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The Wall recording and mastering sessions in detail Print E-mail

Wall building - those final bricks; an exclusive look at the recording sessions for THE WALL

Mid 1977 saw the end of the Animals tour and Roger Waters' legendary outburst. Once the tour was over, the band went to their respective tax-havens; Waters went to Switzerland, where he formed the general concept of The Wall and prepared rough demos in January 1978.

The title of the project was a detail that wasn't ironed out until almost the last minute. A leak to the music press in November 1978 announced the next album as "Walls" which would be performed live in a 5000 seater travelling canvas concert hall. A massively horrified management denied this and work continued in secret.

Possibly to prevent further leaks, or general record company procedure (as in the movie industry), the album was know by CBS who oversaw recording of the album in the USA only as "PROJECT # 5622-2".

Recording began in April 1979 at Superbear in France, later at CBS Studios in New York, Cherokee Studios and finally Producers Workshop in Los Angeles. What follows is an exclusive breakdown of the final sessions leading up to the release of the album at the end of 1979 - including the fabled Beach Boys/Floyd vocal collaboration cancelled on the day of the recording.

As you will see, hours were long and obviously tiring. All this information has been gleaned from CBS files, and many of the log sheets are countersigned by Bob Ezrin and in some cases, David Gilmour. All titles appear exactly as they do on the session reports - a fascinating insight into how the project developed...

Date Studio Length What was recorded
Location: Cherokee Recording Studios
6th Sept    Studio 2    7 hours    Synth Overdub - Show Must Go On   
7th Sept    Studio 2    9 hours    Organ/synths Blue Sky, Synth Overdub - Synth Theme &
Education, Organ Overdub Thin Ice   
8th Sept    Studio 2    8.5 hours    Synth Overdub - Another Hole In The Wall Pt 1   
Location: Producers Workshop
12th Sept Studio 1 12 hours    Overdubbing   
12th Sept Studio 2 7 hours Overdub - Vera & Synth Theme, Mix Hey You   
13th Sept Studio 1 13 hours Overdubs   
13th Sept Studio 2 12 hours    Synths - Vera, Hey You, and Goodbye Blue Sky   
14th Sept Studio 1 12 hours    Trumpet, flugelhorn, coonga recordings   
14th Sept Studio 2 14 hours    Assembling SFX (Special Effects) master tape   
15th Sept Studio 1 8 hours Percussion - Young Lust & Another Brick   
15th Sept Studio 2 13 hours SFX Overdubs   
17th Sept Studio 1 12 hours Mix dubbing   
17th Sept Studio 2 14 hours Mix dubbing   
18th Sept Studio 1 12 hours Overdubs - Young Lust & Run Like Hell   
18th Sept Studio 2 13.5 hours Telephone effects   
19th Sept Studio 1 12 hours Bass/guitars - Vera, vocals Young Lust   
19th Sept Studio 2 13.5 hours Mix dubbing   
20th Sept Studio 1 12 hours Mixing   
20th Sept Studio 2 13.5 hours Mixing
Location: The Village Recorder
21st Sept Studio D 2 hours David Gilmour/Frank Wolf tape transfers
Location: Producers Workshop
21st Sept Studio 1 12 hours Guitar overdubs - Don't Leave Me Now & The Show
21st Sept Studio 2 12 hours Mix - Young Lust & The Empty Spaces
22nd Sept Studio 1 12 hours Overdubs - The Show & Bring The Boys Back Home
22nd Sept    Studio 2    12 hours    Overdub mixing
23rd Sept    Studio 2    12 hours    Overdub mixing
24th Sept    Studio 1    13 hours    Vocal overdubs - The Show (Sides 1 & 4) & Goodbye
Blue Sky
24th Sept    Studio 2    12 hours    Mixing
25th Sept    Studio 1    13 hours    Backing vocals - Waiting From The Worms & piano overdubs  
25th Sept    Studio 2    14.5 hours    Mix - What Shall We Do Now
26th Sept    Studio 1    13 hours    Mix - Is There Anybody Out There
26th Sept    Studio 2    13 hours    Mix - Goodbye Blue Sky
27th Sept    Studio 1    14 hours    Mix - Is There Anybody Out There & One Of My Turns
27th Sept    Studio 2    16 hours    Mix - Don't Leave Me Now
28th Sept    Studio 1    15 hours    Mix overdubbing
28th Sept    Studio 2      13 hours    Dubbing - Is There Anybody Out There & Bring The
Boys Back Home
, mix Hey You
29th Sept    Studio 1    16 hours    Mix - Hey You
1st Oct    Studio 1    14 hours    Overdubbing - Mother
1st Oct    Studio 2    15.5 hours    Mix - The Happiest Days Of Our Lives
2nd Oct    Studio 1    13 hours    Overdubbing - Is There Anybody Out There
& Nobody Home  
2nd Oct    Studio 2    12 hours    Mix - The Happiest Days Of Our Lives
Location: Sundance Productions, Inc
2nd Oct    Studio booked from 12pm - 5pm for BEACH BOYS & PINK FLOYD vocal session -
session cancelled same day
Location: Producers Workshop
3rd Oct    Studio 1    15 hours    The Show (Side 4), Overdubbing Bring The Boys Back Home  
3rd Oct    Studio 2    14 hours    Mixing - Another Brick In The Wall Part 1  
4th Oct    Studio 1    13.5 hours      Vocals, effects, organ - The Show, drums/percussion Bring The
Boys Back Home
, vocal/guitar One Of My Turns  
4th Oct    Studio 2    16.5 hours      Crossfade mock-ups, plus mix Thin Ice Pt2  
5th Oct    Studio 1    13.5 hours      Prophet synth - Doctor, vocal - Bring The
Boys Back Home
, overdubbing Nobody Home  
5th Oct    Studio 2    13.5 hours      Mix - Vera, Thin Ice Pt 2, crossfades  
6th Oct    Studio 2    10.5 hours      Vocal overdub - Nobody Home, vocal Bring The Boys
Back Home, One Of My Turns
, bass Another
Brick In The Wall Pt2
  
