The relationship between the keyboardist Richard Wright and the singer/bassist Roger Waters wasn’t good during the years they were together in Pink Floyd but it reached the final level of tension during the recording of “The Wall” in 1979.
Waters, who was the main songwriter of that album, accused Wright of not contributing to the recording sessions for years. So he demanded that he was fired from the band. According to Wright, his ex-bandmate threatened that if he didn’t leave the band he would take “The Wall” and release it as a solo effort, since he had written the entire album. So Wright didn’t play in many tracks of that record and was a hired musician during the tour to promote the album.
By 1983 when Pink Floyd started to work on “The Final Cut” he was no longer a member of the band. So it was the only album of the band made without him. But what was his opinion on that album?
What Richard Wright said about “The Final Cut”
From 1973 to 1979, Pink Floyd released the four albums which really made them one of the best-selling bands of all time. “Dark Side of The Moon”, “Wish You Were Here”, “Animals” and “The Wall” became real classics and are some of the most successful albums ever released.
So it was really difficult to keep that same level of songwriting after all the years and hard work. “The Final Cut” was the only album without Wright but it eventually became also the final album of the band with Roger Waters, who left two years later. It became the lowest-selling Pink Floyd album worldwide since their 1971 album “Meddle”.
In an interview with Mark Blake in 1996 he gave his opinion on that album. He said that even Nick Mason and David Gilmour didn’t like the result. “I didn’t like it, but I knew that I could be quite prejudiced about it, considering my situation. But I think that if you ask Dave or Nick (Mason) about it they don’t think it’s a very good album either.”
Richard Wright continued:
“The thing is, during ‘The Final Cut’, the three of them had huge fights which culminated in Roger leaving the band. He had the misguided belief that he was the band. Which is why his ego was shattered when Dave eventually decided to carry on without him,” Richard Wright said.
Once Waters was out and the band carried on without him, the keyboardist was invited to be part once again of Pink Floyd by Nick and Gilmour. But due to contractual reasons he wasn’t an official member yet on “Momentary Lapse of Reason” (1987). He also didn’t had the opportunity to record all the keyboards of the album.
But in 1994 when they started working on “The Division Bell” he was already an official member. So he had the chance to work on the album from the start.
Roger Waters said that “The Final Cut” could be considered his first solo album
As Richard Wright said, Roger Waters believed that he was Pink Floyd. So he became a really difficult person to deal with during their final years together. So he was the main songwriter and wanted to give the direction for all the music they’ve made.
In an interview with Uncut magazine in 2004, Waters was asked that if “The Wall” was the last great Pink Floyd album then “The Final Cut” could be considered his first solo effort. The musician agreed with that and explained why.
“I suppose you could say that. I mean, ‘The Wall’ was quite different. It was conceived as a theatrical event. ‘The Final Cut’ wasn’t. (The Final Cut’ is) The post-war dream… we experienced the beginning of the Welfare State in 1946. The government introduced all that new legislation. At the point where I wrote ‘The Final Cut’, I’d seen all that chiseled away. I’d seen a return to an almost Dickensian view of society under Margaret Thatcher,” Roger Waters said
Roger Waters wrote all the tracks from that album and also was the lead vocalist in all of them. He also was the producer alongside James Guthrie and Michael Kamen.
“The Final Cut” has sold an estimated amount of more than 3 million copies worldwide. It only sold more than the pre-‘Dark Side of The Moon’ albums.
It remains as a forgotten Pink Floyd album that often doesn’t get much attention. But Waters included the track “Two Suns In The Sunset” in the setlist of his 2023 tour.