Image titled "Die Kugel - Tanzgruppe Prof. Bodenwieser, Wien" by Arthur Benda. c. 1931
With the release of the new Pink Floyd remasters, I thought it might be time to see what the fuss is all about (of course, I've had Piper at the Gates of Dawn for years but, right or wrong, I consider it a Syd Barrett album, not part of the actual Pink Floyd discography). My observations:
1. This remaster of The Wall is pretty quiet, actually, which is not the norm with the reissues coming out these days. The sound is bell-clear and lovely overall, but the quiet parts of the record are very quiet, and The Wall is so all-over-the-place dynamically, that I had trouble finding a volume setting that hit the right balance of quiet/loud.
2. Eve knowing in advance that The Wall is a work of unbridled, over-the-top ego, I was still pretty shocked by how it comes across as drenched in nausea-inducing levels of narcissism. I wouldn't mind Pink Floyd complaining about being pampered rock stars so much if the device didn't lead them to add fake applause to so many tracks (a pet peeve of mine).
3. The biggest surprise for me, though, was that, in spite of all the unnecessary structural convolution and theatrical window-dressing, there's a real wealth of accessible pop melody in The Wall. Maybe this was bound to be the case when talented songwriters put together a piece of work that's over ninety minutes in length, but I found that there are some really catchy tunes on The Wall beyond the ones everyone knows ("Another Brick in the Wall", "Hey You", "Comfortably Numb"). My favorites are "The Show Must Go On" (with its companion piece "In the Flesh" - you could make a really, really good song by combining the best bits of the two) and "Waiting for the Worms". The latter track features Toni Tennille (of the Captain & ... fame) on vocals!
NOTE: When I originally posted this, I didn't link to the correct audio file. Sorry for the inconvenience. Ooops!
"Waiting for the Worms" by Pink Floyd