1979, Punk and Pink Floyd’s Number 1 Single: The Wall.
Above Photo: Pink Floyd’s famous Marching Hammers Graphic.
Unusually in Bombed Out!, a book mostly dealing with Punk and New Wave music, Pink Floyd’s 1979 Number One single, The Wall, actually gets a favourable mention. Although I have to admit back then I was a massively begrudging fan of it – and never a fan of the band’s – or any long-haired Progressive Rock band for that matter.
What I did like about the song was its simplicity, its overpoweringly simple bass line and the subject matter of the lyrics; speaking of alienation, everyday scholastic oppression and general growing-up shit – something many could identify with – and in fact themes which were also being expressed in another, totally different music medium at that time: Punk and New Wave.
In Bombed Out! I compared (and praised) The Wall, which was Number One in the UK at the end of 1979, to the Number One song at the start of 1979, namely YMCA by the Village People, suggesting that you could see a Punk and New Wave influence even on Pink Floyd’s stripped-back music and everyday themes over that late Seventies Punk period, as best displayed in this single.
That might be a load of old bollocks, but that’s what I think…
This version of The Wall on You Tube is fantastic both musically and cinematically.