Princess Stomper

Line-ups that make (or break) the band

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by Princess Stomper

When the two old enemies embraced this week in London, many fans were wondering if the decades-long feud was finally and fully laid to rest. Would there be a Pink Floyd reunion? A new tour? A new album? Realistically, isn’t it much too late for that now? More to the point – as many were quick to remark – the band could hardly reunite since Richard Wright had died in 2008.

Everyone forgets about Richard Wright. Roger Waters and Dave Gilmour were the two charismatic frontmen that took Floyd from A Saucerful Of Secrets to The Final Cut, but Rick sang lead vocals on ‘Time’, ‘Echoes’ and ‘Astronomy Domine’, among others. Even when he was formally kicked out of the band (during The Wall), he was retained as a salaried musician – ironically the only member to profit from the Wall tour, since the remaining three core members bore the cost of the extravagant shows.

Pink Floyd had got through three lead singers: Syd Barrett in the 60s, Roger Waters in the 70s and Dave Gilmour in the 80s. While most people would agree that the Waters-led era was the strongest (producing both The Dark Side Of The Moon and The Wall),

the Barrett era is still considered classic and Gilmour’s A Momentary Lapse Of Reason was pretty listenable for posturing 80s stadium rock. While the sound was very different in each era, neither Barrett nor Waters was completely essential to keep the band going, or to continue the band’s commercial popularity. It would suggest that it was actually Wright – or drummer Nick Mason – who was the lynchpin of the band. Sometimes the most important member of the band is not the one with the highest profile.

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One Response to Line-ups that make (or break) the band

  1. cirrusminor December 20, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    Actually in the 70’s, Gilmour sung most of the songs, with Wright usually singing harmonies. The Wall and Animals featured Waters on vocals, but in their 5 other albums that decade (AHM, Meddle, OBC, Dark Side, WYWH). Maybe you meant to say that Waters wrote the majority of the songs during that time.

    I agree about Wright though. Fantastic, original player. Almost as good as Gilmour at matching his instrumentation to the mood of the song, and a perfect match with Gilmour for harmonies. Good songwriter to boot (Remember A Day, Great Gig in the Sky, Us and Them, Paintbox). PF started to go downhill around Animals, when Wright’s influence was pushed aside.

    Nick Mason is a good drummer for the band, but he wasn’t an integral part in the same ways as the other members.

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