Pink Floyd changed the history of music forever. From the band's inception in 1964, they knew they didn't want to go with the flow. They weren't sure if their way of conceiving music would be successful, but they followed their instinct and came out on top. The group went through different stages and even different members, but they never let go of their initial rock sound.
They gave a new meaning to rock, created their own style and filled their albums with personal stories. Stories transformed into songs, with deep lyrics and brilliant melodies, which gave rise to songs full of emotion, among them, 'Wish You Were Here'.
All the members of Pink Floyd left their mark on the group's history: Rogers Waters, David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Richard Wright and Syd Barrett. But its three leaders (Barrett, Waters and Gilmour) marked the three key stages of the band.
The first stage, led by Barrett, was marked by psychedelic rock, largely due to his addiction to substances such as LSD. The second stage came with Walters, who showed the darker side of the group, opening the doors to symphonic rock.
David Gilmour led the last stage of the group to date, with a much more individual sound, received much criticism for having lost the original essence of Pink Floyd. A conflictive stage between several of the members of the group, that luckily ended well. In 1994 all the members of Pink Floyd released 'The Division Bell', the last album of the band to date and one of the best valued.
Since then, the most nostalgic fans have not stopped waiting for their return. On July 2, 2005, the concert 'Live 8' of London returned to unite on a stage to the members of Pink Floyd to the complete one, after more than 24 years without playing together. A concert that ended with a collective embrace, which probably closed the circle. Luckily, their songs are eternal.
In his impressive video he has brought together more than 110 voices at the same time to sing the chorus of the immortal song 'Wish You Were Here'. The funds will go to the associations Helpmusicians.org (for musicians), AgeUK (NGO for the elderly), Mind (NGO for mental illness) and also to the NHS, the British national health system.
Anderson also wants to raise awareness about the crisis facing the cultural sector due to the successive confinements throughout this last year, with serious effects also on the mental health of the population and the loss of human lives due to this pandemic.
"Everyone is missing someone," Anderson says, paraphrasing the song's title: "I wish they were here. Whether it's people we've lost to the pandemic, friends who have passed away that we didn't get to say goodbye to, or just people who are cut off from friends and family. I think everyone globally has felt the need to express this and I felt this chorus would provide an outlet."
"I wanted the song to have 100 voices, it seemed important to reach that number as it matched the feelings of those involved and there are few things as moving as so many people singing along with so much emotion," he comments on the achievement.
In the end, Anderson has managed to gather 113 members for the choir, who are from many countries and not only from the UK: there are collaborations from the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Greece, New Zealand, North and South America and Canada.
All the voices of the choir were recorded with phones and computers, and 25 of them also recorded videos, and everything together has been edited into the final version that you can see in the video.
The last time the classic Pink Floyd quartet performed 'Wish You Were Here' live (2005):
So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from hell?
Blue skies from pain?
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?
Did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
Did you exchange
A walk-on part in the war
For a leading role in a cage?
How I wish, how I wish you were here
We're just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl
Year after year
Running over the same old ground
What have we found?
The same old fears
Wish you were here
Authors: Roger Waters / David Gilmour
Lyrics from Wish You Were Here © Roger Waters Music Overseas Ltd, Pink Floyd Music Publr., Inc.
The British rock band Pink Floyd is one of the great musical icons of the 20th century.
Pink Floyd was born in London in 1964 Its members had been part of various groups of the underground scene of the British capital, until they met in a band that was initially called Tea Set, formed by Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Rick Wright and Syd Barrett. They were heavily influenced by The Beatles, who were at the height of their fame, The Byrds and American blues.
In 1967, they would record their first album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn whose title comes from the novel The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Graham; it was already a very innovative work for the time, due to the use of echo effects and electronic keyboards and thanks to the surreal imagery of Barrett's lyrics. Along with some compositions by The Beatles, it is now considered the starting point of psychedelic rock. It reached a great success in the United Kingdom, which allowed them to act as opening act in a tour of Jimi Hendrix, which launched them in the United States.
However, despite this early success, Pink Floyd was on the verge of disbanding, due to Barrett's LSD addiction, which practically prevented him from continuing to perform live. After many doubts, the remaining members of the group decided to replace him as vocalist. Several candidates were proposed for this position, such as Jeff Beck, but the chosen one would be David Gilmour.
The second album of the group, A Saucerful of Secrets , in 1968, combined psychedelic rock with increasingly risky sound effects. The following year, they composed the soundtrack for Barbet Schroeder's film More, which was a new experiment, inspired by British folk music. That tendency to experimentation would reach its zenith with Ummagumma (the title is a sexual expression of university slang), also from 1969, a double live album, whose unusually long songs explore themes such as madness, paranoia and social criticism. Despite its difficulty, it was very well received in the UK and cemented the band's reputation. A success that was amplified with 1970's Atom Heart Mother, again with very long songs combining very dissimilar sonic elements and orchestral arrangements, which reached its first number 1 in Britain. Despite this, this album would later be disowned by the band, who never played any of its songs in concert.
Meddle, from 1971, included one of their longest and most famous songs, Echoes, described by Waters as a twenty-three minute sonic poem. In 1972, they returned to compose the soundtrack of a film by Barbet Schroeder, The Valley, which was the origin of their album Obscured by Clouds, in which they returned to classic rock. From this moment on, Pink Floyd's period of maximum splendor would begin, with complex concept albums that would become milestones of 20th century music such as The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) and Wish You Were Here (1975), in which they combined electronic sounds, jazz, progressive rock and psychedelia with profoundly existential lyrics. They also released their live album Live at Pompeii, recorded in the amphitheater of the ancient Roman city.
In 1977, Animals would arrive, a new conceptual work inspired by George Orwell's novel Animal Farm. On the cover of the album appeared an inflatable pig, that the band baptized as Algie and that would become the "mascot" of Pink Floyd, as well as one of its most iconic elements.
Then came the third great classic of the group, The Wall. Conceived by Waters as a rock opera, it dealt with themes such as loneliness, alienation and anguish in contemporary society. Songs like Another Brick in the Wall or Comfortably Numb would become enormously popular. In 1982, it was made into a film, directed by Alan Parker.
The Final Cut was released in 1983. It mixed references to the figure of Waters' father, who died in combat in World War II, with criticism of the British participation in the Falklands War and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. During the recording of this album, the personal relationship between Gilmour and Waters worsened to the point that the latter announced his departure from the band, after a series of disputes that went to court over the ownership of the group.
In 1987, already without Rogers, A Momentary Lapse of Reason was released and, the following year, Delicate Sound of Thunder. In 1994, came The Division Bell and in 1995, the live album PULSE. Although they had some success, none obtained the impact of their previous works.
With the new century, Pink Floyd was centered in preparing diverse compilations of their classic discs. It was not until 2005, when the reunion and reconciliation of the four members of the classic lineup of the band took place in the Live 8 benefit concert.
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