Today In Music, March 22: Pink Floyd "Another Brick In The Wall, Pt 2" Hits #1

On this day in 1980, Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2" hits #1 on the US singles chart, where it would stay for four weeks. The song, taken from the concept album "The Wall", is the second of three parts. Originally just a verse and a chorus, the band initially refused to expand upon the original idea, but producer Bob Ezrin, through clever tape editing, was able to extend the song himself. In a Guitar World interview, he describes the process.

"The most important thing I did for the song was to insist that it be more than just one verse and one chorus long, which it was when Roger wrote it. When we played it with the disco drumbeat I said: ‘Man, this is a hit! But it’s one minute 20. We need two verses and two choruses.’ And they said, ‘Well you’re not bloody getting them. We don’t do singles, so fuck you.’ So I said, ‘Okay, fine,’ and they left. And because of our two [tape recorder] set up, while they weren’t around we were able to copy the first verse and chorus, take one of the drum fills, put them in between and extend the chorus. Then the question is what do you with the second verse, which is the same? And having been the guy who made Alice Cooper’s School’s Out, I’ve got this thing about kids on record, and it is about kids after all.

"So while we were in America, we sent [recording engineer] Nick Griffiths to a school near the Floyd studios [in Islington, North London]. I said, ‘Give me 24 tracks of kids singing this thing. I want Cockney, I want posh, fill ’em up,’ and I put them on the song. I called Roger into the room, and when the kids came in on the second verse there was a total softening of his face, and you just knew that he knew it was going to be an important record."

Ezrin also convinced an initially skeptical David Gilmour to consider adding a disco beat to the song. Gilmour reluctantly attended a disco that night and, despite his own reservations, recorded the track in disco fashion, later saying, "And it doesn’t, in the end, not sound like Pink Floyd."

If the unprecedented chart success of "Dark Side Of The Moon" had left any doubt that Pink Floyd were a monumental success, "Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2" rendered them obsolete and broke the band to an entirely new audience, going on to hit #1 in eleven countries.

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