Pink Floyd

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The classic Pink Floyd lineup: From left to right: Roger Waters, David Gilmour (in front), Nick Mason and Rick Wright.

"There is no dark side of the moon, really. Matter of fact, it's all dark."

Pink Floyd was an English Progressive Rock group consisting of guitarist/vocalist Syd Barrett (left during the recording of their second album, deceased), guitarist/vocalist David Gilmour (replaced Barrett), bassist/vocalist/lyricist Roger Waters (left to go solo after The Final Cut), keyboardist/vocalist Rick Wright (deceased), and drummer Nick Mason.

Their lyrics and their music changed drastically as the years went on. The band started in psychedelic rock and whimsical lyrics about childhood before heading towards more experimental progressive rock pieces. By the time of Meddle, they began to tone down the experimentalness and Epic Rocking, refining their signature sound and hitting the big time. The lyrics also began to become more weighty, mostly revolving around themes of isolation, death, insanity, and criticisms of modern society. The theme of isolation and society began to become more visible as Waters took more control of the band, and the band gained success with a series of complex Progressive Rock albums. Near the end of Waters' tenure with the band the music became heavier, more conventional and the lyrics became very personal. After Waters left, the rest of the band did a U-Turn and returned to their experimental sound; switching the lyrics to arguably focus on Gilmour's personal life instead.

Their guitarist, David Gilmour is widely considered one of the best rock guitarists ever, for his melodic solos and mastery of tone and vibrato; as well as his voice, which he sometimes uses to complement his guitar (singing either in unison or harmony with it). Roger Waters' lyrics are also held in high regard for their high quotient of satirical humour and general quotability, as are his strong basslines and his highly dramatic vocals. Keyboardist Rick Wright is the band's acknowledged "secret weapon" for his backing vocals (and occasional lead vocals) and jazz-influenced keyboard textures, which became a key component of the band's sound. Nick, was the drummer. Mason gets very little (though not none at all) in the way of writing credits[1], vocal parts[2], or overall notice, but he ironically is the only member to have played on every Floyd record (Gilmour wasn't there for the first and Wright didn't play on The Final Cut). According to biographer Nicholas Schaffner, however, Mason was responsible for many of the band's signature sound effects.

  • The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)
  • A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)
  • Soundtrack from the Film More (1969) *
  • Ummagumma (1969)
  • Atom Heart Mother (1970)
  • Meddle (1971)
  • Obscured by Clouds (1972) *
  • The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
  • Wish You Were Here (1975)
  • Animals (1977)
  • The Wall (1979)
  • The Final Cut (1983)
  • A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987)
  • The Division Bell (1994)
  • The Endless River (To be released October 2014)

(* ) Most fans also include More and Obscured by Clouds - soundtracks to two seldom-seen French hippie films (which are remembered solely because Pink Floyd did their soundtracks) - as a part of their studio album discography. It's actually pretty hard to find a few who don't, but those might get a little more frequent after Wiki/Wikipedia decided to remove them from the band's main discography and place them in a "soundtracks section".

The soundtrack to Zabriskie Point (1970) is also sometimes considered for inclusion [3] [4]

The 1992 box set Shine On, which collected and remastered their albums from Saucerful to Lapse, also had an extra disc named The Early Singles, which for the first time collected (in mono) their non-album singles and BSides that had previously been scattered around various compilations like Relics and Works.

The band also spent several years in the early 2010s producing a reissue of expanded versions of their albums. The fans went wild.

Pink Floyd provides examples of:

And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon

    • Then, "One Slip":

It seems to take no time at all
A momentary lapse of reason
That binds a life to a life

    • And finally, "High Hopes":

Our thoughts strayed constantly and without boundary
The ringing of the division bell had begun

