It’s been a pretty productive day. I got lots accomplished and HRH more or less scoured the entire kitchen. You know, maybe this Catholic School Board lock out ain’t so bad. So after yoga tonight, we whipped up some chicken, bacon lime ranch salad and we’re listening to ‘The Wall‘ by Pink Floyd.
As you can tell by the huge water mark on the front cover, this album has clearly seen some better days. It’s also loaded with snaps, crackles and pops and it skips like a mofo but since we fished this out of a flea market bin for $2.00 (which has been callously scrawled across the back cover in magic marker) we’re not really sweating it.
We’re just chalking this up as being our “starter copy” until we can find a better copy somewhere else.
This was actually the first Floyd album I was ever exposed to back in high school and at the time I thought, ‘meh’.
I clearly didn’t get it.
Of course, I’ve had the benefit of many years and buttloads of drugs to teach me that this is actually a very important and incredible album even if it doesn’t necessarily sound like it at the moment.
It’s not my favorite Pink Floyd album, per se, but it’s still very good.
Released in 1979, ‘The Wall‘ was Roger Waters’ crowning accomplishment in the Floyd. It documented the rise and fall of a rock star (named Pink Floyd), based on Waters’ own experiences and the tendencies he’d observed in people around him. By then, the bassist had firm control of the group’s direction, working mostly alongside David Gilmour and bringing in producer Bob Ezrin as an outside collaborator. Drummer Nick Mason was barely involved, while keyboardist Rick Wright seemed to be completely out of the picture. It also marked the last time Waters and Gilmour would work together as equal partners. Still, ‘The Wall‘ was a mighty, sprawling affair, featuring 26 songs with vocals: nearly as many as all previous Floyd albums combined.
The story revolves around the fictional Pink Floyd’s isolation behind a psychological wall. The wall grows as various parts of his life spin out of control, and he grows incapable of dealing with his neuroses.
The album opens by welcoming the unwitting listener to Floyd’s show (‘In the Flesh?‘), then turns back to childhood memories of his father’s death in World War II (‘Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 1‘), his mother’s over protectiveness (‘Mother‘), and his fascination with and fear of sex (‘Young Lust‘). By the time ‘Goodbye Cruel World‘ closes the first disc, the wall is built and Pink is trapped in the midst of a mental breakdown.
On disc two, the gentle acoustic phrasings of ‘Is There Anybody Out There?‘ and the lilting orchestrations of ‘Nobody Home‘ reinforce Floyd’s feeling of isolation. When his record company uses drugs to coax him to perform (‘Comfortably Numb‘), his onstage persona is transformed into a homophobic, race-baiting fascist (‘In the Flesh‘). In ‘The Trial‘, he mentally prosecutes himself, and the wall comes tumbling down.
This ambitious concept album was an across-the-board smash, topping the Billboard album chart for 15 weeks in 1980. The single ‘Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2‘ was the country’s best-seller for four weeks and you’ve likely heard it on the radio ad nauseum. The album would goon to spawned an elaborate stage show (so elaborate, in fact, that the band was able to bring it to only a few cities) and a full-length film which, if memory serves me correctly totally freaked me out one evening while babysitting after seeing the Floyd character shave off his nipples in the shower.
That gave me the heebie-jeebies for about a month.
There will be no shaving of nipples this evening however, no sir.
Instead, it’s just another quiet Hump Day evening with some heady vinyl.