• 8-bar musical section toward the beginning of the intro, in 6/8 time. It would have been the second instance of the opening guitar theme and riff. Right about the 21 second mark into the album version is where this phrase would have gone. This 8-bar guitar riff from the intro is in just about every other version except the studio album. You can hear this repeat instance of the phrase on the live version of “In The Flesh” that is found on Is There Anybody Out There?. 

About 20 seconds featuring the completion of a sweet Gilmour guitar riff were cut from the track before release.

 

The Side 4 reprise of “In The Flesh?” from Side 1. Much of what was cut from the first instance was also cut from this track as well. Apart from the lyrics, this track is nearly identical musically to “In The Flesh?” on Side 1.

Like the first instance of the song that opens the album, “In The Flesh” was not originally part of Roger Waters’ original demo tapes or the first round of production tapes. It was added to the story after January 9, 1979 for the second round of band production demos of March 23, 1979.

A few lyrical elements from the song “Death Disco”, one of the tracks on the original demo tape Bricks In The Wall, were incorporated into the track. According to Comfortably Numb, the Vernon Fitch and Richard Mahon book [1], it’s where the lyrics “Are there any queers in the theater tonight? Get ’em up against the wall” and other insults originated from. “Death Disco” has never been released publicly, either as an official or a bootleg release.



It was originally called “The Show, Part II”. That working title was used until at least October 9, 1979 — about one month before The Wall was completed and pretty late in production. By October 26, 1979, the title had been changed to “In The Flesh”, a reference to the 1977 Pink Floyd tour in which Roger Waters infamously spat on a member of the audience — an incident which was a key motivation for Waters to write The Wall.

At this point in the narrative, Pink is behind his wall and has lost touch with everyone including his audience. After being propped up by his doctor in “Comfortably Numb” so he can get onstage to perform, a delusional, evil Pink addresses his audience. In a 1979 interview with Tommy Vance, Waters explains,

“Well, here you are, here is the story: I’ve just remembered; Montreal 1977, Olympic Stadium, 80,000 people, the last gig of the 1977 tour, I personally became so upset during the show that I spat at some guy in the front row. He was shouting and screaming and having a wonderful time and they were pushing against the barrier and what he wanted was a good riot, and what I wanted was to do a good rock and roll show and I got so upset in the end that I spat at him, which is a very nasty thing to do to anybody. Anyway, the idea is that these kinds of fascist feelings develop from isolation.

 

“This is him having a go at the audience, all the minorities in the audience. So the obnoxiousness of “In the Flesh”–and it is meant to be obnoxious–this is the end result of that much isolation and decay.”

In interviews since, Roger Waters has suggested that the experience of a rock concert is similar to a fascist rally.

“In The Flesh” has never been released as a single or a B-side.


The track was completely rerecorded for the film in a very bombastic, Teutonic, Wagnerian style using a large brass band with Bob Geldof again on lead vocals. The key changes and chord structure of the track translate very well to the darker, more ominous sound and feel of this recording. The overall treatment adds a frightening sound full of pomp which helps to highlight the fascist overtones of the track.

 

Alternate Versions

Pink Floyd The Wall – Work In Progress from Pink Floyd The Wall: Immersion edition. An early, rough, bare version from pre-release production demo tapes made by the band. The basics are there. Nick Mason’s drum tracks have been recorded by this time and are pretty much locked for this track. The basics of David Gilmour’s guitar phrasing are there, but none of the “flair” has been recorded yet. This version can also be found on the ROIO Under Construction (or Building The Wall, Wall In Progress 1978-1979 and The Wall Demos — they are the same recordings) except in much poorer quality.

Is There Anybody Out There?. The official live album of the original The Wall tour in 1980. Live versions of all songs. Many of them are extended or have some of the bits which were cut from the original studio LP of The Wall. The live version contains the full 16-bar version of Gilmour’s guitar intro.

Pink Floyd The Wall movie (1982). The track was completely rerecorded for the film in a very Teutonic, Wagnerian style using a large brass band and Bob Geldof again on lead vocals. To date, the film soundtrack has never been officially released and the only way to hear a high-quality version of this track is on the DVD soundtrack. There is no clean version of this recording as parts of the track are obscured pretty heavily with film sound effects.

Because “In The Flesh” was completely rerecorded for the film using a brass band, the only way to hear a studio version of the deleted section is to go back to the same part from the earlier “In The Flesh?” movie version.

 

Last update: September 12, 2017

 


1 – Comfortably Numb – A History of “The Wall” – Pink Floyd 1978-1981 (2006), by Vernon Fitch and Richard Mahon


 

 

 

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