"There is no dark side of the moon, really. Matter of fact, it's all dark."
Pink Floyd is an English Psychedelic and Progressive Rock band which formed in 1965. The initial line-up consisted of Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett and Rado "Bob" Klose on guitar, George Roger Waters on bass, Richard "Rick" Wright on keyboard and Nicholas "Nick" Mason on drums. They recorded several unreleased songs before Klose left (to focus on studies). The four went on to gain a reputation as one of the foremost British Psychedelic bands, and created two singles and the now-classic The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn before Barrett's mental state began to decline significantly (brought on by drug use). They ended up recruiting Barrett's and Waters's childhood friend David Gilmour who went on to replace Barrett during the making of A Saucerful Of Secrets. Syd Barrett would remain a massive inspiration to the band, and he would haunt the band's future music.After Barrett's departure Pink Floyd struggled initially (First under the helm of Rick Wright, though that didn't last long and Roger Waters quickly became leader) and the period between More and Atom Heart Mother (or Obscured By Clouds to some fans) is generally considered to be their Dork Age. The band looked back on the post-Saucerful pre-Meddle era with embarrassment. By the time of Meddle, they began to tone down the experimentalness and Epic Rocking, refining their signature sound and hitting the big time. The lyrics also began to become more weighty, mostly revolving around themes of isolation, death, insanity, and criticisms of modern society. The theme of isolation and society began to become more visible as Waters took more control of the band, and the band gained success with a series of complex Progressive Rock albums. What many people consider to be their golden era (except for the hardcore Syd fans) came with what many people consider to be their Magnum OpusThe Dark Side of the Moon, where they really hit the big time. This was followed by Wish You Were Here and Animals. By this stage, Waters was firmly in full control, and was calling the shots on what the band was going to do. Next came The Wall, which would become another classic. However, the band was beginning to splinter, and Rick Wright - the person who defined Pink Floyd's sound - was fired during the making of the album.Near the end of Waters' tenure with the band the music became heavier, more conventional and the lyrics became very personal. Next came the polarizing The Final Cut (considered to be a Roger Waters solo album in all but name), which would become Waters's swansong with the band. In 1985, Waters decided that Pink Floyd was 'a spent force' and chose to leave for a mildly successful solo career. In the process he tried to dissolve the band, which ultimately failed. In hindsight, Waters has since regretted what he did (though he doesn't regret leaving) and his relationship with Gilmour remains strained. After Waters left, the rest of the band did a U-Turn - with Gilmour now leading the band - and returned to their experimental sound; switching the lyrics to arguably focus on Gilmour's personal life instead. A Momentary Lapse Of Reason (considered to be a David Gilmour solo album in all but name) marked the return of Rick Wright, though he wasn't to become an official member again for several years. By the time this happened, they created what would be their last album in 20 years, 1994's The Division Bell.After a live album in 1995, Pulse, the band effectively broke up, with all the members going off to solo careers. In 2005, there would be one last reunion with the Waters-Gilmour-Wright-Mason line-up for Live 8, which was a bittersweet moment. Syd Barrett, the inspirational early frontman, died in 2006 from pancreatic cancer. The surviving members were of course devastated, though they chose not to attend his funeral. Rick Wright was sadly next, dying of an unspecified form of cancer in 2008. These two deaths effectively ended the chance of a full reunion. But in 2014, the unexpected happened and Gilmour and Mason are due to release a new Pink Floyd album, The Endless River in October 2014. Waters would not be involved, but they plan on using archive material of Wright from 1994 as well as new material.Their guitarist, David Gilmour is widely considered one of the best rock guitarists ever, for his melodic solos and mastery of tone and vibrato; as well as his voice, which he sometimes uses to complement his guitar (singing either in unison or harmony with it). Syd Barrett is known for his experimental music and his lyics are held in high regard. His relatively brief career has attracted a major following. Roger Waters' lyrics are also held in high regard for their high quotient of satirical humour and general quotability, as are his strong basslines and his highly dramatic vocals. Keyboardist Rick Wright was the band's acknowledged "secret weapon" for his backing vocals (and occasional lead vocals) and jazz-influenced keyboard textures, which became a key component of the band's sound. Nick Mason...er, is the drummer, and is the band's official archivist. Mason gets very little (though not none at all) in the way of writing creditsnote in fact, the only reason he had a credit on "Speak to Me" was because Waters gave it away, vocal partsnote he speaks through a ring modulator on "One of These Days", recites an electronically distorted poem on "Signs of Life", and sings on the officially unreleased "The Merry Xmas Song" and "Scream Thy Last Scream" alongside Barrett, and on "Corporal Clegg" alongside Wright and Gilmour, or overall notice, but he ironically is the only member to have played on every Floyd record (Gilmour wasn't there for the first, Wright didn't play on The Final Cut, and Waters left after that record). According to biographer Nicholas Schaffner, however, Mason was responsible for many of the band's signature sound effects.
Principal members (Founding members in bold, current members in italic):
Syd Barrett - lead vocals, guitar, tape effects (1965-1968, died 2006)
Roger Waters - lead vocals, bass, occasional guitar, percussion, bongos, gong, tape effects, VCS3, sound effects, synthesizer (1965-1985, 2005)
Rick Wright - lead vocals, piano, organ, keyboards, celeste, mellotron, harpsichord, harmonium, vibraphone, xylophone, tin whistle, bongos, VCS3, clavinet, bass pedals, violin, tape effects (1965-1979, 1987-1995, 2005, died 2008)
1967 - The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
1967 - The Piper At The Gates Of Dawnnote This edition of The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn was released only in the US. It changed the track listing, omitted Astronomy Domine, Flaming, and Bike, and added See Emily Play. Oddly, it officially was titled Pink Floyd, but the original name still appeared on the back cover so it was always referred to as The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn anyway.
