Favorite musical epics?

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  • 06-14-2004, 02:25 PM
    mad rhetorik
    Favorite musical epics?
    While there have been many bands who have tried to create an "epic" song (every prog outfit worth its salt), in my mind only a few have succeeded in creating something I enjoy listening to over and over again without getting bored silly. This is especially true of songs that approach the 20-minute mark. Any band can noodle for a half-hour; it takes a great and talented band to write a composition of that length that can carry its weight and stay interesting throughout.

    What are your favorite "epic" (10+ minute) cuts? Here are mine:

    Pink Floyd: "Dogs" (<b>Animals</b>)
    For me, this is the 'Floyd-defining song (and album). Of course, "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" is also worthy, and has an ending guitar solo that I would trade a kidney for; but what makes "Dogs" great is its superb pacing, perfect buildup, Gilmour's brilliant vocal performance in the first half, Waters' poetic and dark lyrics, and a great Gilmour solo midway in, all topped by the haunting sound of the howling dogs. The final couple of verses, toward the very end, with Waters taking the vocal lead accompanied by Gilmour and Wright on their respective instruments, is absolutely wrenching in its finality:

    <i>"Who was born in a house full of pain
    Who was trained not to spit in the fan
    Who was told what to do by the man
    Who was broken by trained personnel
    Who was fitted with collar and chain
    Who was given a pat on the back
    Who was breaking away from the pack
    Who was only a stranger at home
    Who was ground down in the end
    Who was found dead on the phone
    Who was dragged down by the stone

    Dragged down by the stone"</i>

    King Crimson: "Starless" (<b>Red</b>)
    This 12-minute song could not have been a more perfect conclusion to the Wetton/Bruford/Cross era of the Krim. The first 5 minutes are sublime in their mellotron-drenched beauty, with Wetton putting in one of his best vocal performances. After that, Wetton stops singing, leaving just an ominous bassline, and the song <b>really</b> begins. The rest of the band comes in, slowly, with Fripp playing that single note on his guitar, progressively rising with intensity as the song continues. Then when it all seems about to blow through the top, Mel Collins comes in quickly with a sax solo to save us, if only briefly. Then his sax solo comes to an end with a flourish from Bruford's drums and all freaking hell breaks loose as Fripp unleashes his screaming guitar. Finally, the song comes to a beautiful close with the return of the opening theme. Sublime.

    Opeth: "The Night And The Silent Water" (<b>Morningrise</b>)
    Although all five songs on <b>Morningrise</b> are worthy of the "epic" tag at 10+ minutes each, this is the best one out of the bunch. The song contains all the elements the band is known for: seamlessly executed hard-to-soft transitions, complex metal passages, Mikael Akerfeldt's combination of growling and clean singing, and great touches of acoustic folk. The chiming acoustic guitars that come in somewhere around the 2-minute mark are achingly beautiful. The real highlight, however, is the buildup from the 8-minute mark to the end, slowly going from acoustic dreamland to electricity and pounding double-bass drums, culminating in the riff to end all all riffs, with Akerfeldt reciting the last verse over it all in a hoarse whisper. The song finally drifts off to its end with a few pained, dying acoustic chords.

    Allman Brothers: "Whipping Post" (<b>Live At The Filmore East</b>)
    This 23-minute jam succeeds mostly due to its strong written framework. This particular version of the song doesn't deviate much from the 5-minute version found on their first album. I love the original-length version, and this is just as good. Berry Oakley's opening bass intro, followed by Duane and Dickey Betts' stinging guitars and Gregg's weary vocals, is a pure adrenaline rush--sometimes I will start the song over a few times, just to hear the intro. Gregg's vocals (listen to him on the choruses; truly a better white blues singer you will not find) and the guitars, duetting with Gregg's organ lines, really define this song. Easily one of the greatest blues jams I've ever treated my ears to.

