Monday, September 15, 2008

15 September 2008: The Great Gig In The Sky

Pink Floyd founder member Richard Wright has died, aged 65.

He played at Live8 three years ago, although he was very subdued that day, presumably because Roger Waters was back (they didn't like each other much) and he didn't get a microphone. Still, he went touring with Dave Gilmour a lot in the last few years and always had some interesting chord changes up his sleeve. His earlier stuff - probably most famously 'The Great Gig In The Sky' from Dark Side of the Moon - was always musically very interesting and atmospheric, almost descriptive at times. His more recent output often featured two or three sets of voices singing at once, melding it all to create atmosphere. As much as Gilmour's guitar solos were all about shape, Wright's keyboard, organ, piano and general songwriting were about creating an atmosphere, a landscape on which the others (mainly Gilmour) could paint the foreground. He did some collaboration with Waters, judging by the sleeve notes, but not often and Roger was obviously the better, more talented songwriter. Wright was probably more of a composer.

Anyway, so two years after Syd departs, now Rick heads off to his gig in the sky. I liked his stuff more than I realised for a long time - kind of like George Harrison's stuff with the Beatles, although without the Buddhist overtones. And his collaborations with Gilmour on The Division Bell are still, in my opinion, highly underrated.

Hmm, maybe I can find that old Nurofen advert on YouTube...

Postscript: Found it.

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