Thursday, October 9, 2014

Paranoid Eyes

Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think people tend to associate the word “beauty” with the music of Pink Floyd too often. At least I don’t.

Pink Floyd is one of the greatest and most important rock-n-roll bands in history for myriad reasons. That's a given.

The sheer audacity of Roger Waters’ vision and propensity to not only aim for the fences so many different times, but to reach them. David Gilmour’s jaw-dropping guitar ability. The fact that Waters-Gilmour-Mason-Wright made one damn fine, tight and meticulously instinctive band. And that unique atmospheric quality attached to so much of Pink Floyd’s work—think of how recognizable and distinctive that decade-long thread running from Meddle through The Wall (and even through The Final Cut) is. It’s hard to think of a band with a more identifiable sound or feel, or a band more in command of that sound and feel.

But beauty? Sure, there’s plenty of it in their songs. Parts of “Echoes,” the gorgeous guitar run in “Fearless,” Gilmour’s impeccable solos that play out “Another Brick in the Wall Part II” and “Comfortably Numb,” the sentiments of loss and regret that permeate every inch of “Wish You Were Here.” It’s there. I’ve just never looked at a Pink Floyd song before and had my first response be, “That’s beautiful.” I’m more apt to be amazed, or floored, or sometimes even bewildered or startled than to notice the outright beauty.

But it’s there. 

And here’s a very, very deep cut from very, very late in their career that clearly shows how capable these guys were of creating something that, first and foremost, was beautiful. Even though, yes, David Gilmour doesn’t play on it, and even though, unfortunately, Rick Wright was no longer part of the band at this time. It still has the Pink Floyd name on it. (Just like “Yesterday” has the Beatles name on it and is without question a Beatles song, even though Paul is the only Beatle who's there.) And it’s still a beautiful and moving little song.

Mayhap you agree? And if not, well, listen anyway!

("The pie in the sky turned out to be miles too high. And you hide hide hide, behind brown and mild eyes.")


  1. I guess my definition of beauty extends into the definition of sublime, because I don't see the distinction you're talking about. Like Picasso's Guernica, beauty does not necessarily mean pretty.

    1. "Is there in Truth No Beauty?" Much of what I learned, was from Star Trek...