It’s one of my favorite albums. I still vividly remember the first time I heard it. I was walking through school after class one afternoon when the opening synthesizers of Shine On You Crazy Diamond came floating over the PA system. I was intrigued. I liked it, but it wasn’t until a few minutes into the piece when the tranquil atmosphere is pierced by Gilmour’s instantly recognizable guitar that I realized with a thrill Pink Floyd must have a new album out.
The album is usually seen as Waters’ mournful tribute to Syd Barrett, the band’s founder, but it resonates so broadly because it addresses the pressures, the compromises, and the fears all of us inevitably face.
I mean don’t we all from time to time feel like lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, threatened by shadows at night and exposed in the light, wondering if we’ve exchanged a walk on part in a war for a lead role in a cage?
And really, is there any better answer than shine on?