Endless River..Pink or Stink (Album review)


As I am writing this, I am listening to the new Pink Floyd album Endless River.

First a bit of history.(from the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame)

Syd Barrett (guitar, vocals; born January 6, 1946; died July 7, 2006), David Gilmour (guitar, vocals; born March 6, 1944), Nick Mason (drums; born January 27, 1945), Roger Waters (bass, synthesizer, vocals; born September 9, 1944), Rick Wright (keyboards, synthesizers; born July 28, 1945; died September 15, 2008).

These are the names of the man that where the Pink Floyd (later just named Pink Floyd)

Pink Floyd’s hallucinatory presentation of lights and music at London’s Roundhouse in 1966 brought psychedelia to the U.K. scene. The group carried rock and roll into a dimension that was more cerebral and conceptual than what preceded it. What George Orwell and Ray Bradbury were to literature, Pink Floyd is to popular music, forging an unsettling but provocative combination of science fiction and social commentary. In their early years, with vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Syd Barrett at the helm, Pink Floyd were the psychedelic Pied Pipers of the “London underground” scene. In the Seventies, with bassist Roger Waters providing more of the songwriting and direction, Pink Floyd became one of the most influential rock bands of all time.

(L to R) Founder and original guitarist Syd Barrett,Roger Waters,Nick Mason, and Rick Wright (Gilmour replaced Barett a few years later)

Before they settled on Pink Floyd, the group went by the names Sigma 6 and the Architectural Abdabs, and they mainly performed rhythm and blues covers. Singer-guitarist Syd Barrett provided Pink Floyd with most of its original early material, including the British hits “See Emily Play” and “Arnold Layne.” Barrett’s elfin, tuneful psychedelia made him the Lewis Carroll of the pop scene. Pink Floyd’s debut album, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, is a classic of psychedelic whimsy that epitomized the remarkable year of 1967 at its most playful and creative. As the British music magazine Q opined in 1995, “Piper at the Gates of Dawn is, even counting Sgt. Pepper, possibly the defining moment of English psychedelia and Syd Barrett’s magnum opus.” Among its highlights was a nine-minute instrumental, “Interstellar Overdrive,” that represented one of rock’s first forays into deep space. It was a preoccupation of Pink Floyd’s that would later surface in songs like “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” (from A Saucerful of Secrets) and the group’s masterwork, Dark Side of the Moon.

Perhaps one of the most iconic and welknown album covers ever “Dark side of the moon)

Intense experimentation with LSD unfortunately transported Barrett from enlightenment to mental instability, and increasingly unpredictable behavior necessitated his departure from Pink Floyd in 1968. Among the prime “acid casualties” of the Sixties, Barrett subsequently released two magnificent, if eccentric, solo albums – The Madcap Laughs and Barrett, both from 1970 – with considerable input from his erstwhile bandmates in Pink Floyd. Thereafter, however, Barrett became one of rock’s most legendary hermits and the subject of Roger Waters’ tributary opus “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.” It was the side-long centerpiece of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here (1975) and a sterling example of what the group has referred to as its recurring “theme of absence.”

The album cover used for the best PF album ever, “Whish you where here”

With guitarist David Gilmour on-board as Barrett’s replacement, Pink Floyd’s lineup remained constant for the next 15 years. In the wake of Piper, they recorded psychedelic soundscapes such as A Saucerful of Secrets and the double album Ummagumma, which comprised one disc of live performances and one of individual works by each band member. Laid-back but experimental, Pink Floyd kicked off the Seventies with the pastoral, atmospheric albums Atom Heart Mother (1970) and Meddle (1971). Each featured a side-long epic, “Atom Heart Mother Suite” and “Echoes,” respectively. Fittingly for a band with who took a cinematic approach to music, Pink Floyd provided music for three films. Their work as film scorers can be heard on the soundtrack albums More (1969), Zabriskie Point (1970) and Obscured by Clouds: Music from La Vallee (1972).

They never played in this formation but here they are all five together

Their 1973 release Dark Side of the Moon hit Number One on the Billboard charts and ultimately broke all records by remaining on the Top 200 album charts for 741 weeks. Dark Side of the Moon did not drop off Billboard’s Top 200 album chart until 1988. The album signaled rock’s willingness to move from adolescence into adulthood, conceptually addressing such subjects as aging, madness, money and time. From its prismatic cover artwork to the music therein, Dark Side of the Moon is a classic-rock milestone. The subject of alienation was further explored in Wish You Were Here (1975), an album whose central preoccupation was the band members’ distance from each other (“Wish You Were Here”) and erstwhile leader Syd Barrett’s distance from reality (“Shine On You Crazy Diamond”). They turned their gaze outward yet again on the Orwellian Animals (1977), whose songs bore the titles “Pigs,” “Sheep” and “Dogs.”

Pink Floyds famous inflatable pig, used in many live shows

Success continued into the Eighties with The Wall, a four-sided epic about a rock star named Pink who suffers a nervous breakdown while on tour. Much of it reflected chief architect Roger Waters’ dim view of the concert experience as rock expanded into arenas and stadiums.  “I wanted to make comparisons between rock and roll concerts and war,” Roger Waters toldRolling Stone in 1982. He elaborated on this central tenet in the liner notes forThe Wall Live: 1980-81: “The idea that we, as individuals, generally find it necessary to avoid or deny the painful aspects of our experience, and in fact often use them as bricks in a wall behind which we may sometimes find shelter, but behind which we may just as easily become emotionally immured, relatively simply stated and easy to grasp.” That, in a nutshell, is the theme pursued by Pink Floyd from Dark Side of the Moon forward.

