Nick Mason goes inside Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here: ‘We were a bit burnt out’

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Pressure for Pink Floyd to follow up the monumental success of Dark Side of the Moon might have been a heavy enough stone around their necks in the mid-1970s.

But then the record company pushed Pink Floyd right back into the studio in an effort to capitalize on that breakthrough. Instead of building on the band’s momentum, however, they ground to a halt in the days before Wish You Were Here was released on September 12, 1975.

“It was difficult,” Pink Floyd stalwart Nick Mason told Sonic Reality. “I think being wise after the event, if we could relive the whole period, what we probably should have done is worked live. In the modern world, we would have toured for much longer — done Dark Side as a show, and developed it, instead of more or less coming straight back into the studio.”

Wish You Were Here emerged after a series of excruciating sessions only to become a sizeable hit — going six-times platinum in the U.S. But, ultimately, that paled alongside the 15 million in U.S. sales that accompanied Pink Floyd’s preceding album.

“I think we spent an awful lot of time working on ideas that didn’t lead anywhere,” Nick Mason adds, “perhaps because we were a bit burnt out by Dark Side and its success. It took quite a while to get stuck into Wish You Were Here. I think we would have benefited, if we would have just relaxed a bit. I’d loved to have done more live work at the time — and then we might have gotten ’round to filming Dark Side, which we never did. That’s a shame, really.”

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