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Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon
Dark Side Of The Moon
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The Dark Side of the Moon is the eighth studio album by English progressive rock group Pink Floyd, released in March 1973. The concept album built on ideas explored by the band in their live shows and earlier recordings, but it lacks the extended instrumental excursions that characterised their work following the departure in 1968 of founding member, principal composer and lyricist Syd Barrett. The Dark Side of the Moons themes include conflict, greed, the passage of time and mental illness, the latter partly inspired by Barrett's deteriorating mental state.

The album was developed as part of a forthcoming tour of live performances, and was premiered several months before studio recording began. The new material was further refined during the tour and was recorded in two sessions in 1972 and 1973 at Abbey Road Studios in London. The group used some of the most advanced recording techniques of the time, including multitrack recording and tape loops. Analogue synthesisers were given prominence in several tracks, and a series of recorded interviews with staff and band personnel provided the source material for a range of philosophical quotations used throughout. Engineer Alan Parsons was directly responsible for some of the most notable sonic aspects of the album, including the non-lexical performance of Clare Torry. The album's iconic sleeve features a prism that represents the band's stage lighting, the record's lyrics, and the request for a "simple and bold" design.

The Dark Side of the Moon was an immediate success, topping the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart for one week. It subsequently remained in the charts for 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988, longer than any other album in history. With an estimated 45 million copies sold, it is Pink Floyd's most commercially successful album and one of the best-selling albums worldwide. It has twice been remastered and re-released, and has been covered by several other acts. It spawned two singles, "Money" and "Us and Them". In addition to its commercial success, The Dark Side of the Moon is one of Pink Floyd's most popular albums among fans and critics, and is frequently ranked as one of the greatest rock albums of all-time.


Following the release of Meddle in 1971, in December the band assembled for an upcoming tour of Britain, Japan, and the United States. Rehearsing in Broadhurst Gardens in London, there was the looming prospect of a new album, although their priority at that time was the creation of new material. In a band meeting at drummer Nick Mason's home in Camden, bassist Roger Waters proposed that a new album could form part of the tour. Waters' idea was for an album that dealt with things that "make people mad", focusing on the pressures faced by the band during their arduous lifestyle, and dealing with the apparent mental problems suffered by former band member Syd Barrett. The band had explored a similar idea with 1969's The Man and the Journey. In a recent interview for Rolling Stone, guitarist David Gilmour said:

...I think we all thought—and Roger definitely thought—that a lot of the lyrics that we had been using were a little too indirect. There was definitely a feeling that the words were going to be very clear and specific.

Generally, all four members agreed that Waters' concept of an album unified by a single theme was a good idea. Waters, Gilmour, Mason and keyboardist Richard Wright participated in the writing and production of the new material, and Waters created the early demo tracks at his Islington home in a small recording studio he had built in his garden shed. Parts of the new album were taken from previously unused material; the opening line of "Breathe" came from an earlier work by Waters and Ron Geesin, written for the soundtrack of The Body, and the basic structure of "Us and Them" was taken from a piece originally composed by Wright for the film Zabriskie Point. The band rehearsed at a warehouse in London owned by The Rolling Stones, and then at the Rainbow Theatre. They also purchased extra equipment, which included new speakers, a PA system, a 28-track mixing desk with four quadraphonic outputs, and a custom-built lighting rig. Nine tonnes of kit was transported in three lorries; this would be the first time the band had taken an entire album on tour, but it would allow them to refine and improve the new material, which by then had been given the provisional title of The Dark Side of the Moon (an allusion to lunacy, rather than astronomy). However, after discovering that that title had already been used by another band, Medicine Head, it was temporarily changed to Eclipse. The new material premièred at The Dome in Brighton, on 20 January 1972, and after the commercial failure of Medicine Head's album the title was changed back to the band's original preference.

Rainbow theatre london.jpgthumbrightalt=A large cream-coloured and tiled building stands at the intersection of two roads. Dark grey clouds dominate an overcast sky. Two flags are flying from the fascia of the building, which is covered mostly by a large advertising hoarding.The Rainbow Theatre in London

Dark Side of the Moon: A Piece for Assorted Lunatics, as it was then known, was performed in the presence of an assembled press on 17 February 1972—more than a year before its release—at the Rainbow Theatre, and was critically acclaimed. Michael Wale of The Times described the piece as "... bringing tears to the eyes. It was so completely understanding and musically questioning." Derek Jewell of The Sunday Times wrote "The ambition of the Floyd's artistic intention is now vast." Melody Maker was, however, less enthusiastic: "Musically, there were some great ideas, but the sound effects often left me wondering if I was in a bird-cage at London zoo." The following tour was praised by the public. The new material was performed live, in the same order in which it would eventually be recorded, but obvious differences between the live version, and the recorded version released a year later, included the lack of synthesisers in tracks such as "On the Run", and Bible readings that were later replaced by Clare Torry's non-lexical vocables on "The Great Gig in the Sky".

The band's lengthy tour through Europe and North America gave them the opportunity to make continual improvements to the scale and quality of their performances. Studio sessions were scheduled between tour dates; rehearsals began in England on 20 January 1972, but in late February the band travelled to France and recorded music for French director Barbet Schroeder's film, La Vallée. They then performed in Japan and returned to France in March to complete work on the film. After a series of dates in North America, the band flew to London to begin recording the album, from 24 May to 25 June. More concerts in Europe and North America followed before the band returned on 9 January 1973 to complete work on the album.


The Dark Side of the Moon built upon experiments Pink Floyd had attempted in their previous live shows and recordings, but lacks the extended instrumental excursions which, according to critic David Fricke, had become characteristic of the band after founding member Syd Barrett left in 1968. Guitarist David Gilmour, Barrett's replacement, later referred to those instrumentals as "that psychedelic noodling stuff", and with Waters cited 1971's Meddle as a turning-point towards what would be realised on the album. The Dark Side of the Moons lyrical themes include conflict, greed, the passage of time, death, and insanity, the latter inspired in part by Barrett's deteriorating mental state; he had been the band's principal composer and lyricist. The album is notable for its use of musique concrète and conceptual, philosophical lyrics, as found in much of the band's other work.

Each side of the album is a continuous piece of music. The five tracks on each side reflect various stages of human life, beginning and ending with a heartbeat, exploring the nature of the human experience, and (according to Waters) "empathy". "Speak to Me" and "Breathe" together stress the mundane and futile elements of life that accompany the ever-present threat of madness, and the importance of living one's own life—"Don't be afraid to care". By shifting the scene to an airport, the synthesiser-driven instrumental "On the Run" evokes the stress and anxiety of modern travel, in particular Wright's fear of flying. "Time" examines the manner in which its passage can control one's life and offers a stark warning to those who remain focussed on mundane aspects; it is followed by a retreat into solitude and withdrawal in "Breathe (Reprise)". The first side of the album ends with Wright and vocalist Clare Torry's soulful metaphor for death, "The Great Gig in the Sky". Opening with the sound of cash registers and loose change, the first track on side two, "Money", mocks greed and consumerism using tongue-in-cheek lyrics and cash-related sound effects (ironically, "Money" has been the most commercially successful track from the album, with several cover versions produced by other bands). "Us and Them" addresses the isolation of the depressed with the symbolism of conflict and the use of simple dichotomies to describe personal relationships. "Brain Damage" looks at a mental illness resulting from the elevation of fame and success above the needs of the self; in particular, the line "and if the band you're in starts playing different tunes" reflects the mental breakdown of former band-mate Syd Barrett. The album ends with "Eclipse", which espouses the concepts of alterity and unity, while forcing the listener to recognise the common traits shared by humanity.


Abbey Rd Studios.jpgthumbrightalt=A flight of stone steps leads from an asphalt car park up to the main entrance of a white two-story building. The ground floor has two sash windows, the first floor has three shorter sash windows. Two more windows are visible at basement level. The decorative stonework around the doors and windows is painted grey.The main entrance to Abbey Road Studios

The album was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, in two sessions, between May 1972 and January 1973. The band were assigned staff engineer Alan Parsons, who had worked as assistant tape operator on Atom Heart Mother, and who had also gained experience as a recording engineer on The Beatles' Abbey Road and Let It Be. The recording sessions made use of some of the most advanced studio techniques of the time; the studio was capable of 16-track mixes, which offered a greater degree of flexibility than the eight- or four-track mixes they had previously used, although the band often used so many tracks that to make more space available second-generation copies were made.

Beginning on 1 June, the first track to be recorded was "Us and Them", followed six days later by "Money". Waters had created effects loops from recordings of various money-related objects, including coins thrown into a food-mixing bowl taken from his wife's pottery studio, and these were later re-recorded to take advantage of the band's decision to record a quadraphonic mix of the album (Parsons has since expressed dissatisfaction with the result of this mix, attributed to a lack of time and the paucity of available multi-track tape recorders). "Time" and "The Great Gig in the Sky" were the next pieces to be recorded, followed by a two-month break, during which the band spent time with their families and prepared for an upcoming tour of the US. The recording sessions suffered regular interruptions; Waters, a supporter of Arsenal F.C., would often break to see his team compete, and the band would occasionally stop work to watch Monty Python's Flying Circus on the television, leaving Parsons to work on material recorded up to that point. Gilmour has, however, disputed this claim; in an interview in 2003 he said: "We would sometimes watch them but when we were on a roll, we would get on."

EMS VCS 3.jpgthumbuprightrightalt=A portable L-shaped brown wooden case with a silver metal fascia filled with buttons and controls is positioned on a wooden work surface. The controls for the device are mostly rotary, and denoted with lettering and numbering. The lower part of the box contains a small matrix of holes and a joystick. Other pieces of electrical equipment are visible behind the device.The EMS VCS 3 (Putney) synthesiser

Returning from the US in January 1973, they recorded "Brain Damage", "Eclipse", "Any Colour You Like" and "On the Run", while fine-tuning the work they had already laid down in the previous sessions. A foursome of female vocalists was assembled to sing on "Brain Damage", "Eclipse" and "Time", and saxophonist Dick Parry was booked to play on "Us and Them" and "Money". With director Adrian Maben, the band also filmed studio footage for Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii. Once the recording sessions were complete, the band began a tour of Europe.


The album is particularly notable for the metronomic sound effects during "Speak to Me", and the tape loops that open "Money". Mason created a rough version of "Speak to Me" at his home, before completing it in the studio. The track serves as an overture and contains cross-fades of elements from other pieces on the album. A piano chord, replayed backwards, serves to augment the build-up of effects, which are immediately followed by the opening of "Breathe". Mason received a rare solo composing credit for "Speak to Me". The sound effects on "Money" were created by splicing together Waters' recordings of clinking coins, tearing paper, a ringing cash register, and a clicking adding machine, which were used to create a 7-beat effects loop (later adapted to four tracks in order to create a "walk around the room" effect in quadraphonic presentations of the album). At times the degree of sonic experimentation on the album required the engineers and band to operate the mixing console's faders simultaneously, in order to mix down the intricately assembled multitrack recordings of several of the songs (particularly "On the Run").

Along with the conventional rock band instrumentation, Pink Floyd added prominent synthesisers to their sound. For example, the band experimented with an EMS VCS 3 on "Brain Damage" and "Any Colour You Like", and a Synthi A on "Time" and "On the Run". They also devised and recorded unconventional sounds, such as an assistant engineer running around the studio's echo chamber (during "On the Run"), and a specially treated bass drum made to simulate a human heartbeat (during "Speak to Me", "On the Run", "Time", and "Eclipse"). This heartbeat is most prominent as the intro and the outro to the album, but it can also be heard sporadically on "Time", and "On the Run". The assorted clocks ticking then chiming simultaneously at the start of "Time", accompanied by a series of Rototoms, were initially created as a quadraphonic test by Parsons. The engineer recorded each timepiece at an antique clock shop, and although his recordings had not been created specifically for the album, elements of the material were eventually used in the track.


