January 23, 2013

Roger Waters - 4:30 AM (Apparently They Were Travelling Abroad) & 4:33 AM (Running Shoes) (1984)

Born in Surrey, England in 1943, this rock legend was a founding member of the band Pink Floyd, in which he primarily played bass and shared the lead vocals with bandmate David Gilmour (who had joined the band later). Although the band had initially been under the psychedelic leadership of Syd Barrett, 1968 saw the departure of Barrett from the band due to mental illness and the rise of this man as the band’s leader and primary lyricist. Waters went on to write the lyrics and lead the band musically on albums The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall, and The Final Cut, with each of them reaching the number one spot in multiple countries around the world. In the mid-1980s, spawning from creative differences and a power struggle with David Gilmour over direction, Waters left Pink Floyd and sued to keep them from using the "Pink Floyd" name. An out-of-court settlement was finally achieved in 1987, but Waters didn’t play with the band again for another eighteen years. In September 2010, Waters began to take The Wall album on the road and backed it with a sixty-million dollar stage act to feature on tour. Currently, although the tour has periodic breaks, it is scheduled to continue throughout 2013.

In 1977, Waters came up with two ideas for concept albums. The first idea was titled Bricks in the Wall and the second was called The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking. Waters recorded some demos and played them for the other members of Pink Floyd, telling them that they could choose which one they could record as a band. He also informed them that whichever one they didn’t choose, he would release as a solo album. The band’s manager at the time, Steve O’Rourke, thought that Pros and Cons was a better concept; David Gilmour thought that Pros and Cons was better musically-speaking, too; but the band eventually decided that they would record Bricks in the Wall, eventually having it renamed to The Wall and released it in 1979.

Finally, in 1983, after Waters’ departure from Pink Floyd, he had the time to record his other visualized concept album, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking. Featuring the conductor Michael Kamen on piano and legendary guitarist Eric Clapton, the album was stylistically reminiscent of The Wall, but failed to achieve the same commercial success. The titles of the tracks on the album are noted for being named after a particular time of day, with two songs heard below, "4:30 AM" and "4:33 AM," being the opening tracks. If you were to start the album at exactly 4:30 AM, real-time, the titles of each passing song would correspond with the actual time of day. There were even a few extra seconds added after the last song of the first side, so to allow the listener time to flip the record (or cassette) over.

If you enjoy The Wall and these two opening tracks of Pros and Cons, I highly recommend you purchase the album so that you can hear the album in its entirety.

album art

Roger Waters - 4:30 AM (Apparently They Were Travelling Abroad) & 4:33 AM (Running Shoes) (1984)

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"4:30 AM" Lyrics:

Apparently they were travelling abroad and they picked up some hitchhikers.


Jade: "Oh God!"
Wife: "Wake up, you're dreaming."
Jade: "What?"
Wife: "You're dreaming."
Jade: "We were moving away from the border."
Wife: "Huh, what border?"

Jade: "Have a nice day."
Wife: "Huh?"
Jade: "Have a nice day."

We were moving away from the border
Looking for somewhere to sleep
The two of us sharing the driving
Two hitchhikers slumped in the back seat

Woman: "Hello."

I sneaked a quick look in the mirror
She gave me a smile
I said, “Is anyone hungry?”
“Should we stop for a while?”

So we pulled off into a layby
Her dress blew up over her head
I said, “Would you like to come with me?”
She said something foreign under her breath
And the sun shone down on her lovely young limbs
I thought to myself, “She's much too good for you”
I lay down beside her with tears in my eyes
She said

"4:33 AM" Lyrics:

So I stood by the roadside
The soles of my running shoes gripping
The tarmac like gunmetal magnets

Fixed on the front of her Fassbinder face
Was the kind of a smile
That only a rather dull child could have drawn

While attempting a graveyard in the moonlight
But she was impressed
You could see that she thought I looked fine

And when she turned sweeter
The reason, between you and me, was
She'd just seen my green Lamborghini

I think it was the Lamborghini

So we went for a spin in the country
To feel the wind in our hair
To feel the power of my engine
To feel the thrill of desire

And then in the trees, I heard a twig snap
Warning lights flashed on my map
I opened my eyes and to my surprise
There were Arabs with knives at the front of the bed
Right at the front of the bed

Oh, my God, how did they get in here?
I thought we were safe, home in England
She said, “Come on now, kid, it was wrong what ya did”
“You've got to admit it was wrong what ya did”
“You've got to admit it was wrong”

Jade: "Oh god! Jesus..."

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