The truth about Rick Wright's contribution on The Wall

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

Post by Kerry King »

Bob Ezrin [Circus magazine, April 1980]: "The credits would've read like the bible if we'd broken everybody's contribution down"

Roger Waters to Ezrin (according to Ezrin) [Circus, April 1980]: "You can write anything you want. Just don't expect any credit or money for it"

Roger Waters [Newsweek, March 1980]: "We've been pretending that we are jolly good chaps together, but that hasn't been true in seven years. I make the decisions. We pretended it was a democracy for a long time, but this album was the big own-up"

From an interview with Nick Mason [International Musician and Recording World, July 1981]:
Q: Are the members of pink floyd superfluous to what is happening?
Mason: "Yes, but that is part of what The Wall is about, the fact that you can be substituted"

From an interview with David Gilmour [Ciao 2001 magazine, August 1978]:
Q: Is Roger Waters the brains behind pink floyd?
Gilmour: "Well, I think so."

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

Post by Jimi Dean Barrett »

Thank you whoever posted an interview or post where Waters and Gilmour really fell out over the Movie as it builds a bridge between listening to them as a band on The Wall and then The Final Cut. It sort of explains why those two albums measure differently for me.

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

Post by mabewa »

Jimi Dean Barrett wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:08 pm
Thank you whoever posted an interview or post where Waters and Gilmour really fell out over the Movie as it builds a bridge between listening to them as a band on The Wall and then The Final Cut. It sort of explains why those two albums measure differently for me.
Yes, Gilmour was still a huge part of the band on The Wall, but not on TFC. I really see The Wall as a collaboration between Rogers, Gilmour and Ezrin, while TFC was mostly a collaboration between Waters and Kamen. Gilmour really got frozen out of the creative process on TFC.

There is, of course, also the fact that Rick was still a member on The Wall. He didn't put in his most distinctive playing on it, and there is no evidence that he did any songwriting at all, but he had been a huge part of the band's sound and still did a lot of playing on The Wall (as pointed out in this thread), so his absence on TFC was still a quite significant change.

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

Post by scarecrow »

I think both Gilmour and Mason have talked about how the default in Pink Floyd was terrible interpersonal communication? My impression of Richard Wright is of a smart guy who was a bit quiet, and as far as I remember, Roger Waters has alluded to Pink Floyd not really operating as a band from about 1974 onwards? And Nick Sedgwick's 'In The Pink' book seems to capture that being part of this band in the 1970s was not necessarily a barrel of laughs.

It's great that Wright did eventually find a comfortable place, with a nurturing and supportive bunch, able to assert himself and iron out any 'musical differences' without a whole load of tension:

See 13:00>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyHAu-iHwf8

This Roger Waters interview by Radio 1's Richard Skinner in 1984 is quite interesting, regarding The Wall amongst other things:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYTjQt1y3sw

From 2:44>
RS: 'Why did you wait so long, Roger, to do a solo album, because other people, well the other boys did them about ten years ago didn't they?'
RW: 'Yes, they did...well I was sort of doing them anyway [laughs], y'know, but they were called Pink Floyd records...I was able to do anything that I wanted within the context of that, and it was very safe and comfy, that big warm name hovering over us all, protecting us all'

As far as disagreements between Gilmour and Waters go about The Wall album, I think Gilmour has in the past stated pretty clearly (iirc) that it wasn't a bad idea for a record, but that the execution of the idea was done in a way that was overblown and that also the thing about a performer feeling alienated from an audience seemed to be Waters' issue and not necessarily shared by the others.

Not saying this in a mean-spirited way, but Mike Leigh's Keith character (of 1976's Nuts in May) spring to mind, listening 40+ years later to Waters' desperate pleas to the Montreal audience to let him sing his acoustic number (Pigs on the Wing) (perhaps the first and only pure love song in Waters' canon, apparently written for his then wife) without some tossers drowning it out with fireworks (which come to think of it might explain why Waters seemed so wound up by his ex-bandmates incorporating fireworks in the late 80s)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hh3z5I_7Hk

Personally, I used to rate The Wall and I'd still agree with Ben Wallers (of The Stallion) that it's a powerful artistic statement (or suchlike) but figure that my classmates in the 80s had a point that it was a bit of a drag and in large parts pretty turgid compared with whatever else was about at that time.

https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/7xka ... -it-longer

It seems laudable that Waters has adapted his revamped Wall performances towards a more universal message to promote peace (rather than, say, attempting to painstakingly recreate his memories of Syd Barrett's experience in Pink Floyd, messily interwoven with scenes seemingly based on speculation of Barrett's life during the 1970s, his own childhood and slasher sort of fiction, as he seems to have done in the film of The Wall?).

