Should We Look Forward to Pink Floyd's New Album?

Should We Look Forward to Pink Floyd's New Album?
Sayre Berman

When news trickled out last week that Pink Floyd was releasing a new album in October titled The Endless River, you couldn't help but get giddy.

For at least two generations, the British band was the soundtrack for a simpler time when you could pontificate complex subjects like the meaning of their lyrics. Was "Us and Them" about people who have been turned on to drugs and those who haven't? And was "Comfortably Numb" about how society eventually domesticates us all? Most important, was Dark Side of the Moon really recorded to be in sync with The Wizard of Oz, right down to the heartbeats matching when Dorothy puts her ear to the Tin Man's chest?

Before getting too excited about more Pink Floyd, remember the year is 2014.

Original members Syd Barrett and keyboardist Richard Wright are dead, and except for one Live Aid reunion, Roger Waters hasn't had anything to do with Pink Floyd since 1985. Guitarist David Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason, the two remaining members, are old, rich, and probably several decades removed from experimenting with psychedelics.

Still, it's more Pink Floyd.

But we've been burned by the heroes of our teenage years reunions so many times. While these classic acts are generally worth seeing when they perform live, it's when they release new material years after from their formative era that things get dodgy. I'm still trying to recover from last year's onslaught of Pixies EPs. But listening to Indie Cindy brought an epiphany on why new works from favorite broken-up bands of yesteryear are inevitably disappointing. It wasn't a new Pixies album from 2013 that you longed for; it's a lost album from 1989 you want to hear. Something new that sounds like something old.

Which is good news for Floyd fans. Its new album is based on unfinished sessions from "The Division Bell" recording that was supposed to eventually be released as an all-instrumental album titled The Big Spliff. And that's not a joke.

While it's not from the Pink Floyd peak era of 1975, since it's from the early '90s, that means it will feature contributions from the since-deceased Richard Wright. All the vocals and lyrics will be modern-day inventions,; this will not be the Pink Floyd you felt you knew so well, but neither are you the same person who once knew Pink Floyd so well.

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