PINK FLOYD: THE WALL (1979)
Starting this post, I want to make something clear: For me, Pink Floyd was a Progressive-Rock band, (especially in the '70's). But they became so famous, that they are considered as a classic Rock band, & that's the reason I am mentioning their records in these series of posts instead of the ones that are specifically for Progressive Rock.
Now, about The Wall: It was the band’s 11th studio album, and it was released on the 30th of November 1979 as a double album, and it became a smash hit almost everywhere. It is a concept album, produced by Pink Floyd and Bob Ezrin. (Famous for his work with Alice Cooper, Kiss and Lou Reed among others).
The Wall was a concept album, and it’s about Pink (the main character), and his relations with the people around him as he grows up, starting from his over-protective mother, his teachers in school, his girlfriends, his wife, all his friends, etc; and it ends with his final breakdown. The main idea was that Pink builds an imaginary wall around him as he grows up, and in the end he is isolated from everyone. There he collapses. There were rumours saying that this album was actually a Roger Waters project, and the main character was based on himself as he was growing up. The story contains also many traumatic memories that Roger Waters (as a child) had from the 2nd World War where he lost his father. (Eric Fletcher Waters died in Italy in the battle of Anzio in 1944).
Some other rumours saying that Pink is actually a mix between Roger Waters and Syd Barrett. (The band's first leader in the '60's). In any case, the only sure thing is that Roger Waters was heavily involved with the story of this album.
During the recordings there were many problems between the members of the band, and at this point, Richard Wright (the keyboard player) quit the band, but he remained as a session musician, and performed with them during 'The Wall Tour'. Actually, The Wall was the last album including the line-up Waters, Gilmour, Mason and Wright.
Commercially, it was a huge success. Up to 1999 its sales were over 11.500.000 records in the USA, and over 20.000.000 worldwide, and it was certified 23 times platinum! It is also Pink Floyd’s best selling album, after The Dark Side of the Moon.
Upon its release, it received contradictory critics. Some fancied it as a masterpiece, whereas others found it pompous and shallow. Despite the mixed critics, the album climbed at the charts all over the world, reaching No.1 on many occasions.
In 1982 the director Alan Parker made The Wall a movie with the same title, and Bob Geldof (from Boomtown Rats) played the role of Pink. For the needs of the movie, one extra song was recorded (When the tigers broke free), and many others were re-recorded (or re-mixed). As for the role of Pink, it was given to Bob Geldof, who replaced Roger Waters on vocals as well.
Rolling Stone magazine, placed it at number 87 on its '500 Greatest Albums of all Time' list, in 2003.
Speaking for myself, I literally grew up with The Wall, and in my opinion is a very important album and a must-have for every Rock fan. Nothing more, nothing less…