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Almost 10 years to the day since the release of The Dark Side Of The Moon, Pink Floyd’s album The Final Cut was released. A decade earlier, the material for Dark Side had been worked up thoroughly on the road, and all four band members had writing credits on the record. With The Final Cut, the group – a trio, following the sacking of keyboard player Rick Wright – had become, through default more than by design, a method of carriage for the words and music by de facto leader Roger Waters alone, with session musicians featured heavily throughout its recording.
The album had few discernible hooks, no standout commercial moment, and Floyd never played anything from it live. Initially that didn’t stop the Floyd juggernaut. Fans worldwide had been waiting three and a half years for a new album, their longest wait to date. And so, on its release in March 1983, The Final Cut became Pink Floyd’s first UK No.1 album since 1975’s Wish You Were Here. Rolling Stone gave it the full five stars, and suggested that it might be “art rock’s crowning masterpiece”.
But the juggernaut would soon jackknife. The Final Cut disappeared almost as soon as it arrived, leaving the album, a single and a 19-minute ‘video album’ as its only footprints. There were no promotional appearances, no group publicity photographs, no tour. But it soon became Exhibit A in the painful, public breakdown of one of the world’s biggest and most successful groups.
Through the fish-eyed lens of tear stained eyes I can barely define the shape of this moment in time And far from flying high in clear blue skies I'm spiraling down to the hole in the ground where I hide
If you negotiate the minefield in the drive And beat the dogs and cheat the cold electronic eyes And if you make it past the shotgun in the hall Dial the combination, open the priest hole And if I'm in I'll tell you (what's behind the wall)
There's a kid who had a big hallucination Making love to girls in magazines He wonders if you're sleeping with your new found faith Could anybody love him Or is it just a crazy dream?
And if I show you my dark side Will you still hold me tonight? And if I open my heart to you And show you my weak side What would you do? Would you sell your story to Rolling Stone? Would you take the children away And leave me alone? And smile in reassurance As you whisper down the phone? Would you send me packing? Or would you take me home?
Thought I oughta bare my naked feelings Thought I oughta tear the curtain down I held the blade in trembling hands Prepared to make it but just then the phone rang I never had the nerve to make the final cut