History about Pink Floyd Rock Band . The Pink Floyd Rock Band is an English Rock and Roll band formed in the mid 1960's. Although the band found success in England and parts of Europe in the late 1960's, they earned U. S. and worldwide fame in the early 1970's with the release of their album, Dark Side of the Moon.
Pink Floyd, unlike many Rock and Roll bands of the 1960's and 1970's, was a collection of friends and acquaintances who came from mostly middle class and upper middle class back rounds. All of the early members attended some form of education beyond secondary school.
The early members of Pink Floyd were Rick Wright, keyboards and vocals Dave Mason, drums, Roger Waters, bass and vocals, and Roger "Sid" Barrett, Guitar and vocals. The two early forces in Pink Floyd's early success were Sid Barrett and LSD. LSD had recently been introduced into English society in the mid 1960's and the young generation of progressive thinkers were eager to try something new. Europe's war torn families, cities and countries had been looking for something different than their parents way of living and LSD provided a new and exciting way to experience life. The members of Pink Floyd all used LSD in one way or another, but two members, close friend Rick Wright and Sid Barrett became disciples of the drug. For Sid, discipleship would only be the beginning of what would become a total fall into the grips of drug addiction.
Despite what would eventually become the cause of the destruction of Sid Barrett, LSD provided a way for Sid to expand his mind and use his new experiences to expand his creativity and truly create some of the most exciting, new and different sounds coming from a Rock and Roll band ever. The first three Pink Floyd albums were truly Sid Barrett's creations with the other band members playing more of a support role than one of leadership. Pink Floyd was truly Sid's band. This is not to say that Rick Wright's haunting sounds from his Hammond Organ were all Sid's creation, or Dave Mason's somewhat off beat drum beats were all from Sid's mind, but in the end no song started or finished without the direction of Sid Barrett. To steal a line from a famous Pink Floyd song from the 1970's "Which one's Pink?", no one would argue that in the early years the answer would be Sid Barrett.
As the 1960's rolled to a close, so did the sanity of Pink Floyd's leader, Sid Barrett. LSD had taken its toll on the good looking, energetic, outgoing yet quirky front man. Some say Sid went downhill from continued and excessive sue of the drug, while others claim that Sid's bizarre behavior could be traced to a specific night of LSD use where his brain simply "fried."
Either way, it was certain that Sid Barrett was no longer able to front the band during live shows, and was no longer able to steer the ship in the studio.
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn was the first studio album by Pink Floyd. Long before David Gilmour became a member of the band, The Floyd as they were known, created a sound that was thought of as anything from entirely new and amazing, to something unintelligible and impossible to listen to. This writer believes in the first statement. From the first notes of the first track on Piper, Astronomy Domine, fans of the band could hear the early beginnings of what would truly become the most dramatic, interesting, and truly singular sound of what would become the worlds greatest psychedelic band. With the second track, Lucifer Sam, there was no longer a question that a force to be reckoned with in all of Rock music. Any Pink Floyd devotee that believes the bands real sound began with Dark side of the Moon must return to this first album and recognize that greatness did not happen overnight and this first studio album is a precursor of things to come.
A Saucer Full of Secrets was the second Pink Floyd studio album. At the start of the project, Sid Barrett began to exhibit his very erratic behavior and the band called on childhood friend David Gilmore to join the band and help out with the guitar work that Sid was not able to handle. In addition to his guitar work, Sid was not able to contribute a single writing credit on this album. Of the 11 tracks on Piper, Sid held writing, or co-writing credits on 11 tracks, with Roger Waters providing the only track with a sole writing credit other than Sid.
After Saucer life took a bizarre turn for Sid, he would eventually leave the group, or be fired, no one has ever told the full story of his departure, and many said it was a while before Sid figured out he was no longer in the group. In fact, during the studio sessions of Dark Side of the Moon it was said that Sid would sometimes come into the studio and just stare at the group as the worked on the album. At first the members did not know how this strange man was, until someone took a close look and said my God, It's Sid! Both David Gilmour and Roger Waters would later (between 1968 and 1972) spend a great deal of time trying to work with Sid and help him make a solo album, the end result was that Sid was no longer able to function as a rock star, and barely able to function as a human being. As time went on Sid retreated from the lives of the band members and led a very quiet life. Sid always received his royalty checks and had an estate worth over $1.5 million dollars when he died on June 7, 2006.
Time to move on As the band left Sid in the murky remnant of the past, it was time to continue to create the Floyd sound. The band would put out 3 more albums before Dark Side of the Moon. Ummagumma, Atom Heart Mother and Meddle were known as the transitional albums the brought Pink Floyd from the early days of the Sid Barrett Floyd into the Gilmour Years Floyd. Many critics believe that Ummagumma represented the change into a more psychedelic sound, but a close listen to Piper reminds us that the sound was developing right from the start. Perhaps it was the early success of the two Sid Barrett penned singles Arnold Layne and See Emily Play that led many to believe the early Floyd was another pop attempt of some young English lads to try to be The Beatles, but in truth the two singles were not like much of the early music as evidenced by the first two tracks on Piper, Astronomy Domine and Lucifer Sam. Atom Heart Mother just sucked. Meddle was an awesome album that was the last studio album before Dark Side. If you put on side two of Meddle and turn doen that lights you can almost hear the band members telling you that Dark Side is coming. It is like a great Coming Attractions tape for the greatness that was just around the bend as were edge closer to 1973, edge closer to the collaboration of a lifetime, edge closer to the album that would change the world, edge closer to The Dark Side of the Moon.
