|Studio album by|
|Released||30 November 1979|
|Recorded||December 1978–November 1979|
|Pink Floyd chronology|
|2012 Immersion box set cover|
|Singles from The Wall|
The Wall is the eleventh studio album by English rock band Pink Floyd, released in 1979 through Harvest and Columbia Records. Conceived during the In The Flesh tour, recording spanned nearly a year, from December 1978 to November 1979, and took place in France, England, New York, and Los Angeles. It was produced by Bob Ezrin, who helped to refine the concept and bridge tensions during recording. Some of the outtakes from the recording sessions were used on the band's next album, The Final Cut (1983).
Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.
Pink Floyd were an English rock band formed in London in 1965. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. Distinguished by their philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, extended compositions, and elaborate live shows, they are one of the most commercially successful and influential groups in popular music history.
Harvest Records is a British record label belonging to Capitol Music Group, originally created by EMI, active from 1969 to present.
A rock opera and a concept record, its story explores Pink, a jaded rockstar that bassist Roger Waters modeled after himself and band founder Syd Barrett. Pink's life begins with the loss of his father during the Second World War and continues with abuse from his schoolteachers, an overprotective mother, and the breakdown of his marriage; all contribute to his eventual self-imposed isolation from society, symbolised by a wall. The band, who were then struggling with personal and financial difficulties, supported the idea. The Wall is the last album to feature Pink Floyd as a quartet; keyboardist Richard Wright was fired by Waters during production, but stayed on as a salaried musician. The record was promoted with three singles: "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2" (Pink Floyd's only US number-one single), "Run Like Hell", and "Comfortably Numb". From 1980 to 1981, Pink Floyd embarked on The Wall Tour, which was notable for its elaborate theatrical effects. The concept was later adapted into a feature film of the same name, directed by Alan Parker and released in 1982.
A rock opera is a collection of rock music songs with lyrics that relate to a common story. Rock operas are typically released as concept albums and are not scripted for acting, which distinguishes them from operas, although several have been adapted as rock musicals. The use of various character roles within the song lyrics is a common storytelling device. The success of the rock opera genre has inspired similar works in other musical styles, such as rap opera.
A concept album is an album in which its tracks hold a larger purpose or meaning collectively than they do individually. This is typically achieved through a single central narrative or theme, which can be instrumental, compositional, or lyrical. Sometimes the term is applied to albums considered to be of "uniform excellence" rather than an LP with an explicit musical or lyrical motif. There is no consensus among music critics as to the specific criteria for what a "concept album" is.
George Roger Waters is an English songwriter, singer, bassist, and composer. In 1965, he co-founded the progressive rock band Pink Floyd. Waters initially served as the bassist, but following the departure of songwriter Syd Barrett in 1968, he also became their lyricist, co-lead vocalist, and conceptual leader.
At the time, The Wall received mixed reviews from critics, many of whom found it overblown and pretentious. Retrospectively, it is considered one of the greatest albums of all time, and is one of the most well-known concept albums. The record was a commercial success, reaching number one in the US (where it stayed for 15 weeks), and number three in the UK. As of 2018, the album has sold over 24 million copies, the second best-selling in the band's catalog, as well as one of the best-selling of all time.
Pink Floyd's In the Flesh Tour was their first playing in large stadiums. Bassist and songwriter Roger Waters recalled: "I disliked it intensely because it became a social event rather than a more controlled and ordinary relationship between musicians and an audience ... The front sixty rows seemed to be screaming and shouting and rocking and swaying and not really listening to anything. And those further back could see bugger-all anyway." Some audience members set off firecrackers, leading Waters to stop playing and scold them. In July 1977, on the final date at the Montreal Olympic Stadium, a group of noisy and excited fans near the stage irritated Waters so much that he spat at one of them. Guitarist David Gilmour refused to perform a final encore and sat at the soundboard, leaving the band, with backup guitarist Snowy White, to improvise a slow, sad twelve-bar blues, which Waters described as "some music to go home to". That night, Waters spoke with music producer Bob Ezrin and Ezrin's psychiatrist friend about the alienation he was experiencing. He articulated his desire to isolate himself by constructing a wall across the stage between the performers and the audience. He said, "I kept saying to people on that tour, 'I'm not really enjoying this ... there is something very wrong with this.'"
The In the Flesh Tour, also known as the Animals Tour, was a concert tour by the English rock band Pink Floyd in support of their album Animals. It was divided in two legs, one in Europe and another in North America. The tour featured large inflatable puppets, as well as a pyrotechnic "waterfall", and one of the biggest and most elaborate stages to date, including umbrella-like canopies that would rise from the stage to protect the band from the elements.
