luni, 31 martie 2008

Roger Waters

George Roger Waters (born 6 September 1943) is an English rock musician; singer, guitarist, bassist, songwriter, and composer. He is best known for his 1965–1985 career with the band Pink Floyd (he was credited as their main songwriter, after the departure of Syd Barrett), bass player and one of their lead vocalists (along with David Gilmour and, to a lesser extent, Rick Wright). He was also the lyrical mastermind behind many of the band's concept albums, especially The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall, and The Final Cut, and their well known symbols including the Pink Floyd pigs and the marching hammers.

Following this, he began a moderately successful solo career releasing three studio albums and staging one of the largest concerts ever, The Wall Concert in Berlin in 1990. In 2005 he released an opera, Ça Ira, and joined Pink Floyd at the Live 8 concert in London, on 2 July 2005, for their first public performance with Waters in 24 years.

In 1965, Roger Waters co-founded Pink Floyd (after many different incarnations—see Pink Floyd) along with Syd Barrett, Richard Wright and Nick Mason. Although Barrett initially did most of the songwriting for the band, Waters wrote the song "Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk" on their debut LP, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. The album was a critical success and positioned the band for stardom. Barrett's deteriorating mental health led to increasingly erratic behaviour, rendering him unable to continue in his capacity as Pink Floyd's lead singer and guitarist. Waters attempted to coerce his friend into psychiatric treatment; this proved unhelpful, and the band approached David Gilmour to replace Barrett at the end of 1967. Even the band's former managers felt that Pink Floyd would not be able to sustain its initial success without the talented Barrett. Filling the void left by Barrett's departure, Waters began to chart Pink Floyd's new artistic direction. The lineup with Gilmour and Waters eventually brought Pink Floyd to prominence, producing a series of albums in the 1970's that remain among the most critically acclaimed and best-selling records of all time.

In 1970, Waters collaborated with British composer Ron Geesin (who co-wrote Pink Floyd's title suite from Atom Heart Mother) on a soundtrack album, Music from "The Body", which consisted mostly of instrumentals interspersed with songs composed by Waters. Within Pink Floyd, Waters became the main lyrical contributor, exerting progressively more creative control over the band: he produced thematic ideas that became the impetus for concept albums such as The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, for which he wrote all of the lyrics and some of the music. After this, Waters became the primary songwriter, composing Animals and The Wall largely by himself (though continuing to collaborate with Gilmour on a few tracks).

Waters' band-mates were happy to allow him to write the band's lyrics and guide its conceptual direction while they shared the opportunity to contribute musical ideas (Gilmour described Waters as "a very good motivator and obviously a great lyricist,"even at the height of the acrimony between them in 1995). Some of the band's most popular and beloved songs, including "Echoes", "Time", "Us and Them", "Wish You Were Here" and "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", feature the strong synergy of Waters' sharp lyrical instincts combined with the melodic talent of Gilmour, the soft, precise drumming of Nick Mason, and atmospheric patterns of keyboardist Richard Wright ("Us and Them", for instance, began as a sweetly melodic Wright keyboard instrumental and gained poignancy when Waters added plaintive antiwar lyrics). Unfortunately, this give-and-take relationship began to dissolve: a consequence of the band's collective ennui, according to Waters. Song-writing credits were a source of contention in these difficult years; Gilmour has noted that his contributions to tracks like "Another Brick in the Wall, Part II", with its blistering guitar solo, were not always noted in the album credits. Nick Mason addresses the band in-fighting in his memoir, Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd, characterizing Waters as being egomaniacal at times. It was while recording The Wall that Waters decided to fire Wright, after Wright's personal problems began to affect the album production. Wright stayed with the band as a paid session musician while Waters led the band through a complete performance of his opus on every night of the brief tour that followed (for which Gilmour acted as musical director).

