Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd song)
|"Wish You Were Here"|
|Song by Pink Floyd from the album Wish You Were Here|
|Released||12 September 1975 (album)|
|Wish You Were Here track listing|
"Wish You Were Here" is the title track on Pink Floyd's 1975 album Wish You Were Here. Its lyrics encompass Roger Waters' feelings of alienation from other people and his distrust for the music industry. Like most of the album, it refers to former Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett and his breakdown. David Gilmour and Waters collaborated to write the music, and Gilmour sang the lead vocal. On June 14, 2013, the song was released as an unofficial promotional single on Spotify and when fans streamed it one million times, which happened after only four days, the rest of the band's catalogue was released.
In the original album version, the song segues from "Have a Cigar" as if a radio had been tuned away from one station, through several others (including a radio play and one playing Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony), and finally to a new station where "Wish You Were Here" is beginning. The radio was recorded from Gilmour's car radio. He performed the intro on a twelve-string guitar, processed to sound like it was playing through an AM radio, and then overdubbed a fuller-sounding acoustic guitar solo. This passage was mixed to sound as though a guitarist were listening to the radio and playing along. As the acoustic part becomes more complex, the 'radio broadcast' fades away and Gilmour's voice enters, becoming joined by the full band.
The intro riff is repeated several times, before Gilmour plays further solos with scat singing accompaniment. A third verse follows, featuring an increasingly expressive vocal from Gilmour and audible backing vocals. At the end of the recorded song, the final solo crossfades with wind sound effects, and finally segues into the second section of the multi-part suite "Shine On You Crazy Diamond". The song is in the key of G major.
The song includes the line: "Can you tell a green field/From a cold steel rail?", which is a reference to Syd Barrett's solo song, "If It's In You", from The Madcap Laughs album ("Hold you tighter so close/Yes you are/Please hold on to the steel rail").
'Wish You Were Here' was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, as part of the sessions for the entire album.
A noted part of the song was a planned contribution by Stéphane Grappelli. A jazz violinist popular at the time and well known for his collaborations with Yehudi Menuhin, both violinists were recording in a downstairs studio at Abbey Road at the time. Gilmour had suggested that there be a little "country fiddle" at the end of the song and invited them to participate. Grappelli duly obliged (Menuhin declined) on arranging a session fee of £300. Ultimately during mixing it was decided to almost remove his contribution, although it can just be heard around 5:21. His contribution is barely audible and he was not credited. According to Waters it was decided that it would be insulting to credit him for something so inaudible in the sleeve notes, although reportedly some group members did not realise the playing had been kept in any form. According to Waters, he received the agreed fee of £300. Grapelli was gay, and Gilmour has recalled being amused by Grapelli flirting with them during the session and enthusiastically haggling over the pay-rate.
As part of the Why Pink Floyd...? campaign, the Experience and Immersion versions of the Wish You Were Here album include an alternate version of the song where Grapelli's part is heard in the instrumental break after the second verse and throughout the third verse before a considerably extended outro. Other less obvious differences are audible, for example at the section leading into the second verse.
The master tape of the original recording includes an entire performance of pedal steel guitar, played by David Gilmour, that was not used in the final mix.
"Wish You Were Here" made its stage debut on the band's 1977 tour, which featured a performance of the entire album at every show. It was not played live by the band for nearly ten years after this, yet became a concert staple after its reappearance in 1987, and was performed at nearly all subsequent Pink Floyd concerts. In the original 1977 concert performances, Gilmour would play his Fender Stratocaster instead of acoustic guitar, while Snowy White played a twelve-string Ovation acoustic guitar. At these shows, Nick Mason tuned an actual transistor radio on stage to a local radio station, seguing into the pre-recorded part from the album to start the song and Richard Wright would perform an extended piano coda as the wind effects played. A live version is included on Pulse. When Pink Floyd were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Gilmour and Wright (Mason was in the audience) performed the song with the assistance of their presenter Billy Corgan on rhythm guitar.
"Wish You Were Here" was performed by Ed Sheeran with Mason on drums, Mike Rutherford of Genesis on guitar and Richard Jones of The Feeling on bass at the Closing Ceremony of 2012 Summer Olympics in London. A performer, dressed in a suit, tightrope-walked across the stadium and shook hands with a mannequin at the end, which then burst into flames, referencing the album's cover.
On 13 December 2014 David Gilmour was a guest performer at a concert by the Bombay Bicycle Club at Earls Court Arena, their concert being the final event ever to take place there before its demolition. Band member Jamie MacColl introduced Gilmour, saying; "This man gave me my first guitar and was one of the first people to play this venue and by my count has played here more than 27 times." Gilmour then played with the band on their song "Rinse Me Down" before a performance of "Wish You Were Here".
Other recorded versions by Pink Floyd
"Wish You Were Here" later appeared as the fifth track on A Collection of Great Dance Songs (with the radio intro following the end of a heavily edited "Shine On You Crazy Diamond") and as the 23rd track on the Echoes compilation (with the radio intro following "Arnold Layne", and at the end crossfading with "Jugband Blues").
