Sunday Music – Have A Cigar

Posted on Sun 01/21/2018 by


Today’s music video is Have A Cigar, sung here in this clip by the English Supergroup Pink Floyd.

Link to Video at You Tube

This video was posted to You Tube by Malkin2004

Which One’s Pink?

In 1973, Pink Floyd released their album The Dark Side Of The Moon. It was well received, the reviews were good, and the album sold fairly well. It went to Number One on the albums charts in the U.S. for one week only, and went to Number Two in the home of the band, the UK.

Who was to know what would come next.

Over the years since that album’s release, it has become one of the biggest selling albums of all time. Some reports have it that album has sold 45 Million copies. Some of the World’s biggest bands would covet a statistic like that for the lifetime sales of all their whole music catalogue, and here we have Pink Floyd selling that many copies of just the one album alone. There are a number of music industry records that this album holds, and some of them have numbers so huge, you don’t know which report to believe. Some reports have it that this one album has spent more than 900Weeks on the U.S. Billboard albums charts, almost three times longer than the album in second place.

I have that album in my collection of LP vinyls, and it’s one of only two albums out of 400 plus albums that I have had to purchase a second copy of, and the other is Neil Young’s album Harvest. I played them both so many times. I wore them out, before realising that if I had the equipment, I could tape the album and then just listen to the tape when I wanted to hear it, thus keeping the album as relatively pristine. When I did get hold of that album, I was already a fan of the band, and I had three of their earlier albums, and was in the process of trying to get hold of the others I was missing, as this famed album was the band’s eighth studio album. I liked the album from the outset, and the more I listened to it, the more it grew on me. The history that this has album now has behind it was not known at the time I got hold of it, and it was with great anticipation, I looked forward to the release of their next album, something that did not happen until late in 1975, more than two years after Dark Side.

By now, that earlier album was starting to set some of the records it continued to set for the next forty plus years, so when that new album, Wish You Were Here was finally released, sales were already through the roof, and the new album, undoubtedly on the back of Dark Side, became the band’s fastest selling album, and on the day of release it was already Number One in the UK, and a week later, Number One in the U.S. as well as Number One in virtually every other Country where albums were sold.

The new album continued where Dark Side left off, and in fact I liked it even more than Dark Side.

Pink Floyd released a further six studio albums after this one, and I got hold of each new album as it was released, and while I liked them all, and I also now had all of their earlier albums, 15 studio albums in all, this one album, Wish You Were Here has always been my favourite album of theirs.

Ostensibly, it was a sort of homage to their friend and founding member, (the late) Syd Barrett, it also continued with a theme, something started earlier with this now famous band. Roger Waters was still the main driving force behind the band, and he wrote most of their material, with input from the three others as well.

This song I have featured today Have A Cigar, always intrigued me, because, knowing the band well by now, the vocals did not sound familiar. At a later date I found out why, and that was because for this one song, the band got in someone else to do the vocals, in this case the English folk singer Roy Harper. This was only the second time the band had done something like this and the earlier occasion was on that earlier album Dark Side, where Clare Torry did the ‘vocals’ for The Great Gig In The Sky.

If you listen closely to the vocals, it’s quite plain that the song is about the cynical view that a record company executive might have towards a band that either has become, or is becoming suddenly popular, and how they are willing to cash in on the work done by the band itself. The lyrics, written by Waters were originally supposed to be sung by Roger himself, and there are a couple of differing versions about what actually happened. Both Roger and David Gilmour attempted to do the vocals but neither was happy with the result, and another version even has it that both Roger and David even tried it as a duet, again, failing to like the end result. A further version has it that while Roger had this feeling of cynicism, David did not have that feeling, and he was uncomfortable with it, and because of that he declined to sing the vocals. Whichever way it was, Roy Harper was also at the Abbey Road Studio, where this album was being recorded, and he was in a separate studio recording his own album, and evidently, it was David who persuaded Roy to do the vocals for this song, hence the unfamiliar voice, something I was aware of at the time, but not knowing about these details.

That cynicism stands out when this one small section of the lyrics is sung:

I’ve always had a deep respect and I mean that most sincerely;
The band is just fantastic, that is really what I think,
Oh, by the way, which one’s Pink?

So, the ‘executive’ from the industry is ingratiating himself into the band’s circle, and in fact he knows nothing at all about them.

This one last line harks back to the time when the band finally settled on their name Pink Floyd, and that was done by Syd Barrett, whose early influences were shaped by the great American Blues artists of the 20s and 30s. Syd Barret had a really old album of that music and two of the Artists in the liner notes for that album were Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, hence the derivation the band’s name Pink Floyd, and originally, the name was the Pink Floyd Sound, and they dropped that last word to become Pink Floyd from 1965 onwards, and hey, have they really been around that long, now more than 50 years.

Hence that line right at the top of this Post.

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