In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s ninth studio album, Wish You Were Here, Deep Tracks (Ch. 27) is playing songs from the album all Labor Day weekend along with behind-the-scenes stories about the tracks and commentary from members of the band. The special begins Friday 9/4 at 4 pm ET and continues throughout the weekend.
Release Date: September 12, 1975
Recorded: January-July 1975 at Abby Road Studios, London
Length: 44:28 (5 tracks)
Cover Designer: Storm Thorgerson
Singles: Have A Cigar / Welcome to the Machine (B-Side)
Chart Success: No. 1 in U.S. and U.K.
Fun Fact: Richard Wright and David Gilmour both cite Wish You Were Here as their favorite Pink Floyd album
Speaking of the album’s title track, Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour explained that it was originally supposed to sound like a kid playing his guitar alongside the radio.
“On the recording of the beginning of Wish You Were Here, every time I listen to the actually original recording I think, ‘God I should’ve really done that a little bit better,’” Gilmour explained. “But I mean the idea was that it was a guitar playing on the radio and someone in their room listening to it and joining in, so the other guitar was kind of supposed to be a kid at home joining in with the guitar he’s listening to on the radio; therefore it wasn’t supposed to be too slick, and it wasn’t.”
Keyboardist Rich Wright said the song is “one of the few songs that people actually sing along to with the band.”
“There was a show in [Lisbon, Portugal] and we were performing this song and the audience was singing so loud that … they just stopped, and we let the audience sing the whole song,” Wright recalled.
During the recording of the album, the band were visited by surprise guest – founding member Syd Barrett, who had left Pink Floyd in 1968 and had only been sporadically seen by the other members of the group since. Overweight and completely bald, Waters, Gilmour, Mason and Wright didn’t recognize Barrett at first; Waters and Gilmour were moved to tears when they realized who was standing in front of him.