Olympic Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Canada, located at Olympic Park in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district of Montreal. Built in the mid-1970s as the main venue for the 1976 Summer Olympics, it is nicknamed "The Big O", a reference to both its name and to the doughnut-shape of the permanent component of the stadium's roof. It is also called "The Big Owe" to reference the astronomical cost of the stadium and the 1976 Olympics as a whole.
David Jon Gilmour, is an English guitarist, singer and songwriter who was a member of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd. He joined the group as guitarist and co-lead vocalist in 1968 shortly before the departure of founding member Syd Barrett. Pink Floyd subsequently achieved international success with the concept albums The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, and The Wall. By the early 1980s, they had become one of the best-selling and most acclaimed acts in music history; by 2012, the band had sold over 250 million records worldwide, including 75 million units sold in the United States. Following the departure of Roger Waters in 1985, Gilmour assumed leadership of Pink Floyd; they released three more studio albums before disbanding in 2014.
While Gilmour and Wright were in France recording solo albums, and drummer Nick Mason was busy producing Steve Hillage's Green , Waters began to write material.The spitting incident became the starting point for a new concept, which explored the protagonist's self-imposed isolation after years of traumatic interactions with authority figures and the loss of his father as a child. The Wall would study the performer's psychological separation from the audience, using a physical structure as a metaphorical and theatrical device.
Nicholas Berkeley Mason, is an English drummer, best known as a founder member of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd.
Stephen Simpson Hillage is an English musician, best known as a guitarist. He is associated with the Canterbury scene and has worked in experimental domains since the late 1960s. Besides his solo recordings he has been a member of Gong, Khan and System 7.
Green is the fourth studio album by British progressive rock musician Steve Hillage. Written in spring 1977 at the same time as his previous album, the funk-inflicted Motivation Radio (1977), Green was originally going to be released as The Green Album as a companion to The Red Album. However, this plan was dropped and after a US tour in late 1977, Green was recorded alone, primarily in Dorking, Surrey, and in London.
In July 1978, Pink Floyd reconvened at Britannia Row Studios, where Waters presented two new ideas for concept albums. The first was a 90-minute demo with the working title Bricks in the Wall.The second was about a man's dreams across one night, and dealt with marriage, sex, and the pros and cons of monogamy and family life versus promiscuity. The band chose the first option; the second eventually became Waters's first solo album, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking .
Britannia Row Studios was a recording studio located in Islington, London N1 (1975–1995), and then in Fulham, London SW6, England (1995–2015). The original studio was built by the British rock band Pink Floyd in a three-story block at 35 Britannia Row, Islington, London N1, after their 1975 album Wish You Were Here was released. Pink Floyd used the studio to record their album Animals and parts of The Wall, including the school chorus on "Another Brick in the Wall".
The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking is the first solo album by Roger Waters; it was released in 1984, the year before Waters announced his departure from Pink Floyd. The album was certified gold in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America in April 1995.
By September, Pink Floyd was experiencing financial difficulties and urgently needed to produce an album to make money. 18.6 million in contemporary value ) of the group's money in high-risk venture capital to reduce their tax liabilities. The strategy failed when many of the businesses NWG invested in lost money, leaving the band facing tax rates potentially as high as 83 percent. "We made Dark Side and it looked as if we'd cracked it," recalled Waters. "Then suddenly these bastards had stolen it all. It looked as if we might be faced with huge tax bills for the money that had been lost. Eighty-three per cent was a lot of money in those days and we didn't have it." Pink Floyd terminated their relationship with NWG, demanding the return of uninvested funds. "By force of necessity, I had to become closely involved in the business side," remarked Gilmour, "because no one around us has shown themselves sufficiently capable or honest to cope with it, and I saw with Norton Warburg that the shit was heading inexorably towards the fan. They weren't the first crooks we stupidly allied ourselves with. Ever since then, there's not a penny that I haven't signed for. I sign every cheque and examine everything."Financial planners Norton Warburg Group (NWG) had invested £1.3–3.3 million (up to £
To help manage the project's 26 tracks, Waters decided to bring in a producer and collaborator,feeling he needed "a collaborator who was musically and intellectually in a similar place to where I was." At the suggestion of Waters's then-girlfriend Lady Carolyne Christie, who had worked as the secretary to producer and musician Bob Ezrin, the band hired him on. Ezrin had worked with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Kiss, and Peter Gabriel. From the start, Waters made it clear who was in charge, telling him: "You can write anything you want. Just don't expect any credit."