Without wishing to open any fresh cans of worms, all this might have (albeit unintentionally) contributed to a load of real life problems in allowing Barrett to go about his everyday life, and maybe that had something to do with a disagreement about the film?

Richard Skinner also does some handy probing around the subject of the cover of Pros and Cons and opinions on current music (Human League = good, Duran Duran = bad). For Waters, censorship is bad, so what's the problem with wearing his sexual fantasy on the sleeve? ('Wearing the Inside Out?')

For Waters it seems fashion is bad, the message rules, and crafting something 'in good taste' isn't a priority (here's where Waters and Wallers might cross over, although my vote goes with Wallers or maybe Cate le Bon, Jarvis Cocker or Serafina Steer in the 'intellectual pop' charts.)

I think we can trust Nick Mason's take in this interview:
https://www.nme.com/news/music/pink-floyd-40-1234896

A bit of a tangent maybe, but all relevant to the original post I reckon... still, a great year for Floyd fans, with the 'art for art's sake' projects of Mason and Gilmour, alongside Waters' more overtly political shenanigans, and a bit of distance bringing maybe an ongoing more rounded understanding of Barrett and Wright as people and their artistic reputations only growing. The 'Later Years' Floyd seems more consistent with the big, universal themes of the band in say '66-'68 (not an end in itself, but personally I like the records from both those eras), whilst both The Wall and the two solo Barrett albums are powerful and personal records – creating an intimate connection whilst also creating something which resonated to a worldwide audience.

Animals seems like a more accomplished musical piece and 'concept album', which seems to chime with the zeitgeist of the UK in 1976/77 with perhaps a more manageable dose of misogyny - the anger of punk, alienation and cracks in the 'post war consensus' which as it turned out paved the way for Thatcherism.

The Wall is OK imo but I'd sooner go to the films, 'Gimme Shelter', 'C**ksucker Blues','Don't Look Back', 'Eat the Document' U2's Exit for this sort of territory. Incidentally 'Under African Skies' and Nick Cave's blog make pretty good cases that cultural boycotts aren't necessarily the most helpful strategy.

'Why did Rick Wright leave?' seems less pertinent... you could speculate on whether the whole band would have gone along with this as a Pink Floyd project if there hadn't been a financial imperative, plus there's the question of what does a band do when one member turns up with not one but two complete album demos recorded. The recent 'Lost Art of Conversation' podcasts suggest that it perhaps took the band until the early 90s to reach a point of collaborating in a supportive way that was actually enjoyable. A problem which Blur, amongst others, also seemed to experience (Damon Albarn seeming to be an ambitious guy intent on using the platform of the band to make grand pronouncements on British society and a bloke with a habit of saying stupid stuff)

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

Post by mabewa »

^Good thoughts there.

As for the point about PF not really functioning as a band after 1974, though, Wish You Were Here was, although apparently very difficult to make, very much a band record. And even Animals, which found Wright not getting songwriting credits for the first time, was very much a group album in terms of playing. Every note (save for the 8-track version of Pigs on the Wing) is played by PF members, and it's some of their most focused group playing.

On the Wall, though, PF really did change--they became more like a massive recording project between Waters, Gilmour and Ezrin, with Rick and Nick becoming just some of the most prominent members of a massive force of backing musicians and singers. They didn't really get back to being a real band in the studio again till Division Bell. The new remix of AMLOR is interesting partially because it shows what that album could have sounded like if they had recorded it more or less as a band.

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

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mabewa wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:32 am
^Good thoughts there.

As for the point about PF not really functioning as a band after 1974, though, Wish You Were Here was, although apparently very difficult to make, very much a band record. And even Animals, which found Wright not getting songwriting credits for the first time, was very much a group album in terms of playing. Every note (save for the 8-track version of Pigs on the Wing) is played by PF members, and it's some of their most focused group playing.

