Another Brick in the Wall sample

Pitch for Best Song of All Time
Pink Floyd
 The band was made up of four
members at the time of the
 Nick Mason (drums); Dave
Gilmour (Guitar, Vocals); Roger
Waters (Bass, Vocals); Richard
Wright (Keyboards, vocals,
other instruments)
(EMI record label)
The Wall (1979)
The album was meant to tell as story
of a rock star’s mental breakdown.
Each song links to the next, though
not many “characters” are obvious.
The album was made into a movie
called, Pink Floyd: The Wall in 1982. It
grossed over $22 million at the box
 The album debuted at #3 of the UK
charts, but spent 15 weeks at #1 in the US
during 1980.
 Has sold over 20 million copies,
worldwide (11.5 million in the US, alone)
 Has been gone “Platinum” 23 times.
 The band then put on a series of live
performances of the entire album, in rock
theatre concert-style. Four original
shows, only, played in Los Angeles;
London, England; Uniondale, Long Island;
Dortmund, Germany.
Longevity (cont.)
 The band performed the album live
again in 1990 when the Berlin Wall
(separating East and West Berlin)
came down in Germany.
 The concert was held amongst the
ruins of the Berlin Wall, itself, with
many “guest star” singers
performing the material, too.
 Approx. 400 000 people were able to
watch it live, and the concert was
broadcast to 35 countries, as well.
“Another Brick in the Wall” – Part 2
We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey teacher! Leave them kids alone
All in all it's just another brick in the wall
All in all you're just another brick in the wall
We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey teacher leave them kids alone
All in all it's just another brick in the wall
All in all you're just another brick in the wall
• The song is meant to criticize government run
education in England, particularly from the
1950s until the 1970s.
• Teachers and the education system wrongfully
abuse, both emotionally and physically,
students in order to mold them into the kind of
individuals that British society wanted to
Song Charts
 Debuted at #1 in the UK, and stayed there for 5 weeks
 The song was Pink Floyd’s only chart topper
 It hit #1 in the US and stayed there for 4 weeks
 #1 in Canada, Norway, New Zealand, West Germany, Portugal,
Israel, and also in South Africa, though it was promptly banned
from that country
 Reached #57 on the Disco Chart
 One of three Pink Floyd songs listed in the Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame’s list of 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll
Rhythm, Tempo and Pitch
Strong, repetitive beat (disco) – not Pink Floyd’s usual
A chant-like way of singing (helps reinforce the “one of
the mob—no individuals” sentiment)
Strong notes that could mimic punching or a repetitive
kicking (pushing down the individual)
Piercing guitar solo at the end of the song
The entire song is one verse repeated twice (the 2 nd time
by a children’s choir from a school located down the street
from the recording studio).
Key phrases:
“Teacher, leave those kids alone!”
“All in all, you’re just another brick in the wall.”
Messages (Explicit and Implicit)
 The education system’s main goal is to bully and contort
kids, making them into the “final product” that they want.
 No one has any freedom to be their own person in such a
system. They are only “bricks” that make up the “walls” that
help close everyone in and isolate them from others.
 The “wall” is a metaphor for the perfect world that the
government and its institutions want to build—at any cost. It
can also be the walls built around yourself for protection.
 The education system produces mindless “robots” that go
along with the governments views, no matter what those
views are (link to the evil of the German Nazis from WW2)
Description of Video
Official Music Video
Video opens with a shot of London, England, and children running out of
various buildings, presumably trying to escape something.
The animated “teacher” character is introduced who promptly starts putting
children through a meat grinder that is shaped like a school.
The teacher then turns into a hammer, which then smashes down into
something (or someone) off camera.
A brick wall captures a small “doll-like” figure that appears helpless. This
image is repeated often.
Three Most Effective Images
#1 The Teacher and the “Meat” Grinder
“Meat” Grinder
This image is effective because you can see the kids
screaming and struggling as the teacher forcibly shoves
them through the “school” process.
They come out the other side, looking all the same, and
all trace of each individual kid is gone. The education
system has completed its goal of producing the citizens
they want.
Three Most Effective Images (cont)
#2 The brick wall surrounding the doll-like figure
“The brick wall”
The wall surrounds the “doll.” This could either be that each individual feels
the need to hide themselves away from all the pressures of the world or the
world has succeeded in closing off the person from everything that would
make them unique.
Either way, this is a situation that encourages rebellion because neither of
these situations are beneficial for the person.
Three Most Effective Images (cont)
#3 The hammers marching
“The Hammers Marching”
The link to the German armies of WW2 is not by accident in this image.
The message implies that under such strict government control (as is done
through the British education system), the people under that government
will be little more than mindless drones who march wherever they are told to
do so.
This, too, is something that must be rebelled against in order to protect our
individual freedom of thought. The threatening storm clouds in the image
show us that such an outcome would be similar to doomsday for our society.
Personal Connection
Throughout my years of high school, in particular, I had very few teachers
whom I thought were actually good teachers. Almost none encouraged new
ways of thinking instead of simply forcing us to spit out whatever answer
they thought was best. I found this frustrating and a waste of time.
I even had a math teacher who would throw chalk and textbooks at us if he
thought we were being too “stupid.” He, ironically, really knew his stuff.
It wasn’t until I went to university that I experienced true freedom of
I think that “Another Brick in the Wall – Part 2” should win the Best
Song of All Time award because, even though it seems like such a
simple song, the meaning behind the lyrics is complex and is still
relevant thirty years later.
It deals with insightful social issues and demands that the listeners
think critically, not just about the song, but also about what is going
on in the world around them; and most importantly, the song makes
you think about who is trying to repress your individuality for the
“greater good.”

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