In 1983 , the last Waters–Gilmour–Mason collaboration, The Final Cut, was released. The sleeve notes describe it as being a piece "by Roger Waters" that was "performed by Pink Floyd" (rather than an actual Pink Floyd record). So, to many the album came across more like a Roger Waters solo album than Pink Floyd (similar to A Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell being tagged as Gilmour solo albums). It was the lowest selling Pink Floyd album in a decade without a hit single. Gilmour unsuccessfully tried to delay production on the album until he could author more material; Waters refused, and in 1985, he proclaimed that the band had dissolved due to irreconcilable differences. The ensuing battle between Waters and Gilmour over the latter's intention to continue to use the name Pink Floyd descended into threatened lawsuits and public bickering in the press. Waters claimed that, as the original band consisted of himself, Syd Barrett, Nick Mason and Richard Wright, Gilmour could not reasonably use the name Pink Floyd now that it was without three of its founding members[citation needed]. Another of Waters' arguments was that he had written almost all of the band's lyrics and a great part of the music after Barrett's departure. However, through agreement, Gilmour and Mason won the right to use the name and a majority of the band's songs, though Waters did retain the rights to the albums The Wall (save for three of the songs that Gilmour co-wrote), Animals, and The Final Cut, as well as claiming ownership of the famous Pink Floyd pigs.

For many fans and casual listeners, the collaborative years of 1971–1979 remain the "classic" Pink Floyd years due to the albums released and prominence of Pink Floyd in music culture; a 1987 end-of-year review in Rolling Stone noted that Waters' solo effort Radio K.A.O.S. and the post-Waters Pink Floyd album A Momentary Lapse of Reason, if taken together, might have made a nice follow-up to The Dark Side of the Moon. In 2005, Waters agreed to rejoin Pink Floyd on stage for Live 8, and on 2 July 2005, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Nick Mason, and Rick Wright performed together on-stage for the first time since the June 1981 Wall concerts at Earl's Court in London.

David Gilmour

David Jon Gilmour was born on 6th March 1946 in Cambridge, England, the second child of Douglas Gilmour, a senior lecturer in Zoology at the University and Sylvia, a teacher. Best known as guitarist, vocalist and writer with Pink Floyd, he is also renowned for his solo work and collaborations with other artists including Kate Bush, Paul McCartney, and Pete Townshend.

David Gilmour and Roger 'Syd' Barrett met as children in Cambridge and later, whilst studying at the Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology, began playing guitar together. In 1965 they spent a summer hitchhiking and busking around the South of France before Syd joined Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Rick Wright to form Pink Floyd, and David continued playing with his own band Jokers Wild, subsequently touring Europe with Flowers, and later Bullitt.
David was asked to augment the Pink Floyd line up as the singer and guitarist in 1967, only for Syd to leave the group five gigs later, struggling with mental illness.

David's guitar playing and song writing became major factors of Pink Floyd's worldwide success during the 1970s, including his distinctive vocals and guitar playing on The Dark Side Of The Moon, the third most successful album of all time. As a side project, David released his first solo album David Gilmour in 1978. Featuring Rick Wills on bass and Willie Wilson on drums & percussion, the album charted in the UK and the US.

David's second solo album About Face was released in 1984, again hitting the Top 20 in the UK. David assumed control of Pink Floyd in 1985, after Roger Waters' departure, creating the new Floyd album A Momentary Lapse of Reason with Nick Mason and Rick Wright. The Division Bell followed in 1994. Both albums charted at number one on both sides of the Atlantic and were supported by sell-out world tours. A live album and video, P.U.L.S.E, followed in 1995. In 1996, Pink Floyd were inducted into the US Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, followed by the same honour in the UK in November 2005; in 2005 David Gilmour was made a CBE for services to music.

