Sound — 9
This record is definitely my favorite Pink Floyd record. Eventhough this is the record where Roger Waters tyranny begins, the record still is defined by a unity and a harmony between the band members and it is transmited greatly into the music. Since Meddle, Pink Floyd stopped experimenting their sound and defined it as merely progressive with nice vocal harmonies, cool choruses, catchy parts but complex meaningful instrumental parts. This records marks the beginning of Roger Waters' era but the other band members still got their influence in. Something that I admire in Pink Floyd is the equal significance of each band member at least up to this record. David Gilmours guitar playing is unique and it is suited perfectly to Pink Floyd's sound. His bending solo's are perfect for Shine On's mood, his strumming is amazing in Welcome to the Machine, his Have a Cigar Solo is one of the greatest guitar solos of all time, his acoustics in Wish You Were Here are very meaningful, and his way of singing is awesome. Nick Mason' drumming is also pretty good, even though he is not as influential as say One Of These Days, and his playing is not as powerful and crazy as in previous records, he finds his way to be merely percussive and helps in the moods. He's best performance is in both Shine On parts. Roger Waters is a genius as we all know, he is responsible for most of the songwriting in this record and he plays bass in a very special way. He is not as many bass players which are quiet and kind of shy, a bit dorky too, no, he is totally the opposite but this is because he is a guitar player who displaced his job to bass playing to give way to Syd Barret and David Gilmour. He is a great multi instrumentalist capable of composing and arranging in all the instruments and personally I don't like pick playing in bass but he does it very well and he creates a melodic mood playing his unique part. His best performances are Shine On and Have a Cigar. Richard Wright, RIP, is my favorite keyboard player only behind Jon Lor, in this record he finally finds himself as the mood manager of the songs. He doesn't contribute to any song as merely his as he used to with Time and Us and Them for example, but he does a very nice job in Shine on, Machine and Cigar, I miss his voice since he has no lead vocals, this record mark his decadence in the Floyd due to Waters' tyranny and mistreatment towards him. 01.Shine On You Crazy Diamond: this song starts off with a long instrumental part consisting of several guitar and keyboard solos. The lyrics are about Syd Barret and his mental state. Sung by Roger Waters backed by David Gilmour and some female chorus gives an extremely chilling mood. David Gilmour performs greatly in the verses and choruses, doing fills, arpeggiating and riffing out very well. There are also wind solos in the song that are backed by the band very nice. The sax fades out backed up by some arpeggios by David and a Chord sustainded by Wright. 02.Welcome To The Machine: you still hear the Sax at the beginning of the song when there are some space ship sounds played. The bass plays some notes giving way to a very dissonant strum on David Gilmour's twelve strings followed by some chords played by the Keyboard. I love the voice parts where you hear David Gilmour screaming and at the same time an almost talked voice sings the same lyrics. This is basically a song where Roger Waters bashes the whole record company with their control and oppression over bands who want to play music, good quality music instead of hit shitty pop songs. Between verses David strums his guitar, Roger accompanies with some nice bass parts while Rick Synthethisers our asses with some great sounds that just give me the chill. The song continues with another verse and a long outro full of synth, strums and bass is played. No drums in the song. The song fades out. 03.Have A Cigar: a strong bass part starts off giving way to the entire band to join in without David, he comes in later with a couple of lick and then he develops an amazing cabaret sound with Rick where it sounds as if they are actually communicating. This song is sung by Roy Harper, folk singer, who's voice fitted perfectly in the song. The song tells the story of Pink Floyd starting as a band and being trying to get manipulated by the Music Industry, they maintained their style very well thank god. Then David shows his skills developing what could be his second best solo only behind Comfortably Numb. The song suddenly has a change in it's sound to fade into some noises and give way to the record's best track. 04.Wish You Were Here: I don't know if this song is sad, happy, very emotional or what but it gives me chills the whole way through. This is Pink Floyds best track for many, for me it isn't just because there is a master piece called echoes on top. The song is a very nice arrangement of acoustic guitars with arpeggios and acoustic solos. David Gilmour sings very nicely. I like that there is no Verse Chorus structure it just goes through singing very deep lyrics. There is not much keyboard, I would've liked that Rick would got more participation singing at least in this song but the song is perfect as it is. Roger Waters backs David in the second part before giving way to the outro solo where some keyboards are merely heard. 05.Shine On You Crazy Diamond: again this second part is highly instrumental, it seals the record in an amazing way, Roger develops some very nice bass playing at the beginning reminding me of One Of These Days but not as hard. Here Rick gets to play again as he is meant to, and the harmony you get from the four of them playing along is just great. They come together as a whole in this song showing that they know what they're doing together, showing that they're meant to be together. They are an amazing band and in this song there is no player being more important than any other, the alchemy between the four is just perfect. The verses are the same melodically as the first part (Of course the lyrics are different), and the song gives way to the outro of the album just fading out instrument by instrument until it fades and you come out of this trip that the Pink Floyd put together in 1975.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are mainly about Syd Barret starting with Shine On where it is defined that the subject is in not a good mental state. Then Welcome to The Machine and Have A Cigar tell how the record industry affects peoples mind and bands as a whole. Then Wish you Were Here, well the title gives it away, referring to Syd Barret, and finally Shine On Part 2 revisits Syd Barret's state of mind.
Overall Impression — 9
The overall impression, if I wasn't clear before, it is just amazing. You put the record on and lay back and you travel in an amazing trip. This record was, to me, Pink Floyds Highest point. They reached evolved from Piper through Saucerful, through Ummaguma and Atom Heart Mother until they got to Meddle. They did Dark Side Of The Moon in a whole new level and reached the Sky with this record, the unity and a solid sound, where no more crazy experimentation took place, was reached in this record, then even though Animals and The Wall are great records with a very important message and meaning, every thing was downhill as a band. If you want to chill out and relax, put this record on, definitely a must for any Rock fan.