This month marks the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. It's a good time to celebrate that moment, when the portals opened and a stream of cosmic creative force spilled into our reality.
Pink Floyd need no introduction, being one of the most influential superstar bands of the 20th century. Their sound concoctions, played and aired for millions of hours all around the globe, generated a sonic morphic field of unparalleled beauty. These guys hit their musical nail heavy on our collective subconscious' head.
Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd's ninth studio album, strikes a balance between commercial craftsmanship and inspired artistry. Ironically more shining than their previous album's lunar success, this work remains a remarkable exemplar of the prog rock and psychedelic era. The band conjured up a melancholic soundscape, weaving kaleidoscopic interstellar jams carrying emotional weight, grief, loss, disillusionment, yet leaving the door open to the manifold possibilities of love and mystic enchantment.
Forty years after the release of Wish You Were Here we live in a world where the experience of consuming music is peculiarly fragmented: we listen to tunes on YouTube, impatiently skipping from to song to song, or randomly accessing tracks on iTunes and mp3 players. In our hectic and disenchanted times, the electro-mechanical reproduction of musical artworks contributed to the loss of aura in artworks in general. Devoting our full and undivided attention to listening a whole album – from the beginning till the very end – is a sporadic experience and a rare luxury. So, to celebrate Wish You Were Here – for those who know and already love it, as well as for those who still never had the pleasure of diving into it – here is suggested a simple ritual, to make yourself a gift.
Get a copy of Wish You Were Here, carve out 45 minutes from your day, find a quiet space, unplug, load the album on your favorite player, get ready and press "play". Let the Pink Floyd's music fully penetrate your ears and pierce your soul. Timeless magic awaits you.
For the true Wish You Were Here fetishists, here's an extra goody, the documentary about the making of the album: