If I’d made this list in 1990, this album might have occupied the top spot. That’s in part because I hadn’t yet discovered many of the albums to come on this list. But it’s mostly because Pink Floyd meant the world to me when I was in high school.
What’s crazy is when I revisited The Final Cut to prepare for this blog entry, I found myself singing along with almost every note. It’s been easily more than a decade since I listened to a second of this album, and nearly 20 years since I really immersed myself in it. And yet it is inexorably etched in my brain.
The Final Cut is an unofficial sequel to The Wall. It was initially intended as a soundtrack album for the movie version of The Wall, and it contains several songs that were cut from the tracklist of its predecessor. It has similar production, themes and performances.
If you’re into emotional, yearning vocals backed by atmospheric soundscapes and other-worldly guitar solos, with a heavy dose of early 80s geo-politics, this is the album for you. The politics went over my head back then, but I was all about the yearning.
Through the fish-eyed lens of tear stained eyes
I can barely define the shape of this moment in time
And far from flying high in clear blue skies
I’m spiraling down to the hole in the ground where I hide
If you negotiate the minefield in the drive
And beat the dogs and cheat the cold electronic eyes
And if you make it past the shotguns in the hall
Dial the combination, open the priesthole
And if I’m in I’ll tell you (What’s behind the wall)
There’s a kid who had a big hallucination
Making love to girls in magazines
He wonders if you’re sleeping with your new found faith
Could anybody love him
Or is it just a crazy dream?
And if I show you my dark side
Will you still hold me tonight?
And if I open my heart to you
And show you my weak side
What would you do?
Would you sell your story to Rolling Stone?
Would you take the children away
And leave me alone?
And smile in reassurance
As you whisper down the phone?
Would you send me packing?
Or would you take me home?
Thought I oughta bare my naked feelings
Thought I oughta tear the curtain down
I held the blade in trembling hands
Prepared to make it but just then the phone rang
I never had the nerve to make the final cut