Pink Floyd’s The Wall – The Best Ever?

I go back and forth between naming The Wall the best album ever, or Genesis’ Selling
England by the Pound
. They are both worthy of the title for different reasons. Selling England moves beyond the mere genre of rock and grounds itself in the western tradition. The Wall, though, tugs and pulls on our emotions while telling a timeless story. Does this make The Wall the better album?

Pink_Floyd_the_WallToday, I say it does. If you ask me tomorrow, I may tell you that Selling England by the Pound is the best ever. I’m annoying like that. The Wall has so much going on, and it all fits together so perfectly. In a way, it really is just one very long song, like Thick as a Brick. It tells a story beginning with Pink, a rock star, as a young man. It continues with his story as a rock star, living a life of debauchery and drugs, and it ends with his trial. Throughout the whole story, he gradually builds a wall around his emotions to protect himself from his pain.

We can’t all relate to having a crappy, oppressive childhood, but some can. We don’t all live like rock stars, surrounded by drugs and sex, but some do. We don’t all find ourselves standing before a judge after our wall has collapsed, but some do. We don’t all build a wall inside of us to hide from the rest of the world, but a lot of us do.

Even if we can’t relate to all or any of those things specifically, in some way, we either understand them or we have experienced something similar. That is the brilliance of The Wall. Every time we listen to it, it connects with us in some new and exciting way. Some days, we throw our fists in the air to “Another Brick in the Wall Pt.2” as a way of sticking it to the man. Other days, we close our eyes and sing along to “Comfortably Numb,” as we enjoy those fleeting moments of carefree protection within our walls.

From undertones of anti-progressive governments to emotional despair, this album has it all. Furthermore, what it means to me is likely much different than what it means to you, and it is probably different than what inspired Waters to write it in the first place (the death of his father and grandfather in the two World Wars).

That is why, today, I say The Wall is the best album ever made. It defies time and genre. It makes us ponder our own existence and whether or not we too are building emotional walls to protect ourselves. Were Pink Floyd the best musicians in the world? No, not by a longshot, but they managed to compose their music in such a way that it conveyed the emotions they were getting across in the lyrics. This album will persist long after we are gone, in part, because it connects with people at a deeper level than most music. That is why The Wall truly is the best.

8 thoughts on “Pink Floyd’s The Wall – The Best Ever?

  1. My apologies if this comment is off-base from this post,but this is sort of similar to how EVERY “Rush” fan,thinks that “2112” is the VERY BEST album,they ever made!!! YET………..I’ve NEVER,and ALWAYS WILL,100% DISAGREE with that thinking!!! To ME………”Hemispheres” totally OUTDOES “2112” in EVERY WAY possible!!! With it’s lyrics,with it’s melodies,with it’s way,it makes You FEEL overall!!! WAS 2112 Great??? Absolutely it was!!! Does it TOP Hemispheres??? NEVER,EVER,EVER will it!!! Lol.

    My POINT HERE BEING……………….that Some may read this post,and think “Pshhh,Genesis RULES over Floyd!!! “…………are they RIGHT??? There truly IS NOT answer to that one!?!?! Because Music affects every one of us,in a completely different way,and makes us all feel,many things that when combined………..can be on a completely different level than another person!!! There IS NO Better or worse in Music!!! It’s simply how YOU alone,choose how to interpret it’s meaning!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bryan Morey

      I couldn’t agree with you more, Indieun7. It is so subjective, and that’s why I’ll probably end up changing my mind on this. But today, The Wall lives at the top. There is no definitive answer, which is why I usually find myself enraged after reading a Rolling Stone “Best 100.” Those morons left Portnoy off their best drummers list!! I defy them to find three drummers better than him, much less 100. Geez.

      I love 2112, and I think it is one of their best songs. In my book, though, my favorite albums are A Farewell to Kings and Moving Pictures, mainly because they are more cohesive albums. Hemispheres is up there too. Hell, it’s all so damn good, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha,my thoughts exactly Bryan!!! Trying to pick a “BEST” album from Rush,would drive ANY HUMAN insane!!! Lol. As it’s ALL Just plain BRILLIANT from BEGINNING to END!!! Period!!! Yes,many will deny that truth,but to ME (emphasizing the word “ME”!!!),it’s ALL GOLDEN!!! Which again,goes back to my original notion,that fighting over who’s BETTER,or which music is better,is a NON-WINNING battle!!! If something MOVES YOU more than something ELSE,then GO with it,LOVE IT,and ENJOY it…………..instead of waiting for someone else,to disagree with Your thoughts/feelings on it, to do battle once again!!! (Say………that could be the start of an epic music-album!!!) LOL. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. captainned

    I love The Wall and I brought daughter to R40, but Tony’s piano intro to Firth of Fifth combined with Steve’s guitar solo will always cement Selling England for me.

    I also know that others will cheerfully disagree. That’s all part of this mess, no?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bryan Morey

      That’s what makes this so fun – we all have different reasons we like these amazing albums. I’m sure the next time I listen to Selling England I’ll want to write an article about why it is the best, with that piano topping the list of reasons why.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Erik Heter

    Bryan – what a fantastic piece of writing! I haven’t listened to The Wall from start to finish in years … and because of this piece, now I must do so soon 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  4. One thing about Pink Floyd, more-so with Animals than The Wall, is they are good at pointing out what’s wrong with things, but offer no solutions, only despair. A band like U2 or an artist like Bruce Cockburn will tell you what they think is wrong and still hold out hope. As Bono sang in Rattle and Hum’s God part 2, “Heard a singer on the radio late last night/Says he’s gonna kick the darkness til it bleeds daylight/I, I believe in love.” That singer? Bruce Cockburn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bryan Morey

      Excellent observation, Brian. I always assumed they were merely leaving it up to the listener to come up with their own solutions. Personally, I like that Pink Floyd never offered their own solutions – they aren’t jamming an agenda down my throat. They are pointing out a problem that everyone can agree on, no matter what their religious, ethnic, political, etc. background may be. In a way, their music is very unifying.

      Liked by 2 people

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