Formed: 1965 in Cambridge & London, England
Years Active: 1965 through 1983 & 1987 to 1995; 2005-
Group’s Main Members: Syd Barrett (passed 2006), Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Rick Wright (passed 2008)
Most bands do not survive if their lead singer, chief song writer and leader leaves. But for Pink Floyd, this not only happened once, but twice and still they roll on.
The origins of Pink Floyd developed at Cambridge High School in England in the early sixties. Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, and David Gilmour were all friends there and talked about forming a band. But after graduation Gilmour decided to go on to art school in London as Barrett wandered around the country side.
Waters meanwhile attended a architecture school in London where he met Nick Mason and Rick Wright. They formed a RNB band called Sigma 6. With Waters on guitar, Mason on the drums and Wright on keyboards, the band also consisted of bassist Clive Metcalfe and vocalist Juliette Gale (who later would marry Wright). That lineup didn’t last too long as Metcalfe and Gale left and Waters switched over to bass and Bob Close came on to play lead guitar. The band’s name changed several times and then Close quit. By the end of ’65, Waters, Mason and Wright joined up with Barrett who would become the band’s songwriter, lead guitar player and lead singer. He renamed the band Pink Floyd. He came up with the band’s name by juxtaposing the first names of Piedmont bluesman Floyd Council and South Carolina bluesman Pink Anderson. He noticed the names in the liner notes of a 1962 Blind Boy Fuller LP (Philips BBL-7512). The text, written by Paul Oliver, read: “Curley Weaver and Fred McMullen, (…) Pink Anderson or Floyd Council – these were a few amongst the many blues singers that were to be heard in the rolling hills of the Piedmont, or meandering with the streams through the wooded valleys.”
The Barrett era only lasted three years
Under Barrett’s guide Floyd would start out quite differently than the concept album kings they would later become known as. With their first two albums they were a psychedelic band. They recorded their first two songs in early ’66, one, Barrett’s “Lucy Leave” a combo RnB-pop song that got the band some attention. They began to play the London underground with experimental light shows and instrumental feedback that was still unheard of at the time. In early 1967 they signed with EMI Records and released their first single “Arnold Layne” which didn’t sound a lot like their live show, but nevertheless was a hit reaching the UK’s Top 20. Their next single “See Emily Play” was a even bigger hit and reached number 6 in June of ’67.
Later in ’67 their debut album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn was released. The album did not contain their first two hit singles yet it became a Top Ten hit anyway. Many claimed it to be the greatest British psychedelic album next to the Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It contained mostly Barrett penned songs that were far out experimental pop fantasies with lengthy riff-laden instrumental passages. With the album’s success they began to tour, first with Jimi Hendrix. But it was during the US tour where problems with Barrett started to show up. Syd was a truly gifted genius, but also just a step away from insanity. By this time he was a heavy LSD user and it started to take its toll on him. On the US tour he would start to play music out of the blue that wasn’t a part of the band’s set and at other gigs he would stand on stage and not play at all.
In interviews he would be incoherent. In late ’67 Floyd released a third single “Apples And Oranges” but two other recordings made at the time, “Vegetable Man” and “Scream Thy Last Scream”, were unsuitable for release and Barrett was at this stage too wasted to finish them properly. His fellow band members realizing they were about to see the band crash if they didn’t do something, hired their old high school friend David Gilmour as a fifth member in February of 1968. Gilmour was to take over the lead guitar. Plans would be for Barrett to stay in the band, but not play live any longer. However the five piece Floyd didn’t last long as Barrett’s mental instability grew worse and he left the band just two months later. With help from his former bandmembers, he did go on to record two somewhat successful solo albums shortly after his departure from the band, but then disappeared into oblivion, his mental problems totally taking over his life.
The Roger Waters Guidance
The new Pink Floyd would become even more of a hit. The next album Saucerful Of Secrets was still somewhat like the debut with one leftover Barrett song, “Jugband Blues”, but things would be changing. Waters took over most of the writing and lead vocals and Gilmour turned out to be an excellent guitarist, developing his own unique style of bending, hammering and harmonizing. The song ‘Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun’ was a clear sign of directional change. This hypnotic epic signposted the style the band would expand on in the Seventies, its vision at first more appreciated by an ‘intellectual’ and European audience, slowly conquering the masses across the Atlantic as well.
The band drew more than 100,000 fans for a free concert they did in London in ’69 and the next few albums showed a change in style with ’71’s Meddle getting the best of the reviews. Then in 1973 they released their first true masterpiece, Dark Side Of The Moon. The album would turn out to become one of rockmusic’s best selling albums, staying on the Billboard charts for more than a decade, while selling over 25 million copies. Waters’ writing was brilliant and the stereophonic sound effects had to make this album one of the best ever to listen to while wearing headphones and smoking herbs. Although Pink Floyd had been a big hit in England for years before Dark Side Of The Moon, it was this album that now made them superstars in the US and the rest of the rock world.
So how could the band follow up on their next album? Yes, it would take another monster effort and Waters and Company were up to it. Although it didn’t sell as many copies as Moon did, 1975’s Wish You Were Here was musically as great. Personally, this writer likes it even a bit more! The album’s songs blended together better than any other concept album. Wish You Were Here was dedicated to Floyd’s lost founder, Syd Barrett, especially the song “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” which was written entirely about him. Surprisingly during the album’s recording at Abbey Road studio, Barrett showed up to pay a visit. It was the first time anyone in the band had seen him since ’69.
The Divide Starts to Show
Their next album, Animals (1977) was another hit but not as well received and tensions were now starting to show in the band as members weren’t getting along and talk of a break-up was in the air. But in 1979 they released a double album, The Wall, it would go on to be their second biggest selling album. The tune “Another Brick In The Wall” would turn out to be their only number 1 single.
But relations within the band were getting worse. Waters and Wright hadn’t gotten along for years and Waters insisted on the band’s firing of Wright, which finally took place in 1980. Gilmour meanwhile was upset with Waters for the lack of credit he was given on The Wall and Mason took Gilmour’s side in the dispute. It didn’t seem there would be anymore new Floyd albums as the band seemed doomed, but to everybody’s surprise they released The Final Cut in 1983.
Truth being told, the album was more a solo project for Waters as Gilmour and Mason had little to do with it. Also with Wright gone now, little of the electronic innovation which was so typical on their previous albums showed on this one. The album was a disappointment to many. Shortly after its release the band split up. All the members did some solo albums and then in 1986 Gilmour and Mason decided to reform the band. Waters was totally against the whole deal claiming without him there could be no Pink Floyd and he went to court to stop his former band mates. He lost and in ’87 Gilmour and Mason joined up once again with Wright for the new Pink Floyd.
The second Coming of Pink Floyd
In 1987 they released the album A Momentary Lapse Of Reason which once again sounded like the old Pink Floyd.
With a bunch of session players helping out, this album may not have been as great as past Floyd albums, but still it was a terrific album. The band then hit the road for a successful world tour and the next year the live album Delicate Sound Of Thunder became a huge hit. The next studio album, 1994’s The Division Bell was a full group effort and once again held the band’s true sound. In ’95 they released yet another double live album, Pulse which also was very well received by fans.
Roger Waters revived himself successfully as well
Meanwhile Waters remained bitter towards his former mates and his solo career seemed to stall initially, until he revived The Wall in 1990 when he staged one of the largest and most extravagant rock concerts in history, The Wall – Live in Berlin, with an official attendance of 200,000.
As a member of Pink Floyd, Waters was inducted into the U.S. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. That same year he released Ça Ira, an opera in three acts translated from Étienne and Nadine Roda-Gils’ libretto about the French Revolution. Later that year, on Saturday July 2, 2005, he reunited with Pink Floyd bandmates Mason, Wright and David Gilmour for the Live 8 global awareness event; it was the group’s first appearance with Waters since 1981.
He has toured extensively as a solo act since 1999 and played The Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety for his world tour of 2006–2008. In 2010, he began The Wall Live and in 2011 Gilmour and Mason appeared with him during a performance of the double-album in London. (Wright had passed away in 2008) As of 2013, the tour was the highest-grossing of all time by a solo artist.
Addendum 2 – In July, 2006, Syd Barrett passed away at the age of 60.
Addendum 3 – In September, 2008, Rick Wright passed away at the age of 65
Pink Floyd Timeline:
6 January 1967
Pink Floyd played ‘Freak Out Ethel’, a ‘happening’ at Seymour Hall, Paddington, West London. Eric Clapton and The Who’s Pete Townshend later claimed they’d been in the audience.
11 & 12 January 1967
Pink Floyd and producer Joe Boyd spent two days at Chelsea’s Sound Techniques Studios, recording and mixing Interstellar Overdrive and Nick’s Boogie for the Tonite Let’s All Make Love In London soundtrack.
13 January 1967
Pink Floyd, supported by The Giant Sun Trolley, played UFO, London. Film-maker Peter Whitehead recorded their performance. Some of the footage appeared in the video/DVD release Pink Floyd — London 1966-1967.
