Wish You Were Here
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Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Pts. I-V)
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Welcome To The Machine
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Have A Cigar

Song Name: Welcome To The Machine

Artist: Pink Floyd

Album: Wish You Were Here, Shine On

Run Time: 7:31

Year: 1975

Track Number: 2

Sung By: David Gilmour

Written By: Roger Waters


  • This is notable for its use of heavily processed synthesizers and guitars, as well as a wide and varied range of tape effects. The song explores the band's negativity towards the music industry. They thought their introduction to the industry was soulless and unfeeling, like a machine. On the original album, this segued from "Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Pts. I-V)" and closed the first side. On the CD pressings, especially the 1997 and 2000 remastered issues, it segues (although very faintly) to "Have A Cigar" even though the segueing was a few seconds longer on the US version than the UK version.
  • Gerald Scarfe created a powerfully disturbing music video (it was a backdrop film for when the band played the track on its 1977 In The Flesh tour), which displays a giant mechanical beast somewhere between triceratops and armadillo (possibly a reference to the sleeve of Emerson, Lake & Palmer's Tarkus, the cover of which also features an armadillo/machine hybrid, though it also resembles a Texas Horned Lizard somewhat) lumbering across an apocalyptic cityscape. Emaciated rats leap around corpse-laden steel girders, gleaming industrial smokestacks crack and ooze blood, and a tower grows out of this desert, transforms into a screaming monster and decapitates an unsuspecting man. His head then very slowly decays to a damaged skull. Finally, an ocean of blood washes away this wasteland, and the waves turn into thousands of hands waving in rhythm to the music (much like people at a rock concert). Despite being pulled at by the bloody masses, one building survives and, synchronizing with the sound effects at the end of the song, flies up and away, high above the clouds to where it fits snugly into a hole inside a gargantuan floating ovoid structure.
  • In live performances of the song on Pink Floyd's 1977 "In The Flesh" tour, Gilmour and Waters shared lead vocals, although in initial performances, Gilmour sang on his own with some backing vocals by Waters. Also for live performances, David Gilmour played his acoustic guitar parts on his Fender Stratocaster.
  • The "Welcome my son, welcome to the machine" line of the song is usually played before several rides start to run at many U.S.A. amusement parks.
  • The song has been covered by metal band Shadows Fall.
  • The track's style and use of guitar and synthesizers influenced ABBA's hit song "Knowing Me, Knowing You".
  • The penultimate level of the video game Ecco the Dolphin is named after this song. It is set inside a gigantic alien device.
  • Roger Waters performed this song on his 1999-2002 In The Flesh Tour. It was also featured on the In The Flesh concert DVD/CD.

  Credits  |  Chronology  

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