Pink Floyd

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Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd.   From L. to R.: Roger Waters, Nick Mason, David Gilmour and Richard Wright
Pink Floyd. From L. to R.: Roger Waters, Nick Mason, David Gilmour and Richard Wright
Years active 1965–present
Origin Cambridge, England
Genre(s) Initially psychedelic, later progressive rock
Label(s) Capitol and Columbia in US; EMI in Europe
Members David Gilmour
Nick Mason
Richard Wright

Pink Floyd (formed in 1965 in Cambridge, England) is a British progressive rock band, noted for their progressive compositions, thoughtful lyrics, sonic experimentation, album art and live shows. Pink Floyd is one of rock's most successful acts, having sold an estimated 250 million albums worldwide.

Pink Floyd enjoyed moderate success in the late-1960s as a psychedelic band led by Syd Barrett. After Barrett's erratic behavior caused his colleagues to add guitarist David Gilmour (who eventually replaced Barrett), the band went on to record several elaborate concept albums, achieving worldwide success with 1973's Dark Side of the Moon, one of the best-selling and most enduringly popular albums in rock history.

In 1985, bassist Roger Waters declared Pink Floyd defunct, but the remaining band members recorded and twice toured under the Pink Floyd name without him, the most recent tour ending in October 1994. Waters rejoined the band at the London Live 8 concert on July 2, 2005, playing to Pink Floyd's biggest audience ever.


Band history

Syd Barrett led years: 1965-1968

Pink Floyd evolved from an earlier band which was at various times called Sigma 6, The Meggadeaths, The Screaming Abdabs, and The Abdabs (see Band members for previous line-ups). When this band split up, some of its members - guitarist Bob Klose, bass player Roger Waters, drummer Nick Mason, and future keyboardist Rick Wright, who at this point played primarily wind instruments - formed a new band called Tea Set. A short time after their formation, they were joined by guitarist Syd Barret, who became the band's primary vocalist as well.

When Tea Set found itself on the same bill as another band with the same name, Barrett came up with an alternate name on the spur of the moment, choosing The Pink Floyd Sound (after two blues musicians, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council). For a time after this they oscillated between 'Tea Set' and 'The Pink Floyd Sound', with the latter name eventually winning out. The word Sound was dropped fairly quickly, but the definite article was still used occasionally for several years afterward, up to about the time of the More soundtrack.

In the early days, the band covered rhythm and blues staples such as "Louie, Louie", but gained notoriety for their psychedelic interpretations, with extended improvised sections and 'spaced out' solos.

The heavily jazz-oriented Klose left the band shortly before Pink Floyd started recording to become a photographer, leaving an otherwise stable lineup. Barrett started writing his own songs, influenced by American surf music and British psychedelic rock with his own brand of whimsical humor. Pink Floyd became a favorite in the underground movement, playing at such prominent venues as the UFO club, the Marquee Club and the Roundhouse.

As their popularity increased, the band formed Blackhill Enterprises in October 1966, a six-way business partnership with their managers, Peter Jenner and Andrew King issuing the chart singles "Arnold Layne" in March 1967 and "See Emily Play" in June 1967. "Arnold Layne" reached number 20 in the UK singles chart, and "See Emily Play" reached number 6, granting the band their first TV appearance on Top of the Pops in July 1967.

Released in August 1967, the band's debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (originally called "Projection") is considered to be a prime example of English psychedelic music. The album's tracks showcase poetic lyrics and an eclectic mixture of music, from the avant garde free form piece "Interstellar Overdrive" to whimsical songs, such as "Scarecrow", inspired by the Fenlands, the rural region north of Cambridge, Barrett, Gilmour and Waters's home town. The album was a hit, peaking at #6 in the UK charts. During this period, the band toured with Jimi Hendrix, gaining them further popularity.