On the Wall, though, PF really did change--they became more like a massive recording project between Waters, Gilmour and Ezrin, with Rick and Nick becoming just some of the most prominent members of a massive force of backing musicians and singers. They didn't really get back to being a real band in the studio again till Division Bell. The new remix of AMLOR is interesting partially because it shows what that album could have sounded like if they had recorded it more or less as a band.
I think what makes WYWH and Animals "more Roger" to me is that he eventually decided how to divide up the material. Once the concepts were there, he wrote the "missing" songs almost all by himself. And of course Rick's voice was suddenly gone :(
ChillOnTheSun wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:37 am
Composer can give credits to other contributors in percentage. That is the reason why Wright should be credited for instance in Sheep for the intro. It is so recognazable and played only by him. Shine On is divided to the parts, so that's the reason why Wright is only author of part 1. The same applies e. g. for song Cirrus Minor. The second instrumental part of it should be credited to Wright. As very recognazable chord sequence or atmosphere. And in PF music player should be credited also to the atmosphere stuff as the MOST recognazable part of PF song.
Rick actually gets full credits for part 9 of Shine On, as he wrote that on his own. It was his last songwriting contribution to the band until 1994...

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

Post by mabewa »

DarkSideFreak wrote:
Wed Dec 25, 2019 11:19 am
mabewa wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:32 am
^Good thoughts there.

As for the point about PF not really functioning as a band after 1974, though, Wish You Were Here was, although apparently very difficult to make, very much a band record. And even Animals, which found Wright not getting songwriting credits for the first time, was very much a group album in terms of playing. Every note (save for the 8-track version of Pigs on the Wing) is played by PF members, and it's some of their most focused group playing.

On the Wall, though, PF really did change--they became more like a massive recording project between Waters, Gilmour and Ezrin, with Rick and Nick becoming just some of the most prominent members of a massive force of backing musicians and singers. They didn't really get back to being a real band in the studio again till Division Bell. The new remix of AMLOR is interesting partially because it shows what that album could have sounded like if they had recorded it more or less as a band.
I think what makes WYWH and Animals "more Roger" to me is that he eventually decided how to divide up the material. Once the concepts were there, he wrote the "missing" songs almost all by himself. And of course Rick's voice was suddenly gone :(
ChillOnTheSun wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:37 am
Composer can give credits to other contributors in percentage. That is the reason why Wright should be credited for instance in Sheep for the intro. It is so recognazable and played only by him. Shine On is divided to the parts, so that's the reason why Wright is only author of part 1. The same applies e. g. for song Cirrus Minor. The second instrumental part of it should be credited to Wright. As very recognazable chord sequence or atmosphere. And in PF music player should be credited also to the atmosphere stuff as the MOST recognazable part of PF song.
Rick actually gets full credits for part 9 of Shine On, as he wrote that on his own. It was his last songwriting contribution to the band until 1994...
Good point. I missed Rick's voice on WYWH, but he does sing a fair bit of backups on Shine On, and as you point out, he wrote one of the 9 sections by himself, plus the other 8 with Roger and Dave, so I feel his presence a lot there. On Animals, he supposedly sings a bit of backup vocals on Dogs, but I can't really hear him. That said, even on that album, he is still playing all the keys. Things really changed on The Wall with Ezrin and others playing a fair bit of keys, though Rick really does still play the majority of them even on The Wall.

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

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There's a great interview with Nick Mason in this month's Record Collector magazine, which includes a bit about the making of the Wall - how it was 'fun, enjoyable' continuing to make the album in France (having started rehearsing for it at Britannia Row in winter 1978 and having to move because of the Norton Warburg issue)... and alluding to the pressure of that financial situation and needing to finish the album.

I also certainly remember that Wright said something (iirc a late 80s or early 90s Tv interview) along the lines of him feeling at odds with the Wall as a concept - that it was overblown and suchlike, but having rejoined the band he considered that he'd got it wrong back in the day. These days I reckon Wright's initial instincts were correct (and an opinion which Gilmour always seems to have shared, and Mason was maybe not too fussed either way?).

I like what Noel Gallagher has to say about the Wall on 'Desert Island Discs' (11.40>); I think a top-ten of Waters' best solo songs might have five or six songs from this album, yet the bulk of the record I'd sooner skip.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/b062hplj

And in terms of psychiatry/ societal approaches to wellbeing, things have thankfully moved on since 1979 - in spite of Waters' efforts to update it with a more universal message, I think you'd be pushed to find many mental wellbeing professionals who would vouch for this in 2019?

