How Writing A Country Song Gave Pink Floyd A Legendary Comeback
Pink Floyd live in Pompeii - HDPinkFloyd / Youtube
It is really tough to follow a phenomenon of success— because once you are up, there’s nowhere to go but down. Fortunately for the English rock band Pink Floyd, that’s not the case for them.
The vast success and popularity of their eighth studio album Dark Side of the Moon catapulted them to mainstream success and made them the faces of progressive rock in the 70s. While the album exhibited the pressures of arduous lifestyle that the members of Pink Floyd seemingly experienced over time, it was someone whom they all idolized greatly and have a crafty spirit that inspired them to create this beautiful masterpiece: that person was their former leader and musician, Syd Barrett.
So, picking off where the DSOTM had left off, now that’s a formidable challenge. They spent most of the sessions not doing anything, because, for starters, what should you do to top something that had a cultural impact on music? Such success gave them a moment of reflection, once thinking about their great leader Syd Barrett, whose mental health issues began to take all over himself. It also provided them an entryway to reflect the downside of their lives. The result? Their legendary comeback, Wish You Were Here.
On one occasion, David Gilmour, who replaced Syd Barrett, is playing a catchy riff that caught the attention of Roger Waters. That playful riff would form into a composition and would in turn be the backbone of their country-filled rock song named “Wish You Were Here.” The lyrics, written entirely by Waters, reflect the feeling of the absence of a person’s presence. With Syd also in his mind, Waters has created an outlet for the poem he wrote for him, adding the orchestration, making it an all-original piece.
And while it was the window for people to look at his bandmates’ sadness, Roger Waters also explained a personal replication of the song’s lyrics to himself. “All [my] songs are encouraging me; I guess I write them for me,” he explained on the Pink Floyd documentary: Pink Floyd: The Story Of Wish You Were Here. He pointed the struggles of detachment, at which point it distraught him, and it echoed to the whole point of the song’s raw magnetism of a melancholic feeling.
“Wish You Were Here” illustrated into one of Pink Floyd’s most beloved tracks, becoming a staple to rock stations all over the world. And knowing the process that the band had endured to create this masterpiece, it, in turn, made the track one of the sincerest, most heartfelt songs from these legendary rockers.