Pink Floyd- Wish You Were Here
The ‘pioneers’ of psychedelic rock made a mark on the face of musical history with this album. This tribute to their former frontman and fallen friend, Syd Barrett, is filled with beautiful acoustic guitar melodies, stunning synthesizers, a tight rhythm section, and soothing vocals that will (if you have them) leave your groins numb. You’ve probably heard the story behind the album already. While they were in the studio, Syd paid them an uninvited visit. He was in such poor mental and physical condition that without knowing who he was, David Gilmour asked him to leave. Roger Waters heard them, and burst into tears. This became the inspiration for the two-part epic of the album, Shine On You Crazy Diamond. This mind-blowing album is nothing short of amazing.
Roger Waters- Bass, Vocals
David Gilmour- Guitars, Vocals
Richard Wright- Keyboards
Nick Mason- Percussion
Dick Parry- Tenor Saxophone (only on “Shine on")
• This 5 song masterpiece kicks off with Shine On You Crazy Diamond
. This song is broken into two parts, the alpha and omega of the album. We’ll start with parts I-VII. This song is purely amazing, and is one of my favorite songs of all time. It starts with a hypnotizing keyboard playing some calm, beautiful lines courtesy of Rick Wright. After a couple minutes of the mesmerizing keyboards that put you deep into your subconscious, (meaning you feel like you’re in a different world) the four note, catchy as hell, salvo that sets the mood for Gilmour’s spectacular guitar melodies. The guitar alone is reason to love this song. It is gorgeous. His salvos are filled with chromatic runs, hammer-on’s, pull offs, and beautiful bends that make his Stratocaster scream. This solo would probably make Eric Clapton cry, it’s so amazing.
After a few minutes of guitar orgasms, the rhythm section subtly comes in to lift the song up. Gilmour is still wailing as the song soars up to another height. The solo lasts about another 2 minutes before the melodies start to fade out. Rick keeps the flow of the song with some more hypnotic keys. After the keyboards do their thing, just before the seven-minute mark, Roger Waters begins to sing. The homage to Syd Barrett is carried by his voice, and a track of Syd laughing just as the voices begin. Between each line, Waters and a background singer chant the title. The ‘chorus’ is a lightly faster paced tribute with Roger’s lyrics waving a clock in your eyes. After another guitar interlude, verse, and chorus, Dick Parry comes in with the sax.
The sax solo is a beautiful, jazzy piece of music. Being a saxophonist, I can tell you that Dick Parry manhandles his Tenor Sax with aplomb, running up and down scales, jumping through keys and giving the overall mood of the song a nice, jazzy lift. After the sax solo, for about a minute, the guitar and drums duke it out within a slow groove. The vocals come back in with indirect tales of Syd’s mental illness. After the beautiful verse and chorus, they give the final verse and chorus with such emotion, that you could break down listening to this song. The keyboards end this 13 minute epic.
is, much like its older brother, a very cool song, with more numbing guitar melodies and chilling vocals. The overall feel of the song is darker, as the guitar melodies are somewhat more depressing and will send shivers down your spine. This is a very well executed continuation of the first parts, but I still seem to like the first better.
• The album moves into a haunting, dark stage with Welcome to the Machine
. This was Pink Floyd’s attack on the British and American music industries. This tale of lies and deception takes its place as the darkest song on the album. The song starts with some eerie electronic synth sounds, made to simulate ‘the machine’. The noises are quite freaky, and let you know just how scary the mood is. Gilmour comes in with some classical sounding guitar licks right before he chants the infamous line “Welcome my son, to the machine". He sings that a couple of times before the chilling synthesizers drive the song. I really like the guitar lines in this song; they almost have a feel that reminds me of Chic Corea’s music. It sounds almost like Latin jazz. The mood changes about 4 minutes in, and gets even darker and slower than before, with haunting chords and viscous electronic sounds that feel as if they were about to attack you. Very cool song.
• Taking its as the bluesiest track on the record, Have A Cigar
is more upbeat than the other songs and bears a resemblance to “Dogs" off of the later album, Animals. The song immediately kicks off with an acoustic/electric blend of a very bluesy main riff. The drums have no frills, just straight up, in-your-face, blues-rock beats. The song is sung by guest Roy Harper, whose voice closely resembles Waters’. The choruses are a bit playful, with lyrics like “We’re gonna ride the gravy train". The guitar solo in this is one of David Gilmour’s most awesome, in-your-face solos he’s ever done. It just sounds amazing. He uses some screams and screeches to define the bright tone of his Stratocaster. The solo just screams with attitude. The solo fades out to end this cool song.
• The moment has arrived. Possibly the most popular Pink Floyd song to date, Wish You Were Here
is everything and more than what you’d expect from the monarchs of soft rock. There is no set ‘structure’ to this 5 minute classic, but then again, why limit the creativity of Pink Floyd? Starts with some television static and mumbling for a few seconds and bubbles up into a magical acoustic riff. This song is so mellow and soothing. You’ll find yourself getting this one into your head for hours. The astonishing riff churns into an acoustic solo from Gilmour that leave you longing to pick up an acoustic. It gently sweeps along the steel strings to give you that sense of nirvana. Gilmour comes in with some gentle, but heartfelt vocals, paying tribute to the genius that started this magnificent band. One of the lyrics especially, is astounding, probably one of the most intriguing lyrics I’ve ever heard. “Did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?" That lyric is so emotional that it makes me love them even more.
After the first half of the song, the riff comes back in, with Waters and Gilmour both dueling on their acoustics. The next part features some warm lyrics that help levitate the song. “How I wish, how I wish you were hear. We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl year after year. Running over the same old ground, and how we found the same old fears. I wish you were here."
The ending section is the main riff and Gilmour gently humming a counter-melody to fit in with the guitar line. This song is nothing short of mind-blowing.
Shine on You Crazy Diamond (parts 1-7) [5/5]
Welcome to the Machine- [4/5]
Have a Cigar- [4/5]
Wish You Were Here- [5/5]
Shine on You Crazy Diamond (parts 8-13) [4.5/5]
This epic masterpiece and tribute to a fallen idol is stunning.
I highly recommend this album. It is not perfect in every way, shape or form, but
pretty damn close. [4.5/5]
Hope you guys enjoy it. Feedback, positive or negative (constructive criticism) is always welcome. Enjoy!!! :thumb: