Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here a jpoc music review
Ten out of ten.
Pink Floyd at their best.
This album, made in the glow of the superstardom that the band earned with "Dark Side of The Moon", was a call to former guitarist and band founder Syd Barrett. Whether Roger Waters' wishes that Barrett was here in the sense of "back in the band" or just back on the music scene and able to function in normal life is uncertain but whichever, it is clear that he feels the loss of his friend.
Read the lyrics to "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" and imagine Roger Waters writing that as a letter to Syd and you can understand what the album is about. Roger misses his friend.
"Wish You Were Here" is another message directed straight at Syd. One line in this song, "We're just two lost souls" together with the words "Pile on many more layers and I'll be joining you there" from "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" indicate also that Waters feels closer to Syd than do the rest of the band.
The other two songs on the album are anti-music business diatribes which fit into the pattern of Roger hates "whatever" and will now write a song about that. They are not as strong as the two songs to Syd but they do form a sort of musical bridge back to "Dark Side of the Moon."
Of course, with these two songs, Waters is pointing the finger of blame for Syd's failure at the music industry. To an extent, this is unfair as the other members of the band seemed to stand by and watch Syd's decline and then they just walked away from him.
But what about the music? Well, this album captures Dave Gilmour at his very best. His guitar packs just as much emotion as do Roger Water's lyrics. Those lyrics give Gilmour the platform from which to make his musical statements and he certainly has someting to say. In the solos on "Shine on" he developed his personal guitar style to its purest form.
What of the other members of the band? Rick Wright's keyboard work is just as good here as on the previous album. He does not feature as strongly as Gilmour but he certainly earns his keep here with a solid performace. I'm afraid that the drumming of Nick Mason fails the "session musician" test. He does not appear to contribute anything more than would have the average hired gun on this album.
Picking a favourite on an album like this is impossible. It stands as a single work and, with the predecessor and successor albums, really does mark the finest work of the band.