Posts Tagged ‘David Gilmour’

Pink Floyd have announced the release of Pink Floyd Live At Knebworth 1990 for the first time on CD, double vinyl and digital platforms on April 30th. The concert was part of the star-studded 1990 Silver Clef Winners performance at Knebworth House, which Pink Floyd headlined. The concert, on a wet and windy June 30th, included performances from Paul McCartney, Dire Straits, Genesis, Phil Collins, Mark Knopfler, Robert Plant (with Jimmy Page), Cliff Richard, Eric Clapton and Tears For Fears in front of a crowd of 120,000. all in aid of the Nordoff Robbins charity, profits from which went towards setting up the BRIT School. The concert was broadcast globally on MTV.

On the day Pink FloydDavid Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright  were joined by guest musicians including sax player Candy Dulfer and keyboard player and composer Michael Kamen, backing vocalists Clare Torry (the original “The Great Gig In The Sky” vocalist), Sam Brown and her mother Vicki, and Durga McBroom, and touring band  including Guy Pratt, Jon Carin, Tim Renwick and Gary Wallis.

“There is something special about Knebworth,” recalls drummer Nick Mason. “We all still have fond memories of playing there in the 70’s, and this show was no different. As a North London boy this was almost a home game, but with the added delight of being the re-assembly of the band after a fairly mega tour that had lasted for well over a year. It was also an opportunity to get  the wonderful Candy Dulfer to play –  I had been a fan of hers for quite a while, and it was just a shame we didn’t have an opportunity to utilise her for more. We also had our dear friend Michael Kamen guesting. Michael had contributed so much to PF over the previous ten years, it’s great to have something of his playing on the recording.” David Gilmour and Andy Jackson have remixed the audio and the album features new artwork shot by Floyd collaborator Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell of Hipgnosis and designed by Peter Curzon of Storm Studios.


David Gilmour Guitar, Vocals
Nick Mason Drums, Percussion
Richard Wright Keyboards, Backing Vocals

Guy Pratt Bass Guitar, Vocals
Jon Carin Keyboards, Vocals
Tim Renwick Guitar
Gary Wallis Percussion
Durga McBroom Backing Vocals
Sam Brown Backing Vocals
Vicki Brown Backing Vocals
Clare Torry Backing Vocals (Lead Vocals on The Great Gig In The Sky)

Special Guests
Michael Kamen Keyboards on Comfortably Numb, Run Like Hell
Candy Dulfer Sax on Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Money

The concert, previously unreleased until it appeared on 2019’s “Later Years” box set, is now available as CD or double vinyl set for the first time as a stand-alone album.

Pink Floyd: Live At Knebworth 1990,


1. Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts 1-5
2. The Great Gig In The Sky
3. Wish You Were Here
4. Sorrow
5. Money
6. Comfortably Numb
7. Run Like Hell

See the source image

Pink Floyd‘s eighth album, more or less, was a symbolic break from their past — the moment where their long, drawn-out prog tendencies gave way to tighter, shorter and more focused “song”-oriented tracks. And they marked the occasion with their best concept album, a ‘2001’-like mind-expanding look at the fragility of life, time and sanity through the lens of their own experiences. They’d go on to explore some of ‘Moon”s themes — music-business greed, Syd Barrett‘s mental breakdown on later records.released four concept albums during the 1970s; The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals(1977), and The Wall (1979). The most notable of these is “The Dark Side of the Moon”, which achieved a level of commercial success far beyond that of any other progressive rock album before or since.

Roger Waters, who was the dominant – though not yet dominating – force in the band when they recorded Dark Side Of The Moon, has his own theory. “The music’s quite compelling but I think there’s something more. Maybe it’s the simplicity of the ideas that appeal to a generation going though puberty and trying to make sense of it all. There’s certainly something in Roger’s theory, particularly if you accept (as most women do) that most men never get much further than puberty. And like porn, men can go back to Dark Side Of The Moon over and over again. Released in March 1973, over a year after the band had previewed most of the tracks at London’s Rainbow Theatre, Dark Side Of The Moon caught the prevailing feeling perfectly.  For a while Pink Floyd called their planned album Eclipse, but when Medicine Head’s album failed to make any impact they reverted to Plan A. The recording was long – they spent six months in the studio in between tours of Europe, America and Japan – but it wasn’t laborious. David Gilmour reckons that playing the songs live beforehand made a big difference. “You couldn’t do that now of course. You’d be bootlegged out of existence. But when we went into the studio we all knew the material. The playing was very good. It had a natural feel.”

Pink Floyd’s 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon has become legendary for a lot of reasons, including the 741 weeks it spent on the album chart, the iconic cover art and the urban-legend connection to The Wizard of Oz. But this track-by-track approach to the LP centres on the music – the sounds, creation and concept behind one of the most successful, popular and celebrated albums in rock history. Over four decades have passed since Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon was released, and it remains far and away the most successful concept album ever made. Its 45 million claimed sales dwarf all other contenders as well as later Pink Floyd albums including Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall– which many fans might argue are better concept albums. But the rest of the world does not agree.

It was also headphone heaven. You could lie back and hear the heartbeat gradually getting louder, mingled with a disembodied Scottish voice saying ‘I’ve been mad for fucking years’ and a maniacal laugh before being blotted out by a helicopter noise whirring from one ear to another. That in turn collides with a screaming female voice before subsiding into the slow, deliberate beat and soothing guitars of Breathe. Just as you’ve relaxed into the song, however, it suddenly shifts gears and you are being carried long by a rapid hi-hat rhythm and electronic riff while atmospherics, voices, footsteps, airplanes and bits of feedback fly by on either side of your head. It all ends in a dull explosion and more running footsteps. As it dies away there’s the reassuring tick of a clock which just has time to lull you again before a cacophony of alarm clocks shatters your senses and leads into the heavy ponderous guitar chimes of Time. 

You are now eight minutes into the album, and there’s another 35 to go. The sonic experience of the album is as vivid now as it was then.

“Speak to Me”

The line on Dark Side isn’t just that it’s a masterpiece, but that it’s a masterpiece because the album displays Pink Floyd at the apex of the members’ collaboration. After former frontman Syd Barrett left the psychedelic rockers rudderless, they gradually found a collective focus by 1972, with bassist Roger Waters handling the concepts (and lyrics), guitarist David Gilmour and Rick Wright contributing musical ideas and vocals and drummer Nick Mason maintaining a steady beat while messing with brain-tickling sound effects.

Each of Floyd’s four members received writing credits on Dark Side, although Mason was listed as the sole composer of album opener “Speak to Me.” It was a decision that proved controversial in the later, more acrimonious days of the band .

Devoid of lyrics, the one-plus-minute track isn’t much of a song. Conceived in the later stages of the album’s recording sessions at London’s Abbey Road Studios, “Speak to Me” was created as a starting point for this grand, contemplative LP.

“It’s kind of a classical overture, a standard device used for hundreds of years,” Waters said in 2003, “put some elements of the work together at the beginning, as a taster.”

“Speak to Me” might have been classical in concept, but it was more experimental in execution, with layers of fragmented sonic references to Dark Side’s forthcoming songs. You can hear ticking clocks (“Time”), a cash register (“Money”), crazy laughter (“Brain Damage”) and a woman’s scream (“The Great Gig in the Sky”), all interwoven with the sound of a pulsing heartbeat – created by futzing with the recording of a kick drum. The same pulse is heard at the album’s end, suggesting a continuous cycle.

When Pink Floyd debuted Dark Side’s suite of songs at live concerts (more than a year before the album’s release), the heartbeat sound stood alone as a long introduction that would transition from a venue filled with loud crowd talk to the band’s first proper tune, “Breathe.” For the recorded version, the so-called overture became shorter, but denser – not just featuring elements of other songs, but also snippets of spoken word.

Waters had the idea of recording interviews with people who worked with the band or at Abbey Road Studios, and seeing if the answers might dovetail with some of the weighty lyrical themes of Dark Side. The questions would begin easy (“What’s your favorite colour?”) and progress to more difficult subject matter (such as violence or mental instability). The voices on “Speak to Me” belong to the band’s road manager Chris Adamson admitting, “I’ve been mad for fucking years … ,” and Abbey Road doorman Gerry O’Driscoll saying, “I’ve always been mad … ”

In fact, the track’s title came as a result of these interviews. Every time he tested the sound levels to record each interview, audio engineer Alan Parsons would say, “Speak to me” into the talk-back microphone. The phrase stuck. Although Parsons named the piece, Floyd’s drummer was credited for the sonic wizardry on the Dark Side sleeve.

