24 September 2010

TGIF Rock-n-Roll Oldies: Pink Floyd 1987

Pink Floyd were an English rock band who first earned international recognition for their psychedelic rock music in the late 1960s, and for their progressive rock music from the 70s-on. Their work is marked by the use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows. 

The epitome of a critically-acclaimed and commercially successful rock act, the group have moved over 200 million albums worldwide... one of the best-selling music artists of all time. 

Pink Floyd was formed in 1965 by university students Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Richard Wright, and Syd Barrett. The group were a popular fixture on London's underground music scene. In 1968, guitarist and singer David Gilmour joined the line-up. Barrett was soon removed, due to his increasingly erratic behaviour. 

Following Barrett's departure, bass player and singer Roger Waters became the band's lyricist and conceptual leader, with Gilmour assuming lead guitar and much of the vocals. With this line-up, Floyd went on to achieve worldwide critical and commercial success with the concept albums The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, and The Wall.

Wright left the band in 1979, and Waters in 1985, but David Gilmour and Mason (rejoined by Wright) continued recording and touring under the name Pink Floyd. Waters used legal means to try to keep them from using the name, declaring Pink Floyd a "spent force", but the parties reached an out-of-court settlement allowing Gilmour, Mason and Wright to continue under the name Pink Floyd. 

The new lineup enjoyed continued worldwide successes with A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994)  And even though they were fat and wearing mullets by the late 80s, I always loved this tune Learning to Fly... for a late-career effort, I consider it exceptional. Plus the fact that I'm predisposed, since I did catch this 1987 tour in Detroit- a great show if ever there was one with elaborate lasers and other effects quite tastefully done. 

Although their earlier stuff was surely monumentally impressive, what many consider to be their most commercial (and overplayed) material The Wall was later followed by this new, David Gilmour-led style that was slick and refreshing, bringing a more nuanced sound on the LP A Momentary Lapse of Reason... even if it's not a fave of most hard-core Floyd fans due the the absence of Roger Waters from the lineup... and difficult comparisons to earlier epic hits like Money:

Previous RR Rock n Roll Oldies features -here-