7th Oct    Studio 2    14.5 hours      Mixing
8th Oct    Studio 1    14.5 hours      Vocal/piano/guitar overdubs - Waiting For The Worms  
8th Oct    Studio 2    15.5 hours      Mix - The Doctor, 16 track transfer and edit  
9th Oct    Studio 1    13 hours      Vocal overdubs - Waiting For The Worms, The Show Pt2,
guitar overdubbing  
9th Oct    Studio 2    14 hours      Mix and overdub Overture for Comfortably Numb (both versions)  
10th Oct    Studio 1    13 hours      Overdubs - The Doctor, edit SFX tape loop  
10th Oct    Studio 2    14 hours      Mix - The Doctor, remix orchestra for The Doctor  
11th Oct    Studio 1    13 hours      Overdubs - Stop, piano Show Must Go On, backing
vocals Waiting For The Worms  
11th Oct    Studio 2    16.5 hours      The Doctor, Comfortably Numb  
12th Oct    Studio 1    13 hours      Overdubs - Mother  
12th Oct    Studio 2    14.5 hours      Editing Comfortably Numb, mix Another Brick Education  
13th Oct    Session Cancelled
14th Oct    Session Cancelled
15th Oct    Studio 1    13 hours      Overdubs - Mother  
15th Oct    Studio 2    18.5 hours      Crossfade Another Brick Pt2 with Happiest Days;
6-track transfer Mother  
16th Oct    Studio 1    13.5 hours      Vocal overdubs - The Show Must Go On; guitar overdubs Mother  
16th Oct    Studio 2    15 hours      Mix Nobody Home & Run Like Hell  
17th Oct    Studio 1    13 hours      Hand claps overdubs - Run Like Hell; guitar overdub Mother  
17th Oct    Studio 2    19.5 hours      Mix & drum overdubs Run Like Hell;
Assemble preview of The Wall  
18th Oct    Studio 1    13 hours      Overdub SFX - Waiting For The Worms; guitar overdub Mother  
18th Oct    Studio 2    14.5 hours      Showcase The Wall, mix Run Like Hell  
19th Oct    Studio 1    14 hours      Vocals - Show Must Go On & Mother; SFX Waiting
For The Worms
  
