Roger Waters - The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking

Discussions about Pink Floyd and Solo Official Album CDs and DVDs.

Rate this album

5 - Best
21
30%
4
9
13%
3
19
27%
2
6
9%
1 - Worst
15
21%
 
Total votes: 70

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J Ed
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Re: Roger Waters - The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking

Post by J Ed »

Pros & Cons = the 3rd Floyd lp I was able to purchase on the day of its release

if any more proof were needed Floyd was expired this was it,
it was, like Gilmours solo effort, a very ambitious new product that required no input from the rest of the band
and sounded a heck of a lot like the Final Cut, except for the guitar parts (and of course that album sounded nothing like any previous Floyd album)

I liked it plenty at the time of its release even if noone else did, all the sonic details I dug from The Wall were there, he made great use of the stereo landscape to present his story as a widescreen fiim in audio form, and I liked the story he was trying to tell
hogtownbro wrote:When you study English Literature, one of the first things you are taught is that ending any story with it all being a dream is "poetic fallacy". I think you can say Roger committed poetic fallacy in the case of this album.
I cant agree with this
when I see David Lynch films I hear other people make the same comment "its all just a dream so why should I care"
well, for one thing the dream tells us something about the dreamer
its like the convention of the unreliable narrator in fiction except it goes a step deeper and really tells us stuff the dreamer does not want to know about himself but the subconcious forces him to acknowledge anyway
and is an excuse for some great surrealistic images

aside from the dream structure I like the imagery, its all roadtrip imagery and I like roadtrips
being a geography geek I see the world this way anyway, and can personally relate to the hitchhiking, the travels in europe, the dream of moving to the country, the truckstop epiphanies
and I think Claptons bluesy guitar suits all this better than Gilmours more epic style would have


the tour for this was the first time I ever saw any member of the Floyd live
Roger opened with Set the Controls, and a few songs in did If, which I always assumed was included as it was an early attempt at the confessional singersongwriter mode he would play round with throughout his solo career
and the whole second set was his new album, which nobody in the audience seemed to be familiar with (or was much impressed with judging by conversations postshow)
most impressive to me was the three massive filmscreens he had set up above the stage, stretching the width of Maple Leaf Gardens, and on which he projected an allnew film illustrating the narrative from director Nicholas Roeg (Performance, Man Who Fell to Earth) and more cartoons from Gerald Scarfe ... these projections, only used for this tour, are languishing forgotten in the basement of one of Rogers mansions to this day and deserve to be seen once more

note also: aside from the sexy buttocks, the album cover was very minimalist compared to classic Floyd packaging
but the souvenir program sold at the concerts fit the album sleeve precisely and added many pages of illustrations "flesh"ing out the Pros & Cons experience
anybody who has the vinyl should endeavour to get a copy of this program
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Re: Pros and Cons

Post by Mother »

IMO
The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking is an underrated (at least outside of major Floyd fans) masterpiece. It's not only Roger Waters' best solo album by a mile (Amused to Death, while solid is too ballad heavy and whiny & the less said about Radio K.A.O.S the better), but right up there with The Wall and The Final Cut (both utterly brilliant of course). That said I can see how it is not some people's cup of tea: Roger's imagery, singing and general uncompromising arrangements and dynamics throughout are at times challenging to say the least, as is Sanborn's sax. I liked this album from the outset and provided a great accompaniment to A Momentary Lapse of Reason at the time, despite the questionable Gerald Scarfe cover art.

I have watched some live footage of Waters' 1984 tour with Clapton and shit-hot band (Andy Newmark drums, Michael Kamen piano, Mel Collins sax among others), it looks and sounds amazing.

My question is this: does anyone have or know of a DVD or high quality bootleg of this tour?
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Re: Pros and Cons

Post by thefinalcut »

The Gunner's Dream wrote:I used to listen to Pros and Cons religiously. Definitely my favorite of Roger's three solo albums. Favorite songs: Running Shoes, Sexual Revolution, Go fishing, and Every Stranger's Eyes, and The moment of clarity.
I agree and would add the self titled album track to that list. :)
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Re: Pros and Cons

Post by Jimi Dean Barrett »

I was listening to this for the first time in ages and I've forgotten how hilarious Roger actually is.
People always think of one or two liners for jokes, but he sets up all the elements of a Rock star on holiday with his family, but with his prog operatic dynamics. He sets up all the elements for the final verse. Or it's me being insensitive to his relationship breakdown.
But I now think this is like something from Curb Your Enthusiasm. :lol:
I listened to the rest and I remembered how it seemed more like background music.
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Re: Roger Waters - The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking

Post by jempaul1959 »

Hi all, new to this site so a quick word on the journey (stick with me ... it will make sense). Chatting to a friend (we're both in our 50s and major PF fans) we got to lamenting the loss of the late, great Richard Wright whom we both agreed was the most 'musically interesting' of the four Floyds. Later, nostalgically flicking through my albums (as one does) I came across Pros and Cons which, ironically, while having nothing to do with Rick Wright, struck me as an album I haven't played for many years. Indeed, to my surprise I realised it celebrates its 30th birthday this very year as is! So span it and, guess what, was amazed at how well it sounded after all this time. Seeking other opinions, I found my way to this forum and was interested in the comments herein. Can't agree with the esteemed contributor who didn't much care for Clapton's guitar work. I'm not a musician but it sounds pretty flawless to me and there's a sort of clinical ruthlessness to the blues playing that struck me as very in keeping with the piece overall. Loved the slide work, too - especially in duet with (I think) Michael Kamen at the piano at the end of Side 1. (Always felt that EC was at his best when playing for/with/against someone else). Indeed, as I recall Kamen had worked with Clapton as far back as 1985 on the Edge of Darkness TV theme and I know that Kamen was involved with The Wall even further back in '79. Interesting little three-way thing going on there, I think. Another forum contributor mentioned the 'stereo landscape' of the Pros and Cons album which is a phrase I wish I'd thought of myself because it does sum up so well that whole Floyd and, I suspect, particularly the Waters attitude to production values and the extra dimension that you can bring to 12 inches of flat plastic (as it was back then). I have to say Pros and Cons tends to make my missus jump (she gets particularly annoyed by David Sanborn whom she describes as 'over-employed on this record') with it's start-stop dream/nightmare alternations and while I'm not sure I go along with the vague suggestions of inherent misogyny, I would concede that this is not an album I instinctively feel would appeal to as many women as it would men. Anyway, 30 years on and it came ripping out of my speakers like it was yesterday (figuratively speaking, of course). Sorry Mr Wright ... your turn next!
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Re: Roger Waters - The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking

Post by RonToon »

I don't feel that any of Roger's solo work has held up well over time, including Pink Floyd's "The Final Cut." Pros & Cons lacks musicality and is very uneven, KAOS is an overblown concept with a horrible 80's production, and ATD is dated and too wordy albeit his strongest effort of the lot.
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Re: Roger Waters - The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking

Post by Morty »

My favorite Waters album. It has an interesting concept, adult themes and some great storytelling. 4:56 AM (For the First Time Today, Part 1) and 4:58 AM (Dunroamin, Duncarin, Dunlivin) are just amazing sad tracks.
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Re: Roger Waters - The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking

Post by Hadrian »

I know what I am about to ask is a bit tangential, but I am hoping that some of you here had a chance to see The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking tour with Eric Clapton back in the day (the 1984 leg of that tour, that is...).

What I am curious about is Clapton's take on the Pink Floyd material that he played during those concerts. What that sounded like? Did he simply emulate the studio recordings ('copy-cat David' approach), or did he improvised a bit and created his own stylistic take on those familiar numbers? I haven't heard much about this (and there is no concert album and/or video from the tour to consult); I am assuming that it was the former, but hoping it was the latter.
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Re: Pros and Cons

Post by twcc »

F41NXS wrote: Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:50 am
Stephen wrote:Was this album cover sold anywhere in the US without the black rectangle obscuring the girls arse? If not then how sad.
you mean Linzi Drew
Thread revival alert ...

For anyone that's interested Linzi Drew and her husband (Lindsay Honey aka Ben Dover) will be on stage together as part of a Q&A at The Cinema Museum in London on 30 October 2020.
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Re: Pros and Cons

Post by PooF »

twcc wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:08 pm For anyone that's interested Linzi Drew and her husband (Lindsay Honey aka Ben Dover) will be on stage together as part of a Q&A at The Cinema Museum in London on 30 October 2020.
Apart from Q&A will they be doing anything else, do you know?
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Re: Pros and Cons

Post by twcc »

OFF TOPIC -

There will be a special screening of Death Shock (1981), starring Linzi Drew, an evening of anecdotes from Lindsay Honey covering his 40 years in the world of adult entertainment and then the Q&A.
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Re: Pros and Cons

Post by Keith Jordan »

I have just had a good listen to the pros and cons of hitchhiking, not listened to it for many years. It sounds amazing! Love the concept too.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pros_ ... tch_Hiking

The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking is the first solo album by Roger Waters; it was released in 1984, the year before Waters announced his departure from Pink Floyd. The album was certified gold in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America in April 1995.
Concept history and production

The concept was originally envisioned by Waters in 1977 and refined in the early 1980s. In its completed form, it rotates around a man's scattered thoughts during his midlife crisis. These are explored on a dream journey during which he takes a road trip through California, commits adultery with a hitchhiker he picks up along the way, attempts to reconcile with his wife by moving to the wilderness, and finally ends up alone but with greater insight into a common human compassion. Along the way he also faces other fears and paranoia.

The entire story is framed in real time as a fitful dream taking place in the early morning hours of 4:30:18 am to 5:12:32 am on an unspecified day. At the end of the dream, the man wakes up lonely and contrite and turns to his real wife for comfort, presumably having processed his crisis.

I have never really thought about the "real time" of the album and that the album can be played by the clock like this.

Notes on real time
The original album was released in 1984 on the traditional two-sided vinyl LP and cassette formats. In keeping with Waters' concept, there are five seconds missing between sides one and two to allow the listener to flip the record (or turn the cassette) in order to keep the second half starting at exactly 4:50 am as planned.

An unintended consequence of the album being released on CD a few years later was that this gap was lost due to continuous play, moving the start of the second half back to 4:49:55 am, and also moving the start of the final track, 5:11 am (The Moment of Clarity), back to 5:10:59 am.

Track 6 on the first side, "4:47 am (The Remains of Our Love)", actually begins at 4:46:46 am.
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Re: Pros and Cons

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

What's particularly impressive is that he was married to the same high-profile, aristocratic woman throughout the process of writing, recording and touring a concept album about cheating on his wife. She finally split shortly before Amused to Death - his longest run by far.

I know it's none of our business, but I've always been a little suspicious of the timing of his many divorces, since he tends to put out an album or tour as soon as the papers are signed.
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Re: Pros and Cons

Post by space triangle »

Why is this a quite long thread about 'The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking' album separeted from the main 'The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking' thread in the ''Pink Floyd and Solo Albums'' section? It's a bit confusing imo. It would be nice if you culd merge this two Pros & Cons threads Keith.
Now, i sould give this album a spin or two. I wasnt listen to it for a while. :)
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Re: Pros and Cons

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

Accidents happen, man - just look at Radio KAOS.