    Jimi Hendrix: "Machine Gun" (<b>Band Of Gypsys</b>)
    Listening to this jam, I can understand why Miles Davis took an interest in Jimi. His guitar playing was downright unbeatable. I've listened to a lot of metal, which as a genre generally strives to sound brutal and war-like; however, when it comes to evoking images of a battlefield in my mind, Jimi, Buddy, and Billy beat them all to the punch way back on New Years Eve, 1969. That funky, M16-like guitar lick in the opening sets the stage, and is followed by Buddy's rifleshot snare. I have to be sitting down when Jimi launches into that solo at the 4-minute mark, holding that one note and turning it into an air-raid siren that just dives straight into you and leaves your ears ringing (I annoy my neighbors ; P). Jimi's vocals are quite laidback through the song; he doesn't sound like he's trying. But that's unimportant, for his guitar expresses much more than any mere words could.

    EDIT: In my sleep-deprived state, I almost forgot to include Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row" (<b>Hwy. 61 Revisited</b>). I won't bother with the verbose description for that--Dylan rules, end of story.

    Oh yeah, and also the VU classic "Sister Ray" deserves a mention.
  • 06-14-2004, 02:54 PM
    Stone
    None.

    Why can't people understand
    I've got a short attention span
    Short attention spaaa-aan


    That's my favorite song under 10 seconds.
  • 06-14-2004, 03:22 PM
    mad rhetorik
    ..and at the other end of the spectrum, the best song under 30 sec.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Stone
    None.

    Why can't people understand
    I've got a short attention span
    Short attention spaaa-aan

    <i>I wanna be a field day for the Sundays so they can f<a>uck up my life
    Embarass my wife, and leave a bad taste
    That striped toothpaste can't remove on Monday mornings
    I wanna be a target for the dailies so they can show
    Pictures of me with a nude on page three, so lacking in taste
    Touched up near the waist, looking as limp as Monday morning...</i>
  • 06-14-2004, 03:34 PM
    Stone
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mad rhetorik
    <i>I wanna be a field day for the Sundays so they can f<a>uck up my life
    Embarass my wife, and leave a bad taste
    That striped toothpaste can't remove on Monday mornings
    I wanna be a target for the dailies so they can show
    Pictures of me with a nude on page three, so lacking in taste
    Touched up near the waist, looking as limp as Monday morning...</i>

    I like that one, but I also like these a lot too (both under 30 seconds):

    I like food, food tastes good!
    I like food, food tastes good!

    I like food, food tastes good
    I like food, food tastes good
    Juicy burgers, greasy fries
    Turkey legs and raw fish eyes
    Teenage girls with ketchup too
    Get outta my way or Iíll eat you

    I like food, food tastes good
    I like food, food tastes good

    Gonna turn dining back into eating
    I like food, food tastes good

    I like food, food tastes good


    and

    I used all the patience I had left for you
    When I wrote this down

    I thought of all the things youíve done
    And came up with this thirty-second song

    Wanted to express how much
    Iíve missed you since youíve gone

    I thought of all the things youíve done
    And came up with this thirty-second song

    I thought of all the things youíve done
    And came up with this thirty-second song
  • 06-14-2004, 03:40 PM
    dld
    It may not quite be a ten minute epic but its surely epocheal. That would be Al Stewart's Roads To Moscow. You feel you are there with general Gadarian's (sp??) troops in WWII. The lyrics puts you right in the shoes of the German grunt. The song takes you from the flush of early successes "The old men and women they send out to fight us, they can't slow us down" to the beating the Russian winter imposed

    "...and the steely Russian skies go on (pause)
    for e ~~ v ~~ e ~~ r ".
  • 06-15-2004, 04:57 AM
    Dave_G
    Hey dld,

    why would you want a squadron of tanks?

    Gas is so expensive these days it would cost a fortune to drive them.

    Regards,

    Dave
  • 06-15-2004, 05:30 AM
    nobody
    I tend not to like many long songs, especially in a rock mode. Anyone know who sang that tune that went something like...

