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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking

Roger Waters

1984

The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking
Album Summary

This album has been submitted by a user and is not included in any edition of the book.

The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking is the first solo studio album by Roger Waters, bassist/songwriter and co-founder of English rock band Pink Floyd; it was released in 1984. The album was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1995. The concept was originally envisioned by Waters in 1977 and refined in the early 1980s. In its completed form, it rotates around a man's scattered thoughts during his midlife crisis. These are explored on a dream journey during which he takes a road trip through California, commits adultery with a hitchhiker he picks up along the way, attempts to reconcile with his wife by moving to the wilderness, and finally ends up alone but with greater insight into a common human compassion. Along the way he also faces other fears and paranoia. The entire story is framed in real time as a fitful dream taking place in the early morning hours of 4:30:18 am to 5:12:32 am on an unspecified day. At the end of the dream, the man wakes up lonely and contrite and turns to his real wife for comfort, presumably having processed his crisis. In July 1978, Waters presented the concepts and played demos of The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking as well as what was then titled Bricks in the Wall, which became The Wall, to his bandmates in the group Pink Floyd, asking them to decide which should be a group album, and which should be his solo album. After a long debate, they decided that they preferred the concept of Bricks in the Wall, even though their manager at the time, Steve O'Rourke, thought that Pros and Cons was a better-sounding concept, and David Gilmour deemed Pros and Cons stronger musically.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.18

Votes

60

Genres

  • Rock

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Tue May 07 2024
3

I'm a huge Pink Floyd fan but I definitely lean toward David Gilmour and the whole ambient direction that they go in in the 80s (and beyond!). This album sounds like a rejected version of the wall. The bum on the cover is quite nice.

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Mon May 13 2024
5

Wow, great to see this album here. This came out when I was 18 years old, and at the peak of my Pink Floyd obsession. I bought it on vinyl, wore it out, and saw Roger in concert on this tour - only the second concert I'd ever been to, and it was amazing. I love that Roger Waters, on breaking up with one of the greatest guitarists of all time in David Gilmour, just called up his friend Eric Clapton and said, "Hey, mate, I'm making a new album. You wanna play guitar on it?" Eric was probably like, "I don't know..." so Roger says, "There's going to be a naked girl on the cover," and Eric's like, "Okay, I'll do it." It's honestly great guitar work by Clapton, a bit of a resurgence for him after making some pretty weak crap over the previous few years. The album itself is uneven at times, but the concept works. It's a lot like a dream in that there are crazy and random things happening (eating a sandwich with a puppy on it?!?) but at the same time it's a cohesive story. The lyrics are just amazing. "Fixed on the front of her Fassbinder face was the kind of a smile that only a rather dull child could have drawn." How can you not love that? Or, "Hey girl, as I've always said I prefer your lips red. Not what the good lord made, but what he intended." The song Gone Fishing is just perfect, the way it paints this idyllic picture of a family getting back to nature, but even from the beginning there are ominous undertones that portend disaster. Anyway, I love this album (obviously). Not quite up to the level of Pink Floyd's best work, but still worthy of 5 stars in my book.

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Wed May 08 2024
3

6/10. Hmm. I really like the idea of this album. And the title track. But the rest of it is a bit more hit-or-miss, and it's just unnerving when there are little snippets that are shared with The Wall—like that one song that sounded like Mother, and the other one that sounded like One of My Turns, and then every once in a while I'll jump in the middle of a song because it sounds like In the Flesh just came on… I just feel like this album lacks its own identity a bit because of that. Also if I could hear what the fuck Roger Waters was saying half the time it would help a lot, but the main vocals are mixed kinda low.

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Wed May 08 2024
5

Excellent addition, I always enjoy the 80s Waters sound and the weird shit it does.

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Fri Jul 12 2024
5

This guy is a musical genius

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Wed May 08 2024
4

Probably would've made a better final album with Pink Floyd than the "The Final Cut," which was more of a personal thing for Roger Waters anyway.

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Wed May 08 2024
4

Very interesting concept. It's definitely one while story, a unity of songs.

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Wed May 08 2024
3

Obviously, very Pink Floydish in sound and execution. But somehow it lacks the urgency of what Rogers was able to create together with Pink Floyd. This album definitely has it's moments (the title track can easily compete with late-era Floyd) but there's just too many so-so tracks that have a tendency to drift off into mediocrity.

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Wed May 08 2024
3

This sounded a lot like Pink Floyd to me. Makes sense, since this was his first attempt after leaving the band. I quite like Pink Floyd, so this was a warm bath.

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Thu May 09 2024
3

I'm more than happy to add a real-time concept to the project, though the implications of the four-o-clock hour are unclear. Waters operates very much in the singular-theme prog mode, with welcome Americana.

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Thu May 09 2024
3

Excellent music, his voice not so interesting.

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Thu May 09 2024
3

This was a bit silly. I've never really been a huge PF fan and this has that same floaty, esoteric quality a lot of their stuff does. Spots of cool broken up by whimsical drivel. The concept did nothing for me, but that's ok. I can tell a lot of thought and effort went into it, and I didn't hate it. Just should've been condensed into a 30min album. 3/5.

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Fri May 10 2024
3

I listened to The Wall a ton in a certain phase of life and the similarity of vibe with this sort of overshadowed it as a standalone object. This more pedestrian lyrical material doesn't suit that operatic sound so well as The Wall's tour through history, politics, conformity and madness (the fact that it's become one of my least favorite phases of Pink Floyd overall doesn't help). There are some strong moments but it didn't quite gel for me. I don't regret having listened to it though.

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Sat May 11 2024
3

Honestly, still pretty enjoyable.

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Fri May 31 2024
3

There are no real cons to hitch hiking. Unless you can't bum a ride.

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Sat Jun 01 2024
3

I enjoyed this album but I have a couple of gripes. Roger Waters reuses a lot of musical motifs from the Wall throughout especially a melodic line from the song ‘Mother’ which serves as a recurring melody. I know those albums were essentially written together, but it feels a bit like self plagiarism. Both albums also have similar themes involving a man who becomes isolated from people in his life though this album resolves more cleanly. I did like the idea that this album is occurring in real time during a 40 minute dream. Again, I did enjoy this album, but I prefer The Wall.

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Sat Jun 08 2024
3

Whoa. This was a new one to me. Super cool and the backstory of this or The Wall...understand why this went to his side project. Neat regardless.

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Sun Jun 23 2024
2

Long and dreary without much excitement along the way – some flashes of interesting melodies and guitar work, but mostly flat and non-dynamic for most of its runtime.

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