PINK FLOYD : THE WALL
Starting this post I want to make something clear: For me Pink Floyd was a Progressive-Rock band, (specially in the '70's). But they became so famous everywhere, 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 released on 30th of November 1979 as a double album, and it became a smash hit almost everywhere. It is a concept album, and the production is from Pink Floyd and Bob Ezrin. (Famous for his productions regarding Alice Cooper, Kiss, and Lou Reeed among others).
The story here is 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 is that 'Pink' builds slowly slowly an imaginary wall around him as he grows up, and in the end he is isolated from everyone. There he collapses.
There are rumours saying that this album was actually a Roger Waters project, and the main character is 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 R.Waters and Syd Barrett. (The band's first leader in the '60's).In any case, the only sure thing is that R.Waters is heavily involved with the story of this record.
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 an 'extra' musician (with a salary), perfoming with them during 'The Wall Tour'.
Commercially, 'The Wall' was a huge success. Up to 1999 it's sales were over 11.500.000 records in the USA , and over 20.000.000 worldwide.
Upon it's release, critical commentaries it received were contradictory. Some fancied it as a masterpiece, whereas others found it pompous and shallow. Despite the bad critics, the album climbed at the charts all over the world, reaching No.1 in many occasions.
On 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 sake of the movie one extra song was recorded (When the tigers broke free), and many others were re-recorded (or re-mixed), having Bob Geldof replacing Roger Waters on vocals.
(Speaking for Greece, 'The Wall' was the best foreign album ever in sales, from the day of its release until 1997. (I don't know about now though).)