Ezrin and Gilmour reviewed Waters's concept, discarding what they thought was not good enough. Waters and Ezrin worked mostly on the story, improving the concept. [ who? ] Ezrin broadened the storyline, distancing it from the autobiographical work Waters had written, and instead basing it on a composite character named Pink. Engineer Nick Griffiths later said: "Ezrin was very good in The Wall, because he did manage to pull the whole thing together. He's a very forceful guy. There was a lot of argument about how it should sound between Roger and Dave, and he bridged the gap between them." Waters wrote most of the album, with Gilmour co-writing "Comfortably Numb", "Run Like Hell", and "Young Lust", and Ezrin co-writing "The Trial".A 40-page script was presented to the rest of the band, with positive results: "The next day at the studio, we had a table read, like you would with a play, but with the whole of the band, and their eyes all twinkled, because then they could see the album."
The Wall is a rock operathat explores abandonment and isolation, symbolised by a wall. The songs create an approximate storyline of events in the life of the protagonist, Pink (who is introduced in the songs "In the Flesh?" and "The Thin Ice"), a character based on Syd Barrett as well as Roger Waters, whose father was killed during the Second World War. Pink's father also dies in a war ("Another Brick in the Wall (Part 1)"), which is where Pink starts to build a metaphorical "wall" around himself. Pink is oppressed by his overprotective mother ("Mother") and tormented at school by tyrannical, abusive teachers ("The Happiest Days of Our Lives"). All of these traumas become metaphorical "bricks in the wall" ("Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)"). The protagonist eventually becomes a rock star, his relationships marred by infidelity, drug use, and outbursts of violence. He soon marries and is about to complete his "wall" ("Empty Spaces"). While touring in America, he brings a groupie home after learning of his wife's infidelity. Ruminating on his failed marriage, he trashes his room and scares the groupie away in a violent fit of rage. ("One of My Turns"). As his marriage crumbles ("Don't Leave Me Now"), he dismisses everyone he's known as "just bricks in the wall" ("Another Brick in the Wall (Part 3)") and finishes building his wall ("Goodbye Cruel World"), completing his isolation from human contact.
Hidden behind his wall, Pink becomes severely depressed ("Hey You") and starts to lose all faith ("Vera"). In order to get him to perform, a doctor medicates him ("Comfortably Numb"). This results in a hallucinatory on-stage performance where he believes that he is a fascist dictator performing at concerts similar to Neo-Nazi rallies ("The Show Must Go On"), at which he sets brownshirts-like men on fans he considers unworthy ("In the Flesh").Upon realizing the horror of what he has done ("Waiting for the Worms"), Pink becomes overwhelmed and wishes for everything around him to cease ("Stop"). Showing human emotion, he is tormented with guilt and places himself on trial ("The Trial"), his inner judge ordering him to "tear down the wall", opening Pink to the outside world ("Outside the Wall"). The album turns full circle with its closing words "Isn't this where ...", the first words of the phrase that begins the album, "... we came in?", with a continuation of the melody of the last song hinting at the cyclical nature of Waters' theme.
The album includes several references to former band member Syd Barrett, including "Nobody Home", which hints at his condition during Pink Floyd's abortive US tour of 1967, with lyrics such as "wild, staring eyes", "the obligatory Hendrix perm" and "elastic bands keeping my shoes on". "Comfortably Numb" was inspired by Waters' injection with a muscle relaxant to combat the effects of hepatitis during the In the Flesh Tour, while in Philadelphia.
The album was recorded in several locations. In France, Super Bear Studios was used between January and July 1979, with Waters recording his vocals at the nearby Studio Miraval. Michael Kamen supervised the orchestral arrangements at CBS Studios in New York, in September, being The Wall the first of three Pink Floyd studio albums that included his contributions (being the following two The Final Cut and The Division Bell ). Over the next two months the band used Cherokee Studios, Producers Workshop and The Village Recorder in Los Angeles. A plan to work with the Beach Boys at the Sundance Productions studio in Los Angeles was cancelled.