Several tracks, including "Us and Them" and "Time", demonstrate Richard Wright and David Gilmour's ability to harmonise their voices. In the 2003 documentary The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon, Waters attributed this to the fact that their voices sound extremely similar. To take advantage of this, Parsons perfected the use of studio techniques such as the doubletracking of vocals and guitars, which allowed Gilmour to harmonise with himself. Parsons also made prominent use of flanging and phase shifting effects on vocals and instruments, odd trickery with reverb, and the panning of sounds between channels (most notable in the quadraphonic mix of "On the Run", when the sound of the Hammond B3 organ played through a Leslie speaker rapidly swirls around the listener).

The album's credits include Clare Torry, a session singer and songwriter, and a regular at Abbey Road. She had worked on pop material and numerous cover albums, and after hearing one of those albums Parsons invited her to the studio to sing on "The Great Gig in the Sky". She declined this invitation as she wanted to watch Chuck Berry perform at the Hammersmith Odeon, but arranged to come in on the following Sunday. The band explained the concept behind the album, but were unable to tell her exactly what she should do. Gilmour was in charge of the session, and in a few short takes on a Sunday night Torry improvised a wordless melody to accompany Richard Wright's emotive piano solo. She was initially embarrassed by her exuberance in the recording booth, and wanted to apologise to the band—only to find them delighted with her performance. Her takes were then selectively edited to produce the version used on the track. For her contribution she was paid £30, equivalent to about £ as of , but in 2004 she sued EMI and Pink Floyd for song writing royalties, arguing that she co-wrote "The Great Gig in the Sky" with keyboardist Richard Wright. The High Court agreed with her, but the terms of the settlement were not disclosed. All post-2005 pressings which include "The Great Gig in the Sky" therefore credit both Wright and Torry for the song.

Clare torry.gifleftthumbuprightalt=A middle-aged woman stands on a path amidst green vegetation, under bright sunlight. She wears a black T-shirt with a white logo, and holds a small piece of black card which carries the same logo. She has blue jeans, and white shoes. Her hair is cut short. She is looking slightly upward, over the head of the photographer.Clare Torry in 2003

Snippets of voices between and over the music are another notable feature of the album. During recording sessions, Waters recruited both the staff and the temporary occupants of the studio to answer a series of questions printed on flashcards. The interviewees were placed in front of a microphone in a darkened studio three, and shown such questions as "What's your favourite colour?" and "What's your favourite food?", before moving on to themes more central to the album (such as madness, violence, and death). Questions such as "When was the last time you were violent?", followed immediately by "Were you in the right?", were answered in the order they were presented. Roger "The Hat" Manifold proved difficult to find, and was the only contributor recorded in a conventional sit-down interview, as by then the flashcards had been mislaid. Waters asked him about a violent encounter he had had with another motorist, and Manifold replied "... give 'em a quick, short, sharp shock ..." When asked about death he responded "live for today, gone tomorrow, that's me ..." Another roadie, Chris Adamson, who was on tour with Pink Floyd, recorded the explicit diatribe which opens the album: "I've been mad for fucking years—absolutely years". The band's road manager Peter Watts (father of actress Naomi Watts) contributed the repeated laughter during "Brain Damage" and "Speak to Me". His second wife, Patricia 'Puddie' Watts (now Patricia Gleason), was responsible for the line about the "geezer" who was "cruisin' for a bruisin used in the segue between "Money" and "Us and Them", and the words "I never said I was frightened of dying" heard near the end of "The Great Gig in the Sky". Retrieved from http on 2010-12-23.

Perhaps the most notable responses "I am not frightened of dying. Any time will do: I don't mind. Why should I be frightened of dying? There's no reason for it — you've got to go sometime" and closing words "there is no dark side in the moon, really. As a matter of fact it's all dark" came from the studios' Irish doorman, Gerry O'Driscoll. Paul and Linda McCartney were also interviewed, but their answers were judged to be "trying too hard to be funny", and were not included on the album. McCartney's band mate Henry McCullough contributed the line "I don't know, I was really drunk at the time".


Following the completion of the dialogue sessions, producer Chris Thomas was hired to provide "a fresh pair of ears". Thomas's background was in music, rather than engineering. He had worked with Beatles producer George Martin, and was acquainted with Pink Floyd's manager Steve O'Rourke. All four members of the band were engaged in a disagreement over the style of the mix, with Waters and Mason preferring a "dry" and "clean" mix which made more use of the non-musical elements, and Gilmour and Wright preferring a subtler and more "echoey" mix. Thomas later claimed there were no such disagreements, stating "There was no difference in opinion between them, I don't remember Roger once saying that he wanted less echo. In fact, there were never any hints that they were later going to fall out. It was a very creative atmosphere. A lot of fun." Although the truth remains unclear, Thomas' intervention resulted in a welcome compromise between Waters and Gilmour, leaving both entirely satisfied with the end product. Thomas was responsible for significant changes to the album, including the perfect timing of the echo used on "Us and Them". He was also present for the recording of "The Great Gig in the Sky" (although Parsons was responsible for hiring Torry). Interviewed in 2006, when asked if he felt his goals had been accomplished in the studio, Waters said:


The album was originally released in a gatefold LP sleeve designed by Hipgnosis and George Hardie, and bore Hardie's iconic dispersive prism on the cover. Hipgnosis had designed several of the band's previous albums, with controversial results; EMI had reacted with confusion when faced with the cover designs for Atom Heart Mother and Obscured by Clouds, as they had expected to see traditional designs which included lettering and words. Designers Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell were able to ignore such criticism as they were employed by the band. For The Dark Side of the Moon Richard Wright instructed them to come up with something "smarter, neater—more classy". The prism design was inspired by a photograph that Thorgerson had seen during a brainstorming session with Powell. The artwork was created by their associate, George Hardie. Hipgnosis offered the band a choice of seven designs, but all four members agreed that the prism was by far the best. The design represents three elements; the band's stage lighting, the album lyrics, and Richard Wright's request for a "simple and bold" design. The spectrum of light continues through to the gatefold—an idea that Waters came up with. Added shortly afterwards, the gatefold design also includes a visual representation of the heartbeat sound used throughout the album, and the back of the album cover contains Thorgerson's suggestion of another prism recombining the spectrum of light, facilitating interesting layouts of the sleeve in record shops. The light band emanating from the prism on the album cover has six colours, missing indigo compared to the traditional division of the spectrum into red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. (An actual prism would exhibit a continuous spectrum with no defined boundaries between colours, and coloured light within the prism.) Inside the sleeve were two posters and a sheet of pyramid-themed stickers. One poster bore pictures of the band in concert, overlaid with scattered letters to form PINK FLOYD, and the other an infrared photograph of the Great Pyramids of Giza, created by Powell and Thorgerson.

In 2003 VH1 declared that The Dark Side of the Moon had the fourth-greatest album cover of all time, and in 2009 listeners of the UK radio station Planet Rock voted the packaging the greatest album cover of all time.

Since the departure of founding member Barrett in 1968, the burden of lyrical composition had fallen mostly on Waters' shoulders. He is therefore credited as the author of the album's lyrics, making The Dark Side of the Moon the first of five consecutive Pink Floyd albums with lyrics credited only to him. The band were so confident of the quality of the writing that, for the first time, they felt able to print them on the album's sleeve. When in 2003 he was asked if his input on the album was "organising ideas and frameworks" and David Gilmour's was "the music", Waters replied:


DarkSideOfTheMoon1973.jpgthumbalt=A monochrome image of members of the band. The photograph is taken from a distance, and is bisected horizontally by the forward edge of the stage. Each band member and his equipment is illuminated from above by bright spotlights, also visible. A long-haired man holds a guitar and sings into a microphone on the left of the image. Central, another man is seated behind a large drumkit. Two men on the right of the image hold a saxophone or a bass guitar and appear to be looking in each other's general direction. In the foreground, silhouetted, are the heads of the audience.A live performance The Dark Side of the Moon at Earls Court, shortly after its release in 1973.(l-r) David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Dick Parry, Roger Waters

As the quadraphonic mix of the album was not yet complete, the band (with the exception of Wright) boycotted the press reception held at the London Planetarium on 27 February. The guests were, instead, presented with a quartet of life-sized cardboard cut-outs of the band, and the stereo mix of the album was presented through a poor-quality public address system. Generally, however, the press were enthusiastic; Melody Makers Roy Hollingworth described side one as "... so utterly confused with itself it was difficult to follow", but praised side two, writing: "The songs, the sounds, the rhythms were solid and sound, Saxophone hit the air, the band rocked and rolled, and then gushed and tripped away into the night." Steve Peacock of Sounds wrote: "I don't care if you've never heard a note of the Pink Floyd's music in your life, I'd unreservedly recommend everyone to The Dark Side of the Moon". In his 1973 review for Rolling Stone magazine, Lloyd Grossman declared Dark Side "a fine album with a textural and conceptual richness that not only invites, but demands involvement".

The Dark Side of the Moon was released first in the US on 10 March 1973, and then in the UK on 24 March. It became an instant chart success in Britain and throughout Western Europe; by the following month, it had gained a gold certification in the UK and US. Throughout March 1973 the band played the album as part of their US tour, including a midnight performance at Radio City Music Hall in New York on 17 March, watched by an audience of 6,000. Highlights included an aircraft launched from the back of the hall at the end of "On the Run", which 'crashed' into the stage in a cloud of orange smoke. The album reached the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart's number one spot on 28 April 1973, and was so successful that the band returned two months later for another tour.


Much of the album's early State-side success is attributed to the efforts of Pink Floyd's US record company, Capitol Records. Newly appointed chairman Bhaskar Menon set about trying to reverse the relatively poor sales of the band's 1971 studio album Meddle. Meanwhile, disenchanted with Capitol, the band and manager O'Rourke had been quietly negotiating a new contract with CBS president Clive Davis, on Columbia Records. The Dark Side of the Moon was the last album that Pink Floyd were obliged to release before formally signing a new contract. Menon's enthusiasm for the new album was such that he began a huge promotional advertising campaign, which included radio-friendly truncated versions of "Us and Them" and "Time". In some countries—notably the UK—Pink Floyd had not released a single since 1968's "Point Me at the Sky", and unusually "Money" was released as a single on 7 May, with "Any Colour You Like" on the B-side. It reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July 1973. A two-sided white label promotional version of the single, with mono and stereo mixes, was sent to radio stations. The mono side had the word "bullshit" removed from the song—leaving "bull" in its place—however, the stereo side retained the uncensored version. This was subsequently withdrawn; the replacement was sent to radio stations with a note advising disc jockeys to dispose of the first uncensored copy. On 4 February 1974, a double A-side single was released with "Time" on one side, and "Us and Them" on the opposite side. Menon's efforts to secure a contract renewal with Pink Floyd were in vain however; at the beginning of 1974, the band signed for Columbia with a reported advance fee of $1M (in Britain and Europe they continued to be represented by Harvest Records).


The Dark Side of the Moon became one of the best-selling albums of all time, (not counting compilations and various artists soundtracks), and is in the top 25 of a list of best selling albums in the United States. Although it held the number one spot in the US for only a week, it remained in the Billboard album chart for 741 weeks. The album re-appeared on the Billboard charts with the introduction of the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart in May 1991, and has been a perennial feature since then. In the UK it is the sixth-best-selling album of all time.

