Comfortably Numb
Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd 1980 Comfortably Numb 45

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

1980
-
Year
Peak Chart Position
  • the song was released as a single, but failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100
  • peaked at No. 24 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart in 1988
  • from Pink Floyd's eleventh album, The Wall (1979)
  • David Gilmour had originally written and recorded a version of the song for inclusion on his first solo album but had decided against it and brought the demo to the The Wall sessions
  • the working title for the composition was "The Doctor"
  • ranks #321 on Rolling Stone magazine's 2010 list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
  • jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour plays acoustic guitar on the track
  • the song features two guitar solos by David Gilmour
  • on the record:
         Roger Waters - vocals (verses), bass guitar
         David Gilmour - vocals (refrain), guitars (acoustic, electric, pedal steel), Prophet-5 synth
         Richard Wright - organ
         Nick Mason - drums
         Lee Ritenour - acoustic guitar
  • written by David Gilmour, Roger Waters - the chorus melody was written by Gilmour while Waters contributed the lyrics and the music for the verses
  • the lyrics reportedly came about from an experience Roger Waters had prior to a 1977 Pink Floyd show in Philadelphia - a doctor injected him with tranquilizers due to his pain from a bout with hepatitis; Waters: "That was the longest two hours of my life...trying to do a show when you can hardly lift your arm"
  • as "Comfortably Numb" went through many rewrites, Roger Waters, David Gilmour and producer Bob Ezrin had numerous conversations and arguments as to what the final released version should be - Gilmour: "I think things like "Comfortably Numb" were the last embers of mine and Roger's ability to work collaboratively together"
  • produced by Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Bob Ezrin
  • orchestral arrangements by Michael Kamen
  • length- 6:21 (album), 3:59 (single edit)
  • "Comfortably Numb" was performed for the last time by all the members of Pink Floyd (Waters, Gilmour, Wright and Mason) at the Live 8 Concert in Hyde Park, London on July 2, 2005
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