The Disappointment Pink Floyd’s Richard Wright Felt With The Beatles

Paying for a ticket to go and see the Band perform in the Royal Albert Hall in the early ’70s was, perhaps, one of the best things to have happened to the young Richard Wright‘s musical life. At the time, his tenure with Pink Floyd had only started a few years ago, and although critics and fans considered the act a ‘pop band,’ the keyboardist wasn’t so keen on that.

Wright had grown up with jazz and preferred sticking with his jazzy record collection until his first years with Floyd, but seeing The Band had helped him to realize that, maybe, pop music of the late ’60s wasn’t so bad, after all. The rocker especially couldn’t forget the impressive way the American act performed the track, ‘The Weight,’ leaving the young Brit fascinated.

So, even after all those decades, Richard was still on a mission in 2004 to spread the word about how fascinating The Band had been back in the late ’60s. Pink Floyd’s official website was interviewing him at the time, asking the rocker all about his favorite pieces from his record collection, as Wright proudly pointed them out to the Band’s 1968 record ‘Music From Big Pink.’

The rocker then described how influential the album had been to see the act since he didn’t enjoy pop music, and the Americans had helped him embrace new perspectives and give ‘pop’ a chance. That was quite a drastic change for Rick, as even the Beatles‘ debut album couldn’t break his taboos on how he viewed pop music.

While praising The Band, Wright also declared how he didn’t enjoy ‘Please Please Me‘ when it first came out, recalling how unimpressed he was with the record while calling it ‘childish.’ The keyboardist then continued appreciating his favorite record and the act’s knack for transitioning notes into emotions and impressing him.

The Pink Floyd icon on how great the Band was and why the Beatles couldn’t impress him:

“The centerpiece of this album [Music From Big Pink], ‘The Weight,’ is an incredible tune. I remember seeing The Band at the Albert Hall in the late ’60s, and in my head, I can virtually hear them singing ‘The Weight’ at that gig even now. The way the song is sung is so emotional I really can hardly describe it. How do you describe an emotional response to music?

I could tell you that a piece moves from an E flat major to F sharp or whatever, but that’s not the point at all, is it? The Band were the best thing happening at that time. When I was first in The Floyd, I wasn’t into pop music at all – I was listening to jazz, and when The Beatles released ‘Please Please Me,’ I didn’t like it at all. In fact, I thought it was utterly puerile.

There wasn’t much around at the time that excited me, but then I saw The Band, and they were totally different, totally exciting. Like all these recordings, there’s something about this album that touches me emotionally. The music is just lovely, and it makes this a particularly sentimental choice. I must also mention ‘Tears Of Rage’ – a brilliant song.”

Rick was quite the admirer of the Band, praising the act even years after their dissolution. ‘Music From Big Pink’ was a favorite record of his, an album that changed his perspective on pop music of the time and shifted his interest. However, the Beatles had failed to do that, as Wright found the act’s debut childish and unimpressive.