The truth about Rick Wright's contribution on The Wall

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The truth about Rick Wright's contribution on The Wall

Post by duffOnTheRun » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:27 pm

Much has been said about Rick Wright's contribution on the Wall. Everyone knows that Rick had a hard time, that he was uninspired and finally he was fired from the band. However, lot of false things have been said about Rick's contribution to The Wall, including on this forum.

Some have said that most keyboards has been made by Bob Ezrin, David Gilmour and team of unknown musicians. It's false! The truth is that Rick played on 21 of the 26 songs and for 8 of this song, Rick is the sole Keyboard player.

There is six songs for which Rick has not played: Mother, In the Flesh, Stop and The Trial. And for Bring the boys back home and The show must go, there's no keyboard.

This information is provided by the book Comfortably Numb: A History of The Wall 1978-1981 by Vernon Fitch and Richard Mahon. This is the most serious reference about The Wall.

Here is the list of all keyboard player for each song who played on The Wall:

In the Flesh?
  • Rick: Prophet 5
    Roger: VCS3
    Fred Mandel: organ
The Thin Ice
  • Rick: piano and organ
    David: Prophet 5
Another Brick in the Wall pt. 1
  • Rick: Prophet 5, Minimoog and Rhodes
The Happiest Days of Our Lives
    Rick: clavinet and organ

    Another Brick in the Wall pt. 2
    • Rick: organ and Prophet
    Mother*
    • Bob Ezrin: Prophet, organ and piano
    Goodbye Blue Sky
    • Rick: Prophet 5
      David: Prophet 5
      Roger: VCS3
    Empty Spaces
    • Rick: piano
      David: ARP Solina, Prophet, Clavinet
      James Guthrie: ARP Solina
      Roger: VCS3
    Young Lust
    • Rick: organ and Wurlitzer electric piano (with Wah-Wah)
    One Of My Turns
    • Rick: piano
      Bob Ezrin: Prophet 5 and organ
    Don't Leave Me Now
    • Rick: organ, organ pedals, piano, Prophet
      Roger: VCS3
    Another Brick in the Wall pt. 3
    • Rick: Prophet 5
      David: Prophet (low part)
    Goodbye Cruel World
    • Rick: Prophet 5
    Hey You
    • Rick: Rhodes electric piano, organ and Prophet
    Is There Anybody Out There?
    • Rick: Prophet 5
      Bob Ezrin: synth and string synth
    Nobody Home
    • Rick: Prophet 5
      Bob Ezrin: piano
      Roger: VCS3
    Vera
    • Rick: Prophe 5t
    Bring the Boys back home*
    • no keyboard
    Comfortably Numb
    • Rick: organ
      David: Prophet 5 (low notes on outro solo)
    The Show Must Go On
    • Rick: Prophet 5
      Bob Ezrin: Prophet 5 and piano
    In the Flesh*
    • Fred Mandel: organ
      David and James Guthrie: ARP Quadra (sequencer)
      Bob Ezrin: Prophet 5
      Roger: VCS3
    Run Like Hell
    • Rick: Prophet 5
    Waiting For the Worms
    • Rick: organ
      Bob Ezrin: piano
      David: Prophet 5
      Roger: VCS3
    Stop*
    • Bob Ezrin: piano
    The Trial*
    • Bob Ezrin: piano
    Outside the wall*
    • no keyboard
    Reference :Fitch, Vernon. The Pink Floyd Encyclopedia (3rd edition), 2005. ISBN 1-894959-24-8
    compilation: http://www.canadianpinkfloyd.com/blog/2 ... ds-on.html
    Last edited by duffOnTheRun on Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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    Re: The truth about Rick Wright's contribution on The Wall

    Post by Bigmanpigman » Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:08 pm

    Rick has, sadly, been much maligned elsewhere on this board. Let's face it, he was one of the architects of the whole Pink Floyd story, and David and Nick have recognised that (and even Roger in his most illuminating, though rare, moments). No doubt there will be someone on here shortly to trash him.

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    Re: The truth about Rick Wright's contribution on The Wall

    Post by Wolfpack » Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:14 pm

    Bigmanpigman wrote:No doubt there will be someone on here shortly to trash him.
    Please, this is a forumboard for not only neutral information, but also for discussions, opinions, views.
    Being critical is something else than trashing.
    I think the word "trash" is used to make people look ridiculous,
    and that's a away of trashing on its own.

    Treating Pink Floyd members as if they are gods who are easily hurt,
    or whose work shouldn't criticized because they are dead,
    is that how some people would like this forumboard to be?

    DuffOnTheRun supplies interesting information about Wright. (Thanks!)
    Shall we concentrate on that, please? (Thanks!)

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    Re: The truth about Rick Wright's contribution on The Wall

    Post by mastaflatch » Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:37 am

    Thanks for posting this, duffOnTheRun!
    Is there some kind of similar list about the actual studio bass player during the Waters years?