19th Oct    Studio 2    14 hours      Mix & overdubs  
20th Oct    Studio 1    12 hours      Piano - Show Must Go On; drums Mother
vocals & bass Mother  
20th Oct    Studio 2    14 hours      Mix & overdubs  
21st Oct    Studio 2    14 hours      Mix & overdubs  
22nd Oct    Studio 1    13 hours      Overdubs & SFX - Trial By Puppet  
22nd Oct    Studio 2    15 hours      Mix Waiting For The Worms  
23rd Oct    Studio 1    16 hours      Record - The Buskers & Outside The Wall;
Assemble various tape loops & effects  
23rd Oct    Studio 2    16 hours      Mix Stop & Anybody Out There  
24th Oct    Studio 1    13.5 hours      Overdub piano - Mother; SFX Bring The Boys Back Home;
vocals The Trial  
24th Oct    Studio 2    14 hours      Mix Mother  
25th Oct    Studio 1    15 hours      Crossfades - Another Brick, Nobody Home,
& The Thin Ice  
25th Oct    Studio 2    14 hours      Mix Mother  
26th Oct    Studio 1    17 hours      Crossfades - Another Brick In The Wall Pt2 & Mother  
26th Oct    Studio 2    17 hours      Mix In The Flesh & In The Flesh?  
27th Oct    Studio 1    14 hours      Crossfades - Another Brick (Drugs), Goodbye Cruel World
Nobody Home & Vera  
27th Oct    Studio 2    14.5 hours      Mix In The Flesh & In The Flesh?  
28th Oct    Studio 1    14 hours      Mix overdubs  
28th Oct    Studio 2    19 hours      Mix In The Flesh, In The Flesh?
& Outside The Wall  
29th Oct    Studio 1    16 hours      Crossfade album  
29th Oct    Studio 2    17.5 hours      Mix Trial By Puppets; edit singles  
30th Oct    Studio 1    16 hours      Crossfade album  
30th Oct    Studio 2    17 hours      Mixing The Trial  
31st Oct    Studio 1    14 hours      Mix and overdubs  
31st Oct    Studio 2    13 hours      Mix Young Lust & Empty Spaces  
1st Nov    Studio 1    13 hours      Crossfade sides 2 & 3  
1st Nov    Studio 2    14 hours      Crossfade & remix Bring The Boys Back Home  
2nd Nov    Studio 1    14.5 hours      SFX - The Wall  
2nd Nov    Studio 2    16.5 hours      Crossfades  
3rd Nov    Studio 1    13 hours      Editing  
3rd Nov    Studio 2    13.5 hours      Editing  
4th Nov    Studio 2    7 hours      Tape editing  
5th Nov    Studio 2    15.5 hours      Pre-mixes for animation & live shows  
6th Nov    Studio 2    8 hours      Copy & edit TV spots; copy all four sides of album.
Finalised version passed to The Mastering Lab Inc
for urgent master pressing  
7th Nov    Title The Wall as LP title confirmed on cover printing instructions  
9th Nov    Lacquers ready of finished album; distribution of lacquers; test pressings to key
personnel & offices  
13th Nov    Studio 2    1.5 hours      Tape fifteen copies of LPs & Young Lust & Another
Brick In The Wall Pt 2
  
14th Nov    Studio 2    6.5 hours      Copy and edit fifteen LPs; EQ Dolby copy for 8-track
cartridge master  
16th Nov    Another Brick In The Wall Pt 2 & One Of My Turns
released in the UK on 7" single  
30th Nov    The Wall LP released in the UK  
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