• The Wall 30th anniversary

    Loved by some and hated by others, The Wall will always be remembered as one of Pink Floyd’s greatest musical achievements. Although mainly a Waters/Ezrin project, David Gilmour played an important role in shaping the music and not least providing some of the best guitar work he’s ever produced.

    My relationship with The Wall is mixed. I must confess that the album can be quite a challenge at times. Still, there’s something about it that amaze me every time I listen to it. The sheer power of the production, Roger’s semi-autobiographical, no frills lyrics, the beautiful arrangements by Kamen and of course David’s guitar. Some of the songs on the album will always stand out as some of Floyd’s finest. I can find inspiration and strength from listening it but it’s also one of the most depressing albums ever made. Its honesty and gloom can really mess up your head.

    I remember very well when I first heard the album – an experience that truly had a great impact on a young mind. I was in 6th grade, barely 13 years old, and our teacher played this handful of songs and she wanted us to draw what came natural. I remember distinctly that we listened to Another Brick in the Wall 1 and 2 and The Trial as well as a couple of other songs that I now have forgotten. I’d never heard these songs before – not even Brick 2 – but it totally blew me away. I drew helicopters, marching soldiers and cruel teachers. I was totally freaked out when I saw the album cover and realized that I’d drawn many of the same images while the other students had bored them selves to death or drawn flowers and cats. The music had touched me and I’ve been a devoted fan ever since.

    I’ve always been a huge fan of David’s Animals tones and Wall comes as a close second. It’s hard to tell where Animals begins and Wall starts… or ends. I’ve always considered 1976-1983 to be a period where David experimented and found his tone but at the same time repeated himself quite a lot. Animals was, to some extent, very similar to WYWH. Now David had his first Cornish pedal board which featured a Big Muff and his tones got heavier along with the album’s darker, more aggressive sound but his playing was very similar to what’s on WYWH. If you listen to recordings from the Animals tour, you’ll recognise much of the same stuff on his ’78 solo album. Songs like There’s No Way Out of Here is Pigs all over and it’s very interesting to hear how he used more or less the same setup on the album as on the prior tour.

    When recording Wall, David went again back to basics and produced tones very similar to Animals. Gone were much of the liquidy, swirly sounds from his solo album and his guitar was more in line with the pristine super clean production… although songs like Thin Ice sure sounds like a washing machine! It’s actually interesting to go back and listen to the Wall demos and hear how David used a MXR Phase 90 on almost all the songs. This effect was never picked up on the final recording sessions apart from the barely audioable use on Another Brick 2 and Don’t Leave Me Now.

    Back on the road, David once again employed the Yamaha rotating speakers, which now were even more dominating than on the Animals tour. Together with the Electric Mistress flanger, they put a soft blanket over his tones, all liquidy and swirly. As if this wasn’t enough, his signal was also split in two from the Cornish board via two Boss CE2 chorus pedals for a wide stereo effect!

    Relevant reading:
    A complete list of David’s guitars, amps and effects on The Wall album and tour.
    A detailed look at the Pete Cornish pedal board.
    The historty of David’s Black Strat.
    A close look at the Yamaha RA200 rotating speaker cabinet.
    Create your own killer Comfortably Numb tone!

    Like David’s first solo album, Final Cut is also a testimony of the tone he used on the prior tour. For the sessions he used more or less an identical setup to what he’d been using on the Wall tour and you can really hear that swirly, liquidy tone from the Is There Anybody Out There live album on songs like Possible Pasts and the title track.

    The Wall tour also marks the last time David used his classic Hiwatt/WEM/rotating speakers/Cornish board setup until the 2006 tour. 1984’s About Face saw a complete transition to a more modern setup, which evolved on the Momentary tour in 1987-90. Although David slowly incorporated more and more of his 70’s rigs, he never really went all the way until On an Island.

    The funny thing about David’s playing on the Wall is that when you listen to the album it sounds fresh and quite innovative. There’s some guitar stuff on it that’s just amazing and parts that’s defined David as a guitarist. However, if you start analyzing everything it’s perhaps one of the more repetitive albums he’s ever recorded. The echo guitars on another Brick is based on the build up from the mid section on Echoes. Young Lust is a clone of The Nile Song and Have a Cigar. Run Like Hell is more or less the same as the outtro on Sheep and Is There Anybody Out There even features the ”seagull screams” from Echoes…. and that’s just David’s parts. Still, the magic lies in how it was recorded and produced using guitars much more as an effect rather than the usual rhythm or lead instrument. David used a lot of time experimenting with ways of recording his guitars from traditional micing of the cabinets, blending amps and rotating speakers and recording straight into the mixing desk.

    1978-1981 was also an interesting period in terms of the Black Strat. In late summer 1978 David installed the mini pickup switch and replaced the old 1963 rosewood neck with a custom birds eye Grover Jackson/Charvel maple neck. In late 1979 the Black Strat was fitted with a custom Seymour Duncan SSL1 bridge pickup, replacing the DiMarzio FS-1.

    Every band has a youthful ”I don’t give a shit” period. Beatles had their’s around the White Album, where they grew beards and pretty much strayed as far away from the musical formula as they could. The album stands out as perhaps their best. Pink Floyd had their White Album period with Animals. This was a time where they looked like hell and played music like madmen. Animals is definitely one of their best album (if not THE best album). When Wall came out, Pink Floyd had grown up. They cut their hair and wore ironed, white shirts on stage. They’d become professionals and way too big to act like they belonged in a riot, rather than a band. Wall was big business and Waters was the captain of the new enterprise. It turned out to split the band and crash land into bankruptcy but what the hell. Comfortably Numb earns more money per year from airplay that what it cost to produce the album anyway.

    The Wall will always be Roger’s. David’s no big fan and he had little input on the writing process. Still, Wall will always remain as one of the biggest achievements in music history and I think it will continue to inspire future generations, just like it inspired Radiohead, Porcupine Tree, Dream Theatre, Queensryche and the whole idea of making concept albums. It’s not just the music but the genius way of blending music, lyrics and art into a story that’s universal. The Wall is as much a classical suite or an opera as a rock album – you can hear Mozart and Wagner looming in the background. Waters and Floyd managed to give the listener an experience that went way beyond the normal way of making music. A lot of this mentality inspired Radiohead’s OK Computer and Porcupine Tree’s Fear of a Blank Planet (to name a few) where music, lyrics and artwork goes hand in hand to give the listener a complete experience. This is an art form and way of making music that’s almost forgotten in today’s music industry but still sustained by bands that has a close relationship with their fans and a genuine sense of making the music they believe in.

    Join me in celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Wall and feel free to share your experience and thoughts.

    Post Tagged with ,

46 Responsesso far.

  1. Henrique says:

    As a musician, you try different things, create new songs and sometimes put pieces together and make a wonderful song. The Wall is for me a lot of pieces put together that sound just great.
    It is very depressive and deep. However, it is unique until today.
    I would never say that the album is double or has several songs. For me it is one single track of 2 hours.
    Well, let’s celebrate this great album with the new Roger Waters tour.

  2. Dave A says:

    Hey Bjorn.No doubt you already know Roger will bring the show to Oslo April 30th at Telenor.Also To Stockholm Globen on May 4th,wich is the one I will attend.Very handy.

    If you go to Stockholm as well let me know.Perhaps share a beer Before the show.

    I was watching the film last night,the DVD version with the commentry on and it was interesting renembering what my interpretations of the scenes were,you know what they ment to me at the time.And listening to roger.Its well documented that David was saying that he didnt like some of the music but I like to think that was mainly because of the circumstances surrounding the whole episode as apposed to the actual music itself.His playing to me is unbelievable.His guitar tones on this album have everything.The nylon string song Is there anbody out there,for some reason i have a vague memory that some else was brought in to play this as David couldnt get the little run downs to sound how he wanted them to.Is this just my imaginaton running away with itself or memory loss.Does this ring any bells for you at all.

    Cheers .

    [Great news indeed! I’ll be attending the show here in Oslo I guess at the new Telenor Arena. Ron de Blasi did the guitars on ITABOT. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  3. Eric Nyberg says:

    It’s official. Roger is touring The Wall. Are you going to go see it Bjorn? I’m tempted to just because it is The Wall. It would be nice if David did a one off appearance, to see him on top of the Wall doing C-Numb would be fantastic.

    On an unrelated subject, do you find that it’s easier to write chords first or melody?

    [I don’t think I’ll be traveling around Europe like I did to see David but if he visits Oslo or Sweden I will of course see the show! I mostly write chords first. Most of my songs are written based on chords and passages that comes from just playing the guitar and trying different stuff. Sometimes I get a melody very fast and basically have a song within minutes. Others needs more time… perhaps months to be completed. – Bjorn]

  4. Jeff says:

    I bought The Wall off the shelf of our local Camelot Music in 1980. I had not heard a single note of any song on the album. The only Floyd I had knowingly listened to prior to that was DSOTM. The guy with me at the music store told me not to buy it, because he heard it was “just a bunch of helicopters and shit“.

    I took The Wall home and gave it a deep listen through the headphones. I listened to it again and again. I listened to it with a clear head and with a not so clear head. It was the only album on my phonograph for several weeks or months.

    I can’t say definitively that the album changed my life. I was 13 so lots of things were changing my life. But I can’t relate to who I was before that. Most of what defined good music to myself and most of my friends at that time was trendy guitar riffs or some cute innuendo lyric. The Wall opened up the world of lyrical content to my budding ears and mind. I became a huge Roger Waters fan. A Doors fan. A Who fan. A Dylan fan. A renewed Beatles fan (I had already liked the Beatles from when I was 6).

    I am a bit of a minority I guess, because I love The Final Cut and Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking. The only Floyd I have struggled to make myself listen to is the post Waters stuff, until recently. I’m still a huge Gilmour fan, but I really never gave the “Momentary Lapse of Reason” and “Division Bell” fair shake until I heard “On An Island”. Then I decided life was too short to tune out one of the greatest guitarists of my lifetime over what he named his band.

    Another great article Bjorn!

    [Thanks for sharing Jeff! I agree that Final Cut is a brilliant record. Always loved it although I probably consider it more as a Waters solo effort rather than a full Floyd album… which it really is to. I’m sure you know the history. Not that fan of Pros and Cons although there are some greta moments on it. I’ve always loved Momentary and Bell, but I struggled with some of the songs on Bell until I saw David live in 2002 doing the “unplugged” shows in London. High Hopes and Great Day for Freedom especially are much better stripped down compared to the stadium Floyd versions… at least in my mind. You can really hear the beauty of the writing. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  5. David says:

    Great impressions. Keep up with the good work and have a great 2010 with lots of music!

  6. Charles says:

    The Wall is probably my favorite Pink Floyd album. There isn’t a song that I don’t love. Not that I don’t love Animals, but I just love throwing on The Wall and feeling all the emotion poured into it.

    I think some of my favorites are the duets with Roger and David, in particular Mother and Comfortably Numb. When David’s voice comes in on Numb I’m almost blown away every time, it’s almost overpowering in its polarity to Rogers. This polarity is even more evident in Mother, with Rogers almost fatigued, submissive vocals, and Davids strong, reassuring but at the same time dark, voice. Many people put David into the spotlight for his guitar work, but I have equal respect for his voice, which in both those songs (and especially in Is Anybody Out There) is fucking amazing. Rogers range in this album from beautiful and melodic, to angry and depressed is also one of my favorite performances.

    I understand why people think of The Wall as a dark album, but for me it’s uplifting, it’s about hope and suffering in equal measure. Do this as an experiment, put on a nice pair of headphones or crank up your Hi-Fi and put on Mother from Is Anybody Out There. It starts out depressing and sad, which comes across in Rogers vocals and the music, but listen when David says “Ohhh babe, of course mothers gonna help build a Wall” and then straight away the guitar solo comes in. That solo to me is about pure unadulterated love. In my opinion the guitar work in the live version is more refined than the studio version, and the fact that the solo is extended really drives this feeling home, especially at the end when it’s blended with the backing “ohhhhh babe.”

    I haven’t come across an album upon which such evident emotion is inlayed into the tracks. There are so many layers to each track, I discover more every time I listen to it. I think the reason some people don’t like the album is because it doesn’t work at all when you just listen to a few tracks. Apart from some exceptions, most of the tracks are completely dependent on the preceding one. I mean Brick 2 just doesn’t work with out Brick 1 and Happiest Days preceding it. You can’t just go and listen to Empty Spaces or get your mate to check out Nobody Home, without having heard the entire album preceding it. It’s like starting a book halfway through, which with music is a foreign concept. Sure, Dark Side may be a concept album, but not to the extreme that The Wall is. It’s an album that demands you sit down, listen to it and concentrate. Only then will you start to appreciate every song, and the journey it takes you on.

