Why was there so little Pink Floyd after 1994?

General discussion about Pink Floyd.
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Hadrian
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Why was there so little Pink Floyd after 1994?

Post by Hadrian »

I know that this is the type of question that only David Gilmour can really answer, but I am curious what others think, why was there so little Floyd after the Division Bell tour ended in late 1994?

I have always been very impressed by Gilmour's passion and will to continue on with Pink Floyd during the 1985-1994 period, initially just as a duo with Mason - but I am equally unimpressed by what came after that, the last 26 years.

Yes, the band continued to exist (and officially still does, in hibernation), we had live performances*, a new studio album in 2014, numerous releases of stuff not available before - but the bottom line is that Gilmour effectively retired it after that last tour. Going into retirement at 48 years of age (Gilmour in 1994) is certainly a sign of great achievements in life, but, wasn't being in Pink Floyd and being Pink Floyd also a great joy, spectacular thing to have and do?

I know that Gilmour bemoaned doing another world tour after 1994, but, realistically, nothing was really preventing him from releasing a Pink Floyd album and doing a small tour of mid-size venues, or even clubs (the Rolling Stones do that even now), or not playing live at all if that was such a chore. What on earth happened to that spark and will in Gilmour after 1994? Even if the studio albums continued to be spaced at 7 years apart (like the first two of the Gilmour's era), we could've had two more studio albums whilst Richard Wright was still alive (and even more later, again as a duo).

Any thoughts?

* officially only one, the 2005 concert featuring Roger Waters, until The Later Years box set came out in 2019; that one officially "upgraded" the 2007 Madcap's Last Laugh performance of "David, Nick and Rick" into a Pink Floyd appearance, by publishing a 7" of Arnold Layne live by Pink Floyd.
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Re: Why was there so little Pink Floyd after 1994?

Post by Annoying Twit »

I think that Dave felt that he wanted to scale things down a bit. Clearly he had the music to release more PF albums if he wanted to, and Rick was part of tours and a solo album that he released. But, I think I remember reading somewhere that if these albums had been done as PF and particularly if the tours had been, then they would have to be a lot bigger scale, more stress, and it wasn't something that he wanted to do.

I think that On an Island is a bit of a lost PF album. As the album that was released is variable in quality. And, if he'd had Rick's songwriting input too and could pick and choose from more songs, that a great PF album could have come out from it. But, I'm happy with what has been released.

While Gilmour scaled things back, I don't think it's accurate to say that he retired after the last PF tour. He continued working, but as a solo artist.

I personally think that Gilmour achieved what he wanted to achieve with TDB and the following tour, and after that, he didn't want to do that again. Which is fair enough - that's his choice.
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Re: Why was there so little Pink Floyd after 1994?

Post by KingQueenKnave »

Gilmour probably hated touring by that point, and to be honest with you the band ran out of ideas.
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Re: Why was there so little Pink Floyd after 1994?

Post by scarecrow »

Also because Gilmour wanted to properly make space for raising a family (I think this is clear from the BBC Wider Horizons documentary, including reflections on the impact of his parents' unconventional and detached approach to parenting, as well as recent appearances?).

I'd be curious of David and Nick's opinion of the Division Bell now... personally I remember being excited to hear (in the pre-release press) as a teenager that the new Floyd record would be built up from jamming together etc, but was disappointed with what came out. I think now I can appreciate that the late eighties and early nineties touring was probably a really enjoyable phase of touring, significantly more so than during the 70s, with way more scope for bringing the best available PA systems, mixing desks etc - although there were and are a several quite cringey and clunky aspects to those gigs eg the stiff choreographed line of female singers.

I think that era is well captured in this mini-doc which I remember watching at the time:


As I've alluded to elsewhere, I think Gilmour has consistently been at least sceptical, if not outright opposed to the idea of Pink Floyd carrying 'meaning' especially. He seems less attached to the significance of Pink Floyd than considering it a handy banner to trade his wares within.

People urging Gilmour to 'bury the hatchet' with Waters are perhaps projecting their own band mythology onto the situation, and imagining a previous closeness between them, which both have been clear never existed?