Syd Barrett's decline

As the band became more and more popular, the stresses of life on the road and a significant intake of psychedelic drugs took its toll on Barrett. In January 1968, guitarist David Gilmour joined the band to carry out the playing and singing duties of Syd, whose mental health had been deteriorating for several months. Nevertheless, it was intended that he was to remain as the band's figurehead and main songwriter. With Barrett's behavior becoming less and less predictable, and his use of LSD almost constant, he became very unstable, often staring into space while the rest of the band performed. The band's live shows became increasingly ramshackle until, eventually, the other band members simply stopped taking him to the concerts.

Once Barrett's departure was formalized in April 1968, producers Jenner and King decided to remain with him, and the six-way Blackhill partnership was dissolved. The band adopted Steve O'Rourke as their manager, and he remained with Pink Floyd until his death in 2003.

Finding their feet: 1969-1970

Classic Pink Floyd line-up; early 70s.
Classic Pink Floyd line-up; early 70s.

Whilst Barrett had written the bulk of the first record, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, only one Barrett composition, the Piper outtake "Jugband Blues", appeared on the second Floyd album. A Saucerful of Secrets was released in June 1968, reaching #9 in the UK. The album contained hints of things to come, the center-piece being the 12-minute title track. Future Floyd albums would expand upon the lengthy compositions, offering more focused songwriting with each subsequent release.

Pink Floyd were recruited by director Barbet Schroeder to produce a soundtrack for his film, "More", which premiered in May 1969. The music was released as a Floyd album in its own right, Music From the Film More, in July 1969 . Pink Floyd would use this and future soundtrack recording sessions to produce work that may not have fit into their idea of what would appear on a proper Pink Floyd LP, many of the numbers on Music From The Film More being acoustic folk songs. The rest of the album consisted of incidental music with a few rockers such as "The Nile Song" thrown in.

The next record, the double album Ummagumma, was a mix of live recordings and unchecked studio experimentation by the band members, with each recording half a side of a vinyl as a solo project (Mason's wife makes an uncredited contribution as a flautist). The album was Pink Floyd's most popular release yet, hitting UK #5 and making the U.S. charts at #70.

1970's Atom Heart Mother was a collaboration with avant-garde composer Ron Geesin. One side of the album consisted of the title piece, a 23-minute long rock-orchestral suite. The second side featured one song from each of the band's then-current vocalists (Roger Waters' "If", David Gilmour's "Fat Old Sun" and Rick Wright's "Summer 68"). Another lengthy piece, "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast", was a sound collage of a man cooking and eating breakfast and his thoughts on the matter, linked with instrumentals. The album reached number one in the UK album charts, although the album has since been described by Gilmour as the sound of a band "blundering about in the dark". The album was a transitional piece for the group, hinting at future musical territory. The popularity of the album allowed Pink Floyd to embark in their first U.S. tour.

Breakthrough era: 1971-1975

Meddle (1971)
Meddle (1971)

The band's sound was considerably more focused on Meddle (1971), with the 23-minute epic "Echoes" taking up the entire second side of the LP. Meddle was considered by David Gilmour to his first "real" Pink Floyd album, as it had the sound and style of the succeeding breakthrough-era Pink Floyd albums and stripped away the orchestra that was prominent in Atom Heart Mother.

Meddle also included the atmospheric "One of These Days", a concert classic, with Nick Mason's menacing one-line vocal, "One of these days, I'm going to cut you into little pieces", and a melody that at one point segues into a throbbing synthetic pulse quoting the theme tune of the cult classic science fiction television show Doctor Who.

A glimpse into their humorous side was shown on "Seamus" (earlier, "Mademoiselle Nobs"), a pseudo-blues number featuring lead vocals by a Russian wolfhound called Seamus, belonging to Steve Marriott. Waters' jazzy "San Tropez" was brought to the band practically completed, requiring minimal help in arrangement from the other band members. Pink Floyd were rewarded with a #3 chart peak in the UK for Meddle.

Obscured By Clouds was released in 1972 as the soundtrack to the film La Vallee, another art house film by Barbet Schroeder. This was the band's first U.S. Top 50 album, hitting #6 at in the U.K.

