The Wall (1979)
by Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd's eleventh album titled The Wall was released on 30th November 1979.
The 80-minute-long rock opera explores isolation and abandonment, symbolised by a wall. The main character, a jaded rockstar called Pink, based on their ex-member Syd Barrett (and partly Roger Waters), had just lost his father to World War II and had begun building a metaphorical wall around himself. Listeners would go on a flashback journey with Pink from his infancy in 'In the Flesh?', to his mother raising him alone in 'The Thin Ice' and after the death of his father, he begins building the metaphorical wall (Another Brick in the Wall, Part 1).
As he grew older, Pink is tormented in school by tyrannical, abusive teachers (The Happiest Days of Our Lives), and memories of these traumas turn into the metaphorical bricks in the wall (Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2). When Pink reaches adulthood, he remembers his oppressive and overprotective mother in the track 'Mother', and his upbringing during the Blitz, the German bombing campaign, in 'Goodbye Blue Sky'. 'Empty Spaces' is about Pink's marriage and his near-completion of his wall. He toured in America and turned to a willing groupie in 'Young Lust'. Upon learning his wife's infidelity, he brought the groupie back to his hotel room, only to trash the place in a violent fit of rage, leaving the groupie terrified (One of My Turns). A depressed Pink then felt trapped in his room in 'Don't Leave Me Now', dismissing all the traumatic experiences he has ever had in (Another Brick in the Wall, Part 3). With a complete wall, he has now completed his total isolation from any human contact (Goodbye Cruel World).
In 'Act Two', aka disc 2, he questions his decisions in 'Hey You' and locking himself in the hotel room (Is There Anybody Out There?). As his depression grows stronger, he turned to his possessions for comfort in 'Nobody Home' and yearns for the idea of reconnecting with his personal music roots, British singer Vera Lynn, in 'Vera'. He flashes back to World War II when citizens were demanding soldiers to return home in 'Bring the Boys Back Home'.
Returning to the present, Pink's manager and roadies breaks into his hotel room to find a drugged and unresponsive Pink. A paramedic injects him with more drugs to enable him to perform 'Comfortably Numb', resulting in a hallucinatory on-stage performance 'The Show Must Go On' where he thinks he is a fascist dictator and that his concert is actually a Neo-Nazi rally. He exhorts his fans to show their devotion by throwing undesirables "up against the wall" in 'In The Flesh', ending the song with 'If I had my way, I'd have all of you shot!". In the next song, 'Run Like Hell', he begins attacking ethnic minorities and holds a rally in London, symbolising his descent into insanity (Waiting for the Worms). As his hallucinations stops, he begs for everything to stop (Stop). Later, he begins feeling tormented with guilt and places himself on trial (The Trial) with his inner judge ordering him to "tear down the wall", opening him up to the outside world (Outside the Wall).
The album comes into a full circle with the closing lyrics, "Isn't this where..." which completes the first lyric of the first song on the album that starts with "... we came in?", which hints a cyclical nature of Waters' theme to the album.
Deemed one of the bes-known concept albums of all times, it had sold more than 24 million copies worldwide. There's also an adapted 1982 feature film of the same name.
The Wall made it to No.1 in New Zealand, Australia, Austria, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Spain and the US. Although the band originated from the UK, it only made it to No.3 on the album charts.
- In the Flesh?
- The Thin Ice
- Another Brick in the Wall, Part 1
- The Happiest Days of Our Lives
- Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2
- Goodbye Blue Sky
- Empty Spaces
- Young Lust
- One of My Turns
- Don't Leave Me Now
- Another Brick in the Wall, Part 3
- Goodbye Cruel World
- Hey You
- Is There Anybody Out There?
- Nobody Home
- Bring the Boys Back Home
- Comfortably Numb
- The Show Must Go On
- In The Flesh
- Run Like Hell
- Waiting for the Worms
- The Trial
- Outside the Wall