Have a Cigar

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"Have a Cigar"
Pink Floyd - Have A Cigar.jpg
Single by Pink Floyd featuring Roy Harper
from the album Wish You Were Here
B-side "Welcome to the Machine" (US single)
"Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Part I)" (Italian and French singles)
Released 15 November 1975
Format 7"
Recorded January–July 1975 at Abbey Road Studios, London
Genre Progressive rock, psychedelic rock, blues rock
Length 5:08
4:24 (Edit)
Label Harvest (UK)
Columbia/CBS (US)
Writer(s) Roger Waters
Producer(s) Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd singles chronology
"Us and Them" / "Time"
(1973)
"Have a Cigar"
(1975)
"Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)"
(1979)
French and Italian Issue

"Have a Cigar" is the third track on Pink Floyd's 1975 album Wish You Were Here.[1][2] It follows "Welcome to the Machine" and on the original LP opened side two. In some markets, the song was issued as a single.

English folk singer Roy Harper provided lead vocals on the song. It was one of only two Pink Floyd recordings to feature guest lead vocals, the other being "The Great Gig in the Sky" with Clare Torry, though the latter piece featured no lyrics.

Composition and recording[edit]

The song's music and lyrics were written by Roger Waters in critique of hypocrisy and greed within the music business. The music is more straightforwardly rock-oriented than the rest of the album, beginning with a churning riff played on electric guitar and bass. The track is filled out with additional guitar, electric piano and synthesizer parts to create a rock texture.

"Have a Cigar" concludes with a guitar solo, which is interrupted by a synthesizer filter-sweep sound effect as the music reduces in volume to tinny, AM radio-like levels. Finally, the song ends with the sound of a radio being dialled off-station; this effect is used as a transition to the title track, "Wish You Were Here".

The song's lead vocals are performed by Roy Harper. Both Waters and David Gilmour had each attempted to sing the song on separate takes, as well as on a duet version (available on the 2011 Experience and Immersion editions of Wish You Were Here), but they were unhappy with the results. Harper was recording his album HQ in Studio 2 of Abbey Road at the same time as Pink Floyd were working in Studio 3, and Roy Harper offered to sing the part as Gilmour has already provided some guitar licks for Roy ("...for a price").[3] The song is one of only two songs by the band which is not sung by one of their permanent members, the other being "The Great Gig in the Sky".

Live[edit]

Harper performed the song with the band on one occasion, the group's 1975 Knebworth Festival appearance, during the period Wish You Were Here was being recorded.

The song was performed on the band's 1975 North American tours sandwiched in between the multi-part "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" with Gilmour and Waters singing lead. It was last performed by the band on the 1977 In the Flesh/Animals Tour, as part of the Wish You Were Here set with Waters on lead vocals, Gilmour on backing vocals and rhythm guitar and Snowy White playing the guitar solos.

Waters has played the song on many of his solo tours (one exception being the 1999–2002 In the Flesh tour).

Personnel[edit]

with:

Quotes[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1975) Peak
position
US Cash Box Looking Ahead [5] 119
US Record World Singles Chart 101–150 [5] 126

Cover versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2004). The Great Rock Discography (7th ed.). Edinburgh: Canongate Books. p. 1177. ISBN 1-84195-551-5. 
  2. ^ Mabbett, Andy (1995). The Complete Guide to the Music of Pink Floyd. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-4301-X. 
  3. ^ The Story of Wish You Were Here. 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (Songbook. 1975 Pink Floyd Music Publishers Ltd., London, England. ISBN 0-7119-1029-4 (USA ISBN 0-8256-1079-6).
  5. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2015). The Comparison Book. Menonomee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 393. ISBN 978-0-89820-213-7. 
  6. ^ "Connections: Have A Cigar: Interview - August 2011". Metamatic.com. Retrieved 2012-03-03. 
  7. ^ "John Foxx & The Maths - Have A Cigar - News". Mojo4music.com. 2011-08-25. Retrieved 2012-03-03. 

External links[edit]