James Guthrie, recommended by previous Floyd collaborator Alan Parsons, arrived early in the production process. ... When we arrived, I think we both felt we'd been booked to do the same job." The early sessions at Britannia Row were emotionally charged, as Ezrin, Guthrie and Waters each had strong ideas about the direction the album would take. Relations within the band were at a low ebb, and Ezrin's role expanded to that of an intermediary between Waters and the rest of the band. As Britannia Row was initially regarded as inadequate for The Wall the band upgraded much of its equipment, and by March another set of demos were complete. However, their former relationship with NWG placed them at risk of bankruptcy, and they were advised to leave the UK by no later than 6 April 1979, for a minimum of one year. As non-residents they would pay no UK taxes during that time, and within a month all four members and their families had left. Waters moved to Switzerland, Mason to France, and Gilmour and Wright to the Greek Islands. Some equipment from Britannia Row was relocated in Super Bear Studios near Nice. Gilmour and Wright were each familiar with the studio and enjoyed its atmosphere, having recorded solo albums there. While Wright and Mason lived at the studio, Waters and Gilmour stayed in nearby houses. Mason later moved into Waters's villa near Vence, while Ezrin stayed in Nice.He replaced engineer Brian Humphries, emotionally drained by his five years with the band. Guthrie was hired as a co-producer, but was initially unaware of Ezrin's role: "I saw myself as a hot young producer
Ezrin's poor punctuality caused problems with the tight schedule dictated by Waters.Mason found the producer's behaviour "erratic", but used his elaborate and unlikely excuses for his lateness as ammunition for "tongue-in-cheek resentment". Ezrin's share of the royalties was less than the rest of the band and he viewed Waters as a bully, especially when Waters mocked him by having badges made that read NOPE (No Points Ezrin), alluding to his lesser share. Ezrin later said he had marital problems and was not "in the best shape emotionally".
More problems became apparent when Waters's relationship with Wright broke down. The band were rarely in the studio together. Ezrin and Guthrie spliced Mason's previously recorded drum tracks together, and Guthrie also worked with Waters and Gilmour during the day, returning at night to record Wright's contributions. Wright, worried about the effect that the introduction of Ezrin would have on the band's internal relationships, was keen to have a producer's credit on the album (their albums up to that point had always stated "Produced by Pink Floyd"). ..." Wright had his own problems, a failing marriage and the onset of depression, exacerbated by his non-residency. The band's holidays were booked for August, after which they were to reconvene at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, but Columbia offered the band a better deal in exchange for a Christmas release of the album. Waters therefore increased the band's workload accordingly, booking time at the nearby Studio Miraval. He also suggested recording in Los Angeles ten days earlier than agreed, and hiring another keyboardist to work alongside Wright, whose keyboard parts had not yet been recorded. Wright, however, refused to cut short his family holiday in Rhodes.Waters agreed to a trial period with Wright producing, after which he was to be given a producer's credit, but after a few weeks he and Ezrin expressed dissatisfaction with the keyboardist's methods. A confrontation with Ezrin led to Wright working only at nights. Gilmour also expressed his annoyance, complaining that Wright's lack of input was "driving us all mad", and Ezrin later reflected: "it sometimes felt that Roger was setting him up to fail. Rick gets performance anxiety. You have to leave him alone to freeform, to create
Accounts of Wright's subsequent departure from the band differ. In his autobiography, Inside Out , Mason says that Waters called O'Rourke, who was travelling to the US on the QE2 , and told him to have Wright out of the band by the time Waters arrived in LA to mix the album. ..." Wright disagreed with this recollection, stating that the band had agreed to record only through the spring and early summer, and that he had no idea they were so far behind schedule. Mason later wrote that Waters was "stunned and furious", and felt that Wright was not doing enough to help complete the album. Gilmour was on holiday in Dublin when he learnt of Waters's ultimatum, and tried to calm the situation. He later spoke with Wright and gave him his support, but reminded him about his minimal contribution to the album. Waters, however, insisted that Wright leave, or he would refuse to release The Wall. Several days later, worried about their financial situation, and the failing interpersonal relationships within the band, Wright quit. News of his departure was kept from the music press. Although his name did not appear anywhere on the original album, he was employed as a session musician on the band's subsequent The Wall tour.In another version recorded by a later historian of the band, Waters called O'Rourke and asked him to tell Wright about the new recording arrangements, to which Wright allegedly responded: "Tell Roger to fuck off
By August 1979 the running order was largely complete. Wright completed his duties at Cherokee Studios aided by session musicians Peter Wood and Fred Mandel, and Jeff Porcaro played drums in Mason's stead on "Mother".His duties complete, Mason left the final mix to Waters, Gilmour, Ezrin and Guthrie, and travelled to New York to record his début solo album, Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports . In advance of its release, technical constraints led to some changes being made to the running order and content of The Wall, with "What Shall We Do Now?" being replaced by the similar but shorter "Empty Spaces", and "Hey You" being moved from its original place at the end of side three, to the beginning. With the November 1979 deadline approaching, the band left the now-incorrect inner sleeves of the album unchanged.
Mason's early drum sessions were performed in an open space on the top floor of Britannia Row Studios. The 16-track recordings from these sessions were mixed down and copied onto a 24-track master, as guide tracks for the rest of the band to play to. This gave the engineers greater flexibility,but also improved the audio quality of the final mix as the original 16-track drum recordings were finally synced to the 24-track master, and the duplicated guide tracks removed. Ezrin later related the band's alarm at this method of working – they apparently viewed the erasure of material from the 24-track master as "witchcraft".
