Young Lust (song)

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"Young Lust"
Young Lust Pink Floyd.jpg
"Young Lust" cover
Song by Pink Floyd from the album The Wall
Published Pink Floyd Music Publishers Ltd
  • 30 November 1979 (1979-11-30) (UK)
  • 8 December 1979 (US)
Recorded April–November, 1979
  • 3:25
  • 3:56 (Italian single version)[1]

"Young Lust" is a song by Pink Floyd.[2] It appeared on The Wall album in 1979.[2] This song was one of several to be considered for the band's "best of" album, Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd.[3]


"Young Lust" is a blues-inflected hard rock number in E minor, approximately 3 minutes, 25 seconds in length. The lead vocals in the song 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 is one of the few Pink Floyd songs in which Gilmour plays the bass in the original studio version.

On the album, the preceding song, "Empty Spaces", ends with an abrupt transition into "Young Lust".

The guitar lick at the end of the second verse ("Oooh, baby set me free") has been played live at the end of the final solo in "Learning to Fly."


The Wall tells the story of Pink, an embittered and alienated rock star.[2] 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, 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.[4]

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 faithlessness. 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[2]) 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.



  • Chris Fitzmorris – male telephone voice[5]

Cover versions[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Vernon Fitch, Pink Floyd: Italian Vinyl Singles Discography, The Pink Floyd Archives, 1997–2009.
  2. ^ a b c d Mabbett, Andy (1995). The Complete Guide to the Music of Pink Floyd. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-4301-X. 
  3. ^ Guthrie, James. "James Guthrie: Audio: Building A Compilation Album". Pink Floyd. Archived from the original on 2 June 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  4. ^ 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
  5. ^ a b c d e Fitch, Vernon and Mahon, Richard, Comfortably Numb – A History of The Wall 1978–1981, 2006, p.84.
  6. ^ "Pink Floyd — The Wall". BBC. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  7. ^ "Artist Chart History (singles) — Bryan Adams". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  8. ^ Bryan Adams cover on YouTube.
  9. ^ Ray Padgett, Full Albums: Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Pt. 1, Cover Me Songs, 15 September 2010.

External links[edit]