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

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

  1. TheSeldomSeenKid

    TheSeldomSeenKid Forum Resident

    My thoughts exactly, but since having 40% off Coupon from B & N, it made the price worth it to get the 30 Minutes of brilliance part(especially 'Comfortably Numb' 'Another Brick in the Wall Part-2' & 'Hey You') on Vinyl though as just starting to build a small collection and wanted most of these PF Reissues. I will not buy 'The Final Leftovers' though, as gave it gave 2 attempts on YouTube and it was so tuneless it was hard to get through it. Found out that it is really a Waters Solo album though whereas at least 'The Wall' had some contributions from Gilmour even though no Rich Wright.

    I like Waters earlier PF Songs(except find 'Money' to be an average song), but something changed with his type of music by 'The Wall'. I love 'Animals' though, and dark music in particular(hey, I am a massive CURE Fan), so it is not the darkness of Waters later music that turned me off.
    Mazzy likes this.
  2. I've always considered "The Wall" to be a work as a whole rather than individual songs. I think of it as program music, similar to classical works like Symphonie Fantastique and other program works. The work as a whole tells a story. The music listening experience to me is more about the whole of that story and the flow of that story and the flow of that music rather than the individual pieces or songs.

    The first time I listened to the album was in college. The album had already been out for about a decade. And during that decade I became interested in classical music. I was preoccupied with exploring and listening to classical rather than buying and listening to "The Wall". Which helps to explain why when I first listened to "The Wall" I listened to it as program music and listened to it as if it were program music. And why even to this day I consider it a work as a whole and listen to it as a work as a whole rather than individual songs.

    I never settled on what the wall was a metaphor for based on just listening to the album. Then I watched the movie version and saw "ok, that's what they meant". It's more interesting to explore what the wall means and what it is a metaphor for based on just the music. Then watch the movie version. That way the ideas from the movie won't influence your own original thinking about the meaning(s) of the album and its story. It was several years after first listening to the album that I watched the movie.
  3. videoman

    videoman Forum Resident

    Lake Tahoe, NV
    I had just started college that fall of 1979. Was blown away by the production on the album and the concept and all that went into it. Always thought the whole thing dragged on a bit too long, however. While I liked almost all of the tracks, the whole concept of it didn't ever really hang for me through the full 4 sides. But it was an amazing production and a great record that was a big influence on me at the time.

    However, it is also the Floyd album I have least returned to. I haven't actually played it in years. Partly because I played it so much in the day that I don't really need to hear it again; partly because it's such a commitment to sit and properly listen to the whole thing. Partly because it was a much better album when I was 18 than it is for me at 55. There's something a bit immature about all of it that I can't really relate to any longer.
  4. videoman

    videoman Forum Resident

    Lake Tahoe, NV
    Maybe not everyone on this forum is a million years old?
  5. The_Windmill

    The_Windmill Forum Resident

    Mindblowing! :D

  6. I was 18 in 1979 when I first heard The Wall. A local Los Angeles radio station (KMET) played the album in it's entirety about 10 days before it was released to the public in December of 1979. I loved it from the moment it started, and those 10 days I had to wait until I could buy the album seemed like an eternity. I ened up listening to that album almost non-stop for the first 5 months of 1980. The only album that I took a break to listen to during that time was The Clash's 'London Calling'.

    The Wall is, and always will be my favorite Pink Floyd album. It is definitely one of those albums that you have to listen to from start to finish without skipping songs, and without interruption.
    Dynamic Ranger likes this.
  7. The_Windmill

    The_Windmill Forum Resident

    Back then The Wall And The Lamb became templates for the concept album format to me for that exact reason (later on I distinguished between narrative and non narrative concept but that was the point initially). The songs are serving the whole narrative, the album is cohesive as a whole and every song/chapter is important narratively; and the few that are not (like Goodbye Blue Sky in The Wall or the instrumentals in The Lamb) are there for structural reasons, musical variety/flow, etc. They even had to shorten some of them because of time constraints, but had to keep'em!
    To reduce The Wall to a single best-of album wouldn't make any sense, unless one listens to the music not caring what the lyrics are about. The Gilmour tracks work well as abridged songs but their meaning and depth inside of the whole narrative flow are on another level.
  8. HiredGoon

    HiredGoon Forum Resident

    I first heard The Wall at university, though it had been out for years. Completely unprepared for how different it was compared to Animals and Wish You Were Here (1950s style chords? Beach Boys harmonies?), but I loved it from the first listen.

