Pink Floyd
The Wall


4.5
superb

Review

by BirdsOfFires USER (5 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 75 replies


Release Date: 1979 | Tracklist


Ten years after the first conceptual art album (The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper), Roger Waters took it upon himself to create the masterpiece that is The Wall. It's the story of a burnt out rock star named Pink, and the "wall" he has built around his emotions, resulting in depression and "numb-ness". The Wall's first disc revolves around Pink's isolation, his mother's overprotectiveness ("Mother"), and his fascination with sex ("Young Lust"). Disc 2 continues with the theme of isolation and depression, ("Comfortably Numb"), but culminates in his own self-trial ("The Trial") in which the wall is finally broken down. (See the track analysis for more plot details.)
Although this album isn't the song order featured on the movie, it still holds together well.

Musicially, The Wall is a trimuph. Although non-genre fans may not be converted by this album, (it's no Kind Of Blue) but it certainly succeds where it tries, and has some completely genius moments (See "Comfortably Numb", "Run Like Hell", "Hey You"). At this point in Floyd's carrer, Waters had almost complete creative control of the band, working somewhat with Gilmour, whereas Mason and Wright were almost left out entirely. Gilmour's guitar playing is stunning as always, and Waters' and Gilmour's voices are at their all time high point.
Throughout the album there are various repeated phrases or themes, such as "ooooooo babe" and "Is there anybody out there"
Disc 2 is a better standalone, disc 1 can't really suffice, but it's best to think of The Wall as one song, sort of an enlongated piece such as "Shine On You Crazy Diamond".
The Wall is an amazing album, and it's really a journey. It succeeds where countless "story-albums" have failed, and it really rocks.


Track by Track:
Disc 1

In The Flesh
The Wall starts out with one of the most recognized entries ever. The main guitar riff is really quite epic. "So ya thought ya'd like to go to the show..." You know the lyrics. This song is a classic. Although it doesn't have the compositional depth of "Comfortably Numb" or others, it's still a classic.
7/10

The Thin Ice
The Wall's first flashback, this is a mellower song, with piano at first. The lyrics are also excellent, possibly my favorite on the album. It's short, but interesting.
7/10

Another Brick In The Wall (Part 1)
Although it's really an intro to the school themed part of The Wall, (ANBITW pt 1, 2 &3, HDOOL) this is still an interesting song. It begins the feel of the radio-friendly "Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2). Waters' voice is especially strong on this. Gilmour's acoustic work is also interesting. Not particularly strong though.
6/10

The Happiest Days Of Our Lives
This begins where ABITW pt. 1 ends and continues. It's a much more interesting song, and has that real 70s disco feel. Waters' voice is absolutely awesome on this, from the low growl to the almost Aretha Franklin disco scream. I really like this song, despite it's filler qualty. (It leads straight into...)
7/10

Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)
This was/is a huge hit. It's probably the least "Pink Floyd" Pink Floyd song ever. That aside, it's actually a pretty cool song. Definitely catchy, and Gilmour's guitar solo just plain screams. The group singing is also particularly interesting. This song is extremely 70s, but it's also fairly timeless, due to extreme radio overplay. Meh, I like it. Certainly not The Wall's strongest point.
8/10

Mother
One of the strongest songs on The Wall. Acoustic, and low-key, it has an almost Wish You Were Here-esque quality. I absolutely love this song. It breaks me down to tears almost every time I hear it, it's themed around Pink's (fictional character in the movie, there is no one named Pink Floyd) mother's paranoia. It's a very moving song, and one of my favorites on this album. As it breaks into a more rocking section, Gilmour takes an absolutely stunning guitar solo. One of the strongest moments on the album.
8.5/10

Goodbye Blue Sky
This is my personal feel-bad song. Every time I hear it I get really depressed or start crying. Well, I guess The Wall isn't a real "happy" album. However, this song is absolutely brilliant. Waters' skill at conveying paranoia and fear and depression shines again. Gimour's acoustic work is once again brilliant. The movie section that goes with this is nothing short of disturbing. This could turn an army general into a pacifist. The chorus is spine tingling.
8/10

Empty Spaces
This song isn't much, about a minute and forty seconds of synthesier and then Waters' creepy-man voice singing for a few seconds. It's really an intro to "Young Lust". It's important in the movie, but in my opinion should have been combined to form one track with "Young Lust".
3/10

Young Lust
The most rocking song on The Wall. Gilmour sings this one, it's quite Gilmour-esque, almost reeks of "Have A Cigar". I like this song, it's quite catchy, but doesn't really represent the intellectual side of Floyd that I love so much. Works great in the move however, and here it's a nice break from the mealoncholy of "Mother" and "Goodbye Blue Sky". This song succeeds, (what Floyd song doesn't?) and is radio friendly, with a nice solo, but it doesn't compare to some of the compositional genius on this album.
6/10

