Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Wish you were here

    Pink Floyd sometimes confused musical virtuosity and melodrama with emotion. The restrained title track of Wish You Were Here, however, remains one of their most affecting songs -- and the closest the band ever came to country music. The instrumentation suggests Nashville: slide guitar, gentle honky-tonk piano, even some fiddle. And Roger Waters' lonely lyrics -- "We're just two lost souls swimming in a fishbowl" -- would sound natural coming out of the mouth of, say, Willie Nelson. As is, sung by guitarist David Gilmour, they're heartbreaking.

    Most of the rest of the album stays on that sorrowful human scale; all four of its songs are at least tangentially about Pink Floyd's founder, Syd Barrett, who left the band in 1968 due to mental illness, possibly exacerbated by too much LSD. More overtly, two of them ("Have a Cigar" and "Welcome to the Machine") are complaints about the commercialization of the music industry, always a bit hard to swallow from millionaire rock stars. But since Barrett actually didn't survive his encounter with show business, both songs have a haunted quality that suits their industrial throb.

    On one of the last days of mixing the record, the band had a surprise visitor in the studio: a wild-eyed overweight gentleman in a trench coat, shorn of hair and eyebrows. It was Barrett himself. As he listened to "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and the band members blinked back tears at what their "miner for truth and delusion" had become, he showed no signs of recognition that the song was about him and his departure from our world.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/pinkfloyd/albums/album/241141/review/6067708/wish_you_were_here

    So here we are, after the magnificent Dark Side of the Moon. In 1975 Pink Floyd recorded Wish You Were Here, an album for the band founder, Syd Barret. It starts with the most beautiful and creative epic of the Floyd catalog: "Shine on You Crazy Diamond". This song is an example of the band's creative and musical power, with a very careful assembly of the notes. The lyrics are, of course, for Syd. Then we have "Welcome to the Machine" a very exhaustive progressive song with some industrial sounds in it. This song talks about the capitalism and the entrance of every person to the capitalist system, it talks to about the triviality of the occidental world. "Have a Cigar". This rock song is sung by Roy Harper greatly, he was recording a solo album, but the band asked him to record the vocals of this song. Then there is "Wish You Were Here", a ballad, a tribute to Syd, this song sung by guilmour, is one of the best ballads of the band. And then the great epic end of "Shine on You Crazy Diamond", masterfully done and very smartly played.

    Well this is one of the best Floyd albums, and for me is one of those must-have prog albums


    http://www.progressiveears.com/

    This album was the one that made me like prog rock, mainly because I must have listened to it on family car travels and at home about 10,000 times during my childhood and adolescence. (Blame it on my father and elder brother...) And yet I'm not tired of it and every time I listen to it, it is a great experience.
    The album has the second best track Pink Floyd ever made (the first is “Echoes”), and IMO, one of the best tracks a prog band ever made, "Shine on you crazy diamond", which was made as an hommage for Syd Barret. The album starts with "Shine on you crazy diamond pt.I" an astounding track, with a great atmospheric sound caused by the keyboards and guitar work (which is, by the way, a masterpiece by Gilmour). Then it goes on with "Welcome to the machine" which has great industrial atmosphere and with "Have a cigar", a great rock piece with another great solo by Gilmour.The song that comes after might be one of Floyd’s better known tracks, "Wish you were here", mainly because it is a good acoustic song that almost anyone that plays guitar can play and sing with his friends. And then the grand finale, the end of the epic "Shine on you crazy diamond" aka "Shine on you crazy dianmond pt.II", which recaptures all the greatness of the track with amazing keyboard work by Wright.

    So, if you ask me, this one is a must for everyone that likes prog rock, or simply rock. It is a great album and one of the best of Pink Floyd.

    http://www.progressiveears.com/

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Wish you were here


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