Great Rock Albums of 1984: Roger Waters- The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking

Proof how sometimes initial impressions can be misguided. While Pink Floyd have continued on strong since Roger Waters departed the band and it’s been said that Roger’s career hasn’t exactly flourished, (that’s a matter for debate), things seemed a lot different in 1984. There was little or no mention of Pink Floyd in this year but Roger Waters delivered a killer solo album in the form of “The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking.” Roger hadn’t left the band yet and it turns out that way back in the late 1970s, he brought the concept for this album to the band along with that for “The Wall.” He told them the band would make the one and the other concept he would do as a solo album. History can tell you which concept was chosen by the band leaving “The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking” for Roger to do as a solo album.

The similarities between the two albums come through immediately. Like “The Wall” and even “Dark Side of the Moon” the songs sometimes blend together where you have to listen very carefully or at least have the album cover with you so you can pinpoint where one track ends and the next one begins. Then again, like many a Pink Floyd album, this album can be best appreciated whilst mellowed out in a room and smoking things. It joins a great line of albums to space out to. Also like Pink Floyd’s famous album, it tells a story. The concept is about the thoughts of a man who is driving through California and how he would like to commit adultery with the female hitchhiker he picks up. It’s an interesting theme set to the music.

One thing that I noticed the very first time I ever listened to the album was that the guitarist can really wail. Teach me to read the credits before putting an album on because that was an absolute no brainer. The guitarist was Eric Clapton and he does what he always does with the guitar. There are some really cool solos throughout the album, I really like the one he lays down on “Sexual Revolution” but his presence his felt very strongly all through the album. Roger definitely achieved a major coup by having Eric play on the album but he orchestrates other instruments very effectively too. The horns and the backing vocals are prime examples.

Since it was hearing the title track on the radio that alerted me to the album, that has always been my favourite track on it. Clapton plays a killer solo on it as well and all the other elements I’ve previously discussed are there too. Saying that, the way the album is laid out, it is easy for such a song to stand out although I do like the near seven minute “Go Fishing.” After listening to the “Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking” after so many years, I’m as excited about it now as I was then.

Track Listing:

  1. Apparently They Were Travelling Abroad
  2. Running Shoes
  3. Arabs With Knives and West German Skies
  4. For the First Time Today Part 2
  5. Sexual Revolution
  6. The Remains of Our Love
  7. Go Fishing
  8. For the First Time Today Part 1
  9. Dunroamin, Duncarin, Dunlivin
  10. The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking
  11. Every Stranger’s Eyes
  12. The Moment of Clarity

Roger Waters

Roger Waters- bass, lead vocals, rhythm guitar

Eric Clapton- lead guitar

Ray Cooper- percussion

Andy Newmark- drums, percussion

David Sanbourn- saxophone

Michael Kamen- piano

Andy Brown- organ, 12 string guitar

Madeline Bell, Katie Kissoon, Doreen Chanter- backing vocals

Raphael Ravenscroft, Kevin Flanagan, Vic Sullivan- horns

When Roger Waters did leave Pink Floyd in 1985, I wasn’t worried that we had seen the last of him. After all, he had put out a great solo album a year earlier. While not different from the material he did with the band, it’s still a great one to enjoy.

Next post: Duke Jupiter- White Knuckle Ride

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1984: Roger Waters- The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking”

  1. Great write up! I’m not sure I’ve come across this album but I’m definitely intrigued.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like it fair enough but it should be played late at night on headphones with a sidecar of something. Lol

    Final Cut and Pros and Cons back to back is a good combination for the late night Floyd fanatic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lot of Floyd fans I know hate this album but I always liked it. Certainly not a classic but Clapton helps to elevate even the weaker material. I saw Waters on this tour and it was a fantastic show (Clapton was with him). I prefer David Gilmour’s solo album from the same year (“About Face”) and wish I had seen that tour. I think it holds up better than Pros & Cons… but that could be down to personal taste. Thanks for highlighting this one. Oh, and that lovely album cover. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh yes, it is a nice album cover. I’ve always liked this album too and can’t see why so many Floyd fans don’t. I’m jealous you got to see Waters with Clapton, that would have blown me away.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice one. I’ve never owned this but I have heard it a couple of times and relaly liked it. Maybe I should try and pick up a cheap copy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hah! I had no idea that was Clapton.

    I don’t have any solo Waters, but I’d like to change that with this release.

    Liked by 1 person

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