The Story of “Pink Floyd The Wall Complete”
“How can I complete The Wall…?”
The Missing Pieces of The Wall
Pink Floyd The Wall is more than just a classic album. It is a true rock opera — a musical, visual, and cinematic spectacle on a grand scale. It is perhaps the finest example of rock and roll theatre ever produced. It is a complex, intricate work worthy of the recognition and study we often reserve for traditional classical works. It is huge in scope and full of big themes yet at its core it’s still a deeply personal album about isolation and the damage we can inflict upon ourselves. The sound of the album is timeless. Throughout the years, its messages and themes have adapted to changing times. Decades after its release, The Wall is still a relevant and important work.
There are many other excellent books, websites and commentary about the history and analysis of Pink Floyd The Wall. This website explores all of the missing songs and parts of songs which were cut from the original album for running time or other reasons. The missing pieces. The “Wall leftovers.” What might be called the “spare bricks.”
Many of these songs and snippets were released in one form or another elsewhere. With a bit of digging and a ton of time and cash, it’s possible to create a version of Pink Floyd The Wall which restores missing songs and various bits which were cut from the original The Wall album for running time or other reasons. Even if rebuilding your own Wall is not in your plans, this site can help you find the lost pieces of music and where to hear them so you can get a better overall picture of an expanded, complete Wall. All in all, I’ve restored over 20 minutes of music in my own personal copy.
Building The Wall
The story of the creation of The Wall is Pink Floyd lore. Here’s a very brief recap. After the band’s first stadium tour which ended with the infamous spitting incident in Montreal in July 1977, the band were feeling frustrated and even more distant from the fans. After a break, the band reconvened at Britannia Row Studios in July, 1978 where Roger Waters presented two concepts he’d been working on. One was was the foundation of what would become Waters’ first solo record The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking. The other was Waters’ original 90-minute demo titled Bricks in the Wall.
“The idea for the album came concurrently with the idea for The Wall — the basis of the idea. I wrote both pieces at roughly the same time. And, in fact, I made demo tapes of them both — and, in fact, presented both demo tapes to the rest of the Floyd, and said, ‘Look, I’m going to do one of these as a solo project and we’ll do one as a band album, and you can choose.'”
In a 2013 interview, The Wall engineer and co-producer James Guthrie recalled,
“Roger’s original demo was rough, but you could hear the brilliance and the importance of the story. He had written what could have been nearly three albums worth of material that had to be whittled down to two. Some of that material was used on later projects, but our initial challenge was to make things more concise, to more effectively tell the story. Songs like ‘Comfortably Numb’ came later as a collaboration, but there were a number of tunes that remained relatively unchanged, such as ‘Mother’, ‘Is There Anybody Out There’, ‘Vera’, ‘Bring The Boys’, ‘Don’t Leave Me Now’ and many of the musical themes that recur throughout the album.”
David Gilmour also talked about the original demo,
“Roger had done a demo, at home, of the entire piece and then we got it into the studio with Bob Ezrin (producer of The Wall album with Waters and Gilmour) and the rest of us. We went through it and started with the tracks we liked best, discussed a lot of what was not so good, and kicked out a lot of stuff. Roger and Bob spent a lot of time trying to get the story line straighter, more linear conceptually. Ezrin is the sort of guy who’s thinking about all the angles all the time, about how to make a shorter story line that’s told properly, constantly worried about moving rhythms up and down, all that stuff which we’ve never really thought about.”
The Limits of the LP
When The Wall was originally released, the 12″ vinyl LP was the predominant consumer music format. As the running time of an LP increased, the grooves in the vinyl had to be cut shallower and narrower. This would reduce the volume, loudness and sound quality of the records, especially in recordings with a wide dynamic range. An 18-20 minute runtime per side was considered the “sweet spot” for an LP — a good balance between running time and sound quality.
On 30 November, 1979, the album was released on vinyl, cassette, and 8-track tape formats. This was years before compact discs and digital downloads with their longer running times would be available.
Releasing The Wall as a three-record set was considered throughout production. Instead, the album was trimmed and edited to fit as close as possible to that 18-20 minute constraint for each side of an LP. Entire songs were deleted and many of the remaining tracks were edited to cut the running time.
So what happened to all of the extra stuff?
I was working a string of FM radio stations around the time The Wall was released. The lyrics for the deleted “What Shall We Do Now?” and the missing verse of “The Show Must Go On” were still there in the album’s liner notes–as if to tease us (they were actually left there because the inner sleeves had already been sent to print and any changes would have delayed the release of the album). Around the station, we’d heard rumors about other unused songs intended for The Wall. Occasionally, we would find snippets from trade magazines that provided tiny but intriguing clues.
Some of those deleted tracks and edited bits of songs eventually appeared elsewhere in The Wall canon, including singles, the live shows, the film, and other albums. Over the years, I’ve found many of the bits, beats, and tracks needed to complete and restore the “chunks of songs” which were trimmed for running time from the final cut.
Here’s my track list:
The Wall Complete
1 In The Flesh? 03:38
2 The Thin Ice 03:05
3 Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 1 03:25
4 The Happiest Days Of Our Lives 01:52
5 Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2 03:59
6 Teacher, Teacher (or The Hero’s Return) 03:27
7 Mother 06:07
8 When The Tigers Broke Free 03:39
9 Goodbye Blue Sky 03:07
10 What Shall We Do Now? 03:51
11 Young Lust 03:46
12 One Of My Turns 03:36
13 Don’t Leave Me Now 04:23
14 Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 3 01:09
15 Goodbye Cruel World 01:16
1 Hey You 04:42
2 Is There Anybody Out There? 02:41
3 Nobody Home 03:28
4 Your Possible Pasts 04:27
5 Vera 01:37
6 Bring The Boys Back Home 01:40
7 The Fletcher Memorial Home 04:44
8 Comfortably Numb 06:22
9 The Show Must Go On 02:07
10 In The Flesh 04:34
11 Run Like Hell 05:27
12 Waiting For The Worms 04:03
13 Stop 00:32
14 The Trial 06:08
15 Outside The Wall 01:43
Spare Bricks – “Leftovers” from The Wall
The Last Few Bricks
Is There Anybody Out There? (a reprise)
Overture for Comfortably Numb
It’s Never Too Late
The Final Cut
Teach (later released as “One Of The Few”)
Original works © 1979, 1982, 1983, 1994, 1999 by Pink Floyd Music, Ltd.
THIS RELEASE IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR SALE. THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL RELEASE.
Because of copyrights, there are no links to download this mix anywhere on this site. I don’t know where you can find it. You can’t get it here. Please don’t ask.