  • Artist Disillusionment: Two separate examples:
    • Syd Barrett, while perfectly happy performing and being recognised in underground clubs, found wider fame, larger audiences and TV appearances harder to handle. He wanted to put a brake on their rise to fame, but the rest of the group disagreed, and it was impossible. Already a fan of psychedelic drugs, Syd began to take refuge in them, the whole thing eventually leading to his Creator Breakdown.
    • Roger Waters suffered from the band’s mainstream success following Dark Side of the Moon, especially during the 1977 In The Flesh tour. The audiences became much bigger, and a lot noisier – the old psychedelic fans tended to keep quiet during the numbers, but the mainstream fans often spent the whole gig baying for "Money". The culmination of this came on the final show on 6 July 1977 in Montreal, where Waters stopped during "Pigs on the Wing (Part II)" to deliver this [dead link] blistering tirade, and at the end spat in the face of a particularly disruptive fan he'd been irritated by (the incident and his subsequent thought about building a wall between himself and the audience inspired The Wall). The resulting crowd surges and heavier crowd control techniques also made their mark: the bursting door, riot police and dog patrols portrayed during the "In the Flesh?" concert sequence in The Wall were all based on things he had witnessed while they toured stadiums in the US. Other negative issues were driven to the surface, including his disgust at the greedy bureaucrats who ran the record industry (particularly explicit in "Welcome to the Machine" and "Have a Cigar"), his anger at the leaders who send men (like his father) to die in wars, and despair at society in general. Ultimately, it drove him to leave Pink Floyd. He’s now much less unhappy working a solo career and playing to more specialised audiences.
  • Author Appeal: There's a moderately well known joke about the eras of the band. There are 3 eras of Pink Floyd, the Syd Barrett Era, The Roger Waters era and the David Gilmour era. There are 3 main motifs for each era:
  • Author Tract: The Final Cut gets pretty Anvilicious at times, making Waters' anti-war, anti-authoritarian views pretty clear. Invoked to a lesser extent in Animals and The Wall as well. However, the popularity of the latter two albums suggests that many listeners find them to be examples of Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped and Tropes Are Not Bad.
  • The Band Minus the Face: An Averted Trope twice. Whether the leader is Syd Barrett, Roger Waters or David Gilmour, the records just keep selling. Indeed, as noted above, the only member to stay with the band the whole time is Nick Mason, who listeners are least likely to remember. It probably helped that the band set out not to have a "face."
    • True, yet amazingly so. Mason's drum intro to Time is iconic, to say the least, yet most listeners who are not drummers probably do not know the guys' name.
  • Black Sheep Hit: "Money", "Another Brick in the Wall (Pt. 2)" and "Learning to Fly", their best known songs and biggest pop hits, are totally unrepresentative of the band's sound.
  • The Blank: The interior art of Wish You Were Here depicted a faceless man in the desert dressed in business attire and hawking Pink Floyd records.
  • Book Ends: Dark Side of the Moon(a heartbeat), Wish You Were Here ("Shine On You Crazy Diamond"), Animals ("Pigs on the Wing"), The Wall (the coda of "Outside the Wall" segues into the opening of "In The Flesh?" and there's a faintly audible voice saying "Isn't this where we came in?" broken up between the end of the last song and the beginning of the first).
  • Boxed Set: Three of them - 1992's Shine On (which is mentioned below in greater detail in Greatest Hits Album), 2008's Oh, By the Way (which collects all of the band's studio albums, which are housed in elaborate CD-sized facsimiles of the original vinyl packaging) and 2011's Why Pink Floyd? Discovery edition set.
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: Syd. After being chucked from Pink Floyd, his two solo albums showed that - even after having gone crazy - he was still a capable, witty songwriter. The band themselves were very worried about continuing without Syd, as he had been writing almost all of the band's songs at that point. Waters and Gilmour helped produce Syd's first album and Gilmour and Wright his last, wanting to help their friend.
    • One suggestion was that David would tour and record with the band, while Syd would keep writing their songs and sing on the albums, like Brian Wilson's relationship with The Beach Boys around the same time. The idea failed after Syd infamously taunted them with the unlearnable "Have You Got It, Yet?". Waters noted that at the time Syd was kicked out of the band, "he was our friend, but most of the time we now wanted to strangle him."
