The classic rock world practically exploded over Fourth of July weekend with the shocking news of a new album from Pink Floyd – initially revealed by, of all people, David Gilmour’s wife on Twitter. Well, now it’s official: The Endless River will be the first new Pink Floyd album since 1994’s The Division Bell, and it’s due out in October.
Just one problem, though: this “new album” isn’t actually new.
I hate to burst the bubble of hardcore Floyd fans – I am one of those people myself – but the new album won’t feature anything that the band has written or recorded since 1994, save for a few vocal tracks Gilmour added during last winter.
It will be “an album of mainly ambient and instrumental music”, according to a release on the band’s official website. That music will be based on the sessions for The Division Bell that took place in 1993 and ’94 between Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason. The below “secret track” is apparently a sampling of what the album will sound like.
So there’s the one obvious detail that doesn’t make this news as exciting as it could be: there’s no Roger Waters on this new album. The material will be a continuation of the post-Waters incarnation of Pink Floyd that created A Momentary Lapse of Reason, as well as Division Bell.
That doesn’t mean this new material doesn’t have potential to be very good, or even great: if it sounds anything like The Division Bell, then fans will likely be happy with it. Gilmour’s wife Polly Samson described the new LP as Wright’s “swan song”, so it will be cool to have this album to cement the late former keyboardists’ legacy.
The fact that the songs themselves were written 20 years ago will probably even help the band, much like it helped Van Halen on their latest album A Different Kind of Truth, their first with David Lee Roth in 30 years.
But even though it’s technically new Pink Floyd and we wouldn’t turn down unreleased material from a legendary band, the album isn’t exactly what fans have wanted for decades now: a full reunion of Gilmour, Waters, and Mason creating something entirely new. It worked for Black Sabbath, and the Waters/Gilmour-era Floyd made so much great music over such a long period of time it would be hard to believe they’d put out anything less than spectacular.
Until that day comes (and it may never happen), the phrase “new Pink Floyd album” means something a little less pure than we’d hoped.