6 years ago today, 15th September 2008, Rick Wright went to the Great Gig in the Sky




Wish you were Here.


September 12 - Wish You Were Here

When Pink Floyd entered Abbey Road’s Studio 3 to record the next album after Dark Side of the Moon, they felt creatively drained. They had achieved all the fame and fortune that every rock band dreams to have, and the pressure was on to do it again. The band could have just as easily broken up, a victim of its own success.

David Gilmour had preferred to record the trio of post-Dark Side jams they had been developing on tour: Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Raving and Drooling, and You Gotta Be Crazy. But Roger Waters arrived at the concept of supplementing the Syd Barrett tribute Shine On with other new songs lamenting Syd’s absence and absence in general. Shine On's crib mates were put on the shelf until the next album, Animals (with some retooling they became Sheep and Dogs, respectively). A secondary theme also emerged: criticism of the machinations of the music industry, in the form of Welcome to the Machine and Have a Cigar, the latter more blatant with lyrics from the first person perspective of a fat cat music executive spouting greedy clichés.

The packaging of the album also explored the theme of absence. The front cover: two businessmen shaking hands, a gesture that proves to be lacking sincerity when one of them gets burned in the deal. The back cover: an empty suit selling transparent Floyd records (and his soul) in the desert (note the various Pink Floyd stickers on the briefcase, and the record is Wish You Were Here itself). On an enclosed postcard: a diver without a splash. The inner sleeve: a veil in a windswept grove (look closer for the ghostly image of the woman behind the veil). All of this was to be wrapped in opaque black shrink wrap, forcing the art within to be absent from the record shop shelves and denying its use for the commercial purpose of selling the album. They compromised with the reality that the art is in fact a product for sale and must have some identification by allowing a sticker — depicting a robotic, inhuman handshake — over the shrink wrap. When Storm Thorgerson presented his concept to the band, they applauded.

Wish You Were Here was released 39 years ago today, September 12, 1975. It was an instant number one in the UK, where demand was so great that stores received only 50% of their initial orders. In the US, it reached number one in its second week. It was Pink Floyd’s fastest selling album ever. The album is a favorite of many Pink Floyd fans, and David Gilmour and Richard Wright cited it as their favorite as well.

"Pink Floyd were intellectuals who liked fine wine and surrounded themselves with interesting musicians,designers,singers and lighting technicians,who were all given equal status.They were an intelligent bunch from Cambridge who did not fit the more typical mould of a working class band."

. Jill Furmanovsky (via more-relics)

(Source: okaayawesome)

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