The Final Cut: A Review By Christian Bobocea

Front cover of Pink Floyd's last album with Roger Waters The Final Cut
Above: Front cover of Pink Floyd’s last album with Roger Waters The Final Cut. Below: rear cover from CD album. Bottom: Final Cut CD art.
rear cover of pink floyd the final cut
Artwork done by Roger Waters with photography from Willie Christie. © Pink Floyd Music 1994
cd art scan pink floyd the final cut

The Final Cut a requiem for the post war dream by roger waters… performed by pink floyd.

The Final Cut… Pink Floyd’s first and only album without Richard Wright, and the last with Roger Waters.

As you can see it is a Roger Waters solo album… the only thing is that David Gilmour does all the guitar work, and Nick appears in some songs. The rest is all Roger Waters, and session musicians.

When you look at the cover you see some stripes on a black background… and Pink Floyd-The Final Cut. When you look at the sleeve and at the album credits, you see song, after song , after song written only by Roger Waters… No David Gilmour…No Nick Mason… No nothing.

The Final Cut is a wonderful piece of work, in the eyes of many younger fans at that time, while some veteran Pink Floyd fans thought : “This is not a Pink Floyd record.”
They may have had it right. It’s not all Pink Floyd, just as Pink Floyd wasn’t “all” in 1987 or 1994, without Roger. Here, Rick is replaced by the late Michael Kamen, on the piano, (he also does the orchestration;) and Andy Bown, (bassist for The Wall, in 1980-1981;) on the Hammond Organ. Vocals are done by Roger Waters, except on “Not Now John”, where David also does a part.

A number of songs here were cut from “The Wall”, as the working title was “Spare Bricks”. But there are also some songs written in 1981 and 1982.

It’s not a bad album; In fact, it’s really quite nice… But most people agree that you cannot compare it to albums like “Wish You Were Here”, “The Dark Side Of The Moon”, or “The Wall”. It is very creative and emotional music … a cry to society. It’s a record about the war – or wars, if you like… The effects that war has on people, and families, and how such things destroy humans.

This may be Pink Floyd’s most emotional record, to date… It gets most people when listening to it… Strikes a chord, deep down. It’s very touching to people who have lost loved ones in the war… Not only the first or second world wars, but also wars like Vietnam, Falklands, Iraq, and Lebanon. All those feelings , the trauma- reflect Roger’s humanity in The Final Cut. All this said, let’s see how The Final Cut came to be…

Recording the war:

The original idea was to record a soundtrack of material that was recorded – or written – for “The Wall” Movie, and it was to be called “Spare Bricks”… But the feelings that Roger had at that time, and the Falkland Wars, changed everything. Waters started writing new material. According to him, he wrote so much, while the other members didn’t write many songs. On the other hand, David said that he had wanted to delay the production of the album, so that he could write some music… but Roger didn’t accept this, and wrote all of the music, himself.

Keyboardist Richard Wright would not play on this recording. He had been fired by Roger Waters during the recording of “The Wall”, for “not pulling his weight” with the band although he did put in many hours at Super Bear Studios in France and even witnessed some recording done by session musicians in the USA.

Recording “The Final Cut” was horrible for the band; There were disagreements, and anger prevailed. Nick Mason had lost confidence in himself, and so Ray Cooper came in to do some percussion in his place.

On the last song, “Two Suns In The Sunset”, all the drums were done by Andy Newmark… Nothing that Nick could do would be good enough for Roger.

Producing the album was also very difficult. David Gilmour apparently was fed up with it, and, at one point, didn’t want to have anything to do with it. Roger withdrew David’s name from the production credits.

After a great deal of stress in the studios, the album was finally released on the 23rd of March, 1983.

The songs were:

1. the post war dream
Roger Waters-Bass Guitars,Vocals
David Gilmour-Guitars
Nick Mason-Drums
Ray Cooper-Percussion
The National Philarmonic Orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen

2. your possible pasts
Roger Waters-Bass Guitars,Vocals
David Gilmour-Guitars
Nick Mason-Drums
Andy Bown-Hammond Organ

3. one of the few
Roger Waters-Acoustic Guitars, Vocals

4. the hero’s return
Roger Waters-Bass Guitars, Vocals
David Gilmour-Guitars
Nick Mason-Drums
Ray Cooper-Percussion

5. the gunners dream
Roger Waters-Bass Guitars, Vocals
David Gilmour-Guitars
Nick Mason-Drums
Ray Cooper-Percussion
Raphael Ravesco-Saxophones
Michael Kamen-Piano
The National Philarmonic Orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen

6. paranoid eyes
Roger Waters-Bass Guitars,Vocals
David Gilmour-Acoustic Guitars
Nick Mason-Percussion
Michael Kamen-Piano
Andy Bown-Hammond Organ
The National Philarmonic Orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen

7. get your filthy hands off my desert
Roger Waters- Guitars, Vocals (David Gilmour might have played the guitar)
The National Philarmonic Orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen

8. the fletcher memorial home
Roger Waters-Bass Guitars, Vocals
David Gilmour-Guitars
Nick Mason-Percussion
Ray Cooper-Percussion
Michael Kamen-Piano
The National Philarmonic Orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen

9. southampton dock
Roger Waters-Guitars,Vocals (David Gilmour might have played the guitar)
Michael Kamen-Piano
The National Philarmonic Orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen

10. the final cut
Roger Waters-Bass Guitars, Vocals
David Gilmour-Guitars
Nick Mason-Drums
Ray Cooper-Percussion
Michael Kamen-Piano
The National Philarmonic Orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen

11. not now john
Roger Waters-Bass Guitars, Vocals
David Gilmour-Bass Guitars, Electric Guitars, Vocals
Nick Mason-Drums
Ray Cooper-Percussion
Andy Bown-Hammond Organ

12. two suns in the sunset
Roger Waters-Bass Guitars, Vocals
David Gilmour-Guitars
Andy Newmark-Drums
Raphael Ravesco-Saxophones
Michael Kamen-Piano

All songs written by Roger Waters
Produced by James Guthrie, Roger Waters, Michael Kamen


Commercial Success, or not?:

The Final Cut didn’t really have too much success; It only hit Double- Platinum in 1997. The band didn’t like it, except for Roger.

The Sleeve:

The sleeve was designed by Roger Waters. Photography by Roger’s then-wife, Caroline’s brother, Willie Christie, and the artwork was done by Artful Dodgers.

The cover consists of medals, or the stripes of them… The medals are:

 

1939-’45 star Distinguished Flying Cross The Africa Star The Defence Medal
1939-’45 star Distinguished Flying Cross The Africa Star The Defence Medal

The Movie:

The Movie was shot by Willie Christie, it’s mostly like an MTV video.
The Video consists of:

-the first part of The Post War Dream, where Alex McAvoy, (who played the teacher in The Wall), is changing the radio channels in his car on a highway. When he stops, he sees his (probable;) son, up on the bridge.

-The Gunners Dream.

-The Final Cut, mostly old 30’s and 40’s video.

-Not Now John- I think it’s a Japanese vassle, where Alex McAvoy walks around and sees various strange things…(I can’t review it; better watch it for yourself- it’s in www.pinkfloyd.co.uk where the Final Cut sleeve picture is.)

-The Fletcher Memorial Home- various world leaders appear.

The Review:

1. the post war dream – It begins with a “zapping” on radio stations. Some very powerful lyrics, directed at Margaret Thatcher. The feeling of missing his father is strongly expressed here.

2. your possible pasts – Again, very nice, great lyrics, and a wonderful guitar solo by David. A nice bassline by Roger. His voice was right at the top, throughout most of the album… a really impressive vocal performance, considering that he is not the best vocalist.

3. one of the few – Here’s where the effects begin; All of the effects from Pink Floyd’s previous albums find themselves, again, in this record.

4. the hero’s return – I don’t really like this one, but it’s still a good song. A rocker, really; again, strong vocals.

5. the gunner’s dream – The hollophonics appear; A nice piano work, done by the late, great Michael Kamen, this is one of my favorite songs… It’s a pity that Roger ruined it in his new 2006 tour by lip-synching it. A lovely ballad, with all of the orchestra, and a sax solo. The lyrics make up what it lacks, musically. There is a certain connection when you listen to this album, and then The Pros And Cons of Hitchhiking- Written by the same guy, with the same kind of concept , during the time he was writing what was to become The Wall.

6. paranoid eyes – An interesting song, not to nothing.

7. get your filthy hands of my desert – Great to listen to on a good sound system… it’s really good!

8. the fletcher memorial home – David’s favorite song of the album, the only one to be on “Echoes-The Best Of Pink Floyd”, 2001; A really nice song- the first part smooth and nice, the middle, a rocking solo, and it ends quite well, too.

9. southampton dock – An acoustic song – not too great.

10. the final cut – A wonderful song- some deep emotions come from this one, and it’s really well done.

11. not now john – The rock piece of the album, not too wonderful… similar to “Money”, or “Have a Cigar”; A good rocker, the only song in which David does some vocals.

12. two suns in the sunset – A climactic song… Roger imagined in his car, he said; The sunset, and an atomic boom, powerful and nice. A great way to end an album.


All in all, a touching album… Some good, and some bad, I think I will give it an 8 out of 10.

You may also like...