Roger Waters first solo album entitled The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking was released in 1984. Three years later Roger Waters followed up his debut album with his second solo album called Radio K.A.O.S. In the 1990’s Roger Waters only released one solo record titled Amused To Death. Those three albums make up the majority of Roger Waters solo material outside of the music of Pink Floyd. However, Waters did releases a classical album called Ça Ira in 2005. The album was based on an opera written about the early days of the French Revolution.
Although Roger Waters did not release many solo albums of non-Pink Floyd music, Waters has released over the years a collection of live recordings and videos featuring the music he has composed as one of the founding members of the legendary Pink Floyd group. Sometime in 2017 Roger Waters is expected to release a new solo album of original material entitled Is This the Life We Really Want?. We look forward to that record and hope that its release forces us to update our Top 10 Roger Waters Songs List. That all being said, if you are unfamiliar with Roger Waters solo work, we think you may be pleasantly surprised, because in our opinion, its fantastic !
# 10 – The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range
There is no better way to start out our Top 10 Roger Waters Songs list than with this spectacular song from the 1992 Amused To Death album. The song “The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range,” landed in the fifth spot on the record. The 2015 reissue of the album sounded incredible. Jeff Beck was featured on three tracks on the record including the song The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range. One listen to this great recording and you will instantly start to think that Amused To Death may be one of rock’s mist underrated album releases of all time.
# 9 – Apparently They Were Travelling Abroad
This mesmerizing opening track from Roger Water’s The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking album would most definitely impress most Pink Floyd fans. The song’s slow build and sound effects helped create that eerie recorded presence that signified some of Roger Waters greatest Pink Floyd compositions. Its very interesting that the idea for the album The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking evolved at the same time that Roger Waters came up with the concept of The Wall album.
Roger Waters had stated in interviews that he pitched both concepts to members of Pink Floyd and they eventually decided to go with The Wall album concept. So when Roger Waters left the band, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking concept eventfully saw the light of day as Roger Waters first solo album.
# 8 – Every Strangers Eyes
Is there any friendlier saying in life than the phrase “Would you like a cup of coffee?” Roger Waters starts out this beautiful piece a music with a warm gesture that hints at whats to come. The great “Every Strangers Eyes,” song is one of the most beautiful Roger Waters Songs of his career. With the song’s message of hope, Roger Waters turns the tides on some of his darker lyrics. The song was released on the 1984 The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking album.
# 7 – Watching TV
There is something about this song that just screamed Wish You Were Here! This great track comes form the amazing Amused To Death LP. The song also featured The Eagles Don Henley on vocals. The entire Amused To Death album featured an all-star cast of musicians including Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and legendary fusion bassist John Patitucci. Who wouldn’t want to record with Roger Waters? Its a long list of incredible musicians who helped shape one of the greatest albums of the 1990’s.
# 6 – What God Wants Part 1
If we had to choose our favorite Roger Waters solo album, it would be the 2015 reissue of Amused To Death. There are just so many great tracks on the record and with addition of Jeff Beck on guitar the album stands out as Roger Waters best. The killer track “What God Wants Part 1,” features smoking guitar solos, clever chord changes and off course Waters brilliant lyrics and melodic ideas. This is simply just fantastic.
# 5 – Radio Waves
The song “Radio Waves,” was the lead off single from Roger Waters 1987 album Radio K.A.O.S. The song and album were quite a departure for Roger Waters. It seemed as if the album became a hijack victim of the big 80’s. The album’s attempt to fit within that modern 80’s sound just didn’t seem right for a Roger Waters record. It sounded like a combination of 80’s Bowie meets 80’s Journey.
“Radio Waves,” is the only song from the Radio K.A.O.S record to be represented on our Top 10 Roger Waters songs list. It was only added for nostalgic purposes. It has also been documented in many interviews that Roger Waters had wished he had never released the Radio K.A.O.S record.
# 4 – Amused To Death
While the first few seconds of this amazing track may sound like the beginning of “Radio Waves”, it very quickly fades into the brilliance of the real Roger Waters. That ticking pulsating clock feel that resonates throughout the track is a tribute to a concept that has seemed to follow the music of Roger Waters since the Dark Side of The Moon album.
# 3 – Each Small Candle
One of our favorite Roger Waters Songs also happens to be one of the last original compositions Roger Waters has released. The song “Each Small Candle,” first appeared on the live In The Flesh album. The In The Flesh album was originally released in the year 2000. It was a two CD set that featured the music from The Dark Side Of The Moon, The Wall and Amused To Death albums along with a few other Pink Floyd songs. The incorporation of the music from those three albums defined what Roger Waters termed a trilogy. The song “Each Small Candle,” appeared as the encore for most of the 2000 tour shows. It appeared as the last track on disc two of the live album.
# 2 – Three Wishes
Well first off this is easily our choice for the best video Roger Waters ever filmed. Watching the late Peter Boyle dance around Roger Waters in the opening scene is timeless. The dream sequence at the station between Roger Waters and the customer is also brilliantly done. And then there’s the music. Oh yes, lets not let the video take away from the simple fact that this is an amazing track. At times the guitar work of Tim Pierce and vocals of Roger Waters makes this track sound like vintage 1980’s Dire Straits. Just another amazing recording from the Amused To Death album.
# 1 – Go Fishing
Roger Waters greatest solo recording sounds like the southern blues version of The Wall. One listen to this track and it becomes apparent very quickly the impact Roger Waters had on The Wall album. You can hear it! The songs “Go Fishing,” starts of slow and quite but build in the same fashion as The Wall did, until Roger Waters unleashes his maniacal vocals that is both chilling and intense. This is Pink Floyd, this is Roger Waters, they are one and the same.
When listening to the solo albums of Roger Waters and David Gilmour, the inevitable question comes to mind, why, why, why, did Pink Floyd break up? These brilliant musicians still had so much creativity left in them when they split. Listening to these Roger Waters records completely proves that point. Just imagine the Pink Floyd albums that they could have continued to release if they had still banded their creative talents together like they had done during the Pink Floyd years.
Updated No 9, 2020