The sound was hardened somewhat in 1968 when guitarist David Gilmour joined the band. In 1969, Barrett suffered a mental breakdown, attributed to prolonged usage of hallucinogenic drugs (especially LSD). With Barrett's state becoming less and less predictable, the rock band's live shows became increasingly ramshackle until eventually the other band members simply stopped taking Barrett to the concerts, with Waters and Gilmour taking his place as lead vocalists.
Whilst Barrett had written the bulk of the first record, Piper at the Gates Of Dawn (1967), he contributed little to the second A Saucerful of Secrets (1968), forcing the band in a new direction. With the loss of their main songwriter the band was perceived as losing focus and a distinctive sound: the next record, the double album Ummagumma (1969), was a mix of live recordings and unchecked studio experimentation by the band members, with each recording half a side of vinyl as a solo project (Mason's wife makes an uncredited contribution as a flautist).
Rock Bands- Pink Floyd
1970's Atom Heart Mother, a UK number one album, is sometimes now considered a dated psychedelic period piece and has been described by Gilmour as the sound of a band "blundering about in the dark". The title piece owes much to orchestration by Ron Geesin.
The band's sound was considerably more focused in Meddle (1971), whose 23-minute epic "Echoes" is heard by many critics today as one of their best works ever, and which also included the atmospheric "One of These Days" (now regarded as a concert classic, with a distorted, disembodied one-line vocal) and the pop-jazz stylings of "St. Tropez". Their forays into experimentation and trying new things were expressed on "Seamus" (earlier, "Mademoiselle Nobs") a pure-blues number featuring lead vocals by a Russian wolfhound.
Despite having never been a hit-single driven group, their massively successful 1973 album, Dark Side of the Moon featured a US number one track ("Money"), and more importantly remained in the top 100 for over a decade, breaking many records on the way, and making it one of the top selling albums of all time. Dark Side of the Moon itself was a concept album dealing with themes of insanity, neurosis and fame which, due to the use of Abbey Road studio's new 16-track recording equipment and the investment of an enormous amount of time by the group and engineer Alan Parsons, set new standards for sound fidelity. Dark Side of the Moon has also been the source of a persistent, but false, urban legend that it was conceived as a kind of synchronized soundtrack for the film The Wizard of Oz.
Dark Side of the Moon and the three following albums (Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall) are often held up as the peak of Pink Floyd's career. The first of those, Wish You Were Here, released in 1975, is a tribute to Barrett in which the lyrics deal explicitly with the aftermath of his breakdown, including the critically-acclaimed, mainly instrumental "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and the classic title track.
Rock bands -Pink Floyd Album " The Wall"
By 1977, and the release of Animals the band's music came under increasing criticism from some quarters in the new punk rock sphere as being too flabby and pretentious, losing its way from the simplicity of early rock and roll. Animals contained more lengthy songs tied to a theme, taken in part from George Orwell's Animal Farm, which used pigs, dogs and sheep as metaphors for contemporary society.
1979's The Wall gave Pink Floyd renewed and highly enthusiastic critical acclaim and another hit single with the track "Another Brick in the Wall, Part II," and its youth catchphrase "We don't need no education, we don't need no thought control," as well as the extraordinary track "Comfortably Numb" which, though never released as a single (and interestingly, hated during sessions by both Waters and Gilmour), became a cornerstone of AOR and classic-rock radio playlists and is today probably their best-known song. It is also the only song on Pink Floyd's four concept albums to not segue at either the beginning or end. The album also became a vastly expensive and money-losing tour/stage show. During this time, Roger Waters increased his artistic influence and leadership of the band, prompting frequent conflicts with the other members and causing Wright to quit the band, though he would return, on a fixed wage, for the album's few live concerts. Paradoxically, he was the only one of Pink Floyd to make any money from the "Wall" shows, the rest having to cover the excessive costs. The album was co-produced by Bob Ezrin, a friend of Waters who shared songwriting credits on "The Trial".
The Wall remained on best-selling-album lists for 14 years. A film starring Boomtown Rats founder Bob Geldof was adapted from it in 1982 written by Waters and directed by Alan Parker, and featuring animation by noted British cartoonist Gerald Scarfe.
Rock Bands -Pink Floyd band
All of the members of Pink Floyd have released solo albums which have met with varying degrees of commercial and critical success. Waters' Amused To Death was especially praised.
Syd Barrett died Tuesday, July 11, 2006. He was 60.
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