“It was an assembly that I did with existing music,” Mason said, years later. “You could say there’s no original material there, or you could say it’s an entirely original assembly. Yet Waters, Gilmour and Wright disagreed with Mason’s memory, instead suggesting that the writing credit was a gift between bandmates – a token of publishing generosity from Pink Floyd’s bassist to the band’s drummer. After Waters split with the band in the ’80s, he didn’t only stop speaking to his former mates, he didn’t want Mason to get any creative recognition for “Speak to Me.”

“I went through many years when I really regretted having given away half the writing credits, particularly ‘Speak to Me’,” Waters said. “I gave it to [Mason]. Nobody else had anything to do with it at all.”


Because the whooshing backwards chord segues from “Speak to Me” right into “Breathe,” the two compositions were most often combined into one track on digital era re-releases. But these are separate pieces, treated as such on the original vinyl release (on which “Breathe” was listed as “Breathe in the Air”). While “Speak” began the album, “Breathe” set the tone for Dark Side.

The first true song on the LP had its roots in a tune, also titled “Breathe,” that Waters had written for a documentary called The Body. Although the two songs don’t have much in common, their lyricist did reuse the title and the opening line for Dark Side. It was a suitable beginning for an album about the universal elements (and impediments) of existence. The first line appears to mark the first breath of life: “Breathe, breathe in the air … ”

“I think we all thought – and Roger definitely thought – that a lot of the lyrics we had been using were a little too indirect,” Gilmour said. “There was definitely a feeling that the words were going to be very clear and specific. That was a leap forward. Things would mean what they meant. That was a distinct step away from what we had done before.”

Waters would later sort of cringe at the naked simplicity of some of his Dark Side lyrics, particularly “Breathe,” which follows its first line with “Don’t be afraid to care.” But if the naivete of those words rankled the musician in hindsight, their universality may have helped so many listeners connect deeply with this music. In a matter of a few lines, “Breathe” describes birth, offers parental advice (with a pointed caveat) then helplessly sinks into the infinite loop of the rat race – or is it the rabbit race?

“The lyrics … are an exhortation directed mainly at myself, but also at anybody else who cares to listen,” Waters told Mojo. “It’s about trying to be true to one’s path.”

Waters wrote the words, but Gilmour’s voice contained the delicate power to deliver them – double-tracking his vocal takes to strengthen his breathy cries. His guitar work might be “Breathe’s” defining characteristic – a combination of Stratocaster and lap steel that plants itself in blues structure while zooming to the outer reaches of the universe. The spacey approach was a refined version of what Floyd had done with “Echoes” on 1971’s Meddle.

Wright, who shared musical credit with Waters and Gilmour on the song, added textures of keyboard, namely twinkles of Fender Rhodes electric piano and erupting swells of Hammond organ. He also brought in a hint of jazz, via his choice of a minor chord on the way from G to E, right before the verse begins.

“I came from jazz basically … that’s my favourite, that’s my inspiration,” Wright said on the Classic Albums documentary series about “The Dark Side of the Moon”. “The interesting thing about this song … that is totally down to a chord I had heard on, actually, Miles Davis’ album Kind of Blue. … That chord, I just loved.”

“Breathe” would also contribute to Dark Side being looked at as an album-length work. Just as there were sonic and lyrical references to other songs in the LP’s first and last tracks, “Breathe” made a second appearance as a reprise following “Time” with a slightly different musical approach, a weary word about work and a sneer in the direction of organized religion.

The repeating musical theme “was a bit avant-garde,” according to Mason. “And it was a bloody good device not to have to write anything else.”

“On the Run”

Before “On the Run” existed as one of Dark Side’s most experimental tracks existed as a less exceptional guitar-driven jam. When Pink Floyd performed the Dark Side song cycle before they recorded it, the band played something called “The Travel Sequence,” after “Breathe” and before “Time.” It was a kind of interlude to connect two of the major songs.

As Waters was coming up with the lyrical ideas for what would become Pink Floyd’s most famous album, he thought of a list of the things that he thought prevented humanity from progressing. Some of these became the focus (and even the titles) of songs: money, time, morality, violence, etc. One of the more personal themes on Waters’ list was travel, because as a constantly gigging band, the members of Pink Floyd were often on the road, in the air or “On the Run,” so to speak. Recording technology was evolving rapidly around the band. They used the new VCS3 – the latest synthesiser on the market, albeit still quite primitive – to generate the helicopter noises and Rick Wright used it inventively on On The Run. Half-way through making the album they switched to the new Dolby sound reduction system to give the music greater clarity and separation. But the real masterstroke came late on when Roger decided to link the tracks with bits of speech.

“It’s about fear of flying, which we all developed at some time,” Waters said in 2003. Wright had a slightly different take: “I was exhausted by the treadmill, the grind of traveling. For me, it expressed that rather than the fear of crashing in an aircraft.”

Perhaps because it was so personal, Waters didn’t compose lyrics about this particular fear, and the song remained an instrumental. When the Floyd members entered Abbey Road Studios to begin recording Dark Side, “The Travel Sequence” turned into something more bizarre, futuristic, frightening and alien. As that stage jam became “On the Run,” the track found its backbone in a synthesizer, the EMS Synthi AKS.

“I put an eight-note sequence into the Synthi and sped it up,” Gilmour recalled. “Roger thought it wasn’t quite right. He put in another, quite like mine. I hate to say, it was marginally better.”

If the constantly oscillating, ever-repeating sci-fi sound of the Synthi AKS didn’t fully represent what Wright called “the grind of traveling,” extra effects hammered the idea home. Along with heavily manipulated guitar and organ, folded into the track were an airport announcement (“Have your baggage and passport ready …“), other synthesized noises (which sounded like a vehicle swooping past) and a little more everyman philosophy (“Live for today, gone tomorrow. That’s me,” as said by Floyd road manager Roger “The Hat” Manifold).

Engineer Parsons has claimed it was his idea to add the sound of a man’s running footsteps and gasps of heavy breathing. “Often I’d carry on experimenting after they had gone,” he recalled. “The footsteps were done by Peter James, the assistant engineer, running around Studio 2, breathing heavily and panting. They loved it when they heard it the next day.”

Going out with a, quite literal, bang, “On the Run” ends with the sound of a plane crash – leaving little interpretation to how a traveling band felt about their concert schedule. The track’s finale became even more dramatic when performed on the tour to promote Dark Side, as Pink Floyd arranged for a huge model airplane to “fly” across arenas and “crash” in a rigged explosion. The stagecraft, although intense, seemed to lighten the band’s dark thoughts on the subject of air travel.

“We’ve had all sorts of things over the years, so I don’t think it put any of us off,” Gilmour remembered about the special effect. “It was jolly entertaining.”


Like many tracks on our list of the Top 10 Pink Floyd Songs, ‘Time’ works better as part of a bigger album concept than as a standalone cut. But it’s ‘The Dark Side of the Moon”s linchpin and features the album’s best performances, especially Nick Mason’s drum solo near the beginning of the song and David Gilmour’s ripping guitar solo in the middle.

Everyone in Pink Floyd gets their shot at the spotlight in “Time.” Mason does his drum solo on the rototoms in the big build-up, Wright came up with some of the epic chord changes and offers his gentle lead vocal (for the last time on record until the ’90s) on the bridges, Gilmour’s snarling singing on the verses is only outdone by his blistering guitar solo and Waters (as throughout Dark Side) came up with the idea and wrote all the lyrics.

“Time” is the only song on the album on which all four members receive a writing credit – making it the zenith of collaboration on what the Floyd guys have always claimed was their most cohesive LP as co-workers. And it’s only appropriate that each gets his moment on a track that focuses on living in the moment.

