Craig Allen’s Fun Facts: “Another Brick In The Wall”
Ah..."The Wall"...from Pink Floyd.
I have the album on original 1980 vinyl...on 1990's CD...and the MOVIE on 1980's-era video disc! That's multi-media coverage!
"Another Brick In The Wall" is another one of "Jersey's Favorite Hits."
And, it has quite a story to go with it!
Pink Floyd formed in England in 1965...with David Gilmour on guitar, Roger Waters on bass, Nick Mason on drums, and Rick Wright on keyboards. This is the lineup as "The Wall" debuts...
Roger Waters wrote "Another Brick In The Wall."
It showcases his feelings about education...formed early on, while he attended the "Cambrigeshire School For Boys."
He grew to hate his teachers...feeling that they were more interested in keeping the kids quiet, than teaching them!
"The Wall" refers to the wall that Waters built around himself, as he says that he wasn't in touch with reality.
The bricks in the wall were meant to represent the events in Waters' life that caused him to...wall himself off from others.
His school teacher was just "another brick in the wall."
In a 2009 interview, Roger Waters said that "Another Brick In The Wall" was meant to be satirical. Saying that no one is more pro-education than he is, Waters explains that the "boys school...was very controlling and demanded rebellion." Plus, the teachers were "easy targets."
Its also meant to be "a rebellion against errant government, against people who have power over you, who are wrong."
The song's chorus is made up of 23 kids, aged 13 through 15...from a school in Islington, England.
How were they chosen?
The school was close to the recording studio!
Further, they were over-dubbed 12 times...making it sound like a LOT more kids were singing!
Bob Ezrin, Pink Floyd's producer, had the idea for the choir of kids...he had done it with "School's Out" by Alice Cooper (another of Jersey's Favorite Hits!). He liked the idea of using kids voices on a song about school. So did Roger Waters.
But wait...there's more!
There was some controversy when it was learned that the chorus was not paid.
And, teachers (and the school) weren't happy that the kids were singing an anti-school song.
In the end, the chorus was given some recording time at the studio in exchange for their participation...the school was given 1,000 (British) pounds, and a platinum record.
The "beat," the disco beat (remember its 1979/1980) was suggested by producer Ezrin.
It turns out that Ezrin is a fan of Chic...and he was influenced by the work of Nile Rogers!
The beat...was totally unexpected...as Pink Floyd is a band whose music you listen to...not dance to...
Add to that...the fact that "Another Brick In The Wall' was released as a single. Pink Floyd is an album band...a concept album band. Rarely would they release an album track as a single ("Money" from "The Dark Side Of the Moon" went to #13 in 1973).
Once again, this is the handiwork of producer Bob Ezrin, who convinced the guys that "Another Brick In The Wall" could stand on its own. And, that it would not hurt album sales.
"Another Brick In The Wall" would be Pink Floyd's only #1 song!
Released in England in November 1979, it would be that last #1 song on the UK Charts for the 1970's!
Here in NJ, "Another Brick In The Wall" would hit the airwaves in early January of 1980...It would reach #1 for the week of March 22, 1980...and stay at #1 for 4 weeks!
Not bad...for a band that didn't like to put out songs as "singles!"
Would you like a few MORE "Fun Facts?"
When the guys first recorded "Another Brick In The Wall," it was SHORT!
It clocked in at a minute and 20 seconds! (OOPS!!)
Again, Bob Ezrin steps in...the guys wanting to leave it alone...the producer wanting it longer.
So...when the band left the studio...Ezrin made the short song longer, by adding the kids as the second verse, he added some drums as fill, and copied the first chorus to the end of the song.
Thankfully, Roger Waters liked his producers'...additional production!
I will think about this every time I play this 1980 hit on New Jersey 101.5 (like above)!
In concert, Roger Waters would sing lead on "Another Brick In The Wall." When he left the band for a solo career in 1984, David Gilmour stepped up.
The line "We don't need no education" is (of course) grammatically incorrect. As sung, it means: "We need education." Perhaps, this is a commentary on the education of Roger Waters' youth? I'm just putting it out there...
On July 21, 1990, Roger Waters performed "Another Brick In The Wall" in a stage production of "The Wall" in Berlin...to commemorate the destruction of the Berlin Wall!