Personally I think Gilmour correctly locates the 'depth' or emotional resonance in Pink Floyd primarily within the musicality, with the lyrical/ conceptual narrative adding a bit of weight and sometimes chiming with people in different ways. Interesting that in the long Rick Wright interview on the other thread, he talks about basically not being bothered about lyrics either - which is pretty much where I stand. Incidentally I also remember the era of the Division Bell involving Barrett-influenced bands being everywhere (in the UK at least) in the early 90s - and imo it's clear that ultimately Barrett has been more influential over the past 50 years than post-68 Floyd or any other Pink Floyd member.

Anyway, yes, maybe a sense of 'mission accomplished at that point'?
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Re: Why was there so little Pink Floyd after 1994?

Post by space triangle »

David explained it all fine in an interview from 2014:

David Gilmour: ‘There’s No Room in My Life for Pink Floyd’

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/musi ... oyd-64040/
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Re: Why was there so little Pink Floyd after 1994?

Post by scarecrow »

Yes, good interview :)
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Re: Why was there so little Pink Floyd after 1994?

Post by Annoying Twit »

scarecrow wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:40 pm Yes, good interview :)
Yes, I think the interview nails it. From re-reading the previous posts, I think we got it more or less right. But, it's much more reliable getting the information directly from Dave.
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Re: Why was there so little Pink Floyd after 1994?

Post by Master_Chief »

Personally I think Pink Floyd had served its purpose for Gilmour by 1994. Initially he refused to let the band die with Roger Waters and it became almost a challenge to prove that Pink Floyd could continue after their so-called leader had left with a bad taste in his mouth. A Momentary Lapse of Reason was included in that challenge, to prove to the world that Pink Floyd did not need Roger Waters to release an album.

David, Nick and (to a lesser extent to begin with Rick) then realised that they could tour and play whatever the hell they wanted. No new material to try and formulate on stage (Animals, Wish You Were Here, The Dark Side of the Moon) and no awfully large scale rock opera to take up the entire concert (The Wall). But also the legal fees with Roger were increasing at a phenomenal rate so the aforementioned tour simply had to keep rolling to pay for the legal crap.

Then when it was all done and dusted (to a certain extent) with Rick officially back in the band, they knew a second album had to come out. A Momentary Lapse of Reason realistically couldn't be called a Pink Floyd album anymore than The Final Cut, so therefore they tried a recording style reminiscent of the Wish You Were Here era, jamming away together. They succeeded in The Division Bell, which perfectly encapsulated the post-Waters Floyd sound in my opinion. They then toured the album in just one year with a remarkable stage performance, including a full rendition of The Dark Side of the Moon during the latter gigs... phwoar!

What next? Well, nothing... as we know David wasn't full of ideas lyrically and without Roger there to literally grab the band by the scruff of the neck and move them onto their next project they simply began a 26-year period of procrastination.

Sorry, that might sound very much like a glass-half full opinion, but quite frankly David spent the majority of the 80s fighting Roger for the right to use the Pink Floyd name, only to then stop after a few years. Nick would've happily carried on, and even Rick seemed to have caught the writing bug after Wearing the Inside Out and recorded his own solo album in 1996. But David had won the battle over Roger, so what more was there to achieve?
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Re: Why was there so little Pink Floyd after 1994?

Post by Hadrian »

I looked into this a bit more, and it is quite possible that Pink Floyd was parked because of David Gilmour's family life. He has 8 children, and the last three kids were born in this period (Joe, 1995; Gabriel, 1997 and Romany, 2002). This was soon followed by the deaths of Steve O'Rourke (2003) and Richard Wright (2008), both of which might have felt like dismantling of the structure (although, arguably, things could still happen without them).

Gilmour is 74 years old now, and he looks the part too, at least to me (Roger Waters and Nick Mason do strike me as seniors with some vigour, so there might be more on that end). In other words, it might've been circumstantial.
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Re: Why was there so little Pink Floyd after 1994?

Post by azza200 »

KingQueenKnave wrote: Sat Jul 25, 2020 4:01 pm Gilmour probably hated touring by that point, and to be honest with you the band ran out of ideas.
he may of been burned out of touring 3 years touring AMLOR, there was plans too tour in 95 but it never happened and David spent time with his family only making a few appearances between 94 and 2001. Before those acoustic shows in 01 & 02 which then led onto the Strat pack show then Live 8. Then the OAI tour and since then there has been lots of activity and releases none of us saw happening and the brief peace between Roger & David
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Re: Why was there so little Pink Floyd after 1994?