1968 - A Saucerful Of Secrets
1969 - More
1969 - Ummagummanote The second half of the album was recorded in the studio
1969 - Ummagummanote The first half of the album was recorded live
1988 - Delicate Sounds Of Thunder
1995 - Pulse
1995 - London '66-'67note EP recorded in January 1967
2000 - Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980–81
1967 - "Arnold Layne" / "Candy And A Current Bun"
1967 - "See Emily Play" note Otherwise available on the US version of their 1967 album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn / "The Scarecrow" note Otherwise available on their 1967 album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
1967 - "Apples And Oranges" / "Paintbox"
1968 - "It Would Be So Nice" / "Julia Dream"
1968 - "Point Me At The Sky" / "Careful With That Axe, Eugene"
1982 - "When the Tigers Broke Free" note Otherwise available on reissues of their 1983 album The Final Cut / "Bring The Boys Back Home" note Otherwise available on their 1979 album The Wall
1983 - "Not Now John" note Censored from the original version available on their 1983 album The Final Cut / "The Hero's Return (Parts I And II)"
You can vote for your favourite Pink Floyd album by heading over to the Best Album crowner.The soundtrack to Zabriskie Point (1970) is also sometimes considered for inclusion * (especially by people trying to retail it). They were certainly not the only band whose work was used on the soundtrack, but they did make the biggest contribution, including new material specifically written and recorded for it under director Michaelangelo Antonioni’s (awkward, inexpert and nebulous) musical direction (How inexpert? He rejected an early draft of "Us and Them" because he thought it sounded "like a church" and wanted more "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" type material). Unlike the films above, there’s probably around a 50/50 split between those who know Zabriskie Point for its Floyd connections, and those who know it for its award-winning director or cinematic qualities.* They also recorded a soundtrack to The Committee (1968), a MindScrewy, philosophical independent black-and-white film noir. The film has since been released on DVD, internet sites et cetera, and the Floyd contributions to the soundtrack have appeared on some rarities-and-outtakes-type compilations, but both are sunk in what is an unsurprisingly deep obscurity.The 1992 box set Shine On, which collected and remastered seven albums spanning the period from Saucerful to Lapse, also had an extra disc named The Early Singles, which for the first time collected (in mono) non-album singles and BSides that had previously been scattered around various compilations like Relics and Works, or in some cases, weren't widely available at all.The band released an expansive reissue of expanded versions of their albums in late 2011 and early 2012. The fans went wild.
All There in the Manual: Both More and Obscured By Clouds have detailed plot synopses to the films they're meant to be soundtracks for in the liner notes. Justified in that they're rarely seen in the English-speaking world.
Animal Motifs: Animals, of course, but the symbology of dogs, pigs and sheep have been referenced in other albums.
Heck, Pink Floyd lore is crawling with critters: Algie the pig balloon, Lullabelle the Atom Heart Mother cow, the Several Species Of Small Furry Animals..., Lucifer Sam the "Siam Cat", Gerald the mouse from Bike, etc. Even the band members get compared to animals - Roger Waters the horse, Rick the kitty cat, Nick the rodent (squirrel, chipmunk, beaver), etc.
Anti-Love Song: "Don't Leave Me Now," "One Slip," and "Take it Back" to various extents.
Rick Wright did for a bit in the early '70s, as seen in Live at Pompeii and the inside cover of Meddle.
Also Syd Barrett◊ during his brief stint in the band Stars in 1972. It's also the only known photo of him during that period.
Nick Mason as well. In fact, Waters was the only one that never sported facial hair (although he sports stubble nowadays).
Badass Mustache: Nick Mason and his Zapata-stache in the late 60s-early/mid 70's. So much so that with many fans, "Nick Mason" is practically synonymous with "epic 'stache". He even sported a full Badass Beard at one point. Rick sported a "Nick Mason super-stache" briefly but looked kind of odd.
Bilingual Bonus: Towards the end of "Not Now John", Waters yells "Excuse me, where's the bar?" in Italian ("scusi, dov'é il bar?"), Greek (the badly-mangled "Se para collo pou eine toe bar?") and French ("s'il vous plait, ou est le bar?") with increasing intensity, culminating in English with "OI, WHERE'S THE FUCKING BAR, JOHN?!". (Before that, one can hear a background voice going "Why don't you say that in Brit, fairy!?!")
The Blank: The interior art of Wish You Were Here depicted a faceless man in the desert dressed in business attire and hawking Pink Floyd records.
Blatant Lies: The 1982 single version of "When the Tigers Broke Free" proclaimed it was from the forthcoming album The Final Cut. The song was not actually included on said album until 2004.
Boxed Set: Three of them - 1992's Shine On (which is mentioned below in greater detail in Greatest Hits Album), 2008's Oh, By the Way (which collects all of the band's studio albums, which are housed in elaborate CD-sized facsimiles of the original vinyl packaging) and 2011's Why Pink Floyd? Discovery edition set.
Breather Episode: Some of their albums contain a few songs that qualify as this.
The Dark Side of the Moon has the upbeat "Money", placed after the sad "The Great Gig in the Sky" (although the lyrics are still satirical to say the least). A more proper example from that album would be "Any Colour You Like", a concept-free instrumental jam piece placed as a bridge between the somewhat depressing "Us and Them" and the climactic "Brain Damage".
Wish You Were Here has "Have a Cigar", an upbeat and comical piece placed after the dark and gloomy "Welcome to the Machine". Both songs are critiques towards the music industry, but the former does so in a more lighthearted manner.
Animals has both parts of "Pigs on the Wing" at the start and finish. A hopeful love song about the importance of companionship and trust, Waters believed its inclusion on the album was important, saying that without it, Animals "would have just been a kind of scream of rage".
Animals also has an interesting subversion in "Sheep", which starts off with a peaceful, pastoral sound...until it grows much darker and harsher, and you realize the worst is yet to come on Animals.
The Wall contains the songs "Young Lust", which is about Pink's rise to fame and penchant for rock star tendencies (although it's still portrayed in a negative light, since he's attempting to cheat on his wife in the process); "Is There Anybody Out There?", at least the melancholic second half after Pink completes his wall and ends up in isolation; and "The Show Must Go On", where Pink tries to reflect on his past self before his transformation into the fascist dictator he becomes in the next few songs.
Brief Accent Imitation: Gilmour attempts to adopt a lisping Spanish accent in "A Spanish Piece" on the soundtrack to More. It is not one of the band's best moments.
Waters more successfully imitates a Scottish accent in "Several Species of Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict", an imitation he reuses for the shouting teacher and cook in The Wall. No doubt helped by the fact that his mother actually was Scottish.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Syd. After being chucked from Pink Floyd, his two solo albums showed that - even after having gone crazy - he was still a capable, witty songwriter. The band themselves were very worried about continuing without Syd, as he had been writing almost all of the band's songs at that point. Waters and Gilmour helped produce Syd's first album and Gilmour and Wright his last, wanting to help their friend.
One suggestion was that David would tour and record with the band, while Syd would keep writing their songs and sing on the albums, like Brian Wilson's relationship with The Beach Boys around the same time. The idea failed after Syd infamously taunted them with the unlearnable "Have You Got It, Yet?". Waters noted that at the time Syd was kicked out of the band, "he was our friend, but most of the time we now wanted to strangle him."
Here's a taste of Roger's shrieks of doom!. The man may as well been sired by demons.
Cerebus Syndrome: After Syd Barrett's mental health declined and left the band, the band became a lot more angsty and proggy than they had been in the Syd Era, mainly due to Roger Water's anger over his father's death as well as his grief over the 'death' of the Syd he knew. This is where The Wall came from.
Compilation Re-release: A Nice Pair was a reissue of the band's first two albums. Shine On was a reissue of several of the band's most popular albums, and Oh By The Way included all of the studio albums, as well as the Why Pink Floyd? box set.
Control Freak: Waters. Describing everything associated with his iron fist would take up the entire page.
By a different standpoint, the other members of Pink Floyd, not inclined as natural writers, fell into writer's block, drug addictions, power struggles, marital conflicts and the distractions of fame not long after The Dark Side of the Moon was a smash. By Wish You Were Here the band signed a multi-million dollar contract with Columbia Records in the US (they felt DSOTM and their earlier albums were poorly promoted by their previous American label), and the pressure was on to deliver albums and tour. Roger, in a sense, took over creative control to keep things together. He also had a hard time reconciling his fame with his Socialistic viewpoints, and could not relate to the material pursuits of his colleagues. He was growing increasingly impatient with his bandmates' lack of input, Creative Differences, their battles for writing and production credits for what little they did contribute compared to Waters, and it didn't help when the internal conflicts worsened while the band's managers squandered the band's money and The Wall was make-or-break and due out in a short period of time. Roger, perhaps, came down too hard on Gilmour, Wright and Mason in order to keep the internal drama from, er, dismantlingThe Wall, but they would arguably have been at a standstill in 1974 without his iron fist.
Demoted to Extra: This happened twice. The first was with Syd Barrett when his erratic behavior and deteriorating mental health jeopardized the band and David Gilmour was brought in. He only appears on three songs on A Saucerful of Secretsnote Wright's "Remember a Day", Waters' "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" and his own "Jugband Blues". "Heart of the Sun" is the only Floyd song with both Barrett and Gilmour on it.. The second time was when Waters actually fired Rick Wright during the sessions for The Wall, but was brought back as a session player and touring keyboardist for A Momentary Lapse of Reason and its associated tour. He was reinstated as a full partner in the band by the time they began recording The Division Bell.
Dissonant Serenity: Well, many songs, but in particular "Speak To Me" ("I've always been mad, I know I've been mad...")
Do Not Call Me Paul: Inversion - Barrett, later in life, refused to answer to "Syd," preferring to be addressed by his birth name, Roger.
Droste Image: Played with on the cover of Ummagumma. The pictures show each of the four band members switching positions and occupying the same place, save for the final one, which is the cover of A Saucerful of Secrets.
The entirety of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" (Parts I-IX) barely surpasses the 26-minute mark, and would be their longest track if it hadn't been split over the Wish You Were Here album. The album versions have Parts I-V (13:30) and Parts VI-IX (12:31)
"Atom Heart Mother" (23:43) from Atom Heart Mother and "Echoes" (23:31) from Meddle are the band's longest single tracks.
"Dogs" (17:04), "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" (11:26), and "Sheep" (10:18) make up the middle of the Animals album. Ironically, the album is book-ended by the two-part "Pigs On The Wing", which when played back-to-back don't even break three minutes.
"Interstellar Overdrive" (16:46) from London '66-'67, as well as "Nick's Boogie" (11:55) from the same EP..
"Sysyphus (Parts I-IV)" (13:20) and "The Narrow Way (Parts I-III)" (12:17) from Ummagumma, although on later releases, each part becomes an individual track.
"Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" (13:00) from Atom Heart Mother.
"A Saucerful of Secrets" (11:56) from the album of the same name.
Some songs that failed to reach the ten-minute mark but still qualify include all of the live tracks from Ummagumma (though the live version of "A Saucerful of Secrets" reaches 12:48) as well as "Grantchester Meadows" (7:27) and "The Grand Vizier's Garden Party (Parts I-III)" (8:46), "Time" (6:53), "Money" (6:23) and "Us and Them" (7:50) from The Dark Side of the Moon, "Welcome to the Machine" (7:31) of Wish You Were Here, "Comfortably Numb" (6:22) from The Wall, "Sorrow" (8:44) from A Momentary Lapse of Reason, and just about everything off of The Division Bell, which averages 5-6 minutes, though "High Hopes" reaches 8:32.
A lot of their live performances also extended the length of their songs.
Peter Jenner: Syd was a handsome boy, he was beautiful and one more part of the tragedy is that he became such a fat slob, he became ugly. He was true flower power. He came out in this outrageous gear, he had this permanent, which cost 20 pounds at the time, and he looked like a beautiful woman, all this Thea Porter stuff. He had a lovely girlfriend, Lindsay, she was the spitting image of Syd.
To grasp what Jenner was talking about, here's◊ Syd◊ when he was young, and here's◊ Syd◊ in his later years.
David Gilmour also qualified. No, seriously. Why do you think he's cited as a common cause of Stupid Sexy Flanders?
Fun fact: Gilmour was very briefly a male model in his pre-Floyd days.
Everyone Went to School Together: A Truth in Television example. Roger, Nick and Rick met in college, Roger and Syd went to high school together, Roger's mother was one of Syd's teachers in secondary school, and David joined the band after meeting Syd in college.
"Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving With a Pict".
Intentionally averted by the compliation album A Collection of Great Dance Songs.
"Four Minutes," from Waters's album Radio KAOS is exactly that length.
The Faceless: The mere fact that anyone aside from die-hard fans know who any of the band members are is a development as recent as 1987. Before then, they were one of the most famous bands that the average rock fan couldn't name or identify the members in a picture if they tried. This was aided by their show-stealing lighting and stage effects, and abetted by them staying off the record covers from Atom Heart Mother on. Legendarily, the band would go into the lobby of the arena they were playing at for a drink during intermission and no one ever recognized one of them.
This would later create problems for Waters and Gilmour's solo careers, as any hopes or expectations that their respective 1984 solo albums (Pros And Cons and About Face, respectively) or tours would attract the same audiences who bought Floyd albums were quickly dashed. It was Gilmour's frustrations with having spent twenty years helping to build an audience for Pink Floyd and then having to start from scratch as a middle aged man that helped lead to David's decision to reform Pink Floyd in the first place. Much of Waters' friction with Eric Clapton on the Pros And Cons tour were allegedly rooted in similar problems and Roger's observations that most of the audience were only- there to see Clapton play guitar.
Fading into the Next Song: All of Pink Floyd's songs from The Dark Side of the Moon to The Final Cut. There are some that are isolated on those albums (Usually where the A side of the LP ended), but the technique is dominant.
Garfunkel: Nick Mason is kinda this. Of course, he's the only member of the band to be in the group continuously since its founding. But his songwriting contribution has always been minimal (only two are solely credited to him; and one, DSOTM's "Speak to Me", wasn't even by him, it was by Roger just gave it to him), though many of the band's trademark sound effects have been his ideas. Mason is in charge of the band's own historical archive, and also wrote - without the aid of a ghost writer - Inside Out, the definitive official autobiography of the band. He also took the trouble to publish and update a "Best of the Bootlegs" back in their psychedelic heyday, and is still a major authority on unofficial live Floyd recordings.
Genre Roulette: More. While Floyd's albums spanned a wide variety of genres over their history, most of them were reasonably consistent within whatever genre they were working with at the time...except More, which is their most varied by far. Even fellow soundtrack album Obscured By Clouds is consistently progressive rock compared to More.
In "Money," David Gilmour says "bullshit," yet the word remained uncensored on most radio stations until the FCC started cracking down on broadcasters after Janet Jackson's "Wardrobe Malfunction".
On "Candy and a Currant Bun", the band managed to get the line "Oh, please just fuck with me!" past the censors, and the line was only added to the song in the first place as revenge against the censoring of the original title ("Let's Roll Another One").
Gratuitous Japanese: The Japanese release of Meddle changed the track name of "One of These Days" to 吹けよ風、呼べよ嵐 (fuke yo kaze, yobe yo arashi), or "Blow, Wind! Call Forth, Storm!" Not a totally inaccurate description of the song itself though.
The Japanese release of A Saucerful of Secrets changed both the name of the album and the song to 神秘 (shinpi), which means "Mystery".
High Hopes, the last song on The Division Bell, and the last Pink Floyd song ever written, is said to be an autobiography of the band's history.
