“Post War Dream” by Pink Floyd
(Words/Music: Roger Waters, Album: The Final Cut, Capitol 1983)
I had a friend in high school who loved this album and would play this song over and over again when we went over to his house. He would tell everyone that The Final Cut was the pinnacle of Pink Floyd’s achievement - it was better than The Wall, Wish You Were Here, and The Dark Side of the Moon. It sounded plausible when he was saying it, so I gave it some private listens. I didn’t understand why he would say those things or how he could not see the obvious holes in the album and that it was another rehashing of the same themes. A few years later, I realized that he probably didn’t even believe what he was saying but that he was just being contrarian in order to sound important.
Although, through all of his rants, I do like the song, but see it more as an alternate ending to The Wall than an integral part of another album. Overall, it seems very British - like Waters stands in the tradition of George Orwell and Graham Greene and puts their themes to music.
Tell me true tell me why was Jesus crucified
is it for this that daddy died?
was it you? was it me?
did I watch too much t.v.?
Is that a hint of accusation in your eyes?
if it wasn’t for the nips
being so good at building ships
the yards would still be open on the clyde
and it can’t be much fun for them
beneath the rising sun
with all their kids committing suicide
what have we done maggie what have we done
what have we done to England
should we shout should we scream
“what happened to the post war dream?”
oh Maggie Maggie what did we do?
“Who Needs Infromation?” by Roger Waters
Words/Music: Roger Waters, Album: Radio K.A.O.S., EMI 1987)
For some reason, I think of this song whenever I see something about FoxNews, whether it’s a still photo on Tumblr or a video clip from The Daily Show or The Colbert Report.
Who needs information
When you’re living in constant fear
Just give me confirmation
There’s some way out of here
Plus, it’s a great and underrated post-Pink Floyd song from Roger Waters. I remember that when it came out in my Junior year of High School, I was still a little sketchy about Pink Floyd and really had no idea who Roger Waters was. This album changed that and I probably knew this album in its entirety before I knew anything by Pink Floyd.
More Roger Waters: AmazonMP3 - last.fm - AllMusic - eMusic
“Gets Us All In the End” by Jeff Beck
(Words/Music: Arthur Baker and Tina B., Album: Flash, Epic Records 1985)
I originally purchased this cassette in the late 80s because of the hit song “People Get Ready” which reunited Jeff Beck with Rod Stewart. What I heard was an album full of tremendous songs by a guitarist I admired more with every song I heard. I would eventually purchase many of Beck’s classic works from the 70s like Truth, Blow By Blow and Wired, his early work with The Yardbirds, and his guest appearances on albums by Roger Waters and Imogen Heap. Whether playing slow blues/jazz instrumentals like his versions of “Greensleeves” or “Cause We’ve Ended Up As Lovers” or just outright shredding on “Gets Us All in the End” or the Roger Waters album Amused to Death, he maintains his distinctive sound and tastefully brilliant phrasing. There is a very definitive “Jeff Beck Sound” and, try as they may, no one else can copy it.
Backed by longtime collaborators Jan Hammer on keyboards and Carmine Appice on drums, the song begins by announcing with the opening notes that guitar will dominate. While the 80s new wav-ish background serves as a playground on which Beck can cut loose, the lyrics almost seem like an afterthought: the guitar is what everyone is listening for. There aren’t many more songs in his canon to this point which feature the outright assault he attacks his listeners with on this song. He plays his signature melodic phrasing, abuses his whammy bar, and plays some of the fastest and cleanest runs I have ever heard. One of the greatest attributes of Beck’s playing is his ability to create an absolutely chaotic sounding lead while staying in complete control. He knows his guitar and its limitations and pushes himself and the instrument as far as anyone ever has. While you may only know him as a jazz-fusion guitarist, or a guest artist at every star-studded concert, one listen to this song should convince you that he has mastered the art of the shred as well.