Comfortably Numb (1979)- Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd 1979

What more can be said about this song? I don’t know how Floyd created a song which projects the listener in a blissful state of numbness. Each time I hear it, I feel a transcendent feeling of warmness and comfort sweep over me. Perhaps because it could be about loneliness and need for meaning. Who knows?..Let’s find out.

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship smoke on the horizon
You are only coming through in waves
Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying

It may be interpreted as relating to the effects drugs or psychedelics, but I never related to this song like that even if Floyd wrote it under the influence about being under the influence. What songs aren’t likewise elucidated when they prod the psyche so profoundly?
So what’s the history behind its making.

Comfortably Numb is one of Pink Floyd’s best known songs and was released on the concept album The Wall. To understand the song’s significance we need to look at how it tied-in with The Wall, one of the greatest albums in English rock history. The album is about an embittered and alienated rock star named Pink. In “Comfortably Numb,” Pink is medicated by a doctor so he can perform for a show.
Bassist Roger Waters wrote the lyrics and was inspired by an experience of being injected with tranquillizers for stomach cramps before a 1977 performance in Philadelphia.

As recalled here at Auraclave‘On the stage, his hands were numb and his vision blurred, but none of this derailed the crowd, who continued to dance and sing. And it was out of this that one of the main themes of The Wall came about: the disconnect between the public and the band.’

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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14 comments on “Comfortably Numb (1979)- Pink Floyd
  1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    They are the best band to put you in that frame of mind…it’s like you get the feel of drugs without drugs. They carved their own niche out for sure…they continued 1967 in modern times.

    • Yes, I’d even suggest they are the best at Atmospheric Rock if there was such a genre. May be that’s the niche you are alluding to. Learning to Fly is another one which has a drug-inducing affect on me.

  2. Gilmour rips one of his great solos on this.

    • He did indeed! I think ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond’ is one of my favourite instrumentals of rock ever. I’m not by any stretch very familiar with the music of Floyd, but they did remarkable things as far as stretching where music can go.

      • ‘Diamond’s’ is good’. Seems to me you’re pretty familiar when a song hits you like that,

      • Lying down on a floor as I did as 17 year old with my school friends in front of an excellent stereo system in the dead of nighr and listening to ‘Diamond’ was the closest thing I got to musical heavan lol up to that point.
        I’m not that familiar at all with Floyd. You mentioned Gilmour and I of course have heard of him, but I wouldn’t have a clue what his great solos are.

      • Im doing a “CB’s Favorite Solos” thing and he will be showing up soon. The first time I was blown away was from ‘Echoes’. I live cut they did at Pompeii way back in 72. Really left a mark on me. The whole concert is cool but Gilmour just cooks. Its hard rock and he just kills it . six and half minutes in. The band lays down a groove. A fave piece. It’s from their album ‘Meddle’ which was the one that hooked me.

      • That’s what I mean. I had no idea about that. Thanks for educating me. I’m going to look up Echoes from Meddle. You’re a good egg.

      • Im a bad egg but some people like bad eggs. Matt check out the ‘Pompeii’ film also. It’s a bit of cool rock history jut not Floyd. I think you’ll dig the history. ”Meddle ‘ is a fave album. I think it ranks high among fans.

      • I had a look at buddy. It was inded cool. Thanks for putting me onto it.

  3. Reely Bernie says:

    David Gilmour is still the only lead guitar player that I know who can make the guitar sound like a human weeping. It happens here and “On the Turning Away.” Love this song.

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