Generally, their albums end with a bang, so to speak. Examples include "Echoes" from Meddle (which takes up the entirety of the album's second side) "Eclipse" from Dark Side of the Moon, "The Trial" from The Wall (although the album technically ends with the anticlimactic "Outside the Wall,") and "Sorrow" from A Momentary Lapse of Reason.
Relics (1971): contains largely Syd-era material and non-album singles like "See Emily Play". Also, its the only album in print which contains the studio version of fan favourite "Careful with That Axe, Eugene". Also notable as the only one that even die-hard fans will admit to liking (possibly because of its inclusion of some of Floyd's lesser-known songs like "The Nile Song").
A Collection of Great Dance Songs (1981): Contains only six songs. Infamously, one of them is a rerecorded version of "Money" with David Gilmour playing every instrument except for the saxophone (which is played by Dick Parry, as on the original recording). "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)" are represented by edits. It sold decently, but even the band hates it now.
Works (1983): A cash in by the band's former label Capitol Records on the then-upcoming release of The Final Cut. It contains a perplexing tracklist of pre-Wish You Were Here material and the compilation rarity "Embryo".
Shine On (1992): A box set, the idea of which was that the band's "greatest hits" were actually whole albums. Consisted of A Saucerful of Secrets, Meddle, Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall, A Momentary Lapse of Reason, and - for collector's bait - a CD containing all of the band's 1967-1969 singles. That exclusive CD, The Early Singles is still the only place to find such rarities as "Point Me at the Sky" and "It Would Be So Nice" on CD (most of the others can be found on either Relics or the 2007 re-release of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn).
Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd (2001). A 2-disc compilation that was intended to be "definitive" as far as Pink Floyd greatest hits albums go. Features a reasonable career-spanning tracklist for the first time, but caused some controversy for some rather unorthodox edits of some songs (notably "Marooned", which is morphed into Album Filler). However, the songs in the compilation were edited in a way so that they seamlessly flow into the next song, even though many of the songs are decades apart (1973's "Money" turns into 1994's "Keep Talking" and 1987's "Learning to Fly" morphs into 1967's "Arnold Layne"). Its the band's fifth best selling album.
A Foot in the Door: The Best of Pink Floyd (2011). A single disc collection that will accompany the 2011 reissue of their discography.
When it came time to record "Have a Cigar", Roger Waters had blown his voice recording "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and David Gilmour declined to sing, so the group recruited folk singer Roy Harper to sing lead.
The only other song with vocals by a Guest Star Party Member being Clare Torry's vocals on "The Great Gig in the Sky".
Roger Waters: Alan [Parsons] suggested Clare Torry. I've no idea whose idea it was to have someone wailing on it. Clare came into the studio one day, and we said, "There's no lyrics. It's about dying — have a bit of a sing on that, girl." I think she only did one take. And we all said, "Wow, that's that done. Here's your sixty quid."
Also occurs during the opening verse of "In the Flesh?"
Homage: Waters admitted in an article shortly after the release of A Saucerful of Secrets that the lyrics to "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" were borrowed from a book of Chinese poetry, specifically A.C. Graham's translation of Poems of the late Tang.
Similarly, the lyrics of "Chapter 24" are borrowed from Chapter 24 of the I Ching, which deals with the Fû hexagram. Barrett seems to have based the lyrics on a combination of the more literal James Legge (1899) translation and the more poetic Richard Wilhelm and Cary Baynes (1950) translation.
In 1985, Roger Waters quit the band and declared that Pink Floyd had disbanded. When Gilmour and Mason disagreed, he sued over the rights to the Pink Floyd name, ultimately settling out of court and eventually regretted suing the other members.
The Final Cut is essentially a Roger Waters solo album, with Gilmour and Mason (Wright having been fired in 1979) being relegated to sideman. It was credited as "By Roger Waters, performed by Pink Floyd."
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is essentially a Syd Barrett solo album. (Except "Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk", which is Roger Waters' first released song.)
A Momentary Lapse of Reason is at its core a David Gilmour solo album, with him handling all the songwriting duties by himself or with outside writers (such as Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera). The band is top-lined in the liner notes as being Gilmour & Mason, with Wright listed as a supporting musician, who was being paid a salary for his work on the record and subsequent tour (he would be 'reinstated' in the band when work began on The Division Bell.)
Improv: Much of the early music. While they later became synonymous with overproduction, in the early days, just about everything not songwritten by Syd Barrett evolved out of or via jam sessions, and continued to evolve from performance to performance. * Performances of certain pieces vary so radically that some recorded examples are hard to identify, and little common ground exists across the board. "Interstellar Overdrive", for instance, would boil down to a guitar phrase, repeated three times, which is used to bookend a completely freeform section lasting up to a quarter of an hour. "Careful With That Axe, Eugene", meanwhile, reduces to a bass rhythm, a crescendo and a scream – Roger didn’t do the whispered title drop every time, and the key signature wasn’t fixed either. To the extent that, when forced to sit down and capture these pieces in a studio, a lot of the magic would be lost, with both fans and band favouring official and bootleg live performances (Nick Mason going so far as to rate his "Best of the Bootlegs"). Added to this, as part of the psychedelic scene, many of their gigs were psychedelic happenings, where they were not so much performing numbers as providing a soundscape in which people could trip out. Even after they hit the big time, and had to synchronize much of their performances with the various stage effects, they would always incorporate some instrumental breaks where they could jam and improvise as before.
There is one time it's played straight: "Doing It" (a Nick Mason drum solo) from The Man and the Journey tour. But even then Floyd subverts the normal usage of the trope by placing the song between "Afternoon" and "Sleep", portraying sex as a normal and unexceptional part of a person's life.
