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Radio K.A.O.S.

Roger Waters solo album released: June 15, 1987.

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EMI Harvest KAOS 1 (2407831)
EMI CDP 7 46865 2

 

Radio Waves
Who Needs Information
Me Or Him
The Powers That Be
Sunset Strip
Home
Four Minutes
The Tide Is Turning (After Live Aid)

Three songs 'Get Back To Radio', 'Molly's Song' and 'Going To Live In LA' didn't make it to the final album. But the songs can be heard on the single releases.

Radio K.A.O.S. - words and music by Roger Waters

All titles produced by Ian Ritchie and Roger Waters
Except 'Me Or Him' and 'The Powers That Be' produced by Ian Ritchie, Nick Griffiths and Roger Waters

Engineered by Chris Sheldon
Assistant Engineers: Paul Batchelor, Kevin Whyte, Colin Lyon

Performed by The Bleeding Heart Band:
Roger Waters - vocals, guitars, bass and the odd keyboard, including the shakuhachi on 'Me Or Him'
Andy Fairweather Low - electric guitars
Jay Stapley - electric guitars
Mel Collins - saxophones
Ian Ritchie - Fairlight programming, drum programming, piano, keyboards
Graham Broad - drums and percussion
John Linwood - drums on 'The Powers That Be'
Nick Glenny-Smith - DX7 and Emu on 'The Powers That Be', including the great bass line
Matt Irving - Hammond organ on 'The Powers That Be'
Paul Carrack - guest vocal on 'The Powers That Be'
Clare Torry - guest vocal on 'Home' and 'Four Minutes'
Suzanne Rhatigan - Main backing vocals on 'Radio Waves', 'Me Or Him', 'Sunset Strip', 'The Tide Is Turning'
Katie Kissoon, Doreen Chanter, Madeline Bell, Steve Langer & Vicky Brown - backing vocals on 'Who Needs Information', 'Powers That Be' and 'Radio Waves'

Horn section on 'Who Needs Information' and 'The Powers That Be':
Ian Ritchie - tenor saxophone
John Phirkell - trumpet
Peter Thoms - trombone
arranged by Ian Ritchie

Horn sektion on 'Sunset Strip':
Mel Collins - saxophones
Ian Ritchie - tenor sax
John Phirkell - trumpet
Peter Thoms - trombone
arranged by Roger Waters

The Pontardoulais Male Voice Choir, led by Noel Davis
arranged by Eric Jones

The Characters:
Jim Ladd - Jim
Andy Quigley - The 'Forgive me, Father' speech on 'Me Or Him'
Shelley Ladd - Monkey and Dog Lady
Jack Snyder - Guppy
Ron Weldy - I Don't Like Fish
J.J. Jackson - Flounder
Jim Rogers - Doesn't like fish, marine fish
John Taylor - Shellfish Shrimp Crab Lobster
Stuart the spaniel - played Uncle David's Great Dane, with the help of an AKAI 900 sampler and a DX7 to make him sound bigger
BBC master computer - Billy
Harry & India Waters - Children in the garden

Special thanks to...
Carolyne, Peter Rudge, Andy og Lynda Quigley, Chris Elmore and Mr. Butcher fot their constant support, Nick Griffiths for all his work pre-production, and Pat "Paraquat" Kelly, Cynthia Fox and all the ex-KMET staff for 'the fish report with a beat'.

Sleeve design: Kate Hepburn & Pearce Marchbank
with thanks to Mark Fisher & Jonathan Park

Roger Waters is managed by Peter Rudge

Pre-production and programming at The Skylight Suite
Recorded in the Billiard Roo October - December 1986
Mixed at Odyssey February - March 1987

This album is dedicated to all those who find themselves at the violent end of monetarism.


Following is from the sleeve notes:

RADIO K.A.O.S. by Roger Waters

Benny is a Welsh coal miner. He is a radio ham. He is 23 years old, married to Molly. They have a son, young Ben, aged 4, and a new baby. They look after Benny's twin brother Billy, who is apparently a vegetable. The mine is closed by the market forces. The Male Voice Choir stops singing, the village is dying.

One night Benny takes Billy on a pub crawl. Drunk in a brightly-lit shopping mall, Benny vents his anger on a shop window full of multiple TV images of Margaret Thatcher's mocking condescension. In defiance, he steals a cordless 'phone. Later that night, Benny cavorts dangerously on the parapet of a motorway footbridge, in theatrical protest at the tabloid press. That same night, a cab driver is killed by a concrete block dropped off a similar bridge. The police come to question Benny; he hides the cordless 'phone under the cushion of Billy's wheelchair.

