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Old 08-19-2015, 02:20 PM   #781
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Pink Floyd Thread

I said the other day that I might rank at least one of the two post-Waters records above the Wall, but I wasn't entirely sure about that, so I went ahead and re-listened to all three of them all the way through yesterday.

Even though it was the last one I listened to, I'll talk about the Wall first.

I liked it more than I remembered liking it. The last time I listened to it all the way through was about three years ago on a plane with regular non-noise-canceling earbuds, so that may have detracted from that listening experience. Basically, if you look at the album from the point of view of the four LP sides, I would say that sides 1 and 3 are very strong, while side 2 has more good material than not but drags a little, and side 4 is more theater than music and doesn't add that much(some others have said this here too, that the last ten minutes are not great).

I have to say that, with a few exceptions, the record is more cohesive than I remember it being. Musically, it's tied together quite well. I'd forgotten how many times the ABITW riff is reprised in other songs. It's almost a little too much at the end. Although it works really, really well in Hey You.

The main thing with the record - other than it not being as collaborative an effort as it could've been - is that it maybe just had a little too much fat on it. I think if you cut Young Lust and one of the One Of My Turns/Don't Leave Me Now duo and then end the album after the In The Flesh reprise, you'd have a tighter record requiring less stamina to make it to the end(it cuts the running time from roughly 80 minutes to roughly 60 minutes). I might end it with Run Like Hell, but I like the symmetry of beginning and ending with In The Flesh.

1. In The Flesh
2. The Thin Ice
3. Another Brick In The Wall I
4. The Happiest Days Of Our Lives
5. Another Brick In The Wall II
6. Mother

7. Goodbye Blue Sky
8. Empty Spaces
9. Don't Leave Me Now
10. Another Brick In The Wall III
11. Goodbye Cruel World

12. Hey You
13. Is There Anybody Out There
14. Nobody Home
15. Vera
16. Bring The Boys Back Home
17. Comfortably Numb
18. The Show Most Go On
19. In The Flesh

I was being too harsh on the record the other day. Comfortably Numb, Hey You, and Another Brick In The Wall are all-time classics.

In The Flesh is awesome.

I join Cobbler in that Vera is indeed beautiful.

I found all the fanfare in Bring The Boys Back Home strangely moving.



Now, The Division Bell.

I'll admit that this was the first time I'd ever actually listened to TDB front to back. I'd listened to most of the tracks individually, out of order, but never straight through. It wasn't really as good as I thought it would be. I mean, High Hopes and Marooned are tremendous and would make any Floyd compilation that I would put together, and there are a number of other guitar solos scattered throughout that I really enjoyed(only natural to enjoy solos played by one of your favorite guitarists ever), but on the whole the record just goes on too long, some of the tracks are redundant, and almost all of the vocal/lyrical parts aside from High Hopes are not very interesting.

Most of the non-instrumental tracks seemed to follow the same pattern of Gilmour making his way through a vocal section he himself could take or leave before launching into an extended guitar solo at the end that comes off as the thing he wanted to be doing from the start. Somebody said it might've worked better as a fully instrumental record and I think I may agree with that. So no, as much as I love High Hopes and Marooned, I wouldn't rank this record above The Wall.


And finally, AMLOR.

This record I had listened to all the way through before, but not for a long time. This is the most shat-upon Floyd record, and while it's certainly not top-tier, I don't really understand why people hate it. I mean, I get the lyrics are not up to a standard, but to tell the truth, I'm not one to let less-than-desirable lyrics ruin something for me if I like the music. I'm pretty good at just ignoring lyrics I don't like. It's about the music, man. And I have to say, I really enjoyed most of this record when I listened to it yesterday.

First off, I don't care what you say, Learning To Fly is awesome. Floyd isn't exactly known for anthemic choruses, but that chorus does it for me, I love the melody and that 'earthbound misfits' line is one of the few lyrics on the record that I actually like a lot.

I'm not going to spend too much time defending The Dogs Of War, and I know the lyrics are...whatever, but from a purely musical perspective, I think it's actually sort of interesting. The rhythm, the brooding nature of it. It's got a certain grit the rest of the record lacks, there's something ominous-sounding about it.

On The Turning Away has, from the first time I heard it 14 years ago when I was 17, been on of my very favorite Floyd tracks. I think the vocal melody is catchy and gorgeous, and the whole second half of the track where it's just instrumental blows my mind every time. So, so, so fucking good. I truly don't know why this track isn't more celebrated here, even if you think the rest of the album is shit.

As has been mentioned, Sorrow is also a strong track, although it takes a bit to get going. The lyric is a bit too long but, whatever, the solos are worth it.

