Pink Floyd’s ninth studio album, Wish You Were Here, is also among my top three albums by the band. Released on September 12, 1975, as Harvest and Columbia handled the label responsibilities. London’s famed Abbey Road Studios bore witness to another classic album, hosting recording sessions from January to June 1975. Again, Pink Floyd produced themselves. I do mean classic, and you know I don’t use that word lightly. A top-rated, top-shelf, all-time favorite.
Wish You Were Here is another concept album with the sad saga of Syd Barrett as central theme. He’s the crazy diamond they wished was there. All the themes explored on the previous masterpiece abound on this one, with different perspectives. The music, the actual notes and playing are brilliant. Roger Waters’ lyrics bite with a sarcastic English wit. I had this album in high school too. Do I have to pick a favorite track? “Have a Cigar,” the bass line trumps “Money.” The title track is just as good.
We get yet another iconic album cover. Hipgnosis created several key pieces besides the actual cover. It might be the best of art matching lyrics on an album. Storm Thorgerson, George Hardie, and Aubrey Powell all played a role in the main design and individual pieces.
As for Syd Barrett, we’ll see his saga intertwined with Roger Waters’ own in an album or two. A side aside as I’d be amiss to not mention it. Syd Barrett arrived at Abbey Road Studios one day during the final mix, overweight, and with no hair or eyebrows. There’s a photograph on-line. No one recognized him. Once his identity became clear, several, including Roger Waters, were in tears. It would be the final time any member of Pink Floyd would see their founder.
- Shine on You Crazy Diamond Parts I-V (David Gilmour/Roger Waters/Richard Wright)
- Welcome to the Machine (Roger Waters)
- Have a Cigar (Roger Waters)
- Wish You Were Here (David Gilmour/Roger Waters)
- Shine on You Crazy Diamond Parts VI-IX (David Gilmour/Roger Waters/Richard Wright)
Copyright © Drew Martin 2020