  7. Hugo says:

    I am 14 and for me the wall is the best album i hever heard!
    My favourite gilmour’ ton is the tube driver/CS-2 combinaison but i love the wall and david guitar sound!

  8. Jae says:

    It’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years. I loved The Wall when it first came out. Unfortunately it didn’t stand the test of time. I love Dave’s guitar tones, but Roger’s “vision” is just too heavy handed.
    I enjoyed reading all the comments. It’s interesting to read everyones favorite songs and the memories they bring back.
    I guess the moment that stands out when I think of the album is the intro to “Empty Spaces”. There’s something about those drums with the guitar playing behind them that sends chills down my spine to this day.
    I respect The Wall, but Animals is number 1 in my heart.

  9. Jay says:

    I remember being 16 and partying with one of my friends when i walked in on his dad watching The Wall dureing Goodbye Blue Sky and from then on out I was a die hard Floyd fan. Listening to David Play out the Comfterbly Numb solo , I decided that he was the guitarist i wanted to idolize and study his playing style.
    years have gone by and though The Wall isent my favorite album from Floyd like it used to be, I still treasure it for introduceing to this great band. Animals has been my favorite album but The Wall remaine in my top 5 favorite floyd albums.

  10. Eric says:

    P.S., do you know what kind of studio treatment they gave The Judge to get that huge/menacing sound in The Trial?

    [I guess it was multitracked with several voices and a vocoder to pitch and distort the vocals. – Bjorn]

  11. Eric says:

    Hey Bjorn, I just got my triangle Large Beaver yesterday and was playing some wall stuff and I love it, although I am going to have to get used to it a bit. If there’s anything I’m a little frustrated with it’s my deluxe EH mistress, she’s way to pronounced in the mix, I don’t want my Thin Ice, Comfortably Numb sound to be too swirly, I’m going more for the studio sound. Also, I’m thinking about getting into Porcupine Tree, can you recommend an album that a fan of Floyd and Radiohead would like?

    [The Mistress is dominating. That’s just its nature. If you want something more subtle, you should check out a chorus. Keep in mind that the Mistress was rarely used on the album, so I’d ditch it if it doesn’t work for you on the songs you mention.
    My favourite PT album is Stupid Dream. It’s very Floyd at times. I also love some of the older albums like Sky Moves Sideways, which has some great Floyd moments. Among the more recent stuff, you should check out Deadwing, which is a bit heavier but probably their best album. – Bjorn]

  12. Simon Mills says:

    “The Wall” depressing? You’re not listening properly.

    [Depends on how you define depressing doesn’t it? Wall is a dark album. Much darker than Animals, thematically, but gloomy, sad music can often be uplifting. It can fuck you up pretty good but it can also be what gets you through the day. – Bjorn]

  13. Krip says:

    Pink Floyd – The Wall 30th Anniversary Interview with Gilmour, Waters, and Mason on this site http://www.inthestudio.net/

    Interview mid Nov 2009

    Pink Floyd – The Wall Pt1 & Pt2

  14. Whacky says:

    I think The Wall today is not felt in the same way as it did back in the 80’s. Groundbreaking production, incredible sonics for an album of its era, and the music was like none other that PF recorded before.
    Unfortunately, the story of Rick’s dismissal, the bitterness in the band, Gilmour’s jaundiced view of it, and (in my opinion) that Waters has been riding on the creative coat-tails of this album ever since, help make this album a love it/hate it matter.
    The Wall (album and performance) was the zenith of what was Pink Floyd…the apex that left them nowhere to go. For me, it majestically marks what I refer to as the peak years of Floyd, 1971-79. The years ‘pre’ and ‘post’ this era are not to be discounted but for me they don’t represent the essence of what Floyd was.

    My big intro to Floyd was in early ’88 when AMLOR had been out for several months already. Side 2 is amazing. Album by album, peeling the layers away, I found The Wall and I was hooked. CNumb was my first more-than-16 bar guitar solos I learned. 20 years later, I am still playing that solo and have done so at several performances over those years. It’s a testament to Floyd and Gilmour that all it takes is a reasonable cop of his guitar style and folks – many of whom are barely aware of what Floyd is/was – become mesmerized by that solo!

    [Well, I agree. People who discover Wall or other classic albums today won’t have the same experience as those who hear it when it was new. It’s like seeing Star Wars in 1977 and today. You’re used to a certain standard and you’ll experience a different dimension of the album or movie. You won’t experience the groundbreaking phenomenon that changes the music or film industry. I’m not sure we’ll ever experience something as big as Sgt Pepper, Dark Side, Wall or Star Wars again (to name just a few)… but who knows… – Bjorn]

  15. Alberto says:

    I heard “the wall” for first time when I was 15. I was taking maths lessons after college and the teacher has it in cd format. One of the best efforts in rock history.The impact was really big for me to listen to this music and specially the guitars and atmosphere. I must say that I am a big fun of the 68-71 era but the best Gilmour’s tones are in the 75-83 era. Anyway Gilmour and later Frank Zappa made me pick up a guitar and never look back.
    Cheers Bjorn. Another great article

    [Cheers Alberto! – Bjorn]

  16. David Cian says:

    Bjorn Great article! I love your site. Matter of fact, it is my homepage.
    Typically I do not like The Wall. I say this yet I always find myself into it when I hear it. Yet it is one of the last Floyd albums I put in the player. I was introduced to the Floyd at age 5, Dark Side was the first memory of music I truly loved. It took me somewhere… it still seems to every time I listen. Slowly I began to realize that David’s playing was the key to the beauty behind the music. I believe that David and Rick are two masters of music composition and studio technique. I began playing guitar 4 years ago not because of the typical dreams of “rockstardom”. I began because I wanted to express myself like David does. His music says more then any words can describe. My point is.. Though the Wall has a powerful story the music tends to play second fiddle.
    A little off topic. I would like to thank you for making me realize the perfection that is Animals. I use to hate that album. I am not sure why. I must have never really opened my ears. Though I will always love Dark side, it was the Floyd’s breakout album and sounds still like they were trying to be something that would be popular. Animals is raw emotion! like you said it is the floyd not trying, just being them. I love the album and thank you again.
    I also wanted to point out that I appreciate your accuracy in info. I love my Black Strat and thank you for that as well. I would like to request more video of your playing. I am self taught and would like some advice other then just playing David’s songs. How do I master his style like you have??? I have a good musical ear and can play most things by ear. Any thoughts??

