Roger Waters, the “Creative genius of Pink Floyd” is planning to re-release The Dark Side Of The Moon without his former bandmates, just as he claims to have envisioned it. “I wrote The Dark Side of the Moon. Let’s get rid of all this ‘we’ crap!” – he stated in an interview with The Telegraph.
A couple thoughts on that from my part. “I wrote the DSOTM” is technically not true. There are only 2 tracks, where he is the sole copyright owner, Brain Damage and Eclipse. But there is at least 1 track (The Great Gig In The Sky) where he is visibly (listenably) not involved like at all. He might have wrote all the lyrics for the album, something David didn’t do until after Roger left the band, but the music as a whole is a collaboration.
An album is not just the lyrics, melodies and chords. Roger is blind if he believes people loved the album just for the lyrics or melodies. It is one of the best albums of rock history because of all the nuances everyone has contributed: a good lyric from him, a nice vocal part from Clare Torry (who wasn’t credited as composer first, and when the band agreed to do so, Roger was the only one to deny it), the steady beats from Nick’s drums, the haunting voice of David, soundscapes and piano from Richard. All together that is Dark Side Of The Moon. If you excerpt one piece or the other, it is not. It is an excerpt. A cover.
And why all this fuss? The tension slowly building up during Pink Floyd history broke out during the Final Cut sessions (also already 40 years ago!), Roger and David couldn’t get along ever since. I was totally surprised in 2005 that they managed to play 4 songs together. But Roger is concentrating more and more on his “message”, basically his opinion on the world, and he seems to be 100% sure he owns the truth. With all the arrogance attached to it. His shows became bigger and bigger, but less and less original and creative. And that made me think.
“Roger Waters. The creative genius of Pink Floyd” You see it in concert announcement, on a T-shirt, CD stickers. I know, marketing…. But I can’t stop thinking of a saying in filmmaking: “show, don’t tell” Why does it have to state it explicitly? Probably because he’s not able to show it. To quote from Game of Thrones: “Any man who says ‘I am King‘ is no true king”. He hasn’t created anything really fresh and new in the last… say 30 years. And this guy now takes one of the most exceptional albums of rock history, excerpts his part from it, and expects people to love it just as much. Maybe we finally get to see, what a creative genius he really is.
But wait! Does that mean, he will play all the instruments, sing all the vocals? Of course not. He hired a multi-instrumentalist and a vocalist. Different names, same function: play, what he can not. Sing, what he can not. Just not allowed to be too creative, and let his ego shine. Let him strip his original concept from all the artistic expressions added to it, and expect people to be blown away. Because he says so. As a punishment for Nick and David for criticizing him.
Only… he can not. Because Nick, David, Richard and Clare still own their copyright. They can just say no to a re-recording, and let Roger express himself with what he owns alone: a Brain Eclipse album. Too bad, I would have loved to hear him sing The Great Gig In The Sky.