Music is a fluid art. For decades, even centuries, musicians have honored their idols by adapting beloved songs to enhance, salute, or improve them. Did they succeed? You decide!
Pink Floyd’s album “The Wall” has stood the test of time, and is even today considered one of the greatest albums of all time. The double-album opera focuses on a young man named Pink, growing up as an anti-social kid after his father was killed in war. He decides to build a “Wall” around himself, to keep out the pain of the world around him. Part 1 (Called “Reminiscing”) includes looking back on what kind of life his father’s left for his family after dying. Part 2 (“Education”) is a song protesting the harsh schooling in the UK, which tended toward demeaning and dominating the children more than educating them and preparing them for life. Finally, Part 3 (“Drugs”) comes after Pink’s wife (and, symbolically, the world) has betrayed him, and he’s seen “the writing on the wall.” He doesn’t think he needs anybody or anything else, and can simply live out his life behind his own wall.
The 3-part “Another Brick in the Wall” series consists of 3 different tracks (3, 5, and 12) on the album’s A-Side. This is worth noting, because taken together and combined, the storyline of the 3 tracks is slightly disjointed, as the story told by the album is better enjoyed as a whole story, not chopped into single songs. That being said, the cover version includes the 3 parts of “Another Brick” plus “Goodbye, Cruel World”, so I’ve tried to combine those and compare them side-by-side.
BIGGEST RISK: Combining the four separate tracks into one and making it work. (Spoiler alert: IT DOES)
The American “nu metal” band KoЯn released a Greatest Hits album in 2004, and it included 2 cover songs. The first was a cover of Cameo’s “Word Up!” that puzzled most of the public, with it being outside the scope of what most expected from the band, which usually included slow, heavy, pounding guitar and angst-filled rage. Well, no story quite fits the “angst-filled rage” quota like “Another Brick in the Wall,” and the band seemed to take the story to another darker, more powerful level untapped by Waters and co. The frustration and helplessness of our main character is on display in the re-make, and though it skipped over a few parts of the overall story, one can still sense the transformation undergone by Pink due to the pressures of the world around him. Bonus points for actually making four unrelated tracks seamlessly tie together like they were consecutive all along.
Come back next week to see who won, and who's up next Under the Covers with Producer Mark!