Pink Floyd: The epic journey of a legendary band

By Connie Haynes
May 27, 2004

In the ’60s were the Beatles. Prior to their explosion into popular music in England in 1963 and the world the year after, there had been no successful intermingling of commercial and fine art. No fusion of sophisticated sound and simple popular music. The first few years the Beatles were on the scene, there were those who just wanted something pleasant to dance to at social gatherings and saw music only as a means to an end. However, the climate was right in England, after almost 20 years of boredom accompanied by the best economy in anyone’s memory, to explore many things. Art and music were being eyed by a growing number as something more. Music was slowly being considered an end in and of itself.

The pendulum was swinging out of the world of conformity in which it had resided for so long, and it was sweeping up everyone in its wake. People were getting a taste of what it was like to listen to music that inspired thought. Thoughts for instance, of why Bob Dylan was dropped from the play list on “The Ed Sullivan Show” because he wanted to play a song called “The John Birch Society Blues.” Even those who were only interested in what style skirts were being worn this week by the girls dancing on “American Bandstand” were becoming curious about what was happening in “swinging London.” Although people were polarized in this manner between popular and fine art appreciation, a more profound change was occurring.

The Beatles had created an awareness of music in numbers that record companies had never dreamed possible. With that creation, the Beatles had gained a power no other recording artists had ever wielded. They had the power to dictate where their art would next go. Gradual at first, and perhaps taking their cue again from Bob Dylan, beginning as early as late 1964, with lyrics such as “I’m not what I appear to be,” from “I’m a Loser,” then snowballing through the next two years with “Rubber Soul,” culminating with the albums “Revolver” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” the old rule that fine art could never become commercial and that pop couldn’t acquire sophistication was broken.

There now existed a force that, by virtue of its sheer numbers, could not be ignored. Suddenly everyone had to follow the different beat of the different Beatles. The new buzz phrase was “concept music”: the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds”; the Byrds; Alice Cooper dived in head first with theater productions; Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung”; The Moody Blues’ “Days of Future Pasted”; The Who with the rock opera “Tommy.” Even the Fab Four themselves were exploiting the concept angle, and John Lennon later commented to UPI, “Sgt. Pepper was a concept album because we said it was, but actually it was never.”

Popular music explored diversity. Fueled by a seemingly inexhaustible number of followers with deep collective pockets, and armed with much more sophisticated listening equipment for their equally sophisticated musical tastes, pop-rock walked the high-wire apex it had climbed to. However, a void was created when the Beatles split up as the decade ended. A huge group of picky music listeners needed to get their music fix from a different dealer. Enter a group that had modest beginnings in the same studio building as the Beatles in 1967. In this environment, Pink Floyd would evolve and gradually captivate those who had set themselves on the path in quest of art music that stimulated the intellect and was irresistible in the quality of sound and melody.

* * *

The ’60s culture was being heavily influenced by the art schools in London, which was attaining notoriety as Paris and Rome once had. Four students in Cambridge, Roger Waters, Bob Close, Nicholas Mason and Richard Wright, had been hanging around together studying art and architecture when they befriended a talented fellow student of painting named Syd Barrett in 1965.

Syd had learned to play music with a good friend exactly one year older than himself David Gilmour, with whom we will become more familiar later at the art school he attended, after receiving a guitar as gift from his father. The only three members who could actually play a musical instrument, and claim they were moving in that direction, before their late teen years were Syd Barrett, Bob Close (who was proficient in jazz guitar) and David Gilmour, who was playing guitar with his own group, Joker’s Wild. From the onset, their musical interests were artistic and experimental. Early on, Bob and Syd had differences in musical interest. Electric guitar feedback, boxes with tape loops, diverse religious mysticism and hallucinogenic drugs didn’t appeal to Bob Close, who soon left the group, leaving Syd to roam free.

This experiment covered band names as well, including Sigma 6, The Architectural Abdabs and The Screaming Abdabs. They had help from other friends who had the time and modest finances to support finding them places to play. Because their musical abilities were not impressive yet and they played sets of simple, old standby tunes, it was helpful to enhance their gigs with embellished audio and lighting. They would soon pioneer the use of live-controlled four-channel sound input and speaker placement, giving their music a depth and dynamic quality unknown at the time. And their support system of friends established them as the first group to regularly use and intricately incorporate into their show their own lighting, which would be as creative as their sound.

