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Roger Waters

Roger Waters was Pink Floyd's grand conceptualist, the driving force behind such albums as Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and The Wall. In the wake of Syd Barrett's departure, Waters emerged as a formidable songwriter, but it's this stretch of '70s albums -- each one nearly symphonic in its reach -- that established him as a distinctive, idiosyncratic voice within rock and, following his departure from Floyd in 1985, he continued to create new works in this vein (notably, 1992's Amused to Death) and capitalized on the enduring popularity of his old band by staging live revivals of Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall in their entireties.

Waters didn't start playing music until he was on the cusp of his 20th birthday. His childhood was haunted by the departure of his father Eric, a schoolteacher who abandoned his status as a conscientious objector to World War II to join the British Army. Eric Waters died in combat when Roger was five months old, and his mother Mary moved him and his brother to Cambridge. There, Waters met his future bandmates Syd Barrett and David Gilmour, but it wasn't until he was studying architecture at Regent Street Polytechnic that the first incarnation of Pink Floyd came into view. Waters and his fellow students Nick Mason and Rick Wright played with vocalist Keith Noble and bassist Clive Metcalfe in a group called Sigma 6, and once they departed, Roger brought in Barrett. This was in the fall of 1963 and by 1965, the group had gelled into the Pink Floyd Sound, dropping the "Sound" in 1966. By that time, Barrett was the unquestioned leader, the singer/songwriter responsible for the band's earliest singles and 1967's debut Piper at the Gates of Dawn, but that album also bore Waters' first original tune, "Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk."

Due to mental illness, Barrett left Pink Floyd in 1968 and was replaced by David Gilmour. Over the next few years, the Floyd's audience steadily grew. Often, the band collaborated on compositions, but Waters was the member with the largest number of solo songs. He also stepped away from the band to collaborate with Ron Geesin for the 1970 soundtrack to The Body, but 1971's Meddle and 1972's Obscured by Clouds found Floyd dividing the work equally.

Waters asserted a heavy degree of creative control for 1973's Dark Side of the Moon, penning all the lyrics, creating the concept, and receiving music writing credits on all but three of the songs. Dark Side turned out to be the pivotal album in Pink Floyd's career, an instant hit that turned into an enduring blockbuster. Two years later, the band delivered Wish You Were Here -- a concept loosely based on the departed Barrett -- and the dystopian Animals followed in 1977. During the supporting tour for Animals, Waters felt himself retreating from his audience, and he used this as an inspiration for writing the semi-autobiographical rock opera The Wall. Roger took The Wall and what became his 1984 solo debut The Pros & Cons of Hitch Hiking to the band and they chose to record The Wall.

The recording of The Wall was difficult -- Wright left the band and became a contract player -- but the 1979 double album was a smash, leading to a 1982 feature film produced by Alan Parker. By this point, Waters was the band's leader and he shepherded them through The Final Cut, a 1983 album that was billed as "A requiem for the post-war dream by Roger Waters, performed by Pink Floyd." This subtitle suggested the ill will within the band and, soon, Waters left. First came Pros & Cons in 1984 -- the album featured Eric Clapton on lead guitar -- and Waters officially left the band in 1985, filing a lawsuit to dissolve it the following year. His claim was rejected and Gilmour, Mason, and Wright continued as Pink Floyd, while Waters continued his solo career. Waters contributed songs to the 1986 animated adaptation of When the Wind Blows, and in 1987 he released the ambitious concept album Radio K.A.O.S., supporting the album with a world tour. Once the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989, Waters decided to revive The Wall theatrical production -- Floyd only performed a handful of shows in 1980, due to its expense -- as an all-star tribute concert in Berlin in July 1990. Two years later he released his first album for Columbia: Amused to Death, an anti-war concept album featuring Jeff Beck on guitar. Although there was no tour to support the album, it performed well, gaining Silver certification in the U.K.

Waters began touring again in 1999, launching the In the Flesh Live international tour. Along with reviving his live performing career, he attempted to launch a Broadway adaptation of The Wall and released two anti-war songs on the internet in 2004: "To Kill the Child" and "Leaving Beirut." A reunion with Pink Floyd followed in 2005, with the group appearing at the Live 8 Benefit at Hyde Park. Greeted by rave reviews, the band nevertheless didn't capitalize on it, choosing to stay separated. Waters released his opera Ca Ira in 2005 and then in 2006, he spent two years touring The Dark Side of the Moon. The success of this tour led to Waters launching a touring rendition of The Wall and its success eclipsed Dark Side; in 2013, it held the record for being the highest-grossing solo tour. Two years later, Waters decided to document this successful production of The Wall through a new theatrical documentary called Roger Waters' The Wall, which was accompanied by the release of a soundtrack of the same name in November 2015. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Flickering Flame: The Solo Years, Volume 1

