Art From the Attic: The Wall by Pink Floyd

Art From the Attic: The Wall by Pink Floyd

By Megan Hulse

If there were to be a compiled list of “the best anti-authority albums in history,” The Wall by Pink Floyd would undeniably be at the very top of it. “Another Brick in the Wall” has been featured in teen angst scenes of cinema essentially since 1979, when the album was released.

“Side Three”

Though “Another Brick in the Wall” is the most widely acclaimed track of the novel–as well as the only true chart-topper from Pink Floyd–if I were to pick a section of this album to force upon the public ear, it would be “Side Three.” The album is a concept album following the story of Pink, a young boy whose life crumbles after losing his father in the battles of World War II. The six songs of “Side Three” of The Wall truly encompasses those themes of loneliness, abandonment and despair unlike any other portion of the album.

“Hey You”

“Hey You” is my personal top pick from this album, because it highlights the album’s most central themes both through lyrics and instrumentals. The lyrics express every last one of Pink’s emotions through allusion, via lines describing people “out in the cold,” “sitting naked by the phone,” “with [their ears] against the wall waiting for someone to call out.” That desperation is also brought out in the wailing guitar solo transition of the song.

1024px-another_brick_in_the_wall_-_pink_floyd_-_vinyl“Comfortably Numb” 

Though technically brilliant and full of guitar solos that have been ranked even above “Stairway to Heaven” by some sources, my personal attachment to the song comes from the story and message it conveys. Feeling numb with anxiety or depression is something just about everyone can relate to, whether suffering explicitly from those ailments or not. Other times it can come from simply being so overworked and stressed that you don’t even notice the feelings anymore; I’m sure finals week has reduced all of us to that point once or twice. “Comfortably Numb” is truly a beautiful work, and in my opinion captures the messages and emotions attached to this album with perfection.

“Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)”

I tried my hardest to gloss over it and avoid all mainstream elements, but one does not simply discuss The Wall without touching on the namesake track, and arguably the most powerful on the entire album. Powerful is a very accurate word to describe this song. With the combination of the strong iconic baseline, the screeching calls of the “teacher,” and the fed-up chorus of school kids, this song produces a desire for uprising in any listener, as well as a music video to give you nightmares about going to school for months.

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