Another Brick in the Wall

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"Another Brick in the Wall"
Song series by Pink Floyd
from the album The Wall
PublishedPink Floyd Music Publishers
Released30 November 1979
RecordedApril–November 1979
GenreProgressive rock
Length8:28 (All three parts)
  • 3:11 (Part 1)
  • 3:59 (Part 2)
  • 1:18 (Part 3)
Label
Songwriter(s)Roger Waters
Producer(s)

"Another Brick in the Wall" is a three-part composition on Pink Floyd's 1979 rock opera The Wall. All three parts were written by Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters. "Part 2", a protest song against rigid schooling, features a children's choir singing the second verse.

"Part 2" was released as a single, Pink Floyd's first in the UK since "Point Me at the Sky" (1968). It became Pink Floyd's only number-one hit in the United Kingdom, the United States, West Germany and many other countries, and sold over four million copies worldwide. It was nominated for a Grammy Award, and was number 375 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". The American nu metal band Korn covered all three parts for the 2004 album Greatest Hits, Vol. 1.

"Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)"
PinkFloydAnotherBrickCover.jpg
Single by Pink Floyd
from the album The Wall
B-side"One of My Turns"
Released23 November 1979
Format7-inch single
RecordedApril–November 1979
Genre
Length
Label
Songwriter(s)Roger Waters
Producer(s)
Pink Floyd singles chronology
"Have a Cigar"
(1975)
"Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)"
(1979)
"Run Like Hell"
(1980)
Audio sample
Music video
"Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2" on YouTube

Concept[edit]

The three parts of "Another Brick in the Wall" appear on Pink Floyd's 1979 album The Wall, a rock opera that explores abandonment and isolation, symbolised by a wall. During "Part 1", the protagonist, Pink, begins building a metaphorical wall around himself following the death of his father. In "Part 2", traumas including his overprotective mother and abusive schoolteachers become metaphorical bricks in the wall. Following a violent breakdown in "Part 3", he dismisses everyone he knows as "just bricks in the wall".[1][2]

Bassist Roger Waters wrote "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" as a protest against rigid schooling, particularly boarding schools.[3] Another Brick in the Wall" appears in the Wall film. In the "Part 2" sequence, children enter a school and march in unison through a meat grinder, becoming "putty-faced" clones, before rioting and burning down the school.[4]

Recording[edit]

At the suggestion of producer Bob Ezrin, the band added elements of disco, which was popular at the time. According to guitarist David Gilmour:[5]

"[Ezrin] said to me, "Go to a couple of clubs and listen to what's happening with disco music," so I forced myself out and listened to loud, four-to-the-bar bass drums and stuff and thought, Gawd, awful! Then we went back and tried to turn one of the [song's] parts into one of those so it would be catchy.

Gilmour recorded his guitar solo in one take, with no editing or mixing, using a 1955 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top guitar equipped with P-90 pick-ups.[6] Despite his reservations about Ezrin's additions, Gilmour felt the final song still sounded like Pink Floyd.[5] When Ezrin heard the song with a disco beat, he was convinced it could become a hit, but felt it needed to be longer, with two verses and two choruses. The band resisted, saying they did not release singles; Waters told him: "Go ahead and waste your time doing silly stuff."[7]

While the band members were away, Ezrin edited the takes into an extended version, and had engineer Nick Griffiths record children singing the verse at Islington Green School, close to Pink Floyd's studio.[7] Alun Renshaw, head of music at the school, was enthusiastic, and said later: "I wanted to make music relevant to the kids – not just sitting around listening to Tchaikovsky. I thought the lyrics were great – 'We don't need no education, we don't need no thought control' ... I just thought it would be a wonderful experience for the kids."[8] He hid the lyrics from the headteacher, Margaret Maden, fearing she might stop the recording.[9] Maden said: "I was only told about it after the event, which didn't please me. But on balance it was part of a very rich musical education."[9] Renshaw and the children spent a week practicing it before he took them to a recording studio near the school.[10]

According to Ezrin, when he played the children's vocals to Waters, "there was a total softening of his face, and you just knew that he knew it was going to be an important record".[5] Waters said "It was great—exactly the thing I expected from a collaborator."[5]

Royalties[edit]