Despite Pink Floyd never having been a hit-single-driven group (at the time they had stopped issuing singles after 1968's "Point Me At The Sky"), their massively successful 1973 album, Dark Side of the Moon, featured a U.S. Top 20 single ("Money"), and more importantly the album hit #1 in the U.S. chart. The critically-acclaimed album stayed on the Billboard Top 200 for 741 weeks (including 591 consecutive weeks from 1973 to 1988), breaking many records on the way, and making it one of the top-selling albums of all time.

Dark Side of the Moon, the first of Pink Floyd's five concept albums, described the different pressures applying in everyday life. The concept (conceived in Nick Mason's kitchen) proved a powerful catalyst for the band and together they drew up a list of themes: "On The Run" was dedicated to travel; "Time" depicted the encroachment of old age; "The Great Gig In The Sky" (originally named "Mortality Sequence" and "Religious Theme" during development) dealt with death; "Money" satirically spoke of the corrupting influence of money that often comes with fame and power; "Us And Them" entailed violence, and futility of war (a theme Waters would return to throughout his career) and "Brain Damage" touched on themes of insanity and neurosis. This was the first Pink Floyd LP to feature lyrics exclusively written by Roger Waters. Not surprisingly, this was also the first Floyd LP to have lyrics printed inside the sleeve.

Thanks to the use of new 16-track recording equipment at Abbey Road Studios and the investment of an enormous amount of time by engineer Alan Parsons, the album set new standards for sound fidelity.

It was during this period that the band released the first of their films, "Live at Pompeii". Film Director Adrian Maben's film featured footage of the band's 1971 performance at an amphitheater in Pompeii with no audience present (only the film crew and stage staff), interspersed with interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of the band in the studio recording Dark Side Of The Moon.

Dark Side of the Moon and the three following albums (Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall) are widely regarded as the peak of Pink Floyd's career. Wish You Were Here, released in 1975, carries an abstract theme of absence: absence of any humanity within the music industry and, most poignantly, the absence of Syd Barrett. This theme is carried by the music as well as the artwork packaged with the album. Originally, the album was sold with a black cellophane wrapping, hiding any indication of what could be beneath. In addition to the classic acoustic title track, Wish You Were Here, the album includes the majestic, mostly instrumental nine-part "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", a tribute to Barrett in which the lyrics deal explicitly with the aftermath of his breakdown. The album also includes the songs "Welcome to the Machine" and "Have a Cigar" (Roy Harper sang the latter), both of which harshly criticize the music industry. Pink Floyd achieved their first transatlantic #1 album with Wish You Were Here, reaching the top spot in the UK as well as in the U.S.

Roger Waters-led era: 1976-1984

The Wall (1979)
The Wall (1979)

By January 1977, and the release of Animals (UK #2, U.S. #3), the band's music came under increasing criticism from some quarters in the new punk rock sphere as being too flabby and pretentious, having lost its way from the simplicity of early rock and roll. However, Animals was considerably more guitar-driven than the previous albums, due to either the influence of the punk-rock movement or the fact that the album was recorded at Pink Floyd's new (and somewhat incomplete) Britannia Row Studios. Animals again contained lengthy songs tied to a theme, this time taken in part from George Orwell's Animal Farm, using pigs, dogs and sheep as metaphors for members of contemporary society. Animals was the first Pink Floyd album not to feature any compositions from Rick Wright.

For the cover artwork, a giant inflatable pig was commissioned and floated over Battersea Power Station. This became one of the enduring symbols of Pink Floyd and inflatable pigs were a staple of Pink Floyd's live shows from then on.

1979's epic rock opera, The Wall, conceived mainly by Waters, gave Pink Floyd renewed acclaim and their first chart-topping single with "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)". The Wall spent an astounding 15 weeks atop the U.S. charts during 1980. The Wall is the third best-selling album of all time, worldwide, after Michael Jackson's Thriller and The Eagles' greatest hits.

The Wall included the future concert-staple "Comfortably Numb", which became a cornerstone of album-oriented rock and classic-rock radio playlists, and stands as one of the group's best-known songs. Performing The Wall proved to be so expensive that the show was performed in only four cities, albeit with multiple performances: Los Angeles, Uniondale (Long Island), Dortmund, and London.

