The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the accompanying concert tour, see The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking (tour).
The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking
Studio album by Roger Waters
Released 30 April 1984
Recorded February–December 1983
Genre Progressive rock, blues rock
Length 42:07
Label Harvest Records (UK)
Columbia Records (US)
Producer Roger Waters, Michael Kamen
Roger Waters chronology
Music from The Body
(1970)
The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking
(1984)
When the Wind Blows
(1986)
Roger Waters studio chronology
The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking
(1984)
Radio K.A.O.S.
(1987)
Singles from The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking
  1. "The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking"
    Released: 9 April 1984
  2. "Every Stranger's Eyes"
    Released: 12 June 1984
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone 1/5 stars[2]
Sputnikmusic 4/5 stars[3]

The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking is the first solo album by Roger Waters released in 1984. The following year Waters announced his departure from Pink Floyd. The album was certified gold in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America in April 1995.

Concept history[edit]

The concept, as envisioned by Waters in 1977, rotated around a man's scattered thoughts during a road trip through somewhere in Central Europe, focusing on his midlife crisis, and how he dreams of committing adultery with a hitchhiker he picks up along the way. Along the way he also faces other fears and paranoia, with all of these things taking place in real time in the early morning hours of 04:30:18 AM to 05:12 AM on an unspecified day.

In July 1977, Waters played some of the music demos of what he had pieced together, but he also played parts of another album he was preparing titled Bricks in the Wall to the rest of his bandmates in the group Pink Floyd.[4][5] After a long debate, they decided that they preferred the concept of Bricks in the Wall instead,[5] even though their manager at the time, Steve O'Rourke, thought that Pros and Cons was a better-sounding concept,[6] and David Gilmour calling Pros and Cons stronger musically.[5]

Well, 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." So, this was the one that was left over. Um...I mean, it's developed an awful lot since then, I think.

Bricks in the Wall, retitled The Wall, became the next Pink Floyd album in 1979, and Waters shelved Pros and Cons. In early 1983, Waters undertook the shelved project himself.[8] The album was recorded in three different studios between February and December 1983 in London, the Olympic Studios, Eel Pie Studios and in Waters' own Billiard Room, the studio where his demos were constructed. Several people appeared on the album, including musical conductor Michael Kamen, the vocal talents of actor Jack Palance, saxophonist David Sanborn and rock and blues guitarist Eric Clapton.

Track 7, 4.50 AM (Go Fishing) includes the same refrain as "The Fletcher Memorial Home" from Pink Floyd's The Final Cut uses for the line: "The Fletcher Memorial Home for incurable tyrants and kings". This song also includes the chorus melody from that album's "Your Possible Pasts".

Album release and artwork[edit]

As the original album was released in January 1984 on the traditional two-sided vinyl LP and cassette formats, in keeping with Waters' concept there are a few seconds missing between sides one and two, allowing the listener to flip the record (or turn the cassette), thus keeping the second half starting at exactly 4:50 AM as planned. When the album was released on CD a few years later however, this short gap was lost due to continuous play, throwing the time back several seconds. Also, the times for "4:37 AM (Arabs With Knives and West German Skies)" and "4:47 AM (The Remains of Our Love)" on the first side are incorrect: the songs begin several seconds earlier than indicated, as they start during the seconds of "4:36 AM" and "4:46 AM", respectively.[citation needed]

Gerald Scarfe, who had created the album artwork and some animation for Pink Floyd's The Wall album, created all the graphics and animation for the Pros and Cons album. Its cover prompted controversy for featuring a rear-view nude photograph of model and softcore pornography actress Linzi Drew. It was condemned by some feminist groups. Although it was originally released with the nudity intact, subsequent editions distributed by Columbia Records censored Drew's buttocks with a black box.

'Roger's a very different sort of person [i.e. different from Eric Clapton or David Gilmour, described as easygoing]. I have tremendous respect for him. He's a very clever man, but he is very serious. When Eric and I toured with him, he wanted everything exactly the same as the record, which, unfortunately, kind of took the fun out of performing.'

Tim Renwick, guitar player[9]

Possible film[edit]

A film based on the concept was proposed, and in 1987 a press release for the Radio K.A.O.S. album claimed a film adaptation had been completed, though nothing has been heard of it since. The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking screenplay was written by BBC/Radio Times Drama Award winner Pete Ward, who used excerpts from Waters' songs/lyrics (from 1967–1987) as background to his award-winning play, Yesterday's Triumph,[10] exploring the 20-year relationship of two close friends – one who attempts to fake mental illness to be with the other, who is an institutionalised 'catastrophic schizophrenic'. Ward was commissioned to expand the plot and characters in The Pros and Cons around the album's 42-minute real-time dream sequence based on Waters' own dreams.

