Pink Floyd 'The Wall': Waters' Endless 'Wall' Cover Story

The Wall is the most famous album recorded by Pink Floyd. Fans of the band know that there is a wall painted on its cover.

How the cover of the legendary album "The Wall" was created

Released in November 1979, an incomparable album, one of Pink Floyd's most beautiful, and to this day is considered the most successful rock masterpiece in the history of world music.

Roger Waters was the author of the iconic concept. However, the legendary "Wall" is example how several types of creativity merge together, giving the world a beautiful work of art.

The prominent British artist Gerald Scarfe also took active participation in the design of the envelope "The Wall".

Roger Waters
Roger Waters

Why the wall is so important to understanding the meaning of the album

The main theme of the album is a person's place in society. The wall is here block between people, which, as the plot develops in the album, people will have to destroy.

Plot narrates about a hero named Pink. He grew up without a father under the overprotection of his mother. During his school years, he faces violence from harsh teachers who vilely suppressed the child's personality and psyche.

As the boy grew up, he accumulated mental trauma. Each of them was a brick, and in the end this led to the fact that a wall was built between the hero and the world.

Later, the hero becomes a rock star, but his separation from the world intensifies through failed marriages, substance use, and temper tantrums. Unable to adapt to the world around him, Pink himself finishes building his wall and finally moving away from society.

Pink Floyd concert. Scenery of the destroyed "Wall"
Pink Floyd concert. Scenery of the destroyed "Wall"

Behind the wall, Pink falls into a deep depression, and due to constant hallucinations, he begins to consider himself a fascist dictator speaking at neo-Nazi rallies. Now the hero divides everyone into right and wrong. But in fact, he wants all this to happen soon. over.

Later, the hero managed to return emotions under control. Guilt begins to haunt him, and during another hallucination, Pink arranges a trial against himself, pronouncing a sentence - destroy wall and return to normal life.

From idea to implementation

It is very rare to find such an envelope cover, the design of which is closely bound with the music itself recorded on the record. But, speaking of the iconic "Wall" of Waters, it is impossible not to mention it grace.

The original Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters came up with the amazing concept. However, one should not forget about the work of Gerald Scarfe, one of the most talented British artists, who gave music a real shape, having issued album cover for The Wall.

Scarfe is the author of several surreal and slightly intimidating caricature illustrations that decorated album cover. The artist depicted something that echoed the inner world of Waters, with his quivering memories and hidden fears.

British experimental band fans knowthat this is not the first experience of cooperation "pinks" with Gerald Scarfe. For the first time the artist was involved in collaboration with Pink Floyd, when the group was hard at work on another cult record Wish You Were Nege. However, The Wall can be called the apotheosis of their creative team.

“Roger and I discussed this project for a very long time,” Scarf later recalled, “tried all kinds of options. I remember we played snooker in a friendly way, sipped beer, and meanwhile carefully developed ideas and exchanged our own visions about them. Did I have to convince Roger? In general, I can not remember such situations, because there was absolutely no need for this. It was really interesting for us to work together, and I hope I was a worthy partner.”

Surreal images in the Walls theme
Surreal images in the Walls theme

Working with Pink Floyd didn't mean for Gerald to blindly follow their will, beliefs and vision of the project. On the contrary, Scarfe was able to enjoy complete creative freedom.

“I have always offered my artistic vision of music,” continues Scarfe, “and Roger liked my ideas. I treated this person well, experiencing genuine friendly warmth in our relations. In general, we became great friends, which we remain to this day! As for the rest of the band, I don't think Dave Gilmour showed much interest in the artistic side of the work. He didn't care about the cover at all. Unfortunately, and perhaps fortunately, nothing touched him except the music itself.

Cover for The Wall
Cover for The Wall

“At that time, I was already well known, as they say, “by ear. This was largely due to my caustic satirical approach to portraying politicians and their reputation. Working on The Wall allowed me to expand the scope, go deeper and open up more possibilities in this aspect. The music from the album and these quirky, if slightly creepy caricatures complemented each other perfectly. As if by the type of yin-yang, they created a single harmonious concept. Both the illustrations and the music were interesting and beautiful in their own way, but together they created a kind of perfection.”

How harmonious, symbolic, and most importantly, productive there was a collaboration between Waters and Scarfe, can be judged from the picture, released in 1982. In fact, the musician simply transferred the frightening, but such attractive caricatures, to the big screen.

“The idea of giant walking hammers hit me hard, and Roger jumped right at it. He composed the corresponding verses, harmoniously resonating with this. These hammers seem to personify real strength, power. As for the project itself, it remains one of the most influential and impressive creations in the world of music to this day,” concludes Scarfe.

The concept of the album becomes more relevant every day...
The concept of the album becomes more relevant every day

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