After Pink Floyd's masterpiece release of Dark Side of the Moon in 1973, Pink Floyd had gotten to #1 on the charts, and had won fame and fortune. No doubt they needed a strong release after such a great album, which they most certainly did. In my opinion in surpasses not only Dark Side, but all they're albums barring only The Wall. I know the previous reviewer did an amazing review of this album, but I'm still going to try to review it. First off the band consists of:
Roger Waters: Bass and Lead Vocals
David Gilmour: Guitar and Lead Vocals
Richard Wright: Keyboard and Backing Vocals
Nick Mason: Drums and Percussion
Waters possesses a great voice with a sort of haunting sound to it (think Roger Daltrey on Behind Blue Eyes or See Me, Feel Me) as well as plenty of skill on his thumping bass. Gilmour is still recognized as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. He also had a good voice, although Waters sang most of the time. Wright is a great pianist, and proved to be essential to Floyd's progressive sound. Finally Mason kept a steady beat throughout. Anyways on to the review:
Shine on You Crazy Diamonds Part I (13:34): The album opens with an absolutely amazing song. The music starts with a haunting horn (played by Wright on his keyboard, I believe.) Its a plaintive melody and it segues into my favorite part of the song, Gilmour's fantastic solo. Although I'd say Comfortably Numb or Time have my favorite Floyd solos, this one is a real contender. Its quite lengthy with only Gilmour playing a truly signature Pink Floyd solo. Its honestly up to the works of After this, drums come in with a and the horn makes a return briefly. Vocals don't come in until a good seven minutes have past, but they are very good and show what the song is truly about. During the recording of Wish You Were Here Syd Barrent (the bands former leader) stumbled into the studio looking an utter reck. Gilmour didn't recognize him as his old friend and he asked him to leave. When Waters discovered it was Syd, he broke down in tears. The lyrics deal with the bands wish that he was still with them (as does the albums title track) around ten minutes in, a sax enters the song for a solo and then the lyrics return to finish this epic. Definitely my favorite on the album after Wish You Were Here.
Welcome to the Machine (7:38): The first of two stabs at the musical industry, Welcome to the Machine is a dark brooding song, even by Pink Floyd's standards. Some phenomenal stereo and synth effects set the scene wonderfully. Water's lyrics are eerie, but brilliant. Its also of note that Mason uses tymphany durring the bridge. Really a rather irksome song, that probably won't appeal to lesser Floyd fans, although I still love it.
Have A Cigar (5:24): After such a dark and brooding song, we get a bit more upbeat of a song with a beat more in the vein of Money. The lyrics, however, are another stab at the musical industry, with Waters singing as a manager talking to a new band leader. The chorus is truly amazing. Gilmour serves yet another great solo. With around thirty seconds left in the song, theres a whooshing noise and you get the song sounds as though its coming from a radio, before it fading into noise which segues into the next song.
Wish You Were Here: This song is truly one of the main reasons why the album is so good. One of my all time favorite Pink Floyd songs, it starts with some steel string acoustic, over radio static. Gilmour comes in with some great lead acoustic, before Waters begins to sing some amazing vocals. This is truly an amazing tribute to Syd. The lyrics come to a rousing climax with How I wish, how I wish you were here/we're just two lost souls living in a fish bowl/year after year/running over the same old ground/what have we found"/the same old fears" It segues out into radio noise ones more. Truly an amazing song.
Shine On You Crazy Diamonds Part II (12:29): Similar to the first part in its brilliant epicness, except this time with some more haunting lyrics. The guitar is a bit more upbeat. The album closes with some horn once again. If you liked the first part, you'll like this one as well.
In the end I can't recommend any album, except the Wall, over this, as far as Pink Floyd goes. Some may be turned off by the lack of tracks, or the length of Shine On but don't let that stop you, this is one of the greatest albums of all time!