Hello, my friends, old and new! It's true that I have been a little late in delivering my countdown and statistics during the last two weeks - this time I'll be early. So, without further ado, here comes the Pink Floyd.
At #40 on our list is a song from 1979's album/project, The Wall, the hard-rocking Young Lust. The lead vocals are sung by David Gilmour, with background vocals from Roger Waters during the chorus. The lyrics are about a "rock and roll refugee" seeking casual sex to relieve the tedium of touring. It is one of the few Pink Floyd songs in which Gilmour plays the bass in the original studio version and one of the three songs Gilmour co-wrote for The Wall.
It says something about this song's blistering 4/4 strut (erupting mid-verse from lead-in track Empty Spaces) that Waters and Gilmour - just about the last two people on the planet who you'd optionally choose to hear cooing "Ooooh, I need a dirty woman / I need a dirty girl" - make Young Lust legitimately sexy, a roaring expression of stir-crazy horniness that comes across every bit as blood-pumping and unstable as it should. Foreigner must've been seething with jealousy the first time they heard it.
The phone rigmarole at the end is supposed to be the rock star calling home, only to have another man pick up his wife’s phone. This is all in keeping with Rock Star Rule No.456 (a)(iv), which says that a rocker can sleep with as many people as he wants on the road, but if his wife or girlfriend cheats on him, he gets to write a song about it.
This is the version found in Alan Parker's film:
This is a good live version from August 9th, 1980:
At #39 is another song from The Wall: Nobody Home was written late into the development of The Wall after an argument between the band and Roger Waters. David Gilmour said that the song "came along when we were well into the thing [The Wall] and he’d [Waters] gone off in a sulk the night before and came in the next day with something fantastic."
A ballad of legitimate tenderness on The Wall's third side, essentially a more unhinged version of ELO's Telephone Line, as the story's rock star anti-hero goes stir crazy alone among his possessions and yearns over twinkling piano to dial up some kind of human connection. "I've got 13 channels of s--t on the TV to choose from," Waters-as-Pink laments, reminding you just how long ago 1979 was.
A television playing in the background is frequently heard, including the line, "Surprise! Surprise, Surprise!" from Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. The lyrics "I got nicotine stains on my fingers / I got a silver spoon on a chain / Got a grand piano to prop up my mortal remains" are said to have been written specifically about Floyd's pianist Richard Wright, who was allegedly struggling with cocaine addiction at the time.
This is the film version:
This is Roger Waters, live in Berlin, 1990:
At #38 is a song from A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987), the first Pink Floyd album without Roger Waters. The album's production was marked by an ongoing legal dispute with Waters as to who owned the rights to Pink Floyd's name, an issue resolved several months after the album was released. Unlike many of Pink Floyd's studio albums, A Momentary Lapse of Reason has no central theme and is instead a collection of songs written by Gilmour, sometimes with outside songwriters.
After the above-mentioned years of inter-band legal battling had left Pink Floyd depleted and spent in the mid-80s, Gilmour may have been more emotionally invested in his aviation hobby than in his recording career by the time of A Momentary Lapse of Reason's development - which would explain why the weightless Learning to Fly is the one song on the album that really connects. With panoramic production, a heart-swelling guitar hook and a chorus that soars well above the clouds, Learning to Fly became not just the band's only true MTV-era hit - with a stunning video to match - but maybe the only undeniable counter-argument to Waters' claims that the band's fundamental DNA lay solely with him at the time of his mid-80s departure from the group.
Here is a live version from 1994:
From the first album without Waters to the last album with him still a member of the band: The Final Cut (1983). The song at #37 is The Fletcher Memorial Home, a song about Waters' frustration with the leadership of the world since World War II, mentioning many world leaders by name (Ronald Reagan, Alexander Haig, Menachem Begin, Margaret Thatcher, Ian Paisley, Leonid Brezhnev, Joseph McCarthy and Richard Nixon), suggesting that these "colonial wasters of life and limb" be segregated into a specially-founded retirement home. It labels all the world leaders as "overgrown infants" and "incurable tyrants", and suggests that they are incapable of understanding anything other than violence, or their own visages on a television screen.
