Retro Review: Pink Floyd ‘The Wall’

Again we dive into the music of the past with another edition of Bloody-Disgusting’s Retro Review. This months review is on the Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’, an album that is still in the top five best-selling albums of all time. Chronicling the story of a man rising to the top only to fall to the extreme bottom. This album changed my appreciation of music and what it meant to really invest oneself into the listening process. So check after the jump for a more detailed look into the 11th studio album from prog-rock giants Pink Floyd.

pinkfloydthewallcover

To talk about the production of this album, you have to remember that this was recorded without any digital assistance. The entire recording process was analog, which adds a great deal of warmth but also doesn’t hide or mask a lot of the subtleties that digital can cover up. Taking this into account, the production quality of ‘The Wall’ is still astounding and a pure joy to listen to. There are more instruments and layers than I can possibly go over but each layer sounds beautiful, rich and is mixed in wonderfully. The album also has an amazing amount of dynamics throughout: Many times, your ear strains to hear each gentle note, each subtle synthesizer tone. Then, there are the times where you are blasted with distorted guitars, thick bass and megaphone vocals. ‘The Wall’ is nothing short of a musical journey where each track is yet another step towards the climactic finale.
The impact of ‘The Wall’ is beyond far-reaching. There have been countless imitations as well as scores of bands citing ‘The Wall’ as one of the inspirations for their work, and yet none have such weight or gravitas to their name. The album was so popular that a movie was made where all of the dialogue and all of the audio were tracks from the album. Although not praised universally, the film is overall held in generally a favorable eye and is something I like to pop in at least once a year. 
Personally, when I bought this album at 15, I knew that I was in for something amazing; I just had no idea that I was about to listen to something that would speak to me on so many levels. I learned the songs on guitar so that I could one day hope to write something as powerful. I listened to the album on drives, in my room, between classes. Honestly, it took me about 6 months for the album to leave my CD player. I still on occasion will open up iTunes, start up ‘In The Flesh’ and leave it going until ‘Outside The Wall’ finishes. 
The Final Word: ‘The Wall’ is an album that runs through the spectrum of human emotions and takes you along each step of the way. If for some reason you still haven’t listened to the entire album in one sitting, do yourself a favor and get some good headphones, lay back and get lost in this timeless masterpiece.