7 July-2014, Forbes: This past Saturday (July 5) morning, the music world was rocked by what at first looks like a quiet and unassuming tweet sent by a British novelist and songwriter Polly Samson.
“Btw Pink Floyd album out in October is called “The Endless River”. Based on 1994 sessions is Rick Wright’s swansong and very beautiful.”
For those who don’t know, Polly Samson is the wife of David Gilmour, the current singer and guitarist for legendary rock band Pink Floyd, so it isn’t so surprising that her tweet has exploded into articles from every major publication in the world.
The upcoming album, which is still awaiting a formal announcement but has been confirmed by representatives of Gilmour to Rolling Stone, will be Pink Floyd’s fifteenth, and their first in twenty years.
The group’s last album, The Division Bell wasn’t met with the highest regard, but did go on to sell over twelve million copies around the world. It looks like all the music set to be featured on The Endless River is from the Division Bell sessions, though it has been assured that it is all previously-unheard, new material.
What makes The Endless River so special is that many of the songs on the record were written or co-written with Richard Wright, one of the British rock band’s founders. The material recorded for The Division Bell was some of the musician’s last, as the band split up soon after a tour to support the album, and Wright passed away in 2008 from an undisclosed form of cancer. Samson hyped up Wright’s final work in her tweet, going so far as to say that these tracks are “very beautiful” and his “swansong”.
Durga McBroom-Hudson, a singer who toured with Pink Floyd for two decades starting in the 1980’s, confirmed that the music coming in the fall is from the earlier sessions, and that she is also involved. On her Facebook (after being overwhelmed by fans begging for more information), she also revealed that this is the secret project that drummer Nick Mason originally referred to as “The Big Spliff”—which true devotees have been waiting on for years.
“David and Nick have gone in and done a lot more since then [the original Division Bell sessions]. It was originally to be a completely instrumental recording, but I came in last December and sang on a few tracks. David then expanded on my backing vocals and has done a lead on at least one of them.” – singer Durga McBroom-Hudson
Drummer Nick Mason is involved in the project (as he has remained a member since the band’s split), but what is yet to be seen is if Roger Waters —another founding member and one of rock and roll’s greatest icons—is going to be involved in the new album. While Waters has joined Pink Floyd for a few live appearances over the years, he was not involved in the original Division Bell recordings, and his feud with his ex-bandmates continues to this day.
To celebrate The Division Bell turning twenty years old, the band released a massive reissue of the album just a week or so ago. The $135 set includes a remastered version of the album, a clear vinyl and a red vinyl for two songs (“High Hopes” and Take It Back”, respectively), as well as commemorative art and a version to be played on Blu-ray. While that set surely had die hard fans excited, a new album is probably higher on their wishlist.