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Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)

March 23, 2017

Awesome Artist of the Week logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming
Infinitely inferior Fuss about Floyd logo by yours truly


[Album 525/1001]

“They say it’s a sight that’s quite worth seeing
It’s just that everyone’s interest is stronger than mine”
-Elliott Smith, Rose Parade

I gather that Pink Floyd’s a band that’s quite worth hearing; it’s just until now, virtually everyone’s interest has seemed considerably stronger than mine.

But I’ve often wished I was there, in that state of Pink Floyd adoration.

So their 1975 album, Wish You Were Here, felt like an appropriate starting point for this week’s journey.



1. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I – V)

There’s a scene in an episode of How I Met Your Mother, where Ted finally asks a girl (played by Katie Holmes) to go on a date, 10 years after their initial meeting. I can’t recall the exact quote (or find the clip) but her reply was along the lines of, “now that’s a slow play, I respect that.”

Now they didn’t wait 10 years for the vocals to make their first appearance of the album.

They did hold out until just before the 9-minute mark though!

I echo Katie’s reaction: waiting 9 minutes for the vocals? Now that’s a slow play, I respect that.


2. Welcome to the Machine & 3. Have a Cigar

Didn’t significantly affect me either way.



4. Wish You Were Here

Do Pink Floyd fans like this song?

Or have they grown to resent it somewhat, à la Stairway to Heaven or Bohemian Rhapsody? The song casual fans latch on to, at the expense of more deserving tracks?

By naming the album after it, I presume the band saw value in the track (and considering they were permitted to bookend the album with a 9-movement, 26-minute composition, I think it’s fair to assume that the band had the artistic freedom to do as they wished).

In any event, it’s a great track.

The song structure is brilliant, the ‘walk-on part vs. lead role’ line is equally so, and the vocal harmony on ‘two lost souls’ is right up there as well.

5. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts VI – IX)Pink_Floyd,_Wish_You_Were_Here_(1975)

After listening to the final four movements, I immediately wanted to hear the entire album again.

So I did.

And to my surprise, there wasn’t any evidence of diminishing marginal returns.

Maybe that’s why people seem so enamoured with this group?

This one really is an album that’s quite worth hearing.

Perhaps the gap between my interest level in Floyd & everyone else’s is starting to shrink too.


Verbalize the Positive

It’s nice to start hearing the magic instead of just hearing about it!

From → 1970s

  1. I love this album.

    It runs neck and neck with The Wall as my favourite. Some days it is. It deoends on my mood I guess.

    • It feels like one of those bands that the ‘favourite’ album can fluctuate for many, and that’s a good problem to have!

  2. Foo Fighters did a neat cover of Have a Cigar with Taylor Hawkins singing. But I still don’t know which one’s Pink.

    • I might have to check out that cover, I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard him on vocals!

      • Here you go! This can be found on their Medium Rare LP.

      • Nice cover – and album name! (As a fellow UHF fan, when you see ‘medium rare’ do you picture the ad for Ghandi II, “Give me a steak, medium Rare” ?!)

  3. Seeing Have A Cigar on that list reminds me that Roy Harper’s Stormcock isn’t on the 1001.

  4. One of my faves. You may come to appreciate track 2 and 3 more – mostly for how they fit into the flow of the whole album.

    • I have a feeling you’re right – with this list (especially this year with a new artist each week), I inevitably feel a bit like a tourist, getting a taste for a lot of artists. But if I were to stay longer than a week, I’d probably get that much more out of each of the records.
      Thanks for commenting Andy – hope the family’s doing well!

  5. The whole album, and especially Wish You Were Here, is a tribute to Sid Barrett. The sad behind-the-scene story adds another dimension to the album. A great, great album, in any case.

    • Interesting to hear – even without the context, I quite liked it, so I’d imagine hearing the records and stories leading into it, like you said, would add another level to the experience

      • It seems Pink Floyd members had lost touch with Barrett for a number of years, after they excluded him from the band (that Barrett himself started and was the initial inspiration for) when he became way too undisciplined from acid consumption. When this “tribute” album was in the works, Barrett showed up at the recording studio… and they didn’t recognize him. It’s a rather sad, guilt-ridden, and eerie story. Aside from “See Emily Play”, I don’t know much about the early Barrett/Floyd years. The Pink Floyd I’ve known always felt more like a bunch of incredibly talented individuals playing together, rather than a band per se. I wonder how much of that translated into the strange and lonely musical atmosphere of theirs.

      • It’s interesting how the group dynamic can be so different in bands – I gather these guys were less and less of a ‘group’ as the years went on.
        Like you suggested, I wouldn’t be surprised if that contributed to their sound

  6. That’s one of my favourite Elliott Smith lines! One of my favourite of his songs for that matter, it was the only one I’d heard before you introduced me (many many thanks for that).

    I used to listen to album non stop, but I haven’t gone back to it in maybe a couple of years now. Luckily I can report that those four notes at about four minutes in still get me!

    • My pleasure!
      I too haven’t revisited recently – I had wouldn’t mama be proud on the other day though, nice to at least be back to Smith, if not yet back to either/or!

      • Reading my comment back I realise it was quite ambiguous. I meant to say Wish You Were Here hadn’t had many plays from me. Elliott on the other hand has had a much more frequent place in my rotation!

      • Not to worry – as long as one of them’s in the rotation, no cause for major concern!

  7. I don’t have this one (yet), but your review bumps it to the top of the list in my own Floydian explorations!

  8. It’s always been my favourite Floyd record! As a teen I used to turn off the lights at night, lay on the floor with just the glow from the graphic equalizer and let “Shine On…” just wash all over me. Sounds weird…I know

  9. I tend to agree with “andytallman101”. “Have a Cigar” and Welcome to the Machine” have a lot to offer. The machines at the beginning of “Welcome” gives you a perspective on how the record industry worked back then.

  10. “They did hold out until just before the 9-minute mark though!”

    Driving through Sweden to a ski resort with my son, who was about 14 at the time and into hip-hop, Rush’s “The Camera Eye” from Moving Pictures (in my all-time top-10 list) was on the CD. When the vocals finally came in: “Now she starts to sing!” 🙂

    • There’s the Pavement line, “What about the voice of Geddy Lee, how did it get so high, I wonder if he speaks like an ordinary guy?”
      Moving Pictures is my favourite Rush, regardless of vocal range!

  11. An album that I honestly need to spend more time with. I do like it, but I tend to find I switch off at times.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. 1975 | 1001albumsin10years

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