Even more so than during the Animals sessions, Waters was increasingly asserting his artistic influence and leadership over the band, prompting frequent conflicts with the other members, and the eventual firing of Wright from the band. Wright returned, on a fixed wage, for the album's live concerts.

Ironically, he was the only member of Pink Floyd to make any money from the Wall shows, the rest having to cover the excessive costs (some of which stemmed from a failed investment made earlier by the band). The album was co-produced by Bob Ezrin, a friend of Waters who shared songwriting credits on "The Trial" and whom Waters then kicked out of the Floyd camp after Ezrin talked about the album to a journalist relative.

A film (essentially a music video for the entire album) entitled "Pink Floyd: The Wall" was released in 1982. The film, written by Waters and directed by Alan Parker, starred Boomtown Rats founder Bob Geldof and featured striking animation by noted British cartoonist Gerald Scarfe.

1983 saw the release of The Final Cut. Even darker in tone than The Wall, this album re-examined many previous themes, while also addressing then-current events, including Waters' anger at Britain's participation in the Falklands War ("The Fletcher Memorial Home") and his cynicism toward, and fear of, nuclear war ("Two Suns in the Sunset"). Michael Kamen and Andy Bown contributed keyboard work due to Wright's absence.

Though technically released as a Pink Floyd album, the interior sleeve specified "A requiem for the post war dream by Roger Waters, performed by Pink Floyd": the project was clearly dominated by Waters and became a prototype in sound and form for later Waters solo projects (Roger Waters has since said that he offered to release the record as a solo album, but the rest of the band rejected this idea). Gilmour also reportedly asked Waters to hold back the release of the album by a year so he could contribute material, but was rejected by Waters.

Only moderately successful by Floyd standards (UK #1, U.S. #6), the album yielded one minor rock radio hit, "Not Now John". The arguing between Waters and Gilmour by this stage was rumored to be so bad that they were never seen in the recording studio simultaneously. There was no tour.

David Gilmour-led era: 1987-1995

After The Final Cut, the band members went their separate ways, each releasing solo albums to varying degrees of success. Waters announced in December of 1985 that he was departing Pink Floyd describing the band as "a spent force creatively". However, in 1986 Gilmour and Mason began recording a new Pink Floyd album. (At the same time, Roger Waters was also working on his second solo album entitled Radio K.A.O.S.). A bitter legal dispute ensued with Waters claiming that the name "Pink Floyd" should have been put to rest, but Gilmour and Mason upheld their conviction that they had the legal right to continue as "Pink Floyd". High Court proceedings went in favor of Gilmour and Mason, much to the chagrin of Waters, and the two camps continued working.

Gilmour and Mason returned to the studio, along with producer Bob Ezrin in 1986. Richard Wright also rejoined Gilmour and Mason during the final recording sessions of A Momentary Lapse of Reason (UK #3/U.S. #3) album, though he did not officially rejoin the band until the end of the subsequent tour. Gilmour later admitted that, aside from a few tom-tom parts, Nick Mason had hardly played on the album. Because of Mason's limited contribution, many critics say that A Momentary Lapse of Reason should really be regarded as a Gilmour solo effort, in the way that The Final Cut can be seen as a Waters solo album. Having usually worked in tandem with Waters in drafting lyrics, Gilmour received further criticism for bringing writers from outside the band to assist him.

The trio embarked on a three-year tour to promote A Momentary Lapse of Reason, officially culminating with their performance at the Knebworth festival in 1990. The band released a double live album taken from their 1988 Long Island shows, entitled Delicate Sound of Thunder. The band later recorded some instrumentals for a classic-car racing film (set in Mexico and featuring Gilmour and Mason as participating drivers). These instrumentals are notable for being the first Floyd songs co-written by Wright since 1975.

The band's next recording was the 1994 release The Division Bell (UK #1/U.S. #1), which was much more of a group effort than A Momentary Lapse of Reason had been, with Wright now reinstated as a full and contributing band member. The album was generally received more favorably by critics and fans alike than Lapse had been, sounding more like the timeless Pink Floyd of old. Saxophonist Dick Parry, a contributor to the mid-70s Floyd albums, also returned to the fold.