Waters has said the words for “Time” came from a eureka moment he experienced as he approached the age of 30 and Floyd were putting together Dark Side. He had spent his adolescence and young adulthood waiting for life to begin, only to discover that he was already living it. The notion is reflected in the lyric, “And then one day you find 10 years have got behind you / No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.”

“I suddenly thought at 29, ‘Hang on, it’s happening’,” Waters told Mojo. “It has been right from the beginning, and there isn’t suddenly a line when the training stops and life starts. … To be here now, this is it. Make the most of it.”

When the band began to record “Time” in the studio and audio engineer Parsons learned of the song’s title, he offered his own contribution. Not long before Floyd started sessions for Dark Side, Parsons had gone to a watchmaker’s shop to record a range of clocks going off. He planned to use the sounds on a release that would demonstrate the capabilities of quadraphonic sound. Instead, the tolling clocks became a memorable part of “Time,” presaging the song’s slow climb.

“We were doing the song ‘Time,’ and he said, ‘Listen, I just did all these things, I did all these clocks’,” Gilmour remembered in 1984, “and so we wheeled out his tape and listened to it and said, ‘Great! Stick it on!’ And that, actually, is Alan Parsons’s idea.”

The engineer wasn’t the only outsider to make a key contribution to “Time.” Dark Side’s most dynamic track featured vocal backing by four female singers – Doris Troy, Leslie Duncan, Liza Strike and Barry St. John. Recordings of the women’s voices were fed through a pioneering pitch-shifting device invented at Abbey Road Studios. The Frequency Translator wasn’t employed as suggested; instead Floyd members and Parsons manipulated the vocals to bring a greater “swishing” sweep to the soulful “oohs” and “aahs.”

Everything about “Time” was big: its cacophony of clocks, its sonic range from hushed tick-tocking to full-throated rock exuberance, its notions about the hourglass of life, its seven-minute length. It also might be Dark Side’s hardest-rocking moment with Waters’ bass digging deep into the song’s funky gait and Gilmour burning through everything with his blazing arrow of a guitar solo coated in space echo.

“Some punch, some rock guitar,” is how the guitarist described the approach in 2011. “You know, once you’ve had that guitar up so loud on the stage, where you can lean back and volume will stop you from falling backward, that’s a hard drug to kick.” In “Time’s closing moments, Pink Floyd break the fourth wall. Wright’s lamenting vocals deliver Waters’s lyrics: “The time is gone, the song is over / Thought I’d something more to say … ” The album’s lyricist isn’t just using the song to write about the human perception of time, he’s using the creative process as a metaphor for life and how the clock will inevitably run out on everyone.

“Maybe we all suffer from the feeling of lost opportunities, or you could have done better, or done more,” Waters told us. “Maybe it’s comforting to hear that feeling expressed in a piece of work that’s been as successful as this one. People often think, ‘If only … I could write the hit song, or have the success, everything would be okay.’ It’s very nice, but it doesn’t solve any of the problems you might feel about yourself.”

Then, via a dissonant chord, “Time” transitions to a one-verse reprise of “Breathe” (same melody, but new words). The reprise – all but exhaled by Gilmour – gets a lot done in a mere eight lines. It reiterates the “stop and smell the roses” idea of “Breathe” proper, connects to the chimes of “Time” (“the tolling of the iron bell”) and introduces some old-time religion (“hear the softly spoken magic spells”). All of it just in time for Dark Side to move on to mortality

“The Great Gig in the Sky”

Because of her singing on “The Great Gig in the Sky,” Clare Torry’s name is inextricably linked to Pink Floyd. And she wasn’t even a fan of the band.

The idea to bring in a singer to “wail” on the track happened late in the recording sessions for Dark Side (mid-January 1973, only about a month-and-a-half before the album’s release). When Pink Floyd had performed the Dark Side material live in 1972, before recording it, this spot in the song cycle had been taken by something termed “The Mortality Sequence.” The theme was religion and death, exemplified by Wright playing an organ with taped snippets of recorded prayers and Christian commentary playing over the live performance.

When the band got into Abbey Road Studios, Wright refined the piece and crafted something more delicate, playing piano as the tune’s lead instrument. Gilmour contributed pedal steel, Waters played bass and Mason handled the drums. Everyone seemed to love the instrumental (Waters later praised it as “really beautiful” and one of “the best things that Rick did”), yet some of the members felt it needed something more.

The idea of keeping the prayers and Bible verses from the live edition was quickly dispatched and the band moved on to trying to use recordings of astronauts communicating in space (which didn’t gel) as well as subjects from Waters’ interview idea (two of whom ended up on the completed track). But the quotes from Abbey Road doorman Gerry O’Driscoll – “And I am not frightened of dying … ” – and Patricia “Puddie” Watts, wife of road manager Peter Watts – “I never said I was frightened of dying” – weren’t quite enough to capture the emotion of a song about death.

No one remembers whose idea it was but eventually the guys in Floyd decided that a female singer might do the trick. Engineer Parsons suggested a young singer-songwriter named Clare Torry, because he had been impressed by the power of her voice on a cover of the Doors’ “Light My Fire.” The 25-year-old singer initially was reluctant to take part. Torry wasn’t into progressive rock and had tickets to a Chuck Berry concert on the Saturday night proposed for the session, but she eventually agreed when the date was set for a Sunday.

“I think one has to give Clare credit — she was just told to go in and ‘do your thing,’ so effectively she wrote what she did,” Parsons said in 1998. “She wailed over a nice chord sequence. There was no melodic guidance at all apart from ‘a bit more wailly here’ or ‘more sombre there.’ The vocal was done in one session – three hours – no time at all, then a couple of tracks were compiled for the final version.”

The members of Pink Floyd had been at a loss at how to direct someone to sing a completely wordless part for a song that was serious yet carried the playful title of “The Great Gig in the Sky.” Although they came away impressed with Torry’s hair-raising, even terrifying, vocal takes, the guys’ stone-faced manner belied their approval. “The only thing I could think of was to make myself sound like an instrument, a guitar or whatever, and not to think like a vocalist,” Torry recalled. “I did three or four takes very quickly, it was left totally up to me, and they said, ‘Thank you very much.’ In fact, other than Dave Gilmour, I had the impression they were infinitely bored with the whole thing, and when I left I remember thinking to myself, ‘That will never see the light of day’.”

Torry didn’t know she had become part of Pink Floyd’s hit album – and, eventually, one of the most beloved LPs of all time – until she spotted Dark Side in a record shop one day and saw that she was credited on the sleeve. Although Wright was listed as the song’s sole writer, that changed after a retired Torry sued the band and EMI in 2004, resulting in a settlement that gave the singer-songwriting credit on subsequent reissues of the album.

“I get so excited when I hear Clare singing,” Wright said in 2003. “For me, it’s not necessarily death. I hear terror and fear and huge emotion, in the middle bit especially, and the way the voice blends with the band.”


Once the band started to receive some attention, the concept of fame and its trappings became an obsession for Waters . Ironically, ‘Money’ — an anti-greed rant — became the group’s first hit single and set ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ on its path to one of the bestselling albums ever made. Its massive popularity only added to Waters’ list of complaints.

It’s one of the most famous intros in music and one of the most famous riffs on a centrepiece to one of the most famous albums with one of the most famous covers of all time. But before ‘Money’ was the track your dad used as an example of “real music” when he came into your room while you were listening to Deadmau5, it was just a crude demo that Roger Waters had toyed around with.

What’s rather remarkable though is not only the way the rather short demo expanded into a six-minute epic, but the way the themes of the song and most of the lyrics were already in Waters’ head.

Pink Floyd hadn’t had a hit single since 1967. That was back when they were a psychedelic outfit led by Syd Barrett. By the mid-’70s, the singles chart just wasn’t the kinetic playground for progressive rock bands. Groups of Floyd’s ilk gravitated toward longer artistic statements: albums with big concepts, extended tracks and lots of room for listeners’ minds to wander. This wasn’t Top 40 stuff.

Yet, suddenly in 1973, it was. A couple months after the release of Dark Side, Pink Floyd put out an edited-down version of “Money” as a single in the U.S. and it soared to No. 13 on the chart, helping to take the British band from an underground act to a popular sensation in North America. Sure the song was catchy  with its distinctive, rubber-band bass line and blistering solo breaks – yet it was still a surprise that a song written in the decidedly un-pop time signature of 7/4, with a sound effects loop, an unsung chorus and a subversive attitude toward capitalism would become a Top 20 single on American radio.

