Being present in one's own life and freeing one's self in order to truly experience life is a main topic in this song. Gilmour, on the other hand, recognizes that he does not ever perform the song without remembering Syd Barrett.
Waters later adds that the song is nevertheless open to interpretation. Roger Waters has noted that the collaboration between himself and David Gilmour on the song was " All bits of it are really, really good. I'm very happy about it. A jazz violinist popular at the time and well known for his collaborations with Yehudi Menuhin , both violinists were recording in a downstairs studio at Abbey Road at the time. Gilmour had suggested that there be a little "country fiddle" at the end of the song and invited them to participate.
According to Waters it was decided that it would be insulting to credit Grappelli in the sleeve notes for something so inaudible, although he did receive the agreed-upon fee. As part of the Why Pink Floyd? Other less obvious differences are audible, for example at the section leading into the second verse.
The master tape of the original recording includes guitar solos that were not used in the final mix. It was not played live by the band for nearly ten years after this, yet became a concert staple after its reappearance in , and was performed at nearly all subsequent Pink Floyd concerts.
In the original concert performances, Gilmour would play his Fender Stratocaster instead of acoustic guitar, while Snowy White played a twelve-string Ovation acoustic guitar. At these shows, Nick Mason tuned an actual transistor radio on stage to a local radio station, seguing into the pre-recorded part from the album to start the song and Richard Wright would perform an extended piano coda as the wind effects played.
Menuhin watched as Grappelli played on the song "Wish You Were Here"; however, the band later decided his contribution was unsuitable and, until , it was believed that the piece had been wiped.
Recording sessions had twice been interrupted by US tours one in April and the other in June ,  and the final sessions, which occurred after the band's performance at Knebworth , proved particularly troublesome for Waters. His problems stemmed in part from the stresses placed upon his voice while recording the lead vocals of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond". Gilmour was asked to sing in his place,  but declined, and eventually colleague and friend Roy Harper was asked to stand in.
Harper was recording his own album in another of Abbey Road's studios, and Gilmour had already performed some guitar licks for him. Waters later regretted the decision, believing he should have performed the song.
Roy Harper, performing at the same event, on discovering that his stage costume was missing, proceeded to destroy one of Pink Floyd's vans, injuring himself in the process.
This delayed the normal setup procedure of the band's sound system. As a pair of World War II Supermarine Spitfire had been booked to fly over the crowd during their entrance, the band were not able to delay their set. The result was that a power supply problem pushed Wright's keyboards completely out of tune, damaging the band's performance. At one point he left the stage, but the band were able to continue with a less sensitive keyboard, a piano and a simpler light show.
Following a brief intermission, they returned to perform The Dark Side of the Moon , but critics displeased about being denied access backstage savaged the performance. Storm Thorgerson had accompanied the band on their tour and had given serious thought to the meaning of the lyrics, eventually deciding that the songs were, in general, concerned with "unfulfilled presence", rather than Barrett's illness.
Thorgerson had noted that Roxy Music 's Country Life was sold in an opaque green cellophane sleeve — censoring the cover image — and he copied the idea, concealing the artwork for Wish You Were Here in a black-coloured shrink-wrap therefore making the album art "absent". The concept behind "Welcome to the Machine" and "Have a Cigar" suggested the use of a handshake an often empty gesture , and George Hardie designed a sticker containing the album's logo of two mechanical hands engaged in a handshake, to be placed on the opaque sleeve the mechanical handshake logo would also appear on the labels of the vinyl album this time in a black and blue background.
The album's cover images were photographed by Aubrey "Po" Powell, Storm's partner at the design studio Hipgnosis, and inspired by the idea that people tend to conceal their true feelings, for fear of "getting burned", and thus two businessmen were pictured shaking hands, one man on fire. Two stuntmen were used Ronnie Rondell and Danny Rogers , one dressed in a fire-retardant suit covered by a business suit. His head was protected by a hood, underneath a wig. The photograph was taken at the Warner Bros.
The two stuntmen changed positions, and the image was later reversed. The album's back cover depicts a faceless "Floyd salesman", in Thorgerson's words, "selling his soul" in the desert shot in the Yuma Desert in California again by Aubrey "Po" Powell. The absence of wrists and ankles signifies his presence as an "empty suit".
The inner sleeve shows a veil concealing a nude woman in a windswept Norfolk grove, and a splash-less diver at Mono Lake — titled Monosee the German translation of Mono Lake on the liner notes — in California again emphasising the theme of absence. EMI were less concerned;   the band were reportedly extremely happy with the end product, and when presented with a pre-production mockup, they accepted it with a spontaneous round of applause.
On release, the album received mixed reviews. Ben Edmunds wrote in Rolling Stone that the band's "lackadaisical demeanor" leaves the subject of Barrett "unrealised; they give such a matter-of-fact reading of the goddamn thing that they might as well be singing about Roger Waters's brother-in-law getting a parking ticket. A positive review came from Robert Christgau in The Village Voice : "The music is not only simple and attractive, with the synthesizer used mostly for texture and the guitar breaks for comment, but it actually achieves some of the symphonic dignity and cross-referencing that The Dark Side of the Moon simulated so ponderously.
It has soul, that's why — it's Roger Waters's lament for Syd, not my idea of a tragic hero but as long as he's Roger's that doesn't matter.
Wish You Were Here has since been frequently regarded as one of the greatest albums. According to Acclaimed Music , it is the th-most ranked record on critics' all-time lists. Wish You Were Here was voted number one. The record unfolds gradually, as the jazzy textures of "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" reveal its melodic motif, and in its leisurely pace, the album shows itself to be a warmer record than its predecessor.
If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Live at the Empire Pool. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. Progressive rock. The Wall A Collection of Great Dance Songs The Final Cut Phang photo. The selection of band photos on the inside cover also varies, with some copies including a photo of a shirtless, disturbed-looking Syd Barrett from The Madcap Laughs cover photo session, while others replace it with a photo of a smiling Barrett sitting by a car.
The album was the band's next US release after The Dark Side of the Moon , and introduced new fans to the earlier psychedelic sound of the Syd Barrett period of Pink Floyd, which contrasted greatly to the style of their more recent work.
All songs by Syd Barrett , except where noted. Cassette versions in the UK feature Piper on side one and Saucerful on side two. For the US versions, "Bike" was moved to the beginning of side two, due to the longer running length of "Astronomy Domine" on this version. The US 8-track version alters the running order more radically.Wish You Were Here is one of Pink Floyd's most soulful albums, maybe second to Dark Side of the Moon. It has a short list of songs, but all of the songs are gems. Wish You Were Here was the band's dedication to Sid Barret, but it can apply to anyone in our lives/5(2).