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The Wall

Release date: November 30, 1979

Highest Chart Position: US 1 | UK 3


Acclaimed as the greatest concept rock album of all time, The Wall may never have been recorded if not for Pink Floyd's major financial trouble at the time. During the production of The Wall Waters took much creative control of the band and little material from other members (Gilmour gets three co-writing credits) was brougt in. Waters presented the demo's of "Bricks In The Wall" (later known as "The Wall") and "The Pros And Cons Of Hitch-Hiking" to the rest of the band who opted, naturally, to record "The Wall".
The band recieved a large advance from their record company which brought their finances out of the red. The demos, however, were an "unlistenable...shitty mess" recalls Gilmour, so Bob Ezrin (the albums main producer) was brought in to shape Waters story into a state feasable for an album. Ezrin did major reworkings of Waters demo tape (enough material was available for the album to have been three records long!) and Waters was happy to let him saying, "You can do whatever you want just don't expect credit for it.' Ezrin also had to play the job of the mediator between Waters and Gilmour and has stated that his goal was to make The Wall "a Pink Floyd album not a Waters solo album." Many scenes from "The Wall" represent actual events in Waters life (reference to Syd Barrett, the loss of Waters father in the war).

During the recording of the album Waters became unsatisfied with the effort Rick Wright (keyboardest and band member since Pink Floyd conception) was putting into the group and asked for him to leave the band or else Waters would scrap the entire project. The general assumption is that Rick Wright's Cocaine addiction combined with Waters' control creatively of the group lead to very little material surfacing from Wright. Rumours suggest that when Waters spoke with Gilmour about Wright "leaving" the group Gilmour replied with "Might as well get rid of Nick too;" showing how little drummer Nick Mason (who had been with the group since its conception and is the only Pink Floyd member to have played on every album) was putting into The Wall. At the time, Waters had all the copy's of the master tapes and claimed that if Wright didn't go he would re-record all the material as a solo album. Wright agreed to leave for fear of being unable to pay off the bands massive debts without the release of The Wall. Wright was, however, brought on to play The Wall tour and was payed a fee, making Wright the only band member to make any money off of the expensive live show.

"The Wall" is hugely impressive as a construction job, and there are some excellent songs lurking in the morass (notably "Comfortably Numb" and the sparkling cock-rock parody "Young Lust"). The band went tho the south of France in 1978, after the loss of 2 millions of pounds in investments, to record a double concept album which proved to be their Rogerest project yet. While there, the Pink Floyd Mark two partnership finally started to dissolve.

David Gilmour: "I still think some of the music is incredibly naff, but The Wall is conceptually brilliant. At the time I thought it was Roger listing all the things that can turn a person into an isolated human being. I came to see it as as one of the luckiest people in the world issuing a catalogue of abuse and bile against people who'd never done anything to him. Roger was taking more and more of the credits. In the songbook for this album against Comfortably Numb it says Music by Gilmour and Waters. It shouldn't. He did the lyrics. I did the music. I kept finding hundreds of little things like that. Shouldn't bitch, but one does feel unjustly done."

Nick Mason: "The recording was very tense, mainly because Roger was starting to go a bit mad. This was the record when he fell out badly with Rick. Rick has a natural style, a very specific piano style, but he doesn't come up with pieces easily, or to order. Which is a problem when other people are worrying about who did what and who should get the credit. There was even talk of Roger and Dave elbowing me out and carrying on as a duo. There were points during The Wall when Roger and Dave were really carrying the thing. Rick was useless, and I wasn't very much help to anyone either."

David Gilmour: "Generally Nick worked hard and played well on The Wall. He even worked out a way of reading music for the drums. But there was one track called Mother which he really didn't get. So I hired Jeff Porcaro to do it. And Roger latched on to this idea, the way he always did with my ideas, and began to think, is Nick really necessary?"

During the sessions for The Wall, Richard Wright was basically forced out of Pink Floyd.

Rick Wright: "Roger came up with the whole album on a demo, which everyone felt was potentially very good but musically very weak. Very weak indeed. Bob [Ezrin], Dave and myself worked on it to make it more interesting. But Roger was going through a big ego thing at the time, saying that I wasn't putting enough in, although he was making it impossible for me to do anything. The crunch came when we all went off on holiday towards the end of the recording. A week before the holiday was up I got a call from Roger in America, saying come over immediately. Then there was this band meeting in which Roger told me he wanted me to leave the band. At first I refused. So Roger stood up and said that if I didn't agree to leave after the album was finished, he would walk out then and there and take the tapes with him. There would be no album, and no money to pay off our huge debts. So I agreed to go. I had two young kids to support. I was terrified. Now I think I made a mistake. It was Roger's bluff. But I really didn't want to work with this guy anymore."