As with all of the Dark Side material, Waters was responsible for those sarcastic lyrics, which were written to a strange rhythm as the bassist was considering the elements that could prove dangerous to a thriving society.  As a rock musician who was working to be rich and famous, but also had notions of socialism, Waters decided to go the “funny and clever” route. In addition to the off-kilter time signature, Waters came up with the idea of creating a sound effects loop that would insert into the track the literal sounds of money (coins, bags of cash, registers, etc.). Drummer Mason helped Waters begin collecting this rhythmic loop in the song’s home demo stage.

“I had drilled holes in old pennies and then threaded them on to strings,” Mason explained in his autobiography Inside Out. “They gave one sound on the loop of seven. Roger had recorded coins swirling around in the mixing bowl [his then-wife] Judy used for her pottery. Each sound was measured out on the tape with a ruler before being cut to the same length and then carefully spliced together.” The final version of the seven jangling, ripping, clinking and ringing sounds was used by Dark Side engineer Parsons as a click-track, to which the members of Pink Floyd played when recording “Money” at Abbey Road Studios. Because Parsons slowly faded out the effects in the band’s headphones, the song begins to move faster after the guys were untethered from their weird metronome.

Wright and Gilmour initially weren’t thrilled with the Waters composition. The keyboardist later claimed it was the one song that didn’t fit with the rest of Dark Side and also disagreed with the political nature of the lyrics at the time (after all, he was the one who agreed for “The Great Gig in the Sky” to be used in a commercial for headache medicine). Gilmour was, at first, unsure about singing and playing to the awkward 7/4 time. Although he came around to the idea, he made sure that “Money” switched to a more standard 4/4 time for his series of guitar solos.

He didn’t merely dash off the solos, which include some of the heaviest rock on the entire album and, essentially, take the place of the choruses in a typical song structure. Gilmour treated each iteration differently, changing the guitar he played (a Fender Stratocaster on the first two solos, a customized Lewis guitar capable of achieving higher notes on the last one). He also planned the contrast of a “wet” sound – reverb and delay effects on the first solo – with a “dry” approach in the middle, then returning to a fuller aesthetic for the final, more chaotic turn. Much of his driving approach on guitar was a tribute to the Memphis sound.

“I was a big Booker T. fan,” Gilmour later revealed, in reference to Stax Records house band, Booker T. and the M.G.’s. “I had the Green Onions album when I was a teenager. … It was something I thought we could incorporate into our sound without anyone spotting where the influence had come from. And to me, it worked. Nice white English architecture students getting funky is a bit of an odd thought.” Another R&B element was added with the addition of Dick Parry’s blurting and squealing saxophone. The story goes that Gilmour told his former bandmate to play like the saxophonist in a cartoon ad that ran before movies in Britain.

“I played with him. He was a jazz player. You’d be in two or three different groups at a time sometimes. My group in Cambridge very rarely had a gig on a Sunday night, and Dick had a regular spot in a ballroom on a Sunday night. We got this jazz trio thing going on,” Gilmour said in 2003. “Pink Floyd … really didn’t know how to get hold of a sax player or anything. We wanted to try a sax on ‘Money’ and ‘Us and Them,’ so we got Dick in.”

In addition to Parry’s sax work, Pink Floyd filtered in more of spoken-word snippets, of the same variety that had appeared on other tracks. A run of a variety of voices (including Wings member Henry McCullough) close out the song, not responding to financial questions, but matters of conflict, perhaps as a preview of Dark Side’s next track.

Looking back decades later, the irony was not lost on the band regarding “Money” being, in many ways, responsible for the vast material success of Pink Floyd. It was practically a prophecy, given the lyric that Waters wrote and Gilmour sang “Money, it’s a hit.” .“We were by no means rich at that time. ‘Money’ is the single that helped to really break us in America,” Gilmour said. “It was the track that made us guilty of what it propounds, funnily enough.”

“Us and Them”

The oldest song in Dark Side, “Us and Them” dates from four years before the album’s release, when Pink Floyd had been commissioned by film director Michelangelo Antonioni to create soundtrack music for Zabriskie Point. Wright, the band’s keyboardist, had written this subdued, melancholy piece to work as a contrast to a scene that depicted a campus riot. As such, it had the working title of “The Violence Sequence.”

“It has quite a simple chord sequence, except for the rather strange third chord, influenced by jazz,” Wright told Uncut, referencing the D minor chord with a major seventh. “It was an augmented chord, hardly ever used in pop music then.” It proved unusual for pop music and, as it turned out, a bit too unusual for Antonioni as well. While the Italian director loved Floyd material such as “Careful With That Axe, Eugene,” he wasn’t thrilled with Wright’s slow, piano tune. Waters recalled the filmmaker’s reaction: “It’s beautiful, but is it too sad, you know? It makes me think of church.” Antonioni chose not to use “The Violence Sequence” for his movie.

A few years later, Pink Floyd were starting to assemble material for what would become Dark Side and Wright was still kicking around this chord progression in his brain. The song ended up underscoring a different sort of conflict: warfare, prejudice and inequality as depicted in lyrics written by Waters. The bandmates worked on the song, now called “Us and Them” together, adding a new musical section and words that paid heed to the forces that prevent human beings from connecting.

“We needed a middle-eight. I came up with the chords for that,” Wright said. “It’s very flowing and sweet if you look at the verse, then there’s the contrast, this big, harder chorus. With the lyrics about the war and the general sitting back – it worked so well. Wright and Waters were so pleased with “Us and Them,” which Pink Floyd performed while on tour before making Dark Side, that the deceptively serene song became the first one recorded for the album when the band entered Abbey Road Studios in June 1972.  Gilmour sings the lead part, his voice processed with an echo effect to enhance the dichotomy of certain lines (i.e. “Us … us … us … us … us … us … us … and them … them … them … them … them … them … them …”).

Wright’s vocals come in to harmonize in the crescendo of the choruses, as do the voices of Doris Troy, Leslie Duncan, Liza Strike and Barry St. John, who sing backup on other tracks (“Time,” “Brain Damage” and “Eclipse”).

“All our vocals are perfectly balanced – for instance, on ‘Us and Them’,” Gilmour noticed. “I did I don’t know how many harmony vocals, then the girls on top. It’s really great, really uplifting. You can move one element a fraction and the whole thing falls to pieces.”

As with “Money” it was Pink Floyd’s guitarist who brought in old pal Dick Parry to play saxophone on the track. The jazzman delivers two solos, each breathy and moody, in stark contrast to the honking assignment on his other Dark Side appearance. Just before his second solo on “Us and Them” listeners hear yet another of the album’s spoken-word snippets, with roadie Roger “The Hat” Manifold holding forth on the theme of violence (“So if you give ’em a quick short, sharp, shock, they won’t do it again”).

Wright and Waters, the song’s co-writers who would so often find themselves at odds in the post-Dark Side era, would eventually look back fondly on “Us and Them.” Even in the years in which they were not talking to one another, they each considered their collaboration a highlight, if not the all-out centerpiece, of Pink Floyd’s most legendary album.

“It’s a great example of the music and the lyrics combining to create emotion,” Wright said in 2003. A few years earlier, Waters had offered, “The whole idea, the political idea of humanism and whether it could or should have any effect on any of us, that’s what the record is about really – conflict, our failure to connect with one another.”

“Any Colour You Like”

Isolation, paranoia and mental breakdown are the unrelenting themes of the last three tracks,Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage and Eclipse. Roger would pursue these themes with a vengeance on later Pink Floyd albums, driven by his hatred of authoritarian leaders and their bureaucratic henchmen, and his rage at the death of his father right at the end of World War II.

When the Dark Side collection of songs existed as merely a concert set – before Pink Floyd went into the studio to record the album – the material included two instrumental jams that both served as connective tissue for the entire cycle. There was one jam in between “Breathe” and “Time” (which was radically altered for the album to become “On the Run”) and there was another between “Us and Them” and “Brain Damage.” Because Floyd had deep-sixed the first jam, the members were content with keeping the second one for the LP, although it still got the full studio treatment. Segueing from “Us and Them,” the instrumental is led by a heavily addled EMS VCS 3 synthesizer played by Wright, which eventually yields the floor to Gilmour’s guitar playing, including a harmonized solo. Wright also contributes organ and another synth, while Waters plays bass and Mason is on drums.