In the US the LP was released before the introduction of platinum awards on 1 January 1976. It therefore held only a gold disc until 16 February 1990, when it was certified 11× platinum. On 4 June 1998 the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the album 15× platinum, denoting sales of fifteen million in the United States—making it their biggest-selling work there (The Wall is 23× platinum, but as a double album this signifies sales of 11.5 million). "Money" has sold well as a single, and as with "Time", remains a radio favourite; in the US, for the year ending 20 April 2005, "Time" was played on 13,723 occasions, and "Money" on 13,731 occasions. Industry sources suggest that worldwide sales of the album total about 45 million. "On a slow week" between 8,000 and 9,000 copies are sold, and a total of 400,000 were sold in 2002, making it the 200th-best-selling album of that year—nearly three decades after its initial release. According to a 2 August 2006 Wall Street Journal article, although the album was released in 1973, it has sold 7.7 million copies since 1991 in the US alone. To this day, it occupies a prominent spot on Billboards Pop Catalogue Chart. It reached number one when the 2003 hybrid CD/SACD edition was released and sold 800,000 copies in the US. On the week of 5 May 2006 The Dark Side of the Moon achieved a combined total of 1,500 weeks on the Billboard 200 and Pop Catalogue charts. One in every fourteen people in the US under the age of 50 is estimated to own, or to have owned, a copy.

Reissues and remastering

Dark side of the moon mobile fidelity cd FUI.jpgthumbalt=A Compact Disc case rests open, on the platter of a hifi turntable, angled slightly by the spindle. The turntable is wooden, and the platter has a black felt top with a silver metal edge. The tonearm is visible to the right, with a silver cartridge. The CD case is angled away from the photographer, and to the right inside part of the case a black compact disc is held by a small plastic clip. The back part of the CD sleeve is held on the left part of the case. Writing is visible on the fascia of the CD.The Mobile Fidelity CD Ultradisc release of the album In 1979, The Dark Side of the Moon was released as a remastered LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, and in April 1988 on their "Ultradisc" gold CD format. The album was released by EMI on the then-new compact disc format in 1984, and eight years later it was re-released as a remastered CD in the box set Shine On. This version was re-released as a 20th-anniversary box set edition with postcards the following year. Cover design was by Storm Thorgerson, designer of the original 1973 cover. Some have suggested that on later CD pressings a faintly audible orchestral version of The Beatles's "Ticket to Ride" can be heard after "Eclipse", over the album's closing heartbeats. This may have been the consequence of a remastering error, and is not audible on the original vinyl.

The original quadraphonic mix, though commissioned by EMI, was never endorsed by the band, but to celebrate the album's 30th anniversary an updated surround version was released in 2003. Some surprise was expressed when the band elected not to use Parsons' quadraphonic mix (done shortly after the original release), and instead chose to have their current engineer James Guthrie create a new 5.1 channel surround sound mix on the SACD format. Guthrie has worked with the band since co-producing and engineering their 1979 release, The Wall, and had previously worked on surround versions of The Wall for DVD-video, and Waters's In the Flesh for SACD. Speaking in 2003, Alan Parsons expressed some disappointment with Guthrie's SACD mix, suggesting that Guthrie was "possibly a little too true to the original mix", but was generally complimentary to the release.

Referring to "On the Run", Parsons said: "After hearing his mix for a while, I think I'm hearing stereo with a bit of surround." He praised the mix for other songs, particularly "The Great Gig in the Sky": "I tip my hat to James for sorting out the correct bits of Clare's vocals. And he has improved on the stereo mix, which is a bit wishy-washy. The stereo is heavy on the Hammond organ, and Clare's a little too far down. In my quad mix, the Hammond is barely there, which shows you I really wasn't being faithful to the stereo mix. The quad sounds pretty good, but James still has the edge. His mix is definitely cleaner, and he's brought Clare out a bit more." This 30th-anniversary edition won four Surround Music Awards in 2003, and has since sold more than 800,000 copies. The cover image was created by a team of designers that again included Storm Thorgerson. The image is a photograph of a custom-made stained glass window, built to match the exact dimensions and proportions of the original prism design. Transparent glass, held in place by strips of lead, was used in place of the opaque colours of the original. The idea is derived from the "sense of purity in the sound quality, being 5.1 surround sound ..." The image was created out of a desire to be "the same but different, such that the design was clearly DSoM, still the recognisable prism design, but was different and hence new".

The Dark Side of the Moon was also re-released in 2003 on 180-gram virgin vinyl (mastered by Kevin Gray at AcousTech Mastering) and included slightly different versions of the original posters and stickers that came with the original vinyl release, along with a new 30th anniversary poster. In 2007 the album was included in Oh, by the Way, a box set celebrating the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd, and a DRM-free version was released on the iTunes Store.


The success of the album brought previously unknown wealth to all four members of the band; Richard Wright and Roger Waters bought large country houses, and Nick Mason became a collector of upmarket cars. Some of the profits were invested in the production of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Engineer Alan Parsons received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Engineered Recording, Non-Classical for The Dark Side of the Moon, and he went on to have a successful career as a recording artist. Although Waters and Gilmour have on occasion downplayed his contribution to the success of the album, Mason has praised his role. In 2003, Parsons reflected: "I think they all felt that I managed to hang the rest of my career on Dark Side of the Moon, which has an element of truth to it. But I still wake up occasionally, frustrated about the fact that they made untold millions and a lot of the people involved in the record didn't."

The Dark Side of the Moon frequently appears on rankings of the greatest albums of all-time. In 1987, Rolling Stone listed the record 35th on its "Top 100 Albums of the Last 20 Years", and sixteen years later the album polled in 43rd position on the magazine's list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". In 2006, it was voted "My Favourite Album" by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's audience. NME readers voted the album eighth in their 2006 "Best Album of All Time" online poll, and in 2009, Planet Rock listeners voted the album the "greatest of all time". The album is also number two on the "Definitive 200" list of albums, made by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers "in celebration of the art form of the record album". It came 29th in The Observers 2006 list of "The 50 Albums That Changed Music", and 37th in The Guardians 1997 list of the "100 Best Albums Ever", as voted for by a panel of artists and music critics.

Part of the legacy of The Dark Side of the Moon is in its influence on modern music, the musicians who have performed cover versions of its songs, and even in modern urban myths. Its release is often seen as a pivotal point in the history of rock music, and comparisons are sometimes drawn between Pink Floyd and Radiohead—specifically their 1997 album OK Computer—which has been called The Dark Side of the Moon for the 1990s whereby the two albums share a common theme: the loss of a creative individual's ability to function in the modern world.

Covers, tributes and samples

One of the more notable covers of The Dark Side of the Moon is Return to the Dark Side of the Moon: A Tribute to Pink Floyd. Released in 2006, the album is a progressive rock tribute featuring artists such as Adrian Belew, Tommy Shaw, Dweezil Zappa, and Rick Wakeman. In 2000 The Squirrels released The Not So Bright Side of the Moon, which features a cover of the entire album. The New York dub collective Easy Star All Stars in 2003 released Dub Side of the Moon. The group Voices on The Dark Side released the album Dark Side Of The Moon A Cappella, a complete a cappella version of the album. The bluegrass band Poor Man's Whiskey frequently play the album in bluegrass style, calling the suite Dark Side of the Moonshine. A string quartet version of the album was released in 2004. In 2009 The Flaming Lips released a track-by-track remake of the album in collaboration with Stardeath and White Dwarfs, and featuring Henry Rollins and Peaches as guest musicians.

Several notable acts have covered the album live in its entirety, and a range of performers have used samples from The Dark Side of the Moon in their own material. Jam-rock band Phish performed a semi-improvised version of the entire album as part their show on 2 November 1998 in West Valley City, Utah. Progressive metal band Dream Theater have twice covered the album in their live shows. Milli Vanilli used the tape loops from Pink Floyd's "Money" to open their track "Money", followed by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch on Music for the People. In 2008 the Problemaddicts released The Dark Side Of Oz—a hip hop concept album with instrumentals based almost entirely on Dark Side of the Moon and Wizard of Oz related samples.

Dark Side of the Rainbow

The Dark Side of the Rainbow and The Dark Side of Oz are two names commonly used in reference to rumours circulated on the Internet since at least 1994 that the Dark Side of the Moon was written as a soundtrack for the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. Observers playing the film and the album simultaneously have reported apparent synchronicities, such as Dorothy beginning to jog at the lyric "no one told you when to run". David Gilmour and Nick Mason have both denied a connection between the two works, and Roger Waters has described the rumours as "amusing". Alan Parsons has stated that the film was not mentioned during production of the album.


;Pink Floyd

* David Gilmour – vocals, guitar, synthesisers and production

* Nick Mason – percussion, tape effects and production

* Roger Waters – bass guitar, vocals, synthesisers, tape effects and production

* Richard Wright – keyboards, vocals, synthesisers and production

;Additional musicians

* Dick Parry – saxophone on "Money" and "Us and Them"

* Clare Torry – vocals on "The Great Gig in the Sky", background vocals

* Lesley Duncan – background vocals

* Barry St. John – background vocals

* Liza Strike – background vocals

* Doris Troy – background vocals


* Alan Parsons – engineering

* Peter James – assistant engineering (incorrectly identified as "Peter Jones" on first US pressings of the LP)

* Chris Thomas – mixing consultant

* George Hardie – illustrations, sleeve art

* Hipgnosis – design, photography

* Jill Furmanovsky – photography

* James Guthrie – remastering supervisor on 20th- and 30th-anniversary editions, 5.1 mixing on 30th-anniversary edition

* Doug Sax – remastering on 20th- and 30th-anniversary editions

* David Sinclair – liner notes in CD re-release

* Storm Thorgerson – 20th- and 30th-anniversary edition designs

* Drew Vogel – art and photography in CD re-release

Chart performance

Selected album sales


















This text has been derived from The Dark Side of the Moon on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0

Artist/Band Information

Pink Floyd were an English rock band who achieved worldwide success with their psychedelic and progressive rock music. Their work is marked by the use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows. Pink Floyd are one of the most commercially successful rock music groups of all time. They have sold over 200 million albums worldwide, including 74.5 million certified units in the United States.

The band originally consisted of university students Roger Waters, Nick Mason, and the late Richard Wright and Syd Barrett. Founded in 1965, they first became popular playing in London's underground music scene in the late 1960s. Under Barrett's leadership they released two charting singles, "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play", and a successful début album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967). Guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour joined Pink Floyd several months prior to Barrett's departure from the group due to the latter's deteriorating mental health in 1968. Following the loss of their principal songwriter, Pink Floyd bassist and vocalist Roger Waters became the band's lyricist and conceptual leader, with Gilmour assuming lead guitar and sharing lead vocals. With this lineup Pink Floyd achieved worldwide critical and commercial success with The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall.

Wright left the group in 1979, and Waters in 1985, but Gilmour and Mason (joined by Wright) continued to record and tour. Waters resorted to legal means to try to keep them from performing as Pink Floyd, but the dispute was resolved with an out-of-court settlement which allowed Gilmour and Mason to continue, and which also released Waters from his contractual obligations to the band. Two further albums, A Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell followed. Following almost two decades of acrimony, the band reunited in 2005 for a single performance, at the charity concert Live 8.

Formation and early years (1963-1967)

The beginning

Roger Waters and Nick Mason met while studying architecture at the Regent Street Polytechnic in London. The pair first played together in a group formed by Keith Noble and Clive Metcalfe, with Noble's sister Sheilagh. They were later joined by fellow student Richard Wright, and the group became a sextet, taking the name Sigma 6, the first band to feature Waters on "rudimentary" lead guitar, Wright on rhythm guitar, and Mason on drums. Wright's girlfriend was a regular guest artist. The band performed initially during private functions, rehearsing in a tearoom in the basement of Regent Street Polytechnic. They covered songs by The Searchers, and also material written by fellow student Ken Chapman, who became their manager and songwriter.