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

Post by mabewa »

scarecrow wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:10 pm
There's a great interview with Nick Mason in this month's Record Collector magazine, which includes a bit about the making of the Wall - how it was 'fun, enjoyable' continuing to make the album in France (having started rehearsing for it at Britannia Row in winter 1978 and having to move because of the Norton Warburg issue)... and alluding to the pressure of that financial situation and needing to finish the album.

I also certainly remember that Wright said something (iirc a late 80s or early 90s Tv interview) along the lines of him feeling at odds with the Wall as a concept - that it was overblown and suchlike, but having rejoined the band he considered that he'd got it wrong back in the day. These days I reckon Wright's initial instincts were correct (and an opinion which Gilmour always seems to have shared, and Mason was maybe not too fussed either way?).

I like what Noel Gallagher has to say about the Wall on 'Desert Island Discs' (11.40>); I think a top-ten of Waters' best solo songs might have five or six songs from this album, yet the bulk of the record I'd sooner skip.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/b062hplj

And in terms of psychiatry/ societal approaches to wellbeing, things have thankfully moved on since 1979 - in spite of Waters' efforts to update it with a more universal message, I think you'd be pushed to find many mental wellbeing professionals who would vouch for this in 2019?
I tend to agree--some individually really great tracks, but also some skippable stuff.

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

Post by mabewa »

duffOnTheRun wrote:
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.
This is another example of where musicians often misremember their contributions, years later. Dave did play bass on those songs (above I've usually heard that he played on 'Young Lust' as well, and the busy style certainly sounds like Dave), but his claim that he played a lot of the bass on multiple Waters-era PF records is contradicted by many sources and other people who were there. It's well documented that Dave played bass on about half of Animals, but other than that, he doesn't seem to have played much bass on any other Waters-era records. He's definitely on 'The Narrow Way' (everything on that song is him playing), and is usually credited with playing all of the instruments on 'Fat Old Sun' except the keys, plus he doubles Roger's bass on One of These Days and plays on the intro to SOYCD part VI, but that's pretty much it. He doesn't seem to have played any bass on Saucerful, More, Obscured by Clouds, the live disk of Ummagumma or DSOTM, and most of the bass on Meddle and Wish You Were Here is Roger too.

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

Post by ChillOnTheSun »

David played bass also on A Pillow of Winds from Meddle.

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

Post by Kerry King »

Memory doesn't even have to come in to it. It's the sound. As if Gilmour doesn't know when it's himself playing the bass. He recognizes his own bass playing as sure as most of us would recognize his singing voice. Some people on this forum apparently didn't even know until a couple of years ago that Snowy White played bass on Pigs during the Animals tour. Waters is the guy strumming the chords on the guitar with the shitty tone. Now folks here are referring to their "sources" for info about who played what on pink floyd albums while dismissing the real sources as having faulty memories.

Wright's contribution to The Wall doesn't matter too much. His head wasn't in the game and it's not his kind of music. The album actually sounded more modern (in 1979) without Wright. Some of those new (for floyd) keyboard tones were golden.

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

Post by mabewa »

The thing is, when it comes to sources, the production team, especially the engineers, are generally the best resource. Those are the real sources. The reason we know that Rick actually played a lot of keys on The Wall (though certainly less and certainly less distinctively than with previous albums) was because the people who were actually there recording them with him (keep in mind that a lot of that album was done by people separately overdubbing) have confirmed it. That's what the source that this thread is about is based on.

And if you've done multitrack recording before, you know that takes are often marked in terms of who played what, and quite often include stuff like, say, Rick and Bob Ezrin chatting before the take starts. And then there are studio logs that indicate who was recording on that day. In many cases, it's not exactly a mystery to anyone who has spent time with the multitrack masters.

For recordings I've engineered, I've often gotten the question from the musicians, years later, 'Did I play that???' I usually know the answer, but if there is any question, I've usually got the track available, marked with the participants and very often with the participants' voices captured before or after the take.

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

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ChillOnTheSun wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:40 am
David played bass also on A Pillow of Winds from Meddle.
This is what Dave played on A Pillow of Winds :

David Gilmour – double-tracked lead vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, electric & acoustic slide guitars, pedal steel guitar.

No bass. :smt102

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

Post by mosespa »

Bigmanpigman wrote:
Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:08 pm
Rick has, sadly, been much maligned elsewhere on this board.
Sooner or later, every member of the band is much maligned on this board. *rolls eyes*

Quit acting like people are blowing everyone except Rick.