Band-members are like the ingredients of a cake: get it wrong, and the result is bland or sickly. It’s about getting people together who make each other feel comfortable, who can inspire the audience, and who can deflate the ego of an overindulgent songwriter. The producer is the mould. If you pour cake mix onto a baking tray, you’ll end up with a flat, sticky mess. Some producers are like old-fashioned round cake tins, providing a strong but subtle structure that simply allows the flavours to emerge. Others make fancy shapes, so vibrant and daring that its cakeness comes second to its art-form. Like the line-up, the right producer for your band is the one that fits your personal dynamic, and brings out the best in what you, uniquely, have to offer.
I’m going to keep this fairly brief because it’s sold 23 million copies in the US alone, so you probably already know what it sounds like. Like Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, it’s such a landmark in the sonic landscape that I barely notice it any more. I dimly recall Another Brick In The Wall Pt 2 being number one when I was three, and really got into the album when I was 10, but I realised it’s been about a decade since I listened to it and being prompted to by another epic concept album (Foetus’s HIDE), I thought it was time to dust it off.
My first thought was that it has aged really badly, and the first half of the album is actually pretty ordinary rock music that sounds very of its era. I thought there must have been something about it that I loved so much, and as the album progressed it struck me that the worse character Pink’s mental state is, the better the music sounds – not least because it becomes musically more ambitious, complex and bombastic.
This full clip here marks the turning point where it really starts to get good: