Sunday, December 2, 2012

"Run Like Hell" by Pink Floyd

Song#:  0164
Date:  05/10/1980
Debut:  80
Peak:  53
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Rock, Arena Rock

Pop Bits:  Pink Floyd was riding high at the time with their #1 album The Wall and it's freak #1 single "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)." But when you are primarily known as an album-oriented group and your current album is high-concept and it spun off an unexpected #1 song, how do you follow it up? They attempted a second single with "Run Like Hell," a similarly driving rocker that is more instrument driven than vocal. Although memorable with it's ringing guitar chords, it didn't have the same brooding groove or hook as "Another Brick" and therefore couldn't even get halfway up the chart. A third single was attempted, but no one bit. However, it did become a classic rock radio tune - "Comfortably Numb." Perhaps if this had been the second single, they might have gotten a bigger hit. But it really doesn't matter. The Wall was an enormous smash and did fine on it's own merit.  

ReduxReview:  I had always thought "Comfortably Numb" was the follow-up single and hit the chart. I was wrong. I'm quite familiar with this song, but I don't remember it being on the radio at all. Even in later days on rock radio. So I was surprised to find it had hit the chart. Obviously when listening to The Wall everything kind of melds and is great. But it's a little different isolating them on their own as singles. "Another Brick" worked and I think "Comfortably Numb" did, but this one not so much. Great music, just not a great single.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  After the 9/11 attacks, both TV and radio took some steps to be sensitive and alter programming accordingly in response. Clear Channel famously distributed an internal list (which soon became external) to its 1,200 radio stations of songs that they suggest not being played. While there are some obvious choice that seem appropriate, like "War" or "Knockin' On Heaven's Door," there are some that seem to be reaching a bit like Petula Clark's "A Sign of the Times." Included on the list where two from Pink Floyd: "Mother" and "Run Like Hell." Oh, there was one artist who's entire catalog was on the list - Rage Against the Machine.


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