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Article 9

Rock On

Wish you were here- Pink Floyd

(Published in Times of India, Pune on 4th August, 2001)


O ver the years Rock has acquired an image of being noisy, depraved, regressive and even inspired by the devil. Yet it has been responsible for some of the finest music and poetry written in the 20th century. It has extended its influences into other art forms like Video, Film, Fashion, Dance, Art, Virtual Reality etc. and its dimensions far exceeds the obvious and superficial exterior that is exposed to the uninitiated. One of the finest examples to illustrate my point would be the founder of underground and psychedelic rock, Pink Floyd.

Led by the genius singer/guitarist, Syd Barrett, they were pioneers of a movement of dark and experimental lyricism that would influence generations of bands to follow. It was Syd, who came up with the name The Pink Floyd Sound, inspired by two jazz artists Pink Anderson, and Floyd Council and the band enjoyed its first British success with the hit "See Emily Play". But it was not long before Syd's experiments with LSD proved disastrous for the stability of the band. The pressures of being a star finally took its toll and Syd was asked to leave the band with David Gilmour, his old friend, replacing him. Soon the band was on its way with the release of a steady stream of albums leading to the path breaking "Dark Side of the Moon" in 1973.

It was now that Pink Floyd finally found its true self! Brilliantly produced with a hypnotic spacey feel, it epitomized what has come to known as the "English" sound. Featuring the surrealistic lyrics of Waters and the guitar heroics of Gilmour, the album became one of the biggest selling records of all time, currently in excess of 25 million copies. It hit number 1 in the Billboard charts and began what was to become a record-breaking 741-week US chart stretch. It is rumored that there is a CD factory in France whose total production for the year is dedicated to the production of this album!

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Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the Glimmer Twins as they were called is one of the most prolific song writing teams of the century and have been responsible for a huge, vastly popular catalogue of hits. Besides the raunchier driving rock songs that they seem to come up with regularity, their ballad writing is also commendable. "Lady Jane", "As Tears go by", "Angie" etc. are some of their best songs and can be praised for their sensitive and melodious approach. The Stones have a meticulous approach to their

Music- making, a quality that seemed to get neglected under the guise of their relaxed and brash manner. This approach is also carried over to their concerts and they are known to be one of the finest live Rock acts ever. In the Eighties, there used to regular rumors about the Stones touring India and it has been my dream to catch this " World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band" live. Now with Mick Jagger turning 58 on July 26, I just hope its not too late. On the other hand, I bet itís not! As their name suggests " A Rolling Stone gathers no moss"

Rock on!

Nandu Bhende

http://nandu_bhende.tripod.com


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