Fletcher in the name of the song is in honor and remembrance of Roger Waters' father, Eric Fletcher Waters, who died during the Second World War at Anzio. In The Final Cut Video EP, the Fletcher Memorial Home scenes are filmed at Forty Hall in Enfield. The song ends on a high note; after Waters gets all the insane world leaders in a room together, he sings, "Now the final solution can be applied." And people say he wasn't fun at parties.
This is Roger Waters performing Fletcher Memorial Home at Rock In Rio, 2006:
Finally for today, at #36, is yet another song from The Wall. Is There Anybody Out There? is a timekeeping song from The Wall, with an extended classical guitar segment. Pink’s behind the wall, asking for help. In the film, it ends with the highly cinematic scene of Bob Geldof shaving his chest. Unsuspecting viewers wouldn’t know that this is a Syd Barrett reference: During the recording of Wish You Were Here, a strange man manifested himself in the control room at Abbey Road. He was portly and quiet, with his pants belted high over his stomach, his head and eyebrows shaved. It took a while before his crushed friends recognized their former bandmate.
It could've very easily been plot filler, but exemplary production and some heart-rending arrangements make Is There Anybody Out There? one of the most stunning tracks on The Wall. The synths and sirens that swirl imposingly around Waters' panicked exhortations of the track's title - the song's only lyrics - give it an incredibly evocative post-apocalyptic ambiance, and the plucked acoustics and weeping strings that follow, end the song with totally unexpected sensitivity, making it a transition track as rewarding as the full song it leads into.
Jim James, My Morning Jacket's lead vocalist and guitarist, had this to say about it: "I love a lot of Pink Floyd. To me, their music is classic and will transcend all time. As long as there are people on the earth they will be listening to Pink Floyd. But the cut I listen to most would be Is There Anybody Out There? which is a short instrumental. Starting at about 1:15 is one of the most beautiful little classical guitar pieces I have heard. I listen to it on repeat. They say no one knows who really played it. I mean, I'm sure someone does, but in The Wall movie, it's in one of my favorite scenes. After Pink has smashed his hotel room to pieces, he builds this beautiful sculpture on the floor out of all the remnants of the smashed goods. It's quite a beautifully heartbreaking scene!"
This is the film version:
This is a live version, originating in a concert on August 9th, 1980:
Now, let's continue with last week's statistics; the story of the week was definitely Grace Jones. The previous Pink Floyd story did very well, Dan Hartman did well, and the Beach Rats did OK.
As far as countries are concerned, this week is one of the rare ones that this week's top 10 almost coincides with the all-time top 10. The only country that misses out is the UAE, which is replaced by Australia, a permanent fixture in the weekly top 10 for some time now and a candidate for the all-time chart. Otherwise, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates kept their all-time percentage stable. Greece was doing great during the week, in fact, it had overtaken France for a while, but the latter had a big surge during the weekend and reclaimed all-time position #3. Both France and Greece increased their all-time percentage, as did Cyprus and Canada. Russia and Italy experienced minor drops.
Here are this week's Top 10 countries.
1. the United States
4. the United Kingdom
Here are the other countries that graced us with their presence since our last statistics (alphabetically): Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Aruba, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Finland, Georgia, Ghana, Guadeloupe, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam. Happy to have you all!
And here's the all-time Top 10:
1. the United States = 37.0%
2. the United Kingdom = 9.6%
3. France = 9.1%
4. Greece = 9.0%
5. Russia = 4.3%
6. Germany = 3.0%
7. Cyprus = 1.42%
8. Italy = 1.323%
9. Canada = 1.01%
10. the United Arab Emirates = 0.57%
That's all for today, folks. Till the next one!