Album #448 – The Wall

Album #448

Pink Floyd’s double album and rock opera, The Wall, actually has it’s beginnings in Canada. It all started at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. The band were playing a gig there and Roger Waters was getting tired of some disruptive fans in front of the stage. He actually spat in the face of one of the obnoxious fans. He felt horrible afterward and felt that the barrier separating the stage from the crowd, added to the mess. It was that incident that The Wall became based on. The album was mammoth. Produced by Bob Ezrin, it was mostly a Roger Waters affair. The Wall featured several session musicians and guests including The Captain and Tenille, who were last minute replacements for The Beach Boys and a choir of school children singing on Another Brick In The Wall (Part II), their biggest hit. David Gilmour hardly wrote any of the album’s songs and had very little input. Keyboardist Richard Wright left the band and became a contracted player for the rest of the album’s sessions. It was because of this that relations within Pink Floyd became strained and not fully healed until the group reunited in 2005. The concept is based around a character named Pink, based on Waters. War, abandonment and isolation are key themes of the album. Ezrin’s production makes The Wall larger than life. The album is a continuous narrative and must be listened to all the way through in order to fully experience the story. The Wall was turned into a movie, three years after it’s release, featuring Bob Geldof in the role of Pink. The film is as chaotic and twisted as the album, with animated sequences that combine violence, sex and beauty. In fact, many of the album’s tracks were re-recorded and changed for the film as well. The tour was equally as big, with a wall being assembled as the show progressed and being dismantled during the song The Trial, near the end of the show. The tour made the band even further apart and was only performed a handful of times due to expensive production costs. But, despite all this chaos, some of Pink Floyd’s most memorable songs are featured. Comfortably Numb is one of THE best rock songs ever written and recorded. It paints a picture of isolation and addiction brilliantly and one of the few songs that I personally can relate to. It is the last marriage of Water’s songwriting and Gilmour’s musicianship. As mentioned above, it also features their biggest hit, Another Brick In The Wall (Part II), a song so popular that even people who aren’t fans of the band, recognize it’s greatness. To me, this album will always be an experience quite unlike anything else on record. The production is so realistic with many critics saying The Wall is too bloated and overproduced, as with any Ezrin production. But, to me, The Wall is the closest that any album on this list will get to a Broadway musical. Except without the cheesy dancing and over the top singing. Other highlights include: In The Flesh?, Another Brick In The Wall (Part 1), The Happiest Days of Our Lives, Mother, Goodbye Blue Sky, Empty Spaces, Young Lust, Hey You, Vera, Bring The Boys Back Home, Comfortably Numb, Run Like Hell, Waiting for the Worms and Outside The Wall. Overall, I give The Wall, 5 out of 5.

Next: Metal Box by Public Image Ltd.

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