Their sound was about to get very experimental. However, the Abdabs was not a serious-sounding name. Syd listened to music and had albums of blues players, two of which were obscure records by black blues artists from North and South Carolina named Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. The band was breaking from conventional songs with broad experimentation into moody sounds of controlled feedback, relying heavily on their peripheral effects and lighting. Their performances were not concerts but experiences, and they were “The Pink Floyd Sound.”

* * *

Things were now evolving more rapidly. Syd was writing music that was reflecting musical ability and growth. The UFO Club took on part-time management of an avant-garde artist named Yoko Ono, attracting the new psychedelic multitude. Art clubs were the place to indulge in drugs (LSD was not yet illegal), sex and music. The Pink Floyd Sound, having become well known in the college circuit, would soon become the UFO Club’s house band. This would be the springboard for them that the Cavern Club had been for the Beatles.

The Pink Floyd Sound had its equivalent to Beatles manager Brian Epstein too – Peter Jenner and Blackhill Enterprises. However, this was 1966 and not 1962. The bridges used in the English invasion of America were still very much intact. The band had attracted attention with its unusual variety of sound and light improvisation. Local entertainment publications were predicting that, if they could infuse some fresh material, they would “score well in the near future.”

They might have already arrived at this conclusion. Syd was doing just that, but with a level of gifted creativity not imagined possible. Suddenly the atmospheric sounds had equally extraterrestrial content. “Astronomy Domine” and “Interstellar Overdrive” were taking on a very dramatic form (“Astronomy Domine” would continue on, magically immortal, opening concerts by the Floyd even in 1994). The gates of success were about to be unlocked; however, the single-record 45 rpm format was still a necessary evil for record producers. January 1967 saw the release of their first vinyl, “Arnold Lane,” which was cute but not similar to what their following knew them for. The short ditty about a transvestite (very British) clothesline thief was banned by the BBC in short order, but EMI felt good enough about it to give the go on an album.

“Piper at the Gates of Dawn” was a chapter from “Wind in the Willows” before it became the title of the first Pink Floyd album. They were now off the runway and in flight. Flying high was a beautiful thing for The Pink Floyd, but the flight was about to get bumpy.

* * *

The death of Syd Barrett’s father was a precursor to the unstable excesses he was about to be exposed to. Now people were seeking the band out, and their schedule was about to be very hectic. America was beckoning, and they had to follow the call. The first publicly noticeable strain was on “American Bandstand” as Syd performed his thousand-yard stare instead of lip-syncing “See Emily Play.” Having their sound equipment stolen wouldn’t help.

For the next few months, the band would steadily loose altitude as Syd became more and more unpredictable. Work started on a new album but quickly lost momentum in clouds of psychotic behavior drifting from their songwriter/lead guitarist/lead singer. It would have been impossible to imagine The Pink Floyd working without Syd, but it was becoming impossible for them to work with him. Their next album, instead of having almost all Barrett-written songs, had almost none. Roger Waters did his best to take up the slack. Mason (drums), Wright (keyboards) and Waters (bass) needed at least to find another vocalist and guitarist to fill in. The Pink Floyd was about to add a fifth member.

David Gilmour, a serious guitarist with a better voice, was well aware of the situation with The Pink Floyd. Joker’s Wild and The Pink Floyd often opened shows for each other. The Pink Floyd had a recording contract and another album in the works. When asked to join The Pink Floyd near the end of 1967, David Gilmour said yes. Peter Jenner tried to hang on to Syd for as long as he could, flatly telling the rest of the group he didn’t think they could make it without him. Syd’s degree of insanity has always been a topic of debate. However, the fact was, he was making those around him crazy too. The accounts of things he did is beyond the scope of this writing, but the point had come where Syd was no longer being picked up to work in the studio.

They finally finished their second album, “A Saucerful of Secrets,” in summer 1968. The Pink Floyd’s writing quality and melodies were absent, reflecting the absence of Syd, except for one song. David Gilmour’s name would appear in the credits list of only one song. There was also criticism that Gilmour was just copying Syd’s style and sound. However, taking into account that it was Gilmour who taught Syd to play guitar, the question arises of who copied who.

* * *

These were the days of the quest for direction in their music, as they were now on their own professionally. The psychedelic experimenting that had worked before was again predominant in their writing. EMI noticed their need for extra promotion, and some of Syd’s roommates (including Storm Thorgerson, who from then on would do almost all of the band’s artwork under the name Hipgnosis) were called in to do artwork for their albums. Another new person in the thick of the mix was manager Steve O’Rourke, who replaced the faithless Peter Jenner. The best promotional tactic, of course, was to be seen playing regularly. Free concerts at Hyde Park, elaborate props, imaginative lighting and a second-to-none, music-from-all-directions sound system (this writer can testify to its amazing quality) would slowly get them out in front of the pack.