A live recording included on the 1995 live album P•U•L•S•E was issued as a single/EP. Its intro replicates the sound of the original, semi-ambient intro. The cover of the EP features two men whose faces are distorted by fish bowls, referring to the line "We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year".
In 2005, Waters and Eric Clapton performed the song at the Tsunami Aid concert, and in 2005's Live 8, Waters rejoined his former bandmates in London to perform it, along with four other classic Pink Floyd songs.
- David Gilmour – six and twelve-string acoustic guitars, pedal steel guitar, tape effects, lead and backing vocals, scat singing
- Nick Mason – drums, tape effects
- Roger Waters – bass guitar, tape effects
- Richard Wright – Steinway piano, Minimoog
- Stéphane Grappelli – violin
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||48|
|Germany (Media Control AG)||67|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||68|
Wish You Were Here (Live)
|"Wish You Were Here (Live)"|
|Single by Pink Floyd|
|from the album Pulse|
|Released||20 July 1995|
|Recorded||20 September (Cinecittà, Rome), 1994|
|Pink Floyd singles chronology|
"Wish You Were Here (Live)" is a live recording of Pink Floyd's title track off their ninth studio album Wish You Were Here, recorded by the band for their third live album, Pulse. "Wish You Were Here (Live)" was released as a single on 20 July 1995 in the United Kingdom and Europe, notably the very last single released by the band until October 2014.
|1.||"Wish You Were Here (Live)"||5:40|
|2.||"Coming Back to Life (Live)"||6:40|
|1.||"Wish You Were Here (Live)"||5:40|
|2.||"Keep Talking (Live)"||6:54|
|Netherlands promotional single|
|1.||"Wish You Were Here (Live)"||5:40|
|US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks||13|
|Netherlands||20 July 1995||EMI||PFSING1 (CD-R)
7243 8 82207 2 9 (CD maxi)
7243 8 82207 2 9 (CD maxi)
Wyclef Jean version
|"Wish You Were Here"|
|Single by Wyclef Jean|
|from the album The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book|
|B-side||"No Woman, No Cry"|
|Released||3 December 2001|
|Wyclef Jean singles chronology|
"Wish You Were Here" served as the fourth and final single from Wyclef Jean's second studio album, The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book. It was released in December 2001, peaking at #28 on the UK Singles Chart.
- UK CD Single (672156 2)
- "Wish You Were Here" (Radio edit) – 4:04
- "No Woman, No Cry" (Live version) – 4:33
- "911" (Live version) – 4:23
- "Wish You Were Here" (Video) – 4:25
- UK Cassette (672156 5)
- "Wish You Were Here" (LP version) – 4:25
- "Perfect Gentleman" (Remix radio edit) – 3:59
Thom Yorke of Radiohead sings part of a cover with Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous. Yorke sang his part on the telephone from his hotel room. The track originally appeared on a CD of EMI artists covering songs by other EMI artists.
The joint venture of Los Coronas and Arizona Baby covered the song in their 2011 live album Dos Bandas y un Destino.
Alpha Blondy has a reggae version in which he uses a Scottish horn in line with the Rhythm guitar.
British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran performed a cover of this song at the Closing Ceremonies of the London Olympic Games in 2012 with Mike Rutherford, Richard Jones, David Arnold and Nick Mason on drums.
The Paraguayan band The Generation recorded a version for their EP Box Of Memories.
American/Canadian Celtic rock band the American Rogues has regularly performed the song live for years, with piano replacing the 12-string guitar and violin replacing the solo guitar. At the end the band seques into the Irish jig, Calliope House.
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- . ISBN 1617133949. Missing or empty
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Roy Harper wasn't the only special guest, or old friend to drop by the sessions. When it was discovered that classical violinists Yehudi Menuhin and Stéphane Grappelli were recording a duet at Abbey Road, [David] Gilmour suggested Grappelli come in and play a final violin coda to the song 'Wish You Were Here'. Grappelli haggled over his fee but finally settled at £300. In the end, his playing is virtually inaudible on the final mix. 'It was terrific fun, though,' recalled Gilmour. 'Avoiding his wandering hands.'
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- "Norwegiancharts.com – Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here". VG-lista.
- "Austriancharts.at – Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
- "Lescharts.com – Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here" (in French). Les classement single.
- "Die ganze Musik im Internet".
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- "Wish You Were Here (Live) (CD, Single)". Pink Floyd. Discogs. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- "Wish You Were Here (Live) (CD, Maxi-Single)". Pink Floyd. Discogs. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- "Wish You Were Here (Live) (CD, Single, Promo)". Pink Floyd. Discogs. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
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- UK Singles — 1952–2011, UK/US Charts
- Prunes, Mariano. "Dos Bandas y un Destino: El Concierto - Arizona Baby, Los Coronas : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
- "The Antlers cover Pink Floyd". Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- http://www.abc.com.py/edicion-impresa/artes-espectaculos/lanzan-hoy-cd-de-rock-acustico-1211506.html/ Retrieved 4 February 2014
- Wish You Were Here...Wish You'd Go Away. Allmusic.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd album)|
- Pink Floyd's version on Last.fm
- Wyclef Jean's version on Last.fm
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics