Pink Floyd – The Endless River

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The Endless River – Pink Floyd

 

The Endless River is a very difficult project to pin down. This “final album” from Pink Floyd was made by compiling over 20 hours of unused sessions from the development of their 1994 record, The Division Bell. They’d toyed with the idea of releasing The Division Bell as a double album, one disc of traditional songs and one of ambient instrumentals, but the concept was shelved. Now, 20 years later, several years after the death of keyboardist Richard Wright, they’ve melded those sessions together along with other archived audio and some new takes to create what’s been branded as the band’s swan song. However, the success of The Endless River as an “album” is evasive.The record is largely instrumental and is divided into four distinct (though unlabeled) movements — each occupying an album side on the vinyl release. Of the 18 tracks, only the final song has lyrics. The music is beautiful and distinctly Floydian, but it’s also extremely derivative of many tracks from The Division Bell, as well as earlier Pink Floyd songs. These tracks aren’t just familiar, but contain presumably intentional and very noticeable echoes. For these reasons, The Endless River is a hard sell as a “new album”; instead, it could be called the world’s most lavishly appointed collection of outtakes.As a whole, The Endless River is a very evocative collection of music. Though it aligns itself with the smoother side of Pink Floyd rather than the ferocious snarl of “One of These Days” or anything from Animals, its moods explore a diverse and exciting terrain. But, as part of the greater whole of Floyd records, it’s an oddity, more relevant for its context in the band’s history than the music. The prevalence of cues from Division Bell suggests that The Endless River is made up of improvised work that developed into the previous record’s songs. The nods to earlier records like Meddle and A Saucerful of Secrets could be explained as the band dabbling in older tracks with an inevitable tour on the horizon. Deleted lines from Stephen Hawking’s “Keep Talking” monologue only serve to hammer home that you’re listening to Division Bell‘s cutting room floor.This is an undeniably fantastic presentation for this previously unreleased music: Making it a standalone release rather than a bonus disc for The Division Bell Deluxe Box was the right call. But, as a final offering from one of the greatest rock acts in history, The Endless River serves as a fair basis for the question of what exactly constitutes an “album.”

The simple answer is intent. When Gilmour and Mason went about putting this work together, it was done as a conscious final statement from the players who devised the core sound of Pink Floyd. It’s also to some degree a love letter to their dearly departed friend, whose work was largely underplayed for most of the band’s later records.

Roger Waters’ songwriting and creative direction were essential to Pink Floyd’s identity during the height of their career, but the sound of Pink Floyd was never his alone. Just as Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford are Genesis regardless of who’s fronting the band, or just as David Byrne doesn’t sound exactly like Talking Heads without Weymouth, Frantz, and Harrison, the memorable and defining music of Pink Floyd was always chiefly in the hands of Gilmour, Wright, and Mason. The Endless River sees the band doing what they’ve always done best: making jazzy and contemplative rock music.

It’s an odd thing for this album to come 20 years after most of it was recorded, but that doesn’t seem to be of much consequence to Gilmour and Mason. In recent interviews, the band’s two remaining members speak of the project as if, for the first time in a long time, some tremendous weight has been lifted. In fact, the intent of The Endless River is made plain with their closing manifesto, “Louder Than Words”. The lyrics are without a doubt some of the weakest ever to find their way onto a Pink Floyd album. However, the statement of “Louder Than Words” is a poignant one — about friendship, ego, songwriting, and perhaps even public perception as to “which one’s Pink?”

The redemption of this recycled music is in the hands of the fans. For everyone who looks at post-Waters Floyd as glorified Gilmour solo albums, these instrumentals could be what you’ve been waiting for since 1983. For fans of Division Bell, it’s at the very least a killer bonus disc. In the tapestry of Pink Floyd, The Endless River doesn’t end on as powerful a musical statement as Division Bell‘s “High Hopes”, but it does end on a profoundly more personal note for a band that’s taken us on 50 years of incredible sonic journeys.

Essential Tracks: “Allons-Y (1)”, “Autumn ’68”, and “Eyes to Pearls”

Stream: Pink Floyd’s new album, The Endless River

Pink Floyd – Louder Than Words – promo video – AWESOME!
 
 

 
 

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The Endless River – Album Cover

This week, Pink Floyd returns with its first new album in 20 years, The Endless River. Beginning today, it’s available to purchase in digital, CD, and vinyl packages.

Spotify users can also stream the album in full.

Update: The band has also shared a video for the track “Louder Than Words”, which you can watch at the top of this page.

Billed as a tribute to multi-instrumentalist Richard Wright, The Endless River utilizes unreleased lyrics and music written by Wright prior to his death in 2008.

The album was recorded by David Gilmour and Mason in November 2013 alongside Roxy Music guitarist and producer Phil Manzanera. Other contributors include theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking (whose vocals are featured on the track “Talkin’ Hawkin’”) and UK-based electronic string quartet Escala.

Roger Waters, who left Pink Floyd in 1985, had no involvement in the recording process.

Gilmour discussed the album in a statement, saying, “The Endless River has as its starting point the music that came from the 1993 Division Bell sessions. We listened to over 20 hours of the three of us playing together and selected the music we wanted to work on for the new album.

Over the last year we’ve added new parts, re-recorded others, and generally harnessed studio technology to make a 21st century Pink Floyd album. With Rick gone, and with him the chance of ever doing it again, it feels right that these revisited and reworked tracks should be made available as part of our repertoire.”

