Saturday, May 26, 2007

Pink Floyd - The Wall

The idea was excellent: a plain white wall on the front and back covers, with no text anywhere but the spine. Upon opening the gatefold, the wall is crumbling, and we are given a glimpse of the horrific visions that haunt poor "Pink."

Unfortunately, the design of the plain white wall is, well, a bit cheesy. It looks as if it could've been drawn by a sixth grader with a ruler and a drafting pencil. Inside, bricks are removed in perfect rectangular blocks, and the 3-D rendering is... (need synonym for "cheesy")... craptastic. The CD release is even worse, because some genius decided to put a big "PINK FLOYD THE WALL" across the front cover. What, were they worried that someone would mistakenly think this was the long lost Barry Manilow album about Mandy's descent into madness?

The art inside the gatefold is among the best art on any rock album, ever, period. It's too bad the dismantling of the wall was handled so poorly, especially given the extraordinary talent of designer Gerald Scarfe. Lucky for us, he is much better at portraying madness than portraying basic architecture.



Blogger bob_vinyl said...

Like the music, the idea is better than the execution.

I agree about the title on the CD. There are some albums that everyone should just know by site and the Wall is certainly one of them.

May 26, 2007 at 12:35 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

My first reaction to the blank wall would be "that's it?". Although putting the logo on it doesn't make it that much better. It may have worked better with a decent photograph of a wall.

May 26, 2007 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

Nice analysis. The plainest-covered albums always seem to have some initial issues with marketing and distribution ... just look at the Beatles' s/t, Metallica's s/t, and (of course) Spinal Tap's "Smell the Glove."

-- david

May 28, 2007 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Probably so mass chain retailers like Target and Wal Mart could make sure the t-shirts they sold were recognizable with "THE WALL" written on it. That's the difference between pop coutre and the underground. Sometimes it's more fun to have that secret society air of suspicion going on when only the real fans can identify one another.

May 28, 2007 at 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Kiki said...

Well said.

October 27, 2008 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

The bland uniform bricks speak to the conformist theme of the songs within. Waters writes/sings of being molded into the "every-child" ideal by teachers, mother, girlfriend. The blank wall represents both the bland social ideal and the blank face the entity behind the wall presents to the outside world. The madness within is only visible from within.

August 13, 2009 at 2:38 PM  

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