Despite the fact that all three remaining members of Pink Floyd have appeared on stage together recently, not to mention having collaborated on a just-completed massive reissue series, founding member Nick Mason doesn’t see a full-fledged reunion happening.
“I think it would take flying pigs – very hard to, to see it happening,” says Mason, the only member of the band to appear in all of its many incarnations. “Roger’s really happy working on his own. David, I think, would be very wary of doing the big shows and working with Roger full time.”
Mason, Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Richard Wright — Pink Floyd’s most successful lineup — memorably reunited for a set during the massive Live 8 benefit concert in 2005, the first time that Waters had been on stage with them since 1981. Then Mason and Gilmour appeared last summer at London’s 02 Arena during a stop on Waters’ Wall tour. Waters and Gilmour performed “Comfortably Numb” then, during the finale of “Outside the Wall,” Gilmour returned to the stage alongside Mason. But Wright had passed in the interim, all but shutting the door on a large-scale reunion project.
“It’d be lovely to be able to give people good news,” Mason told IFC.com. “But I think if we did ever manage to do anything, it would be generated by a something like a Live 8 situation where we could make a difference to something that mattered.”
Mason was part of the original Pink Floyd quartet including Roger Waters, Rick Wright and Syd Barrett that lasted from 1965-68. David Gilmour — a friend of Barrett’s from Cambridge Tech — joined for a short-lived five-man version of the band in ’68, before Barrett’s departure. (Both Barrett and Gilmour contributed guitar to the legendary space-rock classic “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun.”)
Barrett, however, was already descending into mental illness, reportedly brought on by drug use. Pink Floyd was soon reduced to a second quartet, a group that created a pair of celebrated albums in Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall before dissolving around 1980. They dealt with the loss of Barrett within the song “Shine On Your Crazy Diamond” for 1975’s Wish You Were Here. Pink Floyd later recorded two albums as a three piece (1983’s The Final Cut, without Rick Wright; and 1994’s Division Bell, without Waters) and another as a two-man amalgam (1987’s Momentary Lapse of Reason, with only Gilmour and Mason as official members).
Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Pink Floyd. Click through the titles for complete reviews …
HAVE A CIGAR!: CELEBRATING PINK FLOYD’S MASSIVE REISSUE PROJECT: Psych-rockers Pink Floyd and EMI are launching an exhaustive re-release campaign. You could say that tickled us … pink. Released under the banner “Why Pink Floyd?,” the band started by issuing remastered editions of all 14 of its albums, with a staggered schedule of unreleased material from its archives for super-deluxe box sets. The remastered studio albums are available either separately or as a box set. To celebrate, we reminisced about a few key cuts from throughout their career.
FORGOTTEN SERIES: PINK FLOYD CO-FOUNDER SYD BARRETT: For fans of the group’s early, more whimsical side, these CDs are simply astounding. Gone is the punky pyschedlia of the early Floyd singles that Syd wrote — like, say, the breakthrough, “Arnold Layne” or “Apples and Oranges.” While it seems deeply influenced by the Beatles, Barrett’s new music was much heavier. His wild-eyed whimsy had evolved into pop songcraft of the highest order. In no way was this morose flower-power stuff, though, even though it has a vague elegiac tone. In fact, believe it or not, Syd sounds tough — and incredibly modern.
GIMME FIVE: SONGS WHERE PINK FLOYD, WELL, SUCKED: Everybody went through a Pink Floyd phase, right? But, the child is grown; the dream is gone. Let’s face it, some of this stuff, well, sucked. So while we still have a deep respect — and I mean that most sincerely — for, say, Dark Side of the Moon, careful adult inspection reveals that even that psych-masterpiece boasts at least one awful clunker. So, have a cigar, as we count down the stuff that didn’t quite make their hall-of-fame resume — the ones where they were tongue-tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit … well, you get the idea.
THE ORB FEATURING DAVID GILMOUR – METALLIC SPHERES (2010): Gilmour’s familiar Fender Stratocaster vibrato effortlessly blends with the Orb’s next-galaxy synthesizer washes, mid-tempo house flourishes and whoa-man effects. And, along the way, helps both Gilmour and the Orb reclaim a measure of their own early promise. In fact, we might just be hearing the best collaboration from any edition of Pink Floyd in the last three decades. Revisiting a pre-Dark Side of the Moon penchant for narrative instrumental musings allows Gilmour a return to his own roots, even as it hurtles him past an impossible talisman in Pink Floyd.
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