Personalities | Pink Floyd | The Waters-Led Era (1979) | Key Events
With Waters and co-producer Bob Ezrin driving The Wall sessions in Los Angeles, New York and France Floyd were no longer operating as a unit. Waters later stated that only Gilmour was of any musical use with Wright and, to an extent, Mason missing in action. Whether Wright was emotionally burned out after marital problems or simply non creative became moot points when Waters engineered his removal from the Pink Floyd partnership. That this could come to pass – and that Mason and Gilmour would agree – revealed how dysfunctional Floyd had become. Amazingly, Wright became a salaried musician for The Wall performances.
‘Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)’
The last Pink Floyd single released in the UK had been ‘Point Me At The Sky’ in 1968 which had sunk without trace. The track ‘Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)’, with its sub-disco beat, guitar, funky feel, an impromptu choir of school children whose classroom was just down the road from Brittania Row, was seen as a perfect way to raise the curtain on The Wall album. Despite Waters’ caustic lyrics questioning the benefits of education, it rocketed to the top of the charts when released on 16 November. The feat was repeated in America in January 1980.
The Wall was the concept album to end all concept albums. This song-story was hatched by Roger Waters and based around the character Pink partially to reflect extremes of his own life and experiences with a sprinkling of Syd Barrett thrown in for good measure. Themes of loss, megalomania, delusion, oppression, war, paranoia and – at heart – an artist’s relationship with his audience made for a cracking four sides of vinyl. Passion, intent and fine music literally bled from the speakers with tracks like ‘Comfortably Numb’, ‘Hey, You’ and ‘Is There Anybody Out There’ becoming some of the most memorable of all Floyd’s sub-five-minute songs. Like Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, The Wall is the monumental brick in Waters’ own artistic wall.
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