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Tag Archives: Pink Floyd

TODAY (10 October), Pink Floyd’s fifth studio album Atom Heart Mother is 40 years old. It was recorded from between March and August 1970 at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London, and reached #1 in the UK album chart – the first such achievement by a Floyd album.

The album cover is a simple picture of a Cow named Lulubelle III. The picture was taken by the album cover genius that is Storm Thorgerson. The band wanted to break away from the Psychedelic Space Rock image they had been given, so they asked Thorgerson to put “something plain” on the cover.

The album itself runs for 52 minutes and 44 seconds and features five songs. The entire first side of the album is taken up by Pink Floyd’s longest uninterrupted song, Atom Heart Mother (Suite). The six part instrumental piece comes in at 23:44, and was written by all four members of Pink Floyd: Roger Waters (bass), David Gilmour (guitar), Richard Wright (keys) and Nick Mason (drums), along with composer Ron Geesin. The six parts of the suite are: Father’s Shout (0:00 – 2:54), Breast Milky (2:55 – 5:26), Mother Fore (5:27 – 10:12), Funky Dung (10:13 – 15:29), Mind Your Throats, Please (15:30 – 19:13) and Remergence (19:14 – 23:44). Also in the studio with Pink Floyd when this song was recorded where the Abbey Road Session Pops Orchestra and the John Alldis Choir. I can’t write anything other than it will blow your mind every single time you here it.

The drum and bass parts were all recorded in one take, and the piece itself actually went through a number of different working titles including: Theme From an Imaginary Western, Epic and The Amazing Pudding. The latter became the name of the Pink Floyd magazine from 1983-93. The name Atom Heart Mother (Suite) was finally decided upon when Ron Geesin gave Roger Waters a copy of the 16 July 1970 Evening Standard newspaper and told him that the song title would be in there. Waters spied an article about a pregnant woman who had been fitted with a pacemaker. The articles’ headline was: “Atom Heart Mother Named”.

Film director Stanley Kubrick wanted to use the suite for his film A Clockwork Orange but the band turned him down (but this hasn’t stopped people from making ‘what if’ videos on the internet – see below). Years later Kubrick would deny Waters audio from 2001: A Space Odyssey for his solo album Amused to Death.

The second track on the album is the Roger Waters composition If. This gentle acoustic track (in my eyes) can be seen as the embryonic stages of Waters concocting the character ‘Pink’ who would be unleashed nine years later on The Wall.

We then have the song Summer ’68 which was written and sung by late keyboardist Richard Wright. It is about a one night stand and the return to habitual life. There are also lyrics that reference the down side of touring: “My friends are lying in the sun, I wish that I was there…

But the fourth track of the album is the one that takes the biscuit. I my opinion, Fat Old Sun is the best song that David Gilmour has ever written. It starts of so gentle and peacefully, before launching into an awesome but never overblown guitar solo. Gilmour also played bass and drums in the studio for this track.

Unfortunately the last track on the album is one of the very few Pink Floyd songs that I don’t like. Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast is more of a recorded jam session than a song. It is just plain weird. But Pink Floyd were experimenting at this time, and occasionally when you experiment you get turned an odd shade of green.

So summary, a fantastic but yet sadly overlooked album (no song off it made the ‘best of’ album sadly), with three excellent individual works and perhaps the most unique track in rock history.

I'd like to go to the show. If I could just get rid of my spots.

YESTERDAY (12th April), Roger Waters – formerly of Pink Floyd – announced that he will tour his magnum opus ‘The Wall’ in North America later this year.

The tour of Pink Floyd’s multi-million selling album will begin in Toronto on the 15th September (two years to the day since former band mate Rick Wright passed away), and will end on the 13th December in Anaheim. Dates for gigs in Europe and the rest of the world in 2011 should be announced later in the year.

These shows will again feature a wall being built on stage during the first half of the show, and then torn down at the end of the second half. The wall itself will be a staggering 240ft wide and 35ft tall. That’s 73m wide and 101/2m high in new money.

Pink Floyd toured ‘The Wall’ in 1980 and 1981. However the tour consisted of just 31 shows in four venues due to the sheer scale of the props. These venues were: The LA Sports Arena (7-13 Feb ’80), Nassau Coliseum (NY) (24-28 Feb ‘80), Westfalenhalle (Dortmund) (13-20 Feb ’81) and Earls Court (London) (4-9 Aug ’80 & 13-17 June ’81).

The shows at Earls Court provided the music for the live album ‘Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980-81.’ The very last show – 17th June 1981 – was the last time Roger Waters played with Pink Floyd until they reunited at Live 8 in 2005.

As a solo artist, Waters only played ‘The Wall’ in its entirety once. That was in Berlin on the 21st July 1990  to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall eight months earlier. The concert featured guest stars such as: Van Morrison, Sinéad O’Connor, Cyndi Lauper, Marianne Faithfull, The Scorpions and Bryan Adams. The crowd was a monumental 350,000 people, and the show was televised in 52 countries around the world. That until later this year was the last time a member of Pink Floyd has performed ‘The Wall’.

Fingers crossed that the tour will be coming over here in 2011. I was lucky enough to see Roger play ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ in 2008. I’ll count myself f*@#ing lucky to see him play ‘The Wall’ as well.

Roger Waters - The very night that I saw him at the O2 Arena.

TODAY the legendary rock group Pink Floyd won a legal case against their record label EMI.

