Stephen Chapman

The second incarnation of my blog

Rolling Stone top 100 albums: #87 Pink Floyd – The Wall

The+Wall+CD1+Pink_Floyd__The_WallfrontBased on the top 100 albums in Rolling Stone magazine’s top 500, I have set myself the challenge of hearing and appraising each album. I hope to be surprised and educated along the way.

At number 87 is The Wall by Pink Floyd, another double album on the list.

I have always liked Pink Floyd, especially Dark Side Of The Moon (but not some of the more generic rock from the 1980’s).  However, I have always struggled with sheer size of The Wall.

The album was released in November 1979 is a concept album largely written by Roger Waters.  It is about a character called Pink, who Roger Waters modelled after himself, with some aspects based on the band’s original leader, Syd Barrett. Pink’s life begins with the loss of his father during World War II and continues with abuse from his schoolteachers, an overprotective mother and finally, the breakdown of his marriage. It’s not the happiest of stories!  The wall itself represents the isolation the character feels.

The album almost demands to be listened to as one as it includes a number of short linking pieces that, in my opinion, don’t stand up alone without the story. The style and sound is challenging sometimes, but the more I listen to it, the more I like it.  We now tend to dip in and out of albums and listen to individual tracks and you just cant do that with The Wall. If you try that, you will end up dissatisfied.

The production is full and lush on the 26 tracks building an atmospheric, almost angry sound. Although it’s wrong to pick out individual tracks, Another brick in the wall (part 2) was a surprising hit and Comfortably Numb is a brilliant song with killer guitar solos and clearly stands out for me.  Despite the quality in the performances and the endearing popularity of the album, I still have a feeling that a single album would do me fine. I just see the Pink Floyd purists jaws dropping!

My rating: 7/10

Standout tracks: Another brick in the wall (pt 2), Comfortably Numb

Listen to the album via Spotify here.

See the Top 100 here.

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This entry was posted on January 29, 2014 by in music and tagged , , .

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