'It's a Miracle'
This lengthy, moody, piano-led diatribe is from 1992's 'Amused to Death,' based on Neil Postman's anti-television culture book 'Amusing Ourselves to Death.' In it, Waters sarcastically lauds globalization ("They've got Pepsi in the Andes / McDonalds in Tibet"), takes quite a nasty shot at composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, and generally wonders what kind of a mess we've gotten ourselves into.
'4:37 AM (Arabs With Knives and West German Skies)'
Waters' first post-Pink Floyd solo album, 1984's 'The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking,' follows a man in real-time through the early morning hours of a restless night filled with thoughts of adultery and a pending midlife crisis. As Eric Clapton softly cries on lead guitar, this track finds our narrator dreaming of a German girl with flaxen hair.
'Perfect Sense'(Part 1 & 2)
Sportcaster Marv Albert provides commentary on a brutal war scene, as if it were a sporting event, on this bombastic, Broadway-ready Roger Waters song. Meanwhile, our hero explains, alongside soul singer P.P. Arnold, how our obsession with violence and its coverage in the mass media makes "perfect sense," if you remove the human cost and measure things solely in terms of dollars and cents.
'The Final Cut'
Roger's last album with Pink Floyd, 1983's 'The Final Cut,' was essentially his solo album in all but name. David Gilmour only sang on the lead single, 'Not Now John,' and later disavowed much of the music on Waters' "Requiem for a Post-War Dream." But don't let their arguments spoil the delicate piano, strings and extremely intimate singing on this beautiful Roger Waters song.
The poppy, computerized music featured on this track, from Waters' 1987 solo record 'Radio K.A.O.S.,' sounds strange coming from such an established icon of classic, progressive rock, until you consider the subject matter. The album tells the story of a mute, wheelchair bound young man who is able to hear radio waves, and uses them to control computers around the world.
'What God Wants, Part 1'
'Amused to Death' was a concept album that critiqued television, mass media and their effect on our society through the eyes of a channel-changing gorilla. The first single, 'What God Wants,' expanded upon that ambitious subject matter by espousing Water's opinions on the perceived hypocrisy and contradictions inherent in organized religion. A real party album, in other words.
'5:06 AM (Every Stranger's Eyes)'
As both the physical and psychological overnight journeys of our late-night hitch hiker Reg come to an end, he sees signs of his own struggle in 'Every Stranger's Eyes.' This helps Reg feel better, and feel hopeful that he can "beat the tears that threaten to snuff out the spark" of his endangered, romantic relationship.
'When the Tigers Broke Free'
Surprisingly, this touching, mournful Roger Waters song got bumped from not one, but two Pink Floyd albums. Despite setting up the whole story of 'The Wall' by telling of the death of Roger's father, it was cut from that album, included only in the film version, then left off 'The Final Cut' despite being released as a single trumpeting that record, later added to the 2004 CD re-release.
'The Tide Is Turning (After Live Aid)'
A surprisingly hopeful song, featuring gentle keyboards and lush group vocals, ends 'Radio K.A.O.S.' on an upbeat note. It turns out the simulated threat of nuclear annihilation engineered by our computer-controlling hero Billy made the whole world realize that family, friends and neighbors are much too valuable to lose to the forces of fear and modernization. Awww...
'5:01 AM (The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking)'
The title track and lead single from 'The Pros and Cons of Hitch hiking' jumps back and forth between literal and more figurative explorations regarding the risks of "thumbing it" across the countryside. Sure, you might get the occasional thrill from a bored housewife, but you also risk broken bones, bad weather, buzzards, and worst of all, loneliness.