welcome to the machine

10

Pink Floyd Welcome to the Machine

  • This song was featured on the 1975 album Wish You Were Here
  • The song describes the band’s disillusionment with the music industry as a money-making machine rather than a forum of artistic expression.
  • Gerald Scarfe created the music video, initially a backdrop film for when the band played the track on its 1977 In The Flesh tour. (Scarfe also did the animations in the movie The Wall)
  • The song was performed for the first time live on Pink Floyd’s 1977 “In The Flesh” tour (also known as the “Animals” tour. Gilmour and Waters shared lead vocals, although in initial performances, Gilmour sang on his own with some backing vocals by Waters.
  • The “In The Flesh” tour featured large inflatable puppets, as well as a pyrotechnic “waterfall”, and one of the biggest and most elaborate stages to date, including umbrella-like canopies that would raise from the stage to protect the band from the elements.
  • The track was built upon a basic throbbing sound made by an EMS VCS 3 followed by a one-repeat echo. On the original LP, the song segued from the first 5 parts of the suite “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” and closed the first side.
  • On the CD pressings, especially the 1997 and 2000 remastered issues, it segues (although very faintly) to “Have A Cigar”. This segueing is a few seconds longer on the US version than the UK version. 
  • David Gilmour admitted that he had trouble singing one line of the song; saying, “It was a line I just couldn’t reach, so we dropped the tape down half a semitone.” He sang the part, then the pitch of the vocals were raised to meet the rest of the song.