In September 1963 Waters and Mason moved into the lower flat of Stanhope Gardens, owned by Mike Leonard, a part-time tutor at the Regent Street Polytechnic. Leonard was a designer of light machines (perforated discs spun by electric motors to cast patterns of lights on the walls) and for a time played keyboard with them using the front room of his flat for rehearsals. Mason later moved out of the flat, while accomplished guitar player Bob Klose moved in. Sigma 6 went through a number of short-lived names, including The Meggadeaths, The (Screaming) Abdabs, Leonard's Lodgers, and The Spectrum Five, before settling on The Tea Set. While Metcalfe and Noble left to form their own band, in 1964 Klose and Waters were joined at Stanhope Gardens by Syd Barrett. Then aged 17, Barrett had arrived in London in the autumn of 1963 to study at the Camberwell College of Art. Waters and Barrett were childhood friends; the bassist had often visited Barrett as he played guitar at his mother's house. In his book, Mason said this about Barrett, "In a period when everyone was being cool in a very adolescent, self-conscious way, Syd was unfashionably outgoing; my enduring memory of our first encounter is the fact that he bothered to come up and introduce himself to me."

After The Tea Set lost Noble and Metcalfe's vocal abilities, Klose introduced the band to Chris Dennis, a technician with the Royal Air Force. It was during Dennis's tenure that the band was first referred to as "The Pink Floyd Sound", created by Barrett on the spur of the moment when he discovered that another band, also named The Tea Set, were to perform at one of their gigs. (The name is derived from the given names of two blues musicians whose records Barrett had in his collection, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.); At around the same time Dennis was posted to Bahrain, thrusting Barrett into the spotlight as front-man.

They first performed in a recording studio in December 1964, minus the presence of Wright, who was taking a break from his studies. Through one of his friends, who let them use some "down time" for free, they managed to secure recording time at a studio in West Hampstead. This four-song session became The Tea Set's first demo tape, and included the R&B classic "I'm A King Bee", two Syd Barrett originals: "Butterfly" and "Lucy Leave", and "Double O Bo", a group-composition which—according to Mason—was "Bo Diddley meets the 007 theme."

The Pink Floyd Sound became the resident band at the Countdown Club near Kensington High Street in London, where from late night until early morning they played three sets of 90 minutes. According to Mason, this period "... was the beginning of a realisation that songs could be extended with lengthy solos." An audition for ITV's Ready Steady Go! soon followed (they were invited by the programme's producers to return the following week), as did another club, and two rock contests. After pressure from his father and advice from his college tutors, Bob Klose quit Pink Floyd in 1966, and Barrett took over on lead guitar. Playing mostly rhythm and blues songs, they began to receive paid bookings, including one for a performance at the Marquee Club in March 1966, where they were watched by Peter Jenner. A lecturer at the London School of Economics, Jenner was impressed by the acoustic effects Barrett and Wright created, and with his business partner and friend Andrew King became their manager. Although the pair had little experience of the music industry, they used inherited money to set up Blackhill Enterprises, and purchased new instruments and equipment for the band, including a Selmer PA system. Under their guidance, at venues including All Saints Hall and The Marquee, the band became part of London's underground music scene. While performing at the Countdown Club the band had experimented with long instrumental excursions, and they began to expand upon these with rudimentary but visually powerful light shows, projected by coloured slides and domestic lights.; To celebrate the launch of the London Free School's magazine International Times, they performed in front of a 2,000-strong crowd at the opening of The Roundhouse, attended by celebrities including Alexander Trocchi, Paul McCartney, and Marianne Faithfull. Jenner and King's diverse array of social connections helped gain the band important coverage in The Financial Times and The Sunday Times.

Hapshash-UFO.jpguprightrightthumbA Hapshash and the Coloured Coat poster for Pink Floyd at the UFO Club

Their relationship with Blackhill Enterprises was strengthened when they became full partners, each holding an "unprecedented" one-sixth share, and by October 1966 their set included more of their own material. They performed at venues such as the Commonwealth Institute, but were not universally popular; following a performance at a Catholic youth club the owner refused to pay, a stance which the magistrate agreed with, claiming that the band's performance "wasn't music". This was not the only occasion on which they encountered such opinions, but they were better received at the UFO Club in London. Barrett's performances were reportedly exuberant, "... leaping around and the madness, and the kind of improvisation he was doing ... he was inspired. He would constantly manage to get past his limitations and into areas that were very, very interesting. Which none of the others could do." The often drug-addled audience was receptive to the music they played, but the band remained drug-free — "We were out of it, not on acid, but out of the loop, stuck in the dressing room at UFO."

Signing with EMI

According to Mason, the psychedelic movement had "taken place around us—not within us". Nevertheless The Pink Floyd Sound were present at the head of a wave of interest in psychedelic music, and began to attract the attention of the music industry. While in negotiations with record companies, Joe Boyd and booking agent Bryan Morrison arranged for and funded the recording of several songs at Sound Techniques in West Hampstead, including "Arnold Layne" and a version of "Interstellar Overdrive", and also for the production in Sussex of a short music film for "Arnold Layne". Despite early interest from Polydor, the band signed with EMI, with a £5,000 advance. Boyd was not included in the deal.;

"Arnold Layne" became Pink Floyd's (the definite article seems to have been dropped from the band's name at some point in 1967) first single, released on 11 March 1967. Its references to cross-dressing saw it banned by several radio stations, but some creative manipulation at the shops which supplied sales figures to the music industry meant that it peaked in the UK charts at number 20. All four members of the band had by then abandoned their studies or jobs, and they upgraded their ageing Bedford van to a Ford Transit, using it to travel to over 200 gigs in 1967 (a tenfold increase on the previous year). They were joined by road manager Peter Wynne Willson, with whom Barrett had previously shared a flat. Willson updated the band's lighting rig, with some innovative ideas including the use of polarisers, mirrors, and stretched condoms. "See Emily Play" was the group's second single and it was released on 16 June. It was premièred at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London in May that year, where the band also used a device called an Azimuth co-ordinator. They performed on the BBC's Look of the Week, where an erudite and engaging Waters and Barrett faced rigorous questioning from Hans Keller. The single fared slightly better than "Arnold Layne", and after two weeks was at number 17 in the charts. It was mimed for the BBC's Top Of The Pops, to which they returned after the single climbed to number five, but a scheduled third appearance was cancelled when Barrett refused to perform.

It was about this time the rest of the band first noticed changes in Barrett's behaviour. By early 1967 he was regularly using LSD, and at an earlier show in Holland Mason observed him to be "completely distanced from everything going on, whether simply tripping or suffering from a more organic neural disturbance I still have no idea."

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

Pink Floyd's contract with EMI had been negotiated by their agent, Bryan Morrison, and EMI producer Norman Smith. They were obliged to record their first album at EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London. There they experimented with musique concrète, and were at one point invited to watch The Beatles record "Lovely Rita". Although in his 2005 autobiography Mason recalled that the sessions were relatively trouble-free, Smith disagreed, stating that Barrett was unresponsive to his suggestions and constructive criticism. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn was released in August 1967, and Pink Floyd continued to draw huge crowds at the UFO Club, but Barrett's deterioration was by then giving them serious concern. The rest of the band initially hoped that his erratic behaviour would be a passing phase, but others, including Jenner and June Child, were more realistic:

I found him in the dressing room and he was so ... gone. Roger Waters and I got him on his feet, we got him out to the stage ... and of course the audience went spare because they loved him. The band started to play and Syd just stood there. He had his guitar around his neck and his arms just hanging down.

To their consternation, the band were forced to cancel their appearance at the prestigious National Jazz and Blues Festival, and informed the music press that Barrett was suffering from nervous exhaustion. Jenner and Waters arranged for Barrett to see a psychiatrist, a meeting the frontman did not attend, and a stay in Formentera with Sam Hutt, a doctor well-established in the underground music scene, led to no visible improvement. A few dates in September were followed by the band's first tour of the United States. Blackhill's late application for work permits forced the band to cancel several dates,; and Barrett's condition grew steadily worse. He detuned his guitar during a performance at the Winterland Ballroom, causing the strings to come off, and during a recording for The Pat Boone Show he confounded the director by miming the song perfectly during the rehearsal, and then standing motionless during the take. King quickly curtailed the band's US visit, sending them home on the next flight.

Shortly after their return from the US the band supported Jimi Hendrix's tour of England, but Barrett's depression worsened the longer the tour continued, and his absence on one occasion forced the band to book David O'List as his replacement. Barrett's position as frontman was becoming less secure. Wynne Willson left his role as lighting manager and allied himself with the guitarist. Pink Floyd released the single "Apples and Oranges" in November 1967 in the UK (although not in the US). However, for the rest of the band Barrett's condition had reached a crisis point, and they responded by adding a new member to their line-up.

Classic lineup (1968–1979)

Gilmour replaces Barrett

In December 1967, the band asked David Gilmour to become the fifth member of Pink Floyd, and Gilmour accepted. Barrett reluctantly agreed to Gilmour's addition to Pink Floyd. Barrett had recently suggested adding four new members: in the words of Waters, "two freaks he'd met somewhere. One of them played the banjo, the other the saxophone ...  a couple of chick singers". Gilmour was already acquainted with Barrett, having studied together at Cambridge Tech in the early 1960s. The two had performed at lunchtimes together with guitars and harmonicas, and later hitch-hiked and busked their way around the south of France. In 1965, while a member of Joker's Wild, Gilmour had watched The Tea Set. Steve O'Rourke (an assistant to Bryan Morrison) gave Gilmour a room at his house and a salary of £30 per week. Gilmour immediately went out and bought a custom-made yellow Fender Stratocaster from a music shop in Cambridge (the instrument became one of Gilmour's favourite guitars throughout his career with Pink Floyd), and in January 1968 he was announced as the band's newest member. To the general public he was then the second guitarist, and the fifth member of Pink Floyd, and the group originally intended to keep Barrett in the group as a non-performing songwriter.;; ; ; According to Jenner, "The idea was that Dave would be Syd's dep. and cover for his eccentricities. And when that got to be not workable, Syd was just going to write. Just to try to keep him involved, but in a way where the others could work and function." One of Gilmour's first duties was to pretend to play a guitar on an "Apples and Oranges" promotional film. In a demonstration of his frustration at being effectively sidelined, Barrett tried to teach the band a new song, "Have You Got It Yet?", but changed the structure on each performance—making it impossible for them to learn.

Working with Barrett eventually proved too difficult. Matters came to a head on the way to a performance in Southampton. When somebody in the van asked if they should collect Barrett, the response was "No, fuck it, let's not bother". Waters later admitted "He was our friend, but most of the time we now wanted to strangle him". In early March 1968 Pink Floyd met with Peter Jenner and Andrew King of Blackhill Enterprises, business partners at the time, to discuss the band's future. Barrett agreed to leave Pink Floyd and Pink Floyd "agreed to Blackhill's entitlement in perpetuity" with regard to "past activities".; ; ; Pink Floyd's partnership with Peter Jenner and Andrew King was dissolved in March 1968;; ; ; ; Jenner and King, who believed Barrett to be the creative genius of Pink Floyd, decided to represent him and end their relationship with Pink Floyd. Bryan Morrison then agreed that Steve O'Rourke should become Pink Floyd's manager. The formal announcement about the departure of Barrett was made on 6 April 1968,; ; ; although for a short period after his de facto removal, Barrett still turned up to the occasional gig, apparently confused as to what was happening. Barrett had been their main songwriter, and Gilmour mimed to his voice on the group's European television appearances, but while playing on the university circuit Waters and Wright created their own new material, such as "It Would Be So Nice" and "Careful With That Axe, Eugene". They were joined by road manager Peter Watts before touring Europe in 1968.