While at Super Bear studios Waters agreed to Ezrin's suggestion that several tracks, including "Nobody Home", "The Trial" and "Comfortably Numb", should have an orchestral accompaniment. Michael Kamen, who had previously worked with David Bowie, was booked to oversee these arrangements, which were performed by musicians from the New York Philharmonic and New York Symphony Orchestras, and a choir from the New York City Opera.Their sessions were recorded at CBS Studios in New York, although Pink Floyd were not present. Kamen eventually met the band once recording was complete.
"Comfortably Numb" has its origins in Gilmour's debut solo album, and was the source of much argument between Waters and Gilmour.Ezrin claimed that the song initially started life as "Roger's record, about Roger, for Roger", although he thought that it needed further work. Waters changed the key of the verse of the song and added more lyrics for the chorus with Gilmour adding some extra bars for the line "I have become Comfortably Numb", but his "stripped-down and harder" recording was not to Gilmour's liking. Gilmour preferred Ezrin's "grander Technicolor, orchestral version", although Ezrin preferred Waters's version. Following a full-scale argument in a North Hollywood restaurant, the two compromised; the song's body eventually included the orchestral arrangement, with Gilmour's second and final guitar solo standing alone.
Ezrin and Waters oversaw the capture of the sound effects used on the album. Waters recorded the phone call used on the original demo for "Young Lust", but neglected to inform its recipient, Mason, who assumed it was a prank call and angrily hung up.A real telephone operator was also an unwitting participant. The call references Waters' viewpoint of his bitter 1975 divorce from first wife Judy. Waters also recorded ambient sounds along Hollywood Boulevard by hanging a microphone from a studio window. Engineer Phil Taylor recorded some of the screeching tyre noises on "Run Like Hell" from a studio car park, and a television set being destroyed was used on "One of My Turns". At Britannia Row Studios, Nick Griffiths recorded the smashing of crockery for the same song. Television broadcasts were used, and one actor, recognising his voice, accepted a financial settlement from the group in lieu of legal action against them.
The maniacal schoolmaster was voiced by Waters, and actress Trudy Young supplied the groupie's voice.Backing vocals were performed by a range of artists, although a planned appearance by the Beach Boys on "The Show Must Go On" and "Waiting for the Worms" was cancelled by Waters, who instead settled for Beach Boy Bruce Johnston and Toni Tennille.
Ezrin's suggestion to release "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2" as a single with a disco-style beat did not initially find favour with Gilmour, although Mason and Waters were more enthusiastic. Waters was opposed to the idea of releasing a single at all, but became receptive once he listened to Ezrin and Guthrie's mix of the song. With two identical verses the song was felt to be lacking, and so a copy was sent to Griffiths in London with a request to find children to perform several versions of the lyrics. ..." I just thought it would be a wonderful experience for the kids."Griffiths contacted Alun Renshaw, head of music at the nearby Islington Green school, who was enthusiastic about the idea, saying: "I wanted to make music relevant to the kids – not just sitting around listening to Tchaikovsky. I thought the lyrics were great – "We don't need no education, we don't need no thought control
Griffiths first recorded small groups of pupils and then invited more, telling them to affect a Cockney accent and shout rather than sing. He multitracked the voices, making the groups sound larger, before sending his recordings back to Los Angeles. The result delighted Waters, and the song was released as a single, becoming a Christmas number one. 4,000 in contemporary value ).There was some controversy when the British press reported that the children had not been paid for their efforts; they were eventually given copies of the album, and the school received a £1,000 donation (£
The album's cover art is one of Pink Floyd's most minimal – a white brick wall and no text. Waters had a falling out with Hipgnosis designer Storm Thorgerson a few years earlier when Thorgerson had included the cover of Animals in his book Walk Away Rene. The Wall is therefore the first album cover of the band since The Piper at the Gates of Dawn not to be created by the design group.Issues of the album would include the lettering of the artist name and album title by cartoonist Gerald Scarfe, either as a sticker on sleeve wrapping or printed onto the cover itself, in either black or red. Scarfe, who had previously created animations for the band's "In the Flesh" tour, also created the LP's inside sleeve art and labels of both vinyl records of the album, showing the eponymous wall in various stages of construction, accompanied by characters from the story. The drawings would be translated into dolls for The Wall Tour, as well as into Scarfe's animated segments for the film based on the album.
|Christgau's Record Guide||B–|
|The Daily Telegraph|
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|
|The Great Rock Discography||9/10|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|
When the completed album was played for an assembled group of executives at Columbia's headquarters in California, several were reportedly unimpressed by what they heard.Matters had not been helped when Columbia Records offered Waters smaller publishing rights on the grounds that The Wall was a double album, a position he did not accept. When one executive offered to settle the dispute with a coin toss, Waters asked why he should gamble on something he owned. He eventually prevailed. The record company's concerns were alleviated when "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2" reached number one in the UK, US, Norway, Portugal, West Germany and South Africa. It was certified platinum in the UK in December 1979, and platinum in the US three months later.