The funky instrumental has been occasionally referred to as the second reprise of “Breathe” because it has the same rhythm (albeit more up-tempo) and boasts a similar chord sequence to that song (although stepped down from E minor to D minor). So even if “Any Colour You Like” doesn’t have an obvious impact on the overall themes of Dark Side, it does play into a repeated musical element of the LP.

“It’s not a vital part of the narrative,” Gilmour said in 2003, “but there are moments when it’s nice to get off the leash and just play.” Yet Waters, who is the only Floyd member not credited with writing the song, has claimed that “Any Colour You Like” does contain an underlying message to match some of the other impediments to progress explored in the lyrics and music of Dark Side.

Although it has been suggested that the title is an in-joke, referencing Floyd roadie Chris Adamson’s catchphrase, Waters told author Phil Rose that the phrase originated with his memory of salesmen hawking cheap items out of a van. “If they had sets of china, and they were all the same colour, they would say, ‘You can ’ave ’em, 10 bob to you, love. Any colour you like, they’re all blue’,” Waters recalled in Which One’s Pink? “And that was just part of that patter. So, metaphorically, ‘Any Colour You Like’ is interesting, in that sense, because it denotes offering a choice where there is none.”

“Brain Damage”

The Dark Side of the Moon’s penultimate track is more or less the theme song of Pink Floyd’s most popular album. More than any other cut on the record, ‘Brain Damage’ surveys the mental scars left on both the band and Syd Barrett after their former bandmate’s mental illness forced his departure (first from the group and eventually from reality). This centerpiece segues into the closing ‘Eclipse,’ so feel free to tag it on.

This track gave the entire album its title. When Waters was first working on it, around the time that 1971’s Meddle was being recorded, “The Dark Side of the Moon” was the name given to the song. Before it arrived at its final name, “Brain Damage,” it had the working title “The Lunatic Song” – named as such for the lyrics’ frequent use of the term.

The song’s first line is “The lunatic is on the grass,” a general reference to “keep off the grass” signs and a specific memory of a beautiful lawn in Waters’ hometown of Cambridge on which he desperately wanted to run around. The songwriter would later remark that the real lunatics are the ones trying to prevent people from lazing on a nice patch of grass.

But the larger inspiration for Waters’ acoustic-based tune was his former bandmate, and Pink Floyd’s first frontman, Syd Barrett. His relationship with, and proximity to, someone with destabilizing mental illness would greatly impact Waters’ work in Pink Floyd, including parts of Wish You Were Here and The Wall. In “Brain Damage,” the lyric “And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes” is a nod to concerts in which Barrett would be performing a completely different song to the one that the band had agreed to play.

“It was a huge shock to me to see the ravages of schizophrenia at those close quarters,” Waters said in 2003. “There’s no way to deal with it. Certainly there wasn’t with Syd.

So “Brain Damage” was, in part, Waters’ way of dealing with this. It wasn’t just references to Barrett, grass and lobotomies, but a display of empathy for the folks on the fringes – “defending the notion of being different,” as the songwriter put it on the Classic Albums documentary. The song’s lyrical hook, after all, is “I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon,” as if to say that there isn’t that much different between Barrett and Waters. “It’s also to suggest that there’s a camaraderie involved in the idea of people who are prepared to walk the dark places alone,” Waters said. “You’re not alone! A number of us are prepared to open ourselves up to all those possibilities.”

At the time Pink Floyd were making Dark Side, Waters was still self-conscious about his singing voice, especially in contrast the expressiveness of Gilmour’s vocals. But it was the guitarist who convinced Waters to sing on “Brain Damage,” possibly because of how personal the lyrics were.

Besides, it’s not like the recording did a disservice to the apprehensive singer. Waters stands alone on the quieter verses, but is joined by Gilmour and the backing contingent of Doris Troy, Leslie Duncan, Liza Strike and Barry St. John on the operatic choruses, which blast out of the simple, folky tune.

Gilmour’s sighing space guitar, Wright’s bum-rushing Hammond organ and Mason’s thunderous drums make “Brain Damage” suitable for Dark Side’s widescreen canvas, while clips of road manager Peter Watts laughing like a maniac maintain the conceptual connections.

“It’s very simple, and also it has the mini-Moog,” said Wright, who wasn’t thrilled, originally, with the recording. “It’s got a hotel orchestra kind of sound. I love the chorus, and the girls blended in so beautifully.” “Brain Damage” also blended in so well with Dark Side’s final track, “Eclipse,” that the pair are usually performed in concert or played on the radio in tandem, causing many fans to consider them one piece – even though they were written as separate songs.

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Pink Floyd were already in the process of a 1972 road-test of the material that would turn into Dark Side when lyricist and bassist Waters realized the suite of songs was missing something. Sure, the band had big, dramatic think-pieces such as “Time” and “Money” and “Us and Them,” but not a song that tied all of the themes together.

“I suggested it all needed an ending,” Waters told Uncut. “I wrote ‘Eclipse’ and brought it into a gig in Colston Hall in Bristol [the eighth of the tour on which the Dark Side songs were being played], on a piece of lined paper with the lyrics written out.”

But it wasn’t titled “Eclipse” at the time; it was called “End.” That’s because Pink Floyd were considering calling the entire piece Eclipse, scared off of the original Dark Side of the Moon moniker because another British band, Medicine Head, was releasing an LP with that title. That album proved unsuccessful, Pink Floyd reverted to their plan and “Eclipse” became the name of the record’s final track.

Lyrically, the conclusion does what Waters set out to achieve, forging bonds between many of the other songs on Dark Side. In the first line, Waters practically repeats a lyric from “Breathe” (“All that you touch / And all that you see”), while other phrases in this litany of themes bring to mind “Money” (“And all that you buy, beg, borrow or steal”), “Time” (“And all that is now / And all that is gone / And all that’s to come”) and “Us and Them” (“And all that you fight / And everyone you slight”).

If Waters met his goal as a lyricist, it would require the entire band to take this short, repetitive song into (interstellar) overdrive. Shooting straight out of “Brain Damage,” a giant wave of Wright’s Hammond heralds this musical and thematic climax, punctuated by Mason’s drums and surrounded by Gilmour’s twinkling guitars.

“I remember working hard on making it build and adding harmonies that join in as you go through the song,” Gilmour about recording the song. “Because there’s nothing to it – there’s no chorus, there’s no middle eight, there’s just a straight list. So, every four lines we’ll do something different.”

A big part of that build was the addition of the same female vocalists – Doris Troy, Leslie Duncan, Liza Strike and Barry St. John – who had appeared elsewhere on Dark Side. It provided consistency, in terms of the album, and emotion, in terms of the song. Where they did a lot of ooh-ing and ahh-ing on other tracks, the women are less restrained on “Eclipse.” Troy, in particular, goes all-out with her wailing, providing a tie to Clare Torry’s turn on “The Great Gig in the Sky” while also underscoring the universality Waters was trying to get across in this conclusion. One of the lyrics she echoes in her soulful howl is “Everyone you meet.” Meanwhile, nearly every line that Waters sings contains the word “all,” “everyone” or “everything.”

The song, and album, culminates in the final lines: “And everything under the sun is in tune / But the sun is eclipsed by the moon.” It isn’t merely a reference to the album’s title or the lyric in “Brain Damage,” but a crystallization of everything Waters intended Dark Side to be about.

“It isn’t very positive, but it’s very true,” he admitted in 2003. “Saying that there’s the potential to express the positive side of everything, but that all the stuff that we have talked about on the rest of the record has the potential to get in the way, and it’s up to us to make a change. We all get to choose to some extent … ”

Then the organ fades into the darkness and listeners hear one last interview snippet, a final thought from Abbey Road Studios doorman Gerry O’Driscoll, “There is no dark side of the moon, really. Matter of fact, it’s all dark.” And Dark Side retreats to Mason’s drumbeat pulse, the same steady sound of life heard at the album’s start.