    I like short songs!
    I like short songs!
    I like short songs!
    I like short songs!

    for about 20 seconds or so?

    I'm guessing classical stuff doesn't count, but I do like a few longer electronic things. Stuff like The Orb's <i>A Huge Ever-Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules rom the Centre of the Ultraworld</i>, which has a ridiculously long title to match is nice. When it comes to electronic stuff, especially things with a more ambient or laid back bent, I can handle much longer songs than rock stuff.
  • 06-15-2004, 05:44 AM
    Stone
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nobody
    I tend not to like many long songs, especially in a rock mode. Anyone know who sang that tune that went something like...

    I like short songs!
    I like short songs!
    I like short songs!
    I like short songs!

    for about 20 seconds or so?

    Dead Kennedys

    What do I win?
  • 06-15-2004, 06:16 AM
    nobody
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Stone
    Dead Kennedys

    What do I win?

    My undying respect and gratitude. Or a beer if you're ever in Lansing before I get the h<a>ell out of this town.
  • 06-15-2004, 06:19 AM
    Stone
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nobody
    My undying respect and gratitude. Or a beer if you're ever in Lansing before I get the h<a>ell out of this town.

    Wow, exactly what I was hoping for!!

    When you moving?
  • 06-15-2004, 06:27 AM
    ForeverAutumn
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dld
    It may not quite be a ten minute epic but its surely epocheal. That would be Al Stewart's Roads To Moscow. You feel you are there with general Gadarian's (sp??) troops in WWII. The lyrics puts you right in the shoes of the German grunt. The song takes you from the flush of early successes "The old men and women they send out to fight us, they can't slow us down" to the beating the Russian winter imposed

    "...and the steely Russian skies go on (pause)
    for e ~~ v ~~ e ~~ r ".

    Nobody writes lyrics like Al Stewart writes lyrics. His words paint pictures.

    Now, for the epic song of choice...just qualifying at 10:25...I have to say it's Rush's Cygnus X-1. Twisting and turning on a ride through outerspace, I have loved this song since I first heard it 27 years ago.
  • 06-15-2004, 06:30 AM
    Dusty Chalk
    Well, to answer the original question, you nailed two of my favourites: "Dogs" and "Starless". And I don't mean to be an old fogey, but "Free Bird" still rocks.

    Here's one that's a little off the beaten path: Synergy, "Sequence 14" -- it definitely captures an epicness in my book (might be short, not sure of its length).
  • 06-15-2004, 06:34 AM
    nobody
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Stone
    Wow, exactly what I was hoping for!!

    When you moving?

    Not sure yet. Been doing the job interview thing and one seems like it should pan out. Hoping to hear any day now. If all goes well, I'll be moving at the end of this month or the first of July.

    Then again, you never know until the call comes, so I may still end up looking around.
  • 06-15-2004, 06:50 AM
    Troy
    Long- Suppers Ready, Awaken, Shine on you Crazy Diamond, the Sky Moves Sideways

    Short- The suite of 10 to 30 second songs called "Fingertips" on They Might Be Giants "Apollo 18". "Please Pass the Milk, Please", "Come on and Wreck My Car", "Everything is catching on Fire", "What's that BLUE thing Doing Here?". Bent, to say the least.
  • 06-15-2004, 04:21 PM
    3-LockBox
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mad rhetorik
    While there have been many bands who have tried to create an "epic" song (every prog outfit worth its salt), in my mind only a few have succeeded in creating something I enjoy listening to over and over again without getting bored silly. This is especially true of songs that approach the 20-minute mark. Any band can noodle for a half-hour; it takes a great and talented band to write a composition of that length that can carry its weight and stay interesting throughout.

    'That, That Is' by <b>Yes</b> is my most recent fave...rivals anything from their classic period IMO.

    'Harm's Way' by <b>Spock's Beard</b>. Yes, The Beard does do epics very well, like 'The End Of The Day', but this one is by far their best writing effort lyrically.

    'Pigs (3 different ones)' by <b>Pink Floyd</b> is one of this band's most compelling songs of any length.

    'Terrapin Station' by <b>The Grateful Dead</b> is a long but sublime, trance inducing jam, and is really quite proggy, if I may use that term.
  • 06-16-2004, 04:57 AM
    progfan
    Genesis-"Supper's Ready" especially the live Archive Box version. Killer.
    Yes-"Close to the Edge"
    Jethro Tull-"Baker St. Muse" shorter than TAAB or APP but just as good, imo.
    Pink Floyd-"Atom Heart Mother". Seriously!! Don't laugh!
    ELP-"Karn Evil 9". It's fashionable to knock these guys, but I still love this epic.

    A predictable list I guess, but I can't much get into the newer symph stuff. Listening to The Flower Kings or Spock's Beard makes me want to listen to Yes or The Beatles instead. But I do have a little bit of a soft spot for "Stardust We Are".
  • 06-16-2004, 05:27 AM
    ForeverAutumn
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by progfan
    Genesis-"Supper's Ready" especially the live Archive Box version. Killer.
    Yes-"Close to the Edge"
    Jethro Tull-"Baker St. Muse" shorter than TAAB or APP but just as good, imo.
    Pink Floyd-"Atom Heart Mother". Seriously!! Don't laugh!
    ELP-"Karn Evil 9". It's fashionable to knock these guys, but I still love this epic.

    A predictable list I guess, but I can't much get into the newer symph stuff. Listening to The Flower Kings or Spock's Beard makes me want to listen to Yes or The Beatles instead. But I do have a little bit of a soft spot for "Stardust We Are".

    Nice list. I haven't listened to Karn Evil 9 in years. Thanks for the reminder of a great song. Time to pull out my ELP. :)
  • 06-16-2004, 06:36 AM
    Troy
    I prefer the live version of Supper's Ready on Seconds Out. Musically, it's the tightest, most dramatic version.

    Spocks Beard epics, I gotta go with "Time has Come". I love the whole junkyard thing in it. "Flow" is a strong one too.

    Good call on "Baker Street Muse". And "Terrapin Station", the only Grateful Dead track that I enjoy.
  • 06-16-2004, 08:50 AM
    Dusty Chalk
    I can't believe I forgot Supper's Ready...and Baker St. Muse doesn't suck, neither...
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    Nice list. I haven't listened to Karn Evil 9 in years. Thanks for the reminder of a great song. Time to pull out my ELP. :)

    Or you can listen to this version. (Why couldn't my high school band teacher have been this cool? Actually, he was very cool, just not that cool.)
  • 06-16-2004, 10:46 AM
    Troy
    That version of Karn Evel #9 is really amazing. Any band with 8 vibes players is ok in my book. Yeah, rough in spots, but geez . . . that's a High School band? Wow.
  • 06-16-2004, 10:52 AM
    Dave_G
    To the worms it means that Supper Is Ready
    I too like the Seconds Out version of Suppers Ready but when I saw The Musical Box do it I nearly fell out.

    My whole body was one giant goose bump.

    I cannot wait to see the Lamb gig.

    Dave
  • 06-16-2004, 01:24 PM
    progfan
    Dave G said:

    " I too like the Seconds Out version of Suppers Ready but when I saw The Musical Box do it I nearly fell out."

    Look for the sobbing 30 something fool in the second row of the orchestra section at Nearfest!! I've never seen them before but everyone says their amazing. Can't wait!!
  • 06-16-2004, 01:29 PM
    kingcrim05
    Spock's Beard, King Crimson, Pink Floyd and Dream Theater. Four of my favorite bands all put out some epic songs.

    I really don't understand what people see in the Animals disc by PF though. I've tried absorbing dozens of times, but albums such as Meddle, WYWH, Piper, DSOTM, Division Bell and Wall Live all put Animals down.

    Another thing: People like Animals but not Divison Bell. i think DB gives me the shivers more than any other album.
  • 06-16-2004, 02:24 PM
    progfan
    kingcrim05 said:

    "Another thing: People like Animals but not Divison Bell"

    For me, the answer is simple. No Roger Waters=No Pink Floyd.
  • 06-16-2004, 03:35 PM
    kingcrim05
    Isn't it supposed to be about the music though?

    Who cares who makes it. Maybe it's not Pink Floyd then. By that arguement though, we could bring Syd into play....

    Seriously, it doesn't matter who makes it. If you like it, it doesn't matter....It only matters if you don't like it, cuz then you make sure you don't listen to them again =)
  • 06-16-2004, 03:46 PM
    Troy
    Going with Progfan on this one.

    Altho you're right KC5, if you like it, you like it. Doesn't matter who plays on it.

    But none of the albums that anybody in that band did as a solo project (including the post-Waters releases still called "Pink Floyd" like Division Bell or Momentary Lapse) are anywhere near as good as the albums put out by that band in it's heyday.

    Like Lennon/McCartney, their synergy made the magic.
  • 06-16-2004, 08:15 PM
    kingcrim05
    Can't argue personal taste, that's one thing i know lol

    I just want to figure out why people don't like Divison Bell. To me it's a very emotional album. The track order is very important and the songs tend to blend together well. The instrumentaton is incredible, the sounds achieved, to my ears, are of Pink Floyd quality (i think it's very arguable that pink floyd has some of the best sounds on the planet), and DB meets those standards.

    It's the type of album you can listen to the whole thing through, without opening your eyes once....

    I gotta say give it anotehr spin guys, i'm sure it's been a long tiem for some of you......and i'll pop in Animals again =)
  • 06-16-2004, 08:39 PM
    Dusty Chalk
    That's okay, I'm with you KC05 -- well, not really. Animals tops them all, in my book (with Wish You Were Here, of course), but I dig A Momentary Lapse of Reason and Division Bell more than The Wall and The Final Cut -- those were more like Roger Waters solo albums than Pink Floyd. I consider those more "real" Pink Floyd albums than those two.
  • 06-17-2004, 05:54 AM
    ForeverAutumn
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by progfan
    For me, the answer is simple. No Roger Waters=No Pink Floyd.

    Why are all these Pink Floyd discussions hidden in other threads?

    As I've mentioned earlier, but you may not have been around progfan, I've been relistening to my entire PF collection in chronological order. It's been an interesting ride.

    Here's an observation of mine. If I didn't know that Rogers Waters was not involved in A Momentary Lapse of Reason, then I wouldn't have guessed it. Although all of the songs on this disk were written or co-written by Gilmour, the lyrics seem to be a natural extension of the political themes that Waters picked up early in his writing and really brought to the forefront in The Wall and The Final Cut.

    There's an interesting interview with Waters in the June issue of Uncut. In it, he says that Gilmour didn't want to release The Final Cut because he thought that the lyrics were too political. He also criticizes Gilmour's ability to be a songwriter. Basically saying that you don't learn to write songs, either you have the gift or you don't and Gilmour doesn't (I'm paraphrasing).

    Well, I think that the lyrics in AMLOR are just as politically charged and are more interesting than those in The Final Cut. The music, IMO, is better than either The Wall or The Final Cut.

    While the concept of The Wall was brilliant, the albums after his departure are excellent. In fact, I think, better than the Waters controlled material (i.e. The Wall, TFC). I believe that TFC is their weakest album and, not coincidentally, was the album that the rest of the band had the least input.

