It is a rock opera that explores Pink, a jaded rockstar whose eventual self-imposed isolation from society is symbolized by a wall. The album was a commercial success, topping the US charts for 15 weeks, and reaching number three in the UK. It initially received mixed reviews from critics, many of whom found it overblown and pretentious, but later came to be considered one of the greatest albums of all time.
Recording spanned from December to November Producer Bob Ezrin helped to refine the concept and bridge tensions during recording, as the band were struggling with personal and financial issues at the time. The Wall is the last album to feature Pink Floyd as a quartet ; keyboardist Richard Wright was fired by Waters during production, but stayed on as a salaried musician.
From to , Pink Floyd performed the full album on a tour that featured elaborate theatrical effects. The Wall is one of the best-known concept albums and was adapted into a feature film of the same name.
Some of the outtakes from the recording sessions were used on the group's next album, The Final Cut From to , Waters staged a new Wall live tour that became the highest-grossing tour by a solo musician. Bassist and songwriter Roger Waters disliked the experience, feeling the audience was not listening and that many were too far away to see the band.
He said: "It became a social event rather than a more controlled and ordinary relationship between musicians and an audience. In July , on the final date at the Montreal Olympic Stadium , a group of noisy and excited fans near the stage irritated Waters so much that he spat at one of them. Guitarist David Gilmour refused to perform a final encore and sat at the soundboard,  leaving the band, with backup guitarist Snowy White , to improvise a slow, sad bar blues , which Waters announced to the audience as "some music to go home to".
He articulated his desire to isolate himself by constructing a wall across the stage between the performers and the audience. The first was a minute demo with the working title Bricks in the Wall. By September, Pink Floyd were having financial problems and urgently needed to produce an album to make money. The strategy failed when many of the businesses NWG invested in lost money, leaving the band facing tax rates potentially as high as 83 percent. It looked as if we might be faced with huge tax bills for the money that had been lost.
Eighty-three per cent was a lot of money in those days and we didn't have it. They weren't the first crooks we stupidly allied ourselves with. Ever since then, there's not a penny that I haven't signed for. I sign every cheque and examine everything. To help manage the project's 26 tracks, Waters decided to bring in a producer and collaborator,  feeling he needed "a collaborator who was musically and intellectually in a similar place to where I was".
Just don't expect any credit. Ezrin and Gilmour reviewed Waters's concept, discarding what they thought was not good enough. Waters and Ezrin worked mostly on the story, improving the concept.
He recalled: "The next day at the studio, we had a table read, like you would with a play, but with the whole of the band, and their eyes all twinkled, because then they could see the album. He's a very forceful guy. There was a lot of argument about how it should sound between Roger and Dave, and he bridged the gap between them. The Wall is a rock opera  that explores abandonment and isolation, symbolized by a wall. The songs create an approximate storyline of events in the life of the protagonist, Pink, a character based on Syd Barrett  as well as Roger Waters ,  whose father was killed during WWII.
Pink's father also dies in a war, which is where Pink starts to build a metaphorical wall around himself. The album includes several references to former band member Syd Barrett , including " Nobody Home ", which hints at his condition during Pink Floyd's abortive US tour of , with lyrics such as "wild, staring eyes", "the obligatory Hendrix perm" and "elastic bands keeping my shoes on".
Pink is a rock star, one of the many reasons which have left him depressed. Pink imagines a crowd of fans entering one of his concerts, and we begin a flashback on his life, and it is revealed that his father was killed defending the Anzio bridgehead during World War II , in Pink's infancy " In the Flesh? Pink's mother raises him alone " The Thin Ice " , and with the death of his father, Pink starts to build a metaphorical wall around himself " Another Brick in the Wall, Part 1 ".
Growing older, Pink is tormented at school by tyrannical, abusive teachers " The Happiest Days of Our Lives " , and memories of these traumas become metaphorical "bricks in the wall" " Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2 ". As an adult now, Pink remembers his oppressive and overprotective mother " Mother " and his upbringing during the Blitz " Goodbye Blue Sky ".
Pink soon marries, and is about to complete his "wall" " Empty Spaces ". While touring in America, he turns to a willing groupie " Young Lust ". After learning of his wife's infidelity, he brings the groupie back to his hotel room, only to trash it in a violent fit of rage, terrifying the groupie out of the room " One of My Turns ".
Pink, depressed, thinks about his wife, and feels trapped in his room " Don't Leave Me Now " , and dismisses every traumatic experience he has ever had as a "brick" in the metaphorical wall " Another Brick in the Wall, Part 3 " , Pink's wall is now finished, completing his total isolation from human contact " Goodbye Cruel World ".
Beginning to feel depressed, Pink turns to his possessions for comfort " Nobody Home " , and yearns for the idea of reconnecting with his personal roots " Vera " , Pink's mind flashes back to World War II, with the people demanding that the soldiers return home " Bring the Boys Back Home ". Returning to the present, Pink's manager and roadies have busted into his hotel room, where they find him drugged and unresponsive.