27 January 1967
Pink Floyd were filmed at UFO for a Granada TV documentary, ‘Scene Special’, which was broadcast on 7 March 1967.
29 January 1967
Arnold Layne and its B-side Candy And A Currant Bun were recorded at Chelsea’s Sound Techniques Studios.
28 February 1967
Pink Floyd signed to EMI Records.
1 March 1967
Recording session for Pink Floyd’s debut album, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, at Studio 3, Abbey Road Studios, London, with EMI producer Norman Smith. Songs worked on included Chapter 24 and Interstellar Overdrive.
10 March 1967
Pink Floyd’s debut single, Arnold Layne (B-side: Candy And A Currant Bun), was released in the UK, and reached No. 20 in the charts. The song was banned by BBC Radio London, who objected to the lyrics about a transvestite underwear thief.
21 March 1967
While recording in Studio 3 at Abbey Road, Pink Floyd were introduced to The Beatles, working on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
30 March 1967
Pink Floyd were filmed for an appearance on ‘Top Of The Pops’ at the BBC’s Lime Grove Studios in West London. The performance was never broadcast because Arnold Layne dropped three places in the charts the following week.
3 April 1967
Pink Floyd performed Candy And A Currant Bun and Arnold Layne for BBC Radio’s Light Programme, ‘Monday, Monday!’.
8 April 1967
Pink Floyd’s ongoing tour stopped off at London’s Roundhouse. Support acts included Sam Gopal.
30 April 1967
Pink Floyd performed at dawn at the ’14-Hour Technicolor Dream’ at London’s Alexandra Palace, sharing the bill with Soft Machine, The Pretty Things, and Social Deviants.
12 May 1967
Pink Floyd played the ‘Games For May — Space Age Relaxation For The Climax Of Spring’ concert at London’s prestigious Queen Elizabeth Hall. Here, they debuted a new musical gizmo which would later become known as the ‘Azimuth Co-ordinator’, a joystick-type device used to ‘pan’ the group’s sound around the venue. The band were immediately banned from ever playing the hall again after bubbles from a bubble machine and flowers distributed to the audience were blamed for staining the venue’s carpet and seats.
14 May 1867
Roger Waters and Syd Barrett were interviewed by musicologist Dr. Hans Keller for the BBC arts programme ‘The Look Of The Week’, which also included live performances of Pow R. Toc H.and Astronomy Dominé.
18 May 1967
Pink Floyd commenced recording their second single, See Emily Play, at Chelsea’s Sound Techniques Studios. Further sessions continued through May. David Gilmour, who was playing gigs in France with his own band, visited Floyd in the studio during a trip to London.
29 May 1967
Pink Floyd supported Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience at the Tulip Bulb Auction Hall, Spalding, Lincolnshire.
2 June 1967
Pink Floyd played UFO as part of a fund-raising gig for the club’s co-founder John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins, after his arrest for drug possession.
16 June 1967
See Emily Play (B-side: The Scarecrow) was released as a single in the UK and reached No. 6 in the charts.
6 July 1967
Pink Floyd made their live ‘Top Of The Pops’ TV debut performing See Emily Play at the BBC’s Lime Grove Studios, West London. The band appeared on the show on two further occasions in July.
24 July 1967
See Emily Play was released as a single in the US.
28 July 1967
Pink Floyd’s scheduled performance for the BBC’s ‘Saturday Club’ music programme was cancelled at the last minute when Syd Barrett walked out during the recording.
29 July 1967
Pink Floyd performed at the ‘International Love-In’ festival at London’s Alexandra Palace, sharing a bill with The Animals and Cream.
1 August 1967
Pink Floyd’s scheduled appearance on German TV’s ‘Beat Club’ was cancelled. The group’s managers explained: “Syd is tired and exhausted and has been advised to rest for two weeks”. Barrett took a holiday on the island of Formentera.
4 August 1967
Pink Floyd’s debut album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn was released in the UK. The album reached No. 6 in the charts.
9 September 1967
Pink Floyd embarked on a five-date Scandinavian tour, beginning and ending in Denmark. The band’s set list included a new composition, Reaction In G.
9 October 1967
Recording ensued for Pink Floyd’s next album, A Saucerful Of Secrets, at De Lane Lea Studios, Holborn, London. Further sessions took place throughout October both here and at Abbey Road studios.
The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn was released in the US. It featured a different running order and a tracklisting which included the single See Emily Play. The album peaked at No. 131 in the charts.
4 November 1967
Pink Floyd made their US debut at San Francisco’s Winterland Auditorium supporting Big Brother And The Holding Company, featuring Janis Joplin.
6 November 1967
Pink Floyd released a US-only single, Flaming (B-side: The Gnome).
7 November 1967
Pink Floyd made their US TV debut, miming Apples And Oranges on the music programme ‘American Bandstand’.
14 November 1967
Pink Floyd began a 16-date UK tour, sharing the bill with Eire Apparent, The Outer Limits, The Move, The Nice, Amen Corner, and headliner The Jimi Hendrix Experience. When Syd Barrett went missing before a gig at Liverpool Empire he was replaced by The Nice’s guitarist ‘Davy’ O’List.
17 November 1967
The band’s third single Apples And Oranges (B-side: Paintbox) was released in the UK but failed to chart.
6 December 1967
Pink Floyd played London’s Royal College Of Art. David Gilmour was in the audience and was later asked to join the band.
12 December 1967
Pink Floyd were filmed at the North London home of their former landlord and occasional band member Mike Leonard for an edition of the popular science programme ‘Tomorrow’s World’, featuring Leonard’s sound and light experiments. The show was broadcast in January 1968.
22 December 1967
Pink Floyd played their final gig as a four-piece with Syd Barrett at London’s Olympia Exhibition Hall as part of the ‘Christmas On Earth Continued’ festival.
12 January 1968
Pink Floyd made their debut as a five-piece with Syd Barrett and David Gilmour at the University of Aston in Birmingham. This line-up performed together on at least three more occasions throughout the month.
26 January 1968
Pink Floyd played their first gig without Syd Barrett at Southampton University. They were supported by Tyrannosaurus Rex, featuring Marc Bolan.
1 February 1968
The band spent the day at Abbey Road studios working on what would become their second album, A Saucerful Of Secrets. Sessions had previously taken place with Syd Barrett and continued with David Gilmour throughout the rest of the month.
17 February 1968
Pink Floyd began a five-date tour of the Netherlands and Belgium. The trip also included a TV appearance for RTB in Brussels (performing new songs, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun and Corporal Clegg, among others) and two performances for ORTV in Paris, including a mimed performance of the single B-side Paintbox.
1 March 1968
Pink Floyd’s partnership with management company Blackhill Enterprises was formally dissolved. The band acquired a new manager, Steve O’Rourke, who was initially employed by their booking agents, the Bryan Morrison Agency.
16 March 1968
Pink Floyd played London’s hippest nightspot, Middle Earth in Covent Garden. Syd Barrett was among the audience.
28 March 1968
Pink Floyd were filmed playing Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun for the BBC TV arts programme ‘Omnibus’. The documentary, about pop music and politics, was later released as a video/DVD entitled All My Loving.
4 April 1968
Pink Floyd began recording background music for the film noir The Committee, featuring former Manfred Mann singer Paul Jones.
19 April 1968
Pink Floyd’s debut single with David Gilmour, It Would Be So Nice (B-side: Julia Dream) was released in the UK but failed to chart.
6 May 1968
Pink Floyd were among the attractions at the ‘First European International Pop Festival’ in Rome, alongside Donovan, The Nice, and Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band.
13 May 1968
Syd Barrett began work on his debut solo album, The Madcap Laughs, at Abbey Road studios.
23 May 1968
Pink Floyd returned to the Netherlands for a further 12-date tour, including two nights at Amsterdam’s fabled hippie club The Paradiso. Their set list included new songs such as Let There Be More Light and A Saucerful Of Secrets.
27 May 1968
Recording sessions at Abbey Road continued for A Saucerful Of Secrets album.
12 June 1968
Pink Floyd played the May Ball at King’s College, Cambridge.
28 June 1968
Pink Floyd’s second album, A Saucerful Of Secrets was released in the UK and reaches No. 9 in the charts. The album sleeve was designed by Hipgnosis, a new company formed by the band’s friends Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell, who were paid £110 for their efforts.
29 June 1968
Pink Floyd headlined over Tyrannosaurus Rex, Jethro Tull, and Roy Harper at the ‘Midsummer High Weekend’ in London’s Hyde Park.
8 July 1968
Pink Floyd began a 22-date US tour, starting at Chicago’s Kinetic Playground and ending on 24 August at The Bank in Los Angeles.
19 July 1968
The soundtrack to Peter Whitehead’s film Tonite Let’s All Make Love In London, featuring Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett playing Interstellar Overdrive, was released in the UK.
26 September 1968
The Committee, featuring Pink Floyd’s music, premiered in London.
4 October 1968
Pink Floyd performed 10 dates in the UK and France, commencing at Mothers in Birmingham and ending at London’s Middle Earth on 26 October.
16 November 1968
Pink Floyd played their debut gig in Switzerland at Restaurant Olten-Hammer in Olten. The band played a further two shows in the country.
23 November 1968
Pink Floyd played London’s Regent Street Polytechnic, the alma mata of Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Nick Mason.
6 December 1968
Pink Floyd released a new single, Point Me At The Sky (B-side: Careful With That Axe, Eugene), in the UK. It failed to chart. The single was accompanied by a promo film of the band flying in a Tiger Moth aeroplane at Biggin Hill Aerodrome.
28 December 1968
Pink Floyd replaced advertised headliners The Jimi Hendrix Experience at the ‘Flight To Lowlands Paradise II’ festival in Utrecht, Netherlands.
10 January 1969
Jimi Hendrix pulled out of a planned gig at London’s Fishmonger’s Arms (as a warm-up for his Royal Albert Hall shows) and was replaced by Pink Floyd.
1 February 1969
Pink Floyd commenced work at London’s Pye Studios on the soundtrack to the French art-house movie More, directed by Barbet Schroeder.
14 February 1969
Pink Floyd’s 21-date UK tour began with a Valentine’s Day Ball at Loughborough University and ended at St. James’ Church Hall, Chesterfield. Support bands included The Moody Blues, Spooky Tooth, and Gandalf’s Garden. Floyd also performed one show in France.
10 March 1969
Syd Barrett restarted work at Abbey Road studios on his first solo album, The Madcap Laughs.
14 April 1969
Pink Floyd played ‘The Massed Gadgets of Auximines — More Furious Madness from Pink Floyd’ at London’s Royal Festival Hall. The band premiered two lengthy new compositions, provisionally titled The Man and The Journey, parts of which later appeared as Biding My Time, Grantchester Meadows and Green Is The Colour.
27 April 1969
Pink Floyd played Mothers in Birmingham. DJ John Peel’s review of the gig (“sounding like dying galaxies lost in sheer corridors of time and space”) was rewarded with a mention in the ‘Pseud’s Corner’ column of the satirical Private Eye magazine. Part of the band’s performance of A Saucerful Of Secrets and Astronomy Dominé were included on Floyd’s next album, Ummagumma.
15 May 1969
Pink Floyd’s 12-date UK tour began at Leeds Town Hall and ended on 23 June at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall. The tour included a benefit show at London’s Roundhouse for the band Fairport Convention, following the death of their drummer Martin Lamble in a road crash.
31 May 1969
The film More, complete with Pink Floyd’s soundtrack, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. The film was never released in the UK.
13 June 1969
Pink Floyd’s Soundtrack From The Film More was released in the UK and reached No. 9 in the charts. Tracklisting: Cirrus Minor; The Nile Song; Crying Song; Up The Khyber; Green Is The Colour; Cymbaline; Party Sequence; Main Theme; Ibiza Bar; More Blues; Quicksilver; A Spanish Piece; Dramatic Theme.
23 June 1969
Pink Floyd completed some of the final mixes for Ummagumma. The album contained two vinyl sides of live material and two sides of solo compositions by each of the band members that were recorded intermittently at Abbey Road since March 1969.
26 June 1969
Pink Floyd played ‘The Final Lunacy!’ show at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The show featured the Ealing Central Amateur Choir conducted by Floyd’s producer Norman Smith and performance art pieces that included a roadie dressed as a gorilla and band members sawing planks of wood on stage.
20 July 1969
Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first men to walk on the moon. Pink Floyd performed a live improvised jam (later titled Moonhead) in the BBC TV studios to accompany the moonlanding documentary ‘So What If It’s Just Green Cheese?’, which also featured actors Ian McKellan and Judi Dench.
8 August 1969
Pink Floyd appeared at the ‘National Jazz Pop Ballads & Blues Festival’ at Plumpton Race Track. Also on the bill: Roy Harper; and The Who.
9 August 1969
Pink Floyd’s Soundtrack From The Film More was released in the US, but failed to chart.
17 September 1969
Pink Floyd began a nine-date tour of the Netherlands and Belgium, which started in Amsterdam and ended in Brussels.
25 October 1969
Pink Floyd’s performance at the ‘Actuel Festival’ in Amougies, Belgium, was filmed for a TV documentary entitled ‘Music Power’. Compere Frank Zappa joined the band on stage for a rendition of Interstellar Overdrive.
7 November 1969
Ummagumma was released in the UK and reached No. 4 in the UK charts. The album was released a day later in the US and reached No. 74. Tracklisting: Astronomy Dominé; Careful With That Axe, Eugene; Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun; A Saucerful Of Secrets (recorded live at Mothers in Birmingham and Manchester College Of Commerce); Sysiphus, Parts 1-4; Grantchester Meadows; Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In a Cave And Grooving With A Pict; The Narrow Way; The Grand Vizier’s Garden Party.
15 November 1969
Pink Floyd commenced recording in Rome for the soundtrack to director Michelangelo Antonioni’s counter-culture movie Zabriskie Point, and completed the sessions at Abbey Road in January 1970.
2 January 1970
Syd Barrett’s debut solo album, The Madcap Laughs, was released in the UK, and reached No. 40 in the charts. Tracklisting: Terrapin; No Good Trying; Love You; No Man’s Land; Dark Globe; Here I Go; Octopus; Golden Hair; Long Gone; She Took A Long Cold Look; Feel; If It’s In You; Late Night.
10 January 1970
Pink Floyd began a 16-date UK and French tour, commencing at University of Nottingham and ending at Leeds University on 28 February. The tour included two gigs in Paris, and the set list included an early version of the piece later known as Atom Heart Mother.
1 March 1970
The band began a week-long recording session at London’s Abbey Road studios.
6 March 1970
Pink Floyd were filmed playing for the BBC arts programme ‘Line Up’.
11 March 1970
Pink Floyd’s eight-date European tour began at Stadthalle, Offenbach, West Germany, and ended on 21 March at Tivolis Konzertsal in Copenhagen, Denmark. The set list included Atom Heart Mother.
18 March 1970
Michelangelo Antonioni’s counter-culture movie Zabriskie Point was premiered in New York.
9 April 1970
Pink Floyd’s 18-date US tour commenced at New York’s Filmore East and ended at New Orleans’ Warehouse after the final two scheduled shows in Houston and Dallas were cancelled. The tour included an hour-long live performance filmed by the PBS TV Network in San Francisco.
29 May 1970
The soundtrack to Zabriskie Point was released in the UK, and failed to chart. The tracklisting included three previously unreleased Pink Floyd songs: Come In Number 51 Your Time Is Up; Crumbling Land; and Heart Beat Pig Meat.
27 June 1970
Pink Floyd headlined the second night of the ‘Bath Festival Of Blues & Progressive Music’. Their late-night set included Atom Heart Mother, which is introduced to the audience under the title of ‘The Amazing Pudding’. The band were augmented by The John Aldiss Choir and The Philip Jones Brass Ensemble. One of the brass players later recalled accidentally spilling a pint of beer into their tuba before the performance began.
28 June 1970
Pink Floyd appeared at the Holland Pop Festival in Rotterdam, arriving on stage at 4am.
18 July 1970
Pink Floyd headlined ‘Blackhill’s Garden Party’, a free concert organised by the band’s former managers Peter Jenner and Andrew King, in London’s Hyde Park. The band were, again, joined by The Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and The John Aldiss Choir; tracks played included Atom Heart Mother and Careful With That Axe, Eugene.
26 July 1970
Pink Floyd, their crew, friends and families rented a villa in St Tropez. The band were scheduled to play a handful of festivals in France, but many were cancelled due to civil unrest. Their final date took place on 12 August at a Roman amphitheatre in St Raphael, France.
26 September 1970
Pink Floyd’s North American tour began at Philadelphia’s Electric Factory and ended on 25 October at the Boston Tea Party.
2 October 1970
Pink Floyd’s fourth studio album Atom Heart Mother was released in the UK, and reached No. 1 in the charts. Tracklisting: Atom Heart Mother; If; Summer ’68; Fat Old Sun; Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast. The name of the cow on the album’s front cover was Lulubelle III.
10 October 1970
Atom Heart Mother was released in the US and reached No. 55 in the charts.
6 November 1970
Pink Floyd returned to Europe for a 13-date tour of Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland.
14 November 1970
Syd Barrett’s second solo album, Barrett, produced by David Gilmour and Richard Wright, was released in the UK, but fails to chart. Tracklisting: Baby Lemonade; Love Song; Dominoes; It Is Obvious; Rats; Maisie; Gigolo Aunt; Waving My Arms In The Air; I Never Lied To You; Wined And Dined; Wolfpack; Effervescing Elephant.
11 December 1970
Pink Floyd finished the year with a six-date UK tour beginning at Brighton’s Regent Theatre and ending on 22 December at Sheffield City Hall.