    Except for Vera and Bring The Boys Back Home ... those tracks can go.

  9. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Your funny. All I did was give my opinion. Again, it would be silly to remove the concept of the album and think just having a few songs would make it better.
    Max Florian likes this.
  10. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Vera Lynn turned 100 years old yesterday...I will add, the only thing I don't like about Vera, the song, is it's too short. It really is beautiful.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
    Runicen likes this.
  11. Orange T-Rex

    Orange T-Rex Forum Resident

    Unless you've lost interest in the concept and still love the songs...

    And the natural tension between the concept and the songs is an interesting topic, because I suspect many people have wrestled with that issue. The early adopters of The Wall probably bought it based on the Pink Floyd brand or based on Another Brick II---a rock song that was given a disco beat precisely to sound more current in the late '70s (Miss You by the Stones may be the first example of that idea; it was released more than a year before The Wall/Another Brick II). The Wall movie was not released until over 2 1/2 years after the album was released, so it obviously had no impact on album sales for a while (though some of Gerald Scarfe's art on the album may have, and it was later used heavily in the movie).

    Anyway, the point is that to expand the reach of the Pink Floyd brand beyond the fanbase that came on board with DSOTM, WYWH and Animals (and probably for the record company to get the ROI it wanted), a pure concept record was not going to do the trick; radio was still king as the '70s gave way to the '80s, so they needed radio songs (singles) to sell the album. Another Brick II, complete with its disco beat and beautiful guitar solo, brilliantly served that purpose. And I'm sure, just like now, back then there were plenty of people who bought the record for the songs and wound up not connecting with the concept, and others who bought the record for the concept and viewed the songs as mere milestones along the way. Either way, the money was just as green and they were laughing their way to the bank (which is fine, of course---because capitalism).

    Along the same lines, an interesting juxtaposition with The Wall is Who's Next, which consists of songs from an aborted concept (Lifehouse). Then there's loose concept records that are more song-oriented, like Southern Rock Opera by Drive-By Truckers, but that's another story...
  12. Runicen

    Runicen Forum Resident

    I'm a little perplexed by claims I see about The Wall that it would be better as a single LP. The thing is a pretty solid (if depressing) story and each chunk of song illustrates a certain part of it. There's the austere "childhood/development" section, the bleak middle where you have someone bombed out of their depressed gourd alone in a hotel room, and the militant/psychotic closing. Removing or shrinking any of these sections would do a lot to remove the coherence of the story overall. I mean, you could probably lose a chunk of the interactions with the wife character and the rest would work, but it's nowhere near an entire LP's worth of trimming.
  13. andrewskyDE

    andrewskyDE Island Owner

    Zack Island
    I know the album since 2005, if I remember right. Around the time when Pink Floyd played at Live 8. My interest on the band just started to grow then. I had the Echoes compilation, so I knew some of the songs.
    It's funny but I got to know the album actually through its counterpart Is There Anybody Out There? - The Wall Live first.

    I probably liked the live album at first listenings, but when I (finally) bought the studio album (1994 EMI/Harvest CDs) I loved it immediately!
    One of my favorite albums generally and one of the reasons why I started to record music myself.
    At the moment I'm even into recording the whole album with some friends helping me.
    AmosM likes this.
  14. dlokazip

    dlokazip Forum Transient

    Austin, TX, USA
    In the first few years after The Wall was released, radio stations would play entire chunks of it. This is around the time that I transitioned from elementary to junior high school.

    By the time I heard the whole thing in high school, I already knew about a third of the songs. Still, the album as a whole was breathtaking. It just worked. From beginning to end. I found it fascinating.

    To this day, I still love the album.
    AmosM, tim185 and andrewskyDE like this.
  15. tim185

    tim185 Forum Resident

    Even for PF standards, this bit gets overlooked a tad.
    Broken down, its a sonic gem. Gold Class standard rock production. With all the extras.
    andrewskyDE likes this.
  16. asdf35

    asdf35 Forum Resident

    Austin TX
    I grew up hearing mysterious references to Pink Floyd and "we don't need no education." These were dark references that I was almost scared to investigate. I kinda of remember hearing "Another Brick In The Wall" on some cassette from a friend's older brother when I was 12 or 13. A few years later I bought The Wall on CD and was overwhelmed by the scope. I think I focused on the highlights, which for me were the acoustic songs. I gradually got to know the whole damn thing inside and out. This was pre-internet and pre-employment and very pro-cannabis. I had a lot of time on my hands too.

