The classic album The Wall , was released as a double album by Progressive Rock band Pink Floyd on 30 November 1979. It was their eleventh album and last album released with the line-up of guitarist David Gilmour, bass guitarist and lyricist Roger Waters, keyboardist Richard Wright, and drummer Nick Mason before Wright was fired from the band. It was supported by a tour with elaborate theatrical effects, and adapted into a 1982 feature film, Pink Floyd – The Wall. The album features the band’s only single to top various charts, “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2”.
As with Pink Floyd’s prior three albums, The Wall is a concept album, exploring themes of abandonment and personal isolation. It is a rock opera that follows Pink, a character whom Waters modeled after himself and the band’s original leader, Syd Barrett. Pink’s life begins with the loss of his father during the Second World War and continues with abuse from his schoolteachers, an overprotective mother, and the breakdown of his marriage; all contribute to his eventual self-imposed isolation from society, represented by a metaphorical wall.
Waters conceived the album during Pink Floyd’s 1977 In the Flesh Tour, when his frustration with the audience became so acute that he spat on the audience. The album features a harsher and more theatrical style than Pink Floyd’s previous albums. Wright was unceremoniously fired from the band by Waters during its production but remained as a salaried musician, performing with Pink Floyd during the Wall tour. The album was one of the best selling of 1980 and by 1999 it had sold over 23 million RIAA-certified units (11.5 million albums) making it the third highest certified album in the United States. Rolling Stone placed The Wall at number 87 on its list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.