Video Classics: ‘Hey You’ – Pink Floyd

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Roget Waters in 2005

Roget Waters in 2005 (MJ Kim, Getty Images)

Haunting and despairing, Pink Floyd’s 1979 song Hey Youopened the second disk of their landmark double album, The Wall. Though not heard in the movie version of The Wall, it is one of the more often-played Pink Floyd songs on the radio.

A concept album, The Wall tells the story of Pink, an anti-heroic protagonist who graduates from a troubled childhood into an equally-troubled career as a rock star, only to build a wall isolating himself from those around him before succumbing to drug-assisted delusions of grandeur. Ultimately, Pink tears down his wall to rejoin humanity, but the message is far from being entirely uplifting.  From Wikipedia

Hallucinating, Pink believes that he is a fascist dictator, and his concerts are like Neo-Nazi rallies where he sets his men on fans he considers unworthy, only to have his conscience rebel at this and put himself on trial, his inner judge ordering him to “tear down the wall” in order to open himself to the outside world. At this point the album’s end runs into its beginning with the closing words “Isn’t this where…”; the first song on the album, “In the Flesh,” begins with the words “…we came in?” — with a continuation of the melody of the last song, “Outside the Wall” — hinting at the cyclical nature of the theme.

While it opens the second disk,”Hey You” was originally intended to fall between “Comfortably Numb” and “The Show Must Go On,” the point in the album’s story where Pink realizes he needs to tear down his wall. This is, in fact, where the song would have fallen in the movie version. But while footage was shot, it was ultimately cut due to time considerations and did not appear. The rough cut of the footage was included in the 25th anniversary DVD edition of The Wall,and appears after the jump, as well as a live version from Pink Floyd’s ’80-’81 The Wall tour, though you won’t see much of the band. They spend most of the song playing behind, well … a wall.


Have memories of this song? Add your thoughts to the comments below or take a look at Video Classics past…

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