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Pink Floyd member Richard Wright dies at age 65

LONDON (AP) — Richard Wright, a founding member of Pink Floyd, died Monday. He was 65.

The rock group's spokesman, Doug Wright, who's unrelated, said Wright died after a battle with cancer at his home in Britain. He said the band member's family did not want to give more details about his death. Wright met Pink Floyd members Roger Waters and Nick Mason in college and joined their early band, Sigma 6. Along with the late Syd Barrett, the four formed Pink Floyd in 1965. The group's jazz-infused rock and drug-laced multimedia "happenings" made them darlings of the London psychedelic scene, and their 1967 album, "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn," was a hit. In the early days of Pink Floyd, Wright, along with Barrett, was seen as the group's dominant musical force. The London-born musician and son of a biochemist wrote songs and played the keyboard.

"Rick's keyboards were an integral part of the Pink Floyd sound," said Joe Boyd, a prominent record producer who worked with Pink Floyd early in its career. The band released a series of commercially and critically successful albums including 1973's "The Dark Side of the Moon," which has sold more than 40 million copies. Wright wrote "The Great Gig in the Sky" and "Us and Them" for that album, and worked on the group's epic compositions such as "Atom Heart Mother," "Echoes" and "Shine on You Crazy Diamond." But tensions grew among Waters, Wright and fellow band member David Gilmour. The tensions came to a head during the making of "The Wall" when Waters insisted Wright be fired. As a result, Wright was relegated to the status of session musician on the tour of "The Wall," and did not perform on Pink Floyd's 1983 album, "The Final Cut." Wright formed a new band Zee with Dave Harris from the band Fashion, and released one album, "Identity," with Atlantic Records. Waters left Pink Floyd in 1985 and Wright began recording with Mason and Gilmour again, releasing the albums "The Division Bell" and "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" as Pink Floyd. Wright also released the solo albums "Wet Dream" (1978) and "Broken China" (1996).

In July 2005, Wright, Waters, Mason and Gilmour reunited to perform at the "Live 8" charity concert in London — the first time in 25 years they had been onstage together. Wright also worked on Gilmour's solo projects, most recently playing on the 2006 album "On an Island" and the accompanying world tour.

Gilmour paid tribute to Wright on Monday, saying his input was often forgotten. "He was gentle, unassuming and private but his soulful voice and playing were vital, magical components of our most recognized Pink Floyd sound," he said. "I have never played with anyone quite like him."

Solo albums:
* Wet Dream - 15 September 1978 and
* Broken China - 26 November 1996

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01. Mediterranean C
02. Against The Odds
03. Cat Cruise
04. Summer Elegy
05. Waves
06. Holiday
07. Mad Yannis Dance
08. Drop In From The Top
09. Pink's Song
10. Funky Deux

Wet Dream was the first solo album from Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright, released in 1978. The album went virtually unnoticed at the time. Wet Dream was self-produced and Wright wrote all the songs himself, except "Against The Odds," which was co-written with his then-wife, Juliette. For his album, Wright assembled some of the backing musicians who had been accompanying Pink Floyd for years, in particular reed player Mel Collins and guitarist Snowy White. So, it was no surprise that the resulting record, Wet Dream, sounded like outtakes from Pink Floyd sessions. Wright's keyboards had always been a major element in the Pink Floyd sound, and his singing and songwriting had also been a big part of the group's music, despite the increasing domination of Roger Waters. On Wet Dream, he was interested in providing typically slow, contemplative, keyboard-based arrangements and singing (on about every other tune) in a becalmed, echoey voice of marital discord and escape. Wright's conflict with Waters shortly would lead to his being dismissed from Pink Floyd (and then, bizarrely, hired back as a sideman), and in a sense his release of Wet Dream could be seen as an attempt to step out on his own. But the material, while pleasant enough, seemed more like music he might have written to work on with Pink Floyd if he still had as much input into the group as he had had back around the time of The Dark Side of the Moon, rather than like an independent solo statement. It was hard to imagine anyone but Pink Floyd fans wanting to listen to such an album, and as it turned out not even enough of them cared, since the album sold poorly. *

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01. Breaking Water
02. Night Of A Thousand Furry Toys
03. Hidden Fear
04. Runaway
05. Unfair Ground
06. Satellite
07. Woman Of Custom
08. Interlude
09. Black Cloud
10. Far From The Harbour Wall
11. Drowning
12. Reaching For The Rail
13. Blue Room In Venice
14. Sweet July
15. Along The Shoreline
16. Breakthrough

1996 release of the second solo album from the Pink Floyd keyboardist. It's a musical exploration of the four phases one might experience in a clinincal depression. The sound of the album is very much like his group's albums, but a bit more on the New Age/Ambient side. Personnel includes: Rick Wright (keyboards); Sinead O'Connor (vocals); Pino Palladino (bass); Manu Katche (drums). 1, 2.

Zee album:
* Identity - 9 April 1984

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01. Confusion
02. Voices
03. Private Person
04. Strange Rhythm
05. Cuts Like A Diamond
06. By Touching
07. How Do You Do It
08. Seems We Were Dreaming
09. Confusion (7' Mix)
10. Confusion (Extended Mix)
11. Eyes Of A Gypsy
12. Eyes Of A Gypsy (Dub Mix)

"Identity" is the only album by Zee, a short-lived partnership consisting of Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright and Dave Harris of New Romantic outfit Fashion. Released in 1984, Wright has stated that he feels "Identity" was an experiment that should never have been released. The album was written and produced by Wright and Harris and all the lyrics were penned by Harris. The album makes heavy use of the Fairlight CMI, a musical synthesizer popularized in the 1980s. This creates a very electronic sound that persists through every track. 1, 2.

16.09.2008. u 07:24 • 4 CommentsPrintPermalink

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