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Pink Floyd are an English rock band who initially earned recognition for their psychedelic and space rock music, and later, as they evolved, for their progressive rock music. Pink Floyd are known for philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album cover art, and elaborate live shows. One of rock music's most successful acts, the group have sold over 200 million albums worldwide including 74.5 million certified units in the United States. Pink Floyd influenced progressive rock artists of the 1970s such as Genesis and Yes, as well as contemporary artists such as Nine Inch Nails and Dream Theater.
Pink Floyd were formed in London in 1965 when Syd Barrett moved there from Cambridge and joined The Tea Set, a group consisting of Regent Street Polytechnic architecture students Nick Mason, Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Bob Klose. The group had moderate mainstream success and were one of the most popular bands in the London underground music scene in the late 1960s as a psychedelic band led by Syd Barrett. However, Barrett's erratic behaviour eventually led his colleagues to replace him with guitarist and singer David Gilmour. After Barrett's departure, singer and bass player Roger Waters became a dominant force in the group, a situation which developed through the late 1970s and lasted until his departure from the group in 1985. The band had always been popular in England, though they did not achieve worldwide critical and commercial success until the concept albums The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), and Animals (1977), and the rock opera The Wall (1979).
In 1985, Waters declared Pink Floyd "a spent force", but the remaining members, led by Gilmour, continued recording and touring under the name Pink Floyd. Waters sued them for the name, and eventually the parties reached a settlement out of court allowing Gilmour, Mason and Wright to continue as Pink Floyd. Without Waters, the band again enjoyed worldwide success with A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994). Waters performed live with the band for the first time in 25 years on 2 July 2005 at the London Live 8 concert.
1996 saw the release of Richard Wright's second solo album, Broken China, where he collaborated again with lyricist Anthony Moore.
A live recording of The Wall was released in 2000, compiled from the 1980–1981 London concerts, entitled Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980–81. It reached #19 on the American album chart. In 2001, a remastered two-disc set of the band's best-known tracks entitled Echoes was released. Gilmour, Mason, Waters and Wright all collaborated on the editing, sequencing, and song selection of the included tracks. Minor controversy was caused due to the songs seguing into one another non-chronologically, presenting the material out of the context of the original albums. Some of the tracks, such as "Echoes", "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", "Marooned", and "High Hopes" have had substantial sections removed from them. The album reached #2 on the UK and U.S. charts.
In 2003, an SACD reissue of The Dark Side of the Moon was released with new artwork on the front cover. The album was also re-released as an 180 gram, virgin vinyl pressing in 2003, which included all the original album art from the original release of the album, albeit with a new poster. Nick Mason's book, Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd was published in 2004 in Europe and 2005 in the U.S. Long-time Pink Floyd manager Steve O'Rourke died on 30 October 2003. Gilmour, Mason and Wright reunited at his funeral and performed "Fat Old Sun" and "The Great Gig in the Sky" in Chichester Cathedral in tribute.
Two years later, on 2 July 2005, the band reunited for a one-off performance at the London Live 8 concert. This time, however, they were joined by Waters — the first time all four band members were on stage together in 24 years. The band performed a four-song set consisting of "Speak to Me/Breathe/Breathe (Reprise)", "Money", "Wish You Were Here", and "Comfortably Numb", with both Gilmour and Waters sharing lead vocals. At the end of their performance Gilmour said "thank you very much, good night" and started to walk off the stage. Waters called him back, however, and the band shared a group hug that became one of the most famous images of Live 8.
In the week after Live 8, there was a revival of interest in Pink Floyd. According to record store chain HMV, sales of Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd went up, in the following week, by 1343%, while Amazon.com reported increases in sales of The Wall at 3600%, Wish You Were Here at 2000%, The Dark Side of the Moon at 1400% and Animals at 1000%. David Gilmour subsequently declared that he would donate his share of profits from this sales boom to charity, and urged all the other artists and record companies profiting from Live 8 to do the same. On 16 November 2005 Pink Floyd were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame by Pete Townshend. Gilmour and Mason attended in person, explaining that Wright was in hospital following eye surgery, and Waters appeared on a video screen, from Rome.
David Gilmour released his third solo record, On an Island, on 6 March 2006, and began a tour of small concert venues in Europe, Canada and the U.S. with a band including Richard Wright and other musicians from the post-Waters Pink Floyd tours. Roger Waters was also invited to join the band (along with Nick Mason) in London, but final rehearsals for his 2006 Europe/U.S. tour required him to decline. Nonetheless, Gilmour, Wright, and Mason's encore performances of "Wish You Were Here" and "Comfortably Numb" marked the first performance by Pink Floyd since Live 8.  Waters was joined on stage by Mason for a few performances of The Dark Side of the Moon during his 2006 tour. Wright was also invited to join Waters for the first performance, but Wright refused on the grounds that he had to work on his solo album (which remains unreleased). Waters' worldwide The Dark Side of the Moon Live tour consisted of The Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety along with a selection of other Pink Floyd material and a small number of songs from Waters' solo career, although no songs from The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking or Radio KAOS were included. Waters is reported to be working on a solo album, and there has been talk of him doing a Broadway musical version of The Wall, with other Pink Floyd music to be inserted.[
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