The Wall was released in the UK and in the US on 30 November 1979. Coinciding with its release, Waters was interviewed by veteran DJ Tommy Vance, who played the album in its entirety on BBC Radio 1. Critical opinion of its content was mixed, ranging from The Village Voice critic Robert Christgau's "a dumb tribulations-of-a-rock-star epic" backed by "kitschy minimal maximalism with sound effects and speech fragments", and Rolling Stone writer Kurt Loder's "a stunning synthesis of Waters's by now familiar thematic obsessions", to Melody Maker's "I'm not sure whether it's brilliant or terrible, but I find it utterly compelling." Nevertheless, the album topped the Billboard charts for 15 weeks, selling over a million copies in its first two months of sales and in 1999 was certified 23x platinum. It remains one of the best-selling albums of all time in the US, between 1979 and 1990 selling over 19 million copies worldwide. The Wall is Pink Floyd's second best selling album after 1973's The Dark Side of the Moon . Engineer James Guthrie's efforts were rewarded in 1981 with a Grammy award for Best Engineered Recording (non-classical). According to Acclaimed Music, The Wall is the 145th most ranked record on critics' all-time lists. Rolling Stone placed it at number 87 on its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list in 2003.
A 1994 digitally remastered CD version manufactured in China omits "Young Lust", but retains a composition credit for Waters/Gilmour in the booklet.The album was reissued in three versions as part of the Why Pink Floyd...? campaign, which featured a massive restoration of the band's catalogue with remasterings by producer James Guthrie: in 2011, a "Discovery" edition, featuring the remastered version with no extras; and in 2012, both the "Experience" edition, which adds a bonus disc of unreleased material and other supplementary items, and the "Immersion" version, a seven-disc collection that also adds video materials. The album was reissued under the Pink Floyd Records label on 26 August 2016 along with The Division Bell .
The Wall Tour opened at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena on 7 February 1980. As the band played, a 40-foot (12 m) wall of cardboard bricks was gradually built between them and the audience. Several characters were realised as giant inflatables, including a pig, replete with a crossed hammers logo. Scarfe was employed to produce a series of animations to be projected onto the wall. At his London studio, he employed a team of 40 animators to create nightmarish visions of the future, including a dove of peace exploding to reveal an eagle, a schoolmaster, and Pink's mother. [ clarification needed ]
For "Comfortably Numb", while Waters sang his opening verse, Gilmour waited in darkness at the top of the wall, standing on a flight case on casters, held steady by a technician, both precariously balanced atop a hydraulic platform. On cue, bright blue and white lights would suddenly illuminate him.At the end of the concert, the wall collapsed, revealing the band. Along with the songs on the album, the tour featured an instrumental medley, "The Last Few Bricks", played before "Goodbye Cruel World" to allow the construction crew to complete the wall.
During the tour, band relationships dropped to an all-time low; four Winnebagos were parked in a circle, with the doors facing away from the centre. Waters used his own vehicle to arrive at the venue, and stayed in separate hotels from the rest of the band. Wright, returning to perform his duties as a salaried musician, was the only member of the band to profit from the tour, which lost about £400,000.
A film adaptation, Pink Floyd – The Wall, was released in July 1982.It was written by Waters and directed by Alan Parker, with Bob Geldof as Pink. It used Scarfe's animations alongside actors, with little conventional dialogue. A modified soundtrack was created for some of the film's songs.
In 1990, Waters and producer Tony Hollingsworth created The Wall – Live in Berlin , staged for charity at a site once occupied by part of the Berlin Wall.Beginning in 2010 and with dates lasting into 2013, Waters performed the album worldwide on his tour, The Wall Live . This had a much wider wall, updated higher quality projected content and leading-edge projection technology. Gilmour and Mason played at one show in London at The O2 Arena. A film of the live concert, Roger Waters: The Wall , was released in 2015.
In 2016, Waters adapted The Wall into an opera, Another Brick in the Wall: The Opera with contemporary classical composer Julien Bilodeau. It premiered at Opéra de Montréal in March 2017, and was produced by Cincinnati Opera in July 2018.It is orchestrated for a score of eight soloists, 48 chorus members, and a standard 70-piece operatic orchestra.
