My First Time Listening to Pink Floyd's "The Wall"

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by raq0915, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, England
    For better or worse, its the cornerstone of my Pink Floyd fandom and what I subconsciously measure their other work by; the first album of theirs that came out after I was born, and the one that got played so much during my infancy that its just ┬░there┬░ in the same way an actual wall, or a limb, or a parent is.

    When I was old enough to understand albums, this was (and still is, along with The White Album) the model for how double albums should be constructed. I felt shortchanged coming across Blonde On Blonde, or something that only had four or five standard songs per side.
     
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  2. papatwo

    papatwo Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Easley, SC, USA
    I'll never forget the first time hearing this album with a Vietnam vet buddy. When the helicopter arrived, he started crying and shaking. Brought back some vivid memories for him.
     
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  3. jeffd7030

    jeffd7030 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hampden, ME
    I really like Pink Floyd but hardly ever listen to The Wall (or Final Cut). I try, but dont like it.
     
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  4. Ron Stone

    Ron Stone Offending Member

    Location:
    Deep Maryland
    Pink Floyd was responsible for some of the best sound effects records ever released and THE WALL was veritable headphone theater.

    Musically and thematically? Er, no thank you, I don't need to be harangued by Roger Waters about how much smarter and deeper he is than everybody else.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  5. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    Being 12 at the time...
    I recall seing "We don't need no education!" written on quite a few school desks!
    I didn't hear the entire album, but I did read reviews in a few magazines...
    One of the teachers of my school asked ME what it meant...ME!
    I told her that this had nothing to do with her, or our school system.
    It was about Roger and HIS experience when he was a child, after WWII.
    She nodded, and said, "Do you think any of the kids writing it on the desk know that?"
    I smiled, and said, "Probably not...."
     
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  6. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, England
    That's a strange perspective. I don't see it like that at all. He's a master storyteller . I don't consider Blood On The Tracks as Dylan telling everyone how he's better than everyone else at going through a divorce, or Let's Get It On as Marvin Gaye confirming how he's much better at sex than everyone else (even though he probably was). Same with The Wall.
     
  7. nojmplease

    nojmplease Forum Resident

    Location:
    DC
    Over time, I've come to enjoy the live 1980-81 performance on Is There Anybody Out There more than the studio release. The audience noise helps balance out some of the claustrophobia and darkness of the album, and the extended solos + "bonus" non-album tracks are pleasant improvements too. They had some stellar backing musicians on that tour (e.g. Snowy White) and it really pays off.

    It's a travesty they haven't released a remastered version of the live concert film from that tour.
     
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  8. Sytze

    Sytze Forum Resident

    Let me add that I'd love to see a vinyl release of this. Strange there wasn't one in the first place.
     
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  9. peteham

    peteham Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simcoe County
    That is some serious projection.
     
  10. The Bishop

    The Bishop Forum Resident

    Location:
    England.
    The Wall, (along withThe Final Cut.), is my least played Floyd album these days, though I still enjoy a bunch of songs on there. But saying that, I just can't bear the thought of The Trial anymore. I first heard the album, when BBC Radio 1, did a two hour special, with Roger Waters, talking us through the album. Of course, I bought the album on day of release, and mine is quite rare, because David Gilmour is listed first on the producer credits, rather than Waters. The Wall, held great meaning for me back in the day, but it's not a record I'll automatically reach for, when I want to listen to Pink Floyd.
     
  11. penguinzzz

    penguinzzz Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Charlton, London
    Actually the revised version listed the producers alphabetically so Ezrin was first. Not quite sure how Gilmour got listed first originally anyway.
     
  12. The Bishop

    The Bishop Forum Resident

    Location:
    England.
    Ah, right, cheers: that's memory for you.
     
  13. Thesmellofvinyl

    Thesmellofvinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cohoes, NY USA
    I was 16 when it came out and had heard Dark Side of the Moon and I can't recall what else. I think I bought Meddle and Animals after The Wall; might have been before - anyway, those four albums blur into one memory of playing Pink Floyd records in my bedroom. I can remember having read 1984 and thinking of that novel on the "you have revealed your deepest fear" line; reading along with the lyrics, seeing the images on the sleeve play in my head. I liked it quite a bit.
     
  14. The_Windmill

    The_Windmill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Italy
    Overhead an albatross hang motionless upon the air.
     
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  15. The_Windmill

    The_Windmill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Italy
    Definitely a lukewarm experience.
    It was before TDSOTM, a guy lent me a cassette (and the abrupt cut at the end ad me wonder if they hadn't screwed up with the tapes :D ) and I listened to the whole thing multiple times before deciding to buy the CD to improve a little (the tape was kind of muffled).
    None of us was very good at reading/understanding english at the time and musically the album doesn't stand up on its own from beginning to end.
    I needed a missing piece, that came in the shape of a re-run of the Water's live show in Berlin, on the anniversary of that wall's fall.
    Every song had an introduction by the speaker, and subtitles were telling the essence of the story.
    Only then the album grabbed me and remained my favourite Floyd for a long time.

