Pink Floyd - The Wall is one of the most amazing of all concept albums ever created. It has the most coherent story, that's for sure. A kid's dad goes off to war and gets killed. The kid is raised by an overbearing mother; attends schools with overbearing teachers; marries a woman who he mistreats and cheats on, and who, in turn, mistreats and cheats on him. He becomes a rock star, abuses drugs, embraces fascism, and goes insane. It's a very nice piece of art, and as hard as Roger Waters tried to make it dark, depressing, scary and cruel, his musical collaborator, David Gilmore kept throwing in pretty guitars, and adding just enough light to give the story a level of depth even Waters could not have achieved on his own. Why then, do most Pink Floyd fans who dislike this album complain it is too commercial? Of the 26 songs on this record, only 5 get much radio play: 1. Another Brick in the Wall Part II (Number 1 Single UK, US, Number 2 Australia) 2. Comfortably Numb (did not chart as a single) 3. Young Lust (did not chart as a single) 4. Run Like Hell (Number 53 US) 5. Hey You (did not chart) Now, granted, the album sold a bazillion copies, but not as many as Dark Side of the Moon. Some of the songs have catchy, Motown-ish bass lines, (mostly due to David Gilmore's influence,) but this album is very, very personal. It combines Roger Waters biography, his own mental breakdown, and bad attitude towards people with the sad story of Syd Barrett, and has a ton of social commentary, and very heavy, dangerous subject matter. It has lyrics like, You better run all day And run all night. Keep your dirty feelings Deep inside. And if you're taking your girlfriend Out tonight You'd better park the car Well out of sight. Cause if they catch you in the back seat Trying to pick her locks, They're gonna send you back to mother In a cardboard box. You better run. and Day after day, love turns grey Like the skin of a dying man. Night after night, we pretend its all right But I have grown older and You have grown colder and Nothing is very much fun any more. And I can feel one of my turns coming on. I feel cold as a razor blade, Tight as a tourniquet, Dry as a funeral drum. and the darkest, bleakest lyrics since Lou Reed's Berlin: Ooooh Babe. Dont leave me now. How could you go? When you know how I need you To beat to a pulp on a Saturday night Ooooh Babe. I can't think of a commercial album with lyrics such as these, especially sang (spat out) in such jaded desperation as Waters commits to on these vocals. This album feels utterly real, and legitimate to me, as Roger Waters is taking on the persona of a truly horrible, hateful man, who has lost touch with his humanity. "The Trial," has always felt, to me, like Waters indicting himself, for being a jaded, cynical bastard, who had become hard to deal with, and impossible to live with. The man started with anger towards his fans, and ended up with hatred towards himself. The previous album, "Animals," showed where he was headed, as a songwriter. How can such a wealthy, and successful person feel so much pain? I've always ascribed it to mental illness. When the film, "The Wall" came out, a friend of mine had gone to see it, and was sorely disappointed. "Its not what you think its about," he glumly told me, and I told him I had listened to the album through headphones enough times that I was sure I knew exactly what it was about. I described the film scene by scene, based on the songs on the album. He was amazed, and thought I was messing with him. "You saw it," he taunted, but I hadn't. Plus, I hadn't gotten everything right, as they switched up some of the music. I correctly surmised the beginning; the "Goodbye Blue Sky" part; (it reminded me of my own mother, who was a child when the German planes flew over Scotland,) and what most surprised him was how well I described the "Comfortably Numb" part, and Pink (Bob Geldof)'s transformation into a Nazi-like character. The album/film was never pro-racism; pro-totalitarianism, or any of those things; from my perspective it was ANTI all those things; at least that's how it looked through MY lens. Because in good art, it's not just up to the artist to make a statement; it is also up to the audience to perceive that statement. When this album came out, I was 16 years old; highly impressionable, and listening to the other double record masterpiece of that year, "London Calling," by the Clash. I had my feet firmly in the worlds of Punk Rock, Classic Rock, and experiments in Reggae, New Wave, Jazz Fusion, and of course, my first love: Classical Music. Pink Floyd - The Wall is not by any means the best album the band released. I would still have to say their big three of Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and Animals contain a body of work that would be hard to rival. Still, every album was harder to follow than the one before, and in the case of The Wall, that would be it. They might still have put out some good songs, but never again did the band, or Waters as a solo artist put out something so deep, coherent, lovely, dark, and influential, nor did many or even any bands. So if you want to call it "too commercial," your opinion is as valid as anyone's, but for me, that album was as far from purposely commercial as any I've ever heard. A truly monumental album, that has stood the test of time remarkably well.