Album cover designers Hipgnosis, who’d worked with the band since 1968’s Saucerful Of Secrets, were coming up with various ideas. Storm Thorgerson remembers they had seven or eight but the one the band picked was sparked off by Rick Wright, “who wanted something simple, clinical and precise”.

Hipgnosis deliberately missed out one colour of the spectrum as the light passed through the prism – purple – as they didn’t think it would show up against the black background. The gatefold sleeve was designed so that the light rays on the inner sleeve joined up precisely with the outer sleeve. But nowhere on the front cover, back cover or the spine did it say “Pink Floyd” or “Dark Side Of The Moon” And even on the inner sleeve the only reference you could find was “Produced by Pink Floyd” in the credits.

The title didn’t appear until you got to the record label, unless you happened to scan the lyrics on the inner sleeve and came across the last line of Brain Damage, ‘I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon’. Stuck inside the record sleeve were two posters: a grainy, green-filtered picture of the pyramids and one featuring the band, with an attempt to make the Pink Floyd name as difficult to read as possible.

thanks to ultimateclassicrock

Pink Floyd in 1973

This setlist carefully balances the then-new material from “A Momentary Lapse Of Reason” and Pink Floyd classics, including songs from “The Dark Side Of The Moon” (Time, On The Run, The Great Gig In The Sky and Us And Them), the anthemic title track of “Wish You Were Here”, “The Wall’s” Comfortably Numb and a cathartic Run Like Hell. Pink Floyds “Delicate Sound of Thunder” still stands as a record of the creative power of David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright at their incendiary best.

3-LP 180-gram vinyl set includes 9 songs not included on the 1988 release of the album. Pink Floyd “Delicate Sound Of Thunder”: Restored, Re-Edited, Remixed.

Pink Floyd‘s Delicate Sound of Thunder live album and concert film were restored, remixed and re-edited for last year’s mammothLater Years box set, but this November will be made available separately, across all major physical formats. 
The sound on this 1988 release has been completely remixed from the original multi-track tapes by longtime Pink Floyd engineer Andy Jackson with Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, assisted by Damon Iddins. The new 2CD and 3LP vinyl sets feature this remixed audio and offer more tracks than before: the vinyl triple-disc package offers nine more tracks than the original, while the new double-CD package features eight songs not on the 1988 2CD set. The concert film was restored and re-edited from the original 35mm film and enhanced with 5.1 surround sound and this is available as standalone Blu-ray and DVD packages. 

Pink Floyd’s supporting musicians for this tour were as follows: Jon Carin (Keyboards, Vocals), Tim Renwick (Guitars, Vocals), Guy Pratt (Bass, Vocals), Gary Wallis (Percussion), Scott Page (Saxophones, Guitar), Margret Taylor (Backing Vocals), Rachel Fury (Backing Vocals) and Durga McBroom (Backing Vocals).

These new editions of Delicate Sound of Thunder will be released on 20th November 2020.

david gilmour, yes i have ghosts, david gilmour yes i have ghosts, david gilmour single, david gilmour pink floyd, romany gilmour

David Gilmour has officially released a new song, “Yes, I Have Ghosts”, which marks the Pink Floyd guitarist’s first solo release since his 2015 album, Rattle that Lock, which rose to No1 on the U.K. Album Albums Chart.

While it’s billed as a “solo” song, “Yes, I Have Ghosts” is a Gilmour family affair, with lyrics by David’s wife, Polly Samson, and harp/vocal accompaniment by his daughter, 18-year-old Romany Gilmour. In celebration of the release of the dreamy, acoustic track, the Gilmour family hosted a special edition of their running Von Trapped quarantine live stream during which they showed the music video on a projector screen behind them.

YES, I HAVE GHOSTS is the first new song from David Gilmour in 5 years and features the voice and harp playing of his daughter Romany.

Buy Online Mick Fleetwood & Friends Celebrate The Music Of Peter Green And The Early Years Of Fleetwood Mac - Super Deluxe Edition Box Set

Legendary drummer, Mick Fleetwood enlisted an all-star cast for a one-of-a-kind concert honouring the early years of Fleetwood Mac and its founder, Peter Green which was held on 25th February 2020 at the London, Palladium.

The bill included Billy Gibbons, David Gilmour, Jonny Lang, Andy Fairweather Low, John Mayall, Christine McVie, Zak Starkey, Steven Tyler, Bill Wyman, Noel Gallagher, Pete Townshend, Neil Finn, Kirk Hammett and many more. Legendary producer Glyn Johns joined as the executive sound producer and the house band featured Fleetwood himself along with Andy Fairweather Low, Dave Bronze and Ricky Peterson.

Fleetwood, who curated the list of artists performing, said: “The concert is a celebration of those early blues days where we all began, and it’s important to recognize the profound impact Peter and the early Fleetwood Mac had on the world of music.

Peter was my greatest mentor and it gives me such joy to pay tribute to his incredible talent. I am honoured to be sharing the stage with some of the many artists Peter has inspired over the years and who share my great respect for this remarkable musician. ‘Then Play On’…”

The Later Years box set

Later this year, Pink Floyd will release “The Later Years”. Due November 29th, the massive box set collects the iconic rockers’ post-Roger Waters work, including rare live recordings and previously unreleased tracks. As the title suggests, this version of High Hopes is an early version of the song and features an electric guitar solo and slightly different lyrics.

Today we get to hear one of those unreleased offerings, as Pink Floyd have shared an early demo version of “High Hopes” off 1994’sThe Division Bell. “High Hopes” originally closed out The Division Bell, and actually features the title lyric. This newly revealed demo version of the track has some distinct differences in the level mixing, with David Gilmour’s vocals riding high alongside the ringing piano. Most notably, drums appear to be almost entirely absent, interestingly giving it a heavier, more ominous feel.

Among the other highlights featured The Later Years is a new version of 1987’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason. It utilizes freshly restored keyboard tracks from Richard Wright and completely new drums from Nick Mason. The box is filled out with a number of live albums, concert films, and more previously unreleased rarities.

Included on ‘The Later Years’, a 16-disc box set (5xCDs, 6xBlu-Rays, 5xDVDs) covering the material created by David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright from 1987 onwards, with unreleased audio and audiovisual material, including the 1989 Venice and 1990 Knebworth concerts, as well as updated, restored and remixed audio and video, 2 x 7” singles, 60-page hardback Photo Book, 40-page hardback Credits Book, Lyrics Book, 3 x reproduction tour programmes, card envelope containing collectible memorabilia, plus Blu-rays and DVDs in individual wallets. Release date is 29th November 2019, with a 12-track ‘Highlights’ package (2-LP or 1-CD) available on the same day.

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Pink Floyd’s “The Division Bell”, released in March 1994, became the band’s first album since 1975’s Wish You Were Here to reach No.1 in both the UK and US. Their 14th studio release also went multi-platinum and turned out to be a lone victory for prog rock. In October 1985, three years after Floyd’s The Final Cut, founder member/bass guitarist Roger Waters had took out a High Court application to try to prevent the Floyd name being used again. In December, he informed the group’s record company that he was leaving the band, and that Pink Floyd were no more.

Unfortunately for Waters, David Gilmour had no intention of laying Floyd to rest. “Dave absolutely saw red, and finally got it together to go back to work,” wrote drummer Nick Mason in his memoir, Inside Out. A year later, the Waters-less Pink Floyd made their debut with “A Momentary Lapse Of Reason”. The album had an arduous birth. Gilmour worked briefly with several outside songwriters, and the process was frequently interrupted by calls from lawyers tasked with defending the band’s decision to continue. Waters even tried to stop the new Floyd from touring. But his protests failed to halt the band.

A Momentary Lapse… was denounced by Waters as “a fair forgery”, but still it reached No.3 in Britain and America, and was promoted with a tour that turned Pink Floyd into the second highest grossing act of 1987. “I didn’t think it was the best Pink Floyd album ever made,” said Gilmour.

Rick Wright, who’d left the group under duress in 1979, had returned midway through the sessions, but wasn’t made a full-time member again. Instead, Wright’s name topped a list of 16 session musicians and backing singers deployed to help bring the band back from the dead.