    ~David Cian

    [Thanks a lot for your kind words David! Glad you enjoy my site and find it helpful :) I think you need to understand Animals to fully appreciate it. I know a lot of Floyd fans who doesn’t like it but they can’t figure out the album either. It was one of the first Floyd albums I heard and it’s been my favourite ever since. At the time, it was David’s guitar that got me but when I learned about the growing turmoil within Floyd, heard all the bootlegs, got to understand the political situation in England at the time, the album just grew immensely. You can find much of the same backdrop for the Wall but, at least in my opinion, Animals has a raw edge to it and it sounds much more honest and not as calculated and neatly produced as the Wall. The way Animals was recorded adds to the atmosphere of the album and you can really hear all the anger and frustration. It will always have a special place in my life. – Bjorn]

  17. James M says:

    Terrific analysis, Bjorn; I’m a longtime Wall fan, but I’m going to have to go back and listen to some of the recuring guitar work across Animals, WWYH, and The Wall because I’ve clearly never made these connections!

    I think the Wall is a brilliant album, and I listen to it in its entirity frequently….David’s tones on that album are my favorite tones he creates. Happy anniversary, The Wall!

  18. charaf says:

    I was 17, my father just passsed away and I saw that Alan Parker the wall movie. Needless to say that the wall’s concept was quite depressing. However it exercised a real fascination on me both intellectually and musically. I remember myself listening endlessly to the 3rd side what i call the ‘black side’.
    I was impressed particularly by the sophisticated arrangement of the orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen. I did not have any money and in the country there was no music store to buy records and i had no clue about guitars, equipements and so on.Thanks to this album i had this obsesession to continue my learning quest. Today I’m a 43 years old, i have strats , amps and pedals and i’m playing music. 25 years ago that was a complete utopia to me.


    [Thanks for sharing Charaf! – Bjorn]

  19. Tomas says:

    I grew up on The Wall, I rate it as one of the best albums in history, competing Dark Side and WYWH. I still feel the same way, mostly with tears in my eyes and goose flesh when I listen to One of my Turns and Don’t leave me now. David’s solos in these songs are the most powerful to me.. So simple, so great. I have to say, I didn’t listen to it for a couple of years, I think it’s high time Cymbaline..

  20. Nuno Simões says:

    Well, first of all happy birthday to “The Wall”! =) The first time I heard the whole album I was amazed by all the theatre that’s on it. It’s almost like watching a film in the cinema.

    Animals is actually my favourite album, I just love the raw power the whole album has. From the simple chords of “Pigs on the wing” to the keyboard intro of Sheep and the brutal guitar solos from Dogs. Next it would have to be “Dark side of the moon”.

    The album was and still is one of the finest produced albums to date and in my opinion is the most complete album from Pink Floyd. The message is heavy but it’s so well taught through the saw-like sound of Time’s solo to the sexy bass riff and sax solo on Money and the amazing vocal solo from Clare Torry on The great gig in the sky, not to mention the mix of Any color you like with the keyboard almost battling with Dave’s guitar and the fantastic lyrics on Eclipse and Brain Damage.

    The wall really was a turning point for me. Dave’s solo on Comfortably Numb and Alvin Lee’s solo on Bluest Blues made me realise that playing guitar was what I wanted to do and I never stopped doing it ever since. =) Dave’s playing is up there in my list followed closely by Andy Latimer and Trey Anastasio.

  21. Ruud says:

    It’s strange that bands with ego problems produces often their greatest work (Abbey Road, Rumours) The Wall is such an example with a very dominant Waters, Gilmour who prefers his solowork at that time, Wright who had a discussion with Waters about his part in the band etc.
    The Wall is still a monument and a absolute masterpiece.
    Next to the great lyrics, great guitarwork an fine production I think that the singing parts are superb. The characteristic voices of Roger and Dave in songs like Thin Ice, Mother, Hey you and Numb are so beautifull! I can hear The Wall over and over and it never bores me.

  22. Steve Schibuola says:

    I mentioned on the Black Strat thread that I was in high school when The Wall was released – it was a HUGE radio phenomenon in Toronto and every kid in my school (it seemed) was sporting a Wall jean jacket. That was too much for me – I was a bit of a contrarian/rebel in high school and tended to shun anything that was too popular (hey, weren’t we all a little weird in high school!). So I kind of ignored the album for a while, as I did Floyd and most of the arena bands at the time.

    A few years later in college, I was driving back from Octoberfest in a small town outside Toronto when I blew out a tire. It was 2am on a dismal, drizzly night. I got towed to a gas station, and had to wait there about 2 hours while they found a replacement tire in another town. The one mechanic on duty played the entire album, on a crappy tape player with extra warble. Cold, dark, drizzly night. Middle of nowhere. Neon-lit gas station with industrial/mechanical mood-noise mixing with the flanged-out strains of Gilmour’s guitar and Waters’ tortured voice. Beer buzz gone and hangover/exhaustion setting in. I can still picture it. Needless to say, changed my whole perspective on the album, and PF.

    [Thanks for sharing Steve! – Bjorn]

  23. Josh says:

    Interesting that you should talk about the live tone vs the studio tone. My band strives for live authenticity – and I have certainly had a few people comment after shows that they thought we sounded great, but that my lead tones on Wall songs were “too swirly” =) Personally, I absolutely love the tone from “Is There Anybody Out There” and “The Final Cut”. I kind of wish more casual fans knew about it =)

    [Yeah, well that’s always the issue when you’re playing in tribute bands. Most people only recognize the studio albums but playing them note by note (or authentic sounds) live doesn’t work and straight bootleg versions is for the die hard fans only. Finding the balance is tricky :) But I agree, David’s live tones especially from this era is fantastic and so much more fun to play with! Cheers! – Bjorn]

  24. Jon Fink says:

    Thankyou Bjorn,
    My first experience to Pink Floyd was as a very young fellow learning to play guitar back in 1988. There were commercials about the Momentary Lapse of Reason tour and I remember hearing this wonderful sounding guitar solo in the background of the commercial (1st part of Comfortbly Numb) and I had to find out what that song was and learn to play it. Shortly after Guitar magazine had put the tablature to Comfortably Numb in one of their monthly magazines and I have been completely hooked by his playing style/tone ever since. David’s guitar playing on the Wall was the door opening for me to liking Pink Floyd in the first place. I like hear about other people’s opinions on different era’s of David’s guitar tone they like best, my favorite tone of David’s is the 1994 tour (not the Pulse concert, that was a bit overproduced) but the bootlegging the bootleggers section of the Pulse DVD, or any live bootlegs of the 1994 tour is by far in my mind THEEEE SOUND!!! I am a big fan of huge hall reverb. Thanks again Bjorn for having this outlet and having this website to further our knowledge on David’s tones.