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    Re: The truth about Rick Wright's contribution on The Wall

    Post by duffOnTheRun » Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:13 am

    mastaflatch wrote: Is there some kind of similar list about the actual studio bass player during the Waters years?
    Interesting question! The answer is quite simple. On Fitch and Mahon's book, it said that Roger played bass on most the songs, except those below played by Gilmour:
    • Mother
      Goodbye Blue Sky
      Don't Leave Me Now
      Hey You
      Nobody Home
      Vera
      The Show Must Go On
      Waiting for the Worms
      The Trial
    P.S. Roger played acoustic guitar on Mother and Vera. He played also electric rhythm guitar on Another Brick in the Wall Part 3 (nice!). Nick played drums on all tracks except Mother by Jeff Porcaro and Bob Ezrin played some additional percussion on some tracks.

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    Re: The truth about Rick Wright's contribution on The Wall

    Post by Hudini » Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:11 am

    duffOnTheRun wrote:Some have said that most keyboards has been made by Bob Ezrin, David Gilmour and team of unknown musicians. It's false!
    Whether it's false or not, there have been a lot of conflicting accounts on the issue.

    David Gilmour for one said this:
    I did point out to Rick that he hadn't contributed anything of any value whatsoever to the album and that I was not over-happy with him myself -- he did very very little; an awful lot of the keyboard parts are done by me, Roger, Bob Ezrin, Michael Kamen, Freddie Mandell -- but his position in the band to me was sacrosanct.
    (MOJO magazine, December 1999)

    However, Gilmour has not been involved in the production of the album as much as Waters and Ezrin were so it's possible that he wasn't aware of the full extent of Wright's contribution. It is also quite possible that not all of Wright's contributions ended in the final mix. Whatever the truth is, I think that only Roger Waters and Bob Ezrin could know for real.
    duffOnTheRun wrote:Nick played drums on all tracks except Mother by Jeff Porcaro and Bob Ezrin played some additional percussion on some tracks.
    'Bring The Boys Back Home' is another one that Nick doesn't play on. The marching snare was actually recorded by Joe Porcaro (Jeff's father) and 35 other drummers, none of which were credited for their contribution. That information is available in Vernon Fitch's and Andy Mabbett's respective books.

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    Re: The truth about Rick Wright's contribution on The Wall

    Post by duffOnTheRun » Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:26 pm

    Hudini wrote:
    duffOnTheRun wrote:Nick played drums on all tracks except Mother by Jeff Porcaro and Bob Ezrin played some additional percussion on some tracks.
    'Bring The Boys Back Home' is another one that Nick doesn't play on. The marching snare was actually recorded by Joe Porcaro (Jeff's father) and 35 other drummers, none of which were credited for their contribution. That information is available in Vernon Fitch's and Andy Mabbett's respective books.
    Thanks Hudini. You're right about Joe Porcaro's snare on Bring the Boys Back Home. I had forgotten that.

    Fitch and Manbett interviewed many people, read numbers of articles and consulted group's and studio's archives to write their books. They mentioned James Guthrie (The Wall co-producer and sound enginer) was one of their most important sources for the "who played" story.

    According to Fitch and Mabbet, Rick would have played in about 75% of the songs on The Wall. That said, Rick did not played 75% of the keyboards parts we hear on the album. That's for sure.

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    Re: The truth about Rick Wright's contribution on The Wall

    Post by Bigmanpigman » Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:43 pm

    Wolfpack wrote:
    Bigmanpigman wrote:No doubt there will be someone on here shortly to trash him.
    Please, this is a forumboard for not only neutral information, but also for discussions, opinions, views.
    Being critical is something else than trashing.
    I think the word "trash" is used to make people look ridiculous,
    and that's a away of trashing on its own.

    Treating Pink Floyd members as if they are gods who are easily hurt,
    or whose work shouldn't criticized because they are dead,
    is that how some people would like this forumboard to be?

    DuffOnTheRun supplies interesting information about Wright. (Thanks!)
    Shall we concentrate on that, please? (Thanks!)


    I think the phraseology I used was perfectly appropriate.

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    Re: The truth about Rick Wright's contribution on The Wall

    Post by Wolfpack » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:59 pm

    Hudini wrote:David Gilmour for one said this:
    I did point out to Rick that he hadn't contributed anything of any value whatsoever to the album and that I was not over-happy with him myself -- he did very very little; an awful lot of the keyboard parts are done by me, Roger, Bob Ezrin, Michael Kamen, Freddie Mandell -- but his position in the band to me was sacrosanct.
    (MOJO magazine, December 1999)

    However, Gilmour has not been involved in the production of the album as much as Waters and Ezrin were so it's possible that he wasn't aware of the full extent of Wright's contribution. It is also quite possible that not all of Wright's contributions ended in the final mix. Whatever the truth is, I think that only Roger Waters and Bob Ezrin could know for real.
    If not all (or only a few) of Wright's contribution ended in the final mix,
    that's also information about the worth of his contributions.

    And I think Gilmour should be able to hear from the final mix, how much Wright is in there.
    And maybe not only Gilmour, but also some fans.