The Division Bell should also be remembered for its music rather than the intra-band bickering that had blighted the previous nine years. But it proved that Floyd could still be a commercial success without Waters, the man who’d devised the concepts for The Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall. By spring, Gilmour had moved the operation to his houseboat-cum-studio, Astoria, on the Thames, and he brought in The Wall and A Momentary Lapse… co-producer Bob Ezrin. Having amassed around 65 of what Nick Mason described as “riffs, patterns and musical doodles”, “we had what we called ‘the big listen’,” explained Gilmour, “where everyone voted on each piece of music.”

The first steps towards making The Division Bell began in January 1993 with Gilmour, Mason and Wright jamming at the Floyd’s own Britannia Row Studios in North London. Before long, Guy Pratt, who’d played on the Momentary Lapse… tour, joined them. It was a dream come true for the bassist who, as a teenager, had watched Floyd play The Wall at Earls Court. “It was thrilling to know you were playing on a Pink Floyd record,” said Pratt, who recalled Gilmour gently instructing him to lose “90 per cent of the notes I was playing”.

Ideas were merged or discarded. But so much material was left over that the band briefly considered, then rejected, the idea of releasing some of it on a separate album, “including a set we dubbed ‘The Big Spliff’,” wrote Mason, which was, apparently “the kind of ambient mood music being adopted by bands like The Orb”.

High Hopes was partly inspired by Gilmour’s childhood and adolescence in Cambridge. Its beautiful lap steel guitar solo evoked Shine On You Crazy Diamond, while composer Michael Kamen’s orchestral arrangement flashed back to the strings and woodwind he’d used on Comfortably Numb. In the meantime, Floyd dragged some of their vintage keyboards out of storage and sampled their sounds on Take It Back and Marooned. Rick Wright was delighted: “My influence can be heard on tracks like Marooned. Those were the kind of things that I gave the Floyd in the past and it was good that they were now getting used again.”

In fact, the whole album was full of familiar motifs. Dark Side… and Wish You Were Here saxophonist Dick Parry returned to the fold. But so too did Dark Side… mixing supervisor Chris Thomas, who helped oversee the final mix instead of Bob Ezrin. “That was disappointing,” understated the producer. On the final album, High Hopes’ themes of nostalgia and reflection were reprised in the Gilmour/Samson/Laird-Clowes composition Poles Apart. Its first verse was apparently inspired by Syd Barrett; its second by Roger Waters. What Bob Ezrin called “the broader concept” of The Division Bell was communication and the difficulties thereof: between friends, wives and lovers, and former bandmates.

The clues were there in titles such as Lost For Words and Keep Talking, the last of which sampled scientist Stephen Hawking’s voice. “It’s more of a wish that all problems can be solved through discussion than a belief,” said Gilmour, who was well aware of the irony considering Pink Floyd’s poor track record in communicating with each other.

However, The Division Bell also seemed to have a subtext: rebirth. On Wearing The Inside Out, Rick Wright cast himself as a man venturing back into the world after years of isolation. “There’s a lot of emotional honesty there,” said Ezrin. “Fans pick up on a sad and vulnerable side of Rick.” Wright wasn’t the only one being emotionally honest. Gilmour talked about ‘killing the past’ on Coming Back To Life. Many took this as a reference to embracing his relationship with Polly Samson (whom he’d marry in July ’94) and rejecting the hedonistic lifestyle he’d been enjoying for the past few years.

Warner Music Group in association with Pink Floyd Records is releasing a 25th anniversary edition of ‘The Division Bell’, the band’s 1994 multi-million selling album that included the Grammy Award winning track “Marooned” (Best Rock Instrumental Performance) on June 7th. This Limited Edition 25th anniversary edition will be available on translucent blue vinyl (echoing the original limited blue vinyl release in 1994).

‘The Division Bell’ was the last studio album to be recorded by the band: David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright. The album debuted at No 1 in the UK, the USA, Australia and New Zealand, staying at the top of the US charts for 4 weeks; it also went to No 1 in six other countries and, to date, has reached total album sales of over 12 million. The album was recorded by the band at Astoria and Britannia Row Studios with the majority of the lyrics being written by Polly Samson and David Gilmour. ‘The Division Bell’ contains Pink Floyd’s only Grammy-awarded track, the instrumental ‘Marooned’. A video for Marooned was made for the 20th Anniversary Immersion release of the album and has now had almost 25 million views

‘The Division Bell’ sleeve artwork was the first Pink Floyd image to be featured on a Royal Mail stamp, in an issue of ‘Classic Album Covers’. The iconic album artwork of the two huge metal heads in profile talking to each other (and in turn, creating a third forward-facing head) was provided by long-time Floyd collaborator Storm Thorgerson.

The album was remastered for the release in 2014 by James Guthrie, Joel Plante and Doug Sax at The Mastering Lab from the original analogue tapes. Bob Ezrin and David Gilmour produced the original album, with orchestral arrangements by the late Michael Kamen.

Track Listing:
Disc 1 Side 1
Cluster One (Richard Wright, David Gilmour)
What Do You Want From Me (Music: David Gilmour, Richard Wright – Lyrics: Polly Samson, David Gilmour)
Poles Apart (Music: David Gilmour – Lyrics: Polly Samson, David Gilmour, Nick Laird-Clowes)

Disc 1 Side 2
Marooned (Richard Wright, David Gilmour)
A Great Day For Freedom (Music: David Gilmour – Lyrics: Polly Samson , David Gilmour)
Wearing The Inside Out (Music: Richard Wright – Lyrics: Anthony Moore)

Disc 2 Side 1
Take It Back (Music: David Gilmour, Bob Ezrin – Lyrics: Polly Samson, David Gilmour, Nick Laird-Clowes)
Coming Back To Life (David Gilmour)
Keep Talking (Music: David Gilmour, Richard Wright – Lyrics: Polly Samson, David Gilmour)

Disc 2 Side 2
Lost For Words (Music: David Gilmour – Lyrics: Polly Samson, David Gilmour)
High Hopes (Music: David Gilmour – Lyrics: Polly Samson, David Gilmour)

Pink Floyd at Oakland Coliseum 5/9-10/77 by Randy Tuten & William Bostedt

The 1970’s saw a run of albums released by Pink Floyd  containing songs whose invention, ambition and creativity continues to dazzle and resonate with a global audience by even today standards. The passage of time has done little to diminish the quality of these songs’ and their capacity to astonish, move and enthral.

As one of rock music’s most successful acts, Pink Floyd have sold more than 200 million albums worldwide. “Dark Side of the Moon” is third on the list of most albums ever sold, with more than 45 million copies; The Wall sold another 30 million to date—both hit Number 1 on the charts. In all, Pink Floyd have released 14 studio albums, three live albums, three box sets, 26 singles, and 10 music videos. Pink Floyd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005, and awarded a Grammy in 1995.

Atom Heart Mother Suite (1970) Atom Heart Mother 
Though collaborations between rock bands and orchestras were nothing even in 1970, Floyd’s willfully experimental and typically idiosyncratic approach put them in a field of their own. The title track for their fifth studio album finds Ron Geesin’s bold score for brass, strings and chorus enhancing the surreal and often dream-like quality that so characteristic of this side-long extravaganza.

Echoes (1971) Meddle
With their desire in developing long-form writing well established by 1971, Echoes showcases their refined, consummate grasp of textural detail. From the very first ‘sonar’ ping through to the exultant, radiant climax, via strange alien hinterlands, the piece ripples steadily outwards; a sustained masterclass in controlled tension and triumphant release.

One Of These Days (1971) Meddle
What might otherwise be a nondescript riff is collectively transformed into an elemental howl of rage on this opening track from Meddle. Transposing music concrete techniques onto an unstoppable head-shaking force, torrents of echo-enhanced bass, snarling guitar, propulsive beats and slashing keyboards coalesce into one of most formidable moments in the Pink Floyd canon.

Time (1973) Dark Side Of The Moon
As impressive a piece of musical engineering as the inner workings of the massed clocks which open it. This Dark Side Of The Moon staple sees Gilmour’s impassioned guitar effortlessly falling in slow motion slo-mo into a plangent bed of backing vocals, though it’s Rick Wright’s diffident and unvarnished vocal – ‘hanging on in quiet desperation’ – which deftly steals the show.

