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  • All of it. The song did not appear in any form on the original Pink Floyd The Wall release.

The full song was rewritten and rerecorded. It was officially released in April, 1984 as “4:41 A.M. (Sexual Revolution)” on Roger Waters’ solo album The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking.

Released on Roger Waters’ first solo album in 1984, Sexual Revolution was originally written for ‘The Wall’. A version of the track was recorded by the band in 1978.

 

“Sexual Revolution” is a track from Bricks In The Wall, the original Wall demo. A rough mix was recorded in late 1978 at Britannia Row Studios by the band early in production. The song appeared in the first band production demo, but was cut from The Wall story shortly after. It was eventually rerecorded and released on Roger Waters’ solo album The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, a concept he developed alongside Bricks In The Wall.

It’s a downtempo, bluesy, seedy track in E minor. In Waters’ original demo, the track followed a slower, bluesier “Young Lust” and an atmospheric instrumental interlude. It was sequenced right before “Don’t Leave Me Now”. On the January 9, 1979 band production demo, it was pushed back slightly to track after “Don’t Leave Me Now” and before the song that would become “Another Brick In The Wall, Part 3”.

“Sexual Revolution” as part of The Wall made more sense both musically and thematically in the album’s earlier versions. There, it followed the original slower, bluesier version of “Young Lust” when the song was about “hanging around outside porno movies and dirty bookshops.” After “Young Lust” was rewritten with a faster tempo and the focus shifted more to picking up band groupies and easy sex, “Sexual Revolution” was a little redundant in the story line and musically became a more difficult fit for the album.

On the surface, the lyrics paint a basic portrait of a man trying to talk a woman into a sexual encounter. By the time it was finally released, the lyrics had been rewritten and the song better fleshed out. It had evolved into something darker, seedier and edgier to better fit the storyline of Pros and Cons. The track is considered one of the highlights of that album.

The choice of guitarist Eric Clapton for the album was widely seen as a dig at David Gilmour, by then Roger’s former bandmate.

Although it was performed live during Waters’ Pros and Cons tour, it has never been performed live by Pink Floyd or been reintegrated into any of The Wall live performances. It’s a great track, dripping the sleaze that’s missing from “Young Lust”. But both musically and thematically, I think Pros and Cons is where the track really shines.

As with many of Waters’ lyrics, there may be a deeper meaning to the song. Waters talked about the ideas behind the track:

“One of the great paradoxes of the design of human beings is the disparity between the hopes and aspirations of men and women… presumably based on the separate biological functions in terms of human survival: that man has been designed to go out and screw everything he can in order to populate the world and that we should multiply and spread.

 

“It appears, from my limited experience, that, by and large, women are far more interested in providing a safe place within which to rear children and, if possible, keep the hunter there, hunting for them; which may all be very simplistic and I’m sure that I shall be attacked by all kinds of women and probably men too, all over the world, but… so what.

 

“Eating and sleeping and ‘effing’ are like ‘it’, really, at the fundamental level. All the other intellectual, sociological, anthropological, historical, der-der-der stuff is very interesting and exciting and can be elevating and challenging and all those things. But compared with making love, it’s small time.”

 

Uncensored front cover of Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking for the UK and other countries. The US version was censored with a black bar across the “bottom.”

Alternate Versions

Pink Floyd The Wall – Work In Progress from Pink Floyd The Wall: Immersion edition. (5:00). The recording from the first band production demo was released on Disc 5 of the Immersion set. Although somewhat raw sounding, it’s still an excellent, lean recording of the track. Contributions from all four members of the band, including Richard Wright, can easily be heard. This recording is a little more uptempo than the final release version. There’s an instrumental section starting at about 2m 07s that sounds like a placeholder for a David Gilmour guitar solo that would have been recorded later. Some of the later lyrics are incomplete — nonsense fill words are used instead.

The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, Roger Waters. (1984) (4:49). Finally released on Roger Waters’ first solo album, the track (renamed “4:41 A.M. (Sexual Revolution)”) was rerecorded much more downtempo, giving the track a much sleazier sound and feel. The track is loaded with great Eric Clapton guitar fills throughout as well as a lean guitar solo around the 2m 20s mark. Other musicians on the track include session drummer Andy Newmark, who previously performed on “Two Suns in the Sunset” on Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut album and Michael Kamen on piano, who had previously worked with Pink Floyd on both The Wall and The Final Cut albums.

 

Last update: April 13, 2018

 

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