Young Lust (song)

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"Young Lust"
Young Lust Pink Floyd.jpg
Song by Pink Floyd
from the album The Wall
PublishedPink Floyd Music Publishers Ltd
  • 30 November 1979 (1979-11-30) (UK)
  • 8 December 1979 (US)
RecordedApril–November, 1979
  • 3:25 (album version)
  • 3:56 (Italian single version)[3]
"Young Lust" on YouTube

"Young Lust" is a song by English rock band Pink Floyd, released in 1979.[4][5] It is the ninth track on the band's eleventh studio album The Wall (1979).[4][5] The lyrics to the song are about the band throwing themselves into the headlong of hedonism, sex, drugs, and rock and roll.[6]


"Young Lust" is a blues-inflected hard rock number in E minor, approximately three minutes, 25 seconds in length. Lead vocals are sung by David Gilmour, with background vocals from Roger Waters during the chorus. The lyrics are about a "rock-and-roll refugee" seeking casual sex to relieve the tedium of touring. It's one of few Pink Floyd songs in which Gilmour plays bass guitar and one of three songs Gilmour co-wrote for The Wall. On the album, the preceding song, "Empty Spaces," ends with an abrupt transition into "Young Lust."

An extended 7" single version was released in Italy, South Africa and Rhodesia. It was 3:58 in length and included a 12-bar instrumental intro with a simple 16-beat drum rhythm that leads into an 8-bar guitar intro. The final 32-bar outro is unobscured by the phone call that is on the album version.[7]


The Wall tells the story of Pink, an embittered and alienated rock star.[4] At this point in the album's narrative, Pink has achieved wealth and fame, and is usually away from home, due to the demands of his career as a touring performer. He is having casual sex with groupies to relieve the tedium of the road, and is living a separate life from his wife.

The end of the song is a segment of dialogue between Pink and a telephone operator, as Pink twice attempts to place a transatlantic collect call to his wife. A man answers, and when the operator asks if he will accept the charges, the man simply hangs up. This is how Pink learns that his wife is cheating on him. ("See, he keeps hanging up," says the operator. "And it's a man answering!") With this betrayal, his mental breakdown accelerates.

The dialogue with the operator was the result of an arrangement co-producer James Guthrie made with a neighbour in London, Chris Fitzmorris,[7] while the album was being recorded in Los Angeles. He wanted realism, for the operator to actually believe they had caught his wife having an affair, and so didn't inform her she was being recorded. The operator heard in the recording is the second operator they tried the routine with, after the first operator's reaction was deemed unsatisfactory.[8]

Film version[edit]

In the film, the scene with the attempted phone call, in which Pink learns his wife is cheating on him, occurs at the very beginning of the song "What Shall We Do Now", which is the extended version of "Empty Spaces", before the "Young Lust" song rather than at the end of the "Young Lust" song. The implications of the song are therefore slightly different. On the album, he is already unfaithful to his wife while on tour, making him a hypocrite when he is appalled at her own unfaithfulness. In the film, he is only seen with a groupie after he learns of his wife's affair, which shows the character in a more sympathetic light.

In the film, several groupies (including a young Joanne Whalley, in her film debut[4]) seduce security guards and roadies to get backstage passes, where one of them (Jenny Wright) ends up going with Pink (Bob Geldof) to his room.


Pink Floyd[edit]

Extra musicians[edit]

  • Chris Fitzmorris – male telephone voice

Personnel per Vernon Fitch and Richard Mahon.[9]

Original phone call made by USA-FM (circa 1970s)

Cover versions[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Fitch, Vernon. The Pink Floyd Encyclopedia (3rd edition), 2005. ISBN 1-894959-24-8.


  1. ^ Moskowitz, David V. (2015). The 100 Greatest Bands of All Time: A Guide to the Legends Who Rocked the World. ABC-CLIO. p. 461. ISBN 978-1-4408-0340-6.
  2. ^ Wawzenek, Bryan (4 September 2018). "All 167 Pink Floyd Songs Ranked Worst to Best". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  3. ^ Vernon Fitch, Pink Floyd: Italian Vinyl Singles Discography, The Pink Floyd Archives, 1997–2009.
  4. ^ a b c d Mabbett, Andy (1995). The Complete Guide to the Music of Pink Floyd. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-4301-X.
  5. ^ a b "The Wall by Pink Floyd". Genius. Retrieved 2022-02-28.
  6. ^ "Young Lust – The Wall Analysis". Retrieved 2022-02-28.
  7. ^ a b Yawnick, Marty (17 March 2016). "The Long Version of Young Lust with Extended Intro". The Wall Complete. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  8. ^ Pink Floyd: Through The Eyes Of . . . The Band, Its Fans, Friends, and Foes, edited by Bruno MacDonald. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1996. ISBN 0-306-80780-7
  9. ^ Fitch, Vernon and Mahon, Richard, Comfortably Numb – A History of The Wall 1978–1981, 2006, p.84.
  10. ^ "Pink Floyd — The Wall". BBC. 10 November 2005. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  11. ^ "Bryan Adams". Billboard. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  12. ^ Bryan Adams cover on YouTube.
  13. ^ Ray Padgett, Full Albums: Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Pt. 1, Cover Me Songs, 15 September 2010.
  14. ^ "I Want to Be a Woman".

External links[edit]