Not to mention Rick Wright's first solo album, "Wet Dream". Enough said.
Interrupted Suicide: At the end of the track "The Final Cut", the protagonist "held the blade in trembling hands/Prepared to make it but just then the phone rang/I never had the nerve to make the final cut."
Killed Mid-Sentence: In "The Final Cut", the line that (according to the lyric sheet) goes "And if I'm in I'll tell you what's behind the wall" is in fact cut off by a gunshot after "I'll tell", suggesting that either the narrator or (and in context this is more likely) the listener failed to "make it past the shotguns in the hall", something a previous line expresses doubt about the listener's ability to do.
Long Runner: Active from 1965 to 1995, plus the reunion in 2005.
And they're coming back, too. Their new album is coming out in 2014.
Long Runner Lineup: The lineup of David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Nick Mason lasted from 1968 to 1979, ending when Roger Waters fired Richard Wright during the recording of The Wall. Keyboard duties on The Final Cut were filled by Oscar-nominated composer Michael Kamen. Wright returned to the band in 1986, after Waters had quit the band - and this three piece line-up (with Waters' bass and singing filled by hired musicians) also lasted 11 years.
Long Title: "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict".
Looks Like Cesare: Syd◊ Barrett◊ in some photos. In fact, he may have been the style inspiration for musical artists such as Robert Smith & Siouxsie Sioux.
Mahjong: The band members were supposedly fond of this game. A Pillow of Winds refers to one of the many possible hands in it.
Man on Fire: The cover of Wish You Were Here has a picture of two businessmen shaking hands with one of them on fire, which is a visual metaphor for being burned in the music industry. It was recreated in the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, when after crossing a tightrope, a british man took the hand of a dummy in a business suit that then caught fire, while the song of the same name was being played below.
Messy Pigs: "Pigs (Three Different Ones)". Honorable mention to the inflatable pigs they employed on the album cover image for Animals and in concerts thereafter, especially since the cover model broke free from its moorings during shooting and drifted across flight paths, and one of the prop pigs exploded on tour. NB The exploding pig was just supposed to burn. During each performance of "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" on the 1977 Animals tour, a pig inflatable filled with a mixture of helium and propane would be set aloft from behind the stage and then ignited. It would burn in a similar fashion to the Hindenburg, incinerating the balloon skin as it did. One time, however, for reasons that were never explained, it was filled instead with a mixture of oxygen and acetylene - basically making a fuel/air explosive. Ignited, it produced a bright yellow flash, a deafening bang (the blast wave knocked over some of the stage crew) and gentle shower of lightly-scorched balloon skin fragments. For extra points, the venue for that tour date was located near to a veterans’ hospital, and the band and crew had been asked specifically to avoid disturbing them with excessive noise.
Mind Screw: "Echoes", particularly the line "I am you and what I see is me"
1 - "A Pillow of Winds", "Summer '68", "If", "Fearless", "Green Is the Colour"
2 - "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" note Goes between a one and soft three., "Wish You Were Here", "Fat Old Sun"note mostly 1, but the guitar solo at the end raises the hardness
3 - "Echoes", "Time", "Comfortably Numb", "The Gold It's in the..."
4 - "Money", "When You're In", All full length tracks on Animals, Quite a few songs from The Wallnote In the Flesh? and In the Flesh both border on a 5, thanks to Gilmour's thunderous guitar intro.
5 - "What Shall We Do Now?", "Run Like Hell", "Young Lust"
6 - "The Nile Song" from More, which is easily the hardest they ever got (and also shows us David Gilmour could have been a credible vocalist in a metal band, surprisingly). The Judge's segment from "The Trial" might count as well.
My Nayme Is: On the original vinyl and early CD issues of A Saucerful of Secrets, David Gilmour's name was misspelled as "David Gilmore". The mistake was corrected starting with the 1994 remastered version.
Mythology Gag: "By the way, which one's Pink?" was a real question by a music agent.
Right before the above-mentioned Bilingual Bonus of "Not Now John", Gilmour chants "One, Two, Free, Four!", as a reference to the band's earlier single "Free Four".
Nonindicative Name: The 1981 compilation album A Collection of Great Dance Songs, which consists of six songs which, much like everything else in Floyd's catalogue, are impossible to dance to. The album cover lampshades the title, featuring a waltzing couple immobilized by guy wires.
Once an Episode: The albums they recorded between Syd's departure and The Dark Side of the Moon all featured at least one folk-influenced Surprisingly Gentle Song: "See-Saw" (A Saucerful of Secrets), "Green Is the Colour" (More), "Grantchester Meadows" and "The Narrow Way, Pt. 1" (Ummagumma), "If", "Summer '68" and "Fat Old Sun" (Atom Heart Mother), "A Pillow of Winds", "Fearless" and "San Tropez" (Meddle).
"Not Now John" remains their definitive example with lines including "Fuck all that we gotta get on with these" and "Oi, where's the fucking bar John?"
Besides the "bullshit" in "Money", "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" has "You fucked up old hag!"
There are only two songs with serious expletives in The Wall: one occurs in "Nobody Home" ("I've got thirteen channels of shit on the TV to choose from") and the other in "The Trial" ("You little shit..." and "Go on, Judge! Shit on 'im!")
The demo for "The Show Must Go On" had one in there, plus a few more verses.
"Lost For Words" from The Division Bell has an f-bomb at the end.