A Saucerful of Secrets

For their second studio album, the band returned with Smith to Abbey Road Studios. Several songs featuring Barrett had already been laid down, including "Jugband Blues" (his final contribution to their discography). Waters contributed three songs, "Let There Be More Light", "Corporal Clegg", and "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" (which includes guitar work by Gilmour and Barrett). Wright composed "See-Saw" and "Remember a Day". Encouraged by Smith, some of the new material was recorded at their homes, continuing the type of experimentation seen on The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Smith remained unconvinced by their musical style, but when Mason struggled to perform on "Remember a Day", he stepped in as his replacement. Wright recalled Smith's attitude about the sessions, "Norman gave up on the second album ... he was forever saying things like, 'You can't do twenty minutes of this ridiculous noise.'" Neither Waters nor Mason could read music, so to create the album's title track, "A Saucerful of Secrets", they invented their own system of notation; Gilmour later described this as looking "... like an architectural diagram".

A Saucerful of Secrets was released in June that year. The album cover was designed by Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis. Record Mirror urged listeners to "forget it as background music to a party", and John Peel claimed that the album was " a religious experience...". NME, however, viewed the title track as "...long and boring, and has little to warrant its monotonous direction". Upon the album's release Pink Floyd performed at the first free Hyde Park concert (organised by Blackhill Enterprises), alongside Roy Harper and Jethro Tull. The band considered Morrison's assistant, Steve O'Rourke, as a "great deal-maker", whose business acumen overshadowed his lack of interest in aesthetic matters, and when Morrison sold his business to NEMS Enterprises O'Rourke became the band's personal manager. This also enabled the band to take complete control of their artistic outlook. They returned to the US for their first major tour, accompanied by Soft Machine and The Who.


In 1968 the band recorded the score for the film The Committee. Just before Christmas 1968 they released "Point Me At The Sky", which was no more successful than the two singles they had released since "See Emily Play", and which for several years remained the band's last single. In 1969 they recorded the score for Barbet Schroeder's film More. The soundtrack proved important; not only did it pay well, but along with A Saucerful of Secrets the material they created became part of their live shows for some time thereafter. A tour of the UK ended at the Royal Festival Hall in July 1969, during which an electric shock caused by poor earthing sent Gilmour flying across the stage. The performances, built around two long pieces called The Man and The Journey, were backed with performance art created by artist Peter Dockley, and some of the sound effects were later used on 1970's "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast". While composing the soundtrack for Zabriskie Point for director Michelangelo Antonioni, the band stayed at a luxury hotel in Rome. Waters has since claimed that but for Antonioni's continuous changes to the music, the work could have been completed in less than a week. Eventually he used only three of their recordings, in addition to material from the Grateful Dead, The Youngbloods, Patti Page, and the Rolling Stones. One of the pieces turned down by Antonioni, called "The Violent Sequence", later became "Us and Them", included on Pink Floyd's 1973 The Dark Side of the Moon. The band also worked on the soundtrack for a proposed cartoon series called Rollo, but a lack of funds meant that it was never produced. Waters also scored the soundtrack to the 1970 film The Body, with Ron Geesin.

Ummagumma and Atom Heart Mother

Roger waters leeds 1970.jpgthumbuprightleftRoger Waters performing with Pink Floyd at Leeds University in 1970

Ummagumma presented a departure from their previous work, containing barely any new compositions. Released as a double-LP on EMI's Harvest label, the first two sides contained live performances, recorded at Manchester College of Commerce and at Mother's Club in Birmingham. The second LP contained a single experimental contribution from each band member. Ummagumma was released to positive reviews, in October 1969. Ummagumma was quickly followed by 1970's Atom Heart Mother. The band's previous LPs were recorded using a four-track system, but Atom Heart Mother was their first eight-track album. An early version was premièred in France in January, but disagreements over the mix prompted the hiring of Ron Geesin to work out the sound issues. Geesin worked for about a month to improve the score, but with little creative input from the band production was troublesome; it was eventually completed with the aid of John Aldiss. Norman Smith was credited as an executive producer, and the album marked his final contribution to the band's discography. Gilmour is generally dismissive of Atom Heart Mother, once describing it as "a load of rubbish", although in 2001 he said it "was a good thing to have attempted, but I don't really think the attempt comes off that well". Waters was similarly critical, once claiming that he would not mind if it were "thrown into the dustbin and never listened to by anyone ever again." Atom Heart Mother was hugely successful in the UK, and was premièred at the Bath Festival on 27 June 1970. In 1971 Pink Floyd took second place in a readers poll by Melody Maker and for the first time were making a profit. In New Orleans, the theft of equipment worth about $40,000 almost crippled the band's finances, but although the local police were unhelpful, hours after the band notified the FBI the equipment was returned. Mason and Wright became fathers and bought homes in London while Gilmour, still single, moved to a 19th-century farm in Essex. Waters installed a home recording studio at his house in Islington, in a converted tool-shed at the back of his garden.


Returning from touring Atom Heart Mother, at the start of 1971 the band began work on new material.; Lacking a central theme they attempted several largely unproductive experiments; engineer John Leckie described the sessions as often beginning in the afternoon, and ending early the next morning, "during which time nothing would get done. There was no record company contact whatsoever, except when their label manager would show up now and again with a couple of bottles of wine and a couple of joints." The band spent long periods working on simple sounds, or a particular guitar riff. They also spent several days at Air Studios, attempting to create music using a variety of household objects, a project which would be revisited between The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here. Meddles production was spread over a considerable period of time; the band recorded in the first half of April, but in the latter half played at Doncaster and Norwich before returning to record at the end of the month. In May they split their time between sessions at Abbey Road, and rehearsals and concerts across Great Britain, and June and July were spent mainly performing at venues across Europe. August was spent in the far east and Australia, and September in Europe.;

Meddle was released on 30 October 1971 in the US, and 13 November in the UK, while the band were touring in the US. Rolling Stone's Jean-Charles Costa wrote "Meddle not only confirms lead guitarist David Gilmour's emergence as a real shaping force with the group, it states forcefully and accurately that the group is well into the growth track again", and NME called it "an exceptionally good album". Melody Maker's Michael Watts was underwhelmed, claiming the album was "a soundtrack to a non-existent movie" and shrugged it off as "so much sound and fury, signifying nothing". Meddle is sometimes considered to be a transitional album between the Barrett-influenced band and the modern Pink Floyd.

The group's other releases around this period, More and Zabriskie Point, were soundtracks, and Atom Heart Mother was influenced as much by Ron Geesin and the session artists as it was by the band. The band again worked with Barbet Schroeder on the film La Vallée, for which a soundtrack album was released, called Obscured by Clouds. The material was composed in about a week, at the Château d'Hérouville near Paris, and upon its release was their first to break into the top 50 on the US Billboard chart. At about the same time the band also produced the compilation album Relics.

The Dark Side of the Moon

DarkSideOfTheMoon1973.jpgrightthumbalt=A monochrome image of members of the band. The photograph is taken from a distance, and is bisected horizontally by the forward edge of the stage. Each band member and his equipment is illuminated from above by bright spotlights, also visible. A long-haired man holds a guitar and sings into a microphone on the left of the image. Central, another man is seated behind a large drumkit. Two men on the right of the image hold a saxophone or a bass guitar and appear to be looking in each other's general direction. In the foreground, silhouetted, are the heads of the audience.A live performance The Dark Side of the Moon at Earls Court, shortly after its release in 1973. (l-r) David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Dick Parry, Roger Waters The band's next album, titled The Dark Side of the Moon (an allusion to lunacy, rather than astronomy), was recorded with EMI staff engineer Alan Parsons at Abbey Road, between May 1972 and January 1973. The band spent much of 1972 touring the new material, and filmed studio footage for Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii, before beginning a tour of Europe in 1972. Parsons was assisted late in the album's production by producer Chris Thomas, who became responsible for significant changes such as the echo used on "Us and Them". The album's packaging was designed by Hipgnosis, and bore George Hardie's iconic refracting prism on the cover. Since Barrett's departure the burden of lyrical composition had fallen mostly on Waters' shoulders, and he is therefore credited as the author of the album's lyrics.

The Dark Side of the Moon was released in March 1973, and became an instant chart success in Britain and throughout Western Europe. The critical reaction was generally enthusiastic. Melody Makers Roy Hollingworth described side one as " utterly confused with itself it was difficult to follow", but praised side two, writing "The songs, the sounds, the rhythms were solid and sound, Saxophone hit the air, the band rocked and rolled, and then gushed and tripped away into the night." In his 1973 album review for Rolling Stone magazine, Lloyd Grossman wrote: "a fine album with a textural and conceptual richness that not only invites, but demands involvement." Throughout March 1973 it featured as part of their US tour, including a midnight performance at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on 17 March.

The success of the album brought previously unknown wealth to all four members of the band. Richard Wright and Roger Waters bought large country houses, and Nick Mason became a collector of upmarket cars. Much of the album's early stateside success has been attributed to the efforts of Pink Floyd's US record company, Capitol Records. Newly appointed chairman Bhaskar Menon reversed the relatively poor performance of the band's previous US releases, but, disenchanted with Capitol, the band and manager O'Rourke negotiated a new contract with Columbia Records. The Dark Side of the Moon was the last album that Pink Floyd were obliged to release before formally signing a new contract. Menon's efforts to secure a contract renewal with Pink Floyd were in vain, and the band signed for Columbia with a reported advance fee of $1M ($ today), while in Britain and Europe they continued to be represented by Harvest Records.

Wish You Were Here

Pink Floyd returned to the studio in January 1975. Alan Parsons had declined the band's offer to continue working with them, and instead became successful in his own right with The Alan Parsons Project, and so the band turned to Brian Humphries, with whom they had already worked on More. The group initially found it difficult to devise any new material, especially as the success of Dark Side of the Moon had left all four physically and emotionally drained. Richard Wright later described these early sessions as "falling within a difficult period", and Waters found them "torturous". Gilmour was more interested in improving the band's existing material. Mason's marriage was failing, bringing on in him a general malaise and sense of apathy, which interfered with his drumming.

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 it was all ... 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 ...

Despite the lack of creative direction, after several weeks, Waters began to visualise a new concept. During 1974, they had sketched out three new compositions, and had performed them at a series of concerts in Europe. These new compositions became the starting point for a new album, whose opening four-note guitar phrase, composed entirely by accident by Gilmour, reminded Waters of the lingering ghost of former band-member Syd Barrett. The songs provided an apt summary of the rise and fall of their former bandmate: "Because I wanted to get as close as possible to what I felt ... that sort of indefinable, inevitable melancholy about the disappearance of Syd." While the band were working on the album, Barrett made an impromptu visit to the studio, during which, Thorgerson recalled, he "sat round and talked for a bit but he wasn't really there." He had changed in appearance, and the band did not initially recognise him. Waters was reportedly deeply upset by the experience. Barrett eventually left without saying goodbye, and none of the band members ever saw him again. Besides a run-in between Roger and Syd a Couple years after. Material also contained barely veiled attacks on the music business. "Raving and Drooling" and "Gotta Be Crazy" had no place in the new concept, and were set aside. Storm Thorgerson concealed the album artwork with a dark-coloured shrink-wrap. Inside, the cover image was inspired by the idea that people tend to conceal their true feelings, for fear of "getting burned", and thus two businessmen were pictured shaking hands, one man on fire.

Much of Wish You Were Here was premièred on 5 July 1975 at an open-air music festival at Knebworth, before being released in September that year. It reached number one in Britain and the US, along with positive reviews; Robert Christgau wrote: "... the music is not only simple and attractive, with the synthesizer used mostly for texture and the guitar breaks for comment, but it actually achieves some of the symphonic dignity (and cross-referencing) that The Dark Side of the Moon simulated so ponderously."