We don’t altough we just used a double negative, we really don’t need no eduk…educt..edu…we don’t need no skool

Possibly the most pessimistic album ever to reach #1, The Wall also addressed childhood, education and marriage, finding all of these passages to be dehumanizing. The Wall, the most theatrical and complex stage show that rock had ever seen, was performed 24 times in multi-night stands at four places – London, Los Angeles, Long Island and Dortmund, Germany. During the performance, an actual “wall” was constructed in front of the band, and its collapse at the end provided a fitting denouement. The Wall was subsequently revived by Roger Waters for a star-studded staging in Berlin in 1990, to commemorate the unification of East and West Germany. Performances from the Pink Floyd’s original staging of the epic saw release in 2000 as The Wall Live: 

The teacher puppet from “the Wall live in Berlin 2000

In the wake of The Wall, Pink Floyd itself gradually seemed to collapse, at least temporarily. The Wall turned out to be the last album the foursome of Waters, Gilmour, Wright and Mason recorded together. The Final Cut, which was recorded under extreme duress, found Wright absent from the group. Almost wholly Waters’ vision, it was an antiwar album triggered by Britain’s 1982 conflict in the Falkland Islands. The group unofficially disbanded after its release, and that seemed to mark the end of Pink Floyd, as the members involved themselves in endeavors, including solo projects, outside the band.

You don’t have to listen the whole video but I sugest you listen at least to the beginning 😉 Music from the body is a solo project from Roger Waters

Throughout their history, the members of Pink Floyd have projected a rather static personal image, allowing music, lyrics, lighting and theatrical settings to communicate for them. Consequently, they’ve largely avoided the sort of public scrutiny that typifies the lives of rock stars. Little was known or reported about their personal lives. Only when a bitter war of words and a court battle erupted between Roger Waters and the others after Gilmour, Mason and Wright reconvened Pink Floyd was the silence broken.

Pink Floyd released Momentary Lapse of Reason in 1987 and followed it up a year later with Delicate Sound of Thunder, a live album drawn from an extensive tour. The group reconvened in the Nineties with Gilmour again at the helm, releasing The Division Bell in 1994 and another tour souvenir,Pulse, a year later. Both albums went to the top of the charts, proving that the public’s fascination with this most unconventional supergroup had not dimmed in the least.

Album cover from Pulse Live.

And now the Endless River and I assure you that this album is something fans have waited on for years. In fact most of us doubted that there ever would be a new album cause boy oh boy did it take time. But of course the question is, is it Pink….or does it stink.

Upon starting the first “side” (Pink Floyd are often record lovers and we stick with side instead of CD, especially when it comes to Pink Floyd) I was greeted by a very familiar sound. Within just a few moments I was swept away by the sound of the guitar and synthesizer, the typical way of drums, the relaxing sound that says “just relax, let go, let the music take your soul (yes yes Enigma, not Floyd). This sounded like a follow-up to their imo best ever album Wish you where here. I immediately had the overwhelming urge to roll myself a big J (which I of course did right away…it’s finished now so time for a new one…lmao). Is it Pink, oh yes absofrigginglutly Pink. It once again is a musical journey into the depths of your self, the deepest core of your being. This is music as it is ment to sound. Forget the Wall, Forget UmaGumma…the Final Cut…must have been a joke (the Final cut was their “goodbye album, can you believe it? that was 1983)

Album cover “The final cut”

Of course I post the entire album right here, I have to. Not sharing would be outrageous. In fact, since these video’s are from YouTube and YouTube tends to delete music videos from the publisher/studio that was involved in this, because of that I will have my own versions ready soon to be hosted from my own site. I would, if I where you, take a glass of wine (if you don’t/can’t smoke) or better, roll yourself a fat one. Take a lawn chair, dim the lights and dream away with the sounds of bliss. There is nothing more to say here than “it doesn’t come more Pink then this. I am truly grateful and in awe. This is a true tribute to Barett and Wright. Ladies and Gentlepeople I present you

album cover “Endless River”

Pink Floyd: the Endless River (a word of caution, you will see one video window, however it is a playlist of 4 videos that will play after each other without you needing to do anything)

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About Mavadelo

Dutch, Pothead, Married since 1999, once homeless officially homed since uh...I guess somewhere around 2006. Music lover (anything but techno) Animal friend (in general, dogs and cats more specific, wolves rule though), Happy (most of the time) Pacifist, optimist but also sarcastic, cynical and philosopher (big word, if I find a better one....) oh... Gamer, PC freak, Software junky, bottom level hacker (lol i can "hack" some of my games but t.b.h others did the work, I just apply their knowledge) all around "can you fix my pc Martin" guy did I mentioned married?

5 thoughts on “Endless River..Pink or Stink (Album review)

  1. Awesome in depth post on the history and talents of Pink Floyd! Classic band with so many gifts. Enjoyed the new release as this music definitely makes you relaxed as you said. Nothing like it. Have enjoyed seeing them live many times as well, so thanks for sharing a blast from the past. Great stuff!

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