Album Ten: Pink Floyd “The Wall”

Album Ten: Pink Floyd

And so this concludes my ever so humble and feeble attempt to provide some context for why I chose this album, and the nine preceding albums, as ten of my favorite albums. While no album reigns supreme over all others, Pink Floyd’s The Wall is close. Very close.

I could write volumes about The Wall and the memories and stories associated with it and never do it justice. Since its release in 1979, this album has followed me through the decades, and I have my dad to thank for this introduction. What began with listening to an album that was sheer magic and genius led to the feast for the senses that the film was, and it all culminated with seeing Roger Waters perform The Wall in its entirety in June 2012.

Whenever I listen to any song off of The Wall, these are some of the places that my mind goes to:

As a young girl, I could not follow the storyline, but I was inexplicably drawn to the tale that unfolded in the music and the lyrics. I was enthralled from the start and still am.

While Comfortably Numb remains one of my favorite songs ever, I am still madly in love with Mother and Goodbye Blue Sky.

It irks me to no end when someone erroneously refers to Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2 as We Don’t Need No Education. It is akin to The Who’s classic Baba O’Riley being called Teenage Wasteland.

When I struggled with depression at the outset of college, I related to Pink’s descent into madness, sans the drug addiction piece, in a way that I never imagined that I would.

My college friends and I had some amazing sing-a-longs of Comfortably Numb, usually late at night in a dimly lit room.

During sophomore year, I was thrilled to discover that some of the girls who lived on the same floor I did also shared my love of The Wall. In addition to listening to the album, one weekend, we rented the VHS of The Wall and a VCR and watched it on repeat until both were due back the next day. At one point, we had watched it 7 times in a row, before taking a brief break.

I convinced one of the aforementioned girls that I had voiced the introduction to Goodbye Blue Sky, which is that of a British girl saying, Look, Mummy! There’s an airplane up in the sky. Two of the other girls and I concocted a story that my dad knew someone who knew someone who knew someone who knew the members of Pink Floyd. Somehow, I was chosen to adopt a British accent and record that simple introduction, and they decided to include it on the album. As unbelievable as my story was, it was even more unbelievable that she believed it, but she did. She was so excited for me that we never told her the truth, but surely, she figured it out later. If not, Sarah, please, accept my apology now!

When Pink Floyd ended their May 1988 show with Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2, Comfortably Numb, and Run Like Hell, if I had died on the spot, I would have died happy.

Seeing Roger Waters perform The Wall in concert the year after my world imploded was both surreal and sublime.

Hearing Pearl Jam perform Comfortably Numb at their 4-26-16 show was like two worlds colliding in the best possible way.

I can think of no better way to end this series than with this timeless album that is sure to accompany me through this next decade and beyond.

When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown
The dream is gone
I have become comfortably numb.

That’s another story . . .

Categories: That's Another Story

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