The period of 1978 – 1985 is known in Floyd circles as the Waters-led era. After the beyond phenomenal success of the early to mid ’70’s, Pink Floyd was their own tough act to follow but Roger stepped up and took the helm.
Following some disastrous financial investments, Waters offered up two very original ideas for the bands’ consideration: a concept album that had a long demo with the title “Bricks in the Wall” and another which later was released as Water’s solo album The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking.
Although cautious, Mason and Gilmour they took to the BITW demo and worked on what was , of course, to become “The Wall”.
Their producer, Bob Ezrin, wrote a script for the new album and per Wikipedia:
“….based the story on the central figure of Pink—a gestalt character inspired by Waters’ childhood experiences, the most notable of which was the death of his father in World War II. This first metaphorical brick led to more problems; Pink would become drug-addled and depressed by the music industry, eventually transforming into a megalomania, a development inspired partly by the decline of Syd Barrett. At the end of the album, the increasingly fascist audience would watch as Pink tore down the wall, once again becoming a regular and caring person.”
The single (the first since “Money”) “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)” supported the album, topping the charts in the US and the UK. The critical and financial success is not to be denied but I must say (and hopefully not set off avid Floyd-o-philes) but I never liked The Wall and I never liked “Another Brick…”. Pure pretentious drivel to my ears. Even today, some 35 years later, I still find it unlistenable. I should add that I have almost always found any album that includes schoolchildren singing to be complete artistic puffery – and that includes the Stones.
In the early ’80’s Waters intended to follow-up The Wall with a soundtrack work but the war in The Falklands changed his mind. Waters saw Margaret Thatcher’s response to the invasion of the Falklands as unneeded. He dedicated the album to his late father. Although there was an interim release of a compilation album, Floyd went on to release “The Final Cut”.
The band, however, was increasingly fractured and starting to come apart at the seams. Waters called it “a spent force”. Financial differences ensued and it looked like the beginning of the end. Legal nastiness ensued over the name “Pink Floyd” and Gilmour vowed to fight Rogers and called him a “dog in the manger”. Wow – that’s telling him!
I could go on but to be honest I really never liked all this lawsuit nonsense between millionaire rock stars so I’ll leave it here.