Personalities | Pink Floyd | The Collaborative Era (1969–75) | An Overview
If Pink Floyd had disbanded in the wake of Syd Barrett’s mental unravelling, they would be remembered today alongside Tomorrow and July as cult bands thrown up by the psychedelic era, releasing one fantastic album and a clutch of singles before fading from the light. With Dave Gilmour on guitar, however, A Saucerful Of Secrets revealed a deep well of musical creativity, collaboration, determination and, as well as short songs, a thrilling future direction based upon extended pieces like ‘Set The Controls For The Heart Of the Sun’.
As a live act between 1969 and 1975 Pink Floyd would pioneer revolutionary sounding, lighting, staging and cinematic ideas that are now the norm for all major bands, irrespective of genre. Despite growing success in the UK, Europe and America the band remained personally anonymous rarely speaking to the music press and, unlike their early Seventies peers The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who and David Bowie, spent more time shopping for T-shirts than courting publicity through exotic social lives, hard living or questions over their sexuality.
Typically, in 1970 a picture of a cow rather than the band was pasted on a 12-m (40-ft) billboard in America to promote the album Atom Heart Mother. In the studio, now producing themselves, through albums and soundtrack work, Floyd would reach a creative peak with the ambitious elements of Atom Heart Mother (1970), Meddle (1971), Obscured By Clouds (1972), the seminal The Dark Side Of The Moon (1973) and stellar Wish You Were Here (1975).
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