Hey, Hey, Rise Up

Hey Hey Rise Up
Hey, Hey, Rise Up.

Hey You

Let’s kick at an open door, shall we?

Hey, Hey, Rise Up is, in my humble opinion, not a genuine Pink Floyd track. It is, at best, a curio, like The Merry Xmas Song, but of course, it has been made for a much better cause.

Releasing it as Pink Floyd instead of David Gilmour and friends will get the song free promotion and as such every (online) newspaper has already brought it up, although not all reviews are that positive. The (Daily) Telegraph, for instance, describes it as an overblown 1980s Eurovision entry.

Update 2022 04 10: 24 hours after its launch, the song hit the #1 position of iTunes downloads in 27 countries.

The song uses the vocals of Andriy Khlyvnyuk, singing a 1914 Ukrainian patriotic song 'Oi u Luzi Chervona Kalyna' (Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow). The roots of the song can be found in a traditional from 1640 as explained in the next video from Metal Pilgrim.

(Link for recalcitrant browsers: What made PINK FLOYD come back with THIS song after 28 years?)

Andriy Khlyvnyuk
Andriy Khlyvnyuk.

A New Machine

It is not the first time Pink Floyd has used an outsider to sing a song, Roy Harper and Clare Torry come to mind, but it is a very rare occasion (not counting those two canine vocalists: Seamus and Mademoiselle Nobs). Pink Floyd doesn't have a tradition either of covering songs, the only examples I can think of is Green Onions on an early TV show and the King Bee demo. (Gilmour and Waters have recorded/streamed a few covers though.)

Gilmour and his merry men have the habit of turning Floyd's history into their hands and this time it is no different. The blurb says this is the first new original music they have recorded together as a band since 1994's The Division Bell. It makes me wonder what happened with Louder Than Words, from The Endless River, that ended the Floyd in a Yoko Ono kind of way. Fans are still dissing and fighting about it.

Gilmour has taken an a capella song from a Ukrainian singer-soldier and added some typical Floydian ingredients in the mix. On the video, we can see he uses his 1955 Fender Esquire that is prominent on the About Face album cover, but more than probably he changed that for a Strat, at least for the second solo.

David Gilmour, 2022
David Gilmour, 2022.

David's guitar play is, as always, impeccable - gold dust as one fan describes it. To my amazement, plenty of room is given to Nick Mason in the second part of the song. He spices it with his typical Masonic drum fills. He still is the best drummer for the band and the only member who has been present on every album, in every incarnation. Rick's keyboards are missed but you could do a lot worse than with Nitin Sawhney. (Spoiler: will he be on the solo album David Gilmour is currently recording?)

The song is short, three minutes and a half. Luckily Gilmour didn't fall into the trap of adding a six minutes guitar solo on a one couplet song like he used to do in the past.

Bandsmen by Remote Control

On the Steve Hoffman Music Forum, the song is heavily discussed and, as usual, opinions tend to differ, with online missile shootings between the David and Roger camps. Pigheaded people have forgotten that Roger Waters left the band some 37 zillion years ago.

Nick Mason, 2022
Nick Mason, 2022.

One can’t deny that Waters’ opinion about the war is somewhat prevaricating, one fan put it like this:

Given some of Roger's asinine comments on the subject of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, I think it's for the best that he's not involved.

I agree with some of Waters' political opinions, but the fact that he was a welcome guest on the one-sided propaganda channel that is RT (Russia Today) has been bothering me. Playing the Ukrainian Nazi card is a bit stupid after you have been welcomed by a TV station that has invited conspiracy theorists, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and Holocaust deniers.

Waters is writhing around like a snail in a saucerful of salt, condemning the war but trying to blame NATO and the USA. I’m old and realistic enough to understand that international politics is a dirty business. I agree that the ‘democratic’ Western world has played a dubious role in the Ukrainian Orange Revolution and its aftermath. In something resembling a mediocre Ian Fleming story, they overplayed their cards, perhaps not realising that Vladimir Putin is an even bigger madman than Donald Trump ever was.

Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd.
When The Tigers Broke Free
When The Tigers Broke Free.

Just Before Dawn

Floyd anoraks will fight over everything, even the use of the font on the cover picture for the song. It uses a letter type that is very close to the one we know from The Wall. It is even closer to the lettering on the anti-war single When The Tigers Broke Free, from 1982. We leave it in the middle if this is a deliberate stab at Roger Waters or just a clever marketing trick.

Hey, Hey, Rise Up is a very uncommon single by the Floyd, but these are uncommon times. Once you get used to the pompous singing you can discover its magic or as Gilmour ironically put it: the rock god guitar player. Bloody well done.

Buy it.

(Link for recalcitrant browsers: Pink Floyd - Hey Hey Rise Up (feat. Andriy Khlyvnyuk of Boombox))

Pink Floyd 2022

Pink Floyd 2022
Pink Floyd 2022: Nitin Sawhney, David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Guy Pratt.

Many thanks to: Metal Pilgrim, Steve Hoffmann Forum and its many visitors.
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥

Sources (other than the above mentioned links):
Petridis, Alexis: ‘This is a crazy, unjust attack’: Pink Floyd re-form to support Ukraine, The Guardian, 7 April 2022.