1. Knockin On Heavens Door

2. Too Much Rope

5. Three Wishes

6. 5.06 Am (Every Strangers Eyes)

7. Who Needs Information

8. Each Small Candle

10. Towers Of Faith

11. Radio Waves

x

Track List: In The Flesh: Live

Disc 1

1. In The Flesh (Live)

2. The Happiest Days Of Our Lives (Live)

3. Another Brick In The Wall, Pt. 2 (Live)

4. Mother (Live)

5. Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert (Live)

6. Southhampton Dock (Live)

7. Pigs On The Wing, Pt. 1 (Live)

8. Dogs (Live)

9. Welcome To The Machine (Live)

10. Wish You Were Here (Live)

11. Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Pts. 1-8 (Live)

12. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun (Live)

Disc 2

1. Breathe (In The Air) (Live)

2. Time (Live)

3. Money (Live)

4. The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking Part 11 (AKA 5:06 AM - Every Stranger's Eyes) (Live)

5. Perfect Sense (Parts 1 And 2) (Live)

6. The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range (Live)

7. It's A Miracle (Live)

8. Amused To Death (Live)

9. Brain Damage (Live)

10. Eclipse (Live)

11. Comfortably Numb (Live)

12. Each Small Candle (Live)

x

Track List: Amused To Death

1. The Ballad Of Bill Hubbard

2. What God Wants, Part I

3. Perfect Sense, Part I

4. Perfect Sense, Part II

5. The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range

6. Late Home Tonight, Part I

7. Late Home Tonight, Part II

8. Too Much Rope

9. What God Wants, Part II

10. What God Wants, Part III

11. Watching TV

12. Three Wishes

13. It's A Miracle

14. Amused To Death

x

Track List: Radio K.A.O.S.

1. Radio Waves

2. Who Needs Information

3. Me Or Him

4. The Powers That Be

5. Sunset Strip

6. Home

7. Four Minutes

8. The Tide Is Turning

x

Track List: The Pros And Cons Of Hitchhiking

1. 4.30 AM (Apparently They Were Travelling Abroad)

2. 4.33 AM (Running Shoes)

3. 4.37 AM (Arabs With Knives And West German Skies)

4. 4.39 AM (For The First Time Today - Part 2)

5. 4:41 AM (Sexual Revolution)

6. 4.47 AM (The Remains Of Our Love)

7. 4.50 AM (Go Fishing)

8. 4.56 AM (For The First Time Today - Part 1)

9. 4.58 AM (Dunroamin, Duncarin, Dunlivin)

10. 5.01 AM (The Pros And Cons Of Hitchhiking)

11. 5:06 AM (Every Strangers Eyes)

12. 5.11 AM (The Moment Of Clarity)

Comments

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One of my favorite bands of all time . God Bless..Sempe r fi
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I saw Snowy White, with the original Seven Dwarves on bongos! Awesome!
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David gilmore but both great
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the band isn't s**t without Mr. Waters that f**king nut!!!
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Must agree that this guy is a legend. Just sad that his politics on Israel is so compulsive and obsessive. I visited Israel and you cannot imagine how much Pink Floyd are held in such reverence there.
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Without a doubt a living legend. Thank you Mr. Waters for all you have given us.
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David Gilmour guitar technique in singing changed everything
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All due respect to Roger Waters but I vote David Gilmour
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This guy is amazing, thank you for the music,
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Thank you Roger.
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altemose_m
I was born to late in life.....i am very glad that people that even had the concept of a bandeven equal to Pink Floyd exist....Tha n k you for the music that changed more than a generation. There are None greater.
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I love Pink Floyd, especially the ones that I listen to everyday.
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Any color.
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Actually Roger did write Dark side but it was Alan Parsons who engineered it and is credited with making it the hit it turned out to be
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Roger wrote dark side which tuned the band we know today as Pink Floyd
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O. M. G. The. Best. Band. Ever. !
Was. Lucky. Enough. To. Grow. Up. Hearing it !
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Reading through the comments: Since Roger left the band, it was not Gilmore, but his woman who wrote the songs. Davy just took credit for them. He is a great axe man and his vocals are beautiful and haunting, but his acidic personality and backstabbing collusion with Wright and Mason. I was there since 1968. Glad I was there for the 2005 Live 8 and before that in 1990 in Germany at the Wall. The negative comment about Roger and the Jews certainly the writer has no real concept reality.
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Dark Side of the Moon Rocks... :)
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carolbeelynx
Dark Side of the Moon is the only music to be played at my memorial.
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hornet00
WHAT????
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This song bites
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This song is a miracle!!
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trinn17
Kudos to hilltoons comments below. People forget what an influence Alan Parsons was to Dark Side. Also, Richard Wright doesn't get enough credit for his contribution s to the musical arrangements on ALL their work..
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I absolutely love Pink Floyd,I just dislike Rogers view when it comes to the Jews. He teaches hate and racism..Why? ? He has such beautiful music. I hope one day he can get rid of this issues, work through them, and teach love.
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Roger waters is cool. Yes. Positive phil says so
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matratus
Great Band.
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Funny how this reviewer gives nearly full credit to Roger Waters for being Pink Floyd's grand conceptualis t , the driving force behind such albums as Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and The Wall.