Billy is different, he can receive radio waves directly without the aid of a tuner; he explores the cordless 'phone, recognizing its radioness. Benny is sent to prison. Billy feels as if half of him has been cut off. He misses Benny's nightly conversations with radio hams in foreign parts. Molly, unable to cope, sends Billy to stay with his Great Uncle David, who had emigrated to the USA during the war. Much as Billy likes Uncle David and the sunshine and all the new radio in LA, he cannot adjust to the cultural upheaval and the loss of Benny, who for him is 'home'.

Uncle David, now an old man, is haunted by having worked on the Manhattan project during World War II, designing the Atom Bomb, and seeks to atone. He also is a radio ham; he often talks to other hams about the Black Hills of his youth, the Male Voice Choir, about home. He is saddened by the use of telecommunication to trivialise important issues, the soap opera of state. However, Live Aid has decynicised him to an extent. Billy listens to David and hears the truth the old man speaks.

Billy experiments with his cordless 'phone, he learns to make calls. He accesses computers and speech synthesizers, he learns to speak. Billy makes contact with Jim a DJ at Radio KAOS, a renegade rock station fighting a lone rear guard action against format radio. Billy and Jim become radio friends, Reagan and Thatcher bomb Lybia. Billy perceives this as an act of political "entertainment" fireworks to focus attention away from problems at "home".

Billy has developed his expertise with the cordless 'phone to the point where he can now control the most powerful computers in the world. He plans an "entertainment" of his own. He simulates nuclear attack everywhere, but de-activates the military capability of "the powers that be" to retaliate. In extremes perceptions change, Panic, comedy, compassion. In a SAC bunker a soldier in a white cravat turns a key to launch the counter attack. Nothing happens; impotently he kicks the console, hurting his foot. He watches the approaching blips on the radar screen. As impact approaches, he thinks of his wife and kids, he puts his fingers in his ears.

Silence. White out. Black out. Lights out. It didn't happen, we're still alive. Billy has drained the earth of power to create his illusion. All over the dark side of the earth, candles are lit. In the pub in Billy's home village in Wales one man starts to sing; the other men join in. The tide is turning.
Billy is home.





RADIO WAVES

Roger Waters 1987

Lyrics/Music: Waters

Albums:

Film/Video:

Radio K.A.O.S.
Radio Waves (single, 1987)
Flickering Flame

Radio K.A.O.S.

Jim: This is K.A.O.S. You and I are listening to KAOS in
Los Angeles. Let's go to the telephones now and
take a reradio wavesuest.
Billy: Hello, I'm Billy.
Jim: Yes?
Billy: I hear radio waves in my head.
Jim: You hear radio waves in your head? Ah! Is there
a request that you have tonight for KAOS?

Radio waves, radio waves
He hears radio waves, radio waves
The atmosphere is thin and cold
The yellow sun is getting old
The ozone overflows with radio waves
AM, FM, weather and news
Our leaders had a frank exchange of views
Are you confused, radio waves

Radio waves, radio waves
AM radio waves, FM radio waves
Radio waves, mind-numbing radio waves
Fish-stunning radio waves
Radio waves

Magic billy in his wheel chair
is picking up all this stuff in the air
Billy is face to face with outer space
Messages from distant stars
The local police calling all cars, radio waves

Hear them radio waves, rado waves
Jesus saves radio, radio waves
Radio waves, AM radio waves, FM radio waves
All them radio waves

Radio waves, radio waves, he hears radio waves
Radio waves, radio waves, hopeful radio waves
dopeful radio waves
Radio waves, Russian radio waves, Prussian radio waves
Eastern radio waves, Western radio waves
Testing radio waves, one, two, one, two
Radio waves, getting through to you
Morse code radio waves, Tobacco road radio waves
South to Paloma radio waves, Oklahoma City radio waves
Sitting pretty radio waves, nitty-gritty radio waves
Radio waves

Jim: Alright, that's a song called Radio Waves.
You're listening to KAOS in Los Angeles and
we've got Billy on the line.
Billy: I'm from the valleys.
Jim: You're from the valley?
Billy: No, Jim you schmuck, the Valleys;
male voice choirs, Wales.
Jim: Ah, you're from Wales! Now is this sperm or blue-tip?
Billy: Ha, ha, ha, ha. Very funny Jim.
Jim: Sorry.
Billy: Me and Benny went out.
Jim: Who's Benny?


WHO NEEDS INFORMATION

Roger Waters 1987

Lyrics/Music: Waters

Albums:

Radio K.A.O.S.
Who Needs Information (single, 1987)
Flickering Flame

Me and Benny went out last night
looking for fun
Supping ale in the moonlight
Waiting for the dawn to come

Benny pointed at a HiFi shop
He said hey man look at all the stuff they've got
How'd you make a have out of a have not
Hmmm

Who needs information
When you're working underground
Just give me confirmation
We could win a million pounds

Benny climbed up on a footbridge
And he teetered on the parapet
He said "can you see the whites of their headlights
Are they coming yet"

Who needs information
this high off the ground
Just give me confirmation
We could win a million pounds

Who needs information
When you're living in constant fear
Just give me confirmation
There's some way out of here
Some way out of here

Benny hefted a breeze block
and tried to let it go
Got hung up on a tear drop
So me and Benny went home

Who needs information yeah
hen you're living on borrowed time
Just give me confirmation
There will be a winner this time

Who needs information when you're working underground
Just give me confirmation
We could win a million pounds
Who needs, who needs, who needs information
this high off the ground
Just give me confirmation
We could win a million pounds yeah

Jim: Um (Lights a cigarette) So your brother is in jail?



ME OR HIM

Roger Waters 1987

Lyrics/Music: Waters

Albums:

Radio K.A.O.S.

You wake up in the morning, get something for the pot
Wonder why the sun makes the rocks feel hot
Draw on the walls, eat, get laid
Back in the good old days

Then some damn fool invents the wheel
Listen to the whitewalls squeal
You spend all day looking for a parking spot
Nothing for the heart, nothing for the pot

Benny turned the dial on his Short Wave radio
Oh how he wanted to talk to the people
He wanted his own show
Tune in Moscow, tune in New York
Listen to the Welsh kid talk
Communicating like in the good old days

Forgive me father for I have sinned
It was either me or him
And a voice said Benny
You fucked the whole thing up
Benny your time is up
Your time is up

Benny turned the dial on his Short Wave radio
He wanted to talk to the people
He wanted his own show
Tune in Moscow, tune in New York
Listen to the Welsh kid talk
Communicating like in the good old days

Forgive me father
Welsh policeman: Mobile One Two to Central
For I have sinned
Welsh policeman: We have a multible on the A465
between Cymbran and Cylgoch
Father it was either me or him
Father can we turn back the clock?
Welsh Policeman: Ambulance, over.
I never meant to drop the concrete block
Welsh Policeman: Roger central, over and out.

Benny turned the dial on his Short Wave radio
He wanted to talk to the people
He wanted his own show
Tune in Moscow, tune in New York
Listen to the Welsh kid talk
Just like in the good old days
The good old days

Radio announcer: Do you really think Iranian terrorists
would have taken American hostage if Ronald Reagen
were president?
Do you really think the Russians would have invaded
Afghanistan if Ronald Reagan were president?
Do you really think third-rate military dictators would
laugh at America and burn our flag in contempt if
Ronald Reagan were president?
Concerned Citizen: Well it might work!
Hostage: We as a group do most importantly want to
beseech president Reagan and our fellow Americans to
refrain from any form of military or violent means as
an attempt, no matter how noble or heroic, to secure
our freedom.
Concerned Citizen: Sure! Only it's going to be mighty
dangerous for you, Cassidy

Hoppys faithful sidekick: guess you don't know
Hopalong Cassidy, Mister. Adventure's his bread,
excitement's his butter and danger, why to him that's
like strawberry jam to top it off.


THE POWERS THAT BE

Roger Waters 1987

Lyrics/Music: Waters

Albums:

Radio K.A.O.S.

Jim: This is some live rock and roll at KAOS, where
rock and roll comes out of chaos and a song called
"The Powers That Be"...

The powers that be
They like a tough game
No rules
Some you win, some you lose
Competition's good for you
They're dying to be free
They're the powers that be
They like a bomb proof cadillac
Air conditioned, gold taps
Back seat gun rack, platinum hub caps
They pick horses for courses
They're the market forces
Nice car Jack
They like order, make-up, lime light power
game shows, rodeos, star wars, TV
They're the powers that be
If you see them come
You better run - run
You better run on home

Sisters of mercy better join your brothers
Put a stop to the soap opera right now
They say the toothless get ruthless
You better run on home

You better run - run
You better run on home

The powers that be
They like treats, tricks, carrots and sticks
They like fear and loathing, they like sheep's clothing
and blacked-out vans
Blacked-out vans, contingency plans
They like death or glory, they love a goood story
They love a good story

Sisters of mercy better join with your brothers
Put a stop to the soap opera state
They say the toothless get ruthless
Run home before its too late
You better run - run
You better run on home

Billy: Goodnight, Jim.
Jim: Goodnight, Billy.
Uncle David's Great Dane: Woof, woof, woof!



SUNSET STRIP

Roger Waters 1987

Lyrics/Music: Waters

Albums:

Film/Video:

Radio K.A.O.S.
Sunset Strip (single, 1987)

Radio K.A.O.S.

(The Canyon - daytime. Billy plays with Great Uncle David's
Great Dane.)

Paraquat Kelly: Bull heads, three red snapper, one pink
snapper and your Pacific coastal trench
housemonster fish.
Cynthia Fox: Ohhh! At Sky David's juke joint of joy
reports, forty under the console giggle stick ling
cod, twenty-three purple perches four sledge-
hammerhead sharks, and what a surprise,
eightyfour crabs, and no red snapper.
Paraquat Kelly: Hey and that'll do for the triumphant
return of the fish report with a beat.
Jim: We think of it as mainstreet, but to the rest of
the country it's Sunset Strip. You're listening to
KAOS in Los Angeles.

I like staying with my Uncle Dave
and I like playing with his great dane
but I don't fit
I feel alien and strange. Kinda outa range

I like riding in my Uncle's car
Down to the beach where the pretty girls all parade
And movie stars and paparazzi play
The Charles Atlas kicking sand in the face game

And I sit in the canyon with my back to the sea
There's a blood red dragon on a field of green
Calling me back
Back to the Black Hills again
Ooh, ooh, Billy come home

Billy is searching for his native land
Flicking through the stations with the dial in his head
Picking up - - - - - - - - and
a male voice choir on the short wave band

Billy taps out Jim's number on the phone
Sits shaking as he waits for Jim's answering tone
Come on my friend, speak to me please
The land of my fathers is calling to me
And I sit in the canyon with my back to the sea
There's a blood red dragon on a field of green
Calling me back, back to the Black Hills again
Ooh, ooh, Billy come home
Come on home

He sits in the canyon with his back to the sea
Sees a blood red dragon on a field of green
He hears a male voice choir singing Billy come home
Billy, Billy, come home
Come on home

Californian Weirdo: I don't like fish, marine fish
Jim: You are listening to KAOS here in Los Angeles.
Californian Weirdo: I don't like fish.
Jim: Yes, we've established that. Ah! Do you have a
request?
Californian Weirdo: Shell fish, guppy, salmon, shrimp
and crab and lobster, flounder,
I hate fish, but I think most of all I hate
fresh fish, like trout. I hate fresh trout.
My least-hated, favourite fish would be sole.
That way you don't have to see the eyes.
Sole has no eyes.
Jim: Oh no!
I'd like to be home with my monkey and my dog.
Jim: Thank you.
I'd like to be home with my monkey and my dog.
I'd like to be home with my monkey and dog.
I'd like to be home with my monkey...
Jim: They don't care. Shut up. Play the record.



HOME

Roger Waters 1987

Lyrics/Music: Waters

Albums:

Radio K.A.O.S.

Jim: Oh God!
Californian Weirdo: Sole has no eyes.

Could be Jerusalem, or it could be Cairo
Could be Berlin, or it could be Prague
Could be Moscow, could be New York
Could be Llanelli, and it could be Warrington
Could be Warsaw, and it could be Moose Jaw
Could be Rome
Everybody got somewhere they call home

When they overrun the defences
A minor invasion put down to expenses
Will you go down to the airport lounge
Will you accept your second class status
A nation of waitresses and waiters
Will you mix their martinis
Will you stand still for it
Or would you take to the hills

It could be clay and it could be sand
Could be desert
Could be a tract of arable land
Could be a house, could be a corner shop
Could be a cabin by a bend in the river
Could be something your old man handed down
Could be something you built on your own
Everybody got something he calls home

When the cowboys and Arabs draw down
on each other at noon
in the cool dusty air of the city boardroom
Will you stand by a passive spectator
of the market dictators
Will you discreetly withdraw
With your ear pressed to the boardroom door
Will you hear when the lion within you roars
Will you take to the hills

Will you stand, will you stand for it
Will you hear, ohhh!, Ohh! when the lion within you roars

