Is There Anybody Out There?

  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • 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
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 17

  • Ian from OhioThey were both in a 1948 movie called On Our Merry Way, Darrell.
  • Drake from Huntington Beach, CaHey, Is there anybody out there that heard the creepy whaling noise from Echoes? I sure did. Sleepless night.
  • Peter from Hamburg, GermanyNot 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
  • Renato from Rio De Janeiro, BrazilThe Gunsmoke episode is called "Fandango" (1967).
  • Terry from Wickford, RiI 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!
  • Linc from Beaumont, TxI 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...
  • Oldpink from New Castle, InThis 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.
  • Darrell from Stewartsville, NjThat 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?
  • Chris from Evanston, IlTaking 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.
  • Kevin from Warren, MiMichael, Oxford.. This guitar part of this is in A minor, as is the beginning to Stairway. This could be why it sounds similar
  • Sheeberson from Wrightsville Beach, NcEven when you're NOT high this song freaks me the f*ck out...

    Indeed a good song though.
  • James from Bedford, CanadaThis song reminds me a little of alien encounters. Maybe it is to check if anybody is listening to his thoughts?
  • Michael from Oxford, EnglandIs it just me or does the classical guitar here sound like Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven"??
  • Joe from Anywhere, KyI 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.
  • Michael from Oxford, EnglandI'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?" !
  • Bryce from Justin, Txget high and trip to this song
  • Stephan from St Georges, CanadaNO comments on this one!!! Its probably the best instrumental of all time! Simple to play, great chords progression!
see more comments

Randy NewmanSongwriting Legends In Their Own Words

Newman makes it look easy these days, but in this 1974 interview, he reveals the paranoia and pressures that made him yearn for his old 9-5 job.

Have Mercy! It's Wolfman JackSong Writing

The story of the legendary lupine DJ through the songs he inspired.

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary MachineSong Writing

Fiona's highly-anticipated third album almost didn't make it. Here's how it finally came together after two years and a leak.

Stand By Me: The Perfect Song-Movie CombinationSong Writing

In 1986, a Stephen King novella was made into a movie, with a classic song serving as title, soundtrack and tone.

Intentionally AtrociousSong Writing

A selection of songs made to be terrible - some clearly achieved that goal.

Lita FordSongwriter Interviews

Lita talks about how they wrote songs in The Runaways, and how she feels about her biggest hit being written by somebody else.