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Trivia / The Final Cut

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  • Creator Backlash: David Gilmour disliked The Final Cut because of the inclusion of the songs that were rejected from The Wall (e.g., "The Hero's Return" was a reworking of "Teacher, Teacher"). He eventually requested to have his name removed from the producing credits, but still retain producer's royalties. Gilmour did like a few songs from the album, notably "The Fletcher Memorial Home", and considered The Final Cut a good record in its own right; he mainly feels that it didn't fit Pink Floyd's style.
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  • Creator Killer: For the Roger Waters-led incarnation of the band, as he left after its release and declared the band "a creatively spent force". The album was also a relative commercial disappointment after the last few Pink Floyd records, especially after the blockbuster success of The Wall. The Troubled Production of this album detailed below and the failure of Waters' solo album, The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking, damaged his professional reputation for a long time.
  • He Also Did: Saxophonist Raphael Ravenscroft, best known for playing on Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street", plays the sax break on "The Gunner's Dream".
  • Hostility on the Set:
    • David Gilmour and Roger Waters' relationship had deteriorated to the point where they couldn't stand to be in the same studio as each other, recording their parts separately in different studios with different engineers.
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    • Waters' attitude even turned off composer Michael Kamen, who was brought in for string arrangements. During a long meeting, Kamen appeared to be taking notes, but had only written "I must not fuck sheep" repeatedly on his notepad. Waters was furious when he found out.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • "The Fletcher Memorial Home" refers to many real-life politicians since 1945 whom Roger Waters felt frustrated and irritated by. Many of them were still alive when this song was released. It takes its title from his father's middle name.
    • "When The Tigers Broke Free" is based on Eric Fletcher Waters' experience in World War II. He really did die as a part of the 8th Royal Fusiliers while fighting in Italy.
  • Sequel Gap: The album followed 1979's The Wall by four years, which was a very long gap between albums back then (at the time 1-2 years was considered the general norm, and would stay the norm up until the rise of digital distribution and streaming in the 2000's and 2010's, which made albums much less lucrative than before compared to live shows).
  • Troubled Production: To an extent that shattered camel vertebrae the world over.
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    • The album was originally envisioned as Spare Bricks, a companion piece to Pink Floyd's previous album, their 1979 double-LP The Wall, consisting of original recordings made for the 1982 film adaptation plus a handful of original songs meant to expand the album's narrative. However, the onset of The Falklands War resulted in Roger Waters— then in complete control of the band— scrapping the original concept and creating a new album specifically to say "fuck you" to Margaret Thatcher, who he felt had acted out of jingoism and betrayed the ideals left behind in the wake of World War II (in which his father died fighting). This drew the irritation of David Gilmour, who was growing tired of Waters' policing of the band and felt unimpressed by the politics behind the album. Additionally, Gilmour was vexed by Waters' decision to include five outtakes from The Wall intended for Spare Bricksnote  and wanted the band to compose more original material instead— which Waters shot down, citing how little his bandmates had actually been contributing in the way of songwriting lately (itself the product of said bandmates wrestling with a wide array of personal issues at the time).
    • Writing and recording sessions were already tense from the outset as a result of these Creative Differences, to the extent where Waters and Gilmour could no longer tolerate working in the same building as one another. Gilmour felt constantly anxious during the sessions, to the point where he could barely keep from having a breakdown, and Waters was growing increasingly fed up with his bandmates, with his own anxieties (particularly his lack of confidence in his singing ability), and with co-producer and session pianist (in place of the recently-fired Richard Wright) Michael Kamen, who himself was constantly on-edge under Waters' directorship. At one point, Waters, having just finished recording a bevy of vocal takes, spotted Kamen scribbling in a notepad, demanding to know what he was doing and exploding at him upon finding the notepad filled with several pages of "I must not fuck sheep" written ad-nauseum.
    • By the time recording finished, Gilmour was so fed up with Waters' dictatorial leadership and complete control over the record that he asked to be removed from the album's credits (though was still paid royalties), Waters nearly had the album released as a solo record (only backing down due to Pink Floyd's contractual obligations with EMI), and the album was ultimately released with the infamous credit of "by Roger Waters, performed by Pink Floyd," now a microcosm of just how tight of a grip Waters had on his bandmates at that point. The album underperformed, was critically maligned, and went on to become Pink Floyd's most divisive record since Ummagumma. Ultimately, Waters was so disillusioned by the whole affair that he quit Pink Floyd two years later, then unsuccessfully tried to sue the band when they kept going without him. To this day, the sheer acrimony of the sessions for The Final Cut remain as a large, dark stain on Pink Floyd's history and Waters' reputation.
  • Unintentional Period Piece:
    • "Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert" references several geopolitical hotspots in the early '80s: The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, the war in Lebanon and The Falklands War.
    • "The Fletcher Memorial Home" references many politicians. Some of them, like Leonid Brezhnev and Joseph McCarthy were already dead at the time of recording. Haig had stepped down as Secretary of State in 1981, while Begin would do the same in 1983, the year this album was released. As of 2014, with the death of Ian Paisley, all the politicians referenced in this song have died, making the song extremely dated.
    • Waters' lyrical attacks on Margaret Thatcher all through the album and the fear of nuclear war in "Two Suns in the Sunset" date The Final Cut to the early '80s.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The album was originally intended to be a soundtrack to the film version of The Wall entitled Spare Bricks. Then The Falklands War happened.
    • Roger wanted to release The Final Cut as a solo album, which explains why it was credited as "By Roger Waters, performed by Pink Floyd". It's the only Pink Floyd album Waters wrote entirely himself. Waters also wanted to launch a full-scale tour for this album, which would have been their first since the In the Flesh tour in 1977 after the limited run of shows for The Wall in 1980-81, but tensions between him and Gilmour prevented this.

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