By the dawn of the ‘80s, Rick Wright was gone, and Waters presented the band with two projects for their next album. The rejected project would become Waters’ first solo venture The Pros & Cons of Hitch-Hiking.
THE FINAL CUT
Released in 1983, this was to be Waters’ last with the band. Many of the themes are carried over from The Wall, and this consequently feels like a post-script. Another slab of fabulous bleakness. Dave Gilmour has described this as Roger Waters’ finest solo album, and Pink Floyd’s worst.
The band released a 20 minute EP video to accompany the album, but none of the best tracks are included. There are fan videos available on Youtube which you can check out if you wish.
Two Suns in The Sunset
The strains in the band came to a head during the recording of this, but it would be 1985 before the announcement was made that Waters had left the band.
Shortly after this, Gilmour announced that the Watersless Pink Floyd – including Richard Wright - would be recording a new album, and would tour in its’ support. Waters, who had assumed that without him the band would cease to exist, responded by initiating a legal battle for the right to the band name. Gilmour won the battle.
A MOMENTARY LAPSE OF REASON
It’s impossible for me to be objective about the 3-piece Floyd, since I view this incarnation as Pink Floyd without their soul. However, the album, released in 1987 is not without its’ merits. It sounds like Pink Floyd, but most of the lyrics are clunky. During the subsequent tour, Waters wryly remarked that the new band were “a very facile but quite fair forgery”.
In terms of success, Waters lost out, and the new Floyd went from strength to strength.
Learning to Fly from the later Division Bell tour
THE DELICATE SOUND OF THUNDER
A double live album from 1988 documenting the Floyd’s hyper successful tour in support of AMLOR. A very good live album, but probably only for completists. A VHS video was released simultaneously, but appears to be unavailable now.
THE DIVISION BELL
Another six years would pass before Gilmour & co would present the world with the band’s final studio album.
This is a much better record that AMLOR, and seems to be an effort to return to the classic ‘70s sound of Dark Side of the Moon, and Wish You Were Here. Gilmour is still manfully struggling to write lyrics worthy of the band’s heritage, but the music is very, very good. Again, this was hugely successful, and prompted another epic world tour.
High Hopes from the Division Bell tour
Keep Talking ditto (That’s Joe Brown’s daughter Sam in the middle of the three backing singers !!)
Their penultimate release is the accompanying triple live album to their – again – epic final world tour of 1994.
This is a slick and polished set culled from their record breaking 14-date residency at London’s Earls Court arena at the culmination of the tour. The band apparently had no initial intention of releasing another live set, but the shows included a complete run-through of Dark Side of The Moon, so the decision was taken to release it for posterity and, no doubt, some more cash.
Accompanied, eventually, by an excellent live DVD which captures the band’s awesome stage show. Here’s hoping it was filmed in HD, and that this may yet see a release.
It would be another 11 years before Waters rejoined the band to play four songs at the Live 8 charity gig. This would be their first live performance as a four piece in over 24 years.
Three years later, Richard Wright succumbed to cancer, thus ending any likelihood of a full reformation tour, although there have been whispers of the possibility of Waters, Gilmour, and Mason playing again for charity events.
In the interim, there was time for a further live album:
IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE ?
This is the live document of the 1980/81 The Wall shows, released in 2000. Nothing but The Wall, in its' original live format. Many fans won't bother with this, but to me it's an important release.
For the sake of completeness, the late compilations:
A COLLECTION OF GREAT DANCE SONGS
1981 compilation featuring '70s material, including a remix of Money.
2-disc retrospective released in 2001. About as good a compilation of the band's output as is possible over 2 discs. A good starting point if you want to explore.
OH BY THE WAY
This is a box set of all the studio albums (sixteen discs). Not cheap, but a one stop shop if you want to get the lot in one go...