    I'm beginning to think that, in general, Rogers Waters is trying to boost his own stature in PF history and steal the credit for PFs earlier success by putting down his bandmates. I don't buy the arguement that Pink Floyd without Roger Waters is not Pink Floyd. It all sounds like sour grapes to me.
  • 06-17-2004, 07:44 AM
    progfan
    To elaborate on my no Waters no Floyd comment:

    I agree with Waters himself on the topic of Gilmour-the man just cannot write as well as Waters. I remember when Lapse of Reason was released. I was still in high school. I thought the album was brilliant then. But over time, I liked it less and now I can barely listen to it. Sure, there are some political references on the album, but Gilmour's gentle, almost folky take on politics can't compare to the bite and outrage of Waters'. The anger and the edge of Waters' lyrics are what have made albums like Animals and The Wall so essential for me. But AMLOR sounds like Pink Floyd-lite to my ears. Almost New Age in places, particularly side 2. Ditto for TDB. Granted, TDB is beautifully recorded and probably a more rounded album than AMLOR. But as someone else pointed out, it is the synergy of Waters/Gilmour/Wright/Mason that made the Floyd who they were in the seventies. OTOH, If Waters had done the same thing and reformed the Floyd without Gilmour, it still wouldn't be Floyd to me. They bring out the best in each other. Just as Floyd's albums have suffered from a lack of Waters, Waters own albums are slightly clueless without Gilmour. Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck just don't go with Waters style of writing. IMO, of course.

    Then there's the cast of thousands that appear on the album and on stage. Were it not for Gilmour's distinctive style of playing, I could be fooled into thinking I was watching a tribute band. I never saw the band live in the seventies, but the bootlegs I've heard have suggested a rawer and tougher sound that I find more appealing than the flawless, almost inhumanly perfect computerized sounds of the more recent tours. And the idea of the band playing in stadiums again seems antithetical to the very things Waters himself was ranting about after the Animals tour. I just don't think he would put himself in a position to play stadiums anymore.

    If Waters is trying to "steal" the credit for Floyd's work, well, I think he deserves it. Sure, the guy can be a jerk but if you look at the writing of the band's classic era, Waters contributed much more than Gilmour did. You might not like ANimals or The Wall as well as the reunion era Floyd, maybe because of Waters perceived megalomaniac tendencies, but these are some of the band's most famous albums. So these are some of the reasons why I feel that No Waters=No Floyd.
  • 06-17-2004, 08:06 AM
    ForeverAutumn
    Progfan, your points are well made. There is no doubt that the best PF is the Waters/Gilmour/Wright/Mason collaberations. And I guess where the lyrics are concerned, I prefer the folky fluid lyrics over the harsh in-your-face lyrics of Waters. Just as I prefer the more spacey music of Obscured by Clouds and Meddle over the harsher sounds of The Wall.

    It's been many years since I've listened to TDB and I really don't remember much of it. But, it's playing as I type this. So far it has the feel of some of the earlier classic Floyd. Some nice Gilmour guitar moments. :)

    Edit: As I continue to listen, I could live without the back-up singers. Take It Back is sounding a little cheesy.
  • 06-17-2004, 08:23 AM
    progfan
    Forever Autumn said:

    "Just as I prefer the more spacey music of Obscured by Clouds and Meddle over the harsher sounds of The Wall."

    After all the points I made, I agree with you on Meddle! Perhaps it's my fave Floyd. Obscured sounds like a dry run for Dark Side to me. Although the movie is quite good. Have you seen it?
  • 06-17-2004, 08:34 AM
    ForeverAutumn
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by progfan
    After all the points I made, I agree with you on Meddle! Perhaps it's my fave Floyd. Obscured sounds like a dry run for Dark Side to me. Although the movie is quite good. Have you seen it?

    Movie? For DSOTM or OBC? The only movies I've seen are The Wall (about a zillion times) and Pompeii (sp?).
  • 06-17-2004, 09:59 AM
    BradH
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    Basically saying that you don't learn to write songs, either you have the gift or you don't and Gilmour doesn't (I'm paraphrasing).

