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Music / Pink Floyd

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–we came in?
Pink Floyd in January 1968, from the only known photoshoot during the five months that all five members were together.note 
The band is just fantastic, that is really what I think
Oh, by the way, which one's Pink?

Pink Floyd was a British Psychedelic and Progressive Rock band which formed in 1964. The initial line-up consisted of Syd Barrett and Rado "Bob" Klose on guitar, Roger Waters on bass, Richard Wright on keyboards, and Nick Mason on drums. They recorded several songs before Klose left to focus on studiesnote .

The four-piece then went on to gain a reputation as one of the foremost British psychedelic bands, releasing two singles and the now-classic LP The Piper at the Gates of Dawn before Barrett’s mental state, exacerbated by heavy drug use, began to decline significantly. The band then recruited David Gilmour, a childhood friend of Barrett and Waters, into the band, eventually replacing Barrett during the making of A Saucerful of Secrets. While Barrett's state declined to the point where he left the music industry and became a recluse, he would remain a massive influence on the band and haunt the band’s future music.

After Barrett's departure, Pink Floyd struggled initially, with the period between the albums More and Atom Heart Mother (or Obscured by Clouds, for some fans) generally considered to be their Audience-Alienating Era, and the band looks back on their albums between Atom and Obscured with some embarrassment. But, by the time of 1971's Meddle, they began to tone down the experimentalism and Epic Rocking, refined their signature sound, and eventually hit the big time with their next album, The Dark Side of the Moon. The lyrics became Darker and Edgier, mostly revolving around themes of isolation, death, insanity, and criticisms of modern society. A re-occurring theme of isolation from society also began to become more visible as Waters took more control of the band, and they began an impressive run of success with a series of complex Progressive Rock albums.

The Dark Side of The Moon began what most consider their golden era, and was followed by the albums Wish You Were Here and Animals. By the late 1970s, Roger Waters was firmly in full control of the band, and was calling most of the shots on the band's direction creatively. Next came 1979's The Wall, their tribulated Rock Opera classic. However, by that point, the band was beginning to splinter, and Richard Wright—who defined much of Pink Floyd’s sound—was fired during the making of the album.

By the early 1980s, near the end of Waters' tenure with the band, the music became heavier, and the lyrics very personal. Next came the polarizing The Final Cut (considered, by most, a Roger Waters solo album in all but name), which would become Waters' last with the band. In 1985, Waters declared that Pink Floyd was "a spent force" and chose to leave. As he left, he tried to dissolve the band but failed. After Waters left, and with Gilmour and Mason left standing, the band did a U-turn and returned to a more experimental (although radio-friendly) sound, with slightly Lighter and Softer lyrics, at times seeming to focus on Gilmour's personal life, and occasionally alluding to the fallout of Waters' departure.

A Momentary Lapse of Reason, (considered, by most, a David Gilmour solo album in all but name) was released in 1987, featuring Richard Wright as a session player. In 1988, the band released a live album from the resulting tour, The Delicate Sound of Thunder, which would make Pink Floyd, true to their Space Rock image, the first band in space when a Russian cosmonaut took a cassette copy aboard the space station Mir. The first album with Wright as a re-instated full band member, however, would ultimately be their last album for 20 years, 1994's The Division Bell. Waters, for his part, went on to have a mildly successful solo career, and since the end of The '90s has mounted several highly successful concert tours. In hindsight, Waters has since regretted what he did (though he doesn't regret leaving) but his relationship with Gilmour remains strained.

After a live album in 1995, Pulse, Pink Floyd effectively broke up, with all the members going off to solo careers. In 2005, there would be one last reunion of the Waters/Gilmour/Wright/Mason line-up for the benefit concert Live8, which proved to be a bitter-sweet moment. Almost one year to the day after the concert, Syd Barrett, the inspirational early front-man, died from pancreatic cancer. The surviving members were of course devastated, though they chose not to attend his funeral. Richard Wright sadly passed away next, dying of lung cancer in 2008. For the next six years, aside from reissues and remasters of existing Floyd material, the band remained dormant.

In November 2014, Gilmour and Mason unexpectedly released a new Pink Floyd album, The Endless River, assembled from some new instrumental material, but made primarily from rehearsals and jamming recorded during the sessions for The Division Bell. This turned out to be just a one-off, the album put out without any intention of a tour or any follow-up projects, with Gilmour and Mason in the press saying it was effectively both a tribute to Wright and at the same time the band's swansong. In 2018, Mason launched the group Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets, which performs Pink Floyd's pre-Dark Side of the Moon material, and has received considerable fan and critical acclaim. Gilmour and Waters both continue to tour and record as solo artists.

Gilmour and Mason reunited as Pink Floyd in 2022 to record a one-off charity single, "Hey Hey Rise Up", to benefit humanitarian efforts in Ukraine after the Russian invasion. The single samples the Ukrainian folk song "Oi u luzi chervona kalyna" ("Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow") as performed by Andriy Khlyvnyuk of the Ukrainian band Boombox, who left his band's American tour to fight for his homeland. Khlyvnyuk posted an Instagram video in which he sang the song a cappella in military fatigues with a rifle over his shoulder while standing outside St. Sophia's Cathedral in Kyiv. When Gilmour, who has a Ukrainian daughter-in-law, saw the video, he decided to reunite with Mason to record the song, backed with longtime collaborator Guy Pratt on bass and Nitin Sawhney on keyboards. This is the first time Pink Floyd worked with an outside lead vocalist since Roy Harper sang on "Have a Cigar" in 1975.

As to the band's place in rock history, Pink Floyd's influence extends across hard rock, Electronic Music, Ambient and Alternative Rock, as well as the elaborate stage shows that popular music artists of all genres routinely take on the road. David Gilmour is widely considered one of the best rock guitarists ever, for his melodic solos and mastery of tone and vibrato, as well for his voice, used often in contrast to Waters' vocals, or complement his guitar parts. Syd Barrett, despite his short and troubled tenure in the band, is still renowned for the highly experimental music he created, and his lyrics as well are held in high regard. Roger Waters' lyrics are well-known for their high quotient of satirical humour and general quotability, as are his strong bass-lines and his highly dramatic vocals. Keyboardist Rick Wright was the band's own acknowledged "secret weapon" for his backing vocals and occasional lead vocals along with his 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 credits note , vocal parts note , or overall notice, but he ironically is the only member to have played on every Floyd record note  and according to biographer Nicholas Schaffner, is responsible for many of the band's signature sound effects.

Not to be confused with P!nk.

Principal Members (Founding members in bold):

  • Roger "Syd" Barrett - lead vocals, guitar, tape effects (1965-1968, died 2006)
  • David Gilmour - lead vocals, guitar, kazoo, bongos, harmonica, VCS3, keyboards, tape effects, occasional bass, talk box, clavinet, sequencers, rototom, cymbal, mandolin (1968-1995, 2005, 2013-2014, 2022)
  • Bob Klose - guitar (1965)
  • Nick Mason - occasional vocals, drums, percussion, kazoo, bongos, timpani, chimes, tape effects, sound effects, drum machine, bass drum, cymbal, guitar (1965-1995, 2005, 2013-2014, 2022)
  • Roger Waters - lead vocals, bass, occasional guitar, percussion, bongos, gong, tape effects, VCS3, sound effects, synthesizer, clarinet (1965-1985, 2005)
  • Richard Wright - lead vocals, piano, organ, keyboards, celeste, mellotron, harpsichord, harmonium, vibraphone, xylophone, tin whistle, bongos, VCS3, clavinet, bass pedals, violin, tape effects, accordion, dog note  (1965-1979, 1987-1995, 2005, died 2008)

Studio Discography:

Live Discography:

Non-album singles:

  • 1967 - "Arnold Layne" / "Candy and a Currant Bun"
  • 1967 - "See Emily Play"note  / "The Scarecrow" note 
  • 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  / "Bring the Boys Back Home"note 
  • 2022 - "Hey, Hey, Rise Up"note 

The soundtrack to Zabriskie Point from 1970 is also sometimes considered for inclusion. note 1 note 2

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.

Starting in 2011 the band began an aggressive re-issue of their catalog, that included massive, multi-disc expanded reissues of The Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, and The Wall. The fans went wild. In 2016, a massive 15-disc boxset, The Early Years 1965–1972, centering on the early work before The Dark Side Of The Moon and including a mountain of previously-unreleased material, was released to the delight of fans and to critical acclaim. The boxset was also the debut of the band's new label, Pink Floyd Records, a sub-imprint of Sony that will be responsible for any new reissues, including new re-pressings of all the band's albums on CD, and for the first time in a long while, on vinyl.

