In October, Pink Floyd are releasing their first new material in 20 years.
I have been aware of the music of Pink Floyd for as long as I can remember. It’s no exaggeration to say that they soundtrack some of my earliest memories.
I have never not liked their music. It’s always held something of a mythical quality for me, beautifully evocative of higher planes and blissful, otherworldly states of being. Sometimes the mere mention of their name is all that’s needed to transport me a little.
Since this news was announced, I’ve made a point of avoiding any and all online discussion concerning the new Pink Floyd album (which will be called The Endless River).
I’ve done this because I know how much people love to moan, and I know exactly what they’re going to be moaning about in this case. Beyond all those hopelessly tedious types who’ll wade into a discussion in the mistaken belief that people are interested in just how much they dislike a band, I anticipate that much of the discussion concerning The Endless River will centre around the idea that this isn’t a “real” Pink Floyd album.
Roger Waters isn’t involved. They’re not actually writing new songs. It’s just off-cuts from The Division Bell sessions.
Yeah yeah. The thing is, as far as I’m concerned, a new Pink Floyd album is, without question, a very good thing.
Why? Read on to find out. If you can be bothered.
The main reason I’m so excited is because I know what to expect.
It isn’t quite the case that The Endless River will be comprised entirely of off-cuts from The Division Bell sessions. Rather, it’s my understanding that Rick Wright recordings from that era will be used as the basis for a series of new jams by Dave Gilmour and Nick Mason.
It’s looking as though vocals will feature, but a lot of the talk seems to indicate that this will mainly be an ambient and instrumental album.
Based on the ambient and instrumental tracks from The Division Bell, this is a cause for great excitement.
If, of course, New Age music excites you as much as it excites me.
See here, Cluster One. An absolutely gorgeous piece of music that I would not hesitate to place in my top five Pink Floyd songs:
An album of songs in the vein of Cluster One would be beautiful. However, I must not forget that there are other, less enthralling instrumental pieces on The Division Bell.
See here, Marooned. This song sways so dangerously close to the wrong-side of the New Age tracks that it might as well be called Dolphin Miracle:
Hmn. Granted, if it’s more in the style of Marooned than Cluster One, The Endless River might tank. Yet I remain optimistic. There’s every reason to suppose that it might be sublime.
It’s being described as a “swan song” for the late great Rick Wright, who unfortunately left us in 2008. In that it will feature a lot of his work, I’m reminded of The Manic Street Preachers’ Journal For Plague Lovers, which saw the band setting some posthumous Richey Edwards lyrics to new compositions. The album remains the high watermark of the band’s 21st century output.
I’m not suggesting that The Endless River will echo the harrowing intensity of Journal For Plague Lovers, because why would it? But even so, it might be an equally as moving tribute; an equally as fitting swan song for a lost genius; and an equally as welcome throwback to a sound and a feeling that many thought lost forever.
On that note, it’s worth remembering that Pink Floyd have lost another faithful friend since 1994. Visionary Hipgnosis honcho Storm Thorgerson sadly passed away last year, having left behind a legacy of some of the most distinctive and unforgettable album covers in rock history.
The idea of a Pink Floyd album not having a Storm Thorgerson album cover is unthinkable, so perhaps they’ll use some of his leftover sketches from the early 90s, transforming some of his unrealised ideas into the sort of surreal vistas in which he specialised?
In any case, that would be a more fitting swansong for Storm than that underwhelming Biffy Clyro album cover, which currently stands as his final piece of work.
Finally, many people are doubtlessly saying that The Endless River will not count as a “real” Pink Floyd album, simply because Roger Waters isn’t involved.
I’m afraid you’ve lost me there, hypothetical naysayer. I’ve always been in Camp David, happy to drift peacefully downstream, away from Roger’s sneering misanthropic invective.
So, yes. I find myself stupidly excited by the news that a new Pink Floyd album’s on its way. Upon its release, I’m going to ensconce myself somewhere warm with some good headphones and a pint of tea. Oh yeah, I’m getting this one on vinyl!
And in any case, I can now start to hope again that I might eventually get to see Pink Floyd live.
Holy potato, just imagine if they were to headline Glastonbury. Imagine the lights falling on the Pyramid Stage, Saturday night, and the crowd screaming so loudly that they drown out the pulse of the heartbeat; or the opening Shine On keyboard drone.
I’d die. I would. I’d die.