PINK FLOYD WERE NEVER a band ever to let friendships or sensitivities get in the way of their creating amazing conceptual music – and, watching our clips below, you might well agree, ‘Thank goodness’. After their magnus opus The Dark Side Of The Moon launched them into the commercial stratosphere in 1973, their bid for self-expression refused to recognise any bounds – and writing catchy songs no longer seemed to be the transgression it had been in their early, proggy, post-Syd Barrett years. Their unfettered creativity reached another peak on 1979’s The Wall album, a daring concept record exploring the damage that school, family, fame and society wrought on its central rock star character – loosely based on chief songwriter Roger Waters, of course – before the bassist delved further into the dark realm of self-examination with the vehemently anti-war and pro-the-people The Final Cut in 1983.
Waters saw that record as the group’s coup de grâce, and declared the Floyd over, but guitarist David Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason believed otherwise and pressed ahead to show their former leader a thing or two about making transportative astral rock on 1987’s A Momentary Lapse Of Reason and 1994’s The Division Bell. The former was promoted with a mammoth world tour that grossed $135 million, eclipsing Michael Jackson and U2.
And then, of course, just when you thought it would never happen, Waters rejoined his old band for 2005’s historic Live 8 concert in Hyde Park.
To celebrate the 21-page Floyd bonanza in the latest issue of MOJO, we’ve compiled our favourite clips from the group’s Late Imperial period – The Wall and beyond – starting with the famous promo film clip of Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2), and ending with an emotional dedication to Syd Barrett in Hyde Park some 15 years later.
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