Title: The Final Cut
Artist: Pink Floyd
Released: March 21, 1983 (UK), April 2, 1983 (US)
Total Length: 43:27 (original album), 46:40 (2004 re-issue)
Label: Harvest, EMI (UK), Columbia, Capitol (US)
Track Listing Edit
- The Post War Dream (3:02)
- Your Possible Pasts (4:22)
- One Of The Few (1:23)
- The Hero's Return (2:56)
- The Gunner's Dream (5:07)
- Paranoid Eyes (3:40)
- Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert (1:19)
- The Fletcher Memorial Home (4:11)
- Southampton Dock (2:13)
- The Final Cut (4:46)
- Not Now John (5:01)
- Two Suns In The Sunset (5:14)
- Song Rating: 5 / 5
- Overall Rating: 5 / 5
- Best Song: Not Now John
- Roger Waters - lead vocals on all songs but Not Now John , bass, synthesizer, tape effects, acoustic guitar, sleeve design
- David Gilmour - guitars, lead vocals on Not Now John, bass
- Nick Mason - drums, percussion
- Michael Kamen - piano harmonium
- Andy Bown - hammond organ
- Ray Cooper - percussion
- Andy Newmark - drums on "Two Suns In The Sunset"
- Raphael Ravenscroft - tenor sax
- The National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted and arranged by Michael Kamen
- James Guthrie; Remastering producer, engineer, remastering on 2004 re-issue
- Andrew Jackson - Engineer
- Willie Christie - Photography
- Doug Sax; mastering on original album and Remastering on 1994 and 1997 re-issues
- The album has three overlapping storylines:
- One portrays Waters' view on world affairs at the time (Tracks 1, 5, 7-9, 11, 12). Much of this was formed by the Falklands War, condemning among others Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and Menachem Begin. The name Fletcher in "The Fletcher Memorial Home" is in honor and remembrance of his father, Eric Fletcher Waters (to whom the whole album is dedicated in the credits), who was killed in Anzio during World War II. The album also espouses his views of an ideal world, ending the album with a nuclear holocaust he feared might happen in the real world.
- The second is the story of the mental plight of a WWII veteran and teacher (Tracks 2-6). The tracks then feature him dealing with memories of the war (Your Possible Pasts, The Gunner's Dream), taking out his problems on schoolchildren (One of the Few, The Hero's Return), and lamenting his life (Paranoid Eyes). The abusive teacher is also mentioned in The Wall, viewed as "one of the bricks" by its main character, Pink.
- The final is a story of a depressed man (who might be Pink after he tore down the wall) who either tries to block himself to the real world or kill himself, but is stopped. Track 10, "The Final Cut", was intended to fit in with Pink Floyd's previous album and rock opera, The Wall. The person singing in The Final Cut is highly reminiscent of the depressive, schizophrenic Pink from The Wall, although Waters does sing most of the album in that same vocal style. The first verse of the song ends with "And if you make it past the shotguns in the hall, dial the combination, open the priesthole, and if I'm in I'll tell you what's behind the wall", with the words "what's behind the wall" having been overdubbed with a loud shotgun sound and some shouting.
- With the nuclear annihilation ending the album, it could be argued that Pink's unclear fate after the end of The Wall also becomes clear in the end of this album.
- The cover was designed by Roger Waters. It features a Remembrance Day poppy and four World War II medal ribbons (from left):
- 1939/45 Star, for at least 6 months service between 1939 and 1945,
- Africa Star, for service in the North African Campaign,
- Defence Medal, for 3 years service,
- Distinguished Flying Cross, for acts of courage, valour or devotion to duty while flying.
- The back cover depicted a man stabbed in the back carrying a film canister.
- Vinyl copies didn't have the album title on the cover; this was added for the CD and cassette releases.
- In 1986, the album was released on CD. A digitally remastered CD was released in 1994 in Europe on EMI and in 1997 for the rest of the world on Columbia using an up to date remastering job. A remastered and repackaged CD was released on March 19, 2004 in Europe on EMI and May 4, 2004 in the U.S. on Capitol Records to commemorate the album's 21st anniversary. The track "When The Tigers Broke Free", previously only available as a single, on the soundtrack to the movie version of The Wall or on Echoes, was added albeit in a slightly remixed form to the versions found on the movie version of The Wall and Echoes.
- The Final Cut reached #1 on the UK album charts and #6 in the US. On May 23, 1983, The Final Cut went Gold and Platinum in May of 1983 and then Double Platinum on January 31, 1997.
- The Final Cut was also the first Pink Floyd album not to have a concert tour in support of the album as the band unofficially split up in January of 1983 as Roger Waters dove head first into the recording of The Pros And Cons Of Hitchhiking and David Gilmour recorded his solo album About Face. The second would be The Endless River.
- Additionally, the album would be the last to feature Roger Waters as part of the band due to his departure later that year. Roger would go on to attempt to prevent the other band members from using the name Pink Floyd by appealing to the high court; in order to keep the band name, Gilmour produced an album himself and enlisted Nick Mason and Richard Wright (whom Waters had forced to leave the group during production of The Wall) to make his claim legitimate. A Momentary Lapse of Reason was the result.
- Much as The Final Cut is considered by some to be a de facto Waters solo album due to the minimal contribution from the other bandmembers, so too A Momentary Lapse of Reason could be considered to be a Gilmour solo album for much the same reason.
- "Not Now John" was released as a single with "fuck all that" from the choruses overdubbed as "stuff all that" (the lyrics on the sleeve of the 7" single contain that phrase "stop all that"), backed by an extended version of "The Hero's Return" as a B-side, featuring an additional verse.
- This album was meant to be called 'Spare Bricks' using material leftover from The Wall, but that was not used.
Pink Floyd released a 19-minute Final Cut video EP, essentially four music videos in a continuous sequence, directed by Willie Christie, who was Waters's brother-in-law. The running order was 'The Gunner's Dream', 'The Final Cut', 'Not Now John', and 'The Fletcher Memorial Home'. English actor Alex McAvoy, who played the teacher in the film version of "The Wall", had a prominent role in the video EP, apparently reprising the same role. The video is conceptual, rather than merely a collection of music videos, and offers a glimse of the teacher's life outside the school, attempting to come to terms with his experiences during World War Two while his son goes off to fight in the Falklands. Other characters from the album also put in an appearance in the video, such as the prostitute from 'Your Possible Pasts' and Margaret Thatcher (portrayed by a lookalike). Roger Waters appears (though all but his mouth is sillhouetted) as a patient singing the lyrics to a psychologist on the grounds of the Fletcher Memorial Home.