"Don't look so afraid, I'm only joking!" The alien comic lied The jackass and hyena took the feather from its hook The monkey in the corner wrote the joke down in his book
—Roger Waters, "What God Wants, Part I"
While Roger Waters is most famous for his work as the bassist and lyricist for Pink Floyd, his solo career is just as notable. Starting after he left Pink Floyd in 1984, Waters has released 4 solo albums so far. Three of these, The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking,Radio KAOS, and Amused to Death, are rock-oriented concept albums similar to the work he did with Pink Floyd, but his most recent, Ca Ira, is an opera. In addition to his albums, Roger does a lot of touring, most notably his The Wall tour of 2011-2012, in which he played the entire Pink Floyd album.
Censor Box: Columbia Records put one on the cover of Pros and Cons after feminist groups complained that the cover art, depicting a nude female hitchhiker, played by model/softcore porn actress Linzi Drew, shown from the back, constituted an advertisement for rape.
Darker and Edgier: Each of his successive solo albums is darker than the last, at least lyrically. In order, we have "guy dreams of cheating on his wife with a hitchhiker," "disabled boy saves world from nuclear threat," and "the media are evil. Do not trust anything they say."
His solo albums as a whole are much darker (or at least much more blatant) than his work with Pink Floyd (with the possible exception of The Final Cut).
New Sound Album: While Pros and Cons sounds very similar to The Wall or The Final Cut, Radio KAOS, with its drum machines and synths, sounds much more like the product of the '80s that it is.
Amused To Death went back in tone to the concept records of Floyd and Pros & Cons, but also used QSound, a positional sound technique that was a precursor to bands creating 5.1 surround mixes in Dolby Digital or DTS.
Power Ballad: "Me or Him," "Late Home Tonight," and "Watching TV."
Real Time: Pros and Cons. The first song is titled "4:30 AM (Apparently They Were Traveling Abroad)" and the last song is "5:11 AM (The Moment of Clarity)." While the events don't unfold this way, the album runs 42:07 and the time when each dream starts is in the title of each song.
Shout-Out: His "The Wall" tour contains images of dogs, pigs, and sheep, referencing the Pink Floyd album Animals.
The animals are holding iPods and have earbuds in, referencing the Apple marketing campaign, with captions such as "iProtect" (for the dogs).
Some of his music references his work with Pink Floyd, most notably "What God Wants, Part III," which contains the "pings" from "Echoes," the synthesizer pad which opens "Shine On You Crazy Diamond," and the guitar glissando which opens "Breathe."
Spoken Word In Music: Pink Floyd often used sound bites and dialog, but it has been more prominent in Waters' solo albums:
In The Pros & Cons Of Hitchhiking, actor Jack Palance, actress Beth Porter, and backing vocalist Madeline Bell have speaking roles.
It factors heavily into the plot of Radio K.A.O.S., with its exchanges in-between songs between the album's protagonist Billy and a DJ at the KAOS radio station, played by long-time Los Angeles-based DJ Jim Ladd (who as of 2011 has moved from terrestrial radio and now has a show on SiriusXM).
"The Ballad of Bill Hubbard" on Amused To Death is played over a harrowing war story told by World War I veteran Alfred "Alf" Razzell, who also appears at the album's end.
Sensory Abuse: During "Pros and Cons", he seemed to have the bright idea that people wanted to hear him lick his chops right next to the bloody microphone. Made even WORSE if you wear high-end headphones.