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Pink Floyd

Famed as "the premier space rock band" (in the words of All Music Guide), Pink Floyd began in the early '60s as a R&B cover band comprising schoolmates Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright, along with a friend of theirs, Syd Barrett. By 1966 they had become a mainstay of London's club scene, playing wild, idiosyncratic psychedelic music accompanied by light shows. Guitarist/vocalist Barrett was the main creative force, writing and singing most of the material on their first album, but its release coincided with his increasingly heavy use of LSD and attendant mental instability. Guitarist David Gilmour, brought in to take up the slack, eventually replaced the departing Barrett (later immortalized in the track "Shine On You Crazy Diamond"), and the group went on to release numerous platinum albums of even more ambitious music, culminating in the ode-to-rock-star-alienation magnum opus The Wall. In the early '80s, conflict between Waters and Gilmour led the former to leave the band, and legal hassles over rights to the band's name ensued. Ultimately Gilmour prevailed, and launched two tours under the Pink Floyd name during the '80s and '90s.

Written by: Mary Eisenhart

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