In fall 1969, amidst frequently hiring out for other mixed-media projects not their own, the band released “Ummagumma,” a double album, half of which is live renditions of previous songs (“Astronomy Domine” with Syd Barrett in an earlier performance is far superior to the studio version, as are the others on that disc) and half of which is a set of new studio songs, with the writing credits very democratically allocated. Still in somewhat of an identity crisis, they were slowly deviating from the past course and heading into the new age of late-night FM album rock without the over-commercialized obligatory 45 single slot.

Six months later, The Pink Floyd (they still used “The” as part of their name) called in logistical support to engineer an album that would have an entire side consisting of one song. “Atom Heart Mother” incorporates orchestra and chorus support intermingled with psychedelic effects and the group’s trademark rock sound. All this came about due to their inability to finish the album before a scheduled American tour. They brought in Ron Geesin former Beatles engineer Norman Smith had produced the previous efforts and dumped what they had so far on him, along with instructions to fix it up. The album with the cow on the cover (probably the coolest part) as it would be known, was not their most impressive work, reflecting the band’s lack of focus. To top it all off, their gear was stolen in the United States, but recovered thanks to the FBI.

In 1970 and 1971, there was still an abundance of material, in differing media forms. “Obscured by Clouds,” their next vinyl release, was quickly recorded and continued to strengthen their FM play. For those interested in what kind of band Pink Floyd was in 1972 without the lavish production, this album shows how musically tight they were. Right on the heels of this effort came “Meddle.” A well thought-out and more patiently constructed song that takes up the A side of the album titled “Echoes” opened the tap of FM album play in the United States from a trickle to a good dowsing. Still a psychedelic piece, but very well done. This song followed a template that had originated with Syd Barrett. This genre takes the listener on a journey, with gradual but dramatic transitions and contrasts that mimic, quite well, a hallucinogenic experience. The music starts in familiar settings then, through careful planning, goes on a strange surrealistic path to an unfamiliar abstract consciousness. After a short stay, it returns to reality in similar manner. This album signaled that the identity crisis they suffered was fully healed and pointed the way they would travel, beckoning the listener to follow.

As touring continued, particularly on occasions when the artists and audience emotionally bonded, they found it helpful during encores to try out new songs they were working on. This would be impossible to do with time because the technology behind making bootlegs was becoming a serious problem for record companies.

Another medium the band utilized was film. “Pink Floyd Live in Pompeii,” a feature-length movie, shows a rare glimpse of what they were like on stage and in the studio. They perform “Echoes,” along with a good sampling of material from previous albums and the work-in-progress of the beginnings of their next album – an album that would change the course of art history.

* * *

Insanity, stress, death and greed were not subjects that leapt to mind as central concepts around which to build a rock ’n’ roll album. In their recently released DVD revisiting the making of the album “Dark Side of the Moon,” Roger Waters relates, “I listened to it not long ago and I’m sort of surprised I pulled it off.” From start to meticulously produced finish, this true work of art showed that the members of Pink Floyd, like the Beatles before them, were worth more together than the sum of their parts. Each member’s contribution complimented the others on a level of mastery the world had never seen before and arguably hasn’t seen since.

Roger Waters took on the task of writing all of the band’s lyrics. Each title, along with lavish sound effects and voices, emotionally typified the profound meaning conveyed in the thought-provoking words. David Gilmour’s musicality had dramatically blossomed and matured into bluesy, haunting atmospherics of superb melody, compelling the listener to be engrossed with serious intellectual thoughts and enjoy it. Richard Wright injected chord progressions influenced by the jazz of Miles Davis, and they fit seamlessly with the rest of the group’s contributions. Nick Mason explored new and different sounds, and the band delved into unique time signatures, notably on “Money,” which became one of the most familiar Pink Floyd songs, along with “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2” and “Comfortably Numb.”