4 January 1971
Pink Floyd began a week-long stint at Abbey Road studios, with engineers John Leckie and Peter Bown, recording ideas for their next album, Meddle.
23 January 1971
Pink Floyd began a five-date tour of the UK’s university circuit, beginning at Leeds University and ending at Queen Mary College, Twickenham.
22 February 1971
Pink Floyd’s European tour commenced at Halle Munsterland, Munster, West Germany. The second half of the gig was nearly cancelled when the band discovered that the musical score for Atom Heart Mother (needed by their brass section) had been left behind in Dusseldorf.
8 April 1971
Pink Floyd returned to Abbey Road for a week’s recording session. Further recording sessions took place throughout the month.
14 May 1971
A Pink Floyd compilation album Relics was released in the UK, and reached No. 32 in the charts. Tracklisting: Arnold Layne; Interstellar Overdrive; See Emily Play; Remember A Day; Paintbox; Julia Dream; Careful With That Axe, Eugene; Cirrus Minor; The Nile Song; Biding My Time; Bike.
15 May 1971
Pink Floyd headlined ‘The Garden Party’ at London’s Crystal Palace Bowl, playing to an audience of 15,000. The band’s party-piece included the appearance of a large inflatable octopus in the lake in front of the stage.
4 June 1971
Pink Floyd’s six-date European tour commenced in Dusseldorf, West Germany, and ended on 20 June in Rome, Italy. The Rome date marked the last time the band performed Astronomy Dominé LIVE until 1994’s The Division Bell tour.
22 June 1971
Pink Floyd’s scheduled appearance at the ‘Glastonbury Fayre’ at Worthy Farm failed to take place because the band’s equipment was delayed in Europe.
17 July 1971
Relics was released in the US, and reached No. 153 in the charts.
19 July 1971
Pink Floyd decamped from Abbey Road to North London’s Morgan Sound studios to continue work on Meddle, including final mixes for the track Echoes.
6 August 1971
Pink Floyd played their debut gig in Japan at Hakone, on a festival bill that also included the 1910 Fruit Gum Company and Buffy Sainte Marie.
13 August 1971
Floyd made their Australian debut at the Melbourne Festival Hall. Part of the band’s performance at Sydney’s Randwick Racecourse on 15 August was filmed for an Australian TV show.
30 September 1971
Pink Floyd’s performance at London’s Paris Theatre was recorded for BBC Radio One’s ‘Sounds Of The ’70s’ show.
4 October 1971
Pink Floyd began four days of filming at the Roman amphitheatre in Pompeii. The film, directed by Adrian Maben, and eventually titled Pink Floyd: Live At Pompeii, went on general release in the UK in 1972.
15 October 1971
Pink Floyd began a 27-date North American tour at San Francisco’s Winterland Auditorium, ending at Cincinnati Ohio’s Taft Auditorium. The set list included their epic new composition Echoes.
30 October 1971
Pink Floyd’s album Meddle was released in the US, a week ahead of the UK. It reached No. 70 in the charts.
5 November 1971
Pink Floyd’s Meddle was released in the UK and reached No. 3 in the charts. Tracklisting: One Of These Days; A Pillow Of Winds; Fearless; San Tropez; Seamus; Echoes.
29 November 1971
Pink Floyd spent two weeks at Decca Studios in West Hampstead, writing and recording ideas for a new piece with the working title of ‘Eclipse’.
13 December 1971
Pink Floyd undertook a week of additional filming and recording in Paris for what became Live At Pompeii.
3 January 1972
Pink Floyd began two weeks of gig rehearsals at the Rolling Stones’ rehearsal facility in Bermondsey, South London.
17 January 1972
Pink Floyd spent three days in production rehearsals at London’s Rainbow Theatre. The band road-tested not only a brand new PA but also a new piece of music, titled The Dark Side Of The Moon, which they had been working on intermittently at Abbey Road.
20 January 1972
What should have been the live debut of The Dark Side Of The Moon at Brighton’s The Dome was cut short when technical problems led to the band abandoning the piece mid-way through the song Money. After a break, the group completed the gig with performances of: Atom Heart Mother; Careful With That Axe, Eugene; One Of These Days; Echoes. The encore was A Saucerful Of Secrets.
21 January 1972
Pink Floyd played 16 UK dates, featuring full performances of a work-in progress version of The Dark Side Of The Moon. The tour culminated with four nights at London’s Rainbow Theatre.
23 February 1972
Pink Floyd began a week-long recording session at Château d’Hérouville studios near Paris, working on music for the soundtrack to More director Barbet Schroeder’s next film, La Vallée.
6 March 1972
Pink Floyd began a whistle-stop tour of Japan beginning in Tokyo and ending on 13 March in Sapporo. Their set list included The Dark Side Of The Moon.
23 March 1972
The band spent four days completing the soundtrack to La Vallée at Château d’Hérouville. During downtime, Pink Floyd roadie Chris Adamson was challenged by Roger Waters to eat a stone (14lbs) of raw potatoes in one sitting. Waters later said that the stunt was abandoned after Adamson had consumed “around two and a half pounds”.
6 April 1972
Pink Floyd finished mixing the soundtrack to La Vallée, now called Obscured By Clouds, at London’s Morgan Studios.
14 April 1972
Pink Floyd’s 17-date US tour commenced at Fort Homer Hesterly Armory Auditorium in Tampa, Florida, and ended on 4 May at the Music Hall in Boston, Massachusetts.
21 May 1972
Pink Floyd headlined the second day of the three-day ‘2nd British Rock Meeting’ festival in Germersheim, West Germany. Other bands on the bill included The Kinks, The Faces, and Status Quo.
24 May 1972
Pink Floyd began a month-long recording session at Abbey Road. At this point, working titles for the songs that would make up The Dark Side Of The Moon included Travel (instead of Breathe), Religion (instead of The Great Gig In The Sky) and Lunatic (instead of Brain Damage).
2 June 1972
Obscured By Clouds was released in the UK, where it reached No. 6 in the charts. Tracklisting: Obscured By Clouds; When You’re In; Burning Bridges; The Gold It’s In The…; Wot’s… Uh The Deal; Mudmen; Free Four; Stay; Absolutely Curtains. The final track, Absolutely Curtains, included a vocal performance from members of the Mapuga Tribe of New Guinea.
17 June 1972
Obscured By Clouds is released in the US, where it reached No. 42 in the charts.
28 June 1972
Pink Floyd played the first of two shows at Brighton’s Dome, as a replacement for the abandoned show in January.
29 August 1972
La Vallée (Obscured By Clouds) is premiered at the Venice International Film Festival.
2 September 1972
Pink Floyd Live At Pompeii premieres at 26th Edinburgh Film Festival in Scotland.
8 September 1972
Pink Floyd returned to the US for a 17-date American and Canadian tour, opening at Austin, Texas’ Municipal Auditorium and ending with a matinee and evening performance at Vancouver’s Gardens Arena.
21 October 1972
Pink Floyd played a benefit gig for the ‘War On Want’ and ‘Save The Children’ charities, performing The Dark Side Of The Moon and More at the Empire Pool, Wembley.
10 November 1972
Pink Floyd’s seven-date European tour included five performances in Marseille, France. Here, the band accompanied choreographer Roland Petit’s Ballets de Marseille dance company, performing the four-movement Pink Floyd Ballet (featuring: One Of These Days; Careful With That Axe, Eugene; Obscured By Clouds; When You’re In; Echoes).
25 November 1972
The cinematic premiere of Pink Floyd Live At Pompeii, which was due to take place at London’s Rainbow Theatre, was cancelled, partly because the theatre’s owners discovered that the film had not yet been granted a certificate by the British Board Of Film Censors.
28 November 1972
Pink Floyd returned to France for a further nine shows, opening and closing at Toulouse’s Palais Des Sports.
21 January 1973
Session singer Clare Torry recorded her vocal for the song The Great Gig In The Sky at Abbey Road. The song was included on Pink Floyd’s next album, The Dark Side Of The Moon. Work continued on the album at Abbey Road throughout the month.
12 February 1973
Pink Floyd played the first of eight performances with Roland Petit’s Ballets de Marseille at the Palais des Sports in Paris. They performed One Of These Days, Careful With That Axe, Eugene, Obscured By Clouds, When You’re In and Echoes to accompany Roland Petit’s choreographed ballet.
19 February 1973
Pink Floyd staged three days of full production rehearsals at London’s Rainbow Theatre in preparation for their forthcoming North American tour.
27 February 1973
EMI held a press reception for The Dark Side Of The Moon at the London Planetarium. Only Richard Wright attended the event; the other band members refused in protest at what they believed to be an inferior sound system brought in by EMI.