Battersea Power Station in London.jpgrightthumbBattersea Power Station featured in the cover image of Pink Floyd's 1977 album, Animals.

Following the Knebworth concert, the band bought a three-storey block of church halls at 35 Britannia Row in Islington, and set about converting the building into a recording studio and storage facility. Its construction took up most of 1975, and in 1976 they recorded their eighth studio album there.

Animals was the child of another Waters concept; loosely based on George Orwell's political fable Animal Farm, its lyrics described various classes of society as dogs, pigs, and sheep. Brian Humphries was again brought in to engineer the album, which was completed in December 1976. Apart from its critique of society, the album was also in part a response to the punk rock movement, which grew in popularity as a nihilistic statement against the prevailing social and political conditions, and also a reaction to the general complacency and nostalgia that appeared to surround rock music. Pink Floyd was an obvious target for punk musicians, notably Johnny Rotten, who wore a Pink Floyd t-shirt on which the words "I hate" had been written in ink. Drummer Nick Mason later stated that he welcomed the "Punk Rock insurrection" and viewed it as a welcome return to the underground scene from which Pink Floyd had grown. In 1977 he produced The Damned's second album at Britannia Row. Hipgnosis took credit for the packaging but the final concept was designed by Waters, who chose an image of the ageing Battersea Power Station. The band commissioned a pig-shaped balloon, and photography began on 2 December. Inclement weather delayed filming and the balloon broke free of its moorings in the winds. It disappeared into the sky, eventually landing in Kent where it was recovered by a local farmer, reportedly furious that it had "apparently scared his cows." Shooting resumed but a decision was made instead to superimpose the image of the pig onto the photograph of the power station.

The division of royalties became a sore topic during production of the album. Royalties were accorded on a per-song basis, and although Gilmour was largely responsible for "Dogs"—which took up almost the entire first side of the album—he received less than Waters, who also contributed the two-part "Pigs on the Wing", which contains references to Waters' romantic involvement with Carolyne Anne Christie. Gilmour was also distracted by the birth of his first child, and contributed little else toward the album. Similarly, neither Mason nor Wright contributed much toward Animals (the first Pink Floyd album not to contain a writing credit for Wright); Wright had marital problems, and his relationship with Waters was also suffering: Wright recalled the recording of Animals:

Animals was a slog. It wasn't a fun record to make, but this was when Roger really started to believe that he was the sole writer for the band. He believed that it was only because of him that the band was still going, and obviously, when he started to develop his ego trips, the person he would have his conflicts with would be me.

The album was released on 23 January 1977, and entered the UK charts at number two, and number three in the US. NME called the album "... one of the most extreme, relentless, harrowing and downright iconoclastic hunks of music to have been made available this side of the sun ...", and Melody Makers Karl Dallas wrote "...  uncomfortable taste of reality in a medium that has become in recent years, increasingly soporific ..."

Soldier Field Chicago aerial view.jpg rightthumb Soldier Field Chicago, one of the larger venues in which Pink Floyd performed during their In the Flesh tour in 1977.

The album became the subject material for the band's In the Flesh tour, during which early signs of discord became apparent. This tour was Pink Floyd's first experience with playing in large stadiums, and the size of the venues was an issue. Waters began arriving at each venue alone, and departing immediately after the performance was complete, and Gilmour's wife Ginger did not get along with Waters' new girlfriend. On one occasion, Wright flew back to England threatening to leave the band. At one location, a small group of noisy and excited fans in the front row of the audience irritated Waters so much that he spat at one of them. Waters was not the only person who felt depressed about playing in such large venues, as that same night Gilmour refused to perform the band's usual twelve-bar blues encore. The end of the tour was a low point for Gilmour, who felt that the band had by then achieved the success they sought, and that there was nothing else to look forward to.

The Wall

About this time, Gilmour and Wright released their début solo albums: David Gilmour and Wet Dream. Both albums sold poorly, a situation only exacerbated by the loss of much of the band's accumulated wealth. In 1976, the band had become involved with financial advisers Norton Warburg Group (NWG). NWG became the band's collecting agents and handled all financial planning, for an annual fee of about £300,000. Between £1.6 million and £3.3 million of the band's money was invested in high-risk venture capital schemes, primarily to reduce the band's exposure to high UK taxes. It soon became obvious that the band was still losing money. Not only did NWG invest in failing businesses, they also left the band liable for tax bills as high as 83 percent of their income. They eventually terminated their relationship with NWG, demanding the return of any cash not yet invested, which at that time amounted to £860,000 (they received £740,000).

In the midst of this, in July 1978, Waters presented the band with two new ideas. The first was a 90-minute demo given the provisional title Bricks in the Wall, and the other would later become Waters' first solo album, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking. Although both Mason and Gilmour were initially cautious, the former (inspired by the recent spitting incident) was chosen to be their next album. Bob Ezrin was brought in as co-producer, and he wrote a forty-page script for the new album. The story was based on the central character of Pink—a character inspired by Waters's childhood experiences—the most notable of which was the death of his father in World War II. This first 'brick in the wall' led to more problems, and Pink would become so drug-addled and worn down by the music industry that he would transform into a megalomaniac, a development inspired partly by the decline of Syd Barrett. At the end of the album, the increasingly fascist audience would watch as Pink "tore down the wall", once again becoming a normal caring person.

To record The Wall, engineer Brian Humphries, emotionally drained by his five years with the band, was replaced by James Guthrie. In March 1979, however, the band's critical financial situation demanded that they leave the UK for a year or more, and recording was moved to the Super Bear Studios near Nice.; The band were rarely in the studio together, but Waters' relationship with Wright broke down completely. Wright was given a trial period as a producer, but his working methods and lack of creative input caused considerable tension. Wright eventually stopped coming into the studio during the day, and worked only at nights. With a failing marriage and depression, he had his own problems, but matters came to a head when Columbia offered the band a better deal in exchange for a Christmas release of the album. Waters increased their workload accordingly, but Wright refused to cut short his family holiday in Rhodes, stating, "The rest of the band's children were young enough to stay with them in France but mine were older and had to go to school. I was missing my children terribly." In Inside Out (2005), Mason says that Waters called O'Rourke, who was travelling to the US on the QE2, and told him to have Wright out of the band by the time Waters arrived in LA to mix the album. In Comfortably Numb (2008), however, the author states that Waters called O'Rourke and asked him to tell Wright about the new recording arrangements and that Wright's response was apparently "Tell Roger to fuck off." Wright disagreed with this recollection, stating that the band had agreed to record only through the spring and early summer and that he had no idea they were so far behind schedule. Waters was stunned and felt that Wright was not doing enough to help complete the album. Gilmour was on holiday in Dublin when he learned what was happening, and tried to calm the situation. He later spoke with Wright and gave him his support, but he reminded him about his lack of input on the album. Waters was insisting that Wright leave, or else he would refuse to release The Wall. Several days later, worried about their financial situation and the failing interpersonal relationships within the band, Wright quit. Rumours persisted that Wright had a cocaine addiction (something he always disputed), and although his name did not appear anywhere on the finished album, he was employed as a paid musician on the band's subsequent The Wall tour.; Production of the album continued and by August 1979 the running order was largely complete. Wright completed his duties, aided by session musicians. Toward the end of The Wall sessions, Mason left the final mix to Waters, Gilmour, Ezrin, and Guthrie, and travelled to New York to record his début solo album, Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports.

The album was promoted by a rare Pink Floyd single—"Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)"—which topped the charts in the US and the UK. A National Endowment for the Arts and RIAA poll named "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)" one of the 365 Songs of the Century in 2001. The Wall was released on 30 November 1979, and topped the Billboard charts for fifteen weeks. The Wall ranks #4 all time on RIAA's list of the Top 100 albums, with 23 million certified units sold in the US alone. It remains one of the band's best-selling albums.; The cover is one of their most minimalist designs, with a simple white brick wall, and no logo or band name. It was also their first album cover since The Piper at the Gates of Dawn not designed by Hipgnosis.

The band went on tour with an elaborate stage show. Gerald Scarfe was employed to produce a series of animations for the subsequent The Wall Tour, including a series of nightmarish visions of the future such as a dove of peace exploding to reveal an eagle. Large inflatable puppets were also created for the live shows. On tour, relationships within the band were at an all-time low. Their four Winnebagos were parked in a circle, with the doors facing away from the centre. Waters used his own vehicle to arrive at the venue, and stayed in separate hotels from the rest of the band. Wright returned as a paid musician, and was the only 'member' of the band to profit from the venture, which lost about $600,000.

The Wall concept also spawned a film. The original plan was to be a mixture of live concert footage and animated scenes. However, the concert footage proved impractical to film. Alan Parker agreed to direct, and took a different approach. The animated sequences would remain, but scenes would be acted by professional actors, with no dialogue. Waters was screen-tested but quickly discarded, and Bob Geldof was asked to take the role of Pink. Geldof was initially disdainful, condemning The Walls storyline as "bollocks". He was eventually won over by the prospect of being involved in a major film and receiving a large payment for his work. Waters took a six-week holiday during filming and returned to find that Parker had used his creative license to change parts of the film to his liking. Waters was irate, the two fought, and Parker threatened to walk out. Gilmour pleaded with Waters to reconsider his stance, reminding the bassist that he and the other band members were shareholders and directors and could out-vote him on such decisions. A modified soundtrack was also created for some of the film's songs. The Wall was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1982, released in the UK in July 1982, and released internationally through the rest of 1982.; ;

Waters-led era (1978–83)

The Final Cut

A new musical project with the working title Spare Bricks was originally conceived as the soundtrack album for Pink Floyd The Wall, but with the onset of the Falklands War, Waters changed direction, and began writing new material. Waters saw Margaret Thatcher's response to the invasion of the islands as jingoistic and unnecessary, and he dedicated the new album—provisionally titled Requiem for a Post-War Dream—to his dead father. Immediately, there were arguments between Waters and Gilmour, who felt that the album should contain all new material, rather than songs not considered good enough for The Wall. Waters felt that, lately, Gilmour had contributed little to the band's lyrical repertoire. Michael Kamen (a contributor to the orchestral sections of The Wall) mediated between the two, and also performed the role traditionally occupied by the then absent Richard Wright. James Guthrie was the studio engineer, and Mason was aided by two session drummers. Recording took place in eight studios, including Gilmour's home studio at Hookend Manor and Waters' home studio at East Sheen. The tension within the band grew. Waters and Gilmour worked separately (itself not unusual) but Gilmour began to feel the strain, sometimes barely maintaining his composure. Waters lost his temper, ranting at Kamen, who in boredom during one recording session, had started writing "I Must Not Fuck Sheep"; repeatedly on a notepad in the studio's control room. After a final confrontation, Gilmour's name as producer was removed from the credit list, reflecting what Waters felt was his lack of song writing contributions. Mason's contributions were minimal, as he busied himself recording sound effects for an experimental new Holophonic system to be used on the album. With marital problems of his own, he remained a distant figure. At this time Hipgnosis had disbanded, but again Thorgerson was passed over for the cover design, Waters choosing to instead design it himself. His brother-in-law, Willie Christie, was commissioned to take photographs for the album cover. The Final Cut was released in March 1983, going straight to #1 in the UK, and #6 in the US. Waters is credited with writing all the lyrics as well as all the music on the album.; At the time Gilmour did not have any material for the album, so he asked Waters to delay the recording, until he could write some songs, Waters refused. Gilmour later commented, "I'm certainly guilty at times of being lazy ... but he wasn't right about wanting to put some duff tracks on The Final Cut." According to Mason, after power struggles within the band and creative arguments about the album, Gilmour's name "disappeared" from the production credits, though he retained his pay.; ; "Not Now John" was released as a single, with its chorus of "Fuck all that" bowdlerised to "Stuff all that", Melody Maker declared it to be "... a milestone in the history of awfulness ...". Rolling Stone magazine gave the album five stars, with Kurt Loder calling it, "a superlative achievement on several levels ..." and "art rock's crowning masterpiece".; Loder viewed the album as "... essentially a Roger Waters solo album ...;

"Spent force"

David gilmour brussels 1984.jpgrightthumbGilmour performing in Brussels in 1984, on his About Face tour

Gilmour recorded his second solo album About Face in 1984, and used it to express his feelings about a range of topics, from the murder of John Lennon, to his relationship with Waters. He later stated that he also used the album to distance himself from Pink Floyd. Soon after, Waters began touring his new solo album, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking. Richard Wright meanwhile formed Zee with Dave Harris, and recorded Identity, which went almost unnoticed upon its release. Wright was also in the midst of a difficult divorce, and said later that it was "... made at a time in my life when I was lost." Mason released his second solo album Profiles in August 1985, which featured a contribution from Gilmour on "Lie for a Lie".

