I'll go into why Pink Floyd are one of my favourite bands shortly, but having decided it was time to feature one of their songs I then had the difficult choice of picking one. To be honest I was tempted to select an album, but even that only narrows the choice down a bit, I've enjoyed all of their albums, although in fairness to varying degrees.
So why On the Turning Away?
For me the song illustrates what Pink Floyd did best with their songs, it provides pertinent social commentary that is still valid today. The lyrics are simple and effective and nice and easy to sing along to (always an important factor!). The music follows a similar pattern, as with many of their songs there's a simple structure to them, but they execute in a way that is simply sublime.
Another aspect that makes it stand out is that it ends on a positive note, it's not just a statement of what is wrong, but how it can be addressed. A wonderful song.
I first encountered Pink Floyd in the early eighties after the release of The Wall, my Dad has a copy on tape that I kept pinching (sorry Dad!) and I loved the sound of it. I hadn't developed into my heavy metal taste at that stage, but the brreadth of their music captivated me.
Almost a decade later I expanded my horizons and listened to their other albums (although The Wall remained a firm favourite, especially the film and for a while this and War of the Worlds were my most listened to albums, even while I discovered heavier music).
As a music lover I tend to be interested in songs and albums rather than the artists, although over the years I have developed some firm favourites, with Pink Floyd being one of them, in fact if I had to pick only the one album to listen to for the rest of my life it would probably be one of theirs.
Unfortunately I never got the chance to see them live, which is something I regret and I live in hope of a reunion concert.
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It was released during a troubled time for the band and it does have a different feel from the preceeding albums, in part due to this and also because it lacked a central premise as the others had.