4 March 1973
Pink Floyd began a 16-date US tour at Dane County Memorial Coliseum in Madison, Wisconsin. The band were joined by saxophonist Dick Parry and backing vocalists Nawasa Crowder, and Phyllis and Mary Ann Lindsey. Their set list featured the whole of The Dark Side Of The Moonplus Obscured By Clouds, When You’re In and Careful With That Axe, Eugene, with an encore of One Of These Days. The tour closed at Atlanta’s Municipal Auditorium, when the US promoter cancelled a scheduled show in Florida believing that a Santana show in town would drastically reduce Pink Floyd’s audience.
10 March 1973
The Dark Side Of The Moon was released in the US. Tracklisting: Speak To Me; Breathe (In The Air); On The Run; Time; The Great Gig In The Sky; Money; Us And Them; Any Colour You Like; Brain Damage; Eclipse. The album gave Pink Floyd their first No. 1 chart placing.
23 March 1973
The Dark Side Of The Moon was released in the UK. It reached No. 2 in the charts.
7 May 1973
Money (B-side: Any Colour You Like) was released in the US as a single and reached No. 13 in the charts.
18 & 19 May 1973
Pink Floyd played two nights at Earls Court Exhibition Hall, with additional personnel Dick Parry on saxophones and backing vocalists Liza Strike and Vicki Brown (mum of solo artist and future Floyd backing singer Sam Brown). The set list included the whole of The Dark Side Of The Moon.
16 June 1973
Pink Floyd returned to the US for their second American tour of the year. They played 13 shows, starting at New York’s Saratoga Performing Arts Center and ending at Florida’s Tampa Stadium. The band set a new record gross at New Jersey’s Roosevelt Stadium by making $110,565 for a single performance.
1 October 1973
Pink Floyd began an intermittent 20 days of recording at Abbey Road studios, working on what became known as the ‘Household Objects Project’. The group, assisted by engineer Alan Parsons, used elastic bands, wine glasses, matchsticks and sticky tape in place of conventional instruments to make music.
4 November 1973
Pink Floyd played two shows at London’s Rainbow Theatre, as a benefit for ex-Soft Machine drummer Robert Wyatt.
5 December 1973
The Australian cult surf movie Crystal Voyager premiered in Melbourne. The film featured Pink Floyd’s Echoes as part of its soundtrack.
18 January 1974
Pink Floyd’s first two albums, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn and A Saucerful Of Secrets, were re-issued as a double LP package titled A Nice Pair. It reached No. 21 in the UK and No. 36 in the US.
4 February 1974
Time (B-side: Us And Them) was released as a promotional single in the US.
18 June 1974
Pink Floyd began a seven-date French tour, starting at the Parc des Expositions in Toulouse and ending at the Palais Des Sports in Paris. Their set list included The Dark Side Of The Moon and two new compositions, an early version of Shine On You Crazy Diamond and Raving And Drooling. It also marked Pink Floyd’s first use of a circular projection screen, which became a trademark of all future shows.
20 July 1974
Syd Barrett’s solo albums, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett, were released in the US as a double package entitled Syd Barrett. The album reached No. 163 in the charts.
4 November 1974
Pink Floyd’s 20-date ‘British Winter Tour’ began at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall and ended at Bristol’s Hippodrome. The tour included four nights at London’s Wembley Empire Pool, London, one of which was broadcast on BBC Radio One. The amended set list included a third new composition, You’ve Got To Be Crazy. The tour programme, titled ‘The Pink Floyd Super All-Action Official Music Programme for Boys and Girls’, was printed as a comic and featured a band portrait by Gerald Scarfe and cartoon strips of the band members depicted as their alter egos ‘Rog Of The Rovers’, ‘Captain Mason R.N.’, ‘Rich Right’ and ‘Dave Derring’.
8 November 1974
The Syd Barrett double-LP repackage of The Madcap Laughs and Barrett was released in the UK.
6 January 1975
Pink Floyd began an intermittent three months of recording at Abbey Road studios for their next album, Wish You Were Here.
8 April 1975
The first 14 dates of Floyd’s North American Tour began at Vancouver’s Pacific National Exhibition Coliseum. The band were joined on stage by additional personnel: saxophonist Dick Parry, and backing singers Carlena Williams and Venetta Fields.
5 May 1975
Pink Floyd reconvened at Abbey Road for a month-long recording session on Wish You Were Here. Their former lead singer and guitarist Syd Barrett showed up, unannounced, in the studio during one of these sessions.
7 June 1975
The North American Tour continued with a further 15 dates, beginning at Atlanta Stadium, Georgia, and closing at the Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton, Ontario. The band’s crew detonated an extra amount of pyro at the end of the Hamilton show, damaging the sports arena’s scoreboard and blowing out glass in neighbouring houses.
5 July 1975
Pink Floyd headlined Knebworth Park in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Support came from the Steve Miller Band, Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band, Linda Lewis, and Roy Harper, who joined Floyd on stage as guest vocalist on a brand new song, Have A Cigar. The set list for the show was: Raving And Drooling; You’ve Got To Be Crazy; Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts 1-5; Have A Cigar; Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts 6-9; The Dark Side Of The Moon; Echoes.
7 July 1975
Pink Floyd continued three weeks of recording and mixing at Abbey Road studios.
12 September 1975
Pink Floyd’s new album, Wish You Were Here, was released in the UK. Tracklisting: Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts 1-5; Welcome To The Machine; Have A Cigar; Wish You Were Here; Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts 6-9. The album reached No. 1 in the UK.
13 September 1975
Wish You Were Here was released in the US, where it reached No. 1.
1976 Pink Floyd began eight months of continuous recording on their next album, Animals. The recording took place at their own studio facility, Britannia Row, in North London.
2, 3 & 4 December 1976
Album sleeve designers Hipgnosis arranged a three-day photo shoot at London’s Battersea Power Station. With a concept suggested by Roger Waters, the team photographed a 40ft helium-filled inflatable pig floating above the power station for the cover of the new Floyd album, Animals. On the first day, the marksman who had been hired to shoot down the pig if it escaped its mooring ropes was not needed, but it took so long to inflate the pig that the photographers could only get coverage of the building. On the second day the pig was installed but broke free and sailed away; the marksman hadn’t been rehired so it escaped, coming down in Kent. On the third day, Hipgnosis got their shot, but the final cover was a composite of Day 3 pig and Day 1 location.
19 January 1977
Pink Floyd’s new album, Animals, was played at a press launch held at Battersea Power Station.
21 January 1977
Animals was released in the UK. Tracklisting: Pigs On The Wing, Part 1; Dogs; Pigs (Three Different Ones); Sheep; Pigs On The Wing, Part 2. The album reached No. 2 in the charts.
23 January 1977
Pink Floyd’s 20-date European tour commenced at Dortmund’s Westfalenhalle and ended at Munich’s Olympiahalle. The band were joined by additional musicians: Dick Parry on saxophone and Terence ‘Snowy’ White on guitar and bass. Their stage show now featured a giant inflatable pig, suspended by a steel cable for indoor gigs; animated sequences designed by illustrator and satirical cartoonist Gerald Scarfe; and an inflatable ‘nuclear family’ of wife, husband and 2.5 children on a sofa, designed by Mark Fisher and Jonathan Park, who both went on to work on the Wall live production. The setlist now included: Sheep; Pigs On The Wing, Part 1; Dogs; Pigs On The Wing, Part 2; Pigs (Three Different Ones); Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts 1-5; Welcome To The Machine; Have A Cigar; Wish You Were Here; Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts 6-9; Money.
12 February 1977
Animals was released in the US and reached No. 3 in the charts.
15 March 1977
Pink Floyd’s nine-date UK tour kicked off at Wembley Empire Pool, and closed with four nights at Stafford Bingley Hall.
22 April 1977
Pink Floyd — In The Flesh North American tour opened at Miami Baseball Stadium and ended at Portland Memorial Coliseum on 12 May. The set list remained the same as in Europe, with an occasional encore of Us And Them and a one-off extra encore of Careful With That Axe, Eugene at California’s Oakland Coliseum.
15 June 1977
The second leg of the In The Flesh tour commenced at Milwaukee’s County Stadium and closed on 6 July at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. The tour included a four-night stand at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The set list remained the same as in Europe. The crowd was so rowdy on the tour’s last night that Roger Waters, having reacted strongly to provocation, considers the relationship of rock stars to their audience and begins to construct the Wall project, which became Pink Floyd’s next album.
26 May 1978
David Gilmour’s debut solo album, David Gilmour, was released.
The album featured musicians from David’s pre-Floyd group Jokers Wild, bass guitarist Rick Wills and drummer John ‘Willie’ Wilson. The album was mostly recorded at Super Bear Studios, France, after Pink Floyd’s In The Flesh tour.
Roger Waters began demoing ideas for the next Pink Floyd album, The Wall, and what became his next solo album, The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking, at Britannia Row studios.
22 September 1978
Richard Wright released his first solo album, Wet Dream. The album was recorded at Super Bear Studios, France, between January and February 1978, and featured, among others, saxophonist Mel Collins and Floyd’s touring guitarist Snowy White.
