“The Endless River”: A tribute To Pink Floyd’s Immortality.


Bidding adieu to recording studio albums, Pink Floyd released its fifteenth and final studio album on November 10, 2014. This British progressive rock band’s last album, The Division Bell came out long back in 1994, following which there was a lull. After twenty years of remaining “Comfortably numb,” the band has amalgamated their twenty hours of unreleased, archived music sessions in eighteen tracks that make up The Endless River. Back with a bang, this album is “another brick in the wall” of their musical sensibility, crafted as a tribute to their deceased keyboardist and one of the founding members, Richard Wright who had succumbed to cancer in 2008.

The album is mostly instrumental, which, as per the guitarist, David Gilmour, ought to be played at a go and not track-by-track for one to get immersed in a psychedelic rock experience. One of the pioneers responsible for making the genre of psychedelic rock mainstream, Pink Floyd’s final album certainly marks the end of an era. The journey of the band is an endless flowing river, one which is nothing less than ambrosia for all the music lovers. A fitting title “The Endless River” goes on to prove that still waters indeed run deep with its tremendous success at the charts. This album has been at the receiving end of maximum number of pre-orders at www.amazon.com and since its release; it has been topping all the charts across the United States and the United Kingdom among many other countries.

The band’s voyage has been a roller-coaster ride, as it has had to deal with the unfortunate demise of its two founding members, Syd Barrett and Richard Wright. An innovative guitarist, painter, singer and songwriter, Barrett fell prey to drug abuse and eventually breathed his last which made the band dedicate songs like “Wish you were here” and “Shine on you crazy diamond” to him.

Like many other iconic rock bands, Pink Floyd too has had its fair share of controversies that revolved around the feud between Gilmour and Mason on one side, and Roger Waters, the bassist on the other.  Waters demanded that the band should get dissolved and moved the court against the band members. However, he was unsuccessful in his endeavor and the band remained, alive and kicking. Another blow came to the band when, Wright, an exceptional keyboardist got diagnosed with cancer that took his life away. Gilmour, the 68-year-old guitarist, and Mason, the 70-year-old drummer finally decided to wrap up their expedition of recording albums with The Endless River as a tribute to Wright.

All said and done, the immense uproar that the release of the final Floydian album has caused has also been subjected to close appraisal. Since the tracks compiled in The Endless River are all unused sessions from their 1994 album The Division Bell, it is more like an addition to the former album, evading its own individual identity. For a Pink Floyd enthusiast, these eighteen tracks derive their essence from extremely recognizable psychedelic echoes produced by the band itself in its recent past. A final strike at creating a history of its own, Pink Floyd has nailed it with its final studio album. Displaying not just its distinct taste in music, The Endless River describes the evolution of the band as “louder than words,” making it truly immortal. Inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame way back in 1996, Pink Floyd has and will continue to live up to their “High hopes.”

Sangeeta Purkayastha

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