Friday, October 2, 2020

Roger Waters: A Retrospective, 1965-2020

Roger Waters

A Retrospective, 1965-2020

Born: George Robert Waters
Date: September 6, 1943
Where: Great Bookham, Surrey, England

Significant Bands:

  • Pink Floyd (1965-1983)


Roger Waters was one of the founding members of Pink Floyd. The psychedelic, progressive-rock formed in 1965. Waters served as the bassist, chief songwriter, and sometimes vocalist. He left the band in 1983 for a solo career.

On the Web:



Pink Floyd Studio Albums:

Hover over an album cover to see its title and year of release. Click on the album to go to its dedicated DMDB page.

Solo Studio Releases:

Hover over an album cover to see its title and year of release. Click on the album to go to its dedicated DMDB page.


Only songs featured on Flickering Flame are noted on this page. For details on the Pink Floyd anthologies, check out the DMDB profile page for Pink Floyd. Under the album snapshots below, songs featured on Flickering Flame are noted. If the song charted, the date of the song’s release or first chart appearance and its chart peaks are noted in parentheses. Click for codes to singles charts.

Music from the Body (soundtrack, 1970):

Roger Waters composed this soundtrack for the BBC documentary The Body with Ron Geesin while still in Pink Floyd. Geesin worked on Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother with Waters that same year. The soundtrack featured performances from David Gilmour, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright – the other three members of Pink Floyd.

The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking (1984):

Roger Waters first solo album after leaving Pink Floyd was based on a concept Waters originally conceived in 1977 about a man facing mid-life crisis. The album takes place in real time about the man’s dream about taking a road trip through California, committing adultery with a hitchhiker he picks up, and then trying to reconcile with his wife.

  • The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking (4/9/84, 17 AR, 76 UK, 74 AU)
  • Every Stranger’s Eyes (6/12/84, --) FF

When the Wind Blows (soundtrack, 1986):

Originally David Bowie was going to contribute several songs to the soundtrack, but ended up only providing the title track, opting to focus on his Never Let Me Down album instead. Roger Waters was brought in and offered ten of the fifteen songs on the soundtrack to this animated disaster film based on Raymond Briggs’ comic book of the same name.

  • Folded Flags
  • Towers of Faith FF

Radio K.A.O.S. (1987):

Waters’ second studio album was another concept project, this time following a mentally and physically disabled man who has on-air conversations with a local disc jockey.

  • Radio Waves (5/11/87, 12 AR, 74 UK, 43 AU) FF
  • Sunset Strip (7/18/87, 15 AR)
  • The Tide Is Turning (11/16/87, 54 UK) FF
  • Who Needs Information? (12/21/87, --) FF

The Wall – Live in Berlin (live with various artists, 1990):

Waters brought together a number of guest artists to perform Pink Floyd’s The Wall in its entirety to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall eight months earlier.

  • Empty Spaces/Young Lust (with Bryan Adams, 9/8/90, 7 AR)
  • Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2 (with Cyndi Lauper, 9/10/90, 82 UK)
  • The Tide Is Turning (with the Company, 11/19/90, --)

Amused to Death (1992):

Waters’ third solo album was loosely organized around the idea of an ape randomly switching channels on a television. It explored political and social themes.

  • What God Wants (8/24/92, 4 AR, 35 UK)
  • Perfect Sense, Parts I & II FF
  • Too Much Rope FF
  • Three Wishes FF

In the Flesh (live, 2000):

This live album offered a snapshot of Waters’ three-year In the Flesh tour, which predominantly featured Pink Floyd songs.

  • Each Small Candle FF

Flickering Flame

Roger Waters

Released: April 30, 2002

Covers: 1984-2001

Peak: -- US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: rock

Tracks: (1) Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (2) Too Much Rope (3) The Tide Is Turning (4) Perfect Sense, Parts I & II (live) (5) Three Wishes (6) 5:06 AM (Every Stranger’s Eyes) (7) Who Needs Information? (8) Each Small Candle (live) (9) Flickering Flame (10) Towers of Faith (11) Radio Waves (12) Lost Boys

Total Running Time: 70:23


3.275 out of 5.00 (average of 6 ratings)

About Flickering Flame:

It’s hard to call this a “greatest hits,” first because Waters didn’t have many solo hits and second because this collection doesn’t even include all the hits he did have. “The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking,” “Sunset Strip,” and “What God Wants” were all hit songs on the album rock track chart but are not incluced here. This serves more as an archival collection, gathering some unreleased and obscure material alongside a few album cuts as well as a couple of live tracks.

It would be nice to see an updated version of this collection which would add more of Waters’ actual hits as well as post-2002 non-album cuts like the “To Kill a Child” / “Leaving Beirut” single, his cover of the Doors’ “Hello I Love You” from the 2007 The Last Mimzy soundtrack, and his cover of “We Shall Overcome” in 2010.

Tracks Not on Previously Noted Albums:

  • Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (from The Dybbuk of the Holy Apple Field soundtrack, 1997) FF
  • Lost Boys Calling (from The Legend of 1900 soundtrack, 1998) FF
  • Flickering Flame (previously unreleased) FF

Ça Ira (opera, 2005):

This was an opera written by Waters. He was approached in 1987 by friends Étienne Roda-Gil and his wife Nadine Delahaye and asked to set their libretto to music. It was recorded in 1988, but none of it was heard in public until 2002. It finally received an official premerie in Rome in 2005.

The Wall (live, 2015):

Waters revisited Pink Floyd’s The Wall yet again offering this live recording from performances in July 2012.

Is This the Life We Really Want? (2017):

Waters finally went back to the studio for his first solo album since 1992’s Amused to Death. While four singles were released to promote the album, they didn’t achieve any commercial success. The album, however, reached the top 10 in the UK, Australia, and Canada. It hit #11 in the United States.

  • Smell the Roses [5:15] (4/20/17, --)
  • Déjà Vu [4:27] (5/8/17, --)
  • The Last Refugee [4:12] (5/19/17, --)
  • Wait for Her (Waters, Mahmoud Darwish) [4:56] (7/19/17, --)

Igor Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale (classical, 2018):

This was Waters’ adaptation of Igor Stravinsky’s theatrical work. It was recorded in December 2014 at Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church, but not released until four years later. Waters narrated the story and portrayed all the characters, recording the music with members of the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival.

Us + Them (live, 2000):

This was another live album from Waters, capturing a performance from his 2017-2018 tour. Once again, the show featured predominantly Pink Floyd songs.

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 8/22/2021.

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