Construction was in the works for more than a year before the album was released in March 1973. No other album would come close to the longevity it would sustain in sales. So elegantly engineered by another soon-to-be artist, Alan Parsons, it would have a depth of sonic sophistication when played on the technically evolving modern home sound systems that brought the listener into a marvelous new world of acoustics. Stores that sold such equipment would always have a copy on hand for demonstrations. So sensitive were these systems that when a frequently played copy inevitability got worn out by an unbalanced phonograph needle, it was common practice to buy another. One surely would frown upon suffering through irritating scratches, nauseatingly amplified, over state-of-the-art speakers and headphones. This would, in part, keep the album on the Top 200 charts every week for the next 14 years – that's right, not 14 months or weeks. No other album would ever come close to such a feat.

This kind of success immediately propelled the Floyd into mega stardom and a world of both positive and negative attributes. The stadium was a different place to perform one’s art than the venues the Floyd was used to. Their pervious fans had generally appreciated their intricate mood-enhancing sound. The contrasts deliberately incorporated in their music often necessitated the audience to quietly behave themselves while listening, which was not unusual for their audiences to accommodate. That part of the concert experience would be missed by the Floyd when it was gone, and it was gone.

By 1974, Pink Floyd had managed to take a break from international touring and enjoy their respective leisure activities. Nick Mason was from a well-off business family that liked fine cars, and Mason began collecting classic automobiles. Richard Wright invested in Greek island property to pursue sailing in the Mediterranean. David Gilmour took up a different form of atmospheric expression, flying airplanes, while Roger Waters sharpened his golf game. But the record companies would not wait patiently for their cash cow to milk the record market, and dragged them back to the studio.

* * *

With the phenomenal success of “Dark Side of the Moon,” the Floyd were experiencing an unusual situation. The worst thing in the world is to want something (unparalleled success) and never be able to attain it. The second-worst thing in the world is attaining it. What to do then? How would their next production not be measured against “Dark Side of the Moon”? How could they top themselves? Pondering this question went on for a while, with pressure to do something increasing by the week. The idea bucket was, for a while, empty.

Waters, somewhat out of despair, proposed they explore another unique concept. This time they would just write exactly what they were experiencing. The reality was that, even though their bodies were in the studio, their minds were not. This is how their next album, “Wish you were here,” was conceived: We wish you (the audience) were here because we (Pink Floyd) are not.

Work began to somehow put this down on a record. Mixed in with this, they wished to convey also what it was like to deal with the corporate players who were on their back, considering only how they should rake in more money, and not knowing enough about them to even be aware that they wanted to create art.

The song “Welcome to the Machine” presents record company executives as soulless beings, a theme also expressed on the album’s cover as a suit with no one inside and a robot hand extended to shake.

The lyrics throughout the album parrot all the things they were being told by the executives, who didn’t know who they were or even that Pink was not the name of a member of the group. To add more delirium to the mix, the ever-unpredictable Syd Barrett showed up in the studio, unannounced, proclaiming he wanted to do his part. It might have been humorous if not for his physical appearance, with time having been unloving to the point that nobody even recognized him as he walked around in the studio for an hour or so. It emotionally shook the band, jarring Waters to the point of tears. Before the album was finished, that would be expressed in lyric: “You reached for the secret too soon, and you cried for the moon. Shine on you crazy diamond.”

“Wish You Were Here” was released in 1975. Everybody compared it to “Dark Side” as being not as good (big surprise), but it immediately zoomed to the top faster than anything they had done before or have done since.

The general sound and feel of “Wish You Were Here” is emotionally ambiguous. For those who were used to the intellectual nature of concept music, it is apparent that this group’s honesty toward their listeners is genuine. Perhaps the microscopically close attention to the technical production that “Dark Side” received was not repeated with “Wish You Were Here”; however, the difference is not very noticeable. It has the Pink Floyd trademark surrealistic, haunting atmospherics, but never ones to be easily trapped by a limiting form, there is a bit more variation in sound structure. It has high-tech, futuristic synthesizers and acoustic guitar. It has lead vocals from a non-group member (Roy Harper sings “Have a Cigar”). One of the distinguishing qualities in Pink Floyd albums is that if you have heard one, you damn sure ain’t heard them all. Each album makes use of things learned from having made the one before.

* * *

A year later, to get away from their stagnate surroundings, they moved to a studio of their own creation. Waters rather pretentiously came up with a concept idea based on a book he had read that characterized all human beings into three categories: sheep, pigs and dogs. The next album, 1977’s “Animals,” has all the earmarks of their sound, but lacks in melody and relatable content.