    [Thanks Jon! One of my favourite bootlegs regardless era is the Modena, Italy 1994 show. It has one of the most honest sources for David’s tones on that tour and you can really hear the complexity of his tone. – Bjorn]

  25. ruodi says:

    When “The Wall” came out- or maybe one year later (first time I´d heard about Pink Floyd at all) I was thinking about Pink Floyd as a kind of a child choir. ;)


    But when I saw the “Wall” film the first time (1982 – 13 years old – much too young to watch this movie) my perception of Pink Floyd changed radically. :))P

  26. Eric Nyberg says:

    For a very long time from 2005 when I was 21 years old until now THE WALL had been my favorite album of all time. The guitar sound is why I play guitar now, I desperately needed to recreate those screams in the thin ice and the crying towards the end of Comfortably Numb, I was going through an alienated part of my life at that point and it was a soundtrack to that, although with the benefit of some maturity and experience I can understand why David Gilmour calls the album “whiny”, I respect Roger Waters but I don’t think I’d like to know him. But that aside, I love the Wall but I only listen to it all in one sitting on long car rides, along with my other top 5 albums; Sticky Fingers, Who’s Next, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John’s guitarist Davey Johnstone deserves more credit, Funeral for a friend/love lies bleeding is epic), and Abbey Road.

    [Great musical taste you have and very close to mine. Abbey Road will always be on my top 10 list. – Bjorn]

  27. Ironhand says:

    My cousin got ‘The Wall’ for Christmas the year it came out. We played the album on the little record player my brother and I got that same night(he was 7, I was 8, our cousin was 10).

    We’d already heard a couple songs on the radio, but the rest of the album was brand new to us all. The 3 of us sat by the speakers mesmerized, we’d never heard anything like this before!! The Stuka dive-bomber shrieking across the end of ‘In the Flesh’ locked the entire album in my mind from then to today…

    All the problems the band had making the album are well-documented, but do little to diminish the impact ‘The Wall’ hs had on my life…

    [One of the best selling novels in post-war time in Norway is a book called Beatles by author Lars Saabye Christensens (I’m sure it’s available in several languages). It’s about these 4 guys growing up as teenagers in the 60s and Beatles is their soundtrack and the thread in the book. Their youthful naitivity is acompanied by Beatles’ first albums. The way the author describes how they get the new album, spend hours just looking at the album cover, all mezmerised, and the incontrolable urge to listen to the songs over and over is so fitting for anyone who’s had their lives changed by music. The guys grow older and their insicurity during puberty is described by how every Beatles fan though Rubber Soul was a dramatic change in style and so it goes on. The guys are 20 years old and drifting apart when Abbay Road is released. If you can find this book in your country I warmly recommend it. Wheter or not you like The Beatles or grew up in Norway or the 60s, this book is about every music fan’s youth. – Bjorn]

  28. art says:

    the wall is an epic album ,roger waters lyrics are amazing ,30 years seems like yesterday for me i am 46 years old, can not forget the first time the song another brick in the wall pt 2 was on the airwaves ,obviously running to the record store and getting a copy ,taking a closer look at the LP album and listing all day long ,in that period of time there was no internet, so you had to rely on what the radio DJ would tell you about the band or wait for a music magazine interview ,pink floyd remained very secluded about being in the public eye ,when the movie came out latter we got a change to see in the cinema ,another great experience from the floyd ,i believe the wall is the culmination of all the sounds and gadgets that pink floyd had used in the studio for many years ,for this project roger waters had BOB EZRIN , i have read that you BJORN liked the band KISS ,i happened to be a fan too at the early stage of the KISS band first four LP albums must say,some of the arrangements of the classical music in the wall were familiar for me since BOB EZRIN music direction on the song BETH ,in my opinion the wall was made at stage when pink floyd as individuals where at the pinnacle of their music carer an as humans persons some of the members were
    struggling with personal problems, some may argue that this is roger waters work
    but as roger waters was the lyricist of the band , he had the determination to get this project produced,according to floyd historians was the wall or david gilmour material which would latter appear on david first solo album, the work remains today as a fresh as to 30 years ago even though the perspective is different today as is was at the era when floyd fans and not, first got a glimpse of that wall , today it’s makes perfect sense to me ,the wall is deep into the roots of every true pink floyd fan it could be any song from the album or the guitar solos of david ,still it was musical extravaganza at it best ,to bad it also brought the band a part (divided we fall) all the knowledge that we know today about pink floyd is thanks to people like you ,that research information that provide to people like me, a fan of one the greatest musical group in the world
    thank you for your site ……..

    [Thanks for sharing Art! Yes, I’ve always been a huge Kiss fan. I discovered the band when I was about 6-7 years old through a friend of mine who was a couple of years older. Although Floyd really changed my life, I must admit that hearing and seeing Kiss for the first time really blew me away. This was my very first encounter with music other than the usual childish novelty stuff. I was introduced to a world I had no idea excisted and although you can say much about Kiss today I’ve always been fascinated by how they alway give 100% to their fans. It’s been ups and downs but in the long run, the reason they’re still here is because they offer sonmething different and they do it 100% without any bullshit. They know how stupid they are and how limited they are as musicians but that’s why I love them too. I see much of Kiss in Floyd… or vice versa. It’s the genuine urge to give people something different, the show they never got to see them selves. Pink Floyd’s concept of music, art and stage show, goes hand in hand with Kiss’ philosophy and both bands continue to fascinate and change the lives of new generations. – Bjorn]

  29. Kit Rae says:

    Great article, as usual Bjorn.

    The Wall was one of the first records I owned, and my first real introduction to the band, like you and others have said. I was hooked from the first listen, then went back and bought all the previous albums, one at a time.

