Hey, You

Pink Floyd’s concept album The Wall turned 30 today. It’s an odd, ragged, emotional album. It doesn’t have the lasting musical impact of Dark Side of the Moon or the more self-contained minimalism of The Final Cut, but it’s still one of my favorite of the band’s albums.

It helps that I didn’t experience it the way so many people did. I wasn’t a particularly alienated kid, and I didn’t even hear the album until I was in college, so my reaction wasn’t one of “Yeah, man, this album totally speaks to me and my disaffected teenage life!” Instead I appreciated the album’s construction and its sprawling, self-indulgent mess of a story. Plus it has moments of gleaming beauty that I still love to listen to, most especially David Gilmour’s guitar solos in the song “Comfortably Numb”.

Thirty years on, this album’s sales numbers are still ridiculously high, so I expect I’m not the only one enjoying the album today.

3 thoughts on “Hey, You

  1. This album was verboten in my hometown when it came out in middle school, so my girlfriend and I would skulk down to the public library (!) to listen to their copy in the audio booths. Good times.

    Wasn’t until high school when my classmates would recount their stories of getting incredibly high and watching the movie. Good times.

    To finally getting my own double-cd copy after college to hear it in its high-fidelity glory. Good times.

    This album is a cultural touchstone for the generations it spans; I only hope current and future generations can match its excellence.

    So thanks for the notice, Stephen! And a special thanks to you, Scott M., Mike S., and Shawn F. for highlighting the importance of Pink Floyd and others like them; your curation of the genre made the difference. Not sure if I ever brought that up.

  2. @Paul O’Brian:
    I agree with you wholeheartedly. You should also check out Jeff Beck’s powerful work on Roger Water’s album “Amused to Death”, particularly his solo on the song “What God Wants, Part III”…now *that* is soul! I cry when I hear it.

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