Waters was a great songwriter.. . b u t he was not alone in creating their vision and the modern shift in their music. Gilmore provided much of the guitar work, and more importantly, Alan Parsons created nearly all of the breakthrough sound on The Dark Side of the Moon.
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Listening to Floyd brings back some great memories. Me and my pops may he r.i.p took a fishing trip left Seattle to south bend Oregon..,was 14 and brought my tape player with a tab of some blodder paper (red dragon) and dark side of the moon. Split the tab in half with my dad and had one of the best times fishing on the lake bolth of us were fryed. Was a awesome setting like we were the only ones on the planet. Fishing, dosed, and listening to Floyd one of the best memories of my dad il always c
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Smoked my first joint in 1976, listening to DSOM. I'M 56 NOW, and they still rock. One of the best EVER!!!
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You should have went to the lazarium in Seattle in the 70&80s for the Floyd Lazer light show.!!!!!go o d times!!!!
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Think an think no matter who is in or was in the band they were f**king great!!!!!!! R o g e r s , Gilmore who mattered.
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I saw pink Floyd when them first were. 1969 ,there are no words. I get the chills on you crazy diamond.
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Sorry didnt finish my comment the floyd ,waters shows were by far the best i have seen now waiting for dave to come to TEXAS i can take my teenage daughter to some what get a feel of what i have seen Peace to all floydians
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I have seen pink floyd twice in the old houston astrodome for the momentary lapse of reason tour and then in the alamo dome in sanantonio INCREDIBLE then i got to see roger waters also in sanantonio INCREDIBLE. i have seen many shows clapton the dead , rush , yes , triumph, robert plant , scorpions just to name a few
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I saw pink Floyd in 88 it was a turning point in my life would love to see them again now that I'm sober ��
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carolbeelynx
Finally-At 72 I donated money to the local Public Radio in Salt Lake City and got two tickets to the British version of Pink Floyd-really good seats. Heaven! my memorial service is to have ONLY Dark Side of the Moon. That's it and my ashes flung in Ecuador, the Pacific Ocean off Oregon and TN where I lived most of my life. There is so much sense in all of the Pink Floyd music.I taught 23 yrs =.
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"Hello...Is there Anybody out there?" I had seen David Gilmore after the split & he was Awsome@ Giants Stadium..In my opinion, there was no Pink Floyd w-o either one..Gotta give props to Mr. Gilmore. He delivered! Classic & unforgettabl e !
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Without Roger Waters. No P.F.
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The only way that I can find Peace!
Is to listen to Pink Floyd!! I so Relate!
Rock On Mr. Floyd....... . . .
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Pink Floyd what can you say. Ausome
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ryansmith312 1 5
Animals
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troykeller88 7 8
My point exactly Pink Floyd is not Pink Floyd without Roger Waters
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Got a chance to see The Wall live in Boston WOW
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Above all music ever beyond rap crap
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kimmp284
Took my daughter to her first concert in 2007. Roger Waters, Dark Side of the Moon tour. My son's first was Roger on The Wall tour in 2010. They are now 22 and 19 respectively . With all the crap music out there it's nice to know they both appreciate Pink Floyd's music and still listen to it.
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Grew up listening to pink floyd and now in my 40s am still in awe of there talent
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I'm sorry to say, but I dig the original Pink Floyd. When they went off on their own, it wasn't the same..No female back up singers...Ju s t pure Rock & Roll Pink Floyd....Aws o m e Music back in the day!!
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wiz khalifa used this intro for one his songs B.A.R
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PINK FLOYD ROCK'S
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@haohmwruoth e w i n d you should be dead
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