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Template:Use British English Kids Kids "Wish You Were Here" is the title track on Pink Floyd's 1975 album Wish You Were Here.[1][2] Like most of the album, it refers to former Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett and his breakdown. David Gilmour and Roger Waters collaborated to write the music, Waters wrote the lyrics and Gilmour sang the lead vocal.

In 2011, the song was ranked No. 324 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[3]

Composition[edit | edit source]

In the original album version, the song segues from "Have a Cigar" as if a radio had been tuned away from one station, through several others (including a radio play and one playing the opening of the finale movement of Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony), and finally to a new station where "Wish You Were Here" is beginning.[4] The radio was recorded from Gilmour's car radio. He performed the intro on a twelve-string guitar, processed to sound like it was playing through an AM radio, and then overdubbed a fuller-sounding acoustic guitar solo. This passage was mixed to sound as though a guitarist were listening to the radio and playing along. As the acoustic part becomes more complex, the 'radio broadcast' fades away and Gilmour's voice enters, becoming joined by the full band.[5]

The intro riff is repeated several times, before Gilmour plays further solos with scat singing accompaniment. A third verse follows, featuring an increasingly expressive vocal from Gilmour and audible backing vocals. At the end of the recorded song, the final solo crossfades with wind sound effects, and finally segues into the second section of the multi-part suite "Shine On You Crazy Diamond".

Recording[edit | edit source]

'Wish You Were Here' was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, as part of the sessions for the entire album.

A noted part of the song was a planned contribution by Stéphane Grappelli. A jazz violinist popular at the time and well known for his collaborations with Yehudi Menuhin, both violinists were recording in a downstairs studio at Abbey Road at the time. Gilmour had suggested that there be a little "country fiddle" at the end of the song and invited them to participate. Grappelli duly obliged (Menuhin declined) on arranging a session fee of £300. Ultimately during mixing it was decided to almost remove his contribution, although it can just be heard around 5:21. According to Waters it was decided that it would be insulting to credit Grappelli in the sleeve notes for something so inaudible, although he did receive the agreed-upon fee.[6][7][8]

As part of the Why Pink Floyd...? campaign, the Experience and Immersion versions of the Wish You Were Here album include an alternate version of the song where Grappelli's part is heard in the instrumental break after the second verse and throughout the third verse before a considerably extended outro. Other less obvious differences are audible, for example at the section leading into the second verse.

The master tape of the original recording includes an entire performance of pedal steel guitar and electric guitar solos, played by David Gilmour, that were not used in the final mix.Template:Citation needed

Live performances[edit | edit source]

"Wish You Were Here" made its stage debut on the band's 1977 tour, which featured a performance of the entire album at every show. It was not played live by the band for nearly ten years after this, yet became a concert staple after its reappearance in 1987, and was performed at nearly all subsequent Pink Floyd concerts. In the original 1977 concert performances, Gilmour would play his Fender Stratocaster instead of acoustic guitar, while Snowy White played a twelve-string Ovation acoustic guitar. At these shows, Nick Mason tuned an actual transistor radio on stage to a local radio station, seguing into the pre-recorded part from the album to start the song and Richard Wright would perform an extended piano coda as the wind effects played. A live version is included on Pulse. When Pink Floyd were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,[9] Gilmour and Wright (Mason was in the audience) performed the song with the assistance of their presenter Billy Corgan on rhythm guitar.

Gilmour has made the song a part of most of his tours, and included a live version on his Live in Gdansk album.

"Wish You Were Here" was performed by Ed Sheeran with Mason on drums, Mike Rutherford of Genesis on guitar and Richard Jones of The Feeling on bass at the Closing Ceremony of 2012 Summer Olympics in London. A performer, dressed in a suit, tightrope-walked across the stadium and shook hands with a mannequin at the end, which then burst into flames, referencing the album's cover.

On 13 December 2014 David Gilmour was a guest performer at a concert by the Bombay Bicycle Club at Earls Court Arena, their concert being the final event ever to take place there before its demolition. Band member Jamie MacColl introduced Gilmour, saying; "This man gave me my first guitar and was one of the first people to play this venue and by my count has played here more than 27 times." Gilmour then played with the band on their song "Rinse Me Down" before a performance of "Wish You Were Here".

