• If I should die, think only this of me:
    That there’s some corner of a foreign field
    That is for ever England.
    (Rupert Brooke)

    Count me in on the “masterpiece” side of evaluating this. It’s one of my beloved awkward great works (Husbands and Wives, A. I., Schizopolis, The Last Temptation of Christ) where an artist just seems to drop all mediation and confront the demons and possible pasts head-on. There’s no spectacle to this, something Pink Floyd got more and more into through The Wall; you could imagine Waters doing most of the album (“Not Now John” is the only exception) at a piano and the result would be much the same.

    “The Gunner’s Dream” just fucking wrecks me, every time–the callback to Brooke there puts it in the long pantheon of English patriotism. (See also: Orwell’s “The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius.”) Of course we know all the ugliness, racism, misogyny, and horror of that post-war dream, of course we know the cost, and we’re right; but for the few minutes of the song, and most of all in that childlike, almost Spielbergian wonder of the tone of Waters’ voice, we can hear that there was something irreducibly good and noble about it, and about those who died believing in it.

    We cannot just write off his final scene
    Take heed of the dream
    Take heed

    Spectacular job here, BurgundySuit. Thanks for this one.

  • John Bruni

    When this album came out after The Wall, I hoped it would correct the problems I had with The Wall, namely its conceptual overkill. And I get what Waters is doing in TFC, putting really venomous lyrics in songs that have fairly slick production values, like Randy Newman was doing on his 1983 record (which I’ll be discussing in about a week).

    The paradox that results is Waters’s supervising the creation of a record that feels personal and yet distant at the same time. There are some fine songs, like “Not Now John” that are expertly assembled, but the record feels like its plodding a bit, rather than racing, to the finish line.

  • Back when I was really into Pink Floyd, this was never one that I spent much time with. Roger Waters always struck me as a necessary creative voice for the band but also a corrosive force when he was given too much leeway, and even now, he kind of makes me roll my eyes. I should revisit this album, though–I’ve become much more understanding toward his worldview, and I’m curious how this would play for me now.

  • BurgundySuit

    Year of the Month update (from an idea by Elizabeth Lerner)!

    Here’s some things you can write up this month:

    https://letterboxd.com/films/year/1983/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_in_literature
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_in_music

    And here’s who’s writing!

    Feb 6th: Joseph Finn: WarGames
    Feb 7th: BurgundySuit: The Final Cut
    Feb 8th: Gillianren: Will Lee (Mr. Hooper)
    Feb 12th: BurgundySuit: El Sur
    Feb 13th: SCB0212: Return of the Jedi
    Feb 14th: Wallflower: Soundtracking – Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
    Feb 15th: John Bruni: Trouble in Paradise
    Feb 16th: Conor Malcolm Crockford: Videodrome
    Feb 19th: Balthazar Bee: Psycho II
    Feb 20th: Jacob Thomas Klemmer: Local Hero
    Feb 21st: Clytie: Eddie and the Cruisers
    Feb 26th: Ruck Colchez: A Christmas Story
    Feb 27th: Jacob Thomas Klemmer: L’Argent/Trading Places
    Feb 28th: BurgundySuit: Chartbusting!

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