"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
This page has troped itself to death:
- Career Resurrection: His tours in The Oughts and beyond were mega sellers, particularly his Wall tour.
- Concept Album: All of them.
- 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).
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: The cover of Amused To Death, which is a reference to a recurring motif on the album itself. The "monkey" on the cover is actually a chimpanzee, though.
- Humans Are Bastards: A common theme in his albums, especially Amused To Death.
- 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.
- Old Shame: He rarely plays songs from Pros and Cons or Radio KAOS live.
- Power Ballad: "Me or Him," "Late Home Tonight," and "Watching TV."
- 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 Sirrus XM).
- "The Ballad of Bill Hubbard" on Amused To Death is played over a harrowing war story told by WWI 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.
- Take That: Exceedingly common:
- "What God Wants" towards organized religion and televangelists.
- "The Bravery of Being Out of Range" towards high-ranking military officials.
- Unintentional Period Piece: Radio KAOS hasn't aged well, due to its production and subject matter being rooted firmly in The Eighties.