David Gilmour’s Ultimatum To Roger Waters After A Failed Pink Floyd Album
Pink Floyd’s founding members Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Roger Waters, and Richard Wright probably didn’t know they would initially create and release some of the most iconic songs for rock music. The well-known lineup finally arrived when David Gilmour joined them in 1967, but they couldn’t continue to make music together for a long time. Barrett’s mental health worsened, so he had to leave the band in 1968.
After the lead vocalist’s departure, Waters became their primary songwriter and leader to determine their musical journey and style, especially while working on the records. Under his rule, Pink Floyd released their milestone albums, such as ‘The Dark Side of the Moon,’ ‘Wish You Were Here,’ and ‘The Wall,’ which brought the band members great fame and commercial success, but one of them caused tensions between Waters and Gilmour.
The Story Of Pink Floyd’s ‘The Final Cut’ Album
Pink Floyd released their twelfth studio album entitled ‘The Final Cut’ on March 21, 1983, in the United Kingdom and on April 2, in the United States. The record has an anti-war theme, and its title references William Shakespeare’s famous play ‘Julius Caesar.’ Waters was sensitive about political issues after losing his father, Eric Fletcher Waters, during the Battle of Anzio, on February 18, 1944, at Aprilia.
However, the tension between the band members rose, and they wanted to work separately. They were working on the tracks from their solo albums, which became a crisis. In addition, the album couldn’t receive positive reviews from most music critics and some of the band’s fans, and the sales were unacceptable for the guitarist David Gilmour, so he decided to talk with Waters about the band’s direction and future.
What Happened Between Roger Waters And David Gilmour After The Record?
‘The Final Cut’ was a failed album for David Gilmour due to its mixed reviews and being one of the lowest-selling Pink Floyd studio albums. The record only sold about three million copies even though it hit the charts as a work from the legendary rock band. As a person who also wished to be the band’s leader caused a power struggle between him and Waters, Gilmour made harsh comments about the album.
In one of his conversations, Waters recalled the recording sessions and what happened after the release of ‘The Final Cut,’ saying they couldn’t work together as a band. The musician unveiled Gilmour’s response and said he knew that the record would end up as a disappointment. The musician still felt satisfied after a woman whose father died in World War II approached him in a shop and defined it as moving work. That moment was more valuable than the sales for Waters.
In Waters’ words, he said:
“Well, there are those who contend it’s not over, of course. But making ‘The Final Cut’ was misery. We didn’t work together at all. I had to do it more or less single-handed, working with Michael Kamen, my co-producer. That’s one of the few things that the ‘boys’ and I agreed on. But no one else would do anything about it. It sold three million copies, which wasn’t a lot for the Pink Floyd.
As a consequence, Dave Gilmour went on record as saying, ‘There you go: I knew he was doing it wrong all along.’ But it’s ridiculous to judge a record solely on sales. If you’re going to use sales as the sole criterion, it makes ‘Grease’ a better record than ‘Graceland.’
I was in a greengrocer’s shop, and this woman of about forty in a fur coat came up to me. She said she thought it was the most moving record she had ever heard. Her father had also been killed in World War II, she explained. I got back into my car with my three-pound potatoes and drove home and thought, good enough.”
Furthermore, a few years after the album’s release and Gilmour’s statement about ‘The Final Cut,’ Waters decided to part the ways with Pink Floyd, which was an end of an era for the band and their longtime dedicated fans worldwide. David Gilmour was in charge back then, and the band released three albums under his creative leadership. All in all, Gilmour’s unpleasant statements about the album determined the strict opinion clashes between the members, eventually leading to Waters’ departure.
You can listen to the album below.