The children received tickets to a Pink Floyd concert, an album, and a single.[11] Though Islington School received a payment of £1,000, there was no contractual arrangement for royalties.[12] Under 1996 UK copyright law, they became eligible for royalties from broadcasts. After royalties agent Peter Rowan traced choir members through the website Friends Reunited and other means, they lodged a claim for royalties with the Performing Artists' Media Rights Association in 2004.[12]

Reception[edit]

"Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" was released as a single, Pink Floyd's first in the UK since "Point Me at the Sky" (1968).[citation needed] It was Pink Floyd's only number-one hit in the United Kingdom, the United States, West Germany and several other countries.[citation needed] It was the final Christmas number one of the decade in the UK.[13] In the US, it reached number 57 on the disco chart.[14] The single sold over 4 million copies worldwide.[3]

The song won Waters the 1983 British Academy Award for "Best Original Song" for its appearance in the Wall film.[15] "Part 2" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Rock Duo or Group.[citation needed] It appears as 375 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".[16]

Lyrics controversy[edit]

The lyrics attracted controversy. The Inner London Education Authority described the song as "scandalous", and according to Renshaw, prime minister Margaret Thatcher "hated it".[10] Renshaw said: "There was a political knee-jerk reaction to a song that had nothing to do with the education system. It was [Waters'] reflections on his life and how his schooling was part of that."[10] The single, as well as the album The Wall, were banned in South Africa in 1980 after it was adopted by supporters of a nationwide school boycott protesting racial inequities in education under apartheid.[17][18]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Personnel, according to The Pink Floyd Encyclopedia.[53]

Part I

Part II

  • Roger Waters – bass, vocals (unison with Gilmour)
  • David Gilmour – guitar, vocals (unison with Waters)
  • Nick Mason – drums
  • Richard Wright – Hammond organ, Prophet-5 synthesiser

Part III

  • Roger Waters – bass, vocals, rhythm guitar
  • David Gilmour – lead guitar
  • Nick Mason – drums
  • Richard Wright – Prophet-5 synthesiser

Korn version[edit]

"Another Brick in the Wall, Pts. 1–3"
Korn - Another Brick In The Wall.jpg
Single by Korn
from the album Greatest Hits, Vol. 1
ReleasedDecember 2004
Recorded2004
GenreAlternative metal
Length7:08
LabelEpic
Songwriter(s)Roger Waters
Producer(s)
Korn singles chronology
"Word Up!"
(2004)
"Another Brick in the Wall, Pts. 1–3"
(2004)
"Twisted Transistor"
(2005)

Nu metal band Korn covered all three parts along with "Goodbye Cruel World" in 2004 for the compilation album Greatest Hits, Vol. 1. The cover was released as a single, peaking at #37 on the Alternative Songs chart and #12 on the Mainstream Rock chart. And this would also mark the last Korn single recorded with their full original lineup as Brian Welch departed the group in 2005 until his return in 2013. [54][55] A live music video was released to promote the single and was directed by Bill Yukich.[56]

Will Levith of Ultimate Classic Rock called Korn's cover "one of the worst covers of a classic-rock song of all time."[57] Jason Birchmeier of AllMusic described it as "overwrought, yet enticingly so".[58]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleLength
1."Another Brick in the Wall"7:08

Charts[edit]

Chart (2004) Peak
position
US (Billboard) Alternative Songs[59] 37
US (Billboard) Mainstream Rock[60] 12