Pink Floyd began seven months of intermittent recording at Super Bear Studios and Studio Miraval in France on their next album, The Wall.
6 July 1979
Pink Floyd XI, a limited edition vinyl box set containing all of their albums to date, was released in the UK.
1 September 1979
Two months of work began on The Wall at New York’s CBS Studios with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor/arranger Michael Kamen. Floyd later work on The Wall at Los Angeles’ Cherokee Studios and Producer’s Workshop.
1 November 1979
Pink Floyd began a week’s recording and mixing at The Producers’ Workshop in Los Angeles.
23 November 1979
Pink Floyd’s single Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2 (B-side: One Of My Turns) was released in the UK. It was the group’s first UK single since Point Me At The Sky in 1968, and spent four weeks at No. 1 in the charts.
30 November 1979
Pink Floyd’s new album, The Wall, was released in the UK. Tracklisting: In The Flesh?; The Thin Ice; Another Brick In The Wall, Part 1; The Happiest Days Of Our Lives; Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2; Mother; Goodbye Blue Sky; Empty Spaces; Young Lust; One Of My Turns; Don’t Leave Me Now; Another Brick In The Wall, Part 3; Goodbye Cruel World; Hey You; Is There Anybody Out There; Nobody Home; Vera; Bring The Boys Back Home; Comfortably Numb; The Show Must Go On; In The Flesh; Run Like Hell; Waiting For The Worms; Stop; The Trial; Outside The Wall. It reached No. 3 in the charts.
8 December 1979
The Wall was released in the US and reached No. 1 in the charts.
Pink Floyd began three weeks of rehearsals for The Wall live shows. The musicians’ rehearsals took place at Leeds Studios in Hollywood, and rehearsals for the show itself were held at MGM Studios in Los Angeles.
21 January 1980
Pink Floyd and crew commenced three solid weeks of full production rehearsals for The Wall at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles.
7 February 1980
Pink Floyd played the first of seven consecutive nights at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. The show comprised The Wall album in its entirety plus an additional instrumental titled The Last Few Bricks. The band were supplemented on stage by ‘The Surrogate Band’ made up of Andy Bown (bass guitar), Snowy White (guitar), Peter Wood (keyboards), John ‘Willie’ Wilson (drums), backing vocalists John Joyce, Joe Chemay, Jim Haas, Stan Farber, and MCs Cynthia Fox (for the first four shows), Ace Young (on 8 February) and Jim Ladd (on 10 and 11 February). The stage set comprised 450 foldable cardboard bricks which constructed a wall 33ft high and 260ft wide, plus animated projections, inflatables and a replica Stuka dive bomber. The first night’s show suffered a temporary delay when a stage curtain caught fire during the first number.
16 February 1980
Pink Floyd started a week of rehearsals at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in New York.
24 February 1980
Pink Floyd’s The Wall was staged on five consecutive nights at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The MC for all nights was ‘Saturday Night Live’ comedian/impressionist Gary Yudman.
9 June 1980
Run Like Hell (B-side: Don’t Leave Me Now) was released as a single in the US. It reached No. 53 in the charts.
4 August 1980
Pink Floyd staged The Wall for six consecutive nights at London’s Earls Court Exhibition Hall.
13 February 1981
The Wall was performed live for eight consecutive nights at Wesfalenhalle in Dortmund, West Germany. Snowy White joined Thin Lizzy and was replaced by Roy Harper’s touring guitarist Andy Roberts. The MC was German actor Willi Thomczyk.
13 June 1981
The Wall was staged for a further six nights at Earls Court, specifically for the filming of a planned movie of The Wall. Gary Yudman was reinstalled as MC, and Nick Mason’s drum tech Clive Brooks took over from surrogate band member Willie Wilson for the first night after Willie was taken ill.
21 November 1981
Pink Floyd released the compilation album A Collection Of Great Dance Songs in the US. Tracklisting: One of These Days; Money; Sheep; Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts 1-9; Wish You Were Here; Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2. It reached No. 31 in the charts.
23 November 1981
A Collection Of Great Dance Songs was released in the UK, and reached No. 37 in the charts.
1 May 1981
Nick Mason’s solo album, Fictitious Sports, was released in the UK and US.
23 May 1982
Pink Floyd’s The Wall film premiered at the 35th Cannes Film Festival in the South of France.
Pink Floyd began five months of intermittent recording on their next album, The Final Cut. The sessions took place at various studios, including Abbey Road, Olympic, Mayfair, RAK, Eel Pie, Audio International, and David Gilmour’s home studio, Hookend, and Roger Waters’ home studio, The Billiard Room. The band were minus Richard Wright, but worked with additional musicians: Michael Kamen and Andy Bown (keyboards); Raphael Ravenscroft (sax); Ray Cooper (percussion); Andy Newmark (drums); and the National Philharmonic Orchestra.
26 July 1982
Pink Floyd released a single, When The Tigers Broke Free (B-side: Bring The Boys Back Home), in the UK and US. The single charted in the UK at No. 39. The song featured on the movie of The Wall, but did not appear on any Pink Floyd album until the 2001 compilation, Echoes.
21 March 1983
The Final Cut was released in the UK. Tracklisting: The Post War Dream; Your Possible Pasts; One Of The Few; The Hero’s Return; The Gunner’s Dream; Paranoid Eyes; Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert; The Fletcher Memorial Home; Southampton Dock; The Final Cut; Not Now John; Two Suns In The Sunset. It reached No. 1 in the charts.
2 April 1983
The Final Cut was released in the US, where it reached No. 6 in the charts.
3 May 1983
Not Now John (B-side: The Hero’s Return, Parts 1 & 2 was released as a single in the UK. It reached No. 30 in the charts.
13 February 1984
David Gilmour released a solo single, Blue Light (B-side: Cruise), in the UK and US.
5 March 1984
David Gilmour’s solo album, About Face, was released in the UK and a day later in the US.
12 March 1984
Zee, a duo comprising Richard Wright and ex-Fashion guitarist Dave ‘Dee’ Harris, released their debut single, Confusion (B-side: Eyes Of A Gypsy) in the UK.
31 March 1984
David Gilmour began a 22-date UK and European tour at Dublin’s National Stadium, which included three nights at London’s Hammersmith Odeon.
9 April 1984
Zee released their debut album, Identity, in the UK. Roger Waters released a solo single, 5.01 AM (The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking) (B-side: 4.30 AM (Apparently They Were Travelling Abroad)) in the US. It was released a week later in the UK.
24 April 1984
David Gilmour released a second single, Love On The Air (B-side: Let’s Get Metaphysical) from his solo album in the UK and US.
7 May 1984
Roger Waters’ solo album, The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking, was released in the US, and released a day later in the UK.
8 May 1984
David Gilmour’s 50-date North American tour opened at Colisee Du Quebec, Canada.
16 June 1984
Roger Waters’ nine-date European tour opened at Johanneshovs Stadium in Stockholm, Sweden, and included two nights at London’s Earls Court Exhibition Hall.
4 July 1984
Roger Waters released a second single from his solo album: 5.06 AM (Every Strangers Eyes) (B-side: 4.39 AM (For The First Time Today, Part 2)) in the UK, and a week later in the US.
17 July 1984
Roger Waters’ 10-date North American tour opened at Hartford Civic Centre in Connecticut.
19 March 1985
Roger Waters began a second leg of his Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking tour at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena. He played a further 17 dates, ending at the Civic Center Arena in Lakeland, Florida.
13 July 1985
David Gilmour was the only member of Pink Floyd to appear at ‘Live Aid’, playing guitar with Bryan Ferry’s band which also included future Floyd/Waters backing musician Jon Carin.
Roger Waters announced his decision to leave Pink Floyd.
27 October 1986
Roger Waters’ soundtrack for the Raymond Briggs cartoon film When The Wind Blows was released in the UK and US. The soundtrack also featured tracks by Squeeze, Paul Hardcastle, Hugh Cornwell, and Genesis.
Recording sessions began on the next Pink Floyd album at Britannia Row studios and on David Gilmour’s houseboat, Astoria.
Pink Floyd began recording sessions for their album A Momentary Lapse Of Reason at David Gilmour’s studio Astoria. Further sessions continued at Britannia Row, Mayfair, and Audio International Studios in London and Los Angeles’ A&M and Village Recorder Studios with producer Bob Ezrin.
15 June 1987
Roger Waters released his solo album, Radio K.A.O.S. in the UK and US.
1 August 1987
Pink Floyd began four weeks of tour rehearsals at a warehouse facility at Lester B Pearson international airport in Toronto, Canada. The touring line-up now included David Gilmour, Nick Mason and a recently re-joined Richard Wright, plus additional players: Guy Pratt (bass); Jon Carin (keyboards); Scott Page (saxophone); Gary Wallis (percussion); Tim Renwick (guitars); and backing vocalists Rachel Fury and Margaret Taylor.
