Pink Floyd’s 1975 album didn’t receive positive reviews from the music rags of the day upon its release, thank god for sensibility, as the public thumbed their noses at the press and bought the album in droves.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Pink Floyd
ALBUM: Wish You Were Here
LABEL: Harvest (UK), Columbia (USA)
SERIAL: SHVL 814, JC 33453
CD REISSUE: Refer Link
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: David Gilmour – guitars, vocals * Richard Wright – keyboards, piano * Roger Waters – bass * Nick Mason – drums
Additional Musicians: Roy Harper – lead vocals * Dick Parry – saxophone * Stephane Grappelli – violin * Venetta Fields, Carlena Williams – backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Shine On You Crazy Diamond – Part I * 02 Shine On You Crazy Diamond – Part II * 03 Shine On You Crazy Diamond – Part III * 04 Shine On You Crazy Diamond – Part IV * 05 Shine On You Crazy Diamond – Part V * 06 Welcome To The Machine * 07 Have A Cigar * 08 Wish You Were Here * 09 Shine On You Crazy Diamond – Part VI * 10 Shine On You Crazy Diamond – Part VII * 11 Shine On You Crazy Diamond – Part VIII * 12 Shine On You Crazy Diamond – Part IX
WEBLINKS: Site Link
I grew up in a surf community back in the 70’s, and this record was synonomous with the scene back then. In fact, even some of the legendary surf movies of the era, with gun surfers like Gerry Lopez and his comrades in waves, played Floyd’s ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ as the perfect surfing soundtrack.
Indeed it was, and though the band were the erstwhile figurehead for the British prog movement of the day, they were getting admirers and fans from remote parts of the world who were more familiar with wetsuits, sunscreen and surfboards. This is how I remember this album too, and though ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ set the scene nearly 40 years ago, combined with this 1975 platter, saw the band heading up to the dizzy heights of success.
The obvious musical movement on the album is the nine-part epic ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’. It’s ostenisbly broken down across two sides of music: parts I to IV are on side one, while parts V to IX are on side two. There’s an extensive breakdown of the song written up on Wikipedia. It’s been said on record that the song was about former member Syd Barrett.
Not to be outdone, there are three additional tracks filling out the album. The first ‘Welcome To The Machine’ is a slow moving prog laden feast, while ‘Have A Cigar’ has a dig at the music industry. Roy Harper sings lead vocals on this one, as Roger Waters voice was not in good condition at the time of recording. The title track ‘Wish You Were Here’ was mostly acoustic, and features jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli in an uncredited role.
The album didn’t receive positive reviews from the music rags of the day upon its release. Thank god for sensibility, as the public thumbed their noses at the press and bought the album in droves, the album going gold in both the UK and the US soon after its September 1975 release.
It was so popular, the record label couldn’t keep up with production. It has since sold well over 13 million copies, and remains a favourite of fans and the band-members to this day. Beyond this album, Pink Floyd moved onto ‘Animals’ (1977) and the mega-huge ‘The Wall’ (1979) later in the 70’s decade. That’s a discussion for another day.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)