Other recorded versions by Pink Floyd[edit | edit source]

"Wish You Were Here" later appeared as the fifth track on A Collection of Great Dance Songs (with the radio intro following the end of a heavily edited "Shine On You Crazy Diamond") and as the 23rd track on the Echoes compilation[10] (with the radio intro following "Arnold Layne", and at the end crossfading with "Jugband Blues").

A live recording included on the 1995 live album P•U•L•S•E was issued as a single/EP. Its intro replicates the sound of the original, semi-ambient intro. The cover of the EP features two men whose faces are distorted by fish bowls, referring to the line "We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year".

In 2005, Waters and Eric Clapton performed the song at the Tsunami Aid concert, and in 2005's Live 8, Waters rejoined his former bandmates in London to perform it, along with four other classic Pink Floyd songs. Waters sung half the verses during Live 8, while in the original version Gilmour did all the vocals.[11][12]

Personnel[edit | edit source]

Charts[edit | edit source]

Chart (2007) Peak
Chart (2012) Peak
Germany (Media Control AG)[13] 67

Wish You Were Here (Live)[edit | edit source]


"Wish You Were Here (Live)" is a live recording of Pink Floyd's title track off their ninth studio album Wish You Were Here, recorded by the band for their third live album, Pulse. "Wish You Were Here (Live)" was released as a single on 20 July 1995 in the United Kingdom and Europe, notably the very last single released by the band until October 2014.

Track listing[edit | edit source]

Template:Track listing Template:Track listing Template:Track listing

Charts[edit | edit source]

Chart (1995) Peak
US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks[14] 13

Release history[edit | edit source]

Region Date Format Label Catalog no.
Netherlands[15] 20 July 1995 Template:Flatlist EMI PFSING1 Template:Small
724388220828 Template:Small
7243 8 82207 2 9 Template:Small
United Kingdom Template:Flatlist 724388220828 Template:Small
7243 8 82207 2 9 Template:Small


Covers[edit | edit source]

Wyclef Jean version[edit | edit source]


"Wish You Were Here" served as the fourth and final single from Wyclef Jean's second studio album, The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book. It was released in December 2001, peaking at #28 on the UK Singles Chart.[16]

UK CD single (672156 2)
  1. "Wish You Were Here" (Radio edit) – 4:04
  2. "No Woman, No Cry" (Live version) – 4:33
  3. "911" (Live version) – 4:23
  4. "Wish You Were Here" (Video) – 4:25
UK cassette (672156 5)
  1. "Wish You Were Here" (LP version) – 4:25
  2. "Perfect Gentleman" (Remix radio edit) – 3:59

Other covers[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Template:Cite book
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  3. Kids
  4. The Absolute sound, Volume 18, Issues 87-90 p.113. Retrieved 9 September 2011
  5. Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (Songbook. 1975 Pink Floyd Music Publishers Ltd., London, England. ISBN 0-7119-1029-4 (USA ISBN 0-8256-1079-6).
  6. Template:Citation
  7. Template:Cite book
  8. Template:Cite book
  9. Pink Floyd, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1996.
  10. Kids
  11. Povey, Glenn. (2007) Echoes: the complete history of Pink Floyd Mind Head Publishing, Retrieved 9 September 2011
  12. Pink Floyd Visionary Syd Barrett Dies At 60 Billboard 22 Jul 2006. p.46. Retrieved 9 September 2011
  13. Kids
  14. Kids
  15. Kids
  16. Kids
  17. Kids
  18. Kids
  19. Kids
  20. http://www.abc.com.py/edicion-impresa/artes-espectaculos/lanzan-hoy-cd-de-rock-acustico-1211506.html/ Retrieved 4 February 2014
  21. Wish You Were Here...Wish You'd Go Away. Allmusic.

External links[edit | edit source]


Template:Wish You Were Here Template:Pink Floyd Template:Wyclef Jean

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