Sometimes it is hard to know if you did something right when you are in the recording studio. Recording artist Tom Petty was broke his hand while swing it at a wall because he was so excited at the way his studio album Full Moon Fever was coming out. Other artists put together a compilation of music that they like, but they are not so sure how it will be received. Still others, such as Elvis Costello (another fine Englishman) has been said to always want to spend more time correcting and fine tuning his studio work as he is never quite satisfying with the final product, even though his listening audience is always ready with high praise for his work. The members of Pink Floyd were well educated chaps with extremely vigorous egos. They were probably well aware that Atom Heart Mother sucked, even though they may not have admitted it publicly. Conversely, they were emphatically aware that what they had accomplished at Abbey Road Studios ion 1973 was nothing less than magic. Dark Side of the Moon represented the greatest achievement in modern day music making. In an age in 2013 when music executives control the artistic end of music the way that insurance companies and politicians control our individual healthcare, it is great to know that artists were able to create art in 1973. From the beginning heart beat of the first track on Dark Side, Breathe, any music fan knows that they are about to take a ride on the perfect psychedelic cruise ship. Each song on the album blends perfectly into the other and the listener is transfixed and transformed for the duration of the album. Each member of the band, Roger Waters, Rick Wright, Nick Mason, and David Gilmour presented their best and most exciting collaborative work. The Floyd Sound was now complete and a super group was in full swing. Tours, Fans, insane schedules, parties, hangers on, etc ensued. As Roger Waters would later write in song, Welcome to the Machine!
Wish You Were Here was the next Pink Floyd Studio album. The album is known as band mate Rick Wright's favorite Floyd album. For those listening to later Floyd albums, or listening in to Roger Water's rants about his lazy band mate, it was also Rick Wright's last true attempt at contributing materially to the Floyd. The album does represent a bit of a growing up period for the band as the tracks take on a more serious, yet approachable subject matter, that being the bands increasing dissatisfaction with music executives, as well as there somber remembrance of their lost band mate, Sid Barrett. The album includes one of the most famous Pink Floyd songs, Have a Cigar which has been played so much on Classic Rock format radio stations that true Floyd fans sometimes have to turn the station when it comes on. This is unfortunate as so much of the album receives little air play and contains some of Floyd's best instrumental work. The title track Wish you Were Here is a fantastically written and performed piece that contains some of the best vocals by Floyd to date.
Animals was the next Pink Floyd studio album. Quite simply, this is a guitar album. Although written almost exclusively by Roger Waters, who was now assuming a very vocal leading role in the band, the album featured David Gilmour's best work on guitar to date. The subject matter of the lyrics however were disturbing to Gilmour who did not agree with much of the subject matter. Gilmour stated in an interview once that the lyrics were about biting the hand that feeds you and he was uncomfortable singing them. Because of this, it is Water's voice that is heard on most of the album. Some critics once said that it was hard to distinguish between Water's and Gilmour's voices, to which a Floyd producer said, it is easy to tell, if the voice is in tune, it is David. Needless to say the guitar was amazing, but the voice could have used a bit of help on Animals.
The Wall This was Roger Water's baby. The Wall was a grand project that, when completed, would include a double album, a massive live stage event, and a major motion picture movie. The making of the album represented the beginning of the end for Pink Floyd as we knew them. While Gilmour and Mason contributed musically to the album, Rick Wright has simply checked out artistically and we were left with a Floyd album that was missing 25% of its sound. There were no haunting piano and Hammond organ pieces, such as Us and Them from Dark Side or welcome to the Machine. Even without any real input from Rick, the album went on to become the second most successful record for Pink Floyd, behind only Dark Side of the Moon. Even today, Roger Waters earns his living replaying the live version of The Wall to sold out stadiums throughout the world. As a by product of Rick Wright's lack of contribution during the Wall, he was fired from the band at the insistence of Waters. The Wall was truly the last REAL Pink Floyd album.
The Final Cut was the last studio Pink Floyd album to include Roger Waters. It was also the first Pink Floyd work of any kind that did not include Rick Wright. The album was essentially a Roger Water's solo album disguised as a Pink Floyd album. The band at this time was feverishly fighting on a daily basis. Roger was accusing the other members of holding back material that they planned on using on solo albums of their own, and the other members felt that Roger was about to leave the band. Both accusations were probably 100% true. The album found little success after its initial release.
Roger Waters held true to his band mates word by leaving the band shortly after the release and subsequent responsibilities of The Final Cut. A very nasty divorce ensued with court battle and name calling all around. During all of the fighting, David Gilmour took the role of band leader and two more studio albums were released, A Momentary Lapse of Reason in 1987 and The Division Bell in 1994. Only the most dedicated Pink Floyd fans can remember much from these albums, although the tracks Learning to Fly and On the Turning Away did receive some air play. Interesting to note is that Rick Wright was asked back into the band, first as a paid studio musician on Momentary Lapse and later as a full band member on The Division Bell. It should be noted that the Division Bell really sucked.
Pink Floyd was so many things to so many people. For this writer, it was the main soundtrack of my youth. For others it was great music, or a nice contribution to their play lists. For some, Pink Floyd was over rated, or boring. To those critics we Pink Floyd Fans say you must have Brian Damage.