.. e previously mentioned song (Povey 143). It is necessary to study the lyrics from the song to understand it. Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun. Shine on you crazy diamond. Now there’s a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond. You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom, blown on the steel breeze. It is up to the mind whether or not these lyrics make references to Syd Barrett. While Pink Floyd was an excellent band, it had some following that were not incredibly good for their image. Once such instance points to a Los Angeles show in 1977, in which over 500 people were arrested for the use or possession of marijuana.
The chief of Police called the event an illegal pot fest, something that did nothing for the bands likeness (Povey 140). The band developed its style with the help of front man Syd Barrett. He took the band down a different path, away from simply jazz or blues. He created a style of his own which has been evident in the music he helped write and sing. He turned the bands music from an origin of blues oriented, to a more psychedelic sound, with full support from the other band members (Contemporary Musicians192-3). After signing with EMI records in 1967, they released their first single entitled Arnold Layne, which quickly became a controversial song.
This was due in part to the fact that it dealt with a transvestite, and even an underground radio station in London would not play the material (Contemporary Musicians 193). On the contrary, this single did get them the exposure that would be crucial to their survival in the sometimes-harsh music business. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, their first and critically acclaimed album did not gain much success in the United States, but it was popular in Europe (Contemporary Musicians 193). Later they did work on Saucerful of Secrets and Ummagumma, both after Barretts departure. It was clear that Gilmour was doing a fine job as the replacement lead guitarist.
Pink Floyd caught one of its luckiest breaks on April 14th, 1969 as they performed at the Royal Festival Hall in London, which showcased the bands ability to combine all aspects of music, Performance, stage and theatrics (Povey 58). Barrett once made references to musical performance, pointing out that a theatrical display may become important to a bands survival. Modern day Pink Floyd was essentially born when Syd left the band however. During the years after Barrett, the band created some of their best works, including Wish You Were Here, The Wall, Dark Side of the Moon, and The Final Cut. Perhaps one of their most influential albums is Dark Side of the Moon. While the band did not think it was a superb piece, they at least thought it was good. But not as good as it turned out to be, here explained by guitarist David Gilmour; Dark Sides success has Always baffled me, still baffles me. I mean, when we made it, we knew it was the best wed done.
But we hadnt even gone gold before then (Contemporary Musicians 193). Amazingly, the record remained on billboards charts for an unheard of fourteen years. It has become a record that will most likely never be broken (pinkfloyd.com). Along with the great success of this album also created an icon that would stand for Pink Floyd in a sense. The cover of Dark Side of the Moon includes a triangle with a beam of light passing through it, and this has become synonymous with the band.
The albums lyrics have been called a collection of epics steeped in Roger Waters’ lyrics of paranoia, alienation and schizophrenia (pinkfloyd.com). An interesting facet to this album is the Pink Floyd/Wizard of Oz Phenomenon. Amazingly, when the album is started at a certain point before the movie begins, the music will be exactly lined up with certain parts in the movie. For instance, when you hear the lyrics Smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry, the Lion and the Tin Man are smiling and the Scarecrow is crying (Rayman 11). The Wall quickly became a success when it was introduced, and also faced much controversy; something the band was somewhat familiar with.
While this album did not have the chance to spend 14 years on the charts, it did however spend a good 15 weeks in 1980, an album displaying the thoughts and emotional sickness of the character Pink Floyd (pinkfloyd.com). Issues arose from within the albums lyrical content however. Songs like Another Brick in the Wall made references such as We dont need no education. We dont need no thought control. Many saw this as a bad influence on younger generations, but the themes contained in The Wall have made it one of the most successful Floyd albums in history.
In addition to the album, a highly successful movie was created, sharing the same name as the album, showing the life of Pink in a psychedelic, yet disturbing manner. All of the ideas contained within the album and movie were thoughts initiated by Roger Waters (Is There Anybody Out There? 5). Both are still currently in production. As stated, the influences of Pink Anderson and Floyd Council certainly helped Pink Floyd emerge. They were a musical force to be reckoned with, a band unlike any other and still yet to be matched.
The band underwent trials and tribulations that most could not overcome for the length of time that they did. They created their own style, and created offspring from the different musical variations, lending sound to shape the over-dubbed synthesizers in Dark Side of the Moon, and the enormous amount of vocals used in The Wall. As expressed on Dark Side of the Moon, all that you touch and all that you see is all your life will ever be. This is a very important quote because of its placement in life. Whether it is directed at Syd Barrett, or humans in general, Wish You Were Here said it best with Shine on you crazy diamond. Bibliography Works Cited Belmo.
20th Century Rock and Roll Psychedelia. Ontario: Collectors Guide Publishing Inc., 1971. Is There Anybody Out There? Pink Floyd. New York. 2000.
Pink Floyd. Contemporary Musicians Vol. 2. London: Gale Research Inc., 1990. Pink Floyd- The Band.
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Pink Floyd: In the Flesh. New York: St. Martins Griffin, 1997. Scott, Rayman. 26 Septermber 1997.
Raymans Pink Floyd Home Page. 21 September 2000. Works Consulted Fitch, Vernon. The Pink Floyd Encyclopedia. Ontario: Collectors Guide Publishing Inc., 1971.
Mabbett, Miles and Andy. Pink Floyd- The Visual Documentary. London: Omnibus Press, 1994. The Wall. Pink Floyd. New York.
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