    I actually liked all of the songs on the record from the first listen, and don’t consider any of them weak. They are all masterful compositions to me, and all very different from each other, but as a whole they work. Vera is one of my favorite songs, and one of Roger’s most soulful ones on the record. Sure it’s not Pink Floyd, but a work such as this could not contain only “Floyd-like” songs. I have to say, I devoured every piece of music on this record, and it inspired me to listen to other non rock and roll stuff, and classical, after I listened to it. The Wall had so many diverse songs on it, from classical guitar pieces, to hard rock, to Beach Boys, to opera – it was a tour de force on my young mind. It is a very depressing narrative, but I guess the music was so interesting to me that I never got depressed listening to it. It made me explore in my mind all of the themes it presented, and I actually found a lot of humor in it. Most people miss that.

    As others have said, this album is also what got me into playing guitar. I only wish I could have seen one of the live performances, but lets hope Roger one day releases that new version of the live footage he has been editing on the past few years.

    This time of year alway reminds me of one Christmas Eve back in the mid 1980s when I was going through some boxes in my parents garage and found an old 8-track tape of a live Wall show my older brother had made. I had never heard the Wall live, or any bootleg, and I stayed up all night listening to it over and over. One of my best Christmas memories.

    Speaking of Christmas, I hope you and your family have a great one, Bjorn, and thanks for all the web articles over the years.

    [Thank you and all the best whish for you and your family as well :) I agree with you that there’s a lot of humor in The Wall… perhaps more on the album than the film. There’s a very fine line between the sad story of Pink and Spinal Tap. The Trial is a very funny piece, especially with Tim Curry in Berlin 1990! Unfortunately this is a straight rip off from Alice in Wonderland but it doesn’t really matter. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  30. Giles says:

    Lets not forget about the musicians and vocalists not credited that played on both the wall studio and live. Some recognizable guitar work was not played by DG. For The Wall tour there were two drummers, two keyboardists, two guitarists, two bass players, etc etc.

    [True. Wall was very much a project between many musicians, conductors and producers… both live and studio. But it was mainly Roger, Ezrin and Gilmour who wrote and arranged the music. – Bjorn]

  31. TQuay says:


    A wonderful and fitting tribute you have written. I can’t help but like the “where were you?” stories by yourself and your readers like asking what were you doing when (for older readers) JFK was assasinated or the Berlin Wall fell or 9/11 happened? I was attending a snobby Middle School when The Wall was released. The lyrics made me think about how unnecessarily mean the teachers were and how robotic (going into a meat grinder)many of the other students were. In short it helped bring many things I already felt deep down to the surface and helped chart my life.

    Few other forms of art would even think about dark concepts like fascism existing in human nature especially in modern times. While such thoughts aren’t pleasant they are a profound warning. We must remember that men who think like George W. Bush will always be around and can appear in any country.

    Truly, The Wall is a part of human history that must be celebrated and it’s concepts upheld. Don’t forget to follow Roger Water’s attack on the Wall built by the Isreali’s. It is the same ugliness he wrote about thirty plus years ago. Cheers

    [Agree. Waters’ story and lyrics are timeless and universal. As was Dark Side and Animals. A lot of the cruely he wrote about is sadly still present today. Animals , Wall and Final Cut describes and is warning about dangers from both outside and within, whether it means a person it self or politics. I’ve always believed that Roger is one of our most overlooked poets. – Bjorn]

  32. Paul L. says:

    Thanks for the great article, Bjorn. Loved hearing how you were introduced to Floyd. I was introduced to them by a friend just before Animals came out. The first album I heard was WYWH and, lacking headphones, I used to lay with my head between my speakers (imagine my first hearing of Time in this position!). I rapidly acquired all their albums beginning with Piper and was first in line when Animals hit the stores. I played through each album as I learned how to play bass.
    In 1979, I was away at college when my friend sent me a cassette of The Wall. I listened to it constantly, loving Gilmour’s guitar work, the repeating musical themes and all the extras; voices and other sound fx between and during songs. I’ve always loved that aspect of the Floyd: using not only their instruments, but also other sounds that invite the imagination to add to and create a greater experience. I believe this is partly what makes the Floyd’s music so personal.
    I could keep on writing about my feelings about this band, as we all could. Cheers to all and thanks again, Bjorn!

    [Great story Paul! – Bjorn]

  33. MT says:

    More of a solo album than a full band release, after this record Roger would condem himself to the same type of music for about a century.
    David in the other hand went to the other side, he started doing more “comercial” songs and pop stuff.
    One thing we can be sure after the wall (or animals?) Pink Floyd will never be the same.
    The wall is always in the eye of the beholder, but as all concept albums you got to listen to it as a whole.
    Personaly i think it has a great start, it kind of goes too deep in the middle part, regain strenght with songs like C Numb, In the flesh?, Run Like Hell, The show must go on, worms, and from there it goes completely to a dark abyss of insanity with rest of the album. Yeah, i dont like the ending at all, i think is subpar with the rest of the album. Even other Roger Waters solo albums like Amused to death have better endings.
    On topic for us guitar players, some of The guitar work is just as like you said, more of the same from Dave, but there are some pretty good ideas as well, i think it was the first time David used the digital delays in that way, more rhythmically, and i dare to say, “inspirational” for The Edge playing in U2 future career.

    My regards.

    [I’ve never though about the Edge link but perhaps you’re right. There’s definitely some stuff on the album that could translate to U2 and Edge. regarding David’s solo carreer… The whole About Face launch was a flop to say the least. A great album, sure, but David, his management and EMI had this idea of turning him into a rock idol. Pretty desperate I think but understandable as they needed to come up with something fast that could close the huge gap after Floyd. For the first time, David did tons of interviews and photo sessions and the album was released with a huge campaign but he was no Clapton in terms of being famous. After all, Floyd did everything they could to stay anonymous. The album did poorly, the tour was more or less a disaster and I think that was a big reason why David wanted to risk it all finacially to get Floyd moving again in 1987. On an Island was a whole different story and bound to be a success as he at this point has a whole differen status. – Bjorn]

  34. Reds says:

    i think was the first cassette i bought by myself.
    the bricks on the cover blows me away … nothing fancy, but bricks … a huge wall ….

    i was like 9 years old.
    and of course, the wall shape a lot of my present personality. (for good o for bad); that was how a learned what means to be depressed …, by the way, i still love that dark feeling of it.

    happy birthday The Wall …


  35. Fernando says:

    Thank you Bjorn for sharing. For me The Wall is a great album and artistic achievement. Maybe it has weaker songs, but we have to remember that it is a concept album, and those songs fit perfectly in the story. I think that some songs are overlooked as Waiting for the Worms and Nobody Home (I have to admit that, for me RW version in Berlin is great). A personal favourite is the guitar solo of One of my Turns.