A paramedic injects him with drugs to enable him to perform " Comfortably Numb ". This results in a hallucinatory on-stage performance " The Show Must Go On " where he believes that he is a fascist dictator , and that his concert is a Neo-Nazi rally, at which he sets brownshirt -like men on fans he considers unworthy " In the Flesh ". He proceeds to attack ethnic minorities " Run Like Hell " , and then holds a rally in suburban London, symbolizing his descent into insanity " Waiting for the Worms ".
Pink's hallucination then ceases, and he begs for everything to stop " Stop ". Showing human emotion, he is tormented with guilt and places himself on trial " The Trial " , his inner judge ordering him to "tear down the wall", opening Pink to the outside world " Outside the Wall ". The album turns full circle with its closing words "Isn't this where The album was recorded in several locations. James Guthrie , recommended by previous Floyd collaborator Alan Parsons , arrived early in the production process.
When we arrived, I think we both felt we'd been booked to do the same job. Relations within the band were at a low ebb, and Ezrin's became an intermediary between Waters and the rest of the band.
As Britannia Row was initially regarded as inadequate for The Wall, the band upgraded much of its equipment,  and by March another set of demos was complete. As non-residents they would pay no UK taxes during that time, and within a month all four members and their families had left. While Wright and Mason lived at the studio, Waters and Gilmour stayed in nearby houses. Mason later moved into Waters's villa near Vence , while Ezrin stayed in Nice. Ezrin's poor punctuality caused problems with the tight schedule dictated by Waters. More problems became apparent when Waters's relationship with Wright broke down.
The band were rarely in the studio together. Ezrin and Guthrie spliced Mason's previously recorded drum tracks together, and Guthrie worked with Waters and Gilmour during the day, returning at night to record Wright's contributions. Wright, worried about the effect that the introduction of Ezrin would have on band relationships, was keen to have a producer's credit on the album; their prior albums had always stated credited production to "Pink Floyd".
A confrontation with Ezrin led to Wright working only at nights. Gilmour also expressed his annoyance, complaining that Wright's lack of input was "driving us all mad". Rick gets performance anxiety. You have to leave him alone to freeform, to create Wright was troubled by a failing marriage and the onset of depression, exacerbated by his non-residency. While the other band members brought their children, Wright's were older and could not join as they were attending school; he said he missed them "terribly". Waters increased the band's workload accordingly, booking time at the nearby Studio Miraval.
Wright, however, refused to cut short his family holiday in Rhodes. Accounts of Wright's subsequent departure from the band differ. Mason later wrote that Waters was "stunned and furious",  and felt that Wright was not doing enough. He later spoke with Wright and gave him his support, but reminded him about his minimal contributions. Several days later, worried about their financial situation and the failing interpersonal relationships within the band, Wright quit.
News of his departure was kept from the music press. By August , the running order was largely complete. With the November deadline approaching, the band left the inner sleeves of the album unchanged.
Mason's early drum sessions were performed in an open space on the top floor of Britannia Row Studios. The track recordings from these sessions were mixed down and copied onto a track master, as guide tracks for the rest of the band to play to.
This gave the engineers greater flexibility, [nb 2] but also improved the audio quality of the mix, as the original track drum recordings were synced to the track master and the duplicated guide tracks removed. While at Super Bear studios, Waters agreed to Ezrin's suggestion that several tracks, including "Nobody Home", "The Trial" and "Comfortably Numb", should have an orchestral accompaniment.
Kamen eventually met the band once recording was complete. David Gilmour . Waters changed the key of the verse and added more lyrics to the chorus, and Gilmour added extra bars for the line "I have become comfortably numb".
Wright's "stripped-down and harder" recording was not to Gilmour's liking; Gilmour preferred Ezrin's "grander Technicolor, orchestral version", although Ezrin preferred Waters's version. Following a major argument in a North Hollywood restaurant, the two compromised; the song's body included the orchestral arrangement, with Gilmour's second and final guitar solo standing alone.
Ezrin and Waters oversaw the capture of the album's sound effects. Waters recorded the phone call used on the original demo for " Young Lust ", but neglected to inform its recipient, Mason, who assumed it was a prank call and angrily hung up. Engineer Phil Taylor recorded some of the screeching tyre noises on "Run Like Hell" from a studio car park, and a television set being destroyed was used on " One of My Turns ".
The maniacal schoolmaster was voiced by Waters, and actress Trudy Young supplied the groupie 's voice. Ezrin's suggestion to release " Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2 " as a single with a disco -style beat did not initially find favour with Gilmour, although Mason and Waters were more enthusiastic.
Waters opposed releasing a single, but became receptive once he listened to Ezrin and Guthrie's mix. With two identical verses the song was felt to be lacking, and so a copy was sent to Griffiths in London with a request to find children to perform several versions of the lyrics. I thought the lyrics were great — 'We don't need no education, we don't need no thought control Griffiths first recorded small groups of pupils and then invited more, telling them to affect a Cockney accent and shout rather than sing.
He multitracked the voices, making the groups sound larger, before sending his recordings back to Los Angeles. The result delighted Waters, and the song was released as a single, becoming a Christmas number one.