Pink Floyd
Wish You Were Here
September 1975

At the time of its release, "Wish You Were Here" received markedly mixed reviews: after the success of "Dark Side", many thought it was a distinct anti-climax. However, it has aged very well. The lush strains of the album's centrepiece, "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", found a new audience in the late '80s among new agers and ambient house freaks; while the title track--perhaps the Floyd's most melodic song since the days of Syd Barrett--remains perennially popular. By 1975, Roger was missing Syd; the busines was getting to him ("And by the way, which one's Pink?" from "Have a Cigar" was an actual quote by an American record exec). The album also shows Gilmour making his strongest individual contribution yet, with several fine extended guitar solos and some of the most heartfelt vocals the Floyd have ever committed to disc.
David Gilmour: "After Dark Side we were really floundering around. I wanted to make the next album more musical, because I felt some of these tracks had been just vehicles for the words. We were working in 1974 in this horrible little rehearsal room in Kings Cross without windows, putting together what became the next two albums. There were three long tracks, including Shine On You Crazy Diamond, which I wanted to record, and Roger said, No, let's take Shine On, divide it into two, and put in other material around the same theme. And he was right, I was wrong."
Nick Mason: "This was much a more difficult record to make. Roger was getting crosser. We were all getting older. We had children. There was much more drama between us, people turning up to the studio late, which we generally hate. There was more pressure on me to make the drumming more accurate and less flowery. But I think as an album it flows really well. It's like a descedant of Meddle in terms of the use of repeating themes, and the pacing."
Pink Floyd: The Illustrated Discography says: "During the WYWH sessions a fat, shaven-headed person wearing grey Terylene trousers, a nylon shirt and string vest wandered into the studio. The band ignored the visitor and kept on playing and it was the visiting Andrew King who finally recognised their guest: 'Good God, it's Syd! How did you get like that?' To which Syd replied, 'I've got a very large fridge at home and I've been eating a lot of pork chops.' The whole event was slightly un-nerving since the theme of the album was based on Syd and his subsequent madness."
About that, Rick Wright said: "The whole album sprang from that one four-note guitar phrase of Dave's in Shine On. We heard it went, That's a really nice phrase. The wine came out, and that led to what I think is our best album, the most colourful, the most feelingful. Shine On was in the process of being recorded, the lyrics about Syd were written. I walked into the studio at Abbey Road, Roger was sitting, mixing at the desk, and I saw this big bald guy sitting on the couch behind. About 16 stone. And I didn't think anything of it. In those days it was quite normal for strangers to wander into our sessions. Then Roger said, You don't know who that guy is, do you? It's Syd. It was a huge shock, because I hadn't seen him for about six years. He kept standing up and brushing his teeth, putting his toothbrush away and sitting down. Then at one point he stood up and said, Right, when do I put the guitar on? And of course he didn't have a guitar with him. And we said, Sorry Syd, the guitar's all done."
Musicians
David Gilmour Vocals, Guitars
Nick Mason Drums
Roger Waters Bass Guitar, Vocals
Rick Wright Keyboards, Vocals
Dick Parry Saxophone on "Shine On You Crazy Diamond"
Roy Harper Vocals on "Have a Cigar"
Venetta Fields,
Carlena Williams Backing vocals

1. Shine On You Crazy Diamond Part 1 [Wright, Waters, Gilmour]

instrumental.

 

2. Shine On You Crazy Diamond Part 2 [Gilmour, Waters, Wright]

instrumental.

 

3. Shine On You Crazy Diamond Part 3 [Waters, Gilmour, Wright]

instrumental.

 

4. Shine On You Crazy Diamond Part 4 [Gilmour, Wright, Waters]

instrumental.

 

5. Shine On You Crazy Diamond Part 5 [Waters]

Remember when you were young,
You shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there's a look in your eyes,
Like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the crossfire
Of childhood and stardom,
Blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter,
Come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!

You reached for the secret too soon,
You cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened by shadows at night,
And exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome
With random precision,
Rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions,
Come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!

 

6. Welcome to the Machine [Waters]

Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
Where have you been?
It's alright we know where you've been.
You've been in the pipeline, filling in time,
Provided with toys and 'Scouting for Boys'.
You brought a guitar to punish your ma,
And you didn't like school, and you
know you're nobody's fool,
So welcome to the machine.

Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
What did you dream?
It's alright we told you what to dream.
You dreamed of a big star,
He played a mean gituar,
He always ate in the Steak Bar.
He loved to drive in his Jaguar.
So welcome to the Machine.

 

7. Have a Cigar [Waters]

Come in here, dear boy, have a cigar.
You're gonna go far, fly high,
You're never gonna die,
You're gonna make it if you try;
They're gonna love you.
Well I've always had a deep respect,
And I mean that most sincerely.
The band is just fantastic,
that is really what I think.
Oh by the way, which one's Pink?
And did we tell you the name of the game, boy,
We call it Riding the Gravy Train.

We're just knocked out.
We heard about the sell out.
You gotta get an album out.
You owe it to the people.
We're so happy we can hardly count.
Everybody else is just green,
Have you seen the chart?
It's a helluva start,
It could be made into a monster
If we all pull together as a team.
And did we tell you the name of the game, boy,
We call it Riding the Gravy Train.

 

8. Wish You Were Here [Waters, Gilmour]

So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell,
Blue skys from pain.
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

And did they get you to trade
Your heros for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl,
Year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found?
The same old fears.
Wish you were here.

 

9. Shine On You Crazy Diamond Part 6 [Wright, Waters, Gilmour]

instrumental.

 

10. Shine On You Crazy Diamond Part 7 [Waters, Gilmour, Wright]

instrumental.

 

11. Shine On You Crazy Diamond Part 8 [Gilmour, Wright, Waters ]

instrumental.

 

12. Shine On You Crazy Diamond Part 9 [Wright]

Nobody knows where you are,
How near or how far.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Pile on many more layers
And I'll be joining you there.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
And we'll bask in the shadow
Of yesterday's triumph,
And sail on the steel breeze.
Come on you boy child,
You winner and loser,
Come on you miner for truth and delusion, and shine!


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