    What contributions did Wright do for 'The Wall',
    that are obviously an addition and obviously his style?
    Hudini wrote:
    duffOnTheRun wrote:Nick played drums on all tracks except Mother by Jeff Porcaro and Bob Ezrin played some additional percussion on some tracks.
    'Bring The Boys Back Home' is another one that Nick doesn't play on. The marching snare was actually recorded by Joe Porcaro (Jeff's father) and 35 other drummers, none of which were credited for their contribution. That information is available in Vernon Fitch's and Andy Mabbett's respective books.
    I think I've read that Mason, during 'The Piper' sessions, wasn't able to do drum rolls.
    Which makes me curious who did the drum roll at the end of that album's 'Interstellar Overdrive'.
    Bigmanpigman wrote:I think the phraseology I used was perfectly appropriate.
    And I think my post about people being trashed by being called trashers, is perfectly appropriate. :P

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    Re: The truth about Rick Wright's contribution on The Wall

    Post by The Gunner's Dream » Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:23 pm

    There are 2 basic ways to play a drum roll. One is the single stroke roll, meaning that the strikes alternate left to right (or right to left) between each stick. The most common way is the buzz roll, also known as the double stroke roll, where there are 2 strikes before the sticks alternate (left left right right or right right left left). This is a basic rudiment that 11 year old percussionists are taught the first day of band class in school. I find it difficult to believe that even Mason, as shoddy a drummer as he was, couldn't perform a drum roll. Frankly, a buzz roll can be played by practically anybody with a small amount of practice, so the double stroke roll at the end of Interstellar Overdrive really could have been played by anyone in the band with the smallest amount of percussion experience.

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    Re: The truth about Rick Wright's contribution on The Wall

    Post by duffOnTheRun » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:15 am

    Here's an interview with Jame Guthrie, co-producer and sound engineer for The Wall about Rick's contribution on The Wall:

    "There are numerous sites on the internet claiming that Rick didn’t actually play on ‘The Wall’ album. He lost a lot of the recognition that he deserved because for many of those performances, no one else was in the room, so they started to believe that he hadn’t played. I want to correct that misconception and let his fans and family know that Rick played some really great keyboards on the album. Just listen to the Hammond and Rhodes on ‘Hey You’, the Wurlitzer and fuzz organ on ‘Young Lust’, all the pads and Moogs on ‘Brick 1 & 2’, the list goes on."

    Thank you to Thomas Ulrik Larsen who did the interview with Mr. Guthrie. it was published by Brain-damage.co.uk in July 2013

    Reference: http://www.brain-damage.co.uk/other-rel ... d-the.html

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    Re: The truth about Rick Wright's contribution on The Wall

    Post by Wolfpack » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:39 am

    duffOnTheRun wrote:Jame Guthrie: "[...] the list goes on."
    No, the list doesn't go on. It stopped after a few examples. :lol:

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    Re: The truth about Rick Wright's contribution on The Wall

    Post by Flathead » Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:24 am

    "Playing" does not equal writing or arranging.

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    Re: The truth about Rick Wright's contribution on The Wall

    Post by Hudini » Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:36 am

    Flathead wrote:"Playing" does not equal writing or arranging.
    In many ways in rock'n'roll, playing does actually equal either writing or arranging. Bands like Pink Floyd, who award credits only for writing lyrics and forming a musical skeleton of the song, are a good example for that.

    Per instance, there is no way that Waters wrote the guitar solo Gilmour played on ABITW2, and yet Gilmour received no credit for it. For some reason, the first solo by Rick Wright I can think of is the one in 'San Tropez' - another song credited completely to Roger Waters.

    It is unclear whether Wright played the keyboard solo in 'Run Like Hell' or not, but whoever did, someone had to think it up, and that's really what composing is all about. The same goes for guitar and sax solos in 'Money' per instance, which also features some interesting background keyboard arrangements by Wright. And yet again it's credited to Roger Waters alone.

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    Re: The truth about Rick Wright's contribution on The Wall

    Post by duffOnTheRun » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:19 pm

    Hudini wrote:
    Flathead wrote:"Playing" does not equal writing or arranging.
    In many ways in rock'n'roll, playing does actually equal either writing or arranging. Bands like Pink Floyd, who award credits only for writing lyrics and forming a musical skeleton of the song, are a good example for that.
    It's so true what you say Hudini. Thank you for reminding us of this important fact! Credit were one of the main source of conflict in the band. I don't want to minimize the work of Waters, he was the main song writer, but Roger was probably a bit greedy to share music credits on Animals and The Wall.
    Hudini wrote:It is unclear whether Wright played the keyboard solo in 'Run Like Hell' or not, but whoever did, someone had to think it up, and that's really what composing is all about. The same goes for guitar and sax solos in 'Money' per instance, which also features some interesting background keyboard arrangements by Wright. And yet again it's credited to Roger Waters alone.
    According Fitch & Mahon's book, Rick is the sole keyboard player on Run Like Hell.