Written on: 21/12/2006 by degbert (120 reviews written)
5 songs on an album? This must have been the 70's.
Difficult to make a general statement about such a thoughtful, intriguing and enduring album. While I think Dark Side of Moon just shades in terms of commercial success and probably overall rating, WYWH for me is breathing right down its neck, and for me has much greater impact.
Probably because it's the 5 songs (4 if you deduce that 'Shine' 2 is just the same as the first, which I would refute personally). However, the 5 songs on the Wish You Were Here album cover such ground so effortlessly, and deal with real things that mean things to Pink Floyd, that the journey is so memorable.
Waters' homage to Syd Barrett in Shine is well documented, and correctly applauded. Probably the most humble thing Waters ever did was to pen those lyrics. Gilmour contributed his part by providing probably his finest ever work on this album.
Dragging Roy Harper on to sing Have a Cigar, a fantastically cheeky dig at the industry, was a major coup. For all their writing finesse and accomplished playing, there are no real singers in Floyd. Harper gave Cigar that edge it needed and just made it stand out a little.
Of course the title song is probably the most memorable. The music is a lovely 3 guitar overdub, simple chords, a simple melody, and lyrically very straightforward. What makes it truly shine is its restraint, its reservation and its subtlety. You believe it. It is sincere. Waters rarely achieved it quite so superbly as this, and it resonates with everyone who listens to it. You don't need to like Rock, or Folk, or Pink Floyd, or even music, to become an instant fan of the song Wish You Were Here. You just have to be human.
Shine 2 is my personal favourite track off the album, because Wright's input is often overlooked, and he is given scope (towards the end of the song, the final 'movement' if you will) to show his skills at his atmospheric best. The mood conveyed, a very sullen and dark feel, is just fabulous.
Just as I had Wish You Were Here played at my wedding, I will have shine 2 played at my funeral.
Remember all of this was a tribute to Barrett, and quite fitting it was too. May he rest in peace.