Hmmm - What's this?
Pink Floyd Online

Comprehensive and Interactive Fan Site | shortcut:


Wish You Were Here

“Shine On You Crazy Diamond”

“Shine On” was originally supposed to be a side-long composition, but it grew to more than a side (it’s about 30 min. long), and the band decided that it’d work better with the three other songs in the middle. In any event, the song is divided into nine parts, but naturally it’s rather difficult to tell where they start and end. Here is something, pulled from Guitar magazine by Chris Walsh, that should help figure them out:

Part I Orchestra-like keyboard chords, some synth horn.
Part II Begins with “Syd’s Theme”, the four note (Dah DAH dah DAH…) riff that is repeated throughout this part of the song. (3:35)
Part III Rick’s synth horn solo. (6:29)
Part IV Vocal section. (8:42)
Part V Sax solo. (11:10)
Part VI Odd-sounding synth, then goes into some decent lap steel by Gilmour.
Part VII Second vocal section. (4:52)
Part VIII Rather jazzy synths. (6:04)
Part IX Closing funeral dirge-like synth horn solo. (9:09)

There is also an alternate scheme, given by the WYWH piano song book. In this arrangement, the first five parts are as follows:
Part I – Rick’s opening synth solo Part II – Dave’s first solo (the soft one) Part III – “Syd’s Theme” Part IV – Rick’s synth horn solo, followed by a Dave solo Part V – Roger’s vocals, and sax solo

This seems a little odd to me, and music books aren’t noted for their accuracy. On the other hand, neither is Gilmour’s memory ;) At any rate, going by Dave’s indexing, the ACoGDS version consists of parts I, II, IV and VII. The DSoT version, by either scheme, consists of parts I-V.

Below are excerpts from the interview with David Gilmour:

“Side one begins with “Shine On, You Crazy Diamond”, the ambitious nine-part epic song cycle. ‘Part I’ commences with an opening orchestra prelude…” “David Gilmour’s blues-infected guitar voice enters (at 2:09) in response to the horn line, as if to officially announce the sound of Pink Floyd.”… “A strong thematic idea, affectionately dubbed ‘Syd’s Theme’, is played at 3:35 and signals the beginning of ‘Part II’.”… “In ‘Part III’ (6:29), a hint of the funeral mood of the coda is heard in the somber horn melody of the next blues transformation – now a slow straightforward G-minor blues 12-bar…” “‘Shine On, You Crazy Diamond, Part IV’ contains the classic vocal sound of the cycle (8:42).”… “At 11:10, a model jazz sax solo, by guest performer Dick Parry, is brought in, improvising over the drone of ‘Syd’s Theme’, signaling a transition to ‘Shine On, You Crazy Diamond, Part V'”… “The overlapping synth noise is a segue back to ‘Shine On, You Crazy Diamond, Part VI.'”… “By 2:32, the slide guitar dominates [Part VI] and delivers two dramatic choruses of portamento bottleneck lines over the new 12/8 shuffle feel, setting up the move to ‘Part VII’. Here, a recap of the guitar melody from ‘Part IV’ acts as a retransition [into the vocal theme]”… “In ‘Part VIII’, a finger picked arpeggio variant of ‘Syd’s Theme’ is heard (6:04) over a sustaining synth tone. This creates a transition to a new mood (6:30), a strutting G-minor jazz/funk groove..”… “The last section (coda), ‘Part IX’, is introduced by a synth pedal point, which grows in volume as the previous groove dissipates. A slow 4/4 funeral march (9:08) becomes the parting musical eulogy to Syd.”
The 4 note theme (Syd’s them) is taken from the signature tune of BBC radio program Take It From There.
“Have A Cigar”

Roy Harper is a “street singer” from England, popular in the 1970’s. Waters didn’t like the way he was singing “Have a Cigar,” and Harper was in another studio at the time making an album. So, they brought Harper in, and had him sing it. Though Waters said that Harper did “very well,” he also now feels it would have been better to keep the song within the band.

Harper performed with the band at their 1975 Knebworth concert (which was the last performance of _Dark Side of the Moon_ with Roger Waters). Upon discovering that his stage costume had been stolen, he threw a tantrum, ripping upholstery and breaking the windows of one of the tour vans. During this he cut his band badly — an incident which inspired the hotel- ravaging scene in “The Wall.”

A bit more information, courtesy of Scott Lindsey:

Harper is much more a song-writer than a musician, in the same way Bob Dylan is. He’s been recording since the late 60’s and has released about 18 or so albums, including the duo effort with Page, “What Ever Happened to Jugula?” which also featured Gilmour. Like Dylan, he doesn’t have the greatest voice, but it is somewhat unique, albeit not as recognizable as Dylan’s. Much of his released material is simply vocal with acoustic guitar. He’s very British and at times very political — very much the cynic. His music isn’t for just anyone and for some is an acquired taste. What some find “pointed” others find “grating.”

Harper also helped out David Gilmour on his first solo album, helping to write and sing “Short and Sweet” (and Gilmour has worked extensively on Harper’s albums). He appears on Gilmour’s live tour video. He is also the subject of a Led Zeppelin song, “Hats Off to Roy Harper,” from their third album.

There’s a Roy Harper mailing list, called “Stormcock.” You can subscribe by sending a message containing the line “subscribe Stormcock” to the address “”

There’s also WWW page;

Comment about ‘Wish You Were Here’


You must be logged in to post a comment.