The early B-side "Candy and a Currant Bun," in which the line "Please, just fuck with me" is rumoured to have been inserted as a Take That at the label for censoring the original title ("Let's Roll Another One", an obvious drug reference) and lyrics ("I'm high, don't try to spoil my fun") of the song.
Put on a Bus: Syd Barrett, after the sessions for A Saucerful of Secrets and Richard Wright, during the sessions for The Wall.
The Bus Came Back: Barrett's two 1970 solo albums, which - despite his less than perfect mental state - contained some very good songs. Unfortunately by 1972, he'd completely lost even his ability to write a cracking song and back on thebus he went.
Richard Wright also came back (though not as an official member, for legal reasons, until 1994) when he was rehired by Gilmour and Mason during the sessions for A Momentary Lapse of Reason. He had apparently been fired due to a combination excessive cocaine use (referenced in "Nobody Home") and a fight with Roger over his refusal to cut his vacation short after the album turned out to be behind schedule.
According to Mason's book, Syd's departure from the band was actually a literal inversion: the rest of the band were in the tour bus on their way to a gig in Southampton, knew that Syd would probably just stand on stage and stare at the audience for the entire show, and when someone in the van asked if they should pick him up, the response was "No, fuck it, let's not bother."
Rick Wright, as noted by his fellow band members, who also credits him for forming much of the band's sound picture.
One interviewer during the Gilmour era was briefed with "Dave's the quiet one, Nick's the quiet one, and Rick's the quiet one."
Real Time: Roger Waters' solo album The Pros And Cons Of Hitchhiking. The song titles all have time stamps, so you can confirm that the whole Dream Sequence takes place over exactly the 42 minutes that the album takes to listen to.
Reassignment Backfire: Roger Waters fired Rick Wright from the band during the recording of The Wall, then brought him back for the subsequent tour as a salaried musician. But since the tour actually lost millions of dollars due to how costly it was to perform, Wright ended up being the only band member to profit from it (the losses had to be covered by the three remaining full-time members).
Shine On You Crazy Diamond was about (the late) Syd Barret's general craziness, before he left. He showed by sheer accident while the rest of the band was recording the song, and no one recognized him. He was more crazy than when he left, and he was pretty damn crazy and stoned out of his balls when he was in the band to begin with.
Scatting: Gilmour is somewhat fond of scatting along with his own guitar solos ("Careful With That Axe, Eugene", "Cymbaline", "Any Colour You Like", "Wish You Were Here"). Songs featuring other forms of scat singing include "The Great Gig In The Sky", "A Saucerful of Secrets", "Atom Heart Mother", "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict", "Pow R Toc H" and an experimental track that never saw an official release usually referred to as "Corrosion in the Pink Room".
Shaped Like Itself: During the "Atom Heart Mother's" sound collage, a loud announcement declaring "This is a loud announcement!" can be heard.
So What Do We Do Now?: Pretty much the state of mind of the band just before and during the early sessions for Wish You Were Here.
David Gilmour: It was a very difficult period I have to say. All your childhood dreams had been sort of realized and we had the biggest selling records in the world and all the things you got into it for. The girls and the money and the fame and all that stuff... Everything had sort of come our way and you had to reassess what you were in it for thereafter, and it was a pretty confusing and sort of empty time for a while.
Lampshaded in the appositely-named "What Shall We Do Now?", which appeared on the film and live versions of The Wall.
Something Blues: The title to Jugband Blues. Subverted in that the song involves neither Blues music or Jugbands (Syd's feelings, however, could be 'the blues' in question. Poor guy).
Soprano and Gravel: David Gilmour sings in an instantly recognizable soft tenor. While Roger Waters does complement this pretty well in harmony, his voice is more nasal and often has a less melodic approach. The same could be said for their tendencies as songwriters - Waters-era Floyd's anger and angst versus Gilmour-era mellowness.
A more extreme example would be Dave's tenor versus Roger's screaming.
Though "The Nile Song" from More shows us Gilmour could scream-sing if he needed to
The band were famous in their heyday for frequently integrating spoken word bits and sound effects into their music. Great examples of these would be Dark Side of the Moon - boasting spoken parts obtained by interviewing people associated with the band or working in the studio, the heartbeat Book Ends, "On the Run" and the collage at the start of "Money" -, the mechanic effects from "Welcome to the Machine", the radio tuning of "Wish You Were Here", the Psalm 23 parody from "Sheep" and The Wall, which takes Dark Side's effects and spoken word bits and just runs all the way with them - evil schoolmasters, enthusiastic groupies, Stuka dive-bombers, helicopters, airport announcements, skidding tires, crowd chanting, ambient noises, and more.
Stage Names: "Syd" Barrett was born Roger Keith Barrett. He earned the nickname "Syd" when he was still a child, either after an old local jazz bassist called Sid Barrett or after he showed up at school wearing a flat cap. He went back to using his given name after leaving the music business.
The first name of Roger Waters was actually George. He dropped that as he apparently preferred his middle name.
Step Up to the Microphone: Nick Mason, with the unreleased Syd Barrett song "Scream Thy Last Scream", "Corporal Clegg" from "A Saucerful Of Secrets", the unreleased BBC recording "The Merry Xmas Song", and "One Of These Days" from "Meddle". He's not as bad as you'd think.
