Spin #47 : Pink Floyd : Wish You Were Here
SUNDAY DROP - SPIN #47
The weather lately has been so up and down since the start off 2023. Yesterday it was a lovely 23 degrees and the sun had some bite to it. We managed to get the lawns done and make the gardens look great whilst our little girl slept. Today it is miserable with rain about but guess what, that just means you need to rug up and get comfy whilst enjoying this weeks Spin.
For our 47th spin from our record collection, I have chosen the concept album that followed one of the biggest concept albums of all time, 'Wish You Were Here' by English Giants, Pink Floyd. Obviously, this one had a lot to live up to following their album, 'The Dark Side Of The Moon' and during the time of release, didn't score much more than middle of the range. Since then critics have claimed that 'Wish You Were Here' is a perfect record basically (10/10 or 5 stars across the board). It is also my personal favourite album by Pink Floyd (who were originally known as 'The Pink Floyd' and ended up dropping 'The' when Original vocalist Syd Barrett left the group). I will need to add their first album to our collection as it is the only one to have Barrett on - "Piper At the Gates of Dawn (1967).
I've chosen to pair this record with a nice hot cup of coffee and listen to the rain in our front room as it hits against the windows. Sometimes it is just nice to look out at the garden and world going by whilst listening to records. Our front room has the Audio Technica turntable (AT-LP60XBT) and the impressive sounding Marshall Woburn II speaker. If you haven't checked out the Marshall speaker range, then I highly recommend giving them a go. The Woburn range is their biggest but purchase a speaker that will suit your listening room. I have heard this record through our loungeroom set up too and there is just so much going on throughout a Pink Floyd record that you can't go wrong with a good pair of headphones either.
Image : Nick Mason, David Gilmour, Roger Waters and Richard Wright
The first track on this album is one that is broken down into parts. Dedicated to their former front man, 'SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND' starts off the album with parts I-V and parts VI -IX on the last track. As the song is slowly building up, it gives me time to tell you a funny story that happened during the week with my family. Our 4 year old son (K) was at the dinner table doing everything possible as a toddler to not eat his dinner. He mentioned that he was the King of the family and I told him that one day that would be true, but for now he was the Prince and Daddy was the King. He nodded as this information registered in his mind. I asked him what did that make Mummy and he responded with, "Mummy is a Hooker". We all burst out laughing because he did a small action like a pirate who has a hook would do. I laughed and said, "Oh you mean Mummy is a pirate with a hook". I told him that Mummy was a Queen and that our 1 year old daughter (Q) was a Princess. He said, "No Dad, she is a Kitchen". Children are so funny. The instrumental start of the first five parts of 'SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND' are flowing nicely and I could really listen to this spin through all day. I can only imagine what it was like to see them live at their peak and I'm very jealous. Let me know if you have been lucky enough to see Pink Floyd live. Maybe even close your eyes for a few moments as this one plays through. "Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun"
Sometimes watching the stylus move along the black wax is the most relaxing thing ever. As the stylus starts playing the second track on Side A, 'WELCOME TO THE MACHINE', I find myself thinking of what made me fall in love with this album. To be honest, I remember putting this CD on in my car as a teenager and I think because I was so new to driving, listening to 'Wish You Were Here' made me focus on what I was doing behind the wheel. This one starts off with a couple of very strange sounds and gives off a mechanical/industrial feeling. If you have ever watched the 80's horror movies of 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' or 'Friday the 13th', the end credits sound similar to the start of this one. They always seemed to have '80s synth heavy songs to end a horror movie that would always brighten the mood. If the 'Machine' that Pink Floyd are talking about is the current world, then I guess we are all within it. I like the thought provoking albums and this one offers quite a few questions. "Welcome my son, Welcome to the Machine. What did you dream? It's alright, we told you what to dream". Because the songs are quite lengthy, it is already time to flip the LP over to Side B.