    I think that, even today, the live act has not been surpassed by any other band. No matter how many dry-ice, lights or lasers are involved, when you watch the bootlegs your realise that everything is perfectly balanced and is a part of a whole concept. Having said that, for me listening The Wall in a dark, quiet room is priceless. Depressing? Maybe, but what is the problem with that?

    [Ha ha! Nothing wrong with being depressing. That can help you to be either more positive or really dig deep into your own depression… if you need to do that. Some days it’s OK to just be depressed and listening to music can be what you need. But what I was trying to say is that Wall is a demanding album… the movie even more so. But that’s why we like it isn’t it? I definitely agree with you regarding Waiting for the Worms and Nobody Home. Great songs. – Bjorn]

  36. bernhard says:

    hi bjorn,

    thanks for a great article!

    born in 77, I first came in touch with the wall around 82 or 83 and then around 85 again when older sons of my parent’s friends or neighbours played the record on heavy rotation. so I remember some early to mid 80’s with the sound of the wall. eerie, dark, interesting, vene as a child.

    I properly came back to it only a lot later, maybe around 97 or so, can’t really remember. I gladly second most of what you mentioned about the record. all I can say on my part is that it’s a record that never gets old, boring, it never seems to end in depth and fascination, I am still exploring mayn of its guitar sounds like it was the first day I liestened to it.

    and while I understand much of david’s reservations towards the record, I wish, after 30 years, he would be able to really make his peace with the record and all the issues involved. despite with all the downturns involved in the making, I also reckon there’s must be great strength emanating from the creation of it (creation in all its facettes).

    well whatever, if I had to (momentarily) choose one band that for me draws lots of inspiration from floyd and the wall period in particular, I’d say Muse is a band that is carrying floyd’s torch into the 21st century. after the last 3 really oustanding records, everything for me hints in the direction of a proper concept album, double or not, who cares, but I think releasing a concept album would be the next logical step for muse. these guys have an awful lot of potential, and are maybe the only band around for me who are able to produce eery, slightly outerworldly, abstract, and surreal moods in their records and shows.

    have yourself a happy christmas, bjorn, and a happy new year! thanks time and again for this site!


    {I must confess that I’m not a big Muse fan but I can see what you mean. It wouldn’t surpise me if we saw something similar from them in the future. Radiohead was heading towards that but moved away with the last couple of albums. There are a couple of albums though that is very inspired by Wall… I’m tempted to say rip off. Queensryche’s Operation Midcrime and WASP’s Chrimson Idol. Neither would have been written without Wall. Operation Mindcrime is a great album though… in my opinion… :) Merry christmas to you too and hope to see you on the site next year! – Bjorn]

  37. Johan Abrahamsson says:

    For me, The Wall is definitely one of Pink Floyd’s and David Gilmour’s highlights. Gilmour’s tone on the album is absolutely stunning, even if I sometimes prefer the demo versions. However I still think WYWH and particularly Animals are superior, both in terms of music and sound. At some points The Wall is a little bit too harsh and overblown, and I actually think The Final Cut is a better album. But the impact The Wall has have on my own musical upbringing cannot be underestimated.

    When it comes to other works inspired by The Wall I can’t think of a more fitting example than The Fragile, Nine Inch Nails’ masterpiece from 1999. It deals with similar themes and does even feature contributions from Bob Ezrin, who helped out with final touches as well as deciding the track order. I’ve even read an interview which featured both Trent Reznor and Roger Waters talking about concept albums, the linking is definitely there.

    [Yeah, NIN has a lot of Floyd references, which again inspired Porcupien Tree. Both Reznor and Wilson are huge fans of Waters and his way of seeing music and art as one and the same. – Bjorn]

  38. Jeff says:

    Unfortunately I dont have anything quite as profound to say as some of you but this being my favorite musical group I am happy to see how many people have such a deep personal relationship with the music. I remember the first time I heard the first Echoes solo from Live in Gdansk, I couldnt even breathe I was so awestruck.

    May their music carry on until the world collapses.

    (On a side note…Where are the seagull screams you were talking about in Run Like Hell?)

    [The Seagull Screams are at the beginning of Is there anybody out there. – Bjorn]

  39. Paul_C says:

    Another excellent piece of work Bjorn. A tremendously heartfelt read throughout. It’s when I read pieces like this that I feel I get to know you even more! It’s not just your guitar that’s Gilmourish, I think your soul is too!

    I also have mixed feelings about the album (the film I still feel is crap!) I find David’s playing “troubled” and aggressive. He sounds unhappy and frustrated. I guess that’s how it was for the band at that time. Richard’s dismisal was unforgivable as he contributed so much to the Floyd’s sound. So glad he got to play the concerts, even if it was as a session player! I believe he was the only one to actually make any money out of the tour!

    Anyhow, the Wall still had a part in defining David’s talents and separation from RW hasn’t done him any harm!

    I remember seeing David on top of the Wall playing Comfortably Numb and it blew me away! I haven’t put my guitar down ever since! Long may he be with us:-)


    [Thank you Paul! – Bjorn]

  40. João J. Francisco says:

    THE WALL changed my life! I heard it more than 1000 times! I confess I went crazy for a while!…

    For me, Animals, The Wall and The final cut are a Trilogy in David’s sound! I love it very much!

    In a concept way I think that the Wall-Final Cut continues someway in the Roger’s solo albuns!…

    THE WALL must be remembered by the film and the live shows too! The film is very violent, and the relation of the sound, lyrics and image is amazing and scary in some moments!

    THE WALL is an important icon on music History of XX century!

    [I often prefer to listen to the movie soundtrack rather than the studio album. The sound mix on the movie is huge and much more aggressive than the album. I agree regarding Final Cut. Although not a Floyd album, it’s a fantastic album with some of David’s more soulful solos. – Bjorn]

  41. Alex says:

    The Wall is definitely a great achievement in the history of music, and a colossal collection of many great songs…it is such a strange paradox that many bands’ greatest masterworks are created under such stressful, frustrating tensions among bandmates. It goes to show how the intense love artists have for their work causes many bands to inevitably split into a handful of less successful solo careers that often do little more than disappoint fans. This excludes, of course, David’s amazing solo accomplishments and guys like Sting have shown that some good things can come from great bands like Pink Floyd and The Police separating. As someone who is in a band that writes intensely sentimental progressive/art-rock songs, it saddens me to think that it is so hard to avoid the business aspects of things. You don’t see that sort of thing happen with many other artforms. Rock and roll is, in the end, fueled by an energy and a state of mind that, like even the brightest of stars, eventually burns out. Luckily for us, there is a whole universe out there.

