Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here


When creating art it is particularly important to find a discrete line between abstractness and being straight forward and concrete. When conveying a message or telling a story, it is those who have mastered the ability to transition between these two methods of expression, and mix them into harmony, that really are able to move their listeners or viewers with their craft. Pink Floyd is one of the most commercially successful and most influential bands of all time in part due to that reason. Through out Pink Floyd’s ninth studio Album, Wish You Were Here they use this balance to convey some of the most emotionally intense music of the 1970s. This album falls at a strange time in the Pink Floyd timeline. It is post Dark Side Of The Moon era but it precedes that of the success of The Wall. Personally, I like to think of this five song set as a sandwich. The bread of the album (the first, and last songs) consist of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” parts 1-9, split into 1-5 and 5-9 respectively. The meat and cheese is the remaining three tracks on the album, which all play an important part in the story that is this album. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd is the mantra and tribute to fallen band member Syd Barrett. With concerns for his mental health as well as his constant use of LSD and other psychedelic drugs Barrett was outcast from the band which he started in April 1968, and replace by David Gilmour. The decision to simultaneously remove your friend from something that he started based on mental health concerns probably isn’t the easiest thing to do in the world. The remaining three members of Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, Richard Wright, and Nick Mason had a deep, emotional, connection to Barrett which is what drove the emotional and sentimental appeal of this album from the beginning. The main guitar riff in “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” is thought to have been the anthem of Syd Barrett’s career with the band. When played by David Gilmour. The decision to simultaneously remove your friend from something that he started based on mental health concerns probably isn’t the easiest thing to do in the world. The remaining three members of Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, Richard Wright, and Nick Mason had a deep, emotional, connection to Barrett which is what drove the emotional and sentimental appeal of this album from the beginning. The main guitar riff in “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” is thought to have been the anthem of Syd Barrett’s career with the band. When played by David Gilmour in the studio, this simple chord riff apparently evoked flashbacks and visions of Barrett into the minds of the original members of the band. This bone chilling riff drives parts 1-5 of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” into the rest of the album beautifully and once the meat and cheese is through we conclude with “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” parts 5-9 (the bread). All pieces are equally needed to complete the sandwich. This album is timeless, and with that I invite you all to close your eyes, put on some headphones, lay down, and listen to the story of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here In conclusion I leave you with one of my favorite rock lyrics of all time.

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“We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year”. - David Gilmour & Roger Waters.

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(S)hine On.

(Y)ou Crazy

(D)iamond .

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RIP Syd Barrett, (January 6th, 1946 - July 7th, 2006.)

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