Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.
In this Love Letter To A Record series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.
Silky Roads – Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here (1975)
This song has been one of our favourite songs for years, and the record as a whole also holds a spot worthy of the pool room. The record for each of us captures a signpost for certain times in our lives. Pink Floyd was a pathway into the world of music we know now, we love everything from the structure and cohesiveness of their albums, and, more recently as we’ve grown, we have been able to understand and appreciate the political agenda they explore.
The record tells a story, and marks a point in the careers of Pink Floyd. After their immensely successful release of Dark Side of The Moon, they found themselves at the mercy of many labels reaching their greedy hands out to try to get their fingers on some of Pink Floyd’s magic.
The blatant groove of one of our favourite Pink Floyd songs lives in the album Wish You Were Here. ‘Have A Cigar’s assertive lyrics written by Roger Waters, and unique vocal phrasing by Roy Harper, instantaneously take you down a spiralling road of clear imagery.
This song is the perfect example of fusing funky grooves and an atmospheric feeling. We also can’t write about the track without mentioning David Gilmour’s captivating guitar solo. It takes you on an incredible journey and it is driven by shining instrumentation from the rest of the band. And one could say its aggressive style can compliment the antagonistic lyrics.
‘Have A Cigar’s opening lyrics “come in here dear boy, have a cigar you’re gonna go far’’ is precisely what they were experiencing. Roger Waters has even said that as a band they weren’t quite ready for their rise into stardom, and their headfirst leap into the ‘Machine’ (the music industry) caught them off guard, and even made them resent the industry as a whole.
This theme is explored further in the following track, ‘Welcome To the Machine’. Any Pink Floyd fan knows that putting one of their records on shuffle is a sin. As a band, we all admire and also find fascinating the way one has to start the album from the very beginning and listen all the way through to understand the full picture of what Pink Floyd are trying to convey.
If you have a long road trip coming up or have found yourself having a restless day in your home, which we’ve all experienced in the past year, listening to this album is a great way to stimulate that and indulge yourself with some sweet, sweet-tasting psychedelic rock. And if you happen to own a record player, get down to a record store and purchase this monster of an album. There’s a sense of nostalgia and purity when you listen to it on vinyl that just isn’t there when you listen to it on your phone.
The album as a whole is also a memoir to their former member and co-founder, Syd Barret, and through the bookended tracks ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ they express their sorrow and loss of this amazing soul and character. In interviews with the band, they state that the pressures of the music industry and the general pressures of being in a band on the rise also lead to Syd Barret’s demise. Which makes their slight attack on the industry through ‘Have a Cigar’ carry even more weight.
Although the album has such a deep meaning behind it, it is still musically undeniably the Pink Floyd that we know and love, and in our eyes, it is a musical masterpiece.
Silky Roads are a Sydney-based indie-rock quartet who’ve just revealed their idyllic debut EP ‘Granada’ – produced by Yossif Kay.
The Pink Floyd influence flows electric through the veins of ‘Grenada’, delivering heady retro psychedelia with lashings of modern groove-laden surf-rock. A winning combo.