Another Trope In The Wall:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: David Gilmour's reaction to John Lydon's infamous "I Hate Pink Floyd" T-shirt, saying that Lydon picked a "target of substance" and joking that he would have gotten more mileage out of an "I hate Yes" shirt instead.
  • Album Closure: The compilation Echoes contains a lot of sombre songs, several of them rather long. It finishes with Syd Barret's song "Bike," which is neither of those things.
  • Album Title Drop:
    • "Brain Damage":
    And if your head explodes with dark forebodings, too
    I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.
    • Constantly throughout The Wall, as characters reference building the titular wall.
    • Then, "One Slip":
      It seems to take no time at all
      A momentary lapse of reason'
      That binds a life to a life
    • "High Hopes" is an inversion — the lyric came first, and Douglas Adams suggested the band use it as the album title:
      Our thoughts strayed constantly and without boundary
      The ringing of the division bell had begun.
    • "High Hopes", in fact, contains a double inversion, dropping the title of both the album it's in and the next album — the last Pink Floyd album, The Endless River, borrows its name from the last line of the song:
      The water flowing
      The endless river
      Forever and ever
  • Alice Allusion: The Zabriskie Point soundtrack outtake "Country Song", which references the Red Queen and the White King from Through the Looking Glass.
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Inverted with Nick Mason. In fact, he's the one who's Closer to Earth and the Only Sane Man compared to the others. The wildest thing about him is a love of sports cars.
  • 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 of the remastered versions. Justified in that they're rarely seen in the English-speaking world.
  • Animal Motifs: Pink Floyd lore is crawling with critters: Animals and its dogs, pigs and sheep, Algie the pig balloon, Lulubelle III 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.
  • Arc Symbol: Pigs, as of Animals. The album cover features a flying pig, three of the five songs have to do with pigs, and the band included a giant inflatable balloon pig in most every concert afterward.
  • Audience Participation Song: "Wish You Were Here" on the live album Pulse.
  • Author Tract: The Final Cut is an anti-war, anti-authoritarian protest by Waters. Animals and The Wall were also partially about these subjects, but with a hair more subtlety and metaphor.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows:
    • Rick Wright had a fairly impressive pair.
    • Syd had a rather prominent pair of dark, beautifully angled/shaped brows, combining with his large eyes for a dramatic, Cleopatra-esque effect. However, he eventually got into the habit of shaving those lovely things off (along with the rest of his hair from head to toe) as he got older. It's likely that Syd suffered from So Beautiful, It's a Curse.
  • 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, oú 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.
  • Bookends: No one does it better.
    • The Dark Side of the Moon: a Heartbeat Soundtrack.
    • Wish You Were Here: the two halves of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond".
    • Animals: the two parts of "Pigs on the Wing".
    • The Wall: the coda of "Outside the Wall" segues into the opening of "In the Flesh?", and a faintly audible voice says "Isn't this where we came in?" broken up between the end of the last song and the beginning of the first.
    • The compilation Echoes does this twice:
      • It starts and ends with songs by Syd Barret: "Astronomy Domine" and "Bike."
      • The second disc starts with a song about Syd ("Shine On You Crazy Diamond"), and ends with a song by Syd ("Bike").
    • Live at Pompeii splits "Echoes" into two parts, starting with Part 1 and ending with Part 2.
  • Boring, but Practical: Compared to the other progressive bands, Pink Floyd's musicianship is downright minimalistic, Richard Wright's jazz and classical background notwithstanding. Any garage band could perform their music. They would sometimes use session musicians in the later years to record parts that were more difficult than they could perform with their comparatively limited technical abilities. This also extended to the band's fashion sense; they would often just perform in jeans and T-shirts, to the annoyance of promoters.
  • Boxed Set: Three of them - 1992's Shine On (which is mentioned 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 light-hearted 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 realise 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. 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."
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Richard Wright 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 during recording for The Wall due to a combination of 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.
    • Roger also reunited with the band for Live 8 in 2005.
  • Careful with That Axe: "Careful with That Axe, Eugene", from the B-side of "Point Me at the Sky", is the Trope Namer, thanks to Roger's sudden shrieks.
  • 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 Waters' 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.
  • Charity Motivation Song: "Hey Hey Rise Up", for relief efforts in Ukraine during the 2022 Russian invasion.
  • 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.
  • Concept Album: Several, including most of their output in The '70s:
    • The Dark Side of the Moon: How the passage of time and the materialistic nature of society can crush a person's spirit.
    • Wish You Were Here: Disillusionment with the music industry, with some focus on Syd Barrett.
    • Animals: A drastic reworking of George Orwell's Animal Farm, adapted to then-modern British society.
    • The Wall: A rock star with a deeply Dark and Troubled Past descends into madness after isolating himself from everyone behind a mental buffer.
    • The Final Cut: Roger Waters protests war and authority figures.
    • Several songs on The Division Bell center around the idea that communication is key to solving conflict.
    • Also worth bringing up is The Man and the Journey, an experimental concert tour performed by Pink Floyd as a 1969. Each performance consisted of two distinct suites called The Man, which is about a day in the life of an unknown individual, and The Journey, which tells of a fantastic quest to find treasure. Both halves consisted of studio material that the band had already recorded or would soon record; "Grantchester Meadows" off of the studio half of Ummagumma was first performed as part of The Man as the opening song "Daybreak", while songs like "Careful with That Axe, Eugene" and "Pow R. Toc H." were repurposed for The Journey. Also notable were theatrical elements in the piece, like a segment where the band members sawed chunks of wood on stage and were then served tea. Recordings of this highly-experimental idea were sought after for years as bootlegs, and one performance later officially surfaced on the Early Years box set in 2016.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: They have two of them: the "Back Catalog" poster and the pictures on their 2000 greatest hits package, Echoes.
  • Continuity Nod: The bell sounds heard at the beginning and the end of the song "Fat Old Sun" from Atom Heart Mother were later used again in "High Hopes", from The Division Bell, and "Louder than Words", from The Endless River.
  • Control Freak: Roger Waters became infamous for this, by little fault of his own — the success of The Dark Side of the Moon took a heavy toll on the band, with most of the band falling into such problems as writer's block, marital problems, drug addiction and the distractions of fame, worsened by pressure from their new US label Columbia Records to deliver on new material. By the time of The Wall, he grew impatient with his bandmates' lack of input and creative differences, and was under stress after the band's managers sank their money into a Ponzi scheme. In a way, Roger wanted to keep the band together by all means possible.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: "Dogs" and "Have a Cigar" both describe one.
  • Cracks in the Icy Façade: A darker (and fairly late) example occurs on the album fittingly called The Wall. The first disc is devoted to the circumstances that lead Pink to build his titular metaphorical wall separating himself from the outside world, ending with its completion. However, disc two starts with Pink immediately regretting his decision on "Hey You" and trying in vain to get back out, hinting at his eventual reconciliation with his past traumas and present flaws in "The Trial", culminating in the wall's destruction.
  • Creepy Crows
    • In the middle of "Echoes" the music switches to spooky noises with high pitched noises resembling screams and animal/bird calls. About two minutes later crows start to caw in the background.
    • The middle of "Poles Apart" changes to Ominous Pipe Organ music, circus music then goes on top of that, a metal gate opens and the crow starts to caw.
  • Cunning Linguist: David Gilmour can speak almost perfect French.. He also knows a couple more.
  • Darker and Edgier: The contrast between the Barrett years (fun and light-hearted psychedelic rock) and the post-Dark Side years (introspective and gloomy progressive rock) is staggering in terms of subject matter and tone. After Waters' departure from the band, they became Lighter and Softer (lyrically, at least, though later songs like "Sorrow" can be pretty dark too).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Barrett, Gilmour, Mason, and Waters.
  • Demoted to Extra: This happened twice. The first was with Syd Barrett when his erratic behaviour and deteriorating mental health jeopardised the band and David Gilmour was brought in. He only appears on three songs on A Saucerful of Secrets note . 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 the Wall tour, as well as 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: From "Speak to Me" ("I've always been mad, I know I've been mad...")
  • Distinct Double Album: One of the discs of Ummagumma is studio, one is live.
  • Does Not Like Spam: According to the Live at Pompeii Abbey Road footage, Nick Mason does not like pie crust.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul":
    • Inverted with Syd Barrett, who later in life, refused to answer to "Syd", preferring to be addressed by his birth name, Roger.
    • David Gilmour finds being called "Dave" rather annoying.
  • Dream Pop: Early tracks like "See Emily Play", "Julia Dream" and "Remember A Day" helped influence this genre.
  • Dreams of Flying: "Learning to Fly" is a song from the point of view of an "Earthbound misfit" imagining himself in flight.
  • 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. Remasters from 1994 onward edited the image to repeat the four images infinitely.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
  • Epic Rocking:
    • 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 start and end of Wish You Were Here. The album versions have Parts I-V (13:30) and Parts VI-IX (12:31).
    • "Atom Heart Mother" (23:43) from the album of the same name and "Echoes" (23:31) from Meddle are the band's longest single tracks, each taking up a whole side of the original vinyl record of their respective album.
    • "Dogs" (17:04), "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" (11:26), and "Sheep" (10:18) make up nearly all of the Animals album. The Bookends of the album are ironically two of the shortest pieces, 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. The Early Years has a few pointed examples of this, with the most interesting being Embryo. Normally a demo track shy of five minutes released on the Works compilation, there are two live performances on the album that both more than double the song's length. The 1965-67: Cambridge St/ation volume also has a much-extended version of "Pow R. Toc H." that is nearly twelve minutes (11:56) in length.
      • And while it isn't live, but the John Latham improvisation from Cambridge St/ation volume is very long on its own merits, being a continuously-flowing live performance stitched together from improvised fragments. The full piece is over a half-hour long.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Syd Barrett.
    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.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Roger, Nick, and Rick met in college, while studying architecture at the Regent Street Polytechnic in London. Syd went to high school with Roger and Roger's mother was one of his teachers in middle school. David also joined the band after meeting Syd in college, as the two both studied music at Cambridge Technical College.
  • Evolving Music: Live performances of most songs in the early 70s and late 60s were heavily expanded and reworked from their original studio version.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin:
    • "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict".
    • Intentionally averted by the compilation album A Collection of Great Dance Songs.
    • "Learning to Fly" is literally about becoming a small-aircraft pilot.
  • The Faceless: For a long time, they were one of the most famous rock bands in the world, but the average rock fan couldn't name or identify the band members in a picture if they tried, no thanks to their show-stealing light shows, stage effects and not appearing in most of their record covers. Their identities didn't become common knowledge until around 1987, during the court battle between the band and Waters and the subsequent promotion of A Momentary Lapse of Reason, which prominently featured Gilmour and Mason. This caused problems for Waters and Gilmour's solo careers: their respective 1984 solo albumsnote  and tours didn't attract Floyd fans as they'd hoped. Gilmour reformed Pink Floyd partly because he'd spent twenty years helping build an audience for the band, then had to start over as a middle-aged man — and a lot of Waters' friction with Eric Clapton on the Pros and Cons tour was allegedly rooted in such problems, plus Waters's observations that most of the audience only wanted to see Clapton play guitar.
