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Is There Anybody Out There? by Pink Floyd

Album: The WallReleased: 1979
  • This is mostly an instrumental song. The first part has the same concept of "Hey You," that being a distress call from the character Pink. The second part is fully instrumental.
  • The classical guitar that is the basis for this song was played by the session musician Joe DiBlasi. In several interviews, David Gilmour said that he tried to perform it, but was not happy with the results.

    DiBlasi told us the story:

    "It was not recorded at the same time as the orchestra. I was called in to play the song, but when I got to the studio there was nothing written. What David Gilmour played was something completely different.

    I sat down with Bob Ezrin and David Gilmour and we constructed the song. They told me what they had in mind and I would come up with an idea. We continued creating the entire song that way. Then I went in the recording booth (at Sunset Sound, Hollywood) and recorded the part. We did around 10 takes of the song to get the performance that Bob Ezrin wanted for the record.

    After my part was recorded, the song was sent to Michael Kamen, who wrote the orchestration to the guitar part. The orchestra was recorded after the guitar was recorded.

    In interviews after the recording, David forgot my first name but got pretty close on my last name."

    Joe's name was often rendered something like "Ron di Blasin," as journalists tried to transcribe it from Gilmour. This kind of thing wasn't easy to fact check in 1979.
  • The effect that sounds like a siren on this song was also used in the earlier Pink Floyd song "Echoes," where it was used as a sort of whale call. Gilmour created the sound using a backwards-wired wah Pedal.
  • Dialogue from the TV programs Gunsmoke and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. are mixed in the background of the track. The Gunsmoke excerpt is:

    Marshall Dillon: Well, we got an hour of daylight left. Better get started.

    Miss Tyson: Is it unsafe to travel at night?

    Marshall Dillon: It'll be a lot less safe to stay here. Your father's gonna pick up our trail before long.

    Miss Tyson: Can Lorka ride?

    Lorka: Yeah, I can ride.

    Marshall Dillon: Lorka, time to go! Shangra, thank you for everything.

    Miss Tyson: Goodbye Shangra!

    Shangra: Goodbye Missy!

    Miss Tyson: I'll be back - one day.

    Shangra: The bones have told Shangra, Marshall, look after my Missy.


    The Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. excerpt is:

    Sgt. Carter: Alright, I'll take care of them part of the time. But there's somebody else that needs taking care of in Washington.

    Enlisted Man: Who's that?

    Sgt. Carter: Rose Pilchitt.

    Enlisted Man: Rose Pilchitt? Who's that?

    Sgt. Carter: 36-24-36. Does that answer your question?

    Enlisted Man: Who is she?

    Sgt. Carter: She was Miss Armored Division in 1961.

    Enlisted Man: How'd you get to meet her? >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Mountlake Terrace, WA
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Comments: 17

They were both in a 1948 movie called On Our Merry Way, Darrell.Ian - Ohio
Hey, Is there anybody out there that heard the creepy whaling noise from Echoes? I sure did. Sleepless night.Drake - Huntington Beach, Ca
Not that it really matters, but the Gunsmoke excerpt is actually slightly different from the quotes above:

Marshall Dillon: Well, we got an hour of daylight left. Better get started.
Miss Tyson: Isn't it unsafe to travel at night?
Marshall Dillon: It'll be a lot less safe to stay here. Your father's gonna pick up our trail before long.
Miss Tyson: Can Lorka ride?
Marshall Dillon: He has to ride.
Marshall Dillon: Lorka, time to go! Chongra, thank you for everything!
Miss Tyson: Goodbye Chongra!
Shangra: Goodbye Missy!
...

Gunsmoke Season 12, Episode 21, "Fandango" (see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0594105/)
See the dialogue part here at 03:01: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSqJ2zxybaA
Peter - Hamburg, Germany
The Gunsmoke episode is called "Fandango" (1967).Renato - Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
I think it was Lee Ritenour who wound up playing the lead on the album. And yes, as oldpink states, David did do a fine job playing this live. On footage of one of the performances, you can see him smile at the end with a "so there!" look on his face!Terry - Wickford, Ri
I think Pink Floyd is often played out on the terrestrial-space broadcast - I know Elvis and the Beatles are blasted out to ailens - so who knows what ideas the green space-men have about us...Linc - Beaumont, Tx
This is probably the most beautiful song that had someone other than Dave Gilmour play the lead for.
Dave had a classical guitarist play it in the studio because he was struggling to get it down right under the constraints of studio time.
Obviously, he managed to get it right later on, as the scores of live recordings of them performing "The Wall" will attest.
Oldpink - New Castle, In
That does not sound like Sgt. Carter. It sounds more like Burgess Meredith talking to Jimmy Stewart. Were they ever in the same film or TV show?Darrell - Stewartsville, Nj
Taking it out of the context of the album, I thought this song was about someone at a low point in life, wondering if God exists.Chris - Evanston, Il
Michael, Oxford.. This guitar part of this is in A minor, as is the beginning to Stairway. This could be why it sounds similarKevin - Warren, Mi
Even when you're NOT high this song freaks me the f*ck out...

Indeed a good song though.
Sheeberson - Wrightsville Beach, Nc
This song reminds me a little of alien encounters. Maybe it is to check if anybody is listening to his thoughts?James - Bedford, Canada
Is it just me or does the classical guitar here sound like Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven"??Michael - Oxford, England
I wasn't high or tripping like Bryce suggested but I was comfortably numb from drinking one night,when on the way home riding with a friend of mine,there was a storm off in the distance in which the lighting seemed to flash to the beat of this song.Was very cool.Joe - Anywhere, Ky
I'm finding it hard to get to sleep at night because of those haunting vocal harmonies early in this song "Aaaaaah... [is there anybody] out there?" !Michael - Oxford, England
get high and trip to this songBryce - Justin, Tx
NO comments on this one!!! Its probably the best instrumental of all time! Simple to play, great chords progression!Stephan - St Georges, Canada
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