I remember first hearing this track with guest vocals by Roy Harper and thinking it was such a funky and fun song. The bassline drives this track and the lyrics are just so catchy to sing along with. That song to start off Side B is called, 'HAVE A CIGAR'. There are a few references to people being burned by the industry throughout this album and even the front artwork of this record shows that. Sometimes I forget that there are only four songs on this album and I find with most Pink Floyd albums that they are designed to play through. Definitely masters of the Long Play and I am finding that more artists/bands are starting to make records flow because the premier medium again is of course, vinyl. One album from a modern band that flows so well as a Long Play is the new one by Slipknot. I was very impressed. (can't remember if it is called "The End, So Far" or "The End, For Now" as they changed it and included stickers to replace on the front cover).
The title track 'WISH YOU WERE HERE' starts to come through the Marshall Woburn II speaker and I can just hear the start over the rain and playful singing of our daughter. She is getting so chatty lately and has had some pretty awful nights due to growing pains. I think she is almost through the cloudy days and maybe Night Kat Kiz and I can get some sleep again. The acoustic guitarwork that starts off this song is hypnotising and the vocals come through so crisply. I am going to write down all the lyrics for this one because I feel that it is important that you sing along to this one.
"So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell, blue skies from pain. Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail? A smile from a veil? Do you think you can tell? Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts? Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze? Cold comfort for change? 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". I get chills every time I listen along to this song and always find myself singing along to this one. It fades off into the start of parts VI-IX of last song on the album.
'SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND' slowly comes through the speaker with a pulsing bassline and return of the synthesizers. I love how the start and end of this album act like bookends. Do you feel any better or worse after listening along to this album? I know that it makes me feel a lot better each time. The packaging of this album was true to it's original release by being in a black plastic sleeve with different Pink Floyd labels on the front and back. Inside there is a postcard, poster and record sleeve with lyrics. Pretty much the perfect pressing on 180gm black wax and mastered by James Guthrie, Joel Plante and Doug Sax superbly. I have quite a few pressings from Harvest and Columbia and can't remember getting a bad one. The album 'Wish You Were Here' offers such a smooth, bluesy journey in parts, and I think that I will spin a couple of other Pink Floyd albums this week. I don't have 'The Wall' on wax but I have a couple of them on CD. My aim is to add more Pink Floyd albums to our record collection in the coming years.
As this one comes to an end and the stylus is moving towards the dead wax, "Come on you boy child, you winner and loser, come on you miner for truth and delusion, and shine!".
We have a few points to live our lives by in the Rylo household - Goal Setting, Personal Development, Explore Nature, Practice Gratitude and Take Chances. It's important to stay focused each day, even when it's not working out, have belief that it will eventually. I would like to say that in February we will be able to release the next Podcast of R'nR With Rylo, so keep your eyes open for that one. Thank you again for guessing on our socials on a weekly basis (MWSP). We hope that you enjoyed this weeks spin of 'Wish You Were Here' by Pink Floyd and maybe delve a little deeper into their catalogue if you haven't already. Come back next week for something a little more current and mellow.
Until our next Spin, be Kind to people who make concept albums and be Kind to your Wax!
HARVEST / COLUMBIA
SPEED PLAYED AT
33 1/3 RPM
DARK SIDE OF THE MOON (1973)
OBSCURED BY CLOUDS (1972)
WISH YOU WERE HERE
RATING OUT OF 5
WHAT'S INSIDE THE RECORD SLEEVE
1 X BLACK WAX LP (HEAVY DUTY 180GM), LYRICS PRINTED ON SLEEVE, POLY BAG, OUTER BLACK PLASTIC SLEEVE WITH BAND LABELS, POSTCARD AND POSTER
"So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell, blue skies from pain. Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail? A smile from a veil? Do you think you can tell?" ~ Wish You Were Here - Side B
LP / SIDE
SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND (PARTS 1-V)
WELCOME TO THE MACHINE
LP / SIDE
HAVE A CIGAR
WISH YOU WERE HERE
SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND (PARTS VI-IX)
Just a few people turning up to see Pink Floyd......