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Did you know that the band never played In The Flesh? live? At The Wall concerts it was always played by a substitute band and no other Pink Floyd gigs included the song. Did you know that Syd Barrett is considered the inventor of a whole new guitar style called “glissando guitar”? Did you know that there have been numerous references to Pink Floyd in The Simpsons? For example, in one of the episodes, Bart can be seen trying to play Echoes on guitar, but is interrupted by Nelson.
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Pink Floyd Biography

High hopes (1986 - 2001)

Pink Floyd koncem 80. letIn this tense situation, Pink Floyd, now Gilmour and Mason, began recording a new album, which was meant to show the world that Pink Floyd were still around, on Gilmour's Astoria houseboat. River was the main theme of the album, but not lyrically nor musically, it was rather the design of the cover and promotional posters, which would usually show Astoria houseboat/studio (praised by experts for its outstanding acoustics) on a river. The front cover of the album shows a "river" of beds (not a paste-up! Storm Thorgerson, who had started to design PF artworks again, indeed lined up 800 hospital beds on a beach). A giant inflatable bed that hovered over river Thames was used as a kind of advertisement.

The name of the album, A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, only teased the supporters of Waters, who considered it a scam, saying that if anyone has the right to be called Pink Floyd, it is Roger. At the time, Waters said Mason and Gilmour could never be the Pink Floyd they used to be with him. Rick Wright, too, participated in the recording, in the beginning again just as a hired musician, because David still remembered his zero contribution to The Wall. During the following almost never-ending world tour, he became part of the band again. At that time, Pink Floyd reached their post-Waters peak. A Momentary Lapse Of Reason sold well, although it was condemned by critics for being "hastily jumbled" just to show Pink Floyd could get around without Waters. Truth be told, it lacks the weight, vibe and feeling of the previous albums.

Waters did not remain behind either. Immediately after finishing The Final Cut he started working on a new album - a slightly confusing vision of marital crisis called The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking, dedicated to his wife Carolyne. The newspapers commented on that with wordplay headlines like "Waters in full flow," implying he was back. After he had recorded the album, he continued with the successful Radio K.A.O.S. The album was released almost at the same time as Momentary Lapse, and both Waters and Pink Floyd toured the US. The managers tried their hardest to make the two parts of the original Pink Floyd play the shows as far from each other as possible. Waters then broke off for a moment, while Pink Floyd continued touring extensively.

In the early 90s, Waters aroused public notice in a monstrous way. The fall of the Berlin wall meant a great opportunity to him, because he couldn't think of a better place to perform his masterpiece, The Wall, than a notorious wall that used to divide the world. The megalomaniacal Berlin gig, which even made it into the Guiness Book of World Records as the greatest concert of all time, was a real something both for the fans and the critics. Waters brought in many guest artists, including Sinéad O'Connor, Cyndi Lauper, Scorpions and many others. Those who were not invited to play, were given the tickets and invited to see the concert, except for two people - Mr Mason and Mr Gilmour, as Waters called his former band mates at the time (never even mentioning Mr Wright). The Cold war b was over, but the "cold war" between the former band mates was reaching its peak.

Waters didn't lie back on his laurels after the Berlin renaissance of The Wall. He started recording a new concept album considered by many to be the best Waters has ever written, including songs he wrote for Pink Floyd. It has been the most successful of the Pink Floyd members' solo albums.

The album named Amused To Death was released in 1992 and again it had a sort of a central idea, so typical of Waters. It is not as clear as in The Pros and Cons Of Hitch-Hiking or Radio K.A.O.S, because Waters had matured both musically and lyrically. Most of the lyrics more or less sarcastically criticise television or war, but this time it is not WWII but more prominently the modern wars of the 1990s that were fought using advanced technology which allowed people to wage the war from distance and watch it live on TV. We can see a kind of a main character of the album in the monkey, which represents a dull TV viewer who just keeps channel surfing while dirty dishes pile in their kitchen... Waters also criticises the US for the way its government wages wars, "when pilots just follow their orders and enjoy the beautiful blue sky."

The artwork of the album is symbolic - a monkey sitting on a pile of straw watching TV with a gazing "eye of God" on the screen. God is also one of the important themes of the record. Waters doesn't believe everything that happens is God's will and he states this opinion in the song What God Wants. By placing contradictions next to each other (God wants peace, God wants wars)he paraphrases religious sermons and the belief that people have no responsibility for what they do. At the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the new millennium, Waters set out for a world tour which finished in Europe. He has been working on a new album and composed an opera named Ca Ira. It is sure that Roger Waters is still enthusiastic about new projects and his music doesn't mean just the royalties to him.

After the release of Momentary Lapse Of Reason, Pink Floyd toured extensively. When the tour, which ran from the late 1980s to the early 1990s had ended, the band stated they considered the optimal time between the releases of new Pink Floyd albums to be 7 years. Unfortunately, they released one more album only. In 1994 Pink Floyd surprised the world with their vitality and inspiration when they released one of the best received albums they have ever recorded - Division Bell. The album is a typical post-Waters Pink Floyd piece. Even the artwork, designed traditionally by Storm Thorgerson, reflects the concept of the record, this time lack of communication. The album is well balanced in every way, but some of the fans criticised Pink Floyd's inevitable commercialisation in some ways, for example the track Take It Back, which reminded the listeners far too much of U2 and which was undoubtedly added to the album because it was radio-friendly. Moreover, many didn't like Pink Floyd joining forces with Volkswagen for advertising. The Volkswagen concern, the main sponsor of the following tour, even introduced a limited Pink Floyd edition of VW Golf.

The tour was truly magnificent and it was accompanied by the biggest and most elaborate light show ever, which has not been surpassed to the present day. It was one of the most successful tours in the history of rock music (and included the show on Strahov in Prague, Czech Republic, where Pink Floyd played for 115.000 people including then President of the CR, Václav Havel).

The tour and the album were shrouded in the Enigma mystery. In 1994 a user of an anonymous Penet remailer posted a message to the Usenet newsgroup. The message told people to listen carefully to Division Bell and encouraged people of different social classes to communicate and help each other find a special feature on the album, which they called Enigma. No one really believed the user, whose nickname was Publius, until they decided to show evidence of their influence. They announced they were going to draw attention to themselves at a certain concert on a certain day. Initially, the words PUBLIUS ENIGMA showed up on the marquee below the stage, later they decided to go more obvious - at the Earl's Court show that was televised to many countries globally (and released as a video and audio record called P.U.L.S.E.), a marker hand-written message appeared on the screen with mathematical equations, that read ENIGMA. Then the message was quickly blackened. .. That was enough of an evidence to confuse many people, who tried to reveal Publius' identity and tried to find out what Enigma was. Publius continued to post encouraging messages on the internet, but in the late 1995 he suddenly stopped for good, leaving the mystery unsolved. Many of the fans believe that because the Enigma remains unresolved, the history of Pink Floyd has to continue and Pink Floyd will release a new album.

When the tour was over, Pink Floyd retired from working on new material and they have not released any further albums to present day (except re-editions and a full live record of The Wall). As far as we know, Nick Mason doesn't devote his time to music anymore. Neither did Rick Wright, except for the release of Broken China in 1996, although he played the keyboards with Gilmour in Meltdown. David Gilmour quite frequently plays various charity concerts or appears on special occasions, such as his concert with Paul McCartney in Liverpool Cavern Club or his appearances at the Meltdown festival. He strictly denies any rumours regarding preparations of a new Pink Floyd album saying that the future can only show whether there is going to be any. Pink Floyd never officially disbanded, so there still is some chance that Pink Floyd could release another album. As of now, we can only hope. The fans were happy to see Pink Floyd reunite for a series of Live 8 charity concerts. It was the first time since 1981 that Roger Waters stood on one stage with Gilmour and Wright (he had played several other charity gigs with Mason). Few years before the concert, such a thing was considered merely impossible, but against all odds it happened. And speaking of a new album, when the impossible happened once, it could happen again.

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English version by:
Vít Benešovský, Jan "Johnny" Petrus

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