History of Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd has been producing music since the mid-1960s. The relevance of Pink Floyd cannot be ignored, and they are considered to be one of the greatest bands in music history. The band has long been associated with the genre of Science Fiction, and with good reason. What began with Syd Barrett and ended with Dave Gilmour has lasted decades, and each iteration of the band has stayed at least on the periphery of Sci Fi.
The Band and the Albums
The members of Pink Floyd have more or less remained constant over the years. The band, founded by guitarist Syd Barrett, was originally comprised of Barrett, bassist Roger Waters, drummer Nick Mason, and keyboardist Rick Wright. When Barrett proved unreliable due to psychosis, Dave Gilmour joined the Floyd in 1967. From their debut album, 1967’s The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, to their final album, 2014’s The Endless River, Pink Floyd has enjoyed both tremendous success and a spot in the heart of Sci-Fi fans everywhere. The most celebrated Sci-Fi related album is 1973’s The Dark Side of the Moon. This is not the only release associated with the genre, however. There are many more in their catalog, some would argue all of them, that fit this apt description.
Connections to Science Fiction
Pink Floyd has been connected with Science Fiction in more than just a musical way. Author Douglas Adams was friends with Dave Gilmour, and even chose the title of the band’s 1994 album, The Division Bell. Gilmour also performed at Adams’ memorial service after his untimely death.
Pink Floyd has also been associated with filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick asked for permission to use Floyd’s album Atom Heart Mother in his film “2001: A Space Odyssey.” The band refused, mostly because Kubrick wouldn’t tell them how he would be using it, and the band wasn’t comfortable not knowing. The music was to be used during the end of the film, where Dave Bowman travels through the freaky lights. One final connection to Kubrick was on the reissue of Roger Waters’ solo album Amused to Death. Waters used the dying voice of HAL 9000 at the beginning of the song “Perfect Sense, Part I.”
Pink Floyd has also had a longtime association with Marvel’s Dr. Strange. It started with the album cover for 1968’s A Saucerful of Secrets. The album used a part of a page from the comics. In the song “Cymbaline” from 1969’s More, Pink Floyd included the lyrics “Suddenly it strikes you that they’re moving into range/and Doctor Strange is always changing size.” One last connection comes from the 2016 Marvel film “Doctor Strange,” which uses the song “Interstellar Overdrive” from Floyd’s debut album.
But wait! There’s more! The 1977 album Animals is based on George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm. 2014’s The Endless River featured the song “Talkin’ Hawkin‘” which featured a speech from Stephen Hawking’s speech from a commercial.
Lastly, the Pink Floyd live album, 1988’s Delicate Sound of Thunder was the first album played in outer space. Russian cosmonauts took it aboard the Soyuz TM-7. David Gilmour and Nick Mason attended the mission’s launch.
If I were to offer recommendations as to which Floyd album(s) you should listen, we’d be here all day. Suffice to say that the majority of their catalog is phenomenal. The classics that instantly come to mind are The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, The Wall, and Animals. I also say that The Final Cut is underrated, and Obscured by Clouds gets overlooked. Just this morning I was listening to Meddle on the way to work. So explore the music of Pink Floyd for yourself and make the Science Fiction connections.