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Pink Floyd
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Dave, Roger, Rick, and Nick.
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  The place, London. The time, the mid 1960s. A new age of rock music was beginning to emerge, and the band Pink Floyd was on the cutting edge of this psychedelic revolution.

  Pink Floyd was formed when Syd Barrett (guitar, vocals) got together with Roger Waters (bass), Nick Mason (drums), and Richard Wright (keyboards) just prior to the mid-sixties psychedelic explosion that was about to take place in England. Syd came up with a name for his new band by combining the names of two early American blues musicians: Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.

  Soon, Pink Floyd was wowing crowds throughout London and the surrounding area with their live shows, which pioneered the use of projection screens, light shows, and pre-recorded audio, all to enhance the audience's experience of the band's music. Pink Floyd was also one of the first bands to incorporate feedback-drenched sonic soundscapes into their live and recorded music. These practices soon became the standard for psychedelic music.

  Due to the nature of the whole psychedelic era (need I say more?), Syd's performances became erratic and unstable, and the band felt he had become too unreliable. David Gilmour, an old schoolmate of Syd's, was recruited to help compensate for Syd's instability. The band's sound and style, while still very much within the psychedelic realm, changed quite drastically with the inclusion of Gilmour. Their songs became somewhat less jangley and a little more focused. The responsibility for this cannot be attributed solely to Gilmour, however, as it was also most likely due to Waters' new role as chief lyricist. After some time with this lineup, Syd dropped out entirely and, after a couple of solo albums, became a recluse and possibly one of the most famous burnouts in rock music.

  With its newly aquired consistency, the band was able to build upon its established beginnings. But it wasn't until 1973's Dark Side of the Moon, that they began to be noticed worldwide. Dark Side of the Moon holds the distinguished position of being the longest charting album in history, with something like fourteen years in the top 200. To this day, it still moves a million copies a year! The album's enduring popularity could be due to its incredibly seamless composition which provides a listening journey from beginning to end. The unique use of voices and sound effects create a definite atmosphere. This amazing album took Pink Floyd to places it had never gone before. Dark Side of the Moon will affect your mood time after time, and it is truly one of the greatest albums of all time.

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  What Dark Side... was to the early 70's, The Wall was to the late 70's. Already having created an album that was the epitome of concept, Pink Floyd released this double album, which was drawn largely from Waters' childhood traumas and anxieties. The subsequent tour was such a massive production that it could only be performed at four major cities. A feature film was also produced, with Bob Geldof starring in the lead role of Pink.

  By the early 80s, the band was having internal problems, and by the middle of that decade, major change and reconstruction were upon them. Waters, Floyd's primary lyricist, decided to call it quits. After a little regrouping, Momentary Lapse of Reason, the first post-Waters album, was released. While the tone of the lyrics and the style of the music may have changed to some degree, Pink Floyd showed all of its doubters that it was still a recognizable leader in the world of music.

  Pink Floyd has since released The Division Bell, the next step in the evolution of the "new" Pink Floyd. Where Momentary Lapse... had more of a computerish, mechanical feel, The Division Bell has a more organic, human quality and, as always, Gilmour's ever present, instantly recognizable soaring guitar work (check out the pedal steel solo on the track High Hopes).

  Pink Floyd remains a band I enjoy very much. I'm lucky to have seen them twice -- once on the Momentary Lapse... tour and once on the Division Bell tour. (Greatest shows I have ever seen!) Even after all these years, Pink Floyd's music and the feelings that it inspires are as good as they have ever been.

Dark Side Of The Moon album cover

. . . There is no dark side of the moon, really . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . As a matter of fact, it's all dark . . . . . .


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