Friday, August 17, 2007

344. Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here (1975)

Track Listing

1. Shine On You Crazy Diamond
2. Welcome To The Machine
3. Have A Cigar
4. Wish You Were Here
5. Shine On You Crazy Diamond pt.2


Pink Floyd gives us a more friendly album than any that they put out before. It is not as deep as Dark Side of The Moon or as strange as Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, I can't really say that it is radio friendly except from the title track, but it is not nearly as demanding as any of their previous work.

This is all part of a slope into a certain commercialism by the part of the band, even tough Have A Cigar is ostensibly about the evils of musical success, Pink Floyd were going more and more in the direction of easily digestible music. This would culminate a some years later with The Wall. This is not me saying that it is bad, but it is certainly different.

This is a Pink Floyd album that you can actually remember all the lyrics of. It is catchy, shimmery and pretty well produced. While Pink Floyd's hallmark sound effects are not as prevalent here as in Dark Side, the shift from Have A Cigar to the title track is one of the most perfect ones ever done in music. The buzzing sound of a slightly detuned radio, changing stations until you get to Wish You Were Here, which is then built on top of the crappy radio sound with some of the clearest sounds ever put on vinyl is indeed impressive, even if the song has been ruined due to overuse and misuse.

The bookender Shine On You Crazy Diamond, ends up being the real star of the album, being both simple and beautiful and giving Pink Floyd the time they require to make themselves shine. In my opinion this is the second best Pink Floyd album, and because of that an indispensable addition to anyone's library.

Track Highlights

1. Shine On You Crazy Diamond
2. Shine On You Crazy Diamond pt.2
3. Wish You Were Here
4. Have A Cigar

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

According to drummer Nick Mason's book Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett actually turned up at the studio in the middle of a recording session on 6 June 1975, which was also the day David Gilmour married his first wife, Ginger, according to the book Saucerful of Secrets: The Pink Floyd Odyssey. Barrett hadn't been seen by any of the band members in five years. He arrived unannounced, his head completely devoid of hair (including eyebrows, as alluded to in The Wall film) and had put on so much weight that most of the band did not recognise him at first. Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley (who was a guest at Gilmour's wedding reception) mistook him for a Hare Krishna devotee. Others were close to tears at the transformation: Waters later confided that he cried. While the band were listening to a song in progress (Mason says he doesn't remember which song, but mentions some 'legends' that contend it was "Shine On You Crazy Diamond"), Barrett sat motionless; he is sometimes quoted as saying, when someone asked to play it back again, that this would be pointless as they had already just heard it. In a recent televised special on Barrett, Gilmour says that it was "Shine On" that they were recording as he showed up. In the same special, Waters says that the part of "The Wall" in which Pink's cigarrette remains unsmoked and burnt down to his fingers was exactly what Barrett did during the "Have A Cigar" sessions. He asked (despite the album being nearly complete) if there was anything he could do, and that he was available if needed. Later on, one of the band's technicians, Phil Taylor, drove past Barrett, who appeared to be looking for a lift. Avoiding an awkward situation, Taylor ducked down in the car as he passed. In a July 2006 interview with a New York City radio station before Barrett's death, Gilmour indicated that they never saw him again after that point. However, Roger Waters has said later on he almost bumped into Syd in Harrods, but did not speak to him. Echoing Barrett's presence, Wright plays a subtle refrain from "See Emily Play" in the final seconds of the album.

Shine On You Crazy Diamond, pt.1:


Anonymous said...

I really ODed on Pink Floyd when I was at Uni, and now the only album I can stand to listen to is Piper. I think from here on PF stop being about music, and start being about message. And that message is "Isn't it horrible being a rich super successful rock star"

Francisco Silva said...

Oh Uni days... dope and Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix.

And you are right about the rest of it as well.

Anonymous said...

check out the awesome animated music video of "Welcome to the Machine"