One Of My Turns
This song is interesting, but it's really not all that exciting, and there's not much I can say about it. The lyrics are descriptive. Waters sings again. It turns into something similar to "Young Lust" and it's about as catchy. Humours lyrics at parts, very political. Musically, it's fairly weak, however.
5/10

Don't Leave Me Now
This song, in parts, almost sounds like something off of DSOTM. It's a good song, not a great one. It has some really nice drum work, and good key work courtesy of Wright. The lyrics are also a strong point.
7/10

Another Brick In The Wall (Part 3)
The third part of ABITW, it's really not all that special. It was important in the movie, and the lyrics are interesting, but as I've said before, musicially, the first disc just doesn't really shine like the second one does.
5/10

Goodbye Cruel World
This is mostly vocal work, and although it sounds like it, it's not a suicide note. It's a note of regression, Pink plans to simply check out of life. It's an actually pretty decent conclusion.
6/10


user ratings (3965)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
BirdsOfFires
November 29th 2003


92 Comments


Disc 2

Hey You
I absolutely love this song. Arguably The Wall's strongest point, with the obvious exception of "Comfortably Numb", this song really shines. The lyrics are genius, the key changes are lovely, and Waters' voice is strong and pure. Excellent drum work and a great feeling of moving foreward. This is the beginning of disc 2, which this song represents perfectally: much more refined and intelligent than disc 1, and certainly a great stand-along album. Once again, the lyrics of this song are absolutely genius.
9/10

Is There Anybody Out There
Another sort of filler track. The guitar line almost sounds like the James Bond theme. Not particularly note-worthy.
4/10

Nobody Home
Beginning with an almost jazz piano line, this is a pretty neat song. Returning to the theme of childhood, Waters sings this song. It's not amazing, but it stands out above many others. This is almost jazz.
6.5/10

Vera
This song is very very short, and it's definitely sweet. It sounds almost like a ballad. It could have been a fully devoloped wonderful song, but Waters & co. decided to cut it short. It's about Pink's estranged girlfriend, Vera.
6/10

Bring The Boys Back Home
Returning to the theme of anti-war (Pink's father was killed in World War II), this song is basically exactly what the title says. It's not too great, but interesting.
4/10.

Comfortably Numb
Easily the best song on The Wall and arguably the best Pink Floyd song ever, this is a masterpiece. I've heard it 1000 times, but I get chills every time I hear the intro. This song is about depression, and feeling detached from the world. This song uses a combination of basic key and chord changes and a strong melody and orchestral arrangements to make a truly classic song. Gilmour's solo follows the first verse. The solo is like an electric dream of fire. The lyrics of "Comfortably Numb" are nothing short of astonishing. Waters uses simple wording and a basic story, but he truly gets the point across. This song is pure genius.
10/10

The Show Must Go On
Not too much to say about this one. Interesting but not stunning. Revisits some old themes.
4/10

In The Flesh
Almost indentical to the first version, but this one has different lyrics, it's good but the first is beter because it's an ideal beginning. I like this one because it has fun racial slogans though. Heh.
6/10

Run Like Hell
Another classic. This has an un-Floyd like quality, but it's a most excellent song. Gilmour sings this one, I think he wrote it too. This song really feels like running. You basicially have to hear it to know what I mean.
8/10

Waiting For The Worms
This is a really fun song. It almost sounds like a bad Jackson-5 sing along. I think (hope) that's what Waters intended. It's really difficult to describe this song.
7/10

Stop
This is a theactrical element more than anything. It's a nice effect for the album, but as a single song it's nothing.
2/10

The Trial
This isn't really that cool without the animation sequence that goes with it, so I'm not going to go into depth. See the movie. It's a cool song.
7/10

Outside The Wall
A fitting conclusion. What can I say?
5/10


Phew, that took forever.
Bottom line is: The Wall is a masterpiece, and a must have for any Floyd or rock fan. It's certainly not Floyd's finest work, (That title belongs to Animals) but it's well worth owning as a single album. There's some pretty great songs on it, also. The movie of The Wall is excellent, also. I'd say this almost trancends genres, but not quite, because some may be scared away by the more rock songs.
9.3/10
or
4.65/5

I'm going to sleep, it's 4 am. Da[i][/i]mn.

:thumb:

Led_Zep_Bonham
November 29th 2003


16 Comments


I don't really agree with your opinions at all, except for the greatness of the Wall.

Ten years after the first conceptual art album (The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper), Roger Waters took it upon himself to create the masterpiece that is The Wall.




BirdsOfFires
November 29th 2003


92 Comments


How, exactly, is that wrong?

Sgt. Pepper was the first concept album on a major record label.

