It’s the 20th Anniversary of the release of Pink Floyd’s last album, ‘The Division Bell’. Floyd has released a rather pricey ($125) anniversary edition including a blu-ray audio version of the album, as well as a vinyl copy featuring full versions of the songs and replicas of the original singles. One of the curious things is the lack of outtakes and alternate versions of songs recorded during the same time period.
Well, now we know why. Polly Samson, wife of David Gilmour and co-lyricist of Division Bell announced on her twitter feed the following: "Pink Floyd album out in October is called ‘The Endless River’. Based on 1994 sessions is Rick Wright's swansong and very beautiful." (Rick Wright passed away from cancer in 2008.)
The album originally was planned to be an instrumental, ambient piece, as confirmed by the announcement from Floyd’s touring back up singer, Durga McBroom-Hudson’s, on her Facebook page: "The recording did start during the Division Bell sessions (and yes, it was the side project originally titled 'The Big Spliff' that [Pink Floyd drummer] Nick Mason spoke about). Which is why there are Richard Wright tracks on it. But David and Nick have gone in and done a lot more since then. It was originally to be a completely instrumental recording, but I came in last December and sang on a few tracks. David then expanded on my backing vocals and has done a lead on at least one of them."
Don’t expect a reunion with Roger Waters though. Relations are still strained between Waters and Gilmour. Time will tell if this new album is at least on par with ‘A Momentary Lapse Of Reason’ or ‘The Division Bell’. In the interim, let’s all enjoy one of my favorite latter day Floyd tracks…