Found in OuterSpace
By condensing the sonic explorations of Meddle to actual songs and adding a lush, immaculate production to their trippiest instrumental sections, Pink Floyd inadvertently designed their commercial breakthrough with Dark Side of the Moon. The primary revelation of Dark Side of the Moon is what a little focus does for the band. Roger Waters wrote a series of songs about mundane, everyday details which aren't that impressive by themselves, but when given the sonic backdrop of Floyd's slow, atmospheric soundscapes and carefully placed sound effects, they achieve an emotional resonance.
Some bands turn into shorthand for a certain sound or style, and Pink Floyd belongs among that elite group. The very name connotes something specific: an elastic, echoing, mind-bending sound that evokes the chasms of space. Pink Floyd grounded that limitless sound with exacting explorations of mundane matters of ego, mind, memory, and heart, touching upon madness, alienation, narcissism, and society on their concept albums of the '70s. Of these concept albums, Dark Side of the Moon resonated strongest, earning new audiences year after year, decade after decade, and its longevity makes sense.
Throughout the years, drummer Nick Mason and keyboardist Rick Wright appeared in some capacity, and the band's sonic signature was always evident: a wide, expansive sound that was instantly recognizable as their own, yet was adopted by all manner of bands, from guitar-worshipping metal-heads to freaky, hippie, ambient electronic duos. Unlike almost any of their peers, Pink Floyd played to both sides of the aisle: they were rooted in the blues but their heart belonged to the future, a dichotomy that made them a quintessentially modern 20th century band.
During this time, the group relied on blues and R&B covers, not unlike many of their British peers, but they wound up extending the time of their sets through extended instrumental jams, planting the seeds of space rock that would come to fruition not much later. During 1966, the group's increasingly adventurous sets became something of a sensation in the London underground, leading to a contract with EMI early in 1967. Their first single, "Arnold Layne," backed with "Candy and a Currant Bun," appeared in March of 1967, and it was banned from some radio stations due to its gender-bending lyrics, but the single wound up in the U.K.
This was a sudden rush to stardom and complications arose nearly as quickly. Not long after the release of Piper, Barrett began showing clear signs of mental illness, to the point he would often freeze on-stage, not playing a note. At this point, David Gilmour -- a friend and associate of the band -- was brought in as a second guitarist, with the intention that he'd buttress the group's live performances while Barrett continued to write and record new material. This soon proved to be an impossible situation, and Barrett left the group, at which point the band's management also jumped ship, leaving the band without any kind of leader.
A Saucerful of Secrets also saw the group begin a long, fruitful collaboration with Storm Thorgerson's design team Hipgnosis; they'd wind up designing many iconic album covers for the band, including Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here. Hipgnosis emphasized album art, and albums are where Pink Floyd concentrated from this point forward. After the soundtrack to More, the group moved to EMI's progressive rock imprint Harvest and became the label's flagship artist beginning with the 1969 double-LP Ummagumma. Divided between live performances and experimental compositions from each member, the record wound up in the Top 10 in Britain and sowed the seeds of a cult following in the United States.
Atom Heart MotherPink Floyd's next album, Atom Heart Mother, featured extensive contributions from composer Ron Geesin and wound up as the band's first number one album in the U.K.. The band embarked on an extensive supporting tour for the album and when they returned they delved even further into studio experimentation, learning the contours of the studio. Their next studio album, 1971's Meddle, bore the fruit from this labor, as did 1972's Obscured by Clouds, which was effectively a soundtrack to Barbet Schroeder's film La Vallee.
All the experiments of the early '70s were consolidated on their 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon, an album for which there simply was no precedent in their catalog. Deepening their music while sharpening their songwriting, Floyd created a complex, luxurious album with infinite space and depth. Partially helped by the single "Money," it was an immediate success, reaching number one on the U.S. Billboard charts and peaking at number two in the U.K., but what was striking was its longevity. Dark Side of the Moon found space on the Billboard charts and then it just stayed there, week after week for years -- a total of 741 weeks in all (once it finally dropped off the charts, Billboard began the Catalog charts, where Dark Side was a fixture as well). Dark Side of the Moon was a staple on classic rock radio but it also was a rite of passage, an album passed down to teenagers when they were turning to serious music, and it was an album that stayed with listeners as they aged.
Animals Now established superstars, Pink Floyd dug deep on Wish You Were Here, their 1975 sequel to Dark Side of the Moon which functioned as an album-long tribute to Syd Barrett. Compared to Dark Side, Wish You Were Here wasn't quite a blockbuster but it was certainly a hit, debuting at number one in the U.K. and reaching that peak in the U.S., as well.
Part of its success in 1980 was due to "Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2," where an instrumental motif from the album was given a disco beat and an anti-authoritarian spin, leading to a genuine number one hit single from a band. Certainly, the single had more to do with the album's success than the live production of the album, as Pink Floyd only did a handful of dates in major cities. Nevertheless these shows, consisting of a wall being built across the stage during the first act and the band performing behind it during the second, were legendary (Waters would revive and update the production years later to great success).
Behind the scenes, things were tense. Rick Wright had been fired during the making of The Wall -- he was hired as a contract player during the recording and tour -- and Waters split after the release of The Final Cut, assuming that it was the end of the band. Waters released his debut solo album The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking -- a piece that was pitched to Floyd in 1978, but the band chose The Wall instead -- in 1984 and not long afterward, Gilmour and Mason indicated they intended to carry on as Pink Floyd, so the bassist sued the duo for the rights to the Pink Floyd name.
Pulse The success of A Momentary Lapse of Reason allowed Pink Floyd to dictate their own schedule and they took their time to return with a new album, eventually emerging in 1994 with The Division Bell. Greeted by warmer reviews than its predecessor, The Division Bell was another international success, and the accompanying tour -- which featured a performance of the entirety of The Dark Side of the Moon -- was a smash success. As before, the tour was documented with a live album -- this one was called Pulse, packaged in eye-catching artwork with a pulsing LED light -- and it performed respectably. After that, Pink Floyd went into effective retirement. The group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, while Gilmour released some solo albums, including the acclaimed On an Island, but most of their efforts were devoted to managing their catalog. Long a beloved band of audiophiles, the group saw their catalog boxed and remastered several times, including 5.1 mixes on SACD in the early 2000s.
As the new millennium progressed, a détente arose between the Floyd and Waters camps, culminating in an unexpected reunion of the original lineup of Waters, Gilmour, Mason, and Wright at the 2005 charity concert Live 8. The reunion was a rousing success, sparking rumors of a more permanent arrangement, but Gilmour declined. Instead, Waters ramped up his touring -- he performed Dark Side in its entirety, then turned his attention to The Wall, touring that for years.
Gilmour and Mason wound up appearing at a 2011 show in London, signaling that there was no ill will between the members. Barrett passed in 2006 from cancer and in 2008, Wright also died from the disease. In 2011, Pink Floyd launched an ambitious reissue project called Why Pink Floyd…? spearheaded by multi-disc, rarity-laden box set reissues of Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and The Wall; among the newly released exclusives was the original Alan Parsons mix of Dark Side, heavily bootlegged live tracks like "Raving and Drooling," and demos.
Three years later, in 2014, The Division Bell was reissued to celebrate its 20th anniversary, but the bigger news was the announcement of a new album called The Endless River. Constructed using outtakes from the recording sessions for 1994's The Division Bell, the primarily instrumental album was co-produced by Gilmour, Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera, Youth and Andy Jackson, and featured heavy contributions from the late keyboardist Rick Wright, along with new work from Gilmour and Mason. The Endless River saw release in November of 2014.
Pink Floyd - Live at BBC November 18 1974 (The Dark Side of The Moon Concert)
01. "Speak to Me" Mason Instrumental 02:33
02. "Breathe" Waters, Gilmour, Wright Gilmour 03:01
03. "On the Run" Gilmour, Wateers Instrumental 04:56
04. "Time" (containing "Breathe (Reprise)") Mason, Waters, Wright, Gilmour Gilmour, Wright 06:30
05. "The Great Gig in the Sky" Wright, Clare Torry[nb 11] Clare Torry 06:44
06. "Money" Waters Gilmour 07:58
07. "Us and Them" Waters, Wright Gilmour, Wright 07:53
08. "Any Colour You Like" Gilmour, Mason, Wright Instrumental 03:42
09. "Brain Damage" Waters Waters 03:42
10. "Eclipse" Waters Waters 05:12
11. "Echoes" 23:29
Part 1: Pink Floyd BBC
Part 2: Pink Floyd BBC
Part 1: Pink Floyd BBC
Part 2: Pink Floyd BBC
Part 1: Pink Floyd BBC
Part 2: Pink Floyd BBC