Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
Yet in spite of that, I had to admire some of the work of Pink Floyd. Unlike Genesis and worse, Yes, they did not expect to be loved because they regarded themselves as supremely competent musicians and that because of that alone they demanded respect. Nor, it has to be said, did they resort to the pretentious, contrived pomposity (there I did it again) of making an entire double album out of the pseudo-spiritual musings of their vocalist. No, Pink Floyd set out to earn your respect. They may not have always succeeded but at least they didn't contrive shitty albums based around long footnotes on some pretentious load of bollocks on Hindu spiritualism. For that reason I can listen to them more than I can any other prog rock band of the early to mid seventies. As with a lot of Pink Floyd's albums (most especially Dark Side of the Moon), I always got the impression that reason why so many people had these albums was because, well, so many people had them.
Even so, Pink Floyd could be exceptionally self-indulgent at times. Once they crossed the line from drug-fuelled sixties psychedelia to full-blown prog rock, the bizarre sounds of their earlier work were replaced by too many long, overblown epic masterpieces which had the capacity to bore you almost to distraction, unless you were some wide eyed music snob who just sat there and listened, eyes wide open, in a sort of messianic rapture. Never mind the melody (or lack of it), just listen to way the guitarist holds the major fifth in that third bar of the bridge - masterful! Not that something like Ummagumma is not any kind of of long, overblown etc. - it is - but I never really understood what a band truly had to say in fifteen minutes that could not have been said equally well in five - or three if they were any good.
In spite of that criticism, it is perhaps a little odd to note that the stand out track on this album is the "long, overblown, epic masterpiece" opening track, "Shine on You Crazy Diamond". This is both a tribute and a lament to Syd Barrett whose own drug use tipped him over the edge into full-blown psychosis. The guitar work is excellent and the way the track builds and holds you is sublime. I do not much care for the rest of the album, though I do enjoy "Wish You Were Here" when it is taken on its own, out of context of the rest of the album.
Perhaps my enjoyment of the album as a whole is muted because, after the opener, it was always going to be a hard act to follow, but also perhaps because I just find listening to this band too intense to take for long periods. And a whole album of Pink Floyd is just too long. I cannot envisage sitting down and listening to it all at one go without falling asleep or wanting to do something else. And that is why the only Pink Floyd album I possess is this one.
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on 2013-03-01 SolitaryMan Said:
Between Dark Side and Momentary Lapse, there isn't a Floyd album I would give less than a 4/5 to. But, your review definitely reflects the prevailing opinion of those who never HATED them, but definitely didn't like them either. Refreshing, in the face of the typically shameless loving or loathing that always surrounded Pink Floyd.
on 2007-07-27 blueandyellow Said:
1. Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Pts. 1-5 (5/5)
2. Welcome To The Machine (5/5)
3. Have A Cigar (4/5)
4. Wish You Were Here (4/5)
5. Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Pts. 6-9 (5/5)
Total Score: 4.60/5.00