I encountered The Wall for the first time when I was maybe 12 or 13. It was in Texas. We were visiting family, staying at my grandmother and Uncle Nonnie’s home. My uncle Joe lived there too, and he had a great record collection. I was introduced to all kinds of groups I’d never heard of before.
One day in that house, I heard Roger Waters’ opus for the first time, and it was a revelation for me. I loved the dark themes, interspersed with the smallest glimmers of light. The songs were beautifully crafted, bleak and sometimes cruel. Musically, it was new territory for me, my first meaningful exposure to the concept album. I was hooked. It was intoxicating. Emotionally it allowed me to explore those dark places in a manner that was detached and somewhat voyeuristic. Later I was able to relate some of the themes back to my own life. I connected to it.
I’ve listened to The Wall hundreds of times, although certainly not much in the last 20 years. I heard this cover of Mother earlier this year and I was instantly drawn to it. I had not considered the possibility of a woman singing this song. I just didn’t occur to me. It is such a bold move. The song takes on a completely different emotional texture, but keeps all of its darkness and beauty.
Natalie Maines, singing Pink Floyd.