Album Review: The Wall [Experience/Immersion Edition] by Pink Floyd
Absolutly essential, Based on 6 Critics
PopMatters - 100 Based on rating 10/10
It would require much hubris of me to suggest that I have any more to say about this album than has already been said. I was born 12 years after the release of the record, and I’m writing about it 33 years after its release. Scholars with many more credentials than I have analyzed pink Floyd’s discography. The hooks of tracks like “Another Brick in the Wall” and “Hey You” are known better by people who lived through this album.
There was agreement, at first. In the summer of 1978, Roger Waters, Pink Floyd's singer-bassist and primary songwriter, presented the other members with two sets of demos and a choice: Pick one for the next album. The rest of the Floyd wisely voted for Waters' bleak, enraged observation on emotional exile and totalitarian celebrity, provisionally titled Bricks in the Wall.
The Wall was Roger Waters' crowning accomplishment in Pink Floyd. It documented the rise and fall of a rock star (named Pink Floyd), based on Waters' own experiences and the tendencies he'd observed in people around him. By then, the bassist had firm control of the group's direction, working mostly alongside David Gilmour and bringing in producer Bob Ezrin as an outside collaborator.
There is an oddly satisfying irony to releasing a version of Pink Floyd’s The Wall meant to please the work’s biggest fans. Roger Waters conceived the work as an exploration of isolation and cultural and societal repression, starting with a now famous incident in which he spit at a fan trying to crawl up on stage with Floyd during a show. Waters was disgusted with himself, and wondered how he’d gotten to the point where he had such disdain for the people who ostensibly supported his music.
Pink Floyd’s ambitious rock opera, reissued and expanded with bonus demos. Mike Diver 2012 The powers that be behind the Pink Floyd catalogue are not alone in assuming that someone, somewhere, doesn’t yet own one of this outfit’s certified classic LPs – also guilty are those ruling the canons of Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and… well, you get the idea. Some bands will be mainstays on shelves until the death knell finally sounds for physical formats, and these 1965-founded prog-rockers are sure to be amongst them, with new revisions of old material arriving with impressive punctuality.
The Wall is Pink Floyd's greatest contradiction. The 1979 double album signifies both the band's most ambitious accomplishment – a tyrannical, two-act spectacle of profound proportions – and its most personal, detailing the English quartet's fatal estrangement from its audience and each other. The latter feat serves as a focal point for this seven-disc Immersion box.