When Pink Floyd reunited for a performance at Live 8 in 2005, dormant hopes for a more extensive reunion awoke with a vengeance. At various times since, band members have both encouraged and discouraged such hopes. Roger Waters and David Gilmour have expressed more interest in continuing their solo careers than in trying to re-create Floyd's past glory. With the death of keyboardist Rick Wright, reunion hopes are fading again. But if we've learned anything from the band's history, it is to refrain from taking anything for granted. Our timeline recaps memorable milestones in Pink Floyd history.
The band forms, consisting of Bob Klose and Roger Waters on guitars, Nick Mason on drums, Rick Wright on keyboards and wind instruments, and Chris Dennis as lead vocalist. Dennis is quickly replaced by Syd Barrett. Klose, who was more interested in jazz and blues, left before the group's first single, "Arnold Layne" was recorded.
With Syd Barrett's behavior becoming increasingly erratic, David Gilmour replaces Barrett and the band begins to move from psychedelic to progressive with the release of A Saucerful Of Secrets.
Two albums were released this year. The soundtrack for the movie, More was a mixture of acoustic folk, hard rock, and avant-garde instrumentals. Ummagumma was a double album, one disc contained live performances, the other was divided into four sections containing compositions of each member of the band.
Atom Heart Mother is released. The band plays a free concert attended by 20,000 in London's Hyde Park. The band's gear is stolen at a tour stop in New Orleans.
The band embarks on its first tour of Japan, Hong Kong and Australia. Meddle is released. Both Gilmour and Mason would later say that this album served to define Pink Floyd from then on.
The first Pink Floyd single to get significant radio airplay in the U.S., "Free Fun" is first heard. It is from the album Obscured By Clouds, which was based on the band's soundtrack for the french film, La Vallee.
What would become the band's best known, and most commercially successful album is released. The Dark Side Of The Moon has sales of over 40-million. More than three decades later, the groundbreaking concept album continues to sell more copies each week than some of the albums on the Top 200 chart of current releases.
Their performance at the Knebworth Festival set new standards for live shows. It included fireworks and an exploding airplane. Wish You Were Here, a combination of commentary on the music industry and tribute to Syd Barrett, was released.
Of Animals, Rick Wright said in a 1994 BBC interview, "I didn't really like a lot of the music on the album. I think it was the start of the whole ego thing in the band." Nonetheless, the concept album about the perils of capitalism proved to be a commercial success.