Money (1973) Dark Side Of The Moon
Floyd’s affection for experimentation pays off as it seamlessly merges found-sound tape loops with quirky time signatures to fashion this unlikely hit. Dick Parry’s shrill, klaxon-like tenor sax adds another surprising dimension to their palette, but it’s Waters‘ barbed lyric and Gilmour’s exquisitely structured soloing that really hits the jackpot.

Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 1 – 5 (1975) Wish You Were Here
Pink Floyd frequently prove dramatic music needn’t be all about fiery grandstanding, and never more so on this emotive two-part epic that bookends Wish You Were Here. Unfolding at a glacial pace, Waters’ meditative lamentation of Syd Barrett’s tragic arc from brilliance to illness smoulders with a fierce, heartfelt intensity. The emotional weight of the tolling four-note motif ushers in one of Gilmour’s more thoughtful excursions.

Wish You Were Here (1975) Wish You Were Here
Pink Floyd’s intimate vulnerability remains startling, even at the height of their fame. On the title track of 1975’s Wish You Were, melancholic recognition that something and someone has been irrevocably lost is tempered by the acceptance that time has moved on. Neatly avoiding any showiness, sentimentality or self-pity, this is undoubtedly Pink Floyd at their most poignant.

Sheep (1977) Animals
Emerging from the cosseted glow of Wright’s electric piano, Pink Floyd go for the jugular with their most caustic cut from Animals. Underpinned by Waters‘ glowering bass, Gilmour’s strafing chords graze and bite through Mason’s driving pulse. As the pensive atmosphere bleeds out into the grotesque, distorted psalm, it’s genuinely chilling.

Comfortably Numb (1979) The Wall
Though Waters’ sombre account of an individual’s slide into personal dislocation and isolation is grim and unflinching, Gilmour’s anthemic solo magically transcends the bleak subject matter. Taking on a life of its own in concert, its sonorous tones rally the spirits, articulating the human need to connect with one another.

Waiting For The Worms (1979) The Wall
The unhinged fascistic whine of Roger Waters’ histrionic demagogue brings 1979’s The Wall hurtling towards its chaotic climax. More unsettling however, are the emollient tones voiced by Gilmour – reasonable on the surface, but beneath their respectable veneer just as vile. Juxtaposing sunny harmonies against darker, grinding riffs, Floyd’s brutal, uncompromising psychodrama remains ominously disconcerting.

Ahead of the release of their much-anticipated box set The Early Years 1965 – 1972, Pink Floyd have shared a video for “Grantchester Meadows,” a fingerpicked ode to the English countryside as penned by Roger Waters for the 1969 album Ummagummaa. Pairing old performance footage with contemporary pastoral scenes, the picturesque visual is the definition of bucolic bliss, not to mention the most perfect start to a misty morning.

This special group performance, taped for the BBC, with acoustic guitars and vocals from Roger Waters and David Gilmour, plus additional piano from Richard Wright and taped songbirds, successfully evokes a summer’s day in Grantchester, a small village close to Cambridge, England. Grantchester’s famous former residents include the Edwardian poet Rupert Brooke, who moved there and subsequently wrote a poem of homesickness entitled ‘The Old Vicarage, Grantchester’. Taken from ‘The Early Years 1965 – 1972’.

The definitive Early Years box set, released 11th November 2016

+ Many hours of rare and unreleased music & video
+ 14 Hours of video includes restored footage
+ original 4.0 Quad mixes / BBC sessions/live recordings
+ rare tracks including more than 20 previously unreleased
+ historic TV performances, live concerts and 3 feature films
+ Remixed 5.1 audio for ‘Live At Pompeii’ footage
+ collectable memorabilia
+100+ photos, most previously unseen
+ early singles + B sides on CD & vinyl

* 7 book-style packages, each with multiple discs. 6 are dedicated to a specific period and include related memorabilia and many unseen photos.

* Box bonus package includes collector’s audio and video. Box includes bonus larger replica memorabilia (posters, flyers, etc.) plus 5 x reissued replica 7″ singles, mastered from the original analogue tapes.

+ 2-CD/Download/Streaming set – ‘The Early Years – CRE/ATION 1967-1972’

* The 6 year-specific packages will be made available in early 2017. The bonus package and larger memorabilia is exclusive to this box se

Pink Floyd released their historic LP “Dark Side Of The Moon” on March 10th, 1973. It would go on to become the 3rd biggest album ever with over 45 millions sold to date.

In 2013, The Dark Side of the Moon was selected for preservation in the United States National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

It set new standards for recorded music. Happy 43rd Birthday to . It was the Pink Floyd’s eighth studio album The Dark Side of The Moon It remained in the US charts for 741 discontinuous weeks from 1973 to 1988, longer than any other album in history. With an estimated 45 million copies sold, it is Pink Floyd’s most commercially successful album and one of the best-selling albums worldwide.

No-one in March 1973 could have imagined that an album released in that month would still be thrilling listeners 43 years later, but it’s true.

Pink Floyd, in conjunction with EMI, have undertaken an overhaul of their catalogue, and for the first time, allowed us to see part of their creative process, by compiling a 6-disc box set of ‘Dark Side’ including various multi-channel mixes, much memorabilia and restored screen films from their live show, but, most importantly, a newly-mixed live concert from 1974 and a disc of alternative versions and outtakes.

Generally regarded as Pink Floyd’s masterwork, the qualities of The Dark Side Of The Moon have perhaps been taken for granted in recent years, but a return to it with fresh ears reminds the listener of its strengths. Part of its enduring appeal is the quality of the material, there simply isn’t a bad track on it, with a listening experience greater even than the sum of the parts.

As to its subject matter, Roger Waters said in 2003 that it was “An expression of political, philosophical, humanitarian empathy that was desperate to get out.” He said it was about “all the pressures and difficulties and questions that crop up in one’s life and create anxiety, and the potential you have to solve them or choose the path that you?re going to walk.”

The band initially convened in December 1971 and January 1972 at Decca’s West Hampstead Studios in Broadhurst Gardens, London and then at a warehouse owned by The Rolling Stones at 47 Bermondsey Street, South London. One of the musical elements, to become “Us And Them”, already existed, having begun life as a rejected musical sequence by Richard Wright for Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point. Another, to become Brain Damage, was a piece of Roger Waters‘, created in the writing sessions of the Meddle album in January of that year.

In the pre-Internet age, it wasn’t too commercially suicidal to preview new material before its release, so Floyd were able to knock the album into shape over several months of road work. The first full-length performance was at the Guildhall in Portsmouth, England, on January 21st, 1972, after which almost the entire year was spent with the band performing Dark Side live, interspersed with visits to Abbey Road studios from May onwards to work on individual songs.

With Alan Parsons engineering, the first version of the Dark Side album was mixed in December 1972. On the box set, check out the first mix on CD 6 of The Dark Side Of The Moon, which is quite revealing about the gestation of the final version. Speak To Me as a track was a late addition, the album originally starting only with a backwards piano chord leading straight into Breathe (In The Air). The most obvious change is to The Great Gig In The Sky, which, before the addition of Clare Torry’s vocal performance in January 1973, was comprised mainly of Richard Wright’s organ accompanied by, in concert, taped religious incantations and in the first mix, voices of the Apollo 17 space mission. At the time, it was known as The Mortality Sequence or The Religious Sequence. It shows that all the band’s subsequent decisions on the album were creatively correct, including even the completely redone Travel Sequence, which was replaced by On The Run.

As much of a revelation as the newly-released material and the works in progress is the 1974 live album, compiled from performances at London’s Wembley Empire Pool in November 1974. As opposed to the then-live radio broadcast, mixed by the BBC in real time with an unflattering balance, this sourced the original multitrack tapes and, as mixed by Floyd engineers Andy Jackson and Damon Iddins, shows Floyd at the top of their game, rhythmic, swinging, emotive and punchy. If you can’t afford the box, it’s available as a 2-CD Experience edition alongside the remastered original album.

Perhaps you don’t need a reminder that the album is one of the biggest-selling albums of all time, but it’s not too late to rediscover it. I think you’ll agree that it’s also one of the best.