  42. John says:

    Bjorn, my feelings about the Wall are similar to yours. I love portions of it and could really do without some of it. I dislike a lot of the stranger songs, but also feel that David’s guitar work on the album is some of the best ever. On long road trips I do usually find myself putting the Wall on, guess I can appreciate some of the stranger songs when in the context of the entire album. I have a similar relationship with the White Album. Half of that album is some of the Beatles’ greatest songs, the other half is garbage and probably didn’t need to be released.

    [The stranger stuff on Wall works somehow because it’s a concept album. I can understand why songs like Vera, Bring the Boys Back Home, the Trial etc are on the album although I tend to skip them. White Album should, in my very personal opinion, have been released as a single LP. Then it would have been one of the greatest albums ever. Still, White Album would never have been made today. Even though Beatles had their status in the late 60’s they had the aproval from the record company to make whatever they wanted. Same with Floyd on Saucerful. I mean, how many bands would have gotten thumbs up on something like Corporal Clegg today? It’s not about money but the genuine interest in music, which the record companies doesn’t have today. Allowing bands to do whatever they wanted because you believed in their vision created bands like Beatles and Floyd. – Bjorn]

  43. John McLoughlin says:

    I remember my first encounter with The Wall. Im only 27 but when I was in the 8th grade my teacher loved Pink Floyd and would always play some for us on a friday if we were good through the week. Around Christmas time of that year I came down with an severe case of mononucleosis or “mono” and I was bed ridden and so sick I almost died. I asked for The Wall for christmas just because I liked a few of the songs on it, nothing major… Long story short I ended up listening to that cd over and over and over and over…. For weeks that was the only thing I listened to. Not because they were “good tunes” or whatever – I was so sick and the music carried me through it. I identified with his pain because I was going through although a different kind of pain, still pain. Especially in comfortably numb. Talking about being so sick… Ever since then Ive been hooked. Ive decked out my wardrobe in Floyd shirts, dominated my CD library with bootlegs and other Floyd things, even covering my room when I was in high school with PF posters and ripped out magazine pages. I remember my favorite picture was David in the Animals era wearing a white tuxedo shirt with his long hair and beard sporting the 63 rosewood neck on his strat bending the hell out of the high e string… I remember looking at it on a daily basis and lusting after that guitar. It came full circle when last year they announced the Gilmour signature strat. I was one of the first 500 to get one and it was my video Bjorn posted last year or the beautiful Relic… Pink Floyd is still everything to me. They inspired me to play guitar… thats what I do for a living now. My pedal board is mostly made up of Davids old gear. It all came from being so sick and having The Wall to comfort me. That CD has changed my life in so many ways its hard to even think about it. I know I wouldnt be who I am today without the wall.

    Wow, that was wordy… But its a really cool story…

    [Thanks for sharing John! That’s what music is all about.. or art in general. A song or complete album can move you in ways you’ve never imagined. It’s hard for outsiders to understand this, especially if you’ve never experienced it yourself. It’s like those people who goes to the Louvre or other art galleries and faint for no apparent reason. Art is extremely powerful and it’s often when you’re at your most vulnerable that you need these experiences. I know for sure that David’s music, guitar, tones and person (based on how I know the public side of him) has gotten me through rough times. – Bjorn]

  44. Martin Wells says:

    I saw the Australian Pink Floyd Wall concert in Bristol, UK earlier this year. Apart from the usual well known Wall tracks, I’d never heard the entire album before. I’d always kept it at arms length given its length and intensity (plus its one step away from The Final Cut, an album I can’t stand) but I enjoyed the entire live experience. Of course, C Numb is one of my all time fave tracks but I don’t think I’ll be listening to the whole album anytime soon. Shame there’s been no 30th Anniversary remastered version released, I’d still have bought it!

    Floyd aren’t very good at promoting themselves CD wise. Given their back catalogue, where are all the limited edition boxed sets (CD+DVD) for each album? The Live in Gdansk sets are a prime of example of how they should be done.

  45. Patrik says:

    I was a bit surprised that you didn’t do anything for the Wall 30th anniversary last week, but better late than not at all, right? ;) (yes, you did point out that you missed the nov. 30th deadline in the black strat comment section)… But,but, I think you pretty much nailed it when trying to sum up what the Wall is all about. Sure, it might not be the most innovative and the most creative highlights when it comes to David’s guitar work, but still it does sound just as new, fresh, and exciting every time I listen to it, the goose bump-factor is still there although I’ve listened to it, well, too many times… Conceptually and lyrically The Wall is perhaps the “widest”, although it’s “the semi-biography of Roger Waters”, the concept of isolation is universal. Although somewhat depressing indeed, the sheer emotion of songs like Comfortably Numb for example does make it The Wall uplifting in a way. I do feel I can relate to, well quite a lot of the emotions and feelings Roger is writing about on The Wall. The mix the guitars, lyrics, concepts and the all the rest is just excellent, truly one-of-a-kind. All in all, it’s all just bricks… eh, all in all, my opinion is that The Wall is Pink Floyd’s magnum opus – Animals will always be the die-hard fan’s favorite (and yes, it’s damn good) but still, I keep coming back to The Wall each time I listen to it. Nothing is quite like it.

    [Cheers Patrik! – Bjorn]

  46. El Gordo says:

    Great article! Personally, I tend to blow hot or cold with The Wall – I much prefer the 1970-74 period for the Floyd and I tend to see The Wall as Waters’ first solo album, albeit performed by the Floyd. The Wall was the first Floyd I heard – my Dad would play me side one when I was just four years old!

    It is indeed a hugely work, but I just think The Trial steps into Lloyd Webber-isms, and I’m not a fan of the whole “rock stars moaning about success” genre! The only place The Wall (for me) totally works is as an enormous theatrical live perfomance (see inumerable bootleg videos for evidence).

    [Well I agree to some extent. I struggle with the typical musical numbers, like Vera and The Trial but they somehow fit in. I think one of the more powerful songs on the album is Waiting for the Worms. Always loved that one. – Bjorn]