PINK FLOYD - Two decades after The Division Bell

27. June 2014

Pink Floyd

PINK FLOYD - Two decades after The Division Bell

It was a shock. The first PR photos, published in March 1994, shortly before the release of "The Division Bell", showed an emaciated David Gilmour. He looked lean and hard, his grey hair shorn short. Perhaps he was marked by the fights that had raged between him and his former band colleague Roger Waters in the late eighties. Did the appearance of the sensitive guitarist show that he had worn himself out in the legal dispute that bore the traits of a private feud? That the economic aspects of the Pink Floyd enterprise were ultimately more important to him than the artistic side?

The impression was misleading. In all respects. Pink Floyd arrived in the here and now in 1994. They did it in their own way - with a return to the seventies. Like no other album after "Wish You Were Here" (1975) the new album "The Division Bell" breathed the spirit of that high phase of art rock. In 1994 the time was ripe again for art rock, which made it easier for the album than its predecessor "A Momentary Lapse Of Reason" (1987). The music world received the new Floyd material with open arms. It is often reported that divers had swum around Gilmour's studio houseboat "Astoria" with listening devices in order to get first impressions before the release. The album conquered in the USA and Great Britain from the stand chart position 1; it stormed also in many other countries to the top and reached so higher placements than any other Floyd album.

The strength of the Pink Floyd brand was evident when the Gilmour-led band and Roger Waters competed against each other in the late 1980s with their releases and tours. The bass player had no chance against the magic that the brand name Pink Floyd still possessed. When Waters released "Amused To Death" in 1992, he cynically remarked: "If it had Pink Floyd on it, it would sell ten million copies. Gilmour, Nick Mason and Rick Wright went into the nineties strengthened. With the next album they wouldn't have to prove anything to anyone anymore. The relaxed atmosphere can be heard on "The Division Bell".

Gilmour: "We worked much better than we did during the quarrels with Roger. The recording of 'A Momentary Lapse Of Reason' was an extremely difficult, tense process. But the success of the album and the tour as well as the fun we had working together made the new album much more relaxed." This comfort zone bore fruit when Gilmour, Mason and Wright (who was a full band member again) met for their first jam sessions at Britannia Row Studios in London in January 1993. For two weeks they collected countless song ideas there. A new release was not the goal of the musicians at first, but they quickly recognized the potential of the new material. "Only David, Rick and I, a sound engineer on a two-track recorder and as much time as we wanted," is how Mason describes the situation. "Even though we were prepared for disappointment from bitter experience and were not to blame for anything, the fact that we were together in the studio already showed our common direction

Lesen Sie mehr im eclipsed Nr. 162 (Juli/August 2014).