Watch Pink Floyd release short trailer for new album ‘The Endless River’

The Endless River – 30 second clip

 

 

Pink Floyd have released a 30-second teaser trailer for their upcoming album ‘The Endless River’. Click above to watch.
The clip was posted today via the band’s various social media outlets and features a short, guitar-heavy audio snippet. ‘The Endless River’ – which will be Pink Floyd’s first album in 20 years – is due for release on November 10.In addition to the record’s cover art and tracklisting, which were released earlier this week, the group published a statement via their website, revealing that the LP will include music recorded with multi-instrumentalist Richard Wright, who died in 2008 aged 65.”‘The Endless River’ is a tribute to Rick Wright, whose keyboards are at the heart of the Pink Floyd sound,” read the statement. “It is a mainly instrumental album with one song, ‘Louder Than Words’, (with new lyrics by Polly Samson), arranged across four sides and produced by David Gilmour, Phil Manzanera, Youth and Andy Jackson.”

The record will not feature original Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters, who left the band in 1985. Speaking last year, drummer Nick Mason revealed that he would be interested in a full band reunion, but was not certain it will ever materialise.

“I would do it… I’m ready to go,” he said when asked about the prospects of a reunion. “I’m packed, I have my drum kit, a suitcase and a wash bag by my front door ready for it when I ever get the call. But I’m not holding my breath.”

‘The Endless River’ tracklisting is:

‘Things Left Unsaid’
‘It’s What We Do’
‘Ebb And Flow’
‘Sum’
‘Skins’
‘Unsung’
‘Anisina’
‘The Lost Art Of Conversation’
‘On Noodle Street’
‘Night Light’
‘Allons-y (1)’
‘Autumn’68’
‘Allons-y (2)’
‘Talkin’ Hawkin”
‘Calling’
‘Eyes To Pearls’
‘Surfacing’
‘Louder Than Words’

Pink Floyd reveals details of new album, The Endless River

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The Endless River – Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd has revealed details of its upcoming album, The Endless River, which marks the band’s first new release in 20 years.

According to a new interview in Uncut (via SteveHoffman.TV), the album has a release date of November 10th. David Gilmour and Nick Mason began the recording process in November 2013 and spent 30 days overdubbing guitars and recording drums. Roxy Music guitarist and producer Phil Manzanera was also heavily involved in the creative process.

Update: Pink Floyd’s website has revealed the album’s artwork (above) and tracklist (below). Spanning 18 tracks, the album will be available on standard CD, double vinyl, and as a deluxe box set that includes 39-minutes of extra material. Pre-orders are now ongoing.

Of particular note is the inclusion of original organ recordings from Pink Floyd’s Richard Wright, taken from rehearsals dating back to June 1969.

The duo also clarified some of the ongoing rumors, namely that the material draws heavily from Gilmour’s unreleased experimental album, The Big Spliff. According to Uncut, the album is not at all based on The Big Spliff and incorporates only a few seconds from the original project. It also does not contain any material “The Soundscape”, the instrumental track originally released on the band’s 1995 Pulse Cassette.

Rather, The Endless River contains four different pieces on each side of the record, which focus on the “more atmospheric and digressive aspects of Pink Floyd and includes snippets of conversation.” One song, “Louder Than Words”, contains lyrics embracing the full history of the band. Gilmour sings: “We bitch and we fight // But this thing that we do // It’s louder than words // The sum of our parts // The beat of our hearts/ It’s louder than words.”

The Endless River Tracklist:
01. Things Left Unsaid
02. It’s What We Do
03. Ebb And Flow
04. Sum
05. Skins
06. Unsung
07. Anisina
08. The Lost Art of Conversation
09. On Noodle Street
10. Night Light
11. Allons-y (1)
12. Autumn’68
13. Allons-y (2)
14. Talkin’ Hawkin’
15. Calling
16. Eyes To Pearls
17. Surfacing
18. Louder Than Words

Pink Floyd To Release First New Album in 20 Years This Fall

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Pink Floyd is about to return with their first album in 20 years. Polly Samson, the wife of singer-guitarist David Gilmour, surprised fans on Saturday when she casually announced over Twitter that the band has a new record in the works and it’s coming out this fall. A representative for Gilmour confirmed the release of the album.

“Pink Floyd album out in October is called ‘The Endless River,'” Samson wrote. “Based on 1994 sessions is Rick Wright’s swansong and very beautiful.” (Keyboardist and founding member Wright died of cancer in 2008 at the age of 65.)

The band had just celebrated the 20th anniversary of 1994’s The Division Bell with an extravagant reissue of the album on July 1st. The new material appears to be connected to unreleased recordings made during the Division Bell sessions.

Durga McBroom-Hudson, a singer who toured with Pink Floyd in the 1980s and 1990s and is apparently involved in the new project, offered more details on The Endless River through her Facebook page. “The recording did start during The Division Bell sessions (and yes, it was the side project originally titled ‘The Big Spliff’ that Nick Mason spoke about),” she explained. “Which is why there are Richard Wright tracks on it. But David and Nick have gone in and done a lot more since then. It was originally to be a completely instrumental recording, but I came in last December and sang on a few tracks. David then expanded on my backing vocals and has done a lead on at least one of them. That’s the song you see being worked on in the photo.” She went on to emphasize that the new album will consist entirely of unreleased songs.

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