All tracks written by Roger Waters, except where noted.
|Side one/Disc one|
|1.||"In the Flesh?"||Waters||3:16|
|2.||"The Thin Ice"||Waters, Gilmour||2:27|
|3.||"Another Brick in the Wall, Part 1"||Waters||3:21|
|4.||"The Happiest Days of Our Lives"||Waters||1:46|
|5.||" Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2 "||Waters with Gilmour||3:59|
|Side two/Disc one|
|1.||"Goodbye Blue Sky"||Gilmour||2:45|
|3.||"Young Lust" (writers: Waters, Gilmour)||Gilmour||3:25|
|4.||"One of My Turns"||Waters||3:41|
|5.||"Don't Leave Me Now"||Waters||4:08|
|6.||" Another Brick in the Wall, Part 3 "||Waters||1:18|
|7.||"Goodbye Cruel World"||Waters||1:48|
|Side three/Disc two|
|1.||"Hey You"||Gilmour, Waters||4:40|
|2.||" Is There Anybody Out There? "||Waters, Gilmour||2:44|
|5.||"Bring the Boys Back Home"||Waters||1:21|
|6.||"Comfortably Numb" (writers: Gilmour, Waters)||Gilmour, Waters||6:23|
|Side four/Disc two|
|1.||" The Show Must Go On "||Gilmour||1:36|
|2.||"In the Flesh"||Waters||4:15|
|3.||"Run Like Hell" (writers: Waters, Gilmour)||Waters, Gilmour||4:20|
|4.||"Waiting for the Worms"||Waters, Gilmour||4:04|
|6.||"The Trial" (writers: Waters, Ezrin)||Waters||5:13|
|7.||"Outside the Wall"||Waters||1:41|
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||1|
|Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)||1|
|Canada Top Albums/CDs ( RPM )||1|
|Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)||1|
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||1|
|New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)||1|
|Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)||1|
|Spanish Albums (AFE)||1|
|Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)||1|
|UK Albums (OCC)||3|
|US Billboard 200||1|
|Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)||19|
|Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)||11|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)||85|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)||81|
|Danish Albums (Hitlisten)||19|
|Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)||21|
|Italian Albums (FIMI)||13|
|Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)||9|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||29|
|Australian Albums (ARIA)||20|
|Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)||15|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)||44|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)||20|
|Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)||7|
|Danish Albums (Hitlisten)||10|
|Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)||15|
|Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)||17|
|French Albums (SNEP)||12|
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||4|
|Irish Albums (IRMA)||38|
|Italian Albums (FIMI)||4|
|New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)||14|
|Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)||10|
|Polish Albums (ZPAV)||30|
|Portuguese Albums (AFP)||10|
|Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)||15|
|Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)||13|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||8|
|UK Albums (OCC)||22|
|US Billboard 200||17|
|23 November 1979||"Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)"||UK Top 40||1|
|7 January 1980||"Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)"||US Billboard Pop Singles||1|
|9 June 1980||"Run Like Hell"||US Billboard Pop Singles||53|
|March 1980||"Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)"||Norway's single chart||1|
|Country||Certification||Sales||Last certification date||Comment||Source(s)|
|Argentina||Platinum||200,000||23 August 1999|
|Canada||2× Diamond||2,000,000||31 August 1995|
|Italy||3× Platinum||150,000||2016||sales of Parlophone edition|
|Italy||1× Platinum||50,000||2011||sales of EMI MKTG edition|
|New Zealand RMNZ||14× Platinum||210,000||29 January 2011|
|Poland||Platinum||100,000||29 October 2003|
|United Kingdom||2x Platinum||600,000||22 July 2013|
|United States RIAA||23× Platinum||11,500,000||29 January 1999|
|United States Soundscan||5,381,000||29 August 2008||Since March 1991 – August 2008|
The Dark Side of the Moon is the eighth studio album by English rock band Pink Floyd, released on 1 March 1973 by Harvest Records. Primarily developed during live performances, the band premiered an early version of the record several months before recording began. New material was recorded in two sessions in 1972 and 1973 at Abbey Road Studios in London.
Animals is the tenth studio album by English rock band Pink Floyd, released on 21 January 1977 through Harvest and Columbia Records. It was recorded at the band's Britannia Row Studios in London throughout 1976, and was produced by the band. The album continues the longform compositions that made up their previous works, including Wish You Were Here (1975). The album received positive reviews from critics and was commercially successful, reaching number 2 and 3 in the UK and US, respectively. Since its release, it has sold over 5 million copies worldwide.
Wish You Were Here is the ninth studio album by the English rock band Pink Floyd, released on 12 September 1975 through Harvest Records and Columbia Records, their first release for the latter. Based on material Pink Floyd composed while performing in Europe, Wish You Were Here was recorded over numerous sessions throughout 1975, at Abbey Road Studios in London.