  • Careful with That Axe: Trope Namer.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: "Not Now John."
  • Concept Album: Dark Side of the Moon, Animals, Wish You Were Here, The Wall, The Final Cut, to some extent The Division Bell.
  • Control Freak: Roger Waters. If David Gilmour is to be believed, his control-freak mode kicked in around 1977's Animals. It Got Worse with The Wall, which was almost entirely his writing, and culminated in The Final Cut, which infamously had something to the effect of "Written by Roger Waters; performed by Pink Floyd" printed in the liner notes. Then he left the band and instigated a series of lawsuits involving who had the right to use the Animals pig and whether the rest of the band had the right to use the name "Pink Floyd."
    • By a different standpoint, the other members of Pink Floyd, not inclined as natural writers, fell into writer's block, drug addictions, power struggles, marital conflicts and the distractions of fame not long after The Dark Side Of The Moon was a smash. By Wish You Were Here the band signed a multi-million dollar contract with Columbia Records in the US (they felt DSOTM and their earlier work were poorly promoted by their previous American label), and the pressure was on to deliver albums and tour. Roger, in a sense, took over creative control to keep things together. He also had a hard time reconciling his fame with his Socialistic viewpoints, and could not relate to the material pursuits of his colleagues. He was growing increasingly impatient with his bandmates' lack of input, Creative Differences, their battles for writing and production credits for what little they did contribute compared to Waters, and it didn't help when the internal conflicts worsened while the band's managers squandered the band's money and The Wall was make-or-break and due out in a short period of time. Roger, perhaps, came down too hard on Gilmour, Wright and Mason in order to keep the internal drama from, er, dismantling The Wall, but they would arguably have been at a standstill in 1974 without his iron fist.
  • Creator Breakdown: Syd Barrett, referenced in the song "Shine On You Crazy Diamond". In a truly ironic coincidence, he actually showed up at its recording session, more insane than his former bandmates had ever remembered.
    • More a case of It Got Worse. He had become obese over the years, shaved off his hair and eyebrows and become even more secluded. He had to leave the studio when both Waters and Richard Wright broke down in tears.
    • The whole band while making Wish You Were Here. Not only were they trying to follow up a massive hit album, Roger and Nick were both going through divorces.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Dark Side of the Moon.
    • And it just got darker and edgier from there, until Waters' departure from the band. Then it became Lighter and Softer (lyrically, at least, though later songs like "Sorrow" can be pretty dark too).
  • Demoted to Extra: This happened twice. The first was with Syd Barrett when his erratic behavior jeopardized the band and David Gilmour was brought in. He only appears on three songs on A Saucerful of Secrets[5]. The second time was when Waters actually fired Rick Wright during the sessions for The Wall, but was brought back as a touring keyboardist.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Well, many songs, but in particular "Speak To Me" ("I've always been mad, I know I've been mad...")
  • Distinct Double Album: One of the discs of Ummagumma is studio, one is live. Also, The Wall.
    • Would The Wall count though? It's still the same story.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Barrett, later in life, refused to answer to "Syd," preferring to be addressed by his birth name, Roger.
  • Dystopia: Animals (which is kinda based in another dystopia) and The Wall.
  • Epic Rocking: Lots of it, starting with "Interstellar Overdrive", culminating in epics like the 23 minute "Echoes" and the 25 minute "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", although the latter is split into two parts.
    • Also notable is the album Animals, which has two parts of a short song ("Pigs on the Wing") as Book Ends to three very long songs ("Dogs", "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" and "Sheep").
  • Even the Guys Want Him: David Gilmour. No, seriously. Why do you think he's cited as a common cause of Stupid Sexy Flanders?
    • Fun fact: Gilmour was very briefly a male model in his pre-Floyd days.
    • Syd also qualified:

Peter Jenner: Syd was a handsome boy, he was beautiful and one more part of the tragedy is that he became such a fat slob, he became ugly. He was true flower power. He came out in this outrageous gear, he had this permanent, which cost 20 pounds at the time, and he looked like a beautiful woman, all this Thea Porter stuff. He had a lovely girlfriend, Lindsay, she was the spitting image of Syd.

  • Everything's Better with Cows: The cover of Atom Heart Mother.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving With a Pict".
  • The Faceless: The mere fact that anyone aside from die-hard fans know who any of the band members are is a development as recent as 1987. Before then, they were one of the most famous bands that the average rock fan couldn't name or identify the members in a picture if they tried. This was aided by their show-stealing lighting and stage effects, and abetted by them staying off the record covers from Atom Heart Mother on. Legendarily, the band would go into the common area of arenas for a drink during intermission and no one ever recognized one of them.
  • Face Heel Turn: After Syd Barrett lost his mind and left the band, the band became a lot more angsty and proggy than they had been in the Syd Era, mainly due to Roger Water's anger over his father's death as well as his grief over the 'death' of the Syd he knew. This is where The Wall came from.
  • Fading Into the Next Song: All of Pink Floyd's songs from Dark Side of the Moon to The Final Cut. Okay, there are some that are isolated on those albums (Usually where the A side of the LP ended), but the technique is dominant.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: "High Hopes".
  • Four More Measures: "Time", noted for its overly long intro section.
  • Fun with Acronyms: "Shine On You Crazy Diamond".
  • Garfunkel: Nick Mason is kinda this. Of course, he's the only member of the band to be in the group continuously since its founding. But his songwriting contribution has always been minimal (only two are solely credited to him; and one, DSOTM's "Speak to Me", wasn't even by him, Roger just gave it to him), though many of the band's trademark sound effects have been his ideas. Mason also wrote - without the aid of a ghost writer - Inside Out, the definitive official autobiography of the band.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In "Money," David Gilmour blatantly says "bullshit," yet the word remained uncensored on most radio stations, until the FCC started cracking down on broadcasters after Janet Jackson's "Wardrobe Malfunction".
  • Gratuitous Japanese: The Japanese release of Meddle changed the track name of "One of These Days" to 吹けよ風、呼べよ嵐 (fuke yo kaze, yobe yo arashi), or "Blow, Wind! Call Forth, Storm!"
  • Gratuitous Panning: "Interstellar Overdrive," dear God, "Interstellar Overdrive".
  • Greatest Hits Album: Six of them:
    • Relics (1971): contains largely Syd-era material and non-album singles like "See Emily Play". Also, its the only album in print which contains the studio version of fan favorite "Careful with That Axe, Eugene".
    • A Collection of Great Dance Songs (1981): The band's first real greatest hits album. Contains only six songs. Infamously, one of them is a rerecorded version of "Money" with David Gilmour playing every instrument except for the saxophone (which is played by Dick Parry, as on the original recording). "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)" are represented by edits. It sold decently, but even the band hates it now.
    • Works (1983): A cash in by the band's former label Capitol Records on the then-upcoming release of The Final Cut. It contains a perplexing tracklist of pre-Wish You Were Here material and the compilation rarity "Embryo".
    • Shine On (1992): A box set, the idea of which was that the band's "greatest hits" were actually whole albums. Consisted of A Saucerful of Secrets, Meddle, Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall, A Momentary Lapse of Reason, and - for collector's bait - a CD containing all of the band's 1967-1969 singles. That exclusive CD, The Early Singles is still the only place to find such rarities as "Point Me at the Sky" and "It Would Be So Nice" on CD (most of the others can be found on either Relics or the 2007 re-release of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn).
    • Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd (2001). A 2-disc compilation that was intended to be "definitive" as far as Pink Floyd greatest hits albums go. Features a reasonable career-spanning tracklist for the first time, but caused some controversy for some rather unorthodox edits of some songs (notably "Marooned", which is morphed into Album Filler). However, the songs in the compilation were edited in a way so that they seamlessly flow into the next song, even though many of the songs are decades apart (1973's "Money" turns into 1994's "Keep Talking" and 1987's "Learning to Fly" morphs into 1967's "Arnold Layne"). Its the band's fifth best selling album.
    • A Foot in the Door: The Best of Pink Floyd (2011). A single disc collection that will accompany the 2011 reissue of their discography.
  • Grand Finale: High Hopes, the last song on The Division Bell, and the last Pink Floyd song ever written, is said to be an autobiography of the bands history.
  • Guest Star Party Member: When it came time to record "Have a Cigar", Roger Waters had blown his voice recording "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and David Gilmour declined to sing, so the group recruited folk singer Roy Harper to sing lead.
    • The only other song with vocals by a Guest Star Party Member being Clare Torry's vocals on "The Great Gig in the Sky".

Roger Waters: Alan [Parsons] suggested Clare Torry. I've no idea whose idea it was to have someone wailing on it. Clare came into the studio one day, and we said, "There's no lyrics. It's about dying -- have a bit of a sing on that, girl." I think she only did one take. And we all said, "Wow, that's that done. Here's your sixty quid."