Aside from those tracks(LTF, OTTA, and Sorrow in particular), I wouldn't say any of the others necessarily stand out individually, but there are some really nice solos, and I was surprised at how well it worked as a whole, as a whole-greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts kind of thing.

Anyway, it's not a top-tier record, and if you can't easily ignore lyrics, that's probably a problem, and if the certain brand of 80s-ish production that permeates the whole thing is something you can't get past, that that'd be a problem too, but personally, I have to be the lone dissenter here and say that I like this record. Would I rank it above The Wall? Probably not. But I think it's far from the embarrassment it's made out to be.

---

I guess my ranking as this moment of the albums I've heard(everything from AHM on) would be something like:

1. Wish You Were Here
2. Meddle
3. Atom Heart Mother
4. Animals
5. Dark Side Of The Moon
6. The Wall
7. A Momentary Lapse Of Reason
8. Obscured By Clouds
9. The Division Bell
10. The Final Cut

It's hard to say though, it fluctuates.


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Old 08-19-2015, 02:52 PM   #782
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Day after day, love turns gray, like the skin of a dying man
And night after night, we pretend it's all right
But I have grown older and you have grown colder
And nothing is very much fun any more
And I can feel one of my turns coming on
Cold as a razor blade
Tight as a tourniquet
Dry as a funeral drum

This has always been one of my favorite tracks on the album. There's a long intro w dialogue and sound effects (with some very ominous synth work behind it), but it's a crucial moment of the story and perfectly captures Pink's numbness and the moment where he really breaks into some kind of madness.

I think Waters' vocal really delivers the emotion as well.

The second half of the song veers a little close to the generic rock of Young Lust but it's in service of a contrast in the character's mood swings so it works better here.

So no, it should definitely not be cut. And the same goes for Run Like Hell.
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Old 08-19-2015, 03:10 PM   #783
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Through the fish-eyed lens of tear stained eyes
I can barely define the shape of this moment in time
And far from flying high in clear blue skies
I'm spiralling down to the hole in the ground where I hide.
If you negotiate the minefield in the drive
And beat the dogs and cheat the cold electronic eyes
And if you make it past the shotgun in the hall,
Dial the combination, open the priesthole
And if I'm in I'll tell you what's behind the wall.
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Old 08-19-2015, 05:00 PM   #784
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Glad I'm not the only one who appreciates The Final Cut. For those in here wanting The Wall with more focus and less grandstanding, The Final Cut is it.
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Old 08-19-2015, 07:39 PM   #785
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Yeah, I think The Final Cut is ten times the album The Wall is - it's genuinely emotive, and maintains a sense of coherence throughout.

Wearing The Inside Out is the best song on The Division Bell.
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Old 08-19-2015, 07:49 PM   #786
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The Wall isn't "genuinely emotive?" What?

The Final Cut is like watching Old Yeller get shot over and over for 43 minutes, but that doesn't make it any more genuine than The Wall, which is also very autobiographical.
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Old 08-19-2015, 08:00 PM   #787
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I like The Final Cut btw, it's just melodically forgettable compared to many of their records and lacks the atmosphere of a Nebraska or Pink Moon. In fact, I wish it had been released as a solo album and stripped down even further. Songs like Not Now John really take the intimacy out of it. But then there are some great emotional climaxes like The Gunner's Dream and great lyrics throughout, so I don't know. Good record, but not better than The Wall.
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:08 PM   #788
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Originally Posted by liamcool View Post
Yeah, I think The Final Cut is ten times the album The Wall is.

How do you expect anyone to take you seriously in a discussion when you use hyperbole like this?
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:09 PM   #789
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I like The Final Cut btw, it's just melodically forgettable compared to many of their records and lacks the atmosphere of a Nebraska or Pink Moon.
This is a perfect distillation.

Every time I put it on while driving, I wind up spacing out. I literally don't how how any track on that album goes.

But I'm going to give it another shot tomorrow.
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:26 PM   #790
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On the discussion of what makes a concept album, I'd always thought of a concept album as one with a clearly defined central narrative told through most/all the songs, often with stupid interludes or tracks that exist solely to advance the story rather than being included on musical merit.

An album where the songs share similar themes but doesn't possess a core narrative, I wouldn't call a concept album. Thematic album maybe. But without the narrative, it's not a concept album.

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Two words: Diamond Dogs.
One more: Arthur.
And another: Quardophenia
Two more, for good measure: Tomorrow's Harvest

The defence rests, your honour.
I have no interest in the first three, and the fourth is decent but I'd never thought of it as a concept album. So no, the defence needs to try harder.