Atom Heart Mother is the fifth studio album by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd. It was released by Harvest on 2 October 1970 in the UK, and by Capitol on 10 October 1970 in the US. It was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London, England, and was the band's first album to reach number 1 in the UK, while it reached number 55 in the US, eventually going gold there. A remastered CD was released in 1994 in the UK and the United States, and again in 2011. Ron Geesin, who had already influenced and collaborated with Roger Waters, contributed to the title track and received a then-rare outside songwriting credit.
Meddle is the sixth studio album by English progressive rock group Pink Floyd, released on 31 October 1971 by Harvest Records. It was produced between the band's touring commitments, from January to August 1971. The album was recorded at a series of locations around London, including Abbey Road Studios and Morgan Studios.
A Momentary Lapse of Reason is the thirteenth studio album by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd. It was released in the UK and US on 7 September 1987 by EMI and Columbia. It was recorded primarily on guitarist David Gilmour's converted houseboat, Astoria. Its production was marked by a legal dispute with former member Roger Waters, who departed in 1985, as to who owned the rights to the band's name, an issue resolved several months after the album was released.
The Division Bell is the fourteenth studio album by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd, released on 28 March 1994 by EMI Records in the United Kingdom and on 4 April by Columbia Records in the United States.
Ummagumma is the fourth album by the English rock band Pink Floyd. It is a double album and was released on 7 November 1969 by Harvest Records. The first disc consists of live recordings from concerts at Mothers Club in Birmingham and the College of Commerce in Manchester that contained part of their normal set list of the time, while the second contains solo compositions by each member of the band recorded at Abbey Road Studios. The artwork was designed by regular Floyd collaborators Hipgnosis and features a number of pictures of the band combined to give a Droste effect.
The Final Cut is the twelfth studio album by English rock band Pink Floyd, released on 21 March 1983 in the United Kingdom and on 2 April in the United States through Harvest and Columbia Records. It comprises unused material from the previous Pink Floyd record, The Wall (1979), alongside new material recorded throughout 1982.
Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd is the fourth compilation album by the English rock band Pink Floyd, released on 5 November 2001 by EMI internationally and a day later by Capitol Records in the United States. It debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 album chart on 24 November 2001, with sales of 214,650 copies. It remained on the chart for 26 weeks. The album was certified Gold, Platinum and Double Platinum on 6 December 2001 in the US by the RIAA. It was certified Triple Platinum in the US on 8 January 2002, and Quadruple Platinum on 10 September 2007.
Delicate Sound of Thunder is the first entirely live album by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd. It was recorded over five nights at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, New York in August 1988 and mixed at Abbey Road Studios in September 1988. It was released on 22 November 1988, through EMI Records in the United Kingdom and Columbia Records in the United States.
Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980–81 is a live album released by Pink Floyd in 2000. It is a live rendition of The Wall, produced and engineered by James Guthrie, with tracks selected from the August 1980 and June 1981 performances at Earls Court in London. The album was first released in The Netherlands by EMI Records on 23 March 2000, who released a limited edition in the United Kingdom on 27 March. The general release followed on 18 April 2000 with US and Canadian distribution by Columbia Records.
"Another Brick in the Wall" is a three-part composition on Pink Floyd's 1979 rock opera The Wall, written by bassist Roger Waters. "Part 2", a protest song against rigid schooling, features a children's choir. At the suggestion of producer Bob Ezrin, Pink Floyd added elements of disco.
Pink Floyd – The Wall is a 1982 British surrealist live-action/animated musical drama film directed by Alan Parker with animated segments by political cartoonist Gerald Scarfe, and is based on the 1979 Pink Floyd album of the same name. The film centers around a confined rocker named Pink, who, after being driven into insanity by the death of his father and many depressive moments during his lifetime, constructs a metaphorical wall to be protected from the world and emotional situations around him. When this coping mechanism backfires he puts himself on trial and sets himself free. The screenplay was written by Pink Floyd vocalist and bassist Roger Waters.
"Nobody Home" is a song from the Pink Floyd album The Wall. This song was one of several to be considered for the band's "best of" album, Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd.
"Run Like Hell" is a song by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd, written by David Gilmour and Roger Waters. It appears on the album The Wall. It was released as a single in 1980, reaching #15 in the Canadian singles chart as well as #18 in Sweden, but only reached #53 in the U.S. A 12" single of "Run Like Hell," "Don't Leave Me Now" and "Another Brick in the Wall " peaked at #57 on the Disco Top 100 chart in the U.S.
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