The ensuing "Division Bell Tour" was promoted by legendary Canadian concert impresario Michael Cohl and became the highest-grossing tour in rock history to that date, with the band playing the entirety of Dark Side of the Moon in some shows, the first time they had done so since 1975.

Solo work and more 1995-2004

Pink Floyd has not released any new studio material or toured since 1994's The Division Bell, nor is there a sign of any forthcoming, however the band released a live album entitled P*U*L*S*E in 1995. P*U*L*S*E featured songs recorded during the band's tour for "The Division Bell" and includes an entire performance of "Dark Side of the Moon" as well as other favourites from albums like "The Wall" and "Wish You Were Here".

In 1996 the band performed Wish You Were Here with Billy Corgan (of The Smashing Pumpkins fame) at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. A live recording of The Wall was released in 2000 compiled from their 1980/1981 London concerts, entitled Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980-81.

A two-disc set of their best-known tracks entitled Echoes was released in 2001. This compilation caused some controversy due to the songs segueing into one other non-chronologically, thereby presenting the material out of the context of the original albums. Some of the tracks ("Echoes", "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", "Marooned" and "High Hopes") have had substantial parts removed from them.

David Gilmour released a solo concert DVD called David Gilmour in Concert in November 2002 which was compiled from shows on 2001-06-22, and 2002-01-17, at The Royal Festival Hall in London. Richard Wright, Robert Wyatt, and Bob Geldof (Pink in The Wall film) make guest appearances.

In 2002 Q magazine named Pink Floyd as one of the "50 Bands To See Before You Die".

In 2003 a 30th-Anniversary SACD reissue of Dark Side of the Moon, featuring high resolution surround sound was released with new artwork on the front cover. Longtime manager Steve O'Rourke died later that year on October 30, 2003. The three remaining band members performed "Fat Old Sun" and "The Great Gig in the Sky" at his funeral at Chichester Cathedral, contrary to reports in the media claiming they played "Wish You Were Here".

In 2004 a remastered re-release of The Final Cut was released with the single "When the Tigers Broke Free" added.

Mason's book, Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd, was published in 2004 in Europe and 2005 in the US. To promote it, Mason made public appearances in a few European and American cities, giving interviews and meeting fans at book signings. The book gives Mason's personal view of the band's experiences.

In 2004, it was announced that contracts had been signed for a Broadway musical version of The Wall, with extra music to be written by Waters. The Broadway version will feature all of the music written by Waters. It is not known whether the songs co-written by Gilmour ("Young Lust", "Comfortably Numb", and "Run Like Hell") will feature. The show was scheduled to be completed by mid 2005.

The 30th-Anniversary SACD reissue of Wish You Were Here is due early in 2006, also to feature high-resolution surround sound. Waters, Gilmour and Wright are reported to all be working on solo albums, with Waters' and Gilmour's due to be released in 2006.

Live 8, 2005-present

On July 2, 2005 Pink Floyd performed at the London Live 8 concert with Roger Waters rejoining David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright. It was the quartet's first concert together in over 24 years — the band's last show with Waters was at Earls Court in London on June 17, 1981.

Pink Floyd at the London Live 8 concert (left to right: David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright).
Pink Floyd at the London Live 8 concert (left to right: David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright).

Gilmour announced the Live 8 reunion on June 12, 2005:

Like most people I want to do everything I can to persuade the G8 leaders to make huge commitments to the relief of poverty and increased aid to the third world. It's crazy that America gives such a paltry percentage of its GNP to the starving nations. Any squabbles Roger and the band have had in the past are so petty in this context, and if re-forming for this concert will help focus attention then it's got to be worthwhile.

The band's set consisted of "Speak To Me/Breathe/Breathe Reprise", "Money", "Wish You Were Here" and "Comfortably Numb". As on the original recordings, Gilmour sang the lead vocals on "Breathe" and "Money", and shared them with Waters on Comfortably Numb. "Wish You Were Here" was the exception to this with Gilmour singing his usual verse, with Waters picking it up halfway through. During the guitar introduction of "Wish You Were Here", Waters said:

It's actually quite emotional standing up here with these three guys after all these years. Standing to be counted with the rest of you. Anyway, we're doing this for everyone who's not here, but particularly, of course, for Syd.