  • Face on the Cover: Mostly averted, and when it was used, it was played with.
    • The most normal cover to invoke this is The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, which features Roger, Syd, Rick, and Nick as seen through a special lens, making it look like seeing them through a diamond.
    • A Saucerful of Secrets: the band are in the bubble to the left of the center.
    • Ummagumma, which at first appears normal with David, Roger, Rick, and Nick all posing. Look in the corner, and you'll realize it's a Droste Image. However, then you'll notice that each member changes position in each layer. Look close enough, and you'll see that this all culminates in showing the cover of A Saucerful of Secrets instead of the band. Later issues instead have the 4 images repeat indefinitely.
  • 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.
    • Quite a few live performances of "Green is the Colour" would have the song fade into "Careful with That Axe, Eugene", of all tracks. Some versions of "Eugene" done this way would merely be a little more menacing and not include the iconic screaming, but others very much did.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: "High Hopes" starts with multiple bells ringing before a single ominous bell takes over to play throughout the song.
  • Four More Measures: "Time", noted for its long intro section.
  • Frank's 2000 Inch TV: The band was one of the first to use large screens in their concerts, with a circular screen with films rear-projected onto it. The concerts for The Wall took this up to eleven, with a crew constructing a wall and projecting films onto that.
  • Fun with Acronyms: "Shine On You Crazy Diamond".
  • 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, The Dark Side of the Moon's "Speak to Me", wasn't even by him, it was by Roger who 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 he wrote — without the aid of a ghostwriter — 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.
  • Grand Finale:
    • The Endless River can be seen as this for Pink Floyd, being based on unused recordings by Richard Wright before his death.
    • "High Hopes", the last song on The Division Bell, 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 The 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.
  • 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".
  • Gratuitous Panning: The band's albums are often semi-jokingly considered a Killer App for headphones, as they often made use of stereo effects.
    • Used heavily in the stereo version of Piper at the Gates of Dawn, when stereo was still experimental. The entire mix of "Lucifer Sam" seems to pan around in the intro, and "Interstellar Overdrive" is infamous for its gratuitous panning as the song reaches its climax.
    • The synth pulses throughout "Welcome to the Machine" pan from left to right ear and back.
    • Also (reportedly) their 1967 "Games for May" concert — the world's first quadraphonic rock concert. The joystick they used to pan sounds at that concert ended up at the V&A Museum.
  • Greatest Hits Album: The band's focus on concept albums means that making such compilations is a difficult task, though that hasn't stopped record companies from trying. They've released several of them:
    • The Best of the Pink Floyd (1970): Released only in the Netherlands and largely featuring Syd-era material. Was issued again throughout Europe under the name Masters of Rock in 1974.
    • Relics (1971): contains largely Syd-era material and non-album singles like "See Emily Play". Also, it's 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" as well as the aforementioned non-album singles).
    • A Collection of Great Dance Songs (1981): Contains only six songs. Infamously, due to rights issues with the band's old US label, 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 track-list 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, The 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 was the only place to find such rarities as "Point Me at the Sky" and "It Would Be So Nice" on CD until the release of The Early Years box set in 2016 (most of the others can be found on 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 track-list for the first time, but caused some controversy for some rather unorthodox edits of some songs (notably "Marooned", only included because it won the band their only Grammy and is ultimately 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"). It's the band's fifth best selling album and the only one that fans actually like apart from Relics, due to its unique sequencing.
    • A Foot in the Door: The Best of Pink Floyd (2011). A single disc collection that accompanied the 2011 reissue of their discography.
  • Green Aesop:
    • "Crumbling Land," which the band recorded for the Zabriskie Point soundtrack, is a subtle example lyrically, but its organ outro is quickly consumed by the overwhelming sound of car traffic.
    • "Take It Back", according to David Gilmour, is about humanity's tumultuous relationship with nature.
  • Guest-Star Party Member:
    • 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.
    • Clare Torry performs the famous One-Woman Wail in "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."
  • Have a Gay Old Time: This line from the unreleased "Merry Xmas Song":
    "The silver bells, they sound so gay"
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack:
  • 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.
    • "Echoes" was originally written and performed with the first verse based off of the poem "Two Planets" by Muhammad Iqbal, but this was changed in time for the studio version.
    • The Endless River was a homage to Richard Wright, who succumbed to lung cancer in 2008.
  • I Am the Band:
    • The Piper at the Gates of Dawn was written almost entirely by Syd Barrett, except Roger Waters' first song "Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk", and the instrumentals "Pow R. Toc H." and "Interstellar Overdrive" which are credited to to the whole band.
    • 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."
    • 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 regretting suing the other members.
    • A Momentary Lapse of Reason is at its core a David Gilmour solo album, with him handling all the song-writing 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 and 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).
  • Iconic Item:
    • David Gilmour's modified Black Strat, used for nearly every classic recording plus the reunion performance.
    • Syd Barrett's mirror plated Fender Esquire and to a lesser extent his black Danelectro Shorthorn, which was used on the Piper sessions. He also famously used a Zippo lighter as a guitar slide.