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

Citations

  1. ^ "Rock Milestones: Pink Floyd – The Wall", The New York Times, retrieved 30 May 2010; Pink Floyd's Roger Waters Announces The Wall Tour, MTV, retrieved 30 May 2010; Top 14 Greatest Rock Operas/Concept Albums Of All Time, ign.com, retrieved 30 May 2010
  2. ^ Schaffner 1991, pp. 210–211
  3. ^ a b Rock and Pop Music. "Pink Floyd: 10 things you didn't know about the band, Telegraph, February 28th, 2012". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  4. ^ "Rock History 101: Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall, Part II"". Consequence of Sound. 2008-07-30. Retrieved 2018-12-13.
  5. ^ a b c d Simmons, Sylvie, ed. (October 2009). ""Good Bye Blue Sky", (Pink Floyd: 30th Anniversary, The Wall Revisited.)". Guitar World. Future. 30 (10): 79–80. Archived from the original on 13 May 2011.
  6. ^ Fitch & Mahon 2006, pp. 75–76.
  7. ^ a b Fielder 2013, p. 135.
  8. ^ Blake 2008, p. 273
  9. ^ a b "Pink Floyd pupils sue for royalties". Evening Standard. 2004-11-26. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
  10. ^ a b c "Kick against the bricks". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2004-12-30. Retrieved 2018-12-13.
  11. ^ "Just another brick in the wall?". 2007-10-02. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
  12. ^ a b "Payout after Pink Floyd leaves them kids alone". The Times. 13 March 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  13. ^ Robinson, Peter (2015-12-10). "Drugs, austerity and Thatcher – what Christmas No 1s tell us about Britain". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-12-13.
  14. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974–2003. Record Research. p. 203.
  15. ^ "Past Winners and Nominees – Film – Awards". BAFTA. Archived from the original on 10 January 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2010.
  16. ^ Rolling Stone: The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time Archived 8 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ "Counting out time Pink Floyd the wall – song was banned in South Africa in 1980". Dprp.net. 30 November 1979. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  18. ^ (UPI) "South Africa Bans Floyd's 'The Wall'" The New York Times 15 July 1980: C6
  19. ^ "The biggest hits that never made No. 1 in Australia". Daily Telegraph. 2 January 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  20. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  21. ^ "Ultratop.be – Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  22. ^ "RPM Volume 32, No. 26". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. 22 March 1980. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  23. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  24. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search charts". IRMA. 2008. To use, type "Another Brick in the Wall" in the "Search by Song Title" search var and click search. Archived from the original on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  25. ^ a b Mark Blake (2008). Da Capo Press Inc., ed. Comfortably Numb: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd. ISBN 978-0-306-81752-6.
  26. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 3, 1980" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  27. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  28. ^ "Charts.nz – Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  29. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)". VG-lista. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  30. ^ John Samson. "Another brick in the wall (part II) in South African Chart". Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  31. ^ Davidalic (12 February 2010). "Listas de superventas: 1980". AFE. Listas De Superventas. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  32. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  33. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  34. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  35. ^ "Pink Floyd Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  36. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 July 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  37. ^ "Lescharts.com – Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  38. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  39. ^ "Top 100 Singles (1980)". RPM. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  40. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts 1980" (in German). Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  41. ^ http://nztop40.co.nz/chart/?chart=3869
  42. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1980". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  43. ^ Billboard 20 December 1980: TIA-10
  44. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 April 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  45. ^ "French single certifications – Pink Floyd – Another Brick In The Wall" (in French). InfoDisc. Select PINK FLOYD and click OK. 
  46. ^ "Les Singles en Or :" (in French). Infodisc.fr. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  47. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Pink Floyd; 'Another Brick in the Wall')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  48. ^ "Italian single certifications – Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall (part 2)" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana.
  49. ^ "Sólo Éxitos 1959–2002 Año A Año: Certificados 1979–1990" (in Spanish). Iberautor Promociones Culturales. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  50. ^ "British single certifications – Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall Pt.2". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Another Brick in the Wall Pt.2 in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  51. ^ Lane, Dan (27 June 2013). "Daft Punk's Get Lucky becomes one of the UK's biggest selling singles of all-time!". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  52. ^ "American certifications – Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  53. ^ Fitch, Vernon (2005). 'The Pink Floyd Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). pp. 73, 76, 88. ISBN 1-894959-24-8.
  54. ^ "Korn Another Brick In The Wall Chart History - Alternative Songs". Billboard. Eldridge Industries. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  55. ^ "Korn Another Brick In The Wall Chart History - Mainstream Rock Songs". Billboard. Eldridge Industries. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  56. ^ ""Another Brick in the Wall, Pts. 1-3" by Korn | Music Video | VH1.com". VH1. Viacom Media Networks. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  57. ^ Levith, Will (29 August 2013). "Korn, 'Another Brick in the Wall' - Terrible Classic Rock Covers". Ultimate Classic Rock. Townsquare Media. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  58. ^ Birchmeier, Jason. "Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 - Korn". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  59. ^ "Korn Chart History - Alternative Songs". Billboard. Eldridge Industries. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  60. ^ "Korn Chart History - Mainstream Rock Songs". Billboard. Eldridge Industries. Retrieved 18 October 2018.

Sources

Further reading[edit]

  • Fitch, Vernon and Mahon, Richard, Comfortably Numb – A History of The Wall 1978–1981, 2006

External links[edit]