Turning Away From The Wall

The Wall Momentary Lapse

The Endless River is out, which gives me an excuse to talk about Pink Floyd. I have to say that I like progressive and classic rock but I’ve always had an up and down interest in the most influential band that champions both genres. I can mostly explain my schizophrenic relationship with their music because of the huge gap in time between The Wall and Momentary Lapse of Reason. A lot of Floyd fans look at The Final Cut as essentially a Roger Water’s solo album so I am bypassing it for this discussion, plus I never knew about it then anyway so it wasn’t a blip on my radar. I was 9 when The Wall was released and 17 by the time Lapse came out. Think of all the life changes that go on in that span and you’ll understand how Lapse holds much more significance for me than The Wall ever will. Lapse is not a better album but it set the foundation for my love of Pink Floyd and progressive rock, which as I mentioned has run hot and cold over the years. Pink Floyd was founded by Syd Barrett a man with mental illness who defined their sound with off the wall lyrics and compositions. I know he created havoc with the band’s stability but he was admired and the band got a long better then than they did when Roger Waters made The Wall their signature album (at least in 1979) and everything came unglued. Egos, money struggles and internal disputes have undone many bands so the Floyd fallout wasn’t really anything surprising. David Gilmour took over as musical leader and Momentary Lapse showed a lighter touch to Waters’ heavier moods but it still resembled Pink Floyd and the album found an audience both old and new. That’s where I jumped into Floyd since The Wall was another album I was warned about as a kid (it’s all about drugs)to avoid at all costs. At 17 I still had no real perspective on their music but I could dig Glimour’s guitar solos and I particularly liked On The Turning Away and One Slip. I of course purchased The Wall, well everything between Dark Side of The Moon and Momentary Lapse. History has been kind to Dark Side, fickle with The Wall and downright nasty to Momentary Lapse but I think once you factor in the long gap between records and the major shift in band leadership then Lapse holds up pretty well. With that in mind I’ve been listening to tracks from The Endless River and I have to say it makes me want to give all their records I own another spin. I even want to hear the scary one Roger Waters keeps touring under and can’t seem to part with.

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4 thoughts on “Turning Away From The Wall

  1. Lapse was the first Floyd I bought too. I find it interesting that some people regard The Final Cut as a solo Roger record, but Lapse and Division Bell as fully fledged Pink Floyd albums. Nick and Dave both played on Final Cut, but its still a Roger records. Anyway, looking forward to hearing Endless River. I recommend Meddle and Obscured By Clouds as well.

    • I’ve come close to picking up Meddle but always find something else or find a copy in questionable condition. I don’t think I’ve ever even listened to Obscured By Clouds but Endless River is probably my next purchase or it will at least make it on my Christmas list.

      • That’s why I added (at least in 1979). When I was a kid, The Wall was their signature work, a masterpiece upon arrival. History has changed the perspective for The Wall and Dark Side with DSOTM getting much more acclaim. Momentary Lapse was more important to me than either record in 1987 since I was in high school and just beginning to explore Pink Floyd and other classic rock bands. I was taught Floyd, Led Zep, Kiss and AC/DC were bad influences on children when I was a kid so buying that record was a small but meaningful step.

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