Quote:
The Great Gig in the Sky...well, there's nothing to say about that atrocity. Couldn't they have used a sax, or synths, or a blazing guitar solo? Or literally anything else?
This I agree with. "Great Gig" is literally the worst Pink Floyd song ever and completely unlistenable. I recall back in the days that CDs were a thing I played regularly, I burnt a new copy of DSOTM without "Great Gig".
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:38 PM   #791
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I see The Final Cut as a legitimate five-star album. This will seem like an odd comparison, I imagine, but it reminds me of Carrie & Lowell (or rather C&L reminds me of it) in that its emotion is so naked and conveyed both articulately and imaginatively. You can see the stages of grief running through both, which makes for a difficult listen but also a rewarding one, with the caveat that you have to give it your full attention. There may not be as many hooks or earworm melodies as previous Floyd albums, but the orchestration complements the subject matter wonderfully.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:12 PM   #792
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The Wall isn't "genuinely emotive?" What?

The Final Cut is like watching Old Yeller get shot over and over for 43 minutes, but that doesn't make it any more genuine than The Wall, which is also very autobiographical.
Yeah, I think the whole concept of The Wall takes away from any emotion response I may have - songs like Waiting For The Worms or The Trial really deflates any emotional reaction I might have to the album as a whole. Two Suns In The Sunset, however, is an incredible emotional moment within The Final Cut, and one of the biggest downbeat notes I've heard an album conclude on.

A way I'd put it - The Wall is Waters distilling his autobiography through the persona of "Pink" that he creates within the album/film, and so there's distance created as a result of that. The Final Cut is Waters spilling his soul onto an album, with no regard for melodic content or commercial success, in the most honest and bare way possible within the context of Pink Floyd.

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How do you expect anyone to take you seriously in a discussion when you use hyperbole like this?
Um, because I'm at least open to discussion and don't resort to personal attacks the moment my opinions are challenged.

But hey, different strokes.

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I see The Final Cut as a legitimate five-star album. This will seem like an odd comparison, I imagine, but it reminds me of Carrie & Lowell (or rather C&L reminds me of it) in that its emotion is so naked and conveyed both articulately and imaginatively. You can see the stages of grief running through both, which makes for a difficult listen but also a rewarding one, with the caveat that you have to give it your full attention. There may not be as many hooks or earworm melodies as previous Floyd albums, but the orchestration complements the subject matter wonderfully.
Huh. I'm not into Sufjan Stevens at all, but this is a perfect comparison. I might have to relisten to Carrie and Lowell now that that comparison has been made.
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:31 AM   #793
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Carrie & Lowell is better executed than Final Cut. Whereas Final Cut has hardly any songs that I can bring to mind after it's over, Sufjan infused 11 tracks with great melodies and personal, emotive content. And the production is absolutely perfect for it. But I've written enough about that album at this point. You guys know I love it.

Final Cut would have turned out a bit better if it hadn't been a Pink Floyd album, perhaps produced solo. There's just a hint of bombast left over that it would have been better off without. People would also approach it with a more open mind without the Pink Floyd name. Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking, while not as outwardly sad, makes me feel closer to Roger as a listener than Final Cut does. The latter feels like a formal eulogy by an estranged son, whereas the former feels more like a conversation between friends, and an occasionally humorous one at that. I love Pros and Cons. It deserves more discussion.
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Old 08-20-2015, 01:28 AM   #794
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On the discussion of what makes a concept album, I'd always thought of a concept album as one with a clearly defined central narrative told through most/all the songs, often with stupid interludes or tracks that exist solely to advance the story rather than being included on musical merit.
To quote the Wiki:

Quote:
A concept album is a studio album where all musical or lyrical ideas contribute to a single overall theme or unified story.[1] In contrast, typical studio albums consist of a number of unconnected songs (lyrically and otherwise) performed by the artist. It has been argued[2] that concept albums should refer only to albums that bring in themes or story lines from outside of music, given that a collection of love songs or songs from within a certain genre are not usually considered to be a "concept album."
Quote:
A rock opera is a work of rock music that presents a storyline told over multiple parts, songs or sections; however, it is not an opera. A rock opera differs from a conventional rock album, which usually includes songs that are not unified by a common theme or narrative. More recent developments include metal opera, punk rock opera, and rap opera (sometimes also called hip-hopera). In Russia, rock opera may be known as zong-opera (Зонг-опера).
A rock opera tells a coherent story, and may involve songs performed as if sung by separate characters in a drama, as in classical opera. A rock opera may or may not be presented in a staged performance. In recorded form it is a type of concept album, though the latter may simply set a mood or maintain a theme.
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Old 08-20-2015, 07:51 AM   #795
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Oddly, I really like The Final Cut and I prefer it over Dark Side and The Wall.... but my favorites are Animals and Wish You Were Here. I don't want to come off as not liking Dark Side and The Wall, there are some great songs on both of those albums but there are some clunkers in there too. I 100% agree with Great Gig, not a big fan.
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