The truth about Rick Wright's contribution on The Wall

General discussion about Pink Floyd.
duffOnTheRun
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Re: The truth about Rick Wright's contribution on The Wall

Post by duffOnTheRun » Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:06 am

Flathead wrote:
tjrrockandrollmaster wrote: Trouble is that Roger got power hungry! The original Wall demos of Roger was just him and a guitar.
Have you actually heard his Wall demos? The concept and song structures are all there. It's freaking brilliant. It's no wonder that he received most of the credit.
You're right about The Wall demos Mr. Flathead. It is obvious that Waters is the songwriter for the majority of The Wall, even if it sound bad ans simplistic (IMHO)

"It's freaking brilliant" as you said. I agree!

However, for some orchestral songs (side 3 & 4), Bob Ezrin's contribution is probably more than musical arrangements. He got only one credit for "The Trial", but I remember he said he deserved 2 or 3 more. I think it's true (IMHO).

So, it is well documented that Waters said to Ezrin: "You can write anything you want. Just don't expect any credit". (1)

(1) Schaffner, Nicholas (1991) , Saucerful of Secrets. p. 212
Sidgwick & Jackson, ISBN 978-0-283-06127-1
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Re: The truth about Rick Wright's contribution on The Wall

Post by Flathead » Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:34 am

duffOnTheRun wrote: You're right about The Wall demos. It sound bad and simplistic, but it is obvious that Waters is the songwriter for the majority of The Wall.

However, for some orchestral songs (side 3 & 4), Bob Ezrin's contribution is probably more than musical arrangements. He got only one credit for "The Trial", but I remember he said he deserved 2 or 3 more. I think it's true (IMHO).

So, it is well documented that Waters said to Ezrin: "You can write anything you want. Just don't expect any credit". (1)

(1) Schaffner, Nicholas (1991) , Saucerful of Secrets. p. 212
Sidgwick & Jackson, ISBN 978-0-283-06127-1


I agree with that. But I see it as Waters being protective of Pink Floyd, so the records don't look watered down like AMLOR and TDB: "This is Pink Floyd, Bob. You're lucky to even be working with us". I think Waters had a very keen sense of protection and aesthetic for the band that the others couldn't be bothered with. This is probably part of the reason why he thought it shouldn't go on without him.

It's common for producers not to receive writing credits.

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

Post by Hudini » Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:03 am

Flathead wrote:Claire created the melody, therefore she earns a credit. Was rick being greedy by not giving her a credit?
So what the difference between her melody and the melody of Gilmour's solo in ABITW2? She was also "improvising over a song", wasn't she? Or are you trying to say that Gilmour's solo in ABITW2 has no melody? It's atonal I suppose?

You keep contradicting yourself by stubbornly defending an argument that can't be defended because songwriting credits are not a matter of convention but a matter of choice.
mastaflatch wrote:I don't think that Clare Torry should have been credited for GGITS although she should have been given a fair amount of money for her performance. it's a performance for the ages, it's a classic but she didn't alter the original composition, she sang a vocal solo on it.
A vocal solo that completely altered the original song. Sure, the chord structure was there, but without her solo the song is practically unrecognizable. Also, haven't you ever heard of polyphony? So, Rick's composition counts, but her doesn't because her came later? That's nonsense.

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

Post by Flathead » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:36 am

Hudini wrote:
Flathead wrote:Claire created the melody, therefore she earns a credit. Was rick being greedy by not giving her a credit?
So what the difference between her melody and the melody of Gilmour's solo in ABITW2? She was also "improvising over a song", wasn't she? Or are you trying to say that Gilmour's solo in ABITW2 has no melody? It's atonal I suppose?

The credits are awarded for vocal melody. You can write a song with just a vocal melody. But a guitar solo or keyboard solo by itself is not a song.

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

Post by Hudini » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:59 am

Flathead wrote:The credits are awarded for vocal melody.
Oh, really? Is that the universal definition or just your opinion?

If that's so, why did they wait for 30+ years to give Clare Torry a credit for vocal melody in TGGITS then?

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

Post by Flathead » Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:53 am

That's the opinion of the publishing rights criteria for the recording industry associations.

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

Post by The Gunner's Dream » Sat Sep 20, 2014 3:19 pm

Flathead wrote: You can write a song with just a vocal melody. But a guitar solo or keyboard solo by itself is not a song.
Technically for a piece of music to qualify as a "song" it must have lyrics. Great gig in the sky has vocables without any meaning. So it is more like an "instrumental composition with vocal accompaniment" as the voice is used as another instrument and not to convey a specific message.

I'm not sure I agree with your reasoning about keyboard and guitar solos either. In some genres of music, such as jazz, the improvising and soloing of the musician IS the basis for a composition. Consider Another brick in the wall pt.2 without Gilmour's guitar solo. Would the piece be better or worse? I would say it would be lacking for sure. Solos are an important part of the compositional process, and doing it well is not something to make light of. Anyone can wiggle their fingers over their instrument and churn out slop but improvising or composing a solo that contributes to the music is something else entirely.
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Re: The truth about Rick Wright's contribution on The Wall

Post by duffOnTheRun » Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:26 pm

I compose music for short film, corporate video, theater and publicity. I'm a member of SOCAN (Society of Canadian Composer.) . The rules on copyrighting in Canada are pretty much the same everywhere in US and Europe.

