Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Richard Wright, and Syd Barrett were architectural students in London at the Polytechnic Institute in 1963, but their passion was music. They and some other friends put together a band and played at local venues. They practiced in the basement of one of the school buildings.
Band members came and went over a couple of years, one of their lead singers for a short period of time was with the Royal Airforce. Along with the personnel changes, the band’s name changed several times as well. They had settled on the name Tea Set in 1965 but realized that when they were going to perform at an event, another band had the same name, so they came up with the name Pink Floyd at the last minute. One of the band members was a huge fan of the famous blues singers, Pink Anderson and Floyd Mitchell, so they combined the names and went with it.
Their first album was released in 1967 and they began touring in Europe. They were putting out a new album every year, but nothing took off. Fortunately, they were keeping busy and making the record label money, so they were getting by. Then things went crazy because their new record label decided to record them on tour and then produce a few songs at Abby Road Studios in London. The sound engineer for the album was Alan Parsons. When he became a singer himself and launched “Eye in The Sky,” his music career took off. Pink Floyd's album was called: “Dark Side of The Moon,” and the songs’ philosophical lyrics along with psychedelic sounds, had fans going wild. It addressed conflict, greed, mental illness, the commodity of time, etc. It was a very intellectual album beyond the great sound.
One of the things that is mind-blowing about the album is that it was the first time they charted at number one on U.S. Billboards and when it comes to all music charts, they were in the top 200 for over 900 weeks. It had reached cult status so record sales kept going on and on. Many music professionals consider the album the greatest of all time because of the lyrics and unique sounds.
Five years later, in 1978, the band was in financial trouble as their manager hadn’t done a good job. They needed something big to get them back on track and they hit it big with the album: “The Wall,” with the song: “Another Brick in The Wall,” winning award after award. It was number one on the U.S.’s Billboard’s Top 100 for over three months.
I’d have to write a novel to cover this amazing band, but the bottom line is they were one of the most unique, intelligent/philosophical, bands of our time. They did things in the studio that other bands began copying. The use of a children’s choir in: “Another Brick in The Wall,” was amazing.
I think one of the best things about the band is that they weren’t in it for the money. They wanted to get by financially, but music was their passion. They weren’t a bunch of spoiled artists they worked their tails off every year on tour and in the studio. I’m so glad that the four founders of the band decided being architects wasn’t as good as being music artists because they sure made my life more enjoyable through their amazing music.