments to stefro (BETA) | Report this review (#928158) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 11, 2013

Latest members reviews

4 stars Really 3.5 I actually love this album so much. Judged objectively, I can't say it's musically amazing like some of his other works, but the crazily convoluted concept makes for just as effective lyrics (which is really why we listen to Roger). Before I get into the review I'll give everyon ... (read more)

Report this review (#1213829) | Posted by Tristan Zaba | Tuesday, July 15, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Between 3 to 4 stars to be exact. Should prog-people add this work to their collection? It is always fun to listen to the solo efforts of the mastermind/s of "monster groups". Sheer good fun. Usually the progs turn to good old "Rock n' Roll" and why not the "Blues"?... (Gabriel did it, Fripp did ... (read more)

Report this review (#974622) | Posted by admireArt | Sunday, June 09, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Even the catchy lyrics and numerous sound effects can't help this one I'm sorry to say. A horrible album and a major disappointment after the tremendous highs of the last few Floyd albums. And the ironic thing is, Roger's got no-one to blame but himself this time round. If this is how he s ... (read more)

Report this review (#588811) | Posted by Dobermensch | Thursday, December 15, 2011 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Waters must have loved his previous two albums with Pink Floyd (The Wall and the Final Cut), because his music here was all ripped off of those two albums. Melodies rehashed, and often no melodies at all. In fact, other than the fact that this is a concept album, this really has nothing to i ... (read more)

Report this review (#456666) | Posted by Buh | Friday, June 03, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This was my first album by Roger Waters that I ever listened to. At first I thought it was abit boaring, but as I kept listening to it I realized that it was a very good album. The last few Pink Floyd albums were mostly written by Waters from what I understand, and some of the melodies on this a ... (read more)

Report this review (#436273) | Posted by FloydZappa | Wednesday, April 20, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking"...I read so many bad things about this album...and much of it is right! The music is often bad and never as good as on any Pink Floyd album. The lyrics are also not as brilliant as on "Animals" or "The Wall". But why give I four stars? Maybe this album is ... (read more)

Report this review (#294341) | Posted by Elveeye | Friday, August 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I remember when this came out, Roger toured and did the whole album for his first set and FLoyd stuff for the last set. I really liked the concert and thought I liked this album. Wrong. After listening to it many times I feel a massive let-down. The concept is garbled, the usual Waters quiet t ... (read more)

Report this review (#278050) | Posted by mohaveman | Thursday, April 15, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars The best rock album from Waters, and essentially thats it, yet it's not that bright. Eric Clapton guitar is a great help, but the first problem starts with the notes, they are repeated over and over again from the beginning to the end of the album, you may find some magic from Clapton work, and ... (read more)

Report this review (#262142) | Posted by FenderTramp | Saturday, January 23, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This could have really been a great album if just about any guitarist besides Eric Clapton was hired for lead guitar duties. He's well passed his prime by the time of the release of this album. On it, he manages to either badly imitate Gilmour, or play very badly in the traditional Clapton style. ... (read more)

Report this review (#113510) | Posted by Equality 7-2521 | Sunday, February 25, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This conceptual disc is without a doubt a clear sample of which it is an art to make music, without a doubt and clear this as it is known this was a created disc to see the light with the band of WATERS, but after their concrete exit of way my to seem there very satisfactory, disc written by t ... (read more)

Report this review (#111578) | Posted by Shelket | Saturday, February 10, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Great! It's The Wall minus the hit songs but also without the fillers. If they cut off The Wall to the one cd version, Prons and cons would be a twin record to it. I really like this album, as I also very much enjoy The Wall. Some great musicianship by Clapton, nice lyrics and absolutely superb p ... (read more)

Report this review (#110153) | Posted by Crowley | Thursday, February 01, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Id have to give the Pros and Cons a 5 because it is so original among being just plain brilliant like all other Roger Waters/Pink Floyd material. Clapton is unreal on the guitar especially in Sexual Revolution which is very underrated. The whole cd is good and it has a lot of meaning like all ... (read more)

Report this review (#84304) | Posted by | Thursday, July 20, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars The first of three studio albums (a fourth is rumored to come soon) from SWaters after he left Pink Floyd. As much of his music after PF, this album lacks musically and is a little confusing. Perhaps wierd is the best word. Apperently based on a nightmare Waters hadduring the era of "Animal ... (read more)

Report this review (#79124) | Posted by echoes2112 | Tuesday, May 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Pros And Cons Of Hitchhiking is hands down my favorite solo effort by Roger Waters (actually now challenged by Ça Ira) and is among my favorites in his whole creativity. Although not progressive at all, it is impossibly emotional and atmospheric. The album describes a dream the main hero h ... (read more)

Report this review (#52052) | Posted by Vaxis | Sunday, October 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars i think as a comparison to the final cut people are getting carried away,i mean in honesty one is about the war the other a dream!people get locked into the production line-wanting the same old stuff all the time!is it not a piss take;"she picked up the doggy in the window (the one with the wag ... (read more)

Report this review (#29244) | Posted by | Sunday, May 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It continues to amaze me how many people totally miss the point of this great album. Feminists manage to take offense, and others dismiss the work as sophomoric and unworthy of the Floyd. It is intensely emotional and honest. "Go Fishing" is the backbone of this album, bridging the gap betw ... (read more)

Report this review (#29240) | Posted by | Thursday, February 17, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars this is what i had to be after Final Cut, musically this album is continuation of that one, and we have great story concept this time with more lighter subject. Definitely classic, same good as Floyd's album. ... (read more)

Report this review (#29234) | Posted by l-s-d | Tuesday, April 06, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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