Originally closing out Side 3, late in production, “Hey, You” was moved at the last minute to the top of the side right before the album went for mastering.
“Hey You” opens the second half of the album. It goes all the way back to the original demo, Bricks In The Wall. There it was sequenced much later in the track listing — right before the track that would later be called “The Trial”.
The track originally closed out Side 3 and was sequenced after “Comfortably Numb” at the end of the side until very late in production. It was moved to the beginning of the side at the last minute before the album went for mastering. In fact, album artwork with the incorrect Side 3 track listing had already been sent out to print.
In the book, “Comfortably Numb” by Vernon Fitch and Richard Mahon, Roger Waters recalled:
“Bob Ezrin called me up, and he said ‘I’ve just listened to side three, and it doesn’t work.’ In fact, I think I’d been feeling uncomforatable about it anyway. I thought about it and, in a couple of minutes, I realized that ‘Hey You’ could conceptually go anywhere. And it would make a much better side if we put ‘Hey You’ at the front of the side, and sandwiched the middle theatrical scene, with the guy in the hotel room, between an attempt to re-establish contact with the outside world, which is what ‘Hey You’ is.”
The inner sleeve on the early releases of the LP still listed “Is There Anybody Out There?” as the first track on Side 3, with “Hey You” closing out the side. The US Columbia Records CD issues carried this over until 1997. This was fixed on the first Harvest Records issue of the CD and on the 1997 Columbia Records remaster/reissue CDs.
The “Bricks” theme heard in all three parts of “Another Brick In The Wall” returns here and is the musical bed behind David Gilmour’s guitar solo.
By this time in the story, Pink’s wall has been completed. The song is a plea for help from the isolation behind the wall. It also contains the first mention of the worms which will be a recurring theme throughout the second half of the album.
Why “Hey You” was cut from The Wall Movie
“Hey You” was one of two tracks that were cut entirely from Pink Floyd The Wall the movie, along with “The Show Must Go On”. The footage was cut after the film was finished and the footage used elsewhere in the film. In the director’s commentary on the original laserdisc release of the the film, Alan Parker talked about why the track was cut:
“It wasn’t that we didn’t like “Hey You.” I mean, “Hey You” is brilliant I think, particularly Gilmour’s guitar piece within it. It’s just that it seemed that it interrupted the narrative flow, and therefore that’s the reason it went out. It’s to do with the film more than the music. I always liked it as a piece of music. These images then were adapted into “Another Brick In The Wall, Part 3.” They were too good to lose and they still said a great deal.”
A rough, black and white cut of the footage is available as the special feature “Reel 13” on the most recent version of the DVD release.
Sequencing: “Hey You” at the Beginning or the End of Side Three?
Some have argued that “Hey You” makes more sense in the narrative between “Comfortably Numb” and “The Show Must Go On” and that Pink has just completely withdrawn from his world in the previous song, “Goodbye Cruel World”. One of the arguments is that it makes more sense for Pink to reach out later on in a call for help outside his “wall” between him and the audience, so to speak, at the show he’s about to perform. And in production demos, you can hear the tracks in that sequence.
I think “Hey You” works better at the beginning of the half where it was eventually released. Thinking of The Wall as theater, “Hey You” is an excellent way to begin the second “act.” It ties in several themes both musically and conceptually. For me, it’s a combination of an overture for the second act and a call for help from Pink from a very lonely place.
During my production, I created a demo with “Hey You” sequenced between “Numb” and “Show” just to see how a finished version would sound. Thematically it may work but musically it just seemed to float out there. In the final version my mix of The Wall Complete, I left “Hey You” right where it is.
What Got Cut
Pink Floyd Off The Wall – Special Radio Construction (1979). (4:40) A rare 1979 US 8-track, radio-friendly promo sampler LP for The Wall album distributed mainly to radio stations. This version has a clean outro which fades out completely before any of the television sound effects preceding “Is There Anybody Out There?”. It’s an early fade, rather than extending the outro. Mastering of the vinyl was a little better than the mastering of the LP due to its deeper grooves.
“Comfortably Numb” / “Hey You” single (1980). (4:40) Nothing edited. It’s all here. The original US version is just a lousy, noisy pressing on crappy Columbia 7″ styrene.
Last updated: July 9, 2017