Pink Floyd Essay

Submitted By orolen
Words: 1174
Pages: 5

When it comes to being influenced by others, very few musicians can discount Pink Floyd. From their wide use of experimental sounds and lights to jet propelling the idea of a concept record into popular writing, Pink Floyd has had a significant impact on the musical world. Pink Floyd was one of the first bands to use lights during their live sets. The lights were almost a show in and of themselves. They helped to give a setting to the sound. The atmosphere obtained through this conveyed the emotion of the music via visuals alongside the music. After the psychedelic trend of rock started losing momentum, Pink Floyd began using a moving light system that would rise up and lower down during the performance. An interesting piece of musicianship that Pink Floyd mastered during their career was the guitar solo. The band would record a song, then Dave Gilmour (who took over lead guitars after Syd Barrett left) would come in to do solo work. He would record multiple solos for one song, then have his favorite parts cut and pasted together. This added to the spacey and atmospheric sound the band achieved while still maintaining a certain cohesiveness and balance behind it all. Gilmour has been listed as number 14 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” being described as, “the missing link between Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen,” by the article author Alan di Perna. The live performances of Pink Floyd were not limited to light work. Extravagant displays of props, explosions (pyrotechnics), photo and video were also used to better express the music. Behemoth helium balloons saw first use during the Dark Side of the Moon tours, but later this element began to play a crucial role during the set. A triangular zeppelin hovered over the stage on a later tour. While being an interesting spectacle, it would often fly to the crowd and fall to pieces. The trademark giant pig was brought in for tour to support their record Animals in 1977, floating over the audience. In some shows, the floating pig would have some propane inside, causing it to explode. Tour support for The Wall brought the inflatables to new heights, where several of the characters from the album were portrayed by the use of giant, moving string puppets that had frightening and glaring eyes through the use of spotlight. The Wall shows brought special effects to an extravagant level. An example is the building of an actual wall. 160-feet long and 35-feet high, the wall was made from 340 white bricks built between the audience and the band during the first half of the show. The final brick was placed as Roger Waters sang, "goodbye" at the end of the song "Goodbye Cruel World" which was halfway through the set. This caused the band to become unseen by the audience until the end of the show, where the wall would be destroyed. Concept writing was a notable part of Pink Floyd’s repertoire. Using concept writing on the Animals record, the band discussed social disorder and unrest through use of symbolizing different classes as different animals. This was a mirroring of George Orwell’s critically acclaimed novel Animal Farm. Wish You Were Here is another album that uses some concept. While not entirely a concept album, it does take a look into the feeling of absence and discusses Syd Barrett’s descent into mental instability. Dark Side of the Moon is an album that carries its own significance. The album has a weight to it that keeps it separated from other records from its time. Functioning as a single piece of music rather than individual songs and pop hits/singles, it helped to concrete the idea of the sound of a concept record. This brought about listening to albums as experiences instead of having singles being the main focus. The Wall highly popularized the ideas of rock-operas. Whereas singles from concept records could be played apart from the whole without taking away from the story, rock-operas tell a cohesive and epic story and are