The Pink Floyd album Roger Waters called “misery” to make

Any Pink Floyd album would normally require a small miracle to be released. Aside from the amazing progress the group achieved in their early years with Syd Barrett, his battles with mental illness and his exit from the group caused the other members of the group to struggle to find their voice on the next several albums. Roger Waters recalled the agony of recording one of the group’s latter albums, even though the group would go on to become one of the key figures in prog-rock.

Waters would be leading the charge for the next few years following Barrett’s passing. The band experimented with diverse instrumental timbres on albums like Ummagumma and Atom Heart Mother, but they didn’t have a direction until they released Meddle, an album that would later lead to the success of Dark Side of the Moon.

From then on, Waters would use his songs to express his thoughts, whether they were Wish You Were Here, where he talked about the death of his musician comrade, or Animals, where he called out dishonest businesspeople for their despicable behavior. No one was ready for what Waters had in mind for The Wall, even if the band was becoming more daring with each record.

Narrating a somewhat autobiographical story about a rock star isolating himself from society, Waters had strict control over the studio, ultimately dismissing keyboardist Richard Wright during the album’s recording. It was evident that the following experience would not be pleasant by the time the band embarked on the album’s supporting tour.

Using the leftovers from The Wall, The Final Cut would grow to become one of their most cherished albums. While Waters would later admit that it was a terrible experience to articulate what he wanted the musicians to achieve for the record, David Gilmour wondered why they were rewriting previous songs for their new album.

When talking about how he approached the studio, Waters would later lament the manner he produced The Final Cut, stating in 1987, “Making The Final Cut was misery. We didn’t work together at all. I had to do it more or less single-handed, working with Michael Kamen, my co-producer. That’s one of the few things that the ‘boys’ and I agreed on. But no one else would do anything about it.”

Following the album’s release by the band, Waters went on to pursue a solo career and released The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking, an album that included The Wall and was a concept he had proposed to his bandmates. The rest of the band realized they didn’t want to see Waters launch into a solo career while they salted their wounds.

Gilmour would take the lead in the band during the course of the albums A Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell, even bringing Wright back to the keyboards for a few years. The Final Cut is essentially Roger Waters’ first solo album, complete with the next Pink Floyd on the sleeve, even if the band was happy to express themselves as they pleased.

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