Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Great Gig in the Sky

(At 0:38)

And I am not frightened of dying. Any time will do; I don't mind.
Why should I be frightened of dying? There's no reason for it—you've gotta go sometime.

- spoken by Gerry O'Driscoll (an Irish Abbey Road Studios doorman at the time)

(At 3:33)

I never said I was frightened of dying.

- spoken by Miv "Puddie" Watts (wife of roadie Peter Watts and mother of actress Naomi Watts)

- Released 1973

- The song features soaring voice instrumental music by Clare Torry

- Torry mentioned that she was trying to emulate an instrument. It was, from all published accounts, an improvisation with Torry apparently using her songwriting skills to give it form and function. In fact, she mentions in her interview that she was never clearly told that the song was about death.

- Torry also mentions that she left [the recording] thinking that it wouldn't be included on the final cut. In fact, she states that the only way she knew it was used was when she saw it at a local record store, saw her name in the credits and purchased it. For her participation, she was paid thirty quid and a pair of tickets for a concert at Earl's Court in 1973. Reference

- In 2004, Torry sued Pink Floyd and EMI for songwriting royalties, on the basis that her contribution to "Great Gig in the Sky" constituted co-authorship with Rick Wright. In 2005, a settlement was reached in High Court in Torry's favour, although terms were not disclosed.

- Most of the song is a slightly altered arrangement of the beat and bassline from the song "Breathe". The beat and bassline were very much part of Pink Floyd's playing style as far back as Atom Heart Mother. However, due to the altered beat and bassline, it is not directly related to "Breathe"

During the recording of “The Dark Side Of The Moon”, the guys from Pink Floyd wrote on little papers questions like “Are you afraid of death?” and gave them to everybody that was working at Abbey Road studio at the time. This included all the roadies, sound technicians, Gerry O'Driscoll, and even Paul McCartney (who was recording a solo album at the same studio). The answers to the questions were recorded, and the best ones were put on the disc. However, Paul’s answers weren’t put on the disc because “he tried to be funny”. Reference

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