The Epic 2017 Project #206: 170725
Pink Floyd – The Wall (1979)
Pink Floyd’s 11th studio album was released as a double album on 30 November 1979, by Harvest Records in the United Kingdom and by Columbia Records in the United States. Despite an initially mixed critical reaction, The Wall peaked at number 3 on the UK Albums Chart, while it topped the US Billboard 200 chart for 15 weeks. In 1982, it was adapted into a feature film of the same name.
Bass guitarist and lyricist Roger Waters conceived the album as a rock opera during Pink Floyd’s 1977 In the Flesh Tour. Its story, which follows themes of abandonment and personal isolation, explores Pink, a character whom Waters modeled after himself and the band’s original leader Syd Barrett. Pink’s life begins with the loss of his father during the Second World War, and continues with abuse from his schoolteachers, an overprotective mother, and the breakdown of his marriage; all contribute to his eventual self-imposed isolation from society, represented by a metaphorical wall.
The Wall remains the last studio album released with the 11-year-spanning line-up of Waters, Gilmour, keyboardist Rick Wright, and drummer Nick Mason. Wright was unceremoniously fired from the band by Waters during its production, but remained as a salaried musician, performing with Pink Floyd on their subsequent live tour. The live performances, which were later released as a live album, featured elaborate theatrical effects. Some of the album’s themes would be continued in the band’s next album, The Final Cut (1983) [featured in Epic #213 on 1st August next], which contained some outtakes from The Wall. In 2003, Rolling Stone placed The Wall at number 87 on its list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”