The band members’ collective mood, influenced by the over-commercialization of their efforts and the madness of touring, almost proved too much for Waters, who carried emotional baggage of insecurity for most of his life. He began to detest, generally speaking, the audience who, like record companies, didn’t really know them or understand their art. This climaxed at the last date of the current tour when an inebriated fan in the front was constantly yelling as he staggered about for attention, calling, “Here piggy, piggy, piggy.” Waters’ distaste swelled, and he managed to lure the obnoxious fan nearer by making eye contact. When in proper range, Waters accumulated a mouthful of saliva and spat on the fan’s head. After realizing how crazy touring had made him, Waters proclaimed the only way he would play before a live audience again would be if there was a wall between him and the audience.

Not even the greatest psychic on earth could have predicted this would come to pass.

* * *

As 1978 rolled around, the four members were also working up a bit of stress among themselves. They enjoyed their leisure more and more apart; however, a reason to get back together arrived with the shock that most of their earnings had been weakly managed and had disappeared in an investment that turned out to be a scam.

Their empty bank accounts became a stimulus for their next project, and Waters got a flash of concept inspiration to do the unheard of: to put a wall between himself and the audience while playing a concert. If the audience didn’t previously understand his art and who he was, he would make them understand now by sheer force. Thus began the project that would eventually outpace “Dark Side of the Moon” in sales.

“The Wall” was to be a concept dealing with the deep and sensitive nature of human psychology. Its focus in scope would be more specific than the concepts of past Floyd albums, which at times bordered on the vague and abstract. But it would be generalized enough that, like past albums, the audience could relate their own individual perceptions and interpret for themselves all the deeply hidden lyrical references. In essence, the album for lyricist Waters was autobiographical, about a fictitious rock star named Pink. From birth to operatic end, the album would chronicle his experiences and how he built an emotional wall between himself and the world, brick by musical brick, in reaction to all the pains of life.

The choice of words is sheer mastery. As a Pink Floyd production, it was to be very ambitious, encompassing major multimedia approaches simultaneously. There, of course, would be an album on vinyl. There would be an elaborate and highly unusual concert tour with special effects that would dwarf all rock operas to date. During the live show an actual (cardboard) wall would be built, brick by roadie-lain brick, between the band and its audience until a little over halfway through the show, when they would be completely hidden from audience view. This staging flows parallel to the musical sequence of the album, which goes through the character’s life events such as birth into a world war that in real life had taken Waters’ father before he ever met him.

“If you should go skating on the thin ice of modern life
Dragging behind you the silent reproach of a million tear-stained eyes
Don’t be surprised when a crack in the ice appears under your feet
You slip out of your depth and out of your mind
With your fear flowing out behind you, as you claw the thin ice.”

From there, an overprotective “Mother” gives instruction on emotional brick-laying, ending in the retort “Mother, did it need to be so high?”

Then the punishing educational institutions many of us run the gauntlet through:

“When we grew up and went to school, there were certain teachers who would hurt the children any way they could.”

“We don’t need no education.”

With an abundance of songs in the editing room, the Floyd cut the material down to a double album. In 1979, Roger Waters wasn’t known for his pleasing persona in working with other people, and Richard Wright wasn’t thick-skinned enough to take the abuse, preferring to remain as much as possible on his Greek island, leading the other members to fire him. However, when concert dates came around, he was brought back on stage as a tour musician. Nick Mason preoccupied himself with other things as well, but was kept around as a deciding vote just in case.

David Gilmour was now contributing, except in lyrics, in a large way to the general musical dynamics of the project, and had his hands quite full performing and directing the show. The most memorable songs on the almost two hours of nonstop music would bare his input. The musical arrangements of “Young Lust,” “Comfortably Numb” (arguably fans’ favorite song of the band’s career) and “Run Like Hell” are all rich David Gilmour melodies.

The album ends as brilliantly as it begins, moving from bluesy rock to a masterfully engineered orchestra of operatic drama, in which Pink is put on trial by the nefarious powers that be and found guilty of … showing feelings. His sentence is “to be exposed before your peers. Tear down the wall!”

The lesson learned by the audience is that some of the most evil deeds ever committed in history “Waiting to turn on the showers, to fire the ovens … for the queens and the coons and the Reds and the Jews” are wrought not out of passion, but in the absence of feeling and the growth of indifference; that we can build a wall to shield us from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, but as we cut off our source of pain and woe, we also sever our ability to give and receive love.

The third medium of this endeavor would be a feature-length movie, directed by Alan Parker, set to their album soundtrack. The movie was released in 1982 and has become a cult classic.

