In a week in which relations between Roger Waters and his former Pink Floyd bandmate David Gilmour reached new lows, Waters has revealed that he has rerecorded the band’s 1973 classic The Dark Side of the Moon – cutting the rest of the band out of the album.
Indeed, the other members of Pink Floyd were not made aware of the project, which is reportedly scheduled for release in May. The former Floyd bass guitar player revealed the project in an interview with the Telegraph (opens in new tab), arguing that it was his album all along. He then trashed his former bandmates, accusing them being irrelevant to Pink Floyd’s songwriting.
“Well, Nick never pretended. But Gilmour and Rick [Wright, the keyboardist]? They can’t write songs, they’ve nothing to say. They are not artists!” said Waters. “They have no ideas, not a single one between them. They never have had, and that drives them crazy.”
On Monday, 6 February, Polly Samson, Pink Floyd lyricist and wife of Gilmour, accused Waters of being a “Putin apologist”, an antisemite and a megalomaniac amongst other things. Gilmour quoted Samson’s tweet and wrote, “Every word demonstrably true.”
Every word demonstrably true https://t.co/KWk4I3bMTNFebruary 6, 2023
Waters refuted the allegations and suggested he was taking legal advice. Sadly, he is not taking an oath of silence. In the Telegraph interview, he indeed offered more apologia for Putin, advancing more Kremlin talking points – “It may be that he’s leading his country to the benefit of all of the people of Russia.”
As for the music, the Telegraph’s Tristram Fane Saunders says Waters has augmented The Dark Side of the Moon’s instrumentals with spoken word, putting a “dreadful pose poem” that was written after a nightmare over On the Run.
Waters says he reworked the album because no-one understood its meaning, a suitably arcane theme about “the voice of reason” and Atticus Finch speaking via bonfire. All of which sounds a little like Harper Lee rewriting the Old Testament – which would only be mildly more blasphemous than reworking The Dark Side of the Moon without David Gilmour’s Fender Stratocaster in the mix.
Waters says he has no idea what copyright issues might arise from this project – the credits suggest there will be several – but nevertheless insists that the album is his to do with as he likes.
“I wrote The Dark Side of the Moon,” he said. “Let’s get rid of all this ‘we’ crap! Of course we were a band, there were four of us, we all contributed – but it’s my project and I wrote it. So… blah!”
Saunders reports that the multi-instrumentalist Gus Seyffert and Azniv Korkejian (aka Boudaine) feature on the recording, with a Baptist minister on Hammond organ. Waters apparently sings throughout and plays bass on just one track, Us and Them.