Could be your father and it could be your mother
Could be your sister, could be your brother
Could be a foreigner, could be a Turk
Could be a cyclist out looking for work, Norman
Could be a king, could be Aga Khan
Could be a Vietnam vet with no arms and no legs
Could be a saint, could be a sinner
Could be a looser or it could be a winner
Could be a banker, could be a baker
Could be a Laker, could be Kareem Abdul Jabar
Could be a male voice choir
Could be a lover, could be a fighter
Could be super heavyweigth, or it could be
something lighter
Could be a cripple, could be a freak
Could be a wop, gook, geek
Could be a cop, could be a thief
Could be a family of ten living in one room on relief
Could be our leaders in their concrete tombs
With their tinned food and their silver spoons
Could be the pilot with God on his side
Could be the kid in the middle of the bomb sight
Could be a fanatic, could be a terrorist
Could be a dentist, could be a psychiatrist
Could be humble, could be proud
Could be a face in the crowd
Could be the soldier in the white cravat
Who turns the key in spite of the fact
That this is the end of the cat and mouse
Who dwelt in the house
Where the laughter rang and the tears were spilt
The house that Jack built
Bang, bang, shoot, shoot
White gloved thumb, Lord thy will be done
He was always a good boy his mother said
He'll do his duty when he's grown, yeah
Everybody got someone they call home



FOUR MINUTES

Roger Waters 1987

Lyrics/Music: Waters

Albums:

Film/Video:

Radio K.A.O.S.

Radio K.A.O.S.

Billy: Four minutes and counting.
Jim: O.K.
Billy: They pressed the button, Jim.
Jim: They pressed the button Billy, what button?
Billy: the big red one.
Jim: You mean THE button?
Billy: Goodbey Jim.
Jim: Goodbey! Oh yes. this ain't au revoir,
it's goodbey! Ha Ha!
This is KAOS. It's a beautiful, balmy,
southern California summer day.
It's 80 degrees... I said balmy... I could say
bomby... Ha! Ha!... O.K. I'm Jim and this is
Radio KAOS and with only four minutes
left to us, let's use this as wisely as possible.
Molly: Everybody got someone they call home.
Jim: Out at Dodger Stadium. It's the bottom of the
seventh, the Dodgers are leading three to
nothing over the Giants, and for those of you
who are looking to go surfing tomorrow, too
bad.
('Phone rings.)
Jim: I'm kinda lost in here to tell you the truth...
O.K. good. Ladies and gentlemen, if the reports
that we are getting are correct, this could be it.
Billy if you're listening to me, please call now.

After a near miss on the plane
You swear you'll never fly again
After the first kiss when you make up
You swear you'll never break up again
And when you've just run a red light
You swear to yourself you'll never drink and drive again
Sometimes I feel like going home
You swear you'll never let things go by again
Sometimes I miss the rain and snow
And you'll never toe the party line again
And when the east wind blows
Sometimes I feel like going home

Jim: Billy, if you're listening, please call.
Californian Weirdo: Sole has no eyes.
Molly: Goodbey little spy in the sky,
They say that cameras don't lie,
Am I happy, am I sad, am I good,
am I bad?
Jim: Billy, if you're listening please call.
Californian Weirdo: Sole has no eyes, sole has no eyes.
Billy: Ten, nine, eight, seven,
Margaret Thatcher: Our own independant nuclear deterrent has helped to keep the peace,
Billy: Six, five, four, three,
Ordinary person: ...you've got a job...
Billy: Two, one,
Margaret Thatcher: For nearly forty years
Jim: Goodbey Billy



THE TIDE IS TURNING (after live aid)

Roger Waters 1987

Lyrics/Music: Waters

Albums:

Film/Video:

Radio K.A.O.S.
The Tide Is Turning (single, 1987)
The Wall (live in Berlin)
The Tide Is Turning (single, 1990)
Flickering Flame

Radio K.A.O.S.
The Wall - Live In Berlin

I used to think the world was flat
Rarely threw my hat into the crowd
I felt I had used up my quota of yearning
Used to look in on the children at night
In the glow of their Donald Duck light
And frighten myself with the thought of my little ones
Burning
But oh, oh, oh, the tide is turning
The tide is turning

Satellite buzzing through the endless night
Exclusive to moonshots and world title fights
Jesus Christ imagine what it must be earning
Who is the strongest, who is the best
Who holds the aces, the East or the West
This is the crap our children are learning
But oh, oh, oh, the tide is turning
The tide is turning
Oh, oh, oh, the tide is turning

Now the satellite's confused
'cos on Saturday night
The airwaves were full of compassion and light
And his silicon heart warmed
to the sight of a billion candles burning
Oo, oo, oo, the tide is turning
Oo, oo, oo, the tide is turning
The tide is turning Billy

I'm not saying that the battle is won
But on Saturday night all those kids in the sun
Wrested technology's sword from the hand of the
War Lords
Oh, oh, oh, the tide is turning
The tide is turning Sylvester
The tide is turning

Jim: That's it!

[Transcription of morse code:]

Now the past is over but you are not alone
Together we'll fight Sylvester Stallone
We will not be dragged down in his South China Sea
of macho bullshit and mediocrity


Lyrics Copyright: Roger Waters Music Limited/Pink Floyd Music Publishers Limited

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