Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Wish You Were Here
The album is largely a tribute to former bandmember Syd Barrett, whose mental illness and erratic behaviour made it impossible for him to effectively contribute to the band after the album A Saucerful of Secrets. Originally, the album was to consist of three songs that the band had been playing live over the previous two years: "Shine On", "Raving and Drooling" and "Gotta be Crazy". "Shine On" was preserved as "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", Roger Waters decided to drop the other two, which later became "Dogs" and "Sheep" on the Animals album. In their place, Waters wrote new material that documented the band's current condition (the title track) and caricatured the negative aspects of the record business ("Welcome to the Machine" and "Have a Cigar"). The name "Crazy Diamond" came from Syd Barrett's solo album of the same name.
Coincidentally, Barrett himself actually turned up at the studio in the middle of a recording session of the backing vocals for "Shine On You Crazy Diamond". Across the corridors of Abbey Road floated "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and there he was, in person. He arrived unannounced, looking bald and fat, and had put on so much weight that some of the band did not recognize him at first. Others were close to tears; Waters later confided that he cried. Barrett asked at one point if there was anything he could do and that he was available if needed. He hadn't been seen by the band in seven years, and wasn't seen again after that point.
Wish You Were Here was originally released on Columbia Records in the US. It was digitally remastered and released in 1994 in the UK as a CD on the EMI label, and in 1997 by Columbia for the rest of the world. The album was subsequently re-released in 2000 for its 25th anniversary, on the Capitol Records label in the US, and on the EMI label for the rest of the world.
Wish You Were Here peaked at #1 on Billboard's USA Pop Albums chart and has sold over six million copies to date in the US and was certified Gold on September 17, 1975 in the US and as Sextuple Platinum in the US on May 16, 1997 by the R.I.A.A. and has sold altogether worldwide 13 million copies.
- "Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Pts. 1-5" (Gilmour/Waters/Wright) - 13:34
- "Welcome to the Machine " (Waters) - 7:31
- "Have a Cigar" (Waters) - 5:08
- "Wish You Were Here" (Gilmour/Waters) - 5:34
- "Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Pts. 6-9" (Gilmour/Waters/Wright) - 12:31
Various re-issues will simply list both "Shine Of You Crazy Diamond"s as "Part 1" and "Part 2", respectively.
- Roger Waters – Bass guitar, VCS3, Vocals
- David Gilmour – Guitars, Vocals, VCS3, Lap Steel
- Nick Mason – Drums, Percussion, Tape Effects
- Richard Wright – Keyboards, Vocals, VCS3
- Dick Parry – Saxophone on "Shine on You Crazy Diamond"
- Roy Harper – Vocals on "Have a Cigar"
- Venetta Field – Background vocals
- Carlena Williams – Background vocals
- Brian Humphries – Engineer
- Peter Christopherson – Design Assistant (see Hipgnosis)
- Peter James – Engineer, Assistant Engineer
- Hipgnosis – Design, Photography
- Storm Thorgerson – Re-design
- Phil Taylor – Additional Photography(Remaster)
- Jill Furmanovsky – Additional Photography(Remaster)
- George Hardie – Illustrations
- Richard Manning – Design Assistant
- Howard Bartrop – Design Assistant
- Jeff Smith – Design Assistant
- "Have a Cigar"/"Welcome To the Machine" - Columbia 3-10248; released November 15, 1975
Album - Billboard (North America)
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