A Rick Wright Biography

RICK WRIGHT was a founder member of the Architechtural Abdabs, along with Roger Waters and Nick Mason, in 1965. Later that year, with the addition of Syd Barrett, they became the Pink Floyd. The band established itself on the London underground scene with WRIGHT's Farfisa organ a distinctive element in their sound. After two Top 20 singles and a Top 10 album in '67, Pink Floyd looked set for a successful career but Syd's personal disintegration scuppered their prospects.

After David Gilmour replaced Syd Barrett in mid '68 the band gradually redefined their style over half a dozen albums (three of them soundtracks) but it wasn't until 1971's Meddle with the side-long Echoes inspired by WRIGHT's single piano note fed through his Leslie rotating speaker, that the band regained the prospects they'd shown four years earlier..

The next album, Dark Side Of The Moon, ensured their place in rock history. Released in 1973, the album became more than just a soundtrack to a generation (many of whom first discovered the delights of stereo listening to it in headphones). It spent an unprecedented 15 years in the Billboard Top 200 album charts and to date it has sold 28 million copies (rising at the rate of a million a year) making it the third highest selling album ever. WRIGHT co-wrote many of the tracks on this epoch-making album but his most memorable contribution was The Great Gig In The Sky.

The next two albums - Wish You Were Here in 1975 and Animals in 1977 - consolidated their position as one of rock's biggest names but, as frequently happens, the band's phenomenal success put an increasing strain on their personal relationships and the creative tensions gave way to conflict. Solo albums were a safety valve and WRIGHT released Wet Dream in 1978.

By the time they came to record The Wall in 1979 Roger Waters was assuming control of the band. WRIGHT felt the full brunt of this when Waters threatened not to release The Wall unless WRIGHT left the band. WRIGHT spent the next two years as a paid employee, playing The Wall in America, Britain and Germany.

None of this was public knowledge until WRIGHT's name was conspicuously absent from Pink Floyd's 1983 album, The Final Cut. However, within months the band had imploded under the weight of the acrimony between the survivors. WRIGHT released his second solo album, as Zee with Fashion singer Dave Harris, in 1984 called Identity, which he now describes as "an experimental mistake". WRIGHT rejoined Pink Floyd in 1987, after Gilmour and Mason had reconstituted the band, during the recording of A Momentary Lapse Of Reason. He arrived too late to contribute any songs but played on the world tour that confirmed Pink Floyd's status as one of the world's biggest drawing live attractions.

However on Pink Floyd's most recent studio album, The Division Bell, the band returned to the co-operative principles that had got lost during the late '70's. WRIGHT co-wrote Wearing The Inside Out with lyricist Anthony Moore and co-wrote the music for Cluster One, What Do You Want From Me, Marooned, and Keep Talking with David Gilmour. More important, as WRIGHT says, "On this album the three of us actually played together. It's like the Floyd again." Millions of fans felt exactly the same way during Pink Floyd's Division Bell world tour which played over 100 shows, culminating in their 14-night stint at London's Earls Court in the autumn of 1994.

1996 EMI Records Ltd