  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: Several times on Dark Side of the Moon.
  • I Am the Band: In 1983, Roger Waters quit the band and declared that Pink Floyd had disbanded. When Gilmour/Mason/Wright disagreed, he sued over the rights to the Pink Floyd name, ultimately losing and eventually regretted suing the other members.
  • It Got Worse: The band's misfortunes piled on to the point of absurdity.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: In "The Final Cut", the line that goes "And if I'm in I'll tell you what's behind the wall" has a gunshot going off after "I'll tell you", suggesting that whoever was trying to say this line was shot.
  • Large Ham: From Animals onward, Roger took control and most of the songs were performed by him. Usually with extreme bombast.
  • Laughing Mad: "Brain Damage" has some of this in the background.
  • List Song: "Eclipse" and "What Shall We Do Now?", as well as the final part of "Dogs".
  • Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition: Too many to count. It seems like they've released every possible thing you could ever want to have by these guys, (let alone the ENTIRE EMI library) but the newest re-release is just too much. For Dark Side Of The Moon alone, in the immersion edition, you'll get 3 cd's, 2 DVD's, 1 Blu-ray disk, big-ass 40-page booklet, a photo booklet, an art print, 5 "collectible cards," a replica ticket and backstage pass to a DSOTM show, a scarf, 3 "designer" marbles, 9 special coasters, and a credits booklet. That's justthe first one being released.
  • Long Runner Lineup: The classic lineup of David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Nick Mason lasted from 1968 to 1979, ending when Roger Waters fired Richard Wright during the recording of The Wall. Keyboard duties on The Final Cut were filled by Oscar-nominated composer Michael Kamen. Wright returned to the band in 1986, after Waters had quit the band - and this three piece line-up (with Waters' bass and singing filled by hired musicians) also lasted 10 years.
  • Long Title: "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict".
  • Magical Native American: In the video for "Learning To Fly".
  • Mahjong: The band members were supposedly fond of this game. A Pillow of Winds refers to one of the many possible hands in it.
  • Man On Fire: The cover of Wish You Were Here has a picture of two businessmen shaking hands with one of them on fire, which is a visual metaphor for being burned in the music industry.
  • Meaningful Background Event: Someone apparently blows up an airplane in the background of "On The Run". In some stage shows, a model airplane would fly across the stage and explode at the end of the song.
  • Messy Pigs: "Pigs (Three Different Ones)". Honorable mention to the inflatable pigs they employed on the album cover image for Animals and in concerts thereafter, especially since the cover model broke free from its moorings during shooting and drifted across flight paths, and one of the prop pigs exploded on tour. [6]
  • Mind Screw: "Echoes", particularly the line "I am you and what I see is me"
  • Money Song: "Money".
  • The Movie: Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii and Pink Floyd: The Wall.
  • Mythology Gag: "By the way, which one's Pink?" was a real question by a music agent.
  • Non-indicative Title: The 1981 compilation album A Collection of Great Dance Songs, which consists of six songs which, much like everything else in Floyd's catalogue, are impossible to dance to. The album cover lampshades the title, featuring a waltzing couple immobilized by guy wires.
  • One-Woman Wail: "The Great Gig in the Sky".
  • Panty Thief: "Arnold Layne".
  • Past in The Rearview Mirror: "Two Suns in the Sunset".
  • Precision F-Strike: Besides the "bullshit" in "Money", "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" has "You fucked up old hag!"
    • There are only two songs with serious expletives in The Wall: one occurs in "Nobody Home" ("I've got thirteen channels of shit on the TV to choose from") and the other in "The Trial" ("You little shit..." and "Go on, Judge! Shit on 'im!")
    • The demo for "The Show Must Go On" had one in there, plus a few more verses.
      • "Lost For Words" from The Division Bell has an f-bomb at the end.
      • Let's not forget the early B-side "Candy and a Currant Bun," in which the line "Please, just fuck with me" is rumoured to have been inserted as a Take That at the label for censoring the original title of the song ("Let's Roll Another One", an obvious drug reference).
  • Pretty Boy: David Gilmour in Floyd's heyday. Though in the '80s he gained a pot belly and eventually didn't age very well.
  • Put on a Bus: Syd Barrett, after the sessions for A Saucerful of Secrets and Richard Wright, during the sessions for The Wall.
    • The Bus Came Back: Barrett's two 1970 solo albums, which - despite his less than perfect mental state - contained some very good songs. Unfortunately by 1972, he'd completely lost even his ability to write a cracking song and back on the bus he went.
      • Richard Wright also came back (though not as an official member, for legal reasons, until 1994) when he was rehired by Gilmour and Mason during the sessions for A Momentary Lapse of Reason. He had apparently been fired due to a combination excessive cocaine use (referenced in "Nobody Home") and a fight with Roger over his refusal to cut his vacation short after the album turned out to be behind schedule.
    • According to Mason's book, Syd's departure from the band was actually a literal inversion: the rest of the band were in the tour bus on their way to a gig in Southampton, knew that Syd would probably just stand on stage and stare at the audience for the entire show, and when someone in the van asked if they should pick him up, the response was "No, fuck it, let's not bother."
  • The Quiet One: Rick Wright, as noted by his fellow band members, who also credits him for forming much of the band's sound picture.
  • Ravens and Crows: In the middle of Echoes and later in Poles Apart, the latter also crosses over into a Circus of Fear.
    • The bird sounds in Echoes are actually an electric guitar plugged into a wah pedal the wrong way.
  • Reclusive Artist: Syd Barrett.
  • Refrain From Assuming: It's called "Brain Damage", not "The Dark Side of the Moon". Similarly, "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" is not "We Don't Need No Education" and "Learning to Fly" is not "Tongue Tied And Twisted".
  • Sampling: The TV broadcasts used in certain songs on The Wall. The "radio bridge" between "Have a Cigar" and the title track on Wish You Were Here. The gunnery and motorbike sounds on Atom Heart Mother. The Russian voice with the Morse code on "Astronomy Domine". The British Telecom advert (featuring the synthetic voice of Stephen Hawking) in "Keep Talking" (it also provided the title).
  • Sanity Slippage Song: Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall are both sanity slippage albums.
    • Shine On You Crazy Diamond was about (the late) Syd Barret's general craziness, before he left. He showed by sheer accident while the rest of the band was recording the song, and no one recognized him. He was more crazy than when he left, and he was pretty damn crazy and stoned out of his balls when he was in the band to begin with.
  • Scatting: "The Great Gig In The Sky", "A Saucerful of Secrets", "Atom Heart Mother", "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict", "Pow R Toc H"...
  • Shout-Out: There's a pretty blatant one in "Let There Be More Light" from A Saucerful of Secrets.