In July 2005, Pink Floyd reunited with Roger Waters for a one-off performance at Live 8 in London's Hyde Park, which was regarded by many as the highlight of an astonishing show. In 2002, following a concert for Robert Wyatt's Meltdown Festival, three semi acoustic concerts were performed by David Gilmour and friends at London's Royal Festival Hall, with one critic remarking that a "reinvented rock god shines on as 21st century folk hero". In 2003, David donated the £3.6 million proceeds of the sale of his London house to Crisis, the charity for the homeless of which he is a vice-president. David Gilmour's position in the canon of rock guitar players can be construed from his headline billing at the 2004 Wembley concert celebrating 50 years of the Fender Stratocaster guitar. He was also voted Best Fender Guitar Player Ever' in a poll in Guitarist magazine, beating such greats as Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.

On 6th March 2006, David released his third solo album, On An Island, which entered the UK Charts at Number One, subsequently hitting the top position in the pan-European Charts, as well as hitting multi-Platinum around the world, including countries as diverse as Canada and Poland. On An Island was accompanied by tour dates in the US and Europe, performed by a stellar list of musicians including Pink Floyd's Richard Wright, Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera, and regular Floyd musicians Dick Parry, Guy Pratt, and Jon Carin. Summer concerts in Europe included a one-off performance in front of 50,000 in Gdańsk's historic dockyards, featuring a 40-piece orchestra conducted by noted Polish composer Zbigniew Preisner, who had written the orchestrations for the On An Island album. The live show at London's Royal Albert Hall was filmed in High Definition by conducted by noted Polish composer Zbigniew Preisner, who had written the orchestrations for the On An Island album.

The live show at London's Royal Albert Hall was filmed in High Definition by award-winning director David Mallet for DVD release. Entitled Remember That Night – Live At The Royal Albert Hall, it was released in Europe on Monday 17th September 2007 and the following day in North America, immediately hitting the No. 1 spot in many countries around the globe. Featuring the whole concert on Disc 1 (of the 2-disc set), the second DVD contains bonus material from the Royal Albert Hall shows, and eight other musical tracks including the previously unreleased Island Jam 2007. In addition, there are three documentaries and a photo gallery.

"Now or then, it's still the perfect show" The Sunday Times (UK) was a typical comment from the world's press.

Remember That Night is scheduled for release in the high-definition Blu-ray format in November 2007.

Biografie Pink Floyd

La mijlocul anului 1965, în incinta colegiului universitar din Cambridge (Anglia), studenţii la arhitectură Roger Waters , Nick Mason împreună cu Richard Wright, pianist, student la Conservator, alcătuiesc împreună o formaţie care se va numi pe rând Sigma 6, The Meggadeaths, The Screaming Abdabs, The Abdabs şi T-Set împreuna cu Juliette Gale la voce şi cu chitaristul de jazz Bob Klose.

Neavând succes, Waters apelează la prietenul său, Roger "Syd" Barett, student la arte plastice. Acestuia i se datorează noua titulatură a trupei, provenita din combinaţia prenumelor a doi interpreţi de blues: Pink Anderson şi Floyd Council. Cei patru combinau acordurile de blues cu improvizaţii free-jazz. De asemenea, nu lipseau efectele de lumini şi cunoscutele explozii pirotehnice. Un nou gen se născuse: "rock psihedelic".

După un an, în 1966 ei se despart de managerul Mike Leonard şi de Bob Klose, care intrase în conflict cu Barrett. Pink Floyd sunt ascultaţi într-o seară la un concert în celebra Marquee Club de omul de afaceri Peter Jenner, care are revelaţia potenţialului lor. Trupa vizitează un Sound & Light Workshop de unde le vine ideea să se ocupe de rock-ul electronic pe teme psihedelice. Pe 15 octombrie 1966 Pink Floyd susţine un show multimedia în faţa a 2000 de spectatori, show care avea să le aducă faima peste ani. Hit-uri ca "Arnold Lane" şi "See Emily Play" cuceresc topurile în 1967.

Pink Floyd semnează un contract cu EMI Records, care le pune la dispoziţie studiourile de pe Abbey Road, iar show-urile devin din ce în ce mai explozive. Show-uri care caracterizează declinul psihic al lui Syd Barett. Solo-uri interminabile, maltratarea continuă a chitării în mijlocul pieselor, refuzul de a da interviuri transmise la televiziunea britanică şi americană, consumul abuziv de halucinogene, sunt numai cateva exemple din comportamentul lui Syd.

Primul disc apare în 1967 cu numele "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn", care ocupă locul 3 în topul britanic. Albumul este dominat de piesele lui Barrett, atmosfera este poetică, misterioasă, ciudată. Atitudinea greu de suportat a lui Syd, mereu în contradictoriu cu ceilalţi membri, problemele sale legate de droguri determină aducerea în trupa a lui David Gilmour (în 1968), urmată de plecarea lui Syd în 1969. Pink Floyd evoluează la un concert de mari proporţii, organizat în Hyde Park, în faţa a 5000 de spectatori. În program au mai figurat Jethro Tull şi Roy Harper. În aceeaşi zi fusese pus în circulaţie al doilea album, "A Saucerful Of Secrets", produs de Norman Smith, care se clasează pana pe locul 10 în topul britanic. Floyd experimentează noi formule de sunet; sunt folosite benzi preparate, ritmuri preînregistrare, este anticipată apariţia sintetizatorului. În Franţa vor înregistra soundtrackul filmului More.
La sfârşitul lui octombrie 1969 apare dublul album live "Ummagumma", care prinde la public, dar este neînţeles de presă. În 1970 apar cele doua albume solo al lui Syd Barrett, produse de Gilmour şi Waters. Tot în 1970 este editat albumul "Atom Heart Mother", unul din cele mai reuşite albume reprezentând o coproducţie cu compozitorul de muzică avantgardistă Ron Geesin, care a aplicat astfel primele efecte sonore, prin cuplarea la mixer a două magnetofoane. Revenirea trupei pentru un concert în Hyde Park adună un public de peste 100.000 de spectatori. Pink floyd se bucură acum de o recunoaştere necondiţionată din partea admiratorilor tuturor genurilor muzicale: de la clasic la jazz, pop şi rock. Urmează experimentul muzical "Meddle". "Financial Times" îl caracterizează ca un success nemaiîntâlnit al trupei. Piesa "Echoes" de pe album este semnificativa pentru evoluţia în concert a trupei şi va deveni nelipsită din repertoriul formaţiei. Piesa cunoaşte numai un singur ton, acesta fiind vibrat continuu de Wright. Paralel cu apariţia lui "Meddle", pe ecrane apare filmul "Live at Pompeii". Pelicula cuprinde un show unic în ruinele amfiteatrului din Pompeii.

Trupa înregistrează EP-ul "Eclipse", ce va sta la baza primului album conceptual, numit mai tarziu "Dark Side Of The Moon". Apărut la începutul anului 1973 albumul avea să spargă toate recordurile cunoscute până la acea data; 40 de milioane de discuri vândute până în 2004 şi single-ul "Money", ocupând pentru o durată de 15 ani topul 200 Billboard iar albumul 741 de săptămâni. Inovaţiile pe sunet proprii grupului nu lipsesc: discul începe cu reproducerea bătăilor inimii (montaj de benzi magnetice realizat de Manson); alarme, ceasuri sunând, gemete, rumoare intră de asemenea în arsenalul efectelor sonore folosite.

În ianuarie 1975, la reluarea activităţii de înregistrare, se imprimă piesa "Shine on you Crazy Diamond", omagiu lui Syd Barrett, a cărui absenţă este resimţită şi regretată de foştii parteneri. Syd îşi face apariţia în studio exact în timpul inregistrării piesei, dar numai pentru o scurtă vizită, spre marea dezamagire a grupului. Acesta, dupa unele încercări de apariţii solo, se va retrage cu sprijinul foştilor colegi în idila din Cambridge. "Shine on you Crazy Diamond" este inclusă pe urmatorul disc "Wish You Were Here" scos în 1975, piesa de titlu având de asemenea o conotaţie specială, cu trimitere către Barrett. Albumul ajunge pe locul 1 în clasamente din America şi Anglia, cu vânzări foarte bune.