    Anyway, as other have mentioned, it was all about the theme of incommunicability to me (war, politics and all that jazz were just there as part of the character's path to isolation), and I really liked the idea of the trial as a narrative for the mental processes of the character's facing his own traumas.
    I also liked the cyclic nature of the work: outside the wall being abruptly cut only to become the very opening to the whole album, hinting at the victory against self-isolation being only temporary won. Brilliant.
    (I still liked The Lamb Lied Down On Broadway more, tough XD)
     
  16. Mazzy

    Mazzy Forum Resident

    Interesting. I never thought of Waters as a master storyteller
     
  17. peteham

    peteham Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simcoe County
    My nine year old daughter is cleaning her room while listening to side one.
     
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  18. SoporJoe

    SoporJoe Forum Resident

    Location:
    British Columbia
    Once you hit about age 15 it just doesn't seem as good.
     
  19. I heard the album and immediately love it! Saw the film and didn't really get until after I saw it a second time.

    This was in 1980-81 I was 15 years old.
     
  20. Hardy Melville

    Hardy Melville Forum Resident

    Coming after the run of Meddle through Animals, one of the great runs in rock music imo, The Wall strikes me as a rather uneven next step with some brilliant moments. Can't remember the last time I listened to it all the way through. I never really got on board with the thematic aims of this in terms of the story and what Waters was getting at. But at the same time Comfortably Numb is one of their best songs ever.
     
  21. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Good as what?
     
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  22. Orange T-Rex

    Orange T-Rex Active Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    OK, time for some serious talk. I was once obsessed with The Wall and it was not a good thing; I caused no physical harm to myself or others, but it was definitely unhealthy. So first, a word of unsolicited advice: always make clear-eyed, deliberate choices about your listening choices and habits, taking all your circumstances into account. What do I mean? Records (and movies) like The Wall deliberately express and explore a theme of bleak, hopeless depression and isolation. If that theme is likely to make you feel good for some reason (for instance, because it gives you a sense of empathy---that others have experienced feelings similar to yours), or if you are able to experience the music in a detached way such that it does not affect your mental health, by all means listen and enjoy (or not, depending on your taste). If, on the other hand, you are prone to depression---or you think there is a reasonable possibility that you are prone to depression, either due to family history, other life circumstances, or whatever---then the theme of depression/isolation in The Wall may actually damage your mental and emotional well-being and you will be better off if you simply move along and find something else to listen to. There are literally millions of music options out there that will not pose a threat to your mental health. So, bottom line, know yourself and act in your best interest.

    *end serious talk; begin (brief) album review*

    Now that decades have passed since my obsession with The Wall---and I am able to maintain a safe distance from its theme---as a whole it sounds like a self-indulgent exercise in self-pity, both musically and lyrically. It collapses under its own weight. That being said, there are a number of brilliant songs---most of which heavily involve David Gilmour---that would have made an excellent, short single album while maintaining the theme. "The Happiest Days Of Our Lives" through "Young Lust," plus "Hey You," "Comfortably Numb," and "Run Like Hell" would have done it in under 40 minutes.

    Of course, particularly when people start dissecting classic albums, your mileage may vary...
     
  23. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    It isn't a self-indulgent exercise in self pity. It is epic and it will move you if you pay attention. This "it would have made an excellent single album" is about the silliest thing I have ever heard.
     
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  24. Orange T-Rex

    Orange T-Rex Active Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    I already went through the phase of paying attention and being moved by it, just like I did with Final Cut and Pros and Cons. That was 30 years ago. I grew out of those records, but I'm not saying that should be everyone's path. You and I---and everyone else in this forum---are entitled to our opinions; if you actually want to debate people with opinions different from your own, you'll need to use more legitimate tactics than mere sniping, contrarianism and hyperbole.
     
  25. BryanA-HTX

    BryanA-HTX Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston, TX
    First heard it between junior and senior year of high school, so 5 years ago this summer. In fact that's the summer I really got into Pink Floyd and their '70s albums. I always loved it, and was just below Dark Side for me but only by a hair. Practically neck and neck, really. Nowadays I don't quite play it as much, unfortunately, as double albums in general I find somewhat daunting to play, since I'm busier nowadays and hate playing them in sections. But hey, that means it's a bit more of a special event every time I do play it now :)

    Also, to answer the question "Vera Vera, what has become of you?" Well it was recently her 100th birthday! Happy birthday Ms. Lynn!
     
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