    That may be the stupidest thing Waters has ever said. None of them had the "gift" after Syd left. It took everything they had to continue and Gilmour was a HUGE part of that. Waters songwriting abilities eventually grew while, at the same time, he dominated the larger projects by throwing such a fit that they let him have his way. (Granted, they have no one else to blame but themselves for this.) And, if I recall, all of their musical ideas were used on the Wall, weren't they? The grand concepts may have been Waters' but don't all their names turn up in the songwriting credits?
  • 06-17-2004, 10:26 AM
    mad rhetorik
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by progfan
    To elaborate on my no Waters no Floyd comment:

    I agree with Waters himself on the topic of Gilmour-the man just cannot write as well as Waters. I remember when Lapse of Reason was released. I was still in high school. I thought the album was brilliant then. But over time, I liked it less and now I can barely listen to it. Sure, there are some political references on the album, but Gilmour's gentle, almost folky take on politics can't compare to the bite and outrage of Waters'. The anger and the edge of Waters' lyrics are what have made albums like Animals and The Wall so essential for me. But AMLOR sounds like Pink Floyd-lite to my ears. Almost New Age in places, particularly side 2. Ditto for TDB. Granted, TDB is beautifully recorded and probably a more rounded album than AMLOR. But as someone else pointed out, it is the synergy of Waters/Gilmour/Wright/Mason that made the Floyd who they were in the seventies. OTOH, If Waters had done the same thing and reformed the Floyd without Gilmour, it still wouldn't be Floyd to me. They bring out the best in each other. Just as Floyd's albums have suffered from a lack of Waters, Waters own albums are slightly clueless without Gilmour. Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck just don't go with Waters style of writing. IMO, of course.

    If Waters is trying to "steal" the credit for Floyd's work, well, I think he deserves it. Sure, the guy can be a jerk but if you look at the writing of the band's classic era, Waters contributed much more than Gilmour did. You might not like ANimals or The Wall as well as the reunion era Floyd, maybe because of Waters perceived megalomaniac tendencies, but these are some of the band's most famous albums. So these are some of the reasons why I feel that No Waters=No Floyd.

    My feelings 'xactly.

    After Syd left Roger was the leading songwriter in that band. I don't think that can be denied. That said, Gilmour is his <i>musical</i> superior. Put together an excellent songwriter and an excellent musician, and what do you have? Pink Floyd. Even <b>The Final Cut</b> benefitted tremendously from Gilmour's limited involvement; so in that I'm not even entirely comfortable in calling <b>The Final Cut</b> a Waters solo. Waters' solo efforts without Gilmour have been uninspired, to say the least. Strong lyrically, sure, but nondescript music, and Roger's voice is only worsening with age.

    Without Waters, <b>A Momentary Lapse Of Reason</b> and <b>The Division Bell</b> aren't Pink Floyd; they are Gilmour solo albums in all but name. Pretty music (I wouldn't expect anything less from a talented guitarist like Gilmour), but without the lyrical bite that Waters provided, it's left sounding hollow and banal by comparison.

    Here's how I would rank the albums, IMO (assuming that the last two count as 'Floyd):

    1. <b>Animals</b>
    2. <b>The Wall</b> (hmm...guess I have an apparent Waters bias, huh?)
    3. <b>Dark Side Of The Moon</b>
    4. <b>Meddle</b>
    5. <b>Piper At The Gates Of Dawn</b>
    6. <b>Wish You Were Here</b>
    7. <b>The Final Cut</b> (this actually would be rated higher than <b>WYWH</b> if "Not Now John" wasn't on it)
    8. <b>Obscured By Clouds</b>
    9. Tie: <b>More</b>, <b>Ummagumma</b>
    10. <b>The Division Bell</b>
    11. <b>Saucerful Of Secrets</b> (mostly for the title track, "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun," and "Jugband Blues"; the rest is twaddle)
    12. <b>A Momentary Lapse Of Reason</b>

    I haven't heard <b>Atom Heart Mother</b> yet. I plan on rectifying this shortly.
  • 06-17-2004, 10:58 AM
    BradH
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mad rhetorik
    After Syd left Roger was the leading songwriter in that band. I don't think that can be denied.

