“The Wall,” one of Pink Floyd’s acclaimed greatest albums, rocketed to the tops of US and European charts alike. It was a concept album, describing a sense of isolation from the rest of humanity. The album includes hits like “The Thin Ice,” “Another Brick in the Wall,” and “Empty Spaces.” The isolation described is supposed to be of a self-imposed nature. Waters wrote almost all the songs for the collection.
The collection also addresses the causes of such isolation, the isolation obviously referred to with the metaphorical reference to a wall. A film was also made, extending the metaphor into a full story about a boy named Pink. Pink loses his father as a boy, and is further injured psychologically by an overprotective mother and abusive school teachers. These traumas become “bricks in the wall.” Eventually he becomes a rock star, and also marries, but each of these falls apart, and the metaphorical wall is completed, and Pink isolates himself completely.
He deteriorates further behind his wall, and onstage hallucinates that he is a fascist dictator of the Neo-Nazi persuasion, where he removes audience members he deems unworthy. Then his conscience puts him on trial, and a judge tells him to tear down the wall, and then the film’s end runs into its start, with the last song, “Outside the Wall,” bearing some similarities to the first song, “In the Flesh.”
As both a musical compilation and a metaphorical film, “The Wall” is a powerful work.