They were augmented by guitarist Tim Renwick (who toured with them in 1987-89 and 1994), keyboardist/guitarist Jon Carin, saxophonist Dick Parry during "Money" (who played on the original recordings of "Money", "Us And Them", and "Shine on You Crazy Diamond"), and backing singer Carol Kenyon during "Comfortably Numb". On the screen behind them, film of the iconic pig from the Animals album was shown flying over Battersea Power Station.

Many fans expressed the hope that the Live 8 appearance would lead to a reunion tour. At first however the band has made it very clear that there are no such plans at that time. In the weeks after the show, the rifts that separated the members during the breakup seemed to have largely healed. David Gilmour confirmed that he and Waters were on "pretty amicable terms" and that they communicated via e-mail after the concert. Nick Mason said that the band would be willing to perform for a concert "that would support Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts."

Waters has offered what some see as conflicting comments on the issue, first saying, "Never say never [...] I mean, under sort of similar circumstances, or in some way, we might do things again" when questioned on the prospects of another performance. However in an interview in Rolling Stone, Waters appeared less optimistic: "I decided that if anything came up in rehearsals [for Live 8] — any difference of opinion — I would just roll over. And I did...I didn't mind rolling over for one day, but I couldn't roll over for a whole fucking tour". However, in an October, 2005 interview with Word Magazine, Waters stated he "really loved" playing with the band again and he held out some possibility of the band re-forming again. "I hope we do it again. If some other opportunity arose, I could even imagine us doing Dark Side of the Moon again - you know, if there was a special occasion. It would be good to hear it again". Also, Waters stated on a BBC2 Radio interview in September the possibility of a reunion album with Gilmour, Mason and Wright.

In the week after Live 8, there was a revival of interest in Pink Floyd. According to record store chain HMV, sales of Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd went up 1343%, while reported increases in sales of The Wall at 3600%, Wish You Were Here at 2000%, Dark Side of the Moon at 1400% and Animals at 1000%. David Gilmour subsequently declared that he would donate all profits from this post Live 8 boom in sales to charity, and urged that all the other performing artists and their record companies should do the same.

On September 9, 2005 it was announced that Pink Floyd would be inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in November, furthering speculation about the future of the band.

Live performances

Pink Floyd is renowned for their lavish stage shows, combining over-the-top visual experiences with their music to create a show in which the performers themselves are almost secondary. In their early days, Pink Floyd were among the first bands to use a dedicated traveling light show in conjunction with their performances, projecting slides, film clips, pyrotechnics (exploding flashpots and the exploding gong and fireworks) and psychedelic patterns onto a large circular screen (dubbed "Mr. Screen"). Their early combination of music and visuals set the standard for subsequent rock tours on both sides of the Atlantic. Later shows featured oversized balloons (notably a giant pig balloon which floated over the audience during performances of Pigs from the Animals album), a plane crashing into the stage at the end of "On the Run", a giant flowering disco ball a projection screen which could be retracted and tilted, more than 100 multi-colored robotic 'dancing' spot lights, and multi-colored lasers.

The lavish stage shows were also the basis for Douglas Adams' fictional rock group "Disaster Area" (creators of the loudest noise in the universe, and making use of solar flares in their stage show) in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. Douglas Adams was a personal friend of David Gilmour and made a one-off guest appearance, on guitar, on the Division Bell tour (October 28, 1994), purportedly as a present for Adams' 42nd birthday.

The Wall Live

Pink Floyd mounted their most elaborate stage show in conjunction with the tour of The Wall, in which a band of session musicians played the first song, wearing rubber face masks (proving successfully that the individual members of the band were practically anonymous to the public). Giant inflatable characters designed by Gerald Scarfe, including fully mobile giant puppets of a teacher and Pink's wife, with menacing spotlights for eyes, took the traditional inflatables to a whole new level.

