How do you follow-up a record that is a classic upon release?
That’s the position Pink Floyd found themselves in after the release of “Dark Side of the Moon”.
The pressure was huge. They were an art band before all of this. Now they were directly in the mainstream.
And pressure can cause tension.
Probably the most famous and reported feud was between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. It was public, and it was obvious.
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had their share of…”tension” as well. Disagreements over the direction of the Stones. They obviously learned to agree to disagree. For the most part anyway.
There are countless other examples of this.
With Pink Floyd the tension came with superstardom.
So during the follow-up the unpleasantness began.
The “Wish You Were Here” sessions began initially directionless, with a number of creative dead ends reached before the album took flight. It was in those very sessions that the divide between Gilmour and Waters really found its footing, and that Waters’ increasing alienation from the audience that helped build the Pink Floyd empire, was only beginning.
Both sides considered, Waters was becoming an arrogant dictatorial egomaniac who had to have things his way.
Gilmour on the other hand was lazy, not producing or writing anything that could be used for the band. Gilmour was just being contrary to Waters ideas.
The other members of Pink Floyd, Nick Mason and Richard Wright seemed to side with David Gilmour for the most part.
The truth? Who knows unless you were there…
As usual, it SEEMS to be a bit of both. David Gilmour has admitted to his laziness and not writing enough material. His point was usually more about in the “style” that he felt Waters pushed around the rest of the band.
After “Wish you were here” it all got worse. When “The Final Cut” was released, the last Pink Floyd album with the classic lineup, David Gilmour insisted that his name be taken off the credits. And he really was right when he said it was a Roger Waters solo album using the members of Pink Floyd as backing musicians.
After that Waters left the band. And then he sued the other three when they went on under the name “Pink Floyd”.
Which is a whole other saga.
But all the seeds that ended up in this ugly “divorce” started with “Wish you Were Here”.
And here is the ironic part.
It’s a great album. Richard Wright AND David Gilmour BOTH cite it as their favorite Pink Floyd record. They much prefer it to “Dark Side”.
Is tension needed to make great art?
Talk amongst yourselves now, fight, or leave your thoughts below……