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Pink Floyd's The Wall

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We celebrate Johnny Hardcore's birthday today with his look back at the legendary Pink Floyd album "The Wall" which this week celebrates the 36th anniversary of its release on March 30th, 1979:

Let's delve into some Pink Floyd shall we….In July 1978, amid a financial turmoil caused by negligent investments, Waters presented the group with two original ideas for their next album. The first was a 90-minute demo with the working title Bricks in the Wall, and the other would later become Waters' first solo album, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking. Although both Mason and Gilmour were initially cautious, they chose the former to be their next album. Bob Ezrin co-produced, and he wrote a forty-page script for the new album. Ezrin based the story on the central figure of Pink-a gestalt character inspired by Waters' childhood experiences, the most notable of which was the death of his father in World War II. This first metaphorical brick led to more problems; Pink would become drug-addicted and depressed by the music industry, eventually transforming into a megalomaniac, a development inspired partly by the decline of Syd Barrett. At the end of the album, the increasingly fascist audience would watch as Pink tore down the wall, once again becoming a regular and caring person.

During the recording of The Wall, Waters, Gilmour and Mason became increasingly dissatisfied with Wright's lack of contribution to the album. Gilmour said that Wright "hadn't contributed anything of any value whatsoever to the album-he did very, very little" and that is why he "got the boot". According to Mason, "Rick's contribution was to turn up and sit in on the sessions without doing anything, just 'being a producer'. Waters commented: "Wright was not prepared to cooperate in making the record ... and it was agreed by everybody ... either he can have a long battle or [he] can agree to ... finish making the album, keep his full share ... but at the end of it he would leave quietly. Rick agreed.

Although Pink Floyd had not released a single since 1973's "Money", "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)" supported the album, topping the charts in the US and the UK.[158] Released on 30 November 1979, The Wall topped the Billboard chart in the US for fifteen weeks, reaching number three in the UK. The Wall ranks number three on the RIAA's list of the all-time Top 100 albums, with 23 million certified units sold in the US. The cover is one of their most minimal designs, with a stark white brick wall, and no trademark or band name. Gerald Scarfe produced a series of animations for the subsequent live shows, The Wall Tour. He also commissioned the construction of large inflatable puppets representing characters from the storyline including the "Mother", the "Ex-wife" and the "Schoolmaster". Pink Floyd used the puppets during their performances of the album. Relationships within the band were at an all-time low; their four Winnebagos parked in a circle, the doors facing away from the center Waters used his own vehicle to arrive at the venue and stayed in different hotels from the rest of the band. Wright returned as a paid musician and was the only one of the four to profit from the venture, which lost about $600,000.

The Wall concept also spawned a film, the original idea for which was to be a combination of live concert footage and animated scenes. However, the concert footage proved impractical to film. Alan Parker agreed to direct and took a different approach. The animated sequences would remain, but scenes would be acted by professional actors with no dialogue. Waters was screen-tested, but quickly discarded and they asked Bob Geldof to accept the role of Pink. Geldof was initially dismissive, condemning The Wall 's storyline as "bollocks". Eventually won over by the prospect of participation in a significant film and receiving a large payment for his work, Geldof agreed. Screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1982, Pink Floyd - The Wall premièred in the UK in July 1982.. So without delay, released on March 30th, 1979 on EMI Records Pink Floyd "The Wall".

Track listing
All songs written and composed by Roger Waters, except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Writer Lead vocals Length
1. "In the Flesh?" Waters 3:16
2. "The Thin Ice" Gilmour, Waters 2:27
3. "Another Brick in the Wall (Part I)" Waters 3:21
4. "The Happiest Days of Our Lives" Waters 1:46
5. "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)" Gilmour, Waters 3:59
6. "Mother" Waters, Gilmour 5:32

Side two
No. Title Writer Lead vocals Length
1. "Goodbye Blue Sky" Gilmour 2:45
2. "Empty Spaces" Waters 2:10
3. "Young Lust" Gilmour, Waters Gilmour 3:25
4. "One of My Turns" Waters 3:41
5. "Don't Leave Me Now" Waters 4:08
6. "Another Brick in the Wall (Part III)" Waters 1:48
7. "Goodbye Cruel World" Waters 0:48

Side three
No. Title Writer Lead vocals Length
1. "Hey You" Gilmour, Waters 4:40
2. "Is There Anybody Out There?" Waters 2:44
3. "Nobody Home" Waters 3:26
4. "Vera" Waters 1:35
5. "Bring the Boys Back Home" Waters 1:21
6. "Comfortably Numb" Waters, Gilmour Waters, Gilmour 6:23

Side four
1. "The Show Must Go On" Gilmour 1:36
2. "In the Flesh" Gilmour, Waters 4:15
3. "Run Like Hell"Waters, Gilmour Waters 4:20
4. "Waiting for the Worms" Waters, Gilmour 4:04
5. "Stop" Waters 0:30
6. "The Trial"Waters, Ezrin Waters 5:13
7. "Outside the Wall" Waters 1:41

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