When David Gilmour Joined Pink Floyd He Helped The Band Transition Into Something Legendary

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When Pink Floyd began to gain popularity in the late 1960s, the original members of the band did not include David Gilmour. He is one of the two the most recognizable members of the band. Gilmour’s name and Pink Floyd are interchangeable, yet his name is not on the founding member’s credits. 

However, David Gilmour joining Pink Floyd altered the band’s trajectory sending them to “The Dark Side Of The Moon.”

In 1964, Richard Wright, Nick Mason, and Roger Waters were students in a London architecture school. Syd Barrett was an art student who joined the other three to form a band he labeled Pink Floyd. 

Syd derived the name from one of his favorite blues records by Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. According to Rolling Stone, “by 1967 they had developed an unmistakably psychedelic sound, performing long, loud suitelike compositions that touched on hard rock, blues, country, folk, and electronic music.

Adding a slide-and-light show, one of the first in British rock, they became a sensation among London’s underground as a featured attraction at the UFO Club.”  

Syd Barrett Begins To Descend Into Madness

The spark igniting Pink Floyd’s popularity was their leader Syd Barrett. He was developing Floyd’s reputation and their sound. Barrett was the mastermind behind long psychedelic rock operas. However, the band was not oblivious to the fact that records and singles needed to be appealing to the public.

Singles needed to be short and concise if there was any expectation of radio time. “Barrett, who was responsible for most of the band’s early material, had a knack for composing singles-length bits of psych-rock, and Pink Floyd hit the charts with two of them in 1967 with “Arnold Layne,” and “See Emily Play.”

Sadly, as Pink Floyd started to move forward, he began to fall backward. Barrett’s experimentation with LSD pushed him past the boundaries of reality. His mental condition was deteriorating, making him less accessible even when he was physically present.  According to Biography.com “late in 1967, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason asked Gilmour to join the band.”

David Gilmour Joins Pink Floyd To Imagine The Unimaginable

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“In 1968, Barrett, allegedly because of an excess of LSD experimentation, began to exhibit ever more strange and erratic behavior. David Gilmour joined to help with the guitar work,” according to Rolling Stone. Towards the end of that year, Syd Barrett was kicked out of the band. David Gilmour joined Pink Floyd as a permanent fixture of a band he would help define.

After Gilmour joined, Pink Floyd the story of a legend was born. The release of Meddle in 1971 marked the transition of the band from the roots of Barrett into what Gilmour joining Pink Floyd helped them achieve. 

In 1973 “Dark Side of The Moon” broke the mold of its genre splintering the album into a new category that would become progressive rock. David Gilmour joining Pink Floyd was instrumental in creating this album.  His vision combined with Roger Waters, Wright, and Mason made history. 

Pink Floyd’s body of work following Dark Side is unparalleled. “Wish You Were Here” (1975), “Animals” (1977), “The Wall” (1979) all pieces of history, all occurring after Gilmour joined the band.  

Syd Barrett brought Pink Floyd to the edge of greatness. He affected the band for a long time and was the inspiration of several songs. 

David Gilmour helped push the group over the edge and into the unknown; he was vital to their success.  Two of Pink Floyd‘s greatest songs were co-written by David Gilmour.  The songs “Wish You Were Here” and “Comfortably Numb” would not exist without him. We would be living in a world without those two songs.


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