After Waters declared Pink Floyd "a spent force", he contacted O'Rourke to discuss settling future royalty payments. O'Rourke felt obliged to inform Mason and Gilmour, and as a result Waters was angered and wanted to dismiss him as the band's manager. Waters then went to the High Court to prevent the Pink Floyd name from ever being used again. His lawyers discovered that the partnership had never been formally confirmed, and Waters returned to the High Court in an attempt to gain a veto over further use of the band's name. Gilmour's team responded by issuing a carefully worded press release affirming that Pink Floyd would continue to exist. However, Gilmour later told a Sunday Times reporter that "Roger is a dog in the manger and I'm going to fight him ...".

Waters wrote to EMI and Columbia, declared his intention to leave the group, and asked them to release him from his contractual obligations. Gilmour believed that Waters left to hasten the demise of Pink Floyd. Waters later stated that by not making new albums, Pink Floyd would be in breach of contract—which would mean that royalty payments would be suspended—and that he was effectively forced from the band as the other members threatened to sue him. With the case still pending, Waters dismissed O'Rourke and employed Peter Rudge to manage his affairs. He went on to record for the soundtrack for When the Wind Blows, as well as a second solo album, Radio K.A.O.S..

Gilmour-led era (1986–1995)

A Momentary Lapse of Reason

Astoria (Péniche).jpgrightthumbAstoria

As Radio K.A.O.S. was releasing in June 1987, Gilmour was recruiting musicians for what would become Pink Floyd's first album without Waters—A Momentary Lapse of Reason. Artists such as Jon Carin and Phil Manzanera worked on the album, and they were also joined by Bob Ezrin. Gilmour was also contacted by Wright's new wife. She had heard that he was working on new material and asked if Wright could contribute. Gilmour considered the request; there were several legal obstacles to Wright's re-admittance to the band, but after a meeting in Hampstead he was brought back in. Gilmour later admitted in an interview with author Karl Dallas that Wright's presence "would make us stronger legally and musically". He was employed as a paid musician, on a weekly wage of $11,000. The album was recorded on Gilmour's houseboat the Astoria, moored along the River Thames, Andy Jackson (a colleague of Guthrie) was brought in as an engineer. Gilmour experimented with various songwriters such as Eric Stewart and Roger McGough, but eventually settled on Anthony Moore as a lyricist. Gilmour would later admit that the new project was difficult without Waters's presence. Nick Mason was concerned that he was too out of practice to perform on the album, and was replaced on occasion by session musicians. He instead busied himself with the album's sound effects. In a change from previous Floyd albums, A Momentary Lapse was recorded onto a 32-channel Mitsubishi digital recorder, and used MIDI synchronisation with the aid of an Apple Macintosh computer. Waters on one occasion visited Astoria to see Ezrin, along with Christie, by then his wife. As he was still a shareholder and director of Pink Floyd music, he was able to block any decisions made by his former bandmates. Recording moved to Mayfair and Audio International Studios, and then to Los Angeles—"It was fantastic because ... the lawyers couldn't call in the middle of recording unless they were calling in the middle of the night."

The album was released in September 1987. Storm Thorgerson, whose creative input was absent from The Wall and The Final Cut, was employed to design the cover. In order to drive home the message that Waters had left the band, a group photograph was — for the first time since Meddle — included on the inside of the cover. The album went straight to number three in the United Kingdom and United States—held from the top spot by Michael Jackson's Bad, and Whitesnake's eponymous album. Although Gilmour initially viewed the album as a return to the band's best form, Wright would later disagree, stating "Roger's criticisms are fair. It's not a band album at all." Q Magazines view was that the album was primarily a Gilmour solo effort. Waters said, "I think it's very facile, but a quite clever forgery ... The songs are poor in general; the lyrics I can't quite believe. Gilmour's lyrics are very third-rate."

The associated tour had a rocky start. Waters tried to block a proposed Pink Floyd tour, by contacting every promoter in the US, threatening to sue if they used the Pink Floyd name. Gilmour and Mason funded the startup costs (Mason, separated from his wife, used his Ferrari 250 GTO as collateral). Some promoters were offended by Waters's threat, and several months later, tickets went on sale in Toronto and were sold out within hours. Early rehearsals for the upcoming tour were chaotic, with Mason and Wright completely out of practice; realising he'd taken on too much work, Gilmour asked Bob Ezrin to take charge. As the new band toured throughout North America, Waters' Radio K.A.O.S. tour was, on occasion, close by. The bassist had banned any members of Pink Floyd from attending his concerts, which were generally in smaller venues than those housing his former band's performances. Waters issued a writ for copyright fees for the band's use of the flying pig, and Pink Floyd responded by attaching a huge set of male genitalia to its underside to distinguish it from his design.

However, by November 1987 Waters appeared to admit defeat, and on 23 December a legal settlement was finally reached. Mason and Gilmour were allowed use of the Pink Floyd name in perpetuity, and Waters would be granted, amongst other things, The Wall. The bickering continued, however, with Waters issuing the occasional slight against his former friends, and Gilmour and Mason responding by making light of Waters's claims that they would fail without him. The Sun printed a story about Waters, whom it claimed had paid an artist to create 150 toilet rolls with Gilmour's face on every sheet; Waters denied the story, but joked that he thought it was a good idea.

The Division Bell

For several years thereafter the three members of Pink Floyd busied themselves with personal pursuits, such as filming and competing in the Carrera Panamericana (where Gilmour and O'Rourke crashed), and later recording a soundtrack for the film. Gilmour divorced Ginger, and Mason married actress Annette Lynton. In January 1993 the band began working on a new album. They returned to a then remodelled Britannia Row Studios, where for several days Gilmour, Mason, and Wright worked collaboratively, ad-libbing new material. After about two weeks the band had enough ideas to start creating new songs. Bob Ezrin returned to work on the album, and production moved to Astoria, where from February to May 1993 the band worked on about twenty-five ideas. Contractually, Wright was still not a full member of the band: "It came very close to a point where I wasn't going to do the album", a situation which clearly upset the keyboardist. However, he was given his first songwriting credit on a Pink Floyd album since 1975's Wish You Were Here. Another songwriter credited on the album was Gilmour's new girlfriend, Polly Samson. She helped write "High Hopes" with Gilmour—along with several other tracks—a situation which, though initially tense, according to Ezrin "pulled the whole album together". She also helped Gilmour, who, following his divorce, had developed a cocaine habit. Michael Kamen was brought in to work on the album's various string arrangements, and Dick Parry and Chris Thomas also returned. Keen to avoid competing against other album releases (as had happened with A Momentary Lapse) the band set a deadline of April 1994, at which point they would begin touring again. The album title was chosen by writer Douglas Adams, and Storm Thorgerson once again provided the cover artwork. Thorgerson also provided six new pieces of film for the upcoming tour.

The band spent three weeks rehearsing in a hangar at Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino, CaliforniaVarga, George. "Pink Floyd's Hush-Hush Rehearsals Heard Loudly in San Bernardino" The San Diego Union-Tribune 30 March 1994: E6 before opening on 29 March 1994 in Miami with an almost identical crew to that used for their Momentary Lapse of Reason tour. They played a mixture of Pink Floyd favourites, but later changed their setlist to include The Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety. The band also renewed their acquaintance with Peter Wynne Willson. Waters declined the band's invitation to join them as the tour reached Europe, later expressing his annoyance that some Floyd songs were again being performed in large venues. A 1,200 capacity stand collapsed at Earls Court, during the European leg of the tour, but with no serious injuries the performance was rescheduled.

The tour ended on 29 October and apart from a one-off reunion in 2005 during Live 8, and their performances of "Fat Old Sun" and "The Great Gig in the Sky" at the funeral of their manager Steve O'Rourke (who died on 30 October 2003), was the group's final appearance. A live album of the tour, Pulse, and a concert video, also called Pulse, were released in 1995.

Since 2005

Pink floyd live 8 london.jpgthumbRoger Waters (seen on the right) rejoined his former bandmates at Live 8

David Gilmour - live 8 - edited.jpgthumbDavid Gilmour at Live 8, 2005

On Saturday 2 July 2005 at the Live 8 concert, the classic lineup of Pink Floyd performed together on stage for the first time in over 24 years.; The reunion had been arranged by Live 8 organiser Bob Geldof, who had called Mason earlier in the year to discuss the band reuniting for Live 8. Geldof had already asked Gilmour, who had turned down the offer, and asked Mason to intercede on his behalf. Mason declined, but contacted Waters, who was immediately enthusiastic. Waters then called Geldof to discuss the event, which was at that time only a month away. About two weeks later, Waters called Gilmour—their first conversation for about two years—and the next day the latter agreed. Wright was contacted, and immediately agreed. Statements were issued to the press which stressed the unimportance of the band's problems, compared to the context of the Live 8 event. The setlist was planned at the Connaught Hotel in London, followed by three days of rehearsals at Black Island Studios. The sessions were troublesome, with minor disagreements over the style and pace of the songs they were practising. Waters wanted to use the occasion to expand the concepts he had designed, whereas Gilmour wanted to perform the songs in exactly the way the audience would expect. The final setlist and running order was decided on the eve of the concert.; Gilmour and Waters shared lead vocals. On stage, at the start of "Wish You Were Here," Waters told the audience: "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, and particularly of course for Syd." At the end of their performance Gilmour thanked the audience, and started to walk off the stage, but Waters called him back and the band shared a group hug. Images of that hug were a favourite among Sunday newspapers after Live 8. Two years after their one-off reunion Waters remarked, "I don't think any of us came out of the years from 1985 with any credit ... It was a bad, negative time. And I regret my part in that negativity." In the week following their performance there was a revival of interest in Pink Floyd. According to HMV, in the week following sales of Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd rose by 1343 per cent, while reported a significant increase in sales of The Wall. Gilmour subsequently declared that he would donate his share of profits from this sales boom to charity, and urged other artists and record companies profiting from Live 8 to do the same.

After the show Gilmour confirmed that he and Waters were on "pretty amicable terms". The band turned down a £136 million (then about $250 million) deal for a final tour. Waters did not rule out further performances, but only for a special occasion.Guitar World, April 2006 In a 2006 interview with La Repubblica, Gilmour stated that he wished to focus on solo projects, and his family, and that his appearance at Live 8 was to help reconcile his differences with Waters. In a 2006 interview, Mason stated that Pink Floyd would be willing to perform for a concert that would support peace between Israel and Palestine. Speaking of Pink Floyd's future, in 2006, Gilmour stated "who knows". David Gilmour released his third solo record, On an Island, on 6 March 2006—his 60th birthday. He began a tour of small concert venues in Europe, Canada and the US, with contributions from Wright and other musicians from the post-Waters Pink Floyd tours. Mason joined Gilmour and Wright for the final night of the tour, and played on selected dates on Waters' 2006 Europe/U.S. tour. Gilmour, Wright, and Mason's encore performances of "Wish You Were Here" and "Comfortably Numb" marked the first performance by Pink Floyd since Live 8.