The outer lock rolled slowly back, the servicemen were heard to sigh.
For there revealed in flowing robes was Lucy in the sky.

    • The bass-only bridge of "One of These Days" includes a quote from the Doctor Who theme.
    • The inflatable pig from the Animals album cover is floating above Battersea Power Station - converted into humanity's last museum - for the film Children of Men.
    • Towards the end of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts VI - X)", the melody of the first line of "See Emily Play" is played during the keyboard outtro.
    • Two comic book characters: Dan Dare in "Astronomy Domine" and Doctor Strange in "Cymbaline".
  • Siamese Twin Songs: "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse".
  • Slasher Smile: Roger Waters. Along with other Ax Crazy antics.
  • So What Do We Do Now?: Pretty much the state of mind of the band just before and during the early sessions for Wish You Were Here.

David Gilmour: It was a very difficult period I have to say. All your childhood dreams had been sort of realized and we had the biggest selling records in the world and all the things you got into it for. The girls and the money and the fame and all that stuff [...E]verything had sort of come our way and you had to reassess what you were in it for thereafter, and it was a pretty confusing and sort of empty time for a while.

  • Soprano and Gravel: David Gilmour sings in an instantly recognizable soft tenor. While Roger Waters does complement this pretty well in harmony, his voice is more nasal and often has a less melodic approach. The same could be said for their tendencies as songwriters - Waters-era Floyd's anger and angst versus Gilmour-era mellowness.
    • A more extreme example would be Dave's tenor versus Roger's screaming.
  • Spoken Word in Music + Sound FX Tropes: The band were famous in their heyday for frequently integrating spoken word bits and sound effects into their music. Great examples of these would be Dark Side of the Moon - boasting spoken parts obtained by interviewing people associated with the band or working in the studio, the heartbeat Book Ends, "On the Run" and the collage at the start of "Money" -, the mechanic effects from "Welcome to the Machine", the radio tuning of "Wish You Were Here", the Psalm 23 parody from "Sheep" and The Wall, which takes Dark Side's effects and spoken word bits and just runs all the way with them - evil schoolmasters, enthusiastic groupies, Stuka dive-bombers, helicopters, airport announcements, skidding tires, crowd chanting, ambient noises, and more.
    • The band also had the tendency to indulge in a sort of musical form of Prop Recycling by reusing sound effects and other bits on their albums, almost as a Continuity Nod. For example, aside from the Book Ends, the submarine "ping" from "Echoes" shows up in "Hey You", the "Careful with That Axe, Eugene" scream is re-used in "Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2", "Run Like Hell" and "Two Suns in the Sunset", the distorted whale-noise from "Echoes" is used in "Is There Anybody Out There?", and probably the most extreme example, The Final Cut cannibalizes sound effects from Meddle, Dark Side, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall.
    • And tying that into the He Also Did entry in the Trivia tab - that approaching helicopter sound at the start of "The Happiest Days of Our Lives"? Reused in Kate Bush's song "Experiment IV". Supposedly, her engineers just couldn't duplicate the overwhelming sound so she just borrowed the actual original effect from Roger.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Richard Wright sings many songs, and Nick Mason has two B-sides.
  • Take That: Waters took shots at his former bandmates in his 1986 song, "Towers of Faith":

He said, "I see you, you thief!"
This land is my land
And this sand is my sand
And this band is my band

    • And again, with a merchandise t-shirt sold at all his solo gigs (started during Waters' Radio KAOS tours), directing a famous line from "Have a Cigar" against the resurrected Floyd: - "Oh, by the way, which one's Pink?".
      • He also took shots at producer Bob Ezrin (who produced The Wall and A Momentary Lapse of Reason at the time) in his 1992 song, "Too Much Rope":

Each man has his price Bob
And yours was pretty low

      • He ALSO took shots at a British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, whom he accused of ripping-off some early Floyd melodies, in song "It's A Miracle" (same album as "Too Much Rope", coincidentally?)

We cower in our bunkers with our fingers in our ears,
As Lloyd Webber's awful stuff runs on for years and years and years,
An earthquake strikes the theatre, but the operetta lingers,
And then the piano lid falls and it breaks his fucking fingers.
It's a miracle...

      • The Sun reported that Waters had over 150 rolls of toilet paper with Gilmour's face printed on every sheet. Waters would deny this, but admitted that it was a great idea.
    • David Gilmour also took a shot of his own at Roger Waters in the song "You Know I'm Right" from his solo album About Face and "Lost For Words" from Division Bell:

So I open my door to my enemies
And I ask could we wipe the slate clean
But they tell me to please go fuck myself

You know you just can't win

    • The Final Cut, directed at England in general for its involvement in The Falklands War.
      • In the song "Not Now John", from that same album, Waters expressed his displeasure with Alan Parker, who directed the movie version of The Wall:

Not now, John, I've gotta get on with the film show
Hollywood awaits at the end of the rainbow
Who cares what it's about as long as the kids go

    • Roger said that the cover of Atom Heart Mother and the final, underwater-themed lyrics of "Echoes" were meant as Take Thats against the space rock image they'd been associated with.
    • Even Syd managed to squeeze in a couple. "Jugband Blues" has been interpreted as his way of "thanking" his band mates for kicking him out of the group. Also, the unreleased "Vegetable Man" could have been his view on the music industry; the title of the song referring to musicians being molded into mindless hit-making machines....eight years before the rest of the band tackled the subject with "Welcome To The Machine" and "Have A Cigar".
      • "Bob Dylan Blues", too. Damn, Syd.
    • "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" takes shots at Margaret Thatcher and Mary Whitehouse. Thatcher is the subject of several more Take Thats on The Final Cut.
  • Textless Album Cover: Most of them. The Wall and The Final Cut got titles in later prints.
  • Uncommon Time: "Money", "Mother", "Two Suns in the Sunset" and parts of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond".
  • Ur Example: On The Run's fast, manipulated synth loop is amazingly similar to the trademark sounds of House Music and Trance.
    • Also, it's very surprising how much of Syd Barrett's era sounds like punk (like, even more so than The Who), in spite of preceding it by almost a decade.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: "Pigs (Three Different Ones)". "Villains" because they're the ones popularly thought to be manipulating everything bad in the Animals album, and "sucks song" because unlike the thinly veiled satire of "Dogs" and "Sheep", "Pigs" pulls out the stops and outright insults the subjects from the start of and throughout the song.
    • The first two characters in the first two verses are ambiguous - it's usually assumed that the "bus stop rat bag" in the second verse is Margaret Thatcher, then just rising to power. Only the third verse clearly states who its specifically skewering - infamous British moral campaigner Mary Whitehouse. Some American viewers missed this reference and thought they were talking about the White House.
  • Vocal Evolution: Roger Waters' vocals became higher-pitched and nasal as time went on.
  • Vocal Range Exceeded: "Welcome to the Machine", where one line required trickery to achieve the right pitch.