    • Roger Waters' all-black, maple-neck Fender Precision Bass, bought at the same time as Gilmour's Black Strat. Before that, he used a Rickenbacker 4001, popular with psychedelic era bands.
    • Richard Wright's Farfisa Organ.
    • "Mr. Screen", a large circular projection screen (surrounded by colored spotlights since 1977) placed at the back on the stage, debuted in 1974 for the Dark Side Of The Moon tour and variations of the screen had remained with Pink Floyd (and in many cases David Gilmour and Roger Waters' solo tours) ever since.
    • The inflatable "Pink Floyd Pigs" used since the Animals tour are synonymous with the band and have carried on into Roger Waters' tours beginning with his 1999-2002 "In The Flesh" tour.
  • Improv: Much of the early music. While they later became synonymous with overproduction, in the early days, just about everything not written by Syd Barrett evolved out of or via jam sessions and continued to evolve from performance to performance.note  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 synchronise much of their performances with the various stage effects, they would always incorporate some instrumental breaks where they could jam and improvise as before.
  • Instrumentals: Floyd has had several throughout their career, especially in their pre-Dark Side albums when much of their music was built from improvised jams. In particular, The Endless River is entirely instrumental except for the final track "Louder than Words".
  • Insufferable Genius: Waters can come across this way in interviews at times. More evident in The '80s, during his bitter feud with Gilmour.
  • Intercourse with You: Shows up very rarely in Pink Floyd's discography, and among the few times it does it gets Played for Drama.
    • The Wright-sung "Summer '68" (from Atom Heart Mother) and "Stay" (from Obscured by Clouds) are melancholic songs that bemoan the lack of genuine connection and communication involved in one-night stands
    • "Young Lust" presents Pink's highly nasty attitude towards sex, using it as a tool for mindless hedonism and cheating on his loving wife.
    • "One Slip" off A Momentary Lapse of Reason is about a one-night stand and the consequences that result from it.
    • 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.
    • When "Let's Roll Another One" was rewritten into "Candy and a Currant Bun", it became this, complete with lyrics like ...please just fuck with me... ice cream tastes good in the afternoon...
  • 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."
  • Irony: Vera. "Does anybody here remember Vera Lynn?" Well... considering that Vera Lynn was still recording and touring when Vera was released, and continued to do so several years after Pink Floyd broke up....
  • 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 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.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Syd, Roger, and Dave: All documented cat lovers.
  • Large and in Charge: At 6'2, Roger Waters towered over every other member of the band.
  • Large Ham: From Animals onward, Roger took control and most of the songs were performed by him. Usually with extreme bombast.
  • Last Chorus Slow-Down: "Bike".
  • Laughing Mad: "Brain Damage" has some of this in the background.
  • Lead Bassist: Waters most prominently during the period from Animals to The Final Cut, during which he wrote most of the music himself and usually served as the lead vocalist.
  • Lead Singer Plays Lead Guitar: The band veered in and out of this. In Floyd's early years, they were fronted by lead guitarist, lead vocalist, and lead songwriter Syd Barrett. When his mental health declined, keyboardist Richard Wright took over before handing the reins to bassist Roger Waters (who consequently became Lead Bassist). After Waters' acrimonious departure in 1985, David Gilmour, Barrett's replacement as lead guitarist, became the band's new frontman, bringing things full circle.
  • Limited Lyrics Song: Several of them
    • "Shine On You Crazy Diamond (part 1-5)" from Wish You Were Here has less than 3 minutes containing lyrics in a song over 13 minutes long. Part 6-9 clocks in at nearly 12:30 and only has just over a minute of lyrics.
    • For certain definitions of the word "lyrics", we have "One of These Days":
    One of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces.
    • And "Careful with That Axe, Eugene":
      Careful... Careful... Careful with that axe, Eugene... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH
  • Line-of-Sight Name: The band's name came from the names of two blues musicians mentioned in the liner notes of an album Syd Barrett had in his collection: Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.
  • List Song: "Eclipse", "What Shall We Do Now?" and "One of the Few", as well as the final part of "Dogs".
  • Literary Allusion Title: The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is taken from a chapter title of The Wind in the Willows, itself a reference to the god Pan.
  • Longest Song Goes Last: Despite having made many lengthy songs, the Floyd didn't do this too often. Six of their fifteen albums have the final track as the longest; their most iconic example is "Echoes" off of Meddle, which is 23:31. The three Gilmour-led albums also qualify: "Sorrow" from A Momentary Lapse of Reason is 8:46, "High Hopes" from The Divison Bell is 8:32, and "Louder than Words" from The Endless River is 6:36. Two other examples are from albums with no especially long songs to begin with: "Absolutely Curtains" from Obscured by Clouds (5:52) and "Two Suns in the Sunset" (5:14) from The Final Cut note .
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: With his long hair and overall attractiveness, David Gilmour definitely qualified as this in his earlier days.
  • Long Runner: Active from 1965 to 1995, plus the reunions in 2005, 2013-2014, and 2022.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: The line-up of Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright, and Nick Mason lasted from 1968 to 1979, ending when Waters fired 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.
  • 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.
  • Loudness War: Thankfully averted with the batch of remasters in The New '10s. While some quieter parts have been boosted, there are still plenty of dynamics in the mixes.
  • Magical Native American: In the video for "Learning to Fly".
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Background Event: Someone apparently blows up an aeroplane in the background of "On the Run". In some stage shows, a model aeroplane would fly across the stage and explode at the end of the song.
  • Messy Pig: "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
  • Mind Screw: The band enjoys this trope, often using extended metaphors and conceits in the lyrics for double and even triple meanings.
    • "Echoes", particularly the line "I am you and what I see is me".