Stiff Upper Lip: This attitude is blasted quite regularly in the band's songs, since the importance of communication is a big theme of albums in the Waters era. "Corporal Clegg" is probably the earliest, with its dismissive chorus line "Mrs. Clegg, another drop of gin?", "Time" sneers that "Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way", "Dogs" presents a psychopathic depiction of the rat race, Pink is portrayed as an uncommunicative Jerk Ass in The Wall, "The Hero's Return", "The Final Cut" and "Paranoid Eyes" all hint at the horrible consequences of emotional repression. The theme also appears in The Division Bell, with "Keep Talking".
Oddly enough, many stories from outside sidepersons, singers and engineers and producers who worked for the band noted that the band were, at least in The Seventies and early Eighties, very introverted and taciturn among each other and other people who worked for them; they didn't let their emotions out very freely, and it was hard to know whether those outside the circle (or sometimes inside) were doing a good job or not, or producing satisfactory results. (John Harris' book about the making of The Dark Side of the Moon mentions that the band was nearly monosyllabic around Lesley Duncan, Barry St. John and Liza Strike, and they were so muted after Clare Torry recorded the vocals for "The Great Gig in the Sky" that she initially assumed they didn't like her take.) Even the band's infighting and disagreements seemed (usually) low-key. Often this lent the impression that the band were cold or unfeeling.
Waters took shots at his former bandmates in his 1986 song, "Towers of Faith":
He said, "I see you, you thief!"
This land is my land
And this sand is my sand
And this band is my band
And again, with a merchandise t-shirt sold at all his solo gigs (started during Waters' Radio KAOS tours), directing a famous line from "Have a Cigar" against the resurrected Floyd: - "Oh, by the way, which one's Pink?".
He also took shots at producer Bob Ezrin (who produced The Wall and A Momentary Lapse of Reason at the time) in his 1992 song, "Too Much Rope":
Each man has his price Bob
And yours was pretty low
Waters meant that as an in-joke about Bob Dylan'slow singing voice, but didn't mind if it was taken as a swipe at Ezrin.
He ALSO took shots at a British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, whom he accused of ripping-off some early Floyd melodies, in song "It's A Miracle" (same album as "Too Much Rope", coincidentally?)
We cower in our bunkers with our fingers in our ears,
As Lloyd Webber's awful stuff runs on for years and years and years,
An earthquake strikes the theatre, but the operetta lingers,
And then the piano lid falls and it breaks his fucking fingers.
It's a miracle...
The Sun reported that Waters had over 150 rolls of toilet paper with Gilmour's face printed on every sheet. Waters denied it, but admitted that it was a great idea.
David Gilmour also took a shot of his own at Roger Waters in the song "You Know I'm Right" from his solo album About Face and "Lost For Words" from Division Bell:
The Final Cut, directed at England in general for its involvement in The Falklands War.
In the song "Not Now John", from that same album, Waters expressed his displeasure with Alan Parker, who directed the movie version of The Wall:
Not now, John, I've gotta get on with the film show
Hollywood awaits at the end of the rainbow
Who cares what it's about as long as the kids go
In this vein, the album's art included a picture of a soldier holding a film canister with a knife in his back.
Roger said that the cover of Atom Heart Mother and the final, underwater-themed lyrics of "Echoes" were meant as Take Thats against the space rock image they'd been associated with.
Even Syd managed to squeeze in a couple. "Jugband Blues" has been interpreted as his way of "thanking" his band mates for kicking him out of the group. Also, the unreleased "Vegetable Man" could have been his view on the music industry; the title of the song referring to musicians being molded into mindless hit-making machines....eight years before the rest of the band tackled the subject with "Welcome To The Machine" and "Have A Cigar".
"Bob Dylan Blues", too. Damn, Syd.
Though Floyd proper did tackle the subject long before those songs, indeed within a year of Syd's departure, on "Cymbeline".
The Troubles: The line "And maniacs don't blow holes in bandsmen by remote control" in "The Gunner's Dream" is a reference to an IRA bombing that happened around the time of the recording of The Final Cut.
Uncommon Time: "Money", "Mother", "Two Suns in the Sunset" and parts of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond".
"Pigs (Three Different Ones)". "Villains" because they're the ones popularly thought to be manipulating everything bad in the Animals album, and "sucks song" because unlike the thinly veiled satire of "Dogs" and "Sheep", "Pigs" pulls out the stops and outright insults the subjects throughout the song.
The first two characters in the first two verses are ambiguous - it's usually assumed that the "bus stop rat bag" in the second verse is Margaret Thatcher, then just rising to power. Only the third verse clearly states who its specifically skewering - infamous British moral campaigner Mary Whitehouse. Some American viewers missed this reference and thought they were talking about the White House.
Vocal Evolution: Roger Waters' vocals became higher-pitched and nasal as time went on.
Word Salad Title: As with many bands of the time period, the name simply makes no sense whatsoever. The band's name was taken from two obscure American bluesmen - Pink Anderson and Floyd Council - who Syd Barrett had albums from in his record collection, taking the name only when the band found out they were sharing a bill with another band called The Tea Set, which was the band's name at the time. Barrett basically blurted out the new name and it seemed trippy enough that it stuck.
After Waters left, he retained the rights to the famous Pink Floyd Pig. The band just added testicles to it to distinguish it.
More so to not pay Roger royalties. Especially good timing as it was pointed out to Gilmour in an interview that by singing Waters' song live, he was paying royalties to Waters, which he could use to finance his lawyers to sue Gilmour and Mason.
The Delicate Sound of Thunder video did credit Waters for the "Original Pig Concept."