I wanna go home
Take off this uniform
And leave the show.”
“Stop” is a short but important transitional piece in the middle of side 4. Clocking in at just over 30 seconds, it is not only the shortest song on The Wall but it’s also the shortest track in the entire Pink Floyd catalog. Not surprisingly, it’s never been released on a single. Despite what it’s missing in length, it’s a key song within the narrative of The Wall. It also received an altered and extended treatment in the film Pink Floyd The Wall.
“Stop” was added to the story fairly early on in production. It’s always been a musical bridge between “Waiting For The Worms” and the track that would become “The Trial”.
In the story, the track illustrates the bottom of Pink’s descent. He is tired of the madness, tired of playing the dictator rock star, and tired of his wall. He breaks down and resigns himself to the trial he’s going to put himself through.
On the album and live shows, Roger Waters shouts a staccato “Stop!” over the last note of “Waiting For The Worms” to segue into the track. It’s a very quiet track, in sharp contrast to the peaking musical crescendo of the previous track. Production is minimal — there’s nothing that gets in the way of Waters’ vocals and Richard Wright’s piano.
Although a demo version of the track does not appear in any of the Immersion edition goodies, there is a production demo of “Stop” on the Under Construction ROIO. The tone and structure of the song are the same, but it’s a completely different vocal and piano take. It’s probably a later recording most likely recorded on October 11, 1979 as it has a few additional vocal and piano overdubs. Overdubs were not included in the album release.
Stop, The Movie, and Your Possible Pasts
In the film, “Stop” is even more dramatic as the scene ebbs and flows illustrating the bottom of Pink’s breakdown. It’s quite a bit longer and runs about 2:39. It’s sung unaccompanied by Bob Geldof who plays Pink in the movie. Pink is actually backstage, huddled on the floor of a toilet stall where he lets out a long and anguished scream — “STOP!” — followed by silence and subtle ambient noise. Listen carefully and you can here DJ Gary Yudman’s MC intro from the live shows which also opened Is There Anybody Out There?: The Wall Live years later.
Before completing the song “Stop”, several seconds go by before he softly starts to sing a few lines from the chorus of “Your Possible Pasts”. He then moves on to several lines of “5:11AM (The Moment of Clarity)” which was written at the same time as The Wall but was later released on Roger Waters’ first solo album The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking. This barely but officially brings both songs into The Wall canon.
“Your Possible Pasts” has long been speculated to be one of the songs originally intended for The Wall. It was likely an unused piece of music which wasn’t as developed as it needed to be early on when the band were “storyboarding” the album.
In the film, the lyrics are a little different:
Do you remember me?
The way it used to be?
Do you think we should have been closer?
While “Your Possible Pasts” works very well within the story of The Wall and I think if the track had been a little more developed early on it probably would have made it into side 3 of the album. “5:11AM (The Moment of Clarity)” is definitely more relevant to the narrative of The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking.
A lot of words and a lot of thought for a 30-second song.
What Got Cut
- Nothing. The longer version was created for the movie with different pacing and lyrics from other Roger Waters tracks.
Piano and vocal overdubs were recorded for the album version of the track, but were removed when the track was re-recorded before the album’s release. I think it was a good choice. The leaner, less-cluttered version is much more raw.
Pink Floyd The Wall movie (1982). (2:39) Re-recorded a cappella by Bob Geldof for the film, this longer, altered version also includes lines from “Your Possible Pasts” and “5:11AM (The Moment of Clarity)”.
Under Construction ROIO. A bootleg collection of production demo tracks, probably from sometime between the second and third official production demos. Although the tone and structure of “Stop” are the same, it’s a different take — probably a later recording, as this version also has a few additional vocal and piano overdubs.
Last update: August 31, 2016