Wish You Were Here (4:40)

Cover of Orchestral Maneuvers: The Music of Pink Floyd

From Orchestral Maneuvers: The Music of Pink Floyd and 103 other releases

“Wish You Were Here” is the title track on Pink Floyd’s 1975 album Wish You Were Here. The song’s lyrics encompass writer Roger Waters’ feelings of alienation from other people. Like most of the album, it refers to former Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett and his breakdown. The main riff came to David Gilmour while playing his acoustic guitar in Abbey Road Studios. Gilmour then demonstrated the riff to Waters, who was impressed. They collaborated to complete the song, as Waters had already written some lyrics. In 2004, the song was ranked #316 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

In the original album version, the song segues from “Have a Cigar” as if a radio had been tuned away from one station, through several others (including a radio play and one playing Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony), and finally to a new station where “Wish You Were Here” is beginning. Gilmour performed the intro on a twelve-string guitar, processed to sound like it was playing through an old transistor radio, and then overdubbed a fuller-sounding acoustic guitar solo. This passage was mixed to sound as though the guitarist was sitting in a room, playing along with the radio; it also contains a whine that slowly changes pitch—emulating the heterodyne between two drifting AM radio signals.

The intro riff is repeated several times and reprised when Gilmour plays further solos with scat singing accompaniment. At the end of the recorded song, the final solo crossfades with wind sound effects (reminiscent of “One of These Days” from the 1971 album Meddle), and finally segues into the second section of the multi-part suite “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”.

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  • rikrijean

    WISH TOO~~~~<3 <3 <3

    5 Jul 10:09am Reply
  • sarahalmeer

    beautiful

    22 Jun 9:33pm Reply
  • YoQueSe666

    As the product of a Gilmour and Waters writing collaboration, the title cut to Pink Floyd’s ninth album made us wish we there in the studio when they recorded it. Thanks to its dark lyrics, Gilmour’s guitar and vocal work and beautiful acoustic and progressive rock elements, the song captured the band’s sound to a tee. “Wish You Were Here” is also considered one of their finest tracks and has been covered multiple times. -- watchmojo

    21 Jun 5:30am Reply
  • FallenPotato

    Positive Vibrations starts with this song

    18 Jun 1:18pm Reply
  • marjo47

    Youre so right silversurfer. good song and band.

    7 Jun 5:17pm Reply
  • sharv11

    Vinny, this is from your library, but it will always describe how we feel every day with you missing physically from this earth..."We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl year after year"...Love you infinitely dear son...

    4 Jun 5:06am Reply
  • MilesAboveYou

    that first line gives me goosebumps all the time

    27 May 1:11am Reply
  • silversurfer250

    This song is about the detached feeling most people go through life with. It is a commentary on how people cope with the world by withdrawing physically, mentally, or emotionally. In the commentary of The Wall, Roger Waters states that the inspiration was Pink Floyd founding member Syd Barrett and his ordeal with schizophrenia. http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=1558

    26 May 7:21am Reply
  • lukasz_pulawski

    Classic of all classics!

    25 May 9:11pm Reply
  • Boddahx3

    Wzruszyłam się.

    25 May 9:47am Reply
  • winelaura

    :)

    22 May 7:04pm Reply
  • TIGERSNAKEMAN

    ICONIC

    20 May 8:21pm Reply
  • williedbeme

    3 times out of 16 pink's and again you hammer me with "Wish You Were Here"man but will keep an eye out in case it creeps up upon me Once More! oh plse no not Again...

    19 May 3:22am Reply
  • williedbeme

    ...AND I COULD & have HEARD this ONE MANY more times than just twice! no warning needed here... Play On!

    18 May 1:32pm Reply
  • abunono

    Ich kann dich nicht vergessen,Jörg!

    17 May 1:16pm Reply
  • Waldprinzessin

    für meinen Bruder

    12 May 6:19pm Reply
  • elenaloche

    bellissimo ! :-)

    11 May 1:53pm Reply
  • DalilaOliveira

    #foreveralone

    10 May 10:00pm Reply
  • susavo

    So... so you think you can tell...

    5 May 9:05am Reply
  • MEGADRY

    :) ....

    2 May 9:31pm Reply
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