The “Endless River” was released by Pink Floyd in 2014 and in a way it
completed the band’s full circle. Floyd were formed in 1965 with Syd
Barrett as guitarist, singer and chief songwriter, but after one album and
two brilliant singles he left and chose the life of a recluse, becoming the
first high profile rock-n-roll casualty.
Roger Waters was on bass guitar at the
time and took over the lyric writing. David Gilmour had been drafted into
the band in 1967 to support an ailing Syd Barrett and became a full time
member when Barrett left in 1968. Nick Mason happily played the drums all
the time as a Pink Floyd band member, but Rick Wright was the keyboard
player who Waters found surplus to requirements during the recording of The
Wall in 1979, so he fired his old school friend and co-founder of the band -
not a very nice thing to do.
Pink Floyd: (from left)
Rick Wright, Dave Gilmour and Nick Mason.
Waters himself left Pink Floyd in 1985,
believing the band to be a spent force and that it would fold without his
leadership. Well he had not reckoned on the determination and drive of Dave
Gilmour who kept Mason in the drum seat, recalled Wright to the keyboards
and on they went.
After a lengthy and bitter court
battle, Gilmour won the rights to keep the Pink Floyd name and carried on
with two more albums and massive world-wide tours in mega stadiums whilst
Roger Waters was left trying to fill up only small venues. Who says there
is no such thing as karma?
Both studio albums released by the
Gilmour led Pink Floyd were smash hits: “Momentary Lapse of Reason” in 1987
and “Division Bell” in 1994. The concert tours were the ‘must have’ tickets
and the double live albums that went with the tours, “The Delicate Sound of
Thunder” in 1988 and “Pulse” in 1995 were amongst the highest selling ever.
After this it was presumed by many that
Pink Floyd had simply retired and sadly, in 2008, Rick Wright passed away
from cancer and that was that. Or at least it was until rumors started
spreading that some instrumental music was still lying around in cases in
Dave Gilmour’s recording studios on a house boat. No songs as such, just
sounds and ambient tunes, half ideas if you like.
A think tank was assembled on the house
boat and possibilities started to become realities. With Gilmour as musical
ringmaster and Andy Jackson, the sound engineer from the “Division Bell”
sessions on board, along with Nick Mason, Youth, Guy Pratt, the Pink Floyd
bass player, and Phil Manzanera, a good friend of Gilmour and of course lead
guitarist with Roxy Music, pieces of the musical jigsaw started to come
Apart from some spoken words from Rick
Wright explaining the original dynamics of the band to start the album off,
and words of wisdom from Stephen Hawkins, there is only one song with
lyrics, the final track “Louder than Words”, which was penned by Polly
Sampson, now Mrs. Gilmour.
There’s some wonderful keyboard playing
from the organ at the Royal Albert Hall by Rick Wright in 1968 and when
mixed with Gilmour’s emotional solo to finish off “Louder Than Words”, or
when the latter lets his guitar soar away on the wings of a bird on
“Anisina” it really bring goose-bumps to the skin.
Thank goodness the time was taken to
put together what has now become my favorite Pink Floyd album. It is best
played in its entirety, first thing in the morning.
Pink Floyd (on this album):
Rick Wright - keyboards and spoken
David Gilmour - guitar and vocals
Nick Mason - drums and percussion
Guy Pratt - bass guitar
Phil Manzanera - guitar
Youth and Andy Jackson – general genius
Things Left Unsaid
It’s What We Do
Ebb & Flow
The Lost Art Of Conversation
On Noodle Street
Eyes of pearls
Louder Than Words
Note: Written By Mott The Dog
and Hells Bells.
Stone Roses: ‘Second Coming’ - four stars
The Stone Roses are
certainly something of a rock’n’roll cliché. The Manchester band’s first
eponymously named album, released on 2nd May 1989, took some time to gain
traction with critics and music fans alike, and with an opening track titled
“I Wanna Be Adored” it rather smacked of some form of rock hedonism. But
ever so slowly it caught the public’s imagination and it wasn’t long before
the Stone Roses became the de facto leaders of the ‘Madchester’ movement.
And with a million worldwide album sales behind them, who could argue?
But then, and you could
not make this up if you tried, the band, at the height of popularity and
after playing just a few headline shows practically disappeared for five
years, four and half of those without even playing a concert. Legions of
Roses fans were left in a virtual musical wilderness, but finally news
leaked that the band was back in the studios in Owestry, Shropshire and
Monmouth, Wales. The new album took two and a half years to create with
rumors abounding all the time about band splits, bust ups and new musical
In December 1994 Geffen
records released the Stone Roses second album, prophetically titled “Second
Coming”. Putting it mildly it does not grab you straight away and all the
comparisons previously made between the Stone Roses and the Beatles, Led
Zeppelin etc. all rather went out the window. But there is still an awful
lot to be said for having a strong fan base. The album leapt up the British
charts and “Second Coming” peaked at number 4 in Britain, selling another
million albums. Sadly for the Roses, the rest of the world did not appear
to have such long memories.
The album has some very
fine tunes as long as you give them more than one spin on your deck. The
opener “Breaking into Heaven” is a classic, starting with some rampant lead
guitar chords from John Squire before changing track and ever so slowly
leaving you with just rippling water rolling over stones, other furry beasts
lurking in the jungle. A drum beat comes rolling over the hill and the song
carries you away while John Squire’s guitar flows in and out like a rain
squall. It’s nearly five minutes before “Breaking into Heaven” resembles
anything like a rock’n’roll song, but when it does it is laden down with
The other tracks on the
album all have their own magical moments, with two of the songs having a
delightful campfire sing-a-long feeling whilst others are sprinkled with
some deep rooted psychedelic passions – funky, blues, rock, pop numbers all
John Squire’s guitar
work is never short of its unique quality, which, along with Ian Brown’s
vocals, gives the Roses their distinctive sound, although if you have a fine
lead vocalist I never think it is a good idea to hand the mike-stand to
another member of the band.
Having so far said only
positive things about the “Second Coming”, finishing the album with the
appalling noise that is “The Foz” is just about unforgivable, but despite
this anomaly I’ll still dispense four stars.
Of course, as in all
good rock’n’roll stories, nothing lasts. The Stone Roses did set out on a
world tour to support the album, but first drummer Reni left the band and
then, disastrously, John Squire picked up his guitar and walked out too.
Replacements were drafted in but it was far too little too late. The last
Stone Roses concert of this ill-fated period was at Reading Festival in 1996
where the band members were under rehearsed, out of tune and out of their
It is, I am afraid,
rather generous to call this the second Stone Roses album as it’s also
currently their last. But as the saying goes, “Never say never!”
Ian Brown - vocals
John Squire – lead
Mani - bass guitar
Reni – drums.
Breaking into Heaven
Ten Storey Love
Your Star will Shine
Straight To the Man
How Do You Sleep
Written By Mott The Dog and Hells Bells. Mott the Dog can usually be found
in his kennel at Jameson’s Irish Pub, Nova Park, Soi AR in Pattaya.