Saturday, May 12, 2012

209 Wish you were here- Crazy, crazy diamonds.

Album: Wish you were here
Artist: Pink Floyd
Genre: Rock
Year: 1975


  1. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (1-5)
  2. Welcome to the Machine
  3. Have a Cigar
  4. Wish You Were Here
  5. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (6–9)

A really huge album is often enough to kill off an artist's career. There are bands on this countdown who released a brilliant collection of songs that set the world on fire but collapsed completely under the strain of their fan's anticipation of a follow up that was just as good. The Stone Roses exploded into the musical stratosphere with their self titled debut and took years to produce a lacklustre second album before they fractured completely.

In 1973 Pink Floyd produced Dark Side of the Moon which is widely regarded as one of Rock and Roll's finest moments and quite possibly the only true concept album that is actually improved by having an overall theme rather than dragged down by it. Dark Side is a magnificent piece of work and its acclaim would be enough for most bands to herald a total musical change in direction so they could work without the pressure of an attempt to replicate its success.

But Pink Floyd were riding such a wave of creativity that within two years of coming off  the tour for Dark Side they had another set of songs worthy to call a follow up.

Shine On You Crazy Diamond starts and ends the album and immediately sated those who loved their rock virtuoso and bombastic. It's the sort of huge-scale music that made Dark Side such a hit and listening to it on record its easy to close your eyes and picture the huge light show it inspired onstage. There's something about Pink Floyd's ability to craft visual rock that sets them apart. Their music conjures something grand in your mind. I don't believe for a second that Dark Side was written as a soundtrack for The Wizard of Oz but I can see how people made the connection because their albums inspire people to visual flights of fancy in a way that nobody else can.

Have a cigar and Welcome to The Machine are Big Floyd in keeping with the rest of the album and uniquely Floyd but the title track is a step apart. Wish You Were Here is just gorgeous. It's one of the most beautiful songs on the entire countdown and it's so good it's even great when played by a low-talent busker on a slightly out of tune guitar outside the supermarket. There are some songs that are so inspired they can make even the talentless look good and Wish You Were Here is one of them.

There aren't many bands that can write huge stadium rock-sized, light-show filled, audio spectaculars and there aren't many who can pull of inspired acoustic ballads. Only Pink Floyd could do both and the fact that they could do it under the shadow of Dark Side of the Moon makes their achievement even greater.

Highlight: Wish you were here
Lowlight: Have a Cigar

Influenced by: The Blues, LSD and madness
Influenced: Anyone calling themselves "prog rock"

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "the whole of this disc of oldie poopmusic STINKS BIGTIME! i WOULD EVEN GO FURTHER AND SAY I DISLIKE IT FOR ITS PATHETIC AND OVERINDULGED NONSENSE. listen, this is UTTERLY NEGLECTABLE music, like 10CC or max eastley. Barf!"

-That would be an odd review even if the person concerned didn't give the album five stars.

So do you wish this album was here or wish it wasn't? Let me know below

1 comment:

  1. It should be in the #50-60 range, instead of in the low 200s'. No doubt about it.