David Gilmour: "We had a studio in the south of France where Rick was staying. There rest of us had rented houses 20 miles away. We'd all go home at night, and we'd say to Rick, Do what you like, here all these tracks, write something, play a solo, put some stuff down. You've got all evening every evening to do it. All the time we were there, which was several months, he did nothing. He just wasn't capable of playing anything."

It is rumoured to be the biggest-selling double CD set of all time (over 750,000 in the U.K. alone).

The live shows for The Wall were from 07/02/1980 to 06/17/1981. The movie was released on 07/14/1982, and Roger Waters' Berlin Show was on 06/21/1990.

Produced By:
Bob Ezrin
David Gilmour
Roger Waters

Co-Produced And
Engineered By:
James Guthrie

Sleeve Design:
Gerald Scarfe
Roger Waters

Orchestra Arranged By:
Michael Kamen
Bob Ezrin

Recorded At:
Super Bear Studios - Miravel, France
Producers Workshop - Los Angeles
C.B.S. - New York

 Other Engineers:
Nick Griffiths
Patrice Quef
Brian Christian
John Maclure
Rick Hart

Sound Equipment:
Phil Taylor

Backing Vocals:
Bruce Johnston
Toni Tennille
Joe Chemay
John Joyce
Stan Parker
Jim Haas
Islington Green School
Fourth Form Music Class

Other Musicians:
Jeff Porcaro - Drums on Mother
Lee Ritenour - Rhythm Guitar on One Of My Turns

Album Tracks:

Disc One:
 In the Flesh
Time: 3:17 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: Roger Waters

 The Thine Ice
Time: 2:28 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: Roger Waters and David Gilmour

 Another Brick In the Wall (part 1)
Time: 3:41 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: Roger Waters

 The Happiest Days of Our Lives
Time: 1:19 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: Roger Waters

 Another Brick In the Wall (part 2)
Time: 3:56 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: Roger Waters

Time: 5:32 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: Roger Waters and David Gilmour

 Goodbye Blue Sky
Time: 2:48 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: David Gilmour and Roger Waters

 Empty Spaces
Time: 2:07 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: Roger Waters

 Young Lust
Time: 3:29 | Written By: Waters, Gilmour
Vocals By: Davide Gilmour

 One of My Turns
Time: 3:36 | Written By: Waters, Gilmour
Vocals By: Roger Waters

 Don't Leave Me Now
Time: 4:22 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: Roger Waters

 Another Brick In the Wall (part 3)
Time: 1:17 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: Roger Waters

 Goodbye Cruel World
Time: 1:05 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: Roger Waters

Disc Two:

 Hey You
Time: 4:39 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: David Gilmour and Roger Waters

 In There Anybody Out There?
Time: 2:40 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: Roger Waters and David Gilmour

 Nobody Home
Time: 3:25 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: Roger Waters

Time: 1:38 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: Roger Waters

 Bring the Boys Back Home
Time: 0:50 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: Roger Waters

 Comfortably Numb
Time: 1:05 | Written By: Gilmour, Waters
Vocals By: Roger Waters and David Gilmour

 Goodbye Cruel World
Time: 6:49 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: Roger Waters

 The Show Must Go On
Time: 1:36 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: David Gilmour

 In the Flesh?
Time: 4:16 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: Roger Waters

 Run Like Hell
Time: 4:22 | Written By: Gilmour, Waters
Vocals By: Roger Waters and David Gilmour

 Waiting For the Worms
Time: 3:56 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: Roger Waters and David Gilmour

Time: 0:34 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: Roger Waters

 The Trial
Time: 5:16 | Written By: Waters, Ezrin
Vocals By: Roger Waters

 Outside the Wall
Time: 1:42 | Written By: Waters
Vocals By: Roger Waters

"Even the songs that Roger supposedly wrote by himself, it's never the full story. You can never say exactly what happened when that record was made. The whole ending part of 'Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2),' he didn't write the guitar solo or the chords in that section. He didn't make up the drum parts, the rhythm. I'm not going to abandon something I've worked really hard on, or feel I had something major to do with, just because it says Roger wrote it. Life is too short." - David Gilmour

"It started because Roger and I didn't get on. There was a lot of antagonism during "The Wall" and he said either you leave or I'll scrap everything we've done and there wont' be an album. Normally I would have told him just to get lost, but at that point we had to earn the money to pay off the enormous back-taxes we owed. Anyway, Roger said that if I didn't leave he would re-record the material. I couldn't afford to say no, so I left." -Rick Wright

"I liked Roger's story line. Although I didn't totally agree with it you've got to let a chap have his vision. I just had a different view of our relationship with olur audience than Roger did. Roger didn't like touring. An he felt there was a no connection between him and the audience that was in front of him. I had a different view of it; I still do. And my view of "The Wall" itself is about is more jaundiced today than it was then. It appears now to be a catalogue of people Roger blames for his own failings in life, a list of "you fucked me up this way, you fucked me up that way." -David Gilmour