Pink Floyd

Run Like Hell

Song Review by

Meant to express Roger Waters' paranoia about living in a police state and the dangers of being ruled by a fascist regime, "Run Like Hell" is The Wall's best rock song because of its instrumental follow-through and its lyrical blatancy. Its outright message from Waters is to beware of the "powers that be," which have the strength to take away any freedom that a society cherishes. This empowering activity that arises through a fascist dictatorship is the same type of power that The Wall's lead character, Pink, feels he enacts when up on the stage during a concert. The parallelism between a police state and Pink's psyche represents that Pink is finally becoming aware of his bleak outlook, and by coming to terms with his feelings, he can learn to control them, thus flushing out this menacing persona that has led him to insanity. Gilmour's guitar work creates most of the song's threatening rhythms and tempo, giving it a march-like feel alongside the seesaw drumming of Nick Mason. The song begins with the haunting echoes of Gilmour's guitar riffs, introducing the sinister ideals of the upcoming track. "Run Like Hell is an excellent example of how a song can vividly paint images and conduct its intentions through its instruments as well as its words. Both Gilmour and Waters show off their superb collaborating skills, and Mason and Wright contribute just as fundamentally. As well as expressing Waters' frightening delusions, it serves as one of The Wall's most solidly constructed rock pieces.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Wall 1979 Capitol 4:23