20 Things You Didn’t Know About Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut
11. Roger Waters employed Zuccarelli Sound Labs for the album, whose holophonic acoustics enabled him to create various 360-degree sound effects. The idea of holophonics was revisited by Waters for his 1984 Pros And Cons of Hitch-Hiking solo album and a radio broadcast of his solo show from Radio City Music Hall in New York on 28 March 1985.
12. The Final Cut was recorded in eight studios across Britain, from July to December 1982 including The Billiard Room, which was quite literally the billiard room in Roger Waters’ house!
13. Obviously bored by his repeated vocal takes, Waters noticed co-producer Michael Kamen writing furiously on a notepad in the control room. Losing his temper, he demanded to know what Kamen was doing, only to find that he’d been filling pages and pages with the words ‘I Must Not Fuck Sheep’! Kamen had become so traumatised by the recording that he thought it must be payback for some sort of unholy crime he’d committed in a past life.
14. The album’s release was accompanied by a short video film comprising four songs from the album produced by Waters and directed by his then brother-in-law Willie Christie. Waters is shown in conversation with a psychiatrist named A. Parker-Marshall (a reference to Pink Floyd The Wall film director Alan Parker and producer Alan Marshall), and Alex McAvoy, portrayed as a war veteran who appeared as the teacher in the film. Watch it all here:
15. It is the only Pink Floyd album on which Roger Waters is credited for the writing and composition of every song. All of the lyrics are sung by Waters with the exception of ‘Not Now John’ by David Gilmour. Indeed the album is subtitled ‘A Requiem For The Post War Dream, by Roger Waters, performed by Pink Floyd’.
16. The Final Cut was originally planned as the soundtrack album to the film Pink Floyd The Wall, under the working title Spare Bricks and featuring new music and songs re-recorded for the film including ‘When The Tigers Broke Free’, ‘Mother’ and ‘What Shall We Do Now?’ among others.
17. The aircraft featured on the album were Tornado jets recorded by Nick Mason at their base at RAF Honington in Warwickshire, and the propeller aircraft by a friend who flew Avro Shackleton’s for the RAF’s maritime patrol.
18. Pink Floyd has never performed live any of the tracks from The Final Cut. However Roger Waters has regularly performed the tracks ‘The Gunners Dream’, ‘Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert’, ‘The Fletcher Memorial Home’, ‘Southampton Dock’ and ‘Not Now John’ on his many solo tours between 1984 and 2006.
19. Co-producer Michael Kamen was a prolific arranger and composer having previously arranged the orchestrations for The Wall album and film soundtrack. He went on to perform with Roger Waters on his 1984 tour, his rendition of The Wall in Berlin in 1990, Pink Floyd at Knebworth in 1990 and David Gilmour in 2002. Among his other works are the orchestrations for ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ by Queen, ‘Here Comes The Rain Again’ by the Eurythmics as well as the scores for many feature films including Highlander, X-Men, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and the TV series Band of Brothers.
20. In Steven Kotler’s Surfing, Science and the Origins of Belief (2006), the author details studies conducted by Jack Panksepp, head of affective neuroscience research at the Chicago Institute for Neurosurgery and Neuroresearch. Panksepp was researching the similarity of emotional experiences that occur while listening to music to those experienced by runners during the so-called ‘runner’s high’. To that end, he played dozens of records by various artists to chickens he had attached to equipment that recorded their responses. The chickens’ favourite? The Final Cut. (We’re not making this up. Cows, meanwhile, prefer Simon & Garfunkel.)