During the first half of the show, a huge wall was built, brick by enormous brick, between the audience and the band. The final brick was placed as Roger Waters sang "goodbye" at the end of the song "Goodbye Cruel World". For the second half of the show, the band were largely invisible, except for a hole in the wall that simulated a hotel room setting, where Roger Waters "acted out" the story of Pink, and an appearance by David Gilmour on top of the wall to perform the climactic guitar solos in "Comfortably Numb". Other parts of the story were told by Gerald Scarfe animations projected onto the wall itself (these animations were later integrated into the film version Pink Floyd: The Wall). At the finale of the concert, the specially-constructed wall was demolished amidst sound effects and a spectacular light show.

The Wall concert was only performed a handful of times each in four cities: Los Angeles, Uniondale (Long Island), Dortmund, and London (at Earl's Court). The primary 'tour' occurred in 1980, but the band performed two more shows at Earl's Court in 1981 for filming, with the intention of being integrated into the upcoming movie (the resulting footage, however, was deemed substandard, and scrapped; years later, Roger Waters said that he had tried to locate this footage for historical purposes, but was unsuccessful, and he now considers it to be lost forever. There are, however, several unofficial videos of the entire live show in circulation). Gilmour and Mason attempted to convince Waters to expand the show for a more lucrative large-scale, stadium tour, but because of the very nature of the material (one of the primary themes is the distance between an artist and his audience), Waters insisted that such a tour would be hypocritical.

Roger Waters later re-created the Wall show in 1990, amid the ruins of the Berlin Wall, joined by a number of guest artists (including Bryan Adams, The Scorpions, Van Morrison, The Band, Tim Curry, Cyndi Lauper, Sinéad O'Connor, Marianne Faithfull, Joni Mitchell, and Thomas Dolby).

The images of Pink Floyd

Rolling Stone Magazine has called the cover art for Wish You Were Here one of the best album covers ever created.
Rolling Stone Magazine has called the cover art for Wish You Were Here one of the best album covers ever created.

Integral to the music is the artwork that comes with it. The album covers and sleeve artwork add to the emotional impact of the music with vivid and meaningful imagery.

Throughout the band's career, this aspect was mainly provided by the talents of photographer and graphic artist Storm Thorgerson and his erstwhile graphic studio Hipgnosis ("hip" gnosis or hypnosis).

Many of these images have acquired fame in their own right; notably the famous picture of a man shaking the hand of his burning alter-ego for Wish You Were Here and the refracting prism for Dark Side of the Moon. The cover of Meddle also gave testament to the band's ideas about the visualization of sound with its close-up of the human ear accompanied by visible sound waves.

In fact, Thorgerson was involved in all the artwork for every album except The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, the front cover of which was a photograph by Vic Singh and the back cover a drawing by Barrett; The Wall, for which the band employed Gerald Scarfe; and The Final Cut, the cover of which was designed by Waters himself, using photography made by his then brother-in-law, Willie Christie. A quote from Roger Waters from a video/DVD on the making of the Dark Side of the Moon album: "We always wanted to kind of... not be on our covers ourselves; not have pictures".

Discography and awards

Pink Floyd has released 14 studio albums, three live albums, one half live and half studio, and several compilations. These have won numerous awards; for details of the band's releases and list of awards see Pink Floyd discography.

Band members

Classic Line-up

Former members


See also

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Wikiquote quotations related to:
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Wikiquote quotations related to:

External links

Official links

Resources links

(Lyrics, discogs, tabs, ...)

Other links

Pink Floyd

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn | A Saucerful of Secrets | More | Ummagumma | Atom Heart Mother | Meddle | Obscured by Clouds | Dark Side of the Moon | Wish You Were Here | Animals | The Wall | The Final Cut | A Momentary Lapse of Reason | Delicate Sound of Thunder | The Division Bell | P*U*L*S*E | The Wall Live

Live at Pompeii | The Wall 

Steve O'Rourke | Alan Parsons | Storm Thorgerson/Hipgnosis | Bob Klose |
Trivia | The pigs | Publius Enigma | Progressive rock

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