Breaking Down The Wall: Pink Floyd’s Eleventh Studio Album

Denis Ilksoy, Layout Editor

Selling over 30 million copies since its release on November 30, 1979, Pink Floyd’s The Wall is regarded as one of the band’s best albums and one of the most popular progressive rock collections to date. Contrary to popular belief surrounding the imagery and lyrics of the album, The Wall has nothing to do with the monumental tearing down of the Berlin Wall. The collection is a rock opera about the life of fictional rockstar Pink Floyd.  

Bloodstained lettering upon the metaphorical wall decorate Pink Floyd’s reveled album. (Credit: Spotify)

The album is a tragic story of Pink starting from his life in post WWII Britain up to his drug induced frenzy as a rockstar. Throughout the story Pink constantly builds a metaphorical “wall” (the namesake of the album, of course) between himself and the outside of the world. Starting with a dead war veteran father and an oppressive mother, Pink begins rapidly adding bricks to his mental barrier as he tries to cope with the abusive teachers he experiences as he ages through school and early life. Once he completes his wall, Pink locks himself in a room and becomes unresponsive causing the paramedics to inject him with drugs to wake him up. The drugs kick in during his performance, causing him to hallucinate and believe he is a fascist dictator at a Neo-Nazi rally. Floyd begins to attack people in the crowd finalizing his descent into insanity. Once the drugs finally wear off, Pink begs for the horror to stop and his inner conscience tells him to tear down his mental wall and open himself to the outside world. The album concludes with the final song looping into the first song symbolizing that the existential crisis that Pink Floyd experiences is an endless cycle of torment.  

This masterpiece of an album is easily one of my favorites of all time and my top Pink Floyd Album. The Wall is a tragic memoir to a common human internal struggle. It holds up nearly 50 years after its release and more than completely earns its rating of 9.1/10. My only problem with this captivating story is the length of the album does not allow it to be listened through often. I can say, however, that if you set aside that hour and twenty-six minutes it takes to go through the album, your eyes will be opened to the art behind Pink Floyd’s unforgettable album The Wall. 

Please be sure to check out this website heavily detailing each song of The Wall and the deeper messages behind them.