Pink Floyd – Shine On You Crazy Diamond

From the very first seconds, this avatar of musical art promises to send its passengers to the far reaches of imagination. The finesse at play here is all too evident. While the mighty sound creature begins to unfold its wings, through solemn, constant touches of the synthesizer, a myriad smaller musical happenings occur in the background. And this is barely scratching the surface of what can be said about the first minute and a half of this masterpiece in composition and meaning.

Soon, the soft, calm synth landscape is punctuated by a lonely guitar, bringing a whole new dimension of sharpness and… sincerity. Then, the melody bursts to life, echoing, warping time and space. And it’s still only the beginning.

Words are blinded by the light of genius. The only way to reward this creation is to close my eyes and let it live inside me. And a long life it will be, for songs such as this one are touched with the magnetism of divinity.

The melody is regarded as homage to Syd Barrett, one of the founding members of Pink Floyd. He had departed seven years prior to the release of “Wish You Were Here”. The album is rounded off sublimely by “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, with parts 1-5 starting the journey and parts 6-9 ending it. It’s one of the best space-rock albums I ever heard and, of course, I recommend listening to it in full. That would be the proper way to appreciate this song.

“Remember when you were young?
You shone like the sun.
Shine on, you crazy diamond
Now there’s a look in your eyes
Like black holes in the sky
Shine on, you crazy diamond
You were caught in the crossfire
Of childhood and stardom,
Blown on the steel breeze
Come on you target
for faraway laughter
Come on you stranger, you legend,
You martyr, and shine
You reached for the secret
too soon
You cried for the moon
Shine on, you crazy diamond
Threatened by shadows at night
And exposed in the light
Shine on, you crazy diamond”

YouTube (better quality, music video, only parts 1-5)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWGE9Gi0bB0^

YouTube (rather poor quality, COMBINED version of the song, all 9 parts):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UXircX3VdM^

For Spotify Users (high quality):

Part 1-5:

https://open.spotify.com/track/2dWCp5vcNwSy25zRVFGC5t^

Part 6-9:

https://open.spotify.com/track/0W1uJJJsbbLxc1Sa9aLNxN^

For Deezer Users (high quality):

Part 1-5:

http://www.deezer.com/track/117585768^

Part 6-9:

http://www.deezer.com/track/117585776^

Further musical history reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wish_You_Were_Here_(Pink_Floyd_album)^

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syd_Barrett^

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2 Comments

  1. Reply

    It’s conceivable (though I’m not sure one way or the other) that I first heard the Clawfinger cover of this song. 😛

    • Reply

      Surprised to read this :D. “Too bad” I think? I was mind-blown when I heard the Clawfinger cover precisely because I knew the original so well. Clawfinger’s song is more than just a cover I think. It’s a reinterpretation. I know that’s what “cover” means in this sense, but I consider Clawfinger’s take on it SO beautiful that it simply cannot be called that way :D. Which reminds me to add Clawfinger’s version in the Weekly Song queue (which currently spans up to the 18th of December, 2019 😀 – when we will have Vitalic – One Above One; although sometimes I switch them around a bit based on priorities).

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