Tuesday, March 2, 2010

In The Flesh? (Wall album)

In The Flesh? 3:16
     (written by Roger Waters)

...we came in?
So ya thought ya might like to go to the show
To feel the warm thrill of confusion, that space cadet glow
Tell me, is something eluding you, sunshine?
Is this not what you expected to see?
If you wanna find out what's behind these cold eyes,
You'll just have to claw your way through this disguise

Lights! Roll the sound effects! Action!
Drop it! Drop it on 'em! Drop it on 'em!!

The first song in the cycle, In the Flesh?, is a heavy, powerful piece which is intended as a parody of hard rock bands who forego subtlety in favor of loud power chords — most especially the Floyd themselves, who during their most recent world tour, titled Pink Floyd: In the Flesh, played their hardest music ever to their biggest audiences ever.

Roger Waters: "It's a reference back to our '77 tour which was called 'Pink Floyd— In the Flesh.'"

In terms of the narrative of the character 'Pink Floyd,' this song is a 'flash-forward' to a rock show he does in America, depicted later in the album in the song In the Flesh (sans question mark). It helps start things off on a powerful note, indicating where the character will end up. Roger has indicated that the shouts of 'Roll the sound effects' etc. are indicative of the fact that the show, i.e. Pink's life, is about to begin.

Dave Gilmour: "...we had a Hammond organ player, Freddie Mandell, on In the Flesh. Don't ask me why." [Shine On 102]

In the stage show of The Wall, this first song was played by a 'surrogate band' consisting of Andy Bown, Snowy White, Willie Wilson, and Peter Wood. Pink Floyd themselves were not anywhere on stage, but the surrogate band wore masks of their counterpart's faces, representing the fact that this song was not the real Pink Floyd, but rather a self-parody.

Roger Waters: "They were meant to be what we became, i.e. at that juncture Pink was like a gestalt figure, the whole band turned into this kind of Nazi apparition [from] the end of the thing. That was really a kind of theatrical shock tactic, because people would assume that it was us and ask 'Why are they dressed in those weird clothes? What's going on?' And wonder about things. And then suddenly realize that it wasn't actually us. I just wanted to create a sort of confused atmosphere at the beginning so that people could start to sort it out slowly as the show went on." [Dallas 139]

After this first number, the surrogate band served as back-up musicians through the rest of the show.

Disc One
In the Flesh?
Thin Ice, The
Another Brick in the Wall part 1
Happiest Days of Our Lives, The
Another Brick in the Wall part 2
Goodbye Blue Sky
Empty Spaces
Young Lust
One of My Turns
Don't Leave Me Now
Another Brick in the Wall part 3
Goodbye Cruel World
Disc Two
Hey You
Is There Anybody Out There?
Nobody Home
Bring the Boys Back Home
Comfortably Numb
Show Must Go On, The
In the Flesh
Run Like Hell
Waiting for the Worms
Trial, The
Outside the Wall

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