David Gilmour: It was a line I just couldn't reach so we dropped the tape down half a semitone.

  • Went to the Great X In the Sky: "The Great Gig in the Sky" is the 5th track on the 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon.
  • Word Salad Title: As with many bands of the time period, the name simply makes no sense whatsoever. The band's name was taken from two obscure American bluesmen - Pink Anderson and Floyd Council - who Syd Barrett had albums from in his record collection, taking the name only when the band found out they were sharing a bill with another band called The Tea Set, which was the band's name at the time. Barrett basically blurted out the new name and it seemed trippy enough that it stuck.
  • Writer Revolt: Most of Wish You Were Here was inspired by the record label's pressure on a follow-up... which led to the scathing songs "Have a Cigar" and "Welcome to the Machine".
  • Writing Around Trademarks: After Waters left, he retained the rights to the famous Pink Floyd Pig. The band just added testicles to it to distinguish it.
    • More so to not pay Roger royalties. Especially good timing as it was pointed out to Gilmour in an interview that by singing Waters' song live, he was paying royalties to Waters, which he could use to finance his lawyers to sue Gilmour and Mason.
    • The Delicate Sound of Thunder video did include a credit to Waters for the "Original Pig Concept."
    • From a infographic: "They put balls on my pig. Fuck them."

Hello, is that Charlie?
Hello, Charlie!

  1. in fact, the only reason he had a credit on "Speak to Me" was because Waters gave it away
  2. he speaks through a ring modulator on "One of These Days", recites an electronically distorted poem on "Signs of Life", and sings on the officially unreleased "The Merry Xmas Song" and "Scream Thy Last Scream" alongside Barrett, and on "Corporal Clegg" alongside Wright and Gilmour
  3. (especially by people trying to retail it). They were certainly not the only band whose work was used on the soundtrack, but they did make the biggest contribution, including new material specifically written and recorded for it under director Michaelangelo Antonioni’s (awkward, inexpert and nebulous) musical direction (How inexpert? He rejected an early draft of "Us and Them" because he thought it sounded "like a church" and wanted more "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" type material). Unlike the films above, there’s probably around a 50/50 split between those who know Zabriskie Point for its Floyd connections, and those who know it for its award-winning director or cinematic qualities.
  4. They also recorded a soundtrack to The Committee (1968), a MindScrewy, philosophical independent black-and-white film noir. The film has since been released on DVD, internet sites et cetera, and the Floyd contributions to the soundtrack have appeared on some rarities-and-outtakes-type compilations, but both are sunk in what is an unsurprisingly deep obscurity.
  5. Wright's "Remember a Day", Waters' "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" and his own "Jugband Blues". "Heart of the Sun" is the only Floyd song with both Barrett and Gilmour on it.
  6. The exploding pig was just supposed to burn. During each performance of "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" on the 1977 Animals tour, a pig inflatable filled with a mixture of helium and propane would be set aloft from behind the stage and then ignited. It would burn in a similar fashion to the Hindenburg, incinerating the balloon skin as it did. One time, however, for reasons that were never explained, it was filled instead with a mixture of oxygen and acetylene - basically making a fuel/air explosive. Ignited, it produced a bright yellow flash, a deafening bang (the blast wave knocked over some of the stage crew) and gentle shower of lightly-scorched balloon skin fragments. For extra points, the venue for that tour date was located near to a veterans’ hospital, and the band and crew had been asked specifically to avoid disturbing them with excessive noise.