Kaden
November 29th 2003


222 Comments


Hmm...sounds pretty cool, I only own Animals and Dark Side of the Moon, would you recommend this as a next Floyd album?

BirdsOfFires
November 29th 2003


92 Comments


Get Wish You Were Here first, than this.

robnathanson
November 29th 2003


93 Comments


I'd recommend this over Dark Side of the Moon anyday (I own both)

BirdsOfFires
November 29th 2003


92 Comments


Oh, me too. My Pink Floyd order goes like this:

Animals
Piper At The Gates Of Dawn.
WYWH
The Wall
DSOTM
Obscurred by Clouds
Atom Heart Mother

Jigglypuff
November 29th 2003


31 Comments


Originally posted by Led_Zep_Bonham
I don't really agree with your opinions at all, except for the greatness of the Wall.






What's so great about it?

I didn't like The Wall that much, actually. There's nothing to it - it's just 81 minutes of bitch-fest. I also don't see the appeal of "Comfortably Numb". It doesn't sound special to me, just another mid-tempo Floyd tune.

I consider 1973-79 to be the Floyd's high point. While The Wall is fine if you're feeling really down, I don't think it's as good as, say, Animals. 4/5 stars from me.

Jigglypuff
November 29th 2003


31 Comments


Originally posted by BirdsOfFires
How, exactly, is that wrong?

Sgt. Pepper was the first concept album on a major record label.


Marvin Gaye's What's Goin' On is a concept album about the Vietnam War, isn't it? It was released earlier than Sgt. Pepper.

Zappa
November 29th 2003


355 Comments


And "Freak Out!" by The Mothers of Invention (what LZB was hinting at) was released in 1966. It was a big influence on "Sgt. Pepper's"

Frodo
November 29th 2003


17 Comments


Good review.

What can you say about The Wall, its a classic. Its my 4th favorite Floyd record behind DSOTM, Animals, and WYWH.

BirdsOfFires
November 30th 2003


92 Comments


Originally posted by Zappa
And "Freak Out!" by The Mothers of Invention (what LZB was hinting at) was released in 1966. It was a big influence on "Sgt. Pepper's"


Yeah, that slipped my mind when I was writing the review. Dammit, I feel dumb now becuase I've listened to Freak Out! alot.

manuscriptreplica
December 14th 2003


431 Comments


I cant believe i missed this thread!!! wow another awesome review BoF. the wall is my FAVOURITE floyd album no doubt there are so many classics like:
In The Flesh
The Happiest Days Of Our Lives
Another Brick In The Wall (Part II)
Mother
Don't Leave Me Now
Hey You (Fav. song off album)
Is There Anybody Out There?
Comfortably Numb
The Trial, and
Outside the Wall

i could listen to it for years and still love it 5/5

my pink floyd CD rating thing (havent heard wish you were here, but i dont like the actual song wish you were here that much)
The wall
piper at the gates of dawn
dark side of the moon
momentary lapse of reason
animals
division bell

again excellent review dude

moderaterock222
December 14th 2003


121 Comments


great review. i pretty much agree with all your comments..my favourite song for some reason is mother though

FUNKNBASS
December 15th 2003


1 Comments


I love this cd and simply cant stop listening to to it from time to time.

PinkFloyd
December 16th 2003


24 Comments


Good review. I like your Animals one better.

I agree with most of you're views but here's where I see faults:

Comfortably Numb: You mentioned something about the 1st solo, but I didn't hear much dept about the genius and monstrocity of the 2nd.

Outside The Wall and Goodbye cruel world: If anything, both deserve atleast 8... I think you missunderstand the purpose of those two songs. They are not meant to be the pound for pound best songs on The Wall. They are meant to be an ending to each disk. Goodbye Cruel World was the 1st song to actually send me to tears. And Outside The Wall is an absolutely stunning ending that leaves you to think what the next chapter in Pink's life holds. Anyways good job in all, and sorry for posting a my own 2nd review of the wall (took me 2 hours and I think it got deleted :upset: )

BirdsOfFires
December 16th 2003


92 Comments


You could have posted it in here

manuscriptreplica
December 17th 2003


431 Comments


[QUOTE=PinkFloyd]took me 2 hours and I think it got deleted :upset:[/QUOTE]


to avoid this, simply type up the review on a word processor (i.e. i use word, save it, and if the post gets deleted, i still have the review)

PinkFloyd
December 17th 2003


24 Comments


^ would the review be my review or a different one?

Lucifer Sam
December 17th 2003


1 Comments


Every single Pink Floyd song in my opinion is pure genius, if anything pink floyd is a band that nobody can top, nobody can sound like them, nor come close, Pink Floyd is the best band that has ever exsisted in my opinion when it comes to originality and great emotion-filled vocals and instrumentals



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