A film was made in 1984 and 1985 which combined Gerald Scarfe's animations and Nicholas Roeg's live-action footage. Also directed by Nicholas Roeg the film was projected on a backdrop behind the stage as the band played. Three promotional videos were also directed by Roeg. "The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking" features snippets of the live action material from the screen films interspersed with footage of "Shane" and other cowboy films. "Sexual Revolution" also featured screen film material insterspersed with footage Waters singing the song and playing his bass. "Every Stranger's Eyes" is identical to the screen projection, except for the fact that footage of Waters is also interspersed here.

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

All songs written and composed by Roger Waters[8]

No. Title Length
1. "4:30 AM (Apparently They Were Travelling Abroad)"   3:12
2. "4:33 AM (Running Shoes)"   4:08
3. "4:37 AM (Arabs with Knives and West German Skies)"   2:17
4. "4:39 AM (For the First Time Today, Part 2)"   2:02
5. "4:41 AM (Sexual Revolution)"   4:49
6. "4:47 AM (The Remains of Our Love)"   3:09

Side two[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "4:50 AM (Go Fishing)"   6:59
2. "4:56 AM (For the First Time Today, Part 1)"   1:38
3. "4:58 AM (Dunroamin, Duncarin, Dunlivin)"   3:03
4. "5:01 AM (The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, Part 10)"   4:36
5. "5:06 AM (Every Stranger's Eyes)"   4:48
6. "5:11 AM (The Moment of Clarity)"   1:28

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1984) Peak
position
New Zealand (RIANZ)[11] 14
Norway (VG-lista)[12] 4
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[13] 3
Switzerland (Media Control AG)[14] 12
UK Albums (The Official Charts Company)[15] 13
US Billboard 200[16] 31

Personnel[edit]

The Musicians:

The Actors (in order of appearance):

  • Andy Quigley as 'Welshman in Operating Theatre'
  • Beth Porter as 'Wife'
  • Roger Waters as 'Man'
  • Manning Redwood and Ed Bishop as 'Truck Drivers'
  • Jack Palance as 'Hells Angel'
  • Madeline Bell as 'Hels Angel's Girlfriend'

The Crew:

  • Roger Waters and Michael Kamen - producers
  • Andy Jackson - engineer
  • Laura Boisan - assistant engineer
  • Michael King - SFX boffin
  • Zuccarelli Labs - holophonics
  • Doug Sax and Mike Reese - mastering
  • Roger Waters and Gerald Scarfe - sleeve design
  • Alex Henderson - photography
  • The Artful Dodgers - co-ordination

Production[edit]

  • Produced By Roger Waters & Michael Kamen
  • Recorded & Engineered By Andy Jackson
  • Assistant Engineer: Laura Boisan
  • Mastered By Doug Sax & Mike Reese

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Allmusic review". 
  2. ^ "Roger Waters : The Pros & Cons of Hitch Hiking". Rolling Stone. 7 June 1984. Archived from the original on 3 June 2008. Retrieved 26 October 2009. 
  3. ^ Sputnikmusic review
  4. ^ Blake, Mark (2008). "Why Are You Running Away?". Comfortably Numb: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo. pp. 258–259. ISBN 978-0-306-81752-6. 
  5. ^ a b c Carruthers, Bob (2011). "The Wall". Pink Floyd – Uncensored on the Record (E-book ed.). Cooda Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1-908538-27-7. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  6. ^ Roger Waters quoted in Mojo Magazine issue 193 (December 2009)
  7. ^ Kendall, Charlie (1984). "Shades of Pink – The Definitive Pink Floyd Profile". The Source Radio Show. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Mabbett, Andy (9 October 2007). The Complete Guide to the Music of "Pink Floyd". Wise Publications. p. 128. ISBN 1-84449-870-0. 
  9. ^ Tolinski, Brad (September 1994). "The Great Gig in the Sky". Guitar World. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  10. ^ The title for the play Yesterday's Triumph is taken from the line "And we'll bask in the shadow of yesterday's triumph and sail on the steel breeze..." from the track Shine on You Crazy Diamond on Pink Floyd's album Wish You Were Here.
  11. ^ "charts.org.nz – Roger Waters – The Pros And Cons of Hitch Hiking". charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 September 2010. 
  12. ^ "norwegiancharts.com – Roger Waters – The Pros And Cons of Hitch Hiking". norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 September 2010. 
  13. ^ "swedishcharts.com – Roger Waters – The Pros And Cons of Hitch Hiking". swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 September 2010. 
  14. ^ "Roger Waters - The Pros And Cons of Hitch Hiking - swisscharts.com". swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 September 2010. 
  15. ^ "Chart Stats – Roger Waters – The Pros And Cons of Hitch Hiking". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on 30 June 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2010. 
  16. ^ "allmusic ((( The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 16 September 2010.

External links[edit]