A musical composition is primarily a melody (with or without lyrics). Traditionally in pop music, a melody is performed by the human voice. Whoever created the melody is considered the composer. it's easy to identify composer because there is a melody for the verse and another melody for the chorus. Normally a solo is not considered part of the musical composition, unless the main composer agrees to share the credit. Same thing for arrangement: If you expanded an existing chords sequence, add an instrumental bridge, changed a tempo, created a modulation, add melodic counterpoint, etc. you're not a composer.

In instrumental music, composition credit is a bit different because there's the concept of "musical themes". In this case, a solo or performance with a "recognizable melody" may be consider as a "musical theme" and receive credit (it's a bit subjective, I know). Vocal part on Great Gig In The Sky has been considered as a "recognizable melody", so Clare Torry got credit.

So, the rise of rock bands from the 70s modified definition of musical composition. When a song is based on a guitar riff (or a musical theme well recognizable) and then vocal melody is added afterwards, riff creator may receive credit as co-composer. For example: Satisfaction by the Rolling Stone: Keith Richards wrote the riff first and Mick Jagger wrote vocal melody over the riff. Both are considered to be the composer. Same thing for Run like hell: David wrote the guitar riff at the time of his first solo album and then, Roger composed the vocal melody from that riff. That's why Both David and Roger are credited.

I hope my contribution has helped you to define the concept of musical composition.

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p.s: Sorry if my english is sometimes difficult to understand. This is not my mother tongue.

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

Post by mastaflatch » Sat Sep 20, 2014 6:45 pm

Hudini wrote:
mastaflatch wrote:I don't think that Clare Torry should have been credited for GGITS although she should have been given a fair amount of money for her performance. it's a performance for the ages, it's a classic but she didn't alter the original composition, she sang a vocal solo on it.
A vocal solo that completely altered the original song. Sure, the chord structure was there, but without her solo the song is practically unrecognizable. Also, haven't you ever heard of polyphony? So, Rick's composition counts, but her doesn't because her came later? That's nonsense.
what you guys need to understand is that Clare Torry's vocal "melody", "improv", "ad-libbing", "banshee-wailing", whatever isn't ANY different than Gilmour's solo on any other song for which he isn't credited. your view on how the original song is altered is, at best, subjective. the fact is that Wright and the band did not alter the song to fit Torry's vocals. the band was of the same opinion, obviously, for years but the massive success of the song and the ridiculous wage she's been paid for it made them feel guilty, or declared guilty according to a lawyer and a judge - people who have no fucking clue about writing songs.

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

Post by Kerry King » Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:16 pm

duffOnTheRun wrote:I hope my contribution has helped you to define the concept of musical composition.
Not really.
Writing credits can be handed out for anything at all, including guitar solo's. Why did Seamus not get a writing credit for his/her vocal melody? Because Seamus was a dog and pink floyd exploited him/her. I prefer Seamus' vocals over Clare Tory's. Clare had a better lawyer and was on a more successful album.

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

Post by Bigmanpigman » Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:06 pm

All of these technical observations of what constitutes a song writing credit are a bit of a laugh really where 'rock music' is concerned. Many of the standard rock songs that we live with from the '60s, '70s '80s were born out of jams. How do you qualify that?

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

Post by Flathead » Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:33 pm

duffOnTheRun wrote:I compose music for short film, corporate video, theater and publicity. I'm a member of SOCAN (Society of Canadian Composer.) . The rules on copyrighting in Canada are pretty much the same everywhere in US and Europe.

A musical composition is primarily a melody (with or without lyrics). Traditionally in pop music, a melody is performed by the human voice. Whoever created the melody is considered the composer. it's easy to identify composer because there is a melody for the verse and another melody for the chorus. Normally a solo is not considered part of the musical composition, unless the main composer agrees to share the credit. Same thing for arrangement: If you expanded an existing chords sequence, add an instrumental bridge, changed a tempo, created a modulation, add melodic counterpoint, etc. you're not a composer.

In instrumental music, composition credit is a bit different because there's the concept of "musical themes". In this case, a solo or performance with a "recognizable melody" may be consider as a "musical theme" and receive credit (it's a bit subjective, I know). Vocal part on Great Gig In The Sky has been considered as a "recognizable melody", so Clare Torry got credit.

So, the rise of rock bands from the 70s modified definition of musical composition. When a song is based on a guitar riff (or a musical theme well recognizable) and then vocal melody is added afterwards, riff creator may receive credit as co-composer. For example: Satisfaction by the Rolling Stone: Keith Richards wrote the riff first and Mick Jagger wrote vocal melody over the riff. Both are considered to be the composer. Same thing for Run like hell: David wrote the guitar riff at the time of his first solo album and then, Roger composed the vocal melody from that riff. That's why Both David and Roger are credited.

I hope my contribution has helped you to define the concept of musical composition.

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p.s: Sorry if my english is sometimes difficult to understand. This is not my mother tongue.

Good stuff! Thanks for posting. This logical and reasonable post from a music industry professional should end the debate.

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

Post by Kerry King » Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:54 pm

Flathead wrote:Good stuff! Thanks for posting. This logical and reasonable post from a music industry professional should end the debate.
What are you, 8 years old? There is no debate. Credits can be doled out any way the person/people in power see fit. The music industry is a cesspool.

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

Post by Flathead » Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:04 am

When the sun is up, do you argue that it's night?

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

Post by Kerry King » Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:05 am

^I don't argue.



Rick Wright contributed very little of consequence to The Wall.