Pink Floyd

Not Now John

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Song Review by Mike DeGagne

Although the band didn't partake wholeheartedly in the making of The Final Cut, the album still heralded a couple of decent tracks. "Not Now John" is one of the few cuts that displays some appealing movement and actually resembles a rock song. The album's theme deals with the redundancy and needlessness of war, touching on the death of Waters' father, who died in World War II himself. The song itself addresses the ignorance and the unconcerned attitudes of society toward issues and crises, both political and economical. The vocals are divided between Gilmour and Waters, as Gilmour represents the part of society that ignores the issues and cares only for play and entertainment, while Waters plays the part of the apprehensive and responsible citizen, showing concern for what is going on around him. "Not Now John" received airplay both in North America and in Europe, thanks to its appealing background of female singers known as the Blackberries. One of the song's lines had to be changed to "stuff all that" from its obvious original form so that the song could meet broadcasting standards. The song's makeup is different from the others on the album because it doesn't harbor any whispered vocal passages and limits the amount of echoed screams from behind the instruments to only a few. "Not Now John"'s instrumental composition and back-and-forth rhythm give it that Pink Floyd appeal, and is the only tune from The Final Cut that sounds like it includes a signature other than Waters'.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Final Cut 1983 Capitol 5:01
Oh by the Way 2007 Capitol 4:56
Discovery 2011 Capitol / EMI / EMI Music Distribution 5:01