Syd Barrett died on 7 July 2006, aged 60, at his home in Cambridgeshire. He was interred at Cambridge Crematorium on 18 July 2006. No Pink Floyd members attended. After Barrett's death Wright said, "The band are very naturally upset and sad to hear of Syd Barrett's death. Syd was the guiding light of the early band line-up and leaves a legacy which continues to inspire." Although Barrett had faded into obscurity over the previous 35 years, he was lauded in the national press for his contributions to music. He left over £1.25M in his will, to be divided among his immediate family, and some of his possessions and artwork were auctioned.

In September 2005 Waters released Ça Ira, an opera in three acts to a French libretto, based on the historical subject of the French Revolution. Reviews were complimentary. Rolling Stone wrote "the opera does reflect some of the man's long-term obsessions with war and peace, love and loss". 2007 saw the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd's signing to EMI, and the 40th anniversary of the release of their début album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. 2007 saw the release of Oh, by the Way, a limited edition box set containing all of their studio albums.

On 10 May 2007 Waters and Pink Floyd performed separately at the Syd Barrett tribute concert at the Barbican Centre in London. The band performed some of Barrett's hits, such as "Bike" and "Arnold Layne" at the event, which was organised by Joe Boyd and Nick Laird-Clowes. In a January 2007 interview Waters suggested he had become more open to a Pink Floyd reunion: “I would have no problem if the rest of them wanted to get together. It wouldn’t even have to be to save the world. It could be just because it would be fun. And people would love it.” Later that year Gilmour stated: "I can’t see why I would want to be going back to that old thing. It’s very retrogressive. I want to look forward, and looking back isn’t my joy." In a May 2008 interview for BBC 6Music, David Gilmour hinted that he would be in favour of another one-off show, but ruled out a full tour. Speaking to Associated Press to promote the release of his new live album, David Gilmour stated that a reunion would not happen. Gilmour said: "The rehearsals were less enjoyable. The rehearsals convinced me it wasn't something I wanted to be doing a lot of ... There have been all sorts of farewell moments in people's lives and careers which they have then rescinded, but I think I can fairly categorically say that there won't be a tour or an album again that I take part in. It isn't to do with animosity or anything like that. It's just that I've done that. I've been there, I've done it."

Richard Wright died of cancer, on 15 September 2008, aged 65. He was praised by his surviving bandmates for his influence on the overall sound of Pink Floyd.

On 10 July 2010, Roger Waters and David Gilmour performed together at a charity event for the Hoping Foundation. The event took place at Kidlington in Oxfordshire, England. The pair played to an audience of approximately 200. The event raised money for Palestinian children in order to give them a better life. Gilmour played this event in 2009, when he performed alongside Kate Moss. In return for Waters' appearance at the event, Gilmour has agreed to perform "Comfortably Numb" at one of Waters' upcoming performances of The Wall.

On 4 January 2011, Pink Floyd signed a five year record deal with EMI.


Influence and awards

Pinkfloyd.pngrightthumbPink Floyd's classic line-up. Clockwise (from top left): Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason

Pink Floyd have sold over 200 million albums worldwide,

including 74.5 million certified units in the United States of which 35.8 million albums since 1991.

The Sunday Times Rich List 2009 ranks Waters at No. 657 with an estimated wealth of £85m, Gilmour at No. 742 with £78m, and Mason at No. 1077 with £50m.

Numerous artists have been influenced by Pink Floyd's work. David Bowie has called Syd Barrett a major inspiration. A teenage The Edge (of U2 fame) bought his first delay pedal after hearing the opening to Animals,McCormick (2006), page 102 and the Pet Shop Boys paid homage to The Wall during a performance in Boston. Marillion guitarist Steve Rothery has cited Wish You Were Here as a major inspiration, and many other bands, such as the Foo Fighters or Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Mars Volta, Tool, Queensryche, Scissor Sisters, Rush, Radiohead, Gorillaz, Nine Inch Nails, Primus and the Smashing Pumpkins, some of whom have even done Pink Floyd covers, have been influenced by them.

Pink Floyd have been nominated for and won multiple awards. Technical awards include a "Best Engineered Non-Classical Album" Grammy in 1980 for The Wall and BAFTAs for 'Best Original Song' (awarded to Waters) and 'Best Sound' (awarded to James Guthrie, Eddy Joseph, Clive Winter, Graham Hartstone & Nicholas Le Messurier) in 1982 for the film. A Grammy came to them in 1995 for "Rock Instrumental Performance" on "Marooned". In 2008 Pink Floyd were awarded the Polar Music Prize for their contribution to contemporary music; Waters and Mason accepted the prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.; They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 17 January 1996 and the UK Music Hall of Fame on 16 November 2005.;

Pink Floyd was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2010.

Live performances

Pink Floyd are regarded as pioneers in the live music experience, and were renowned for their lavish stage shows, in which the performers themselves were almost secondary. Pink Floyd also set high standards in sound quality, and made use of innovative sound effects and quadraphonic speaker systems. From their earliest days they were well known for their use of visual effects, which accompanied the psychedelic rock pieces performed at venues such as the UFO Club in London. The quality of their live performances, even when pre-recorded, was considered by the band to be extremely important; they boycotted the press release of The Dark Side of the Moon as they felt presenting the album through a poor-quality PA system was not good enough. The album had been composed and refined mostly while the band toured the UK, Japan, North America, and Europe. Animals was the centrepiece for their In the Flesh tour, which began in Dortmund, and continued through Europe to the UK, and then the US. A inflatable floating pig named Algie became the inspiration for a number of pig themes used throughout the tour.

Although Pink Floyd were experienced live performers, the behaviour of the audience on their In the Flesh tour, and the sizes of the venues they played, were a powerful influence on their concept album, The Wall. The subsequent The Wall Tour featured a high wall, built from cardboard bricks, constructed between the band and the audience. Animations were projected onto the wall, and gaps allowed the audience to view various scenes in the story. Several characters from the story were realised as giant inflatables. One of the more notable elements of the tour was the performance of "Comfortably Numb". While Waters sang his opening verse, Gilmour waited in darkness, for his cue, on top of the wall. When it came, bright blue and white lights would suddenly illuminate him. Gilmour stood on a flight case on castors, a dangerous set-up supported from behind by a technician, both supported by a tall hydraulic platform.

In 1987 Pink Floyd embarked on their A Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour. Starting in Ottawa on 9 September they spent about two years touring the US, Japan, Europe, and Central Asia. In Venice, the band played to an audience of 200,000 fans at the Piazza San Marco. The resulting storm of protest over the city's lack of toilet provision, first aid, and accommodation, resulted in the resignation of Mayor Antonio Casellati and his government. At the end of the tour Pink Floyd released Delicate Sound of Thunder, and in 1989 release the Delicate Sound of Thunder concert video.

During the band's Division Bell tour, an unidentified person using the name Publius posted a message on an internet newsgroup, inviting fans to solve a riddle supposedly concealed in the new album. The veracity of the user was demonstrated when white lights in front of the stage at the Pink Floyd concert in East Rutherford spelled out the words Enigma Publius. During a televised concert at Earls Court in October 1994, the word enigma was projected in large letters on to the backdrop of the stage. Mason later acknowledged that the Publius Enigma did exist, and that it had been instigated by the record company rather than the band. As of the puzzle remains unsolved.


*The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)

*A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)

*Soundtrack from the Film More (1969)

*Ummagumma (1969)

*Atom Heart Mother (1970)

*Meddle (1971)

*Obscured by Clouds (1972)

*The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

*Wish You Were Here (1975)

*Animals (1977)

*The Wall (1979)

*The Final Cut (1983)

*A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987)

*The Division Bell (1994)

Band members

#0|5080628|Peppino di Capri

Peppino di Capri (born Giuseppe Faiella in Naples, Italy on July 27, 1939) is an Italian popular music singer, songwriter and pianist. His international hits are: "St. Tropez Twist", "Daniela", "Torna piccina", "Roberta", "Melancolía", "Freva", "L'ultimo romantico", "Un grande amore e niente piú", "Nun è peccato" and "Champagne".


Peppino began singing and playing the piano at age 4, entertaining the American army troops stationed on the island of Capri with a repertoire of American standards. After 6 years of classical studies and playing at nightclubs around Capri, Peppino and his group The Rockers released their first single, with the songs Malattia (Illness) and Nun è Peccato (It's not a sin), sung in Napoletano in 1958.

The single was an instant hit, and Peppino spent most of the following year touring. A string of hit singles soon followed, usually alternating between Italian versions of American rock'n'roll and twist songs (with some verses sung in English), and originals in Italian and Napoletano, and Peppino became one of the top acts in the country.

After performing as the opening act for The Beatles in their 1965 tour of Italy, Peppino and his group attempted, with moderate success, to break out of the Italian market. Their work was very well-received particularly in Brazil, thanks to the large Italian immigrant community in the country.

The 70s saw Peppino veer toward a more adult contemporary style of music, with a new band, the New Rockers. He won the prestigious Festival della canzone italiana (Festival of the Italian song) in 1973, with the song Un grande amore e niente più (A great love and nothing more).

The same year, he released the song that would accompany him through the rest of his career: Champagne was a big hit in Italy, Germany, Spain and Brazil.

He won the Festival della canzone italiana (San Remo Festival) again in 1976, with the song Non lo faccio più (I won't do it anymore). In 1991, he represented Italy at the Eurovision song contest, coming in 7th place with the song Comme È Ddoce 'O Mare (How sweet is the sea), sung in Napoletano.

As of 2006, Peppino di Capri is the performer with the most appearances (15) at the Festival della canzone italiana, his last appearance being in 2005, singing La Panchina (The little park bench).

San Remo Festival

Peppino di Capri won two times the San Remo Festival (in 1973 and 1976) and participated 15 times:

* 1967 Dedicato all'amore

* 1971 L'ultimo romantico

* 1973 Un grande amore e niente più (Winner)

* 1976 Non lo faccio più (Winner)

* 1980 Tu cioè...

* 1985 E mo’ e mo’

* 1987 Il sognatore

* 1988 Nun chiagnere

* 1989 Il mio pianoforte

* 1990 Evviva Maria

* 1992 Favola blues

* 1993 La voce delle stelle

* 1995 Ma che ne sai (Se non hai fatto il pianobar)

* 2001 Pioverà (Habibi ené)

* 2005 La panchina

Literary Reference

One scene of Orhan Pamuk's novel "Snow", taking place at the Turkish provincial town of Kars, includes the following:

"Through the open door of a shop which sold women's stockings, bolts of cotton, coloured pencils,batteries and cassettes, he heard once again the strains of Peppino di Capri's "Roberta". He recalled hearing it on the radio when he was a child and his uncle had taken him out for a drive to the Bosphorus" ("Snow", Ch. 12).


* Cinquant'anni 1958-2008 - A collection of his worldwide discography, filmography etc... (IN ITALIAN) - by Vincenzo Faiella and Sergio Vellino. Nicola Longobardi Editore 2008. All the covers of the records, pictures, filmography, sheet music, film posters and all the other information were taken from the private collection of Francesco and Antonio Mastroianni.

Category:1939 births

Category:Living people

Category:Italian male singers

Category:Italian Eurovision Song Contest entrants

Category:Eurovision Song Contest entrants of 1991

Category:Sanremo Music Festival winners

Category:People from the Province of Naples

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This text has been derived from Pink Floyd on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0

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