Like George Harrison in the Beatles, Richard Wright was Pink Floyd’s third composer (and eventual vocalist). Like the ex-Beatle, he was still the quietest member, with the most introspective personality, but undeniable talent.
And also like Harrison, his influence on the sound of the band in which he was the keyboard player for almost 40 years is indisputable.
Founding member of the group, along with Roger Waters and Nick Mason, his colleagues in the architecture college. Wright was largely responsible for the spatial sound, characteristic of Floyd after Syd Barrett‘s forced departure in the late 1960s.
Richard Wright death
The musician died in September 15, 2008 when he was only 65. The information was revealed by a spokesman for the group. Wrigh suffered from lung cancer.
“The family of Richard Wright, a founding member of Pink Floyd, announces with great sadness that Richard died today after a rapid battle with cancer,” his spokesman said in a statement. “The family asked that their privacy be respected in this difficult time.”
Wright met fellow Pink Floyd members Roger Waters and Nick Mason in college. Together they formed the band Sigma 6, which was to become Pink Floyd.
Vocalist David Gilmour, who joined the band in 1968 shortly after Syd Barrett left, wrote a note:
“I really don’t know what to say other than that he was a a kind, gentle and genuine man who will be sorely missed by so many who loved him. And there are many people. Wasn’t he the one who won the biggest round of applause at the end of each show in 2006? ”
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Richard Wright on Pink Floyd
Despite actively participating in the creative process, his first contributions would not yet bring this sound signature. Songs like “Julia dream” and “Paintbox”, singles released only in collections. Or “Remember a day”, from the second album, brought their keyboards as more prominent instruments.
But in simple phrasing and without the noticeable texture in the collective creations of the time. Such as “Careful with that ax, Eugene” or “Interstellar overdrive”, the latter from the band’s debut album, “The piper at the gates of dawn”.
“At that time, it was Rick who made the arrangements … And tuned Roger’s bass,” explains Peter Jenner, the group’s manager between the years 1966 and 1968, in a documentary shown on the BBC in 2007.
Syd Barrett departure
With the departure of Syd Barrett, until then the creative leader of the band, but maddened by drugs, Pink Floyd definitely assumed his vocation for lysergic and space rock, instead of the psychedelism of the first albums.
“Syd did absurd things on the guitar, which nobody dreamed of doing at the time. Technically he was not a brilliant musician. But for me, what matters is originality. And he had that to spare. It ended up totally influencing my playing,” Wright told British TV in 2006.
It is known by many people that the relationship between Pink Floyd members became quite complicated during the recording of Wish You Were Here. The situation worsened in 1977 with the release of Animals. At that time, Roger Waters was taking over the band’s leadership. Wright’s contribution to the album, despite having developed an excellent job with the keyboards, it was not like before.
His first solo album
Then, in 1978, Wright made his first solo album, Wet Dream. The keyboardist produced and wrote the entire album and in the song Against the Odds. Rick had the contribution of his wife Juliette. The album has 10 beautiful songs and Wright stated that this album was of great creative importance for future work. Including with Pink Floyd after his return in 1987.
In 1979, while recording for The Wall, Wright was removed from the band. In 1984 he recorded Identity with Dave Harris in the group Zee.
Wright returned to Pink Floyd in 1987 in the midst of A Momentary Lapse of Reason recordings. Therefore, did not make any major contributions to this album. Only at Division Bell did Rick actively participate in the creative process again.
The keyboardist is co-author of the songs Cluster One, What Do You Want From Me, Marooned, Keep Talking, with David Gilmour and Wearing The Inside Out with Anthony Moore. The album was released in 1994 and was the second without Waters. For the first time since the Dark Side, Rick also contributed as the lead singer.
In 1996, Richard Wright released his third album, Broken China. The album was produced in Rick’s own home and had the collaboration of Anthony Moore, who also wrote the lyrics and Sinead O’Connor, who sings on two tracks: Reaching for the Rail and Breakthrough.