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

Bear in mind that between release of A Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell, they toured for three years, with a couple more appearances in 1990, released the Shine On boxed set, recorded at least three soundtracks together, without much of a break. They also played together with their touring band on an album by Blue Pearl, and Gilmour appeared on songs by Roy Harper and Snowy White. In time, both Gilmour and Mason divorced their first wives and got remarried, as Rick divorced his second wife. Following the release of The Division Bell, they toured for a year straight, won their only Grammy award for "Marooned", and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Wright then remarried and went right on working on a solo album, while Gilmour made live appearances with The Who and Paul McCartney, with whom he recorded an album. Mason began writing his book on the history of the band, which the others all pushed back on for several years. Together with Roger, they went through the process of releasing a live album of the Wall tour. Rick had said in an interview that they seemed to be making one studio album every seven years, so the next one could be expected in "2001, a very suitable date for a Pink Floyd album." By then, however, Roger was touring for the first time in over a decade, and I think David preferred to avoid any notion of a competition. When he did make a live appearance, it was in a completely different context, scaled down to the point that no comparison could be made; whether the arguments regarding Nick's book was a factor in not having him make a guest appearance, we can only speculate. Dave then started working on On An Island, took a break for the brief reunion at Live 8, and then went on tour - again, specifically scaling it down and avoiding things like "Mr. Screen" that would turn it into a Pink Floyd show, while Roger was touring with Dark Side of the Moon. Rick was probably diagnosed with cancer well before Live 8, and he went through various stages and remission, and while they definitely rekindled their friendship and musical partnership, they knew it was too late. They tried to perform at the Glastonbury festival, since it was something Rick had always wanted to do, but the organizers actually said they were too old for that audience. After that tour, they worked on music together in Gilmour's home studio, and Rick said he was also working on a new solo album. Like A Momentary Lapse of Reason, On An Island was mainly recorded by David on his own, and he was very happy to have Rick, Guy, and Steve in the studio to collaborate for the next project. None of us know the timeline of Rick's illness, but it very likely consumed the year leading up to his death. Following that, they slowly resumed work that had started while Rick was alive to remix A Momentary Lapse of Reason, using the MIDI tracks of his playing during that tour to record new synth and organ parts. Gilmour was upset by the process of trying to find a keyboardist to play on his next solo album, and put it on hold to work with Mason to finish The Endless River, which they agreed was the definitive end of Pink Floyd. But in hindsight, there really weren't many periods of inactivity for the band since Roger left, which begs the question: Why so little Roger Waters after Pink Floyd?
Last edited by ZiggyZipgun on Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why was there so little Pink Floyd after 1994?

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ZiggyZipgun wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:53 pm...which begs the question: Why so little Roger Waters after Pink Floyd?
What happened to his project(album) 'Heartland' (or whatever it was called..)? There was a lot of talk about it some 12-15 years ago, if I remember correctly.
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Re: Why was there so little Pink Floyd after 1994?

Post by Annoying Twit »

space triangle wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:22 am What happened to his project(album) 'Heartland' (or whatever it was called..)? There was a lot of talk about it some 12-15 years ago, if I remember correctly.
Given this is Roger, I would guess that it is probably an entirely different set of songs than came out as ITTLWRW. I would be surprised if Roger doesn't have a number of projects written and roughly demoed, but which will never come out.
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Re: Why was there so little Pink Floyd after 1994?

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

space triangle wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:22 amWhat happened to his project(album) 'Heartland' (or whatever it was called..)? There was a lot of talk about it some 12-15 years ago, if I remember correctly.
An unfortunate side effect of taking too long to finish a very political album: administrations change! I also wonder if he really has the same relationship with his record label that, say, Pink Floyd has, and if he's had albums rejected. It's fascinating that Neil Young had so many rejected that are just now seeing the light of day - and they're great! But like Neil, Roger has definitely done things that pissed off the record companies. He should have taken a cue from Bowie and created his own label so he could put out whatever he wants.
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Re: Why was there so little Pink Floyd after 1994?

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ZiggyZipgun wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:10 amHe should have taken a cue from Bowie and created his own label so he could put out whatever he wants.
Fleeting Glimpse Records. 8)

He doesn't like a record companies. If he would establish his own record company, then he would deny everything he wrote in the Welcome to the Machine and Have a Cigar.