    Although my interest has mostly worn off, it is still an impressive bit of work. Strikes me as the work of a dual architecture/English major. The cinematic "story" is always trotted out when describing the Wall, but with a little bit of effort you can free yourself of the narrative and just enjoy a boatload of great songs. I guess they are intellectual rock songs? It ain't psych and it ain't folk. Good stuff.

    (I also remember my 1st time hearing Dark Side Of The Moon. I was not impressed at all, sounded like easy-listening soul music. I try to keep that memory to myself though)
  17. quicksilverbudie

    quicksilverbudie quicksilverbudie

    This LP came out when I was in grade 9. At the time a lot of people me included.....Too much DISCO! the kick drum was just too much. Also that song "Another Brick In The Wall" was played to death so ....It became annoying, still love the guitar solo in the break mind you.

  18. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Never thought of any of the Wall as disco.
  19. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Please label the photos you post

    Austin, TX
    It's one of the first examples given every single time anyone brings up the topic of rock bands that introduced disco elements into their music.
    quicksilverbudie likes this.
  20. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    I like some disco but never considered any of the Wall disco. Sorry. Been listening to it since release.
  21. Audioresearch

    Audioresearch Forum Resident

    In 1982 I was 12 years old at the time en was watching A German Crime serie on the time.
    The end titles came en their was Hey You. It was great and I borrowed the lp from the libery.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
    Frozensoda likes this.
  22. overdrivethree

    overdrivethree Forum Resident

    Seems that it's been a musical rite of passage/requirement for dorky 14yos who are into rock and roll. It's profound in that "omg this is so profound" way things are when you're dorky and 14.

    That's what it was for me (in 1995).
    Runicen likes this.
  23. Steve G

    Steve G Forum Resident

    los angeles
    I first heard The Wall in 1980 when a girl I was seeing lent me her copy. I had been a total Floyd fanatic who somehow never got into Dark Side but was won back by Wish You Were Here and then HATED Animals so I was trying each time to fall in love with their next album and was musically vulnerable! Anyway, I listened all the way through a couple of times and just didn't get it. I wanted to like the songs with the harmonies like the one that goes "oh baby" at the chorus but it just felt off. So I returned it to the young lady and kept listening to Barrett and Meddle and AHM. Then a few years later I was staying in Paris with our guitarist's girlfriend (now wife) and she had it on cassette so I dove back in. What happened was that I fell completely in love with Comfortably Numb and realized that I just didn't like the rest of the record. I didn't understand it - it didn't sound like Pink Floyd to me. I realize that groups change, but it wasn't that - it just felt like a different group with different singers. Of course it's easy to go back and piece that together but those were my responses at the time. But we have that cassette permanently cued up to Comfortably Numb and learned every note.
  24. Hokeyboy

    Hokeyboy Nudnik of Dinobots

    My first "exposure" to the wall, other than the "Another Brick In The Wall Pt 2" single all over the radio in 1980 and listening to my friend's older brother play some tracks on his stereo, was the Alan Parker movie in 1982. I was all of 11 when I went to go see it. I came out... something wholly other. I was disturbed but fascinated on a level unknown to me up to then.

    I got the album soon afterward (thanks Pops!) and that started my love of Floyd that lasts to this day. It also confirmed my suspicions that Waters had a problem with Jews a LONG time before BDS.
  25. Snow2

    Snow2 Forum Resident

    Long Eaton
    My earliest memory of the album (I think) was hearing Waters going through the album track by track on the radio (The Friday Rock Show) - though he couldn't/wouldn't explain the idea behind the last track - Outside the Wall!

    I was really looking forward to the album - I remember a now defunct music paper giving Animals a glowing review and stating that their next album could be their masterpiece.

    Unfortunately for me me it wasn't - some great stuff on their of course but a bit too much whining for my own tastes.

    The line : "Daddy what did you leave behind for me?" has always grated on me…..

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