EMI have been selling individual tracks from the band’s back catalogue, but Pink Floyd argued that EMI were in breach of contract. Pink Floyd added that their music was intended to be listened to in album form, and not just as singles.

EMI stated that when they and Pink Floyd signed said contract in 1999, it was only valid in the case of physical material. This was before the period of online downloads.

But a High Court judge ruled that this contract did cover online downloads. EMI have been ordered to pay Pink Floyd £40,000 and a further fine which will be handed down to them at a later date by the judge. They must now ask the band’s permission before any of their songs are allowed to be sold online individually.

(Yes I am aware of the irony of Pink Floyd not wanting their songs put on their own and me doing so, but I think this one fits this story nicely.)

TODAY (March 6), sees my all time favourite guitarist, David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, celebrate his 64th birthday.

This has given me a thought. What exactly do rock stars give each other for birthdays and Christmas? If you are on a long tour, do you forget about it and save celebrating until you are finished? Or do you bring your gift with you and try to hide and not lose it? Or, do you not take anything and risk trying to buy something in the city you are in?

Anyway I digress. From both my dad and myself, very many happy returns David. 🙂

David Gilmour, 64 today

Here it is. After much brain scratching and soul-searching I finally have my six-piece all time fantasy rock band.

Firstly, the name. The band is called VY Canis Majoris. That is the name of the largest Star known to man, so I thought that is was quite an apt name for this ensemble.

Now, ladies and gentlemen let me introduce the band.

On Drums & PercussionNeil Peart of Rush.

Almighty power and rhythm, and little pieces out of the blue as well make him the ideal stick man.

On Keyboards & PianoKeith Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Honestly, how many people can play that well upside down?

On Bass GuitarChris Squire of Yes.

Absolutely brutal. I hope he brings his triple neck Bass to the gig.

On Rhythm Guitar & Backing VocalsMark Knofler of Dire Straits.

He’s finger picking good isn’t he?

On Lead Guitar & Backing VocalsDavid Gilmour of Pink Floyd.

And finally, on Lead Vocals & Additional PianoFreddie Mercury of Queen.

The ultimate showman, and a voice that could demolish buildings. He is sorely missed.

So there you have my all time Rock group. Tell me what you think, and tell me your dream group if you like.

Thank you very much. Goodnight, and have a safe journey home.

‘…we came in?’

Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ celebrates it’s 30th anniversary today! It is the biggest selling double-album of ALL TIME and is widely considered to be bassist and songwriter Roger Waters’s magnum opus. He got the idea after Pink Floyd had become a stadium sell out band, and in the heat of the moment on the last show of the 1977 ‘In The Flesh’ tour in Montreal, he spat into the face of a young fan who threw a bottle at him. It is also the last album to feature the seminal Floyd line up of: Roger Waters (Bass), David Gilmour (Guitar), Richard Wright (Keyboards) and Nick Mason (Drums). Wright was fired by Waters during the recordings, but Waters allowed Wright to tour the album in 1980-81 as a paid musician. Waters then left the band in 1985 after recording ‘The Final Cut’ – a solo album in all but name – and calling Pink Floyd a “spent force”. But David Gilmour rehired Wright and with Mason, lead Pink Floyd on to astounding international success in the late 1980s and mid 1990s with two new studio albums: ‘A Momentary Lapse of Reason’ and ‘The Division Bell’, and their respective live albums ‘Delicate Sound of Thunder’ and ‘P*U*L*S*E*’. Waters meanwhile had an average solo career after his 1987 album ‘Radio KAOS’.

But I’m here to talk about the birthday album.

For those of you who don’t know the story of the album, here is a brief summary.

‘The Wall’ follows the life and misfortune of Pink who has a mental breakdown on disc one, builds a mental wall in which he shuts out the rest of the world in his head, and must live with his wall on disc 2. Pink himself is based on Waters’s life and feared isolation about being in a huge band like Pink Floyd. Founding front man Syd Barrett who was one of Britain’s first high-profile Acid casualties in the late 1960s also makes up parts of Pink. His breakdown is brought on by: never knowing his father (who like Waters’s father was killed in the Battle of Anzio in World War 2), his mother’s smothering of him, the cruel teachers he meets at school, his wife running off with another man, and the pressures of being a world-famous rock star. After Pink destroys his hotel room and nearly kills a groupie, his management team pump him full of drugs so he can play that night’s concert. Unfortunately the drugs cause him to completely lose his mind, leaving him believing that he is the leader of a neo-nazi group. Ashamed at what he has become, Pink puts himself on trial and is sentenced to be exposed before his peers, and to TEAR DOWN THE WALL.

The album itself has some of Pink Floyd’s best-loved and most successful songs on it like: ‘Run Like Hell’, ‘Is There Anybody Out There?’, ‘Hey You’, ‘Comfortably Numb’ and the international chart-topper (plus 1979 UK Christmas No.1) ‘Another Brick in the Wall Part 2’. But every song on the album is epic, just like almost every other Pink Floyd song. I just thought you’d have heard of these.

In 1990, Roger Waters performed ‘The Wall’ live in Berlin to celebrate their wall coming down. The concert has gone down in history amongst music lovers everywhere.

The video I am leaving you with is Pink Floyd performing ‘Comfortably Numb’ at Live 8 in 2005. This was the first time: Waters, Gilmour, Wright and Mason played together in 24 years. It was also to be their last show as a quartet due to Wright’s death in September 2008. So this is the last song they ever played together.

What a way to say ‘Goodbye’.

‘Isn’t this where…’