O parte a anului 1976 este rezervată înregistrării albumului "Animals", apărut în ianuarie 1977, un album de valoare, dar fără nota de inedit cu care Pink Floyd îşi obinuise publicul.

Înregistrarile albumului "The Wall" sunt purtate într-o atmosferă încarcată. Certurile între Waters şi Wright marchează finalul înregistrării albumului şi Wright părăseşte trupa. Apariţia discului (decembrie 1979) atinge însă în public recorduri nebănuite; 30 milioane de albume vandute, single-ul "Another Brick in the Wall, part 2", este luni de zile numărul unu în Europa. Fisurile în trupa erau de data asta vizibile. Gilmour şi Waters nu schimbau nici un cuvânt înainte de show-uri. Wright, care nu mai făcea parte din Pink Floyd, era un simplu angajat al trupei pentru concerte, iar Mason se retrăgea timid în spatele bateriei. Pe scenă cei patru erau despărţiţi şi la propriu şi la figurat de ziduri de carton.

În 1983 apare "The Final Cut", un album ce cuprinde piese needitate pe "The Wall". Doi ani mai târziu când trupa hiberna muzical şi Waters în sfarsit îşi realizase proiectul solo "The Pros And Cons Of Hitchhiking", Waters părăseşte trupa.

După o lungă perioadă de inactivitate, turneele se reiau în 1987. Se reface formula de trio a vechilor membri (Wright revine în trupa, întâi ca membru angajat, dupa care pe post de membru oficial) pentru a înregistra albumul "A Momentary Lapse of Reason". Turneul mondial care a urmat a durat 4 ani, a avut 5,5 milioane de spectatori în 100 de show-uri, o apariţie inedită fiind concertul care a avut loc pe o scena plutitoare în laguna Veneţiei, în anul istoric 1989. Pink Floyd a avut parte însă de opoziţia lui Waters care le-a interzis să cânte sub numele Pink Floyd, dar pana la urma lucrurile s-au aranjat. În 1989 apare materialul live al turneului "A Delicate Sound Of Thunder". Acest album a fost emis prin difuzoare externe în noiembrie 1989, în spaţiul cosmic, de catre echipajul capsulei spaţiale franco-sovietice "Soyuz 7".

În 1994 apare albumul "The Division Bell" care îi poartă amprenta lui Wright. Albumul aduce trupei un nou record, fiind primul lor titlu intrat direct pe locul 1 în clasamente. În martie 1994 începe noul turneu mondial, cuprinzând 110 spectacole, susţinute în 77 de metropole, cota de spectatori de 5 milioane fiind atinsă.

Un nou album live aparut în iunie 1995, "Pulse" este înregistrat în timpul a 14 concerte consecutive susţinute la Londra. "Pulse" este un dublu album live, conţinând întreg albumul "Dark Side of the Moon", remixat live. O performanţă deosebita este sistemul de înregistrare foarte sofisticat. Pentru experti "Pulse" deţine cel mai pur sound posibil înregistrat vreodată în condiţii live. În paralel trupa lansează şi varianta video, cu inregistrarea unuia dintre cele 14 concerte. În 2000 este lansat o versiune live a albumului The Wall, o compilatie a concertelor din 1980-1981 din Londra, intitulată "Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980–81".

Pe 2 iulie 2005, Roger Waters li se alatura lui David Gilmour, Nick Mason, şi Rick Wright pentru un spectacol în cadrul concertelor Live 8, pentru prima dată după 24 de ani când toţi cei patru membri cântă împreună pe scenă. Apar multe zvonuri despre o posibilă reuniune şi un turneu mondial, dar în ianuarie 2006, David Gilmour face un anunţ în numele trupei în care dezminte zvonurile, Pink Floyd neavând în planuri o reuniune.