I asked for some suggestions as to what should be my 200th album and I got some amazing responses… things I had shockingly never heard, like Neil Young’s Zuma, a great rock stand by like Paul Simon’s There Goes Rhymin’ Simon (thanks, Mark L.), jazz classics like Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue and Dave Brubeck’s Time Out (Patrick O.) Don’t worry… Coltrane is coming just when you want it to!
Jovana suggested I do my favorite album… Hmmm, looking back at the 200, I think I have… Beatles… Bruce… Beach Boys… all there…but what is my most cherished, most beloved, all-time favorite album??? I am going to give that some real thought… and reveal that at the very end… Day 365… In the meantime, individual songs started popping into my head, and I realized that one of, if not my most favorite song has not been covered… Jovana hinted at it… but here it is…
Pink Floyd – The Wall
“Comfortably Numb“ just does it for me. I love this song so much. From the moment I first heard it, it grabbed me and never let me go… it comforts me and torments me… warms me and chills me… and it may just be my favorite song of all time… David Gilmour and Roger Waters fought over whose song this was, with the argument apparently coming to a head in a restaurant in North Hollywood. They share credit, so I guess the song is both of theirs… I know for sure it is mine.
This record was a huge part of my musical life and my introduction to Pink Floyd. I had it on album… still do somewhere… CD and probably cassette, too… and yes, I may have to get sucked in to buying it again when all the re-releases they are doing start coming out on Sept. 26… although The Wall is not due out til 2012, and apparently in three versions… one being a 7-8 disc set. Yikes.
Why this album? What does it mean? Space rock…. progressive rock… psychedelic rock? Or all of the above…
It’s a concept album of the highest order… it is a rock opera about “abandonment and isolation”… It is autobiographical and fantastical… It is beautiful and fucked up all at the same time. That was Pink Floyd… I guess if I had to describe them and the music, it would be fucked up beauty.
“It was first conceived during the band’s 1977 In the Flesh Tour, when bassist and lyricist Roger Waters’s frustration with the spectators’ perceived boorishness became so acute that he imagined building a wall between the performers and audience… The album centers on Pink, a character based on Waters, whose father was killed during the Second World War. Pink is oppressed by his overprotective mother, and tormented at school by tyrannical, abusive teachers. Each of these traumas become metaphoric “bricks in the wall”. The protagonist eventually becomes a rock star, his relationships marred by infidelity, drug use, and outbursts of violence. As his marriage crumbles, he finishes building his wall, completing his isolation from human contact.”
That is some heavy, heavy stuff… and still the album spawned two major hit singles… “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)” and “Run Like Hell” and so many great songs that we still hear on the radio… Well, good radio that is. This album is a fricking gold mine.
It kills me that I did not see Roger Waters on this last tour doing The Wall… kills me… Especially because three out of the four Venice boys were singing back up. I did, however, see Which One’s Pink (cover band extraordinaire) do the whole album at The Canyon Club. These guys are so good… so good… and if you close your eyes… Wow… you are right there.
The Wall is about Roger, but also Syd Barrett. Heck, it is about so much… It is about the destruction of the band that was happening during the recordings, with Waters becoming almost like a dictator. It is about struggles for power… It’s about closing off and shutting out… and eventual reconnection…
But most importantly, of course, it is about amazing, deep and powerful music. Go listen… all four sides… Did you know Bruce Johnston (The Beach Boys) AND Toni Tennille sing back up? What???!!!
Richard Wright passed away… David Gilmour still plays with Nick Mason (who’ll be at the Grammy Museum real soon by the way) and Roger Waters is still trucking along… One could say The Wall was mostly Waters, but all the boys built a good one… No, a great one… and whether we scale it, paint it, or knock it down, The Wall was, is and will always be a musical masterpiece. Thanks… and thanks for reading Album #200 on Marc’s Muse: The Albums Project.
Now go tell your friends gosh darn it! Shout it from the roof!