20 Things You Didn’t Know About Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut
Roger Waters’ last album with Pink Floyd was released on March 21, 1983. Created in an atmosphere of tension and suspicion, it is also one of the band’s most overlooked albums. Editor of Pink Floyd website Brain Damage Glenn Povey tells you everything you need to know about ‘the album that ended Floyd’.
Words: Glenn Povey
1. The front cover shows a Remembrance Day poppy and selection of British Second World War medal ribbons including the Distinguished Flying Cross (white with diagonal purple stripes), The 1939-45 Star (equal stripes of dark blue, red and light blue), The Africa Star (sand with dark blue, red and light blue stripes), and the Defence Medal (orange with wide green edges bearing narrow black stripes).
2. Two versions of the track ‘Not Now John’ were recorded, with one version obliterating the words “fuck all that” with an overdub of “stuff all that” for the single release to ensure radio play.
3. The word “fuck” occurs in the song ‘Not Now John’ six times as part of the phrase, ‘fuck all that’; and once again near the end the song as part of the ‘Where’s-the-bar?’ lyric, which is sung in Italian, Greek, French and finally English as, ‘Oi — Where’s the fucking bar, John?’
4. Collectors were quick to discover the B-Side of ‘Not Now John’: ‘The Hero’s Return (Part 2)’, is essentially an additional verse to the song, but is absent from the album. It has never been released in any other form.
5. The Final Cut was dedicated to Waters’ late father Eric Fletcher Waters who was a second lieutenant of the Royal Fusiliers, who perished during the ill-fated Anzio campaign in Italy in the early part of 1944. Eric was a devout Christian and Communist Party member who had been a conscientious objector. His experiences driving an ambulance during the Blitz changed his opinions and he joined the British Army. He was killed when Roger was five months old. (Read a thorough account of what actually happen to him, comparing Roger’s lyrics to historical accounts here.)
6. The album opens with ‘The Post War Dream’ which is identical in melody to the 1971 song ‘Sam Stone’ by John Prine, about a drug-addicted Vietnam veteran.
7. David Gilmour objected so vehemently to Pink Floyd becoming a vehicle for Water’s criticism of Government policy that he resigned from the production process leaving Michael Kamen and James Guthrie to the task.
8. The chorus to ‘Your Possible Pasts’ was written by Waters as far back as 1968, in an unreleased song called ‘Incarceration Of A Flower Child’. It was recorded by Marianne Faithful for her album Vagabond Ways in 1999, but the lyric was first heard in the scene from The Wall feature film where Pink is huddled in a toilet cubicle babbling to himself prior to the track ‘Stop’.
9. ‘When The Tigers Broke Free’ was originally recorded for the feature film The Wall, and was released as a single bearing the footnote, ‘taken from the album The Final Cut’, although it didn’t appear on the album until 2004 when it was inserted into the CD reissue.
10. The powerful tenor Saxophone on ‘The Gunner’s Dream’ was provided by Raphael Ravenscroft who is best known for his work with Gerry Rafferty, performing the saxophone solo on ‘Baker Street’.