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Music / The Division Bell

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The Division Bell is the fourteenth studio album by Pink Floyd, released in 1994. It is their first album to officially feature the returned Richard Wright, who was a session musician for A Momentary Lapse of Reason. Sadly, it is also their last studio album to feature Wright during his lifetime.

Preceded by A Momentary Lapse of Reason. Proceeded by The Endless River.


  1. "Cluster One" (5:58)
  2. "What Do You Want From Me" (4:21)
  3. "Poles Apart" (7:04)
  4. "Marooned" (5:29)
  5. "A Great Day for Freedom" (4:17)
  6. "Wearing the Inside Out" (6:49)
  7. "Take It Back" (6:12)
  8. "Coming Back to Life" (6:19)
  9. "Keep Talking" (6:11)
  10. "Lost for Words" (5:14)
  11. "High Hopes" (8:31)


Principal Members:

  • David Gilmour - lead vocals, guitar, bass, talkbox
  • Nick Mason - drums, percussion, tambourine, church bell
  • Richard Wright - organ, backing and co-lead vocals, piano, keyboard, synthesizer

High Tropes:

  • Album Title Drop: "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
  • Alliterative Title: "High Hopes"
  • Anti-Love Song: "Take It Back".
    So I spy on her, I lie to her, I make promises I cannot keep
    Then I hear her laughter rising, rising from the deep
    And I make her prove her love for me, I take all that I can take
    And I push her to the limit to see if she will break
  • Award-Bait Song:
    • "Marooned", which won Pink Floyd a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.
    • Advertisement:
    • "Lost for Words" has all the traits of one, except for the Lyrical Dissonance. See Take That! below.
  • Call-Back:
    • Gilmour's acoustic guitar part in "Lost for Words" quotes the intro to "Wish You Were Here".
    • The church bell and buzzing bee sound effects that open "High Hopes" recall "Fat Old Sun" and "Grantchester Meadows".
  • Concept Album: The album's themes revolve around communication, and the problems its absence can cause.
  • Creepy Circus Music: The middle section of "Poles Apart" predominantly features this, possibly as a tribute to Syd Barrett.
  • Creepy Crows: During the aforementioned middle section of "Poles Apart".
  • Design Student's Orgasm: The album cover was designed by Storm Thorgerson, aka Hipgnosis.
  • Epic Rocking: "Poles Apart" (7:04), "Wearing the Inside Out" (6:49), "Take It Back" (6:12), "Coming Back to Life" (6:19), "Keep Talking" (6:11), and "High Hopes" (8:31).
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: "High Hopes".
  • Grand Finale: "High Hopes", the album closer, is said to be an autobiography of the band's history, and thought to be their true sendoff before their Live-8 reunion and the release of The Endless River.
  • Green Aesop: "Take It Back", according to David Gilmour, is about humanity's tumultuous relationship with nature.
  • Instrumentals: "Cluster One", "Marooned".
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: This album was given the deluxe box-set treatment for its 20th anniversary in 2014.
  • Non-Appearing Title: The instrumentals, "Poles Apart", "A Great Day for Freedom", "Lost for Words" and "High Hopes".
  • One-Word Title: "Marooned".
  • Questioning Title?: "What Do You Want From Me?"
  • Sampling: The British Telecom advert (featuring the synthetic voice of Stephen Hawking) in "Keep Talking" (it also provided the title).
  • Shout-Out: The music video for "High Hopes" made an appearance on Beavis And Butthead. Predictably, Beavis and Butthead dismissed Pink Floyd as "just another gang of wussies from England".
  • Spoken Word in Music: Stephen Hawking's synthetic voice in "Keep Talking".
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Richard Wright sings most of the lead vocals on "Wearing the Inside Out".
  • Stiff Upper Lip: "Keep Talking".
    I'm feeling weak now, but I can't show my weakness
  • Take That!:
    • "Lost for Words" seems to address David Gilmour's infamous feud with Roger Waters, especially in its ending verse:
      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
    • According to co-writer Polly Samson, the second verse of "Poles Apart" is also addressed to Waters.
      Hey you, did you ever realize what you'd become?
      And did you see that it wasn't only me you were running from?
  • Why We Are Bummed Communism Fell: An interpretation of "A Great Day for Freedom": specifically, a commentary on the euphoria that came after the end of the Communist bloc in Eastern Europe, and the disappointment that followed.


Example of: