Pink Floyd is an English Rock Band that was formed in 1965 with its active years being 1965 to 1983 and 1987 to 1999 and several one -off reunions between the years 2003 and 2007. The band originated from Cambridge and London England (Keno).
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Pink Floyd first started as a band known as ”Sigma 6” then changed to ”The T-set then ”The Meggadeaths”, The Architectural Abdas”, The screaming Abdas” and later ”The Abdas”. At this point the members were Roger Waters, Cline Metcalf, Richard Wright, Nick Mason, Juliet Gale and Keith Noble. Later Juliet, Noble and Metcalf left the band and were replaced with Bob Close later left after a while. The group’s main members are Syd Barret, David Gilmour, Rick Wright, Roger Waters and Nick Mason (Utopia Knoware). Barrett later renamed the band “Pink Floyd” honoring the musicians Pink Anderson and Floyd Council and became its songwriter, lead guitar player and lead singer.
Being a favorite underground movement band it played at UFO club, Roundhouse and Marques club having attracted attention of many in mid 1966. The band’s musical style was identified as art rock or progressive rock. This was influenced by British Psychedelic rock, which attempts to replicate the mind altering experiences of hallucinogenic drugs (MacDonald).
Pink Floyd recorded its first two songs in 1966. One was ”Lucy Leave” a combination of R & B and pop music rhythms which helped get the band some attention. The year that followed-1967, saw the band sign with EMI Records and subsequently released its first single “Arnold Layne”. The song was a hit and reached UK’s top 20 though it didn’t sound like the live shows. A second single ”See Emily Play” reached number 6 in 1967 therefore proving to be a greater hit song. In the same year the band released its first Album titled ”The Pipe at the Gates of Dawn”, and it became a top 10 hit with many claiming it to be British greatest psychedelic album other than the Beatles’ “Sgt Peppe’s” (Keno). The album was mostly written by Barret and had lengthy riff – laden instrumental passages.
Pink Floyd began to tour with the Album’s great success. Problems with Syd Barret the lead singer writer and lead guitar player started to show up during the US tour when he started to play music that was not part of their set and would at times stand on stage and not play at all and appeared as incoherent in some of the interviews. Syd by now was a heavy drug user and though a gifted genius, he was a step from insanity. In 1967, Floyd released its third single ”Apples and Oranges” with two recordings being considered unsuitable for release because of Syd Barret wasted condition that meant he could not properly finish them. Barret left the band a few months later due to his mental instability. His part was taken over by his old high school friend Gilmour in February 1968 as the lead guitar (Sunday Times Online).
After departure of Syd Barret, Gilmour became the lead guitar and Water took the lead singer and writer positions. The next few albums were different in style with “Meddle” of 1971 gathering the best review. In 1973 they released a master piece that became one of best selling albums which stayed on the Billboard chats for over a decade and sold over 25million copies. The album was titled ” Dark Side of the Moon”. It was Waters’ brilliant writing that made this album such a success. In 1975, an album ”Wish You Were Here” was dedicated to Syd Barret. The song ”Shine on you crazy diamond” in the album dedicated and all about Barret. During the recording Syd Barret paid the band a surprise visit at Abbey Road Studio, this being the first time the members had seen him since 1969 (Pink Floyd Online).
By 1977 members weren’t getting along and they had an album ”Animals ” which wasn’t a big hit. There was talk of a break -up of Pink Floyd. Despite this an album ”The wall’’ was released in 1979 which became their second biggest selling album. With relations getting worst, Waters insisted on Wright being fired by the band and this finally happened in 1980. Both Gilmore and Mason took a side in the dispute and there seemed that there would be no more Pink Floyd albums. An album ”The Final Cut” which was more of a solo project for Waters was released in 1983. The band finally split up and all members did their solo albums (Mason, 302). In 1986 Mason and Gilmore reformed the band with Waters claiming that without him there was no Pink Floyd. Wales went to court to stop them but lost in 1987. Gilmore Mason & Wright joined up and released the album ”A Momentary Lapse of Reason”. The album was good but not as the past Floyd albums. They went for a worldwide tour and had a live album, ”Delicate Sound of Thunder” that became big hit. In 1994 they released a new album ”The Division Bell” and in 1995, there was another double live album ”Pulse” that was well received by fans (Fitch 126). Waters remained bitter towards his former band mates.
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In 1995 the band was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrument Performance for Marooned. In the same year they released a live album entitled “P*U*L*S*E” which was hit number one in the US. At a live 8 concert on 2nd July 2005, the band reunited with Waters joining them and shared a group hug at the end of the performance. Pink Floyd were later recognized by being inducted into the UK music hall of fame (16th November 2005). A record breaking US$ 250 million deal reunion tour was offered but the band made it clear that they had no such intentions (Prog Archives).
With its success, Pink Floyd earned acknowledgment in psychedelic rock and later in progressive rock music as time went by. The band is now popularly known for its philosophical lyrics driven by sonic experimentation resulting in elaborative live shows and innovative album covers. It has influenced a number of artists that include Genesis of the 1970s and have sold over 210 million albums worldwide (Prog Archives).
Fitch, Vernon. The Pink Floyd Encyclopedia. Burlington: Collector’s Guide Publishing, 1998
Keno. “Pink Floyd Biography.” Keno’s Classic Rock N Roll Website. (1999). Web.
MacDonald, Bruno. Pink Floyd: Through The Eyes Of– The Band, Its Fans, Friends, And Foes. Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 1997
Mason, Nick and Philip Dodd. Inside Out: A Personal History Of Pink Floyd. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2005
“Pink Floyd Awarded Polar Music Prize.” progarchives.com. 2009. Web.
“Pink Floyd History.” pinkfloydonline.com. 2009. Web.
“Rock ‘N’ Roll Biography. Pink Floyd.” utopia.knoware,nl. 2009. Web.
“The dark side of Pink Floyd.” Sunday Times Online. 2009. Web.