14 August 1987
Roger Waters’ Radio K.A.O.S. North American tour opened at Providence Civic Center. The tour played for a further 25 nights, closing on 29 September at the Expo Theatre, Vancouver. After a two-month break, the tour resumed at Cumberland County Convention Center on 3 November, and played for a further eight dates across America.
7 September 1987
Pink Floyd’s album A Momentary Lapse Of Reason was released in the UK (and a day later in the US). The tracklisting was: Signs of Life; Learning To Fly; The Dogs Of War; One Slip; On The Turning Away; Yet Another Movie; Round And Around; A New Machine, Part 1; Terminal Frost; A New Machine, Part 2; Sorrow. The album reached No. 3 in both the UK and the US.
9 September 1987
Pink Floyd’s North American tour opened at the 25,000-seat Landsdowne Park Stadium, Ottawa, Ontario. The tour took in a further 61 dates, closing at Vancouver’s British Columbia Place Stadium on 11 December.
14 September 1987
Pink Floyd released Learning To Fly (B-side: Terminal Frost) as a single in the US only.
21 & 22 November 1987
Roger Waters played two UK dates at London’s Wembley Arena.
22 January 1988
Pink Floyd’s A Momentary Lapse Of Reason tour continued with 22 dates through New Zealand and Australia, starting with one night at Auckland’s Western Springs Stadium, and ending on 24 February at the East Fremantle Oval in Perth.
2 March 1988
Pink Floyd played the first of eight dates in Japan, opening with two shows at the Budokan in Tokyo.
15 April 1988
Pink Floyd’s North American tour took in 28 dates, beginning at Los Angeles’ Memorial Coliseum and ending with three nights at the Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Bad weather led to the band shortening their set during a gig at Orlando’s Citrus Bowl.
10 June 1988
Pink Floyd’s European tour opened at Stade De La Beaujoire in Nantes, France. The tour took in 29 shows across the continent, including two dates at London’s Wembley Stadium in August.
13 July 1988
One Slip (B-side: Terminal Frost) was released as a single in the US.
12 August 1988
Pink Floyd began a second tour of North America with three nights at Richfield Coliseum, Cleveland.
23 August 1988
The final night of Pink Floyd’s North American tour took place at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in New York. This show (and the four earlier nights at the Coliseum) were recorded for the live album and video Delicate Sound Of Thunder.
21 November 1988
Pink Floyd released the live album, Delicate Sound Of Thunder, in the UK and US. The tracklisting was: Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts 1-5; Learning To Fly; Yet Another Movie; Round And Around; Sorrow; The Dogs Of War; On The Turning Away; One Of These Days; Time; Wish You Were Here; Us And Them; Money; Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2; Comfortably Numb; Run Like Hell. The album reached No. 11 in both the UK and the US.
13 May 1989
Pink Floyd’s Another Lapse European tour opened at Festivalweise in Werchter, Belgium. The tour included six nights at London’s newly built Docklands Arena. The touring party now included: David Gilmour; Nick Mason; Richard Wright; plus Guy Pratt (bass), Jon Carin (keyboards), Scott Page (saxophone), Gary Wallis (percussion), Tim Renwick (guitars), and backing vocalists Lorelei and Durga McBroom and Rachel Fury.
15 July 1989
Pink Floyd played a 90-minute set on a giant barge moored off Piazza San Marco in Venice. The performance was broadcast in over 20 countries worldwide, including the UK.
18 July 1989
The final night of the Another Lapse tour took place at Marseille’s Stade Velodrome.
30 June 1990
Pink Floyd performed at the ‘Silver Clef Award Winners’ charity show at Knebworth Park, Stevenage (where the band had last performed in 1975). The band played seven tracks, including Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts 1-5, Sorrow and Comfortably Numb. Also on the bill: Eric Clapton; Dire Straits; and Robert Plant with special guest Jimmy Page.
21 July 1990
Roger Waters staged The Wall — Live In Berlin at Potzdamer Platz, Berlin. The concert was held as a fundraiser for the ‘Memorial Fund For Disaster Relief’. The Wall album was performed in its entirety with special guests including Bryan Adams, Marianne Faithful, Van Morrison, and Albert Finney.
21 December 1991
La Carrera Panamericana was broadcast on BBC2. The documentary film covered the 1991 South American classic car race of the same name, in which David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Pink Floyd’s manager Steve O’Rourke participated.
13 April 1992
La Carrera Panamericana was released on video in the UK (and in the US in June). The soundtrack contained previously released Pink Floyd tracks, including Sorrow and Run Like Hell, and new pieces specifically recorded for the film.
2 November 1992
Pink Floyd released Shine On, a nine-CD box set containing the original albums A Saucerful Of Secrets, Meddle, The Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall (on two discs), A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, plus The Early Singles. The package also contained a hardback book and a set of postcards.
Pink Floyd began work on a new album at Britannia Row studios. Joined by bass guitarist Guy Pratt, recording sessions later took place at David Gilmour’s houseboat studio, Astoria. The sessions continued on and off until September 1993.
18 September 1993
Pink Floyd made a one-off appearance at the ‘Cowdray Ruins Concert’ in Midhurst. The show was a charity fundraiser for the local King Edward VII hospital. Pink Floyd were joined on the bill by members of Queen and Mike And The Mechanics. Pink Floyd’s headline set comprised Run Like Hell, Wish You Were Here and Comfortably Numb.
10 January 1994
Pink Floyd hold a press reception to announce the release of a new album at Weeksville US Naval Air Station in North Carolina. The highlight of the event is the launch of a custom-made Pink Floyd Skyship 600 airship which will promote the album with appearances in various cities across the US.
8 March 1994
Pink Floyd began two-and-a-half weeks of tour rehearsals at Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino, California.
21 March 1994
Pink Floyd held a press reception in the UK with the appearance of a specially commissioned A60 airship at White Waltham Airfield in Maidenhead.
28 March 1994
Pink Floyd released a new album The Division Bell in the UK. Tracklisting: Cluster One; What Do You Want From Me; Poles Apart; Marooned; A Great Day For Freedom; Wearing The Inside Out; Take It Back; Coming Back To Life; Keep Talking; Lost For Words; High Hopes. The album reached No. 1 in the UK.
30 March 1994
The North and South American legs of Floyd’s The Division Bell tour opened at Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, Florida. It included a further 58 dates, finishing with two nights at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, North Jersey. Pink Floyd’s touring party included David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright plus Guy Pratt (bass guitar), Jon Carin (keyboards), Dick Parry (saxophone), Tim Renwick (guitars), Gary Wallis (percussion) and backing vocalists Durga McBroom and Claudia Fontaine.
4 April 1994
The Division Bell was released in the US, where it reached No. 1 in the charts.
16 May 1994
Pink Floyd released a one-track single, Take It Back, in the UK. It reached No. 23 in the charts. A limited-edition version of the single (B-side: Astronomy Dominé) was also released in the US, where it peaked at No. 73 in the charts.
22 July 1994
Pink Floyd’s The Division Bell 37-date European tour commenced with a show at Estadio De Alvalade in Lisbon, Portugal, and finished at Stade De La Pontaise in Lausanne, Switzerland. Sam Brown joined the band as an additional backing vocalist on all dates.
13 October 1994
Pink Floyd played 15 nights at London’s Earls Court Exhibition Hall. The planned opening night on 12 October was re-scheduled after a seating stand collapsed shortly before the band arrived on stage. Fortunately, nobody was hurt. On six of the nights, Pink Floyd adjusted the set list to perform The Dark Side Of The Moon in its entirety. On 28 October, the band’s friend and author Douglas Adams was invited on stage as a birthday present to play guitar during a version of Brain Damage.
17 October 1994
Pink Floyd released High Hopes (B-side: Keep Talking) as a single in the UK. It reached No. 26 in the charts.
5 June 1995
Pink Floyd released a live album, P.U.L.S.E., in the UK and US. The album artwork was notable for a flashing LED on the spine of the packaging. Tracklisting: Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts, 1-6; Astronomy Dominé; What Do You Want From Me; Learning To Fly; Keep Talking; Coming Back To Life; Hey You; A Great Day For Freedom; Sorrow; High Hopes; Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2; The Dark Side Of The Moon; Wish You Were Here; Comfortably Numb; Run Like Hell. The album reached No. 1 in the UK and US. A video release of the P.U.L.S.E. concert was released in the UK and the US a week later.
17 January 1996
Pink Floyd were inducted into the ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame’, during a ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City. David Gilmour and Richard Wright were joined by Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan for a version of Wish You Were Here.
4 August 1997
Pink Floyd re-released The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn in the UK. The 30th anniversary edition was digitally remastered and issued on both vinyl and CD. A CD album box set included art prints and a limited edition bonus CD, The First 3 Singles, containing: Arnold Layne; Candy And A Currant Bun; See Emily Play; Scarecrow; Apples And Oranges; Paintbox.