“The Wall” has only recently overtaken in sales the magnanimous “Dark Side of the Moon.” Of the 25 best-selling albums in history, two are by Pink Floyd.

* * *

As “The Wall” faded from view, it was becoming apparent that the three Floyd members were having trouble enjoying each other’s company. In 1983, another album was assembled from songs that were cut from the lengthy “Wall.” This time around, however, there would be little creative input from Nick Mason and David Gilmour. Gilmour was not comfortable playing songs that were becoming more difficult for him to relate to. In an interview appearing on the video production of his next solo effort, he says, “It was starting to sound complaining, and I would tell him (Waters) I don’t feel right about singing that one; I’d rather you do it, thank you very much.” In an interview for PBS about “guitar heroes” for the documentary “Rock and Roll,” Gilmour states, “The tortures of having lots of fame and having lots of money isn’t a subject guaranteed to get sympathy.”

“The Final Cut” was almost produced as a Roger Waters solo album, but the record company pushed Waters not to go it alone for the sake of sales figures. However, it would be printed on the sleeve, “Written by Roger Waters and performed by Pink Floyd.” As on “The Wall,” Richard Wright’s name would be conspicuously missing. Overall, it is a good album denoting how men are played with like toy soldiers by politicians (who act like children) in wars. The concepts of Waters’ writings now were so specific that the ability to see other angles of perception, a trademark of previous albums and about the only thing that never changed from album to album, was no longer present. Waters was also developing a habit of thinking the audience wasn’t listening to what he had to say, and quite often let the music flow very softly, then would have drums and guitar suddenly crash in.

In the mid-’80s, Gilmour and Waters released solo albums – “About Face” and “The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking,” respectively – but if it didn’t have the moniker Pink Floyd on it, it didn’t take off commercially.

“I have worked for the past 20 years to build up the name of Pink Floyd, and not me. Why should I throw all that away?” Gilmour said in his solo documentary. With that thought, Gilmour and Mason decided to carry on Pink Floyd without Waters.

“You’ll never fucking do it,” Waters told them.

A legal battle over the name Pink Floyd ensued, ending with Gilmour and Mason attaining the right to keep the band name.

* * *

The first Waters-less Pink Floyd album, “A Momentary Lapse of Reason,” was released in 1987, with a tour of mega proportions immediately following. The stage – the band’s most elaborate yet – cost so much that Pink Floyd would have to gross $30 million to break even. Richard Wright agreed to stop partying in the Mediterranean long enough to work on the album and tour. However, he would not be made a full partner until he had won back his respect, which he soon did, but as a session player at the start of the tour, he was the only founding member guaranteed to make any money, should they fail.

“Momentary Lapse” was well performed and recorded but was weak on writing. The concert and subsequent live album, “The Delicate Sound of Thunder,” would justify it, grossing record sales and putting them on the top of the list of moneymakers that year in the entire entertainment business. The mostly sold-out tour would go around the world three times in two years, highlighting the peak of Gilmour’s musical ability.

Roger Waters would go on to produce other solo efforts – 1988’s “Radio KAOS” and 1992’s “Amused to Death” – fuming about Pink Floyd playing compilations of songs from previous albums. Pink Floyd’s concerts and live album included mostly songs from the recent release in the first half and past hits in the second, ending with “Comfortably Numb” and “Run Like Hell” as an encore.

This effort would repeat itself in the mid-’90s, with Richard Wright officially a part of Pink Floyd again. The album “The Division Bell,” featuring a stylish cover, would find them touring with three elaborate stages to facilitate traveling.

Once again, the band released a two-disc live album documenting their most recent tour. 1995’s “PULSE” features, along with a sampling of Floyd songs, a live rendition of “Dark Side of the Moon” in its entirety, along with “Astronomy Domine,” a song Syd Barrett wrote almost 30 years prior.

There doesn’t seem to be any more Pink Floyd material in the works. It would seem to indicate the band members’ desire not to go out on a low note. None of them need the money. Gilmour and Waters still write and perform in solo capacities. Occasionally, a valid release of past efforts makes its way to the stores. “Is There Anybody Out There?” – released in 2002 – is a live version of “The Wall” recorded in 1980. Also recently released were “Dark Side of the Moon” in a 5.1 multi-channel reissue and a DVD documentary about the recording of that landmark album.

Related link: Pink Floyd's official site

Related YouthQuake articles:
Roger Waters: The dark side of an enlightened mind
David Gilmour: The man and his music as a solo artist