    • The Wall is basically one long Mind Screw in which reality is hard to discern from what's just happening in the protagonist's head (done on purpose).
  • Money Song: "Money" is a satirical take on this.
  • Mood Dissonance: Yeah, dance the night away to "Run Like Hell", a song about racial intolerance and violence. Woo!
  • The Movie: Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii and Pink Floyd: The Wall.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Young David Gilmour, for his past as a male model, his long brown hair and his tendency to perform shirtless in early concerts, as seen in Live at Pompeii.
  • 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. An old newspaper article published when Gilmour first joined Pink Floyd also misspelled his name as "David Gilmur".
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The line "By the way, which one's Pink?" from "Have a Cigar" was a real question by a music agent.
    • Right before the above-mentioned Bilingual Bonus of "Not Now John", Waters chants "One, Two, Free, Four!", as a reference to the band's earlier single "Free Four".
  • Non-Indicative Name: The 1981 compilation album A Collection of Great Dance Songs, which consists of six songs which, much like nearly everything else in Floyd's catalogue, are impossible to dance to. The album cover lampshades the title, featuring a waltzing couple immobilised by guy wires.
  • The Not-Remix: A 2019 redo of A Momentary Lapse of Reason for The Later Years included a new, more subtle drum track created by Nick Mason and several Rick Wright keyboard parts high in the mix. The intent was to "restore the creative balance between the members," meaning "make it less a David Gilmour solo album."
  • Occidental Otaku: The band members became fond of sushi on their first tour of Japan, to the point of employing a sushi chef during that tour, according to Nick Mason's book Inside Out. The band members were also avid Mahjong players, with the track, "A Pillow of Winds", taking its name from a hand.
  • 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), and "Wot's... Uh the Deal?" (Obscured by Clouds).
  • One-Steve Limit: Roger Barrett exemplified this by taking the nickname "Syd", avoiding a possible name clash with his friend Roger Waters — even if the latter's first name was originally George. In later life he reverted to "Roger", refusing to answer to "Syd".
  • One-Woman Wail: "The Great Gig in the Sky", performed by Clare Torry.
  • Panty Thief: "Arnold Layne" got banned from The BBC for being about one.
  • Porn Stache: Syd very briefly wore a light, soft, fuzzy one circa early 1966.
  • Pun-Based Title: "Free Four", a pun on the countdown "one, two, three, four" as spoken in a Cockney accent.
  • Put on a Bus: Syd Barrett, after the sessions for A Saucerful of Secrets and Richard Wright, during the sessions for The Wall. Roger Waters put himself on a bus after The Final Cut. 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."
  • The Quiet One: 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 also briefed with "Dave's the quiet one, Nick's the quiet one, and Rick's the quiet one."
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: 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.
  • 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, as the losses had to be covered by the three remaining full-time members.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Roger Waters is the red oni to David Gilmour's blue oni. Note the gentler direction the band went in after Waters left.
  • Sampling: They have a long history of it:
    • The gunnery and motorbike sounds on Atom Heart Mother.
    • The "radio bridge" between "Have a Cigar" and the title track on Wish You Were Here.
    • The TV broadcasts used in certain songs on The Wall.
    • The British Telecom advert (featuring the synthetic voice of Stephen Hawking) in "Keep Talking" (it also provided the title). This same advert is reused in "Talkin' Hawkin'" from The Endless River.
  • Sanity Slippage Song:
    • The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall are sanity slippage albums.
    • "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" was about Syd Barret's erratic behaviour before he left.note 
  • 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".
  • Scare Chord: "In the Flesh?" on The Wall begins with one, jolting the listener immediately from the gentle clarinet of the intro.
  • Shaped Like Itself: During the "Atom Heart Mother" sound collage, a loud announcement declaring "Here is a loud announcement!" can be heard.
  • Shirtless Scene: David in Live At Pompeii during "Echoes".
  • Shout-Out:
    The outer lock rolled slowly back, the servicemen were heard to sigh.
    For there revealed in flowing robes was Lucy in the sky.
    • The bass-only bridge of "One of These Days" includes a quote from the Doctor Who theme. Continuing into the 21st century, two tracks on The Endless River are named "Allons-Y".
    • Towards the end of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Pts. VI–IX)", the melody of the first line of "See Emily Play" is played during the keyboard outro.
    • Two comic book characters: Dan Dare in (some versions of the lyrics of) "Astronomy Domine" and Doctor Strange in "Cymbaline".
  • Siamese Twin Songs: The following songs are typically played together on the radio:
    • "Speak to Me" and "Breathe".
    • "Us and Them" and "Any Colour You Like".
    • "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse".
    • "The Happiest Days of Our Lives" and "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)".
    • "Empty Spaces" and "What Shall We Do Now?"
    • "Yet Another Movie" and "Round and Around" from A Momentary Lapse of Reason.
  • Singer Name Drop: Played with in "Have a Cigar" with the line, "by the way, which one's Pink?" Implying that the fast-talking record company exec the song is about was oblivious to the fact that the act's name wasn't that of an actual person in the band.
  • Slasher Smile: Roger Waters. Along with other Ax-Crazy antics.
  • Something Blues: The title to "Jugband Blues". Subverted in that the song involves neither Blues music or Jugbands, but rather the "blues" are Syd's feelings at the time.
  • 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 realised 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.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": The band was regularly referred to as "The Pink Floyd" during the 1960s.
    • "The Floyd" is still considered a correct form of reference by some fans.
  • Spoken Word in Music + Sound FX Tropes:
    • 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 The 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.
  • Starving Artist: Literally in the case of David Gimour's unsuccessful attempt at busking in Spain and France in the '60s before joining the band, to the point where he was hospitalized for malnutrition.
  • 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.
  • 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 Jerkass 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 '70s 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 was cold or unfeeling.
  • Strange Stage: Their 1980-1981 tour for The Wall featured a large metal grid, onto which the titular wall's bricks would be inserted. As the concert progressed, the band would become less and less visible, being finally obscured by the last brick at the end of the first half, and the wall would be used as a projection screen for Gerald Scarfe's various grotesque animations.
  • Take That!:
    • Even Syd squeezed in a couple. "Jugband Blues" has been interpreted as his way of "thanking" his bandmates for kicking him out of the group. "Vegetable Man" may have been his view on the music industry, the title of the song referring to musicians being molded into mindless hit-making machines (concluding with the Kurt Cobain-ish line "He's the kind of fucker you just got to see if you can!"), a theme the rest of the band plus David Gilmour in tow would continue with on "Cymbaline", "Welcome to the Machine" and "Have a Cigar".
    • 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.
    • "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" takes shots at Margaret Thatcher and Mary Whitehouse. Thatcher is the subject of several more Take Thats on The Final Cut.
    • The Final Cut is directed at England in general for its involvement in The Falklands War.
      • In the song "Not Now John", 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.
    • David Gilmour took a shot at Roger Waters in the song "You Know I'm Right" from his solo album About Face and "Lost for Words" from The Division Bell:
      So I open my door to my enemies
      And I ask could we wipe the slate clean
      But they tell me to please go fuck myself
      You know you just can't win
  • Textless Album Cover: Most of their studio album covers are meant to be formally textless, though some pressings will include titles. The only covers consistently with text are A Saucerful of Secrets (the band's name looping disjointedly at the top) and The Wall (the band and album title written jaggedly in red).
  • Uncommon Time: "Money", "Mother", "Two Suns in the Sunset" and parts of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond".
  • Unreplaced Departed: The band soldiered on after Roger Waters left the band in 1985, at first officially as a duo with David Gilmour and Nick Mason, with Richard Wright appearing as a guest musician on A Momentary Lapse of Reason. Wright, who himself had been fired during the recording of The Wall and replaced by session musicians on the next album, The Final Cut, was reinstated as a full band member for The Division Bell, and the classic lineup with all four band members reunited for Live 8 in 2005, the last performance before Wright's death in 2008. For The Endless River and the "Hey Hey Rise Up" single, the band was back to being officially a duo of Gilmour and Mason. Session bassist Guy Pratt played live with the band on the post-Waters tours and on The Division Bell, but he was never inducted as an official member.
  • Ur-Example:
    • It's very surprising how much of Syd Barrett's era sounds like punk (even more so than The Who), in spite of preceding it by almost a decade.
    • "Pow R Toc H" is quite possibly the first song to feature beatboxing, of all things.
    • Despite not seeing an official release until 2011, "The Hard Way", from the aborted 1972 Household Objects album sounds remarkably like the Sophisti-Pop and Art Rock that would come out a decade later, from artists like David Sylvian and The Blue Nile.
    • "On the Run"'s fast, manipulated synth loop is amazingly similar to the trademark sounds of House Music and Trance.
    • "Welcome to the Machine" is one of the first industrial songs, released the same year Throbbing Gristle formed.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song:
    • "Pigs (Three Different Ones)". "Villains" because they're the ones popularly thought to be manipulating everything bad on 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 it's specifically skewering — infamous British moral campaigner Mary Whitehouse. Some American listeners missed this reference and thought they were talking about the White House, i.e. US president Gerald Ford (who had just left office when the album was released).
  • Vocal Evolution: Roger Waters' early vocals were often in a soft, gentle, high, and whispery tone. His vocals became higher-pitched, nasal and aggressive as time went on, and his penchant for scream-singing only grew.
  • Vocal Range Exceeded: "Welcome to the Machine," where one line required trickery to achieve the right pitch:
    David Gilmour: It was a line I just couldn't reach so we dropped the tape down half a semitone.
  • Vocal Tag Team: David Gilmour and Richard Wright frequently shared lead vocal duties in the band's early years. After Dark Side of the Moon, Gilmour and Waters shared vocals more often, as Wright stopped singing altogether.
  • Watch It Stoned: As with a lot of other prog bands, the band have been saddled with this reputation.
  • Went to the Great X in the Sky: "The Great Gig in the Sky."
  • What Beautiful Eyes!:
    • Syd Barrett was famous for his large, oft-lined, dramatic eyes.
    • Rick Wright as well, with his beautiful Tareme Eyes with heavy lashes. Perhaps in acknowledgement of this trope, in the interviews that accompany Live at Pompeii, Rick's segments are shot in extreme close-up such that his eyes are the only thing in the frame.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Deliberately exploited with the release of "Hey, Hey, Rise Up", the band's first song since their second dissolution in 2014. According to David Gilmour, the decision to release it under the Pink Floyd name was done to maximize its outreach, given that it was a charity single made to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine during the 2022 Russian invasion.
  • 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.
    • Many Floyd bootlegs are credited to The Screaming Abdabs, which was a transitory name before they settled on Pink Floyd. The name was later co-opted by a band that featured Alison Moyet, before she paired up with Vince Clarke to form Yazoo.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: After Waters left, he retained the rights to the famous Pink Floyd Pig. The band added testicles to it to distinguish it and not have to pay Waters 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."
    Roger Waters: My one pathetic victory was that they had to put testicles on the pig. If the pig had been exactly the same as the pig that I designed, I could have stopped them using it in their shows. So they put balls on my pig. Fuck them.

Isn't this where–


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): David Gilmour


Careful With That Axe, Eugene

This Pink Floyd song provides the Trope Namer, complete with Roger Waters' high-pitched scream.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / CarefulWithThatAxe

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