    Of course it can. There WAS no songwriter in the band just after Syd drifted into orbit. PF fans were astonished that the band was going to continue. Waters wasn't gifted with songwriting, he had to work for it like every one else. In terms of volume, yeah, he had the lion's share but his early songs from that era aren't any better than Wright's, imo. But credit where credit is due, they stuck to it and Waters possibly worked at songwriting a little harder than the others. And that's really my point. I've heard many, many songwriters, everyone from Bryan Ferry to Elvis Costello to Andy Partridge, describe it as a craft you have to learn. Even McCartney and Lennon wrote their first 200 songs and basically threw them away. Now, if Waters is saying Gilmour is so ungifted that he CAN'T write songs, no matter how hard he tries, well....that's another issue.

    Funny thing about artists. If you dismiss their work as something that just magically appears, they'll tell you there's a lot of hard work involved. If you dismiss their work as something anyone can do given enough effort, they'll tell you an artistic x factor is needed. Personally, I'd say it's about %10 X Factor and %90 sweat.
  • 06-17-2004, 11:27 AM
    ForeverAutumn
    Here's a quote from the Uncut interview that I found particularly interesting...

    Uncut: What were the contributions of Dave and Nick to The Final Cut? Did they give them willingly?

    RW: Oh, absolutely. Nick played drums and Dave played guitars.


    There you have it boys and girls. In the words of Roger Waters...Dave played guitars.

    Edit: Oh, and here't the quote re: songwriting....

    ...since I left the band, Dave has collaborated with all kinds of people to get some kind of an output, because he isn't actually a writer. You either write or you don't. If you do, you can't help it. You can't stop yourself doing it. And if you don't write, you can't start yourself doing it. You can't think, "Oh, I'll become a writer now", and start writing. If it were as simple as that, I'm sure Dave and Rick would write. If it were easy, everybody would be doing it. But it's not. It's a very specific skill.
  • 06-17-2004, 12:17 PM
    BradH
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    ...since I left the band, Dave has collaborated with all kinds of people to get some kind of an output, because he isn't actually a writer. You either write or you don't. If you do, you can't help it. You can't stop yourself doing it. And if you don't write, you can't start yourself doing it. You can't think, "Oh, I'll become a writer now", and start writing. If it were as simple as that, I'm sure Dave and Rick would write. If it were easy, everybody would be doing it. But it's not. It's a very specific skill.

    Just as I suspected. He sees himself as an artist and Gilmour as a technician. Probably a small element of truth in that given Waters' occasional sloppy bass playing onstage contrasted with Gilmour being one of the most underrated guitarists alive. But on the point of songwriting, it sounds like he wants to have it both ways. Or maybe several ways. If you do you can't stop yourself. If you don't you can't start. Huh? You start by starting, even if it sucks at first. And starting is exactly what he did when Syd left. Okay, okay, let's say he's born to the muse, he's a divine gift form the spheres, etc. But then he ends it by saying it's a very specific SKILL. And that's true, but it's a very specific skill you have to learn. He's trying to wrap what he does in artistic mysticism that can't be understood by mere technicains like David Gilmour. This is truly one band that will never reunite.
  • 06-17-2004, 12:30 PM
    Troy
    And if you don't write, you can't start yourself doing it. You can't think, "Oh, I'll become a writer now", and start writing.

    Bollocks.
  • 06-17-2004, 01:25 PM
    BarryL
    More
    Here are some:

    Van Der Graff Generator: A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers and House With No Door
    The Flower Kings: The Truth Will Set You Free
    Spock's Beard: The Light
    Yes: Perpetual Change
    Bowie: Station To Station
    Harry Chapin: Sniper
    ELP: Pirates
    Refugee: Grand Canyon Suite
    Pat Metheny Group: As Witchita Falls, So Falls Witchita Falls
    Arlo Guthrie: Alice's Resteraunt