18 August 1997
Pink Floyd released the 1997 Vinyl Collection box set in the UK containing the albums: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, Atom Heart Mother, Relics, The Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall.
6 September 1998
David Gilmour appeared as special guest with The Pretty Things at an invitation-only anniversary concert performing their album S.F. Sorrow at Abbey Road studios. The concert was broadcast live on the Internet and later released as a limited edition CD entitled The Pretty Things — Resurrection (Died 1968 Born 1998 At Abbey Road).
23 July 1999
Roger Waters’ In The Flesh North American tour commenced with a show at the Milwaukee Auditorium, Wisconsin. The tour played a further 23 dates, concluding on 28 August at the Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Missouri.
4 October 1999
Paul McCartney released an album, Run Devil Run featuring David Gilmour on guitars. As part of the subsequent promotional tour David performed with Paul McCartney’s band on the TV shows ‘Later… with Jools Holland’ and a Michael Parkinson TV special ‘Parkinson Meets Paul McCartney’, and concluded with a show at The Cavern Club in Liverpool on 14 December which was broadcast on BBC radio and TV.
17 March 2000
Pink Floyd released a live album, Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live: 1980-1981, in the US. The album included the entire live ‘Wall’ performance recorded across seven different nights at London’s Earls Court Arena. The album charted in the US at No. 19.
27 March 2000
Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live: 1980-1981 was released in the UK and charted at No. 15.
2 June 2000
Roger Waters’ In The Flesh tour recommenced with a show at the Ice Palace, Tampa, Florida. The tour played a further 24 shows, and concluded on 16 July at Providence Civic Center, Rhode Island. Many of the shows were recorded for the subsequent live album and DVD Roger Waters In The Flesh.
19 October 2001
David Gilmour appeared as special guest with The Pretty Things at the first ever public live performance of their classic album S.F. Sorrow at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Gilmour also played with the support band The Soft Boys for their rendition of Astronomy Dominé.
27 February 2002
Roger Waters began his In The Flesh world tour at Bellville Velodrome, Cape Town, South Africa. The tour included shows in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Australia.
4 May 2002
Roger Waters’ European In The Flesh tour opened with two nights at Lisbon’s Pavilhao Atlantico.
29 June 2002
Roger Waters played the ‘Glastonbury Festival’ in Somerset.
15 November 2002
Pink Floyd released a compilation, Echoes: The Best Of Pink Floyd in the UK and US. Tracklisting: Astronomy Dominé; See Emily Play; The Happiest Days Of Our Lives; Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2; Echoes; Hey You; Marooned; The Great Gig In The Sky; Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun; Money; Keep Talking; Sheep; Sorrow; Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts 1-7; Time; The Fletcher Memorial Home; Comfortably Numb; When The Tigers Broke Free; One Of These Days; Us And Them; Learning To Fly; Arnold Layne; Wish You Were Here; Jugband Blues; High Hopes; Bike. The album reached No. 2 in the UK and No. 1 in the US.
24 March 2003
Floyd re-released The Dark Side Of The Moon to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the album. Engineer James Guthrie oversaw a new 5.1 mix of the original album.
11 April 2003
David Gilmour was interviewed by Sue Lawley for the long-running BBC Radio 4 show ‘Desert Island Discs’ during which he selected his favourite records: ‘Waterloo Sunset’ by The Kinks; ‘Ballad In Plain D’ by Bob Dylan; ‘I’m Still Here’ by Tom Waits; ‘Dancing In The Street’ by Martha and the Vandellas; ‘Anthem’ by Leonard Cohen; ‘A Man Needs A Maid’ by Neil Young; ‘For Free’ by Joni Mitchell; and ‘Rudi With A Flashlight’ by The Lemonheads. When asked what three items (record, book and luxury item) he would take on a desert island, he selected ‘Dancing In The Street’ by Martha and the Vandellas as his record, an English translation of the Koran as his book and an acoustic Martin D35 guitar as his luxury.
24 September 2004
David Gilmour performed Marooned, Coming Back To Life and Sorrow at the ‘Miller Strat Pack’ charity show at London’s Wembley Arena, which featured appearances by Ronnie Wood, Joe Walsh, Brian May, Hank Marvin, Phil Manzanera, Mike Rutherford, Paul Carrack, The Crickets, and Gary Moore, among others.
17 November 2004
Roger Waters’ opera, Ça Ira, premiered at Sala Santa Cecilia, Auditorium Parco Della Musica, in Rome.
28 June 2005
Pink Floyd with Roger Waters convened for three days of rehearsals at West London’s Black Island Studios in preparation for the ‘Live 8’ charity reunion concert.
2 July 2005
Pink Floyd performed at the ‘Live 8’ concert in London’s Hyde Park. The band again comprised David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Roger Waters and Richard Wright, joined by additional keyboard player Jon Carin, guitarist Tim Renwick and backing vocalist Carol Kenyon. The group performed Breathe, Money, Wish You Were Here and Comfortably Numb.
26 September 2005
Roger Waters released a new album, Ça Ira — There Is Hope — An Opera In Three Acts in the UK and US.
16 November 2005
Pink Floyd were inducted into the ‘UK Music Hall Of Fame’ in a ceremony at London’s Alexandra Palace. The group were inducted by The Who’s Pete Townshend. David Gilmour and Nick Mason attended the event in person, Richard Wright was unwell, and Roger Waters appeared via an on-screen video link.
6 March 2006
David Gilmour released a solo album, On An Island, in the UK (and a day later in the US). The album featured guest musicians including Richard Wright, Phil Manzanera, Guy Pratt, Jon Carin, Robert Wyatt, David Crosby, Graham Nash, and original Pink Floyd guitarist Rado ‘Bob’ Klose, among others.
10 March 2006
David Gilmour’s On An Island tour began in Dortmund, Germany. The tour included Europe, the United States, and the UK, with three nights at London’s Royal Albert Hall, where special guests included David Bowie and Nick Mason.
2 June 2006
Roger Waters’ The Dark Side Of The Moon tour began in Lisbon, Portugal. The 21-date pan-European tour, which concluded on 16 July at the ‘Moon & Stars Festival’ in Locarno, Switzerland, also saw Waters perform on 22 June at Latrun, Israel — a village of Israeli-Palestinian co-existence.
7 July 2006
Roger ‘Syd’ Barrett died at home in Cambridge. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer.
6 September 2006
Roger Waters’ The Dark Side Of The Moon tour continued in North America at the PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, New Jersey. The 20-date tour, which concluded on 12 October at the Key Arena, Seattle, also saw Nick Mason join Waters on stage for three shows at the Hollywood Bowl.
25 January 2007
Roger Waters’ world tour opened in Sydney, Australia. The tour included New Zealand, China, India, United Arab Emirates, South America, United States, Canada, Europe, and the UK (including two nights at London’s Earls Court).
10 May 2007
‘Syd Barrett — Madcap’s Last Laugh’, a tribute concert to the late Floyd frontman, took place at London’s Barbican Hall. Performers included Kevin Ayers, Captain Sensible, and Chrissie Hynde. David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright performed Arnold Layne; Roger Waters performed a solo composition, Flickering Flame.
17 September 2007
David Gilmour released Remember That Night, a live DVD recorded over three nights at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
15 September 2008
Pink Floyd keyboard player Richard Wright died at home. The cause of death was cancer.
22 September 2008
David Gilmour released Live In Gdańsk, a live concert recorded at the Gdańsk Shipyards, Poland, in August 2006.
11 November 2009
David Gilmour was made an Honorary Doctor of Arts by Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, in recognition of his “outstanding contribution to music as a writer, performer and innovator”.
10 July 2010
In an historic reunion, David Gilmour and Roger Waters appeared on stage together at an exclusive charity concert in aid of the Hoping Foundation at Kiddington Hall, Oxfordshire, England. They performed semi-acoustic versions of To Know Him Is To Love Him, Wish You Were Here, Comfortably Numb and Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2.
15 September 2010
Roger Waters commenced his Wall Live tour with three sold out nights at the Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Canada and concluded 55 shows later at the Palacio de los Deportes, Mexico City, Mexico.
4 October 2010
An Introduction To Syd Barrett is released in the UK, bringing together the tracks of Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett for the first time. It also includes the previously unreleased downloadable track Rhamadam.
11 October 2010
Special ‘booklet’ CD editions of Syd Barrett’s The Madcap Laughs, Barrett and Opel albums are released, restoring the original artwork and including bonus tracks.
11 October 2010
The Orb release Metallic Spheres, an album of ambient soundscapes featuring David Gilmour.
21 March 2011
Roger Waters commenced his 64-date Wall Live tour of Europe at the Pavilhao Atlantico, Lisbon, Portugal.
12 May 2011
David Gilmour joined Roger Waters on stage at the O2 Arena in London performing Comfortably Numb as part of Roger Waters’ Wall Live show. Nick Mason also attended the show, and both Nick and David joined Roger for the final song, Outside The Wall, on which Roger played trumpet, David mandolin and Nick tambourine.
As the story continues……