The Price Roger Waters Paid For Leaving Pink Floyd


Roger Waters contributed to Pink Floyd as the singer, songwriter, and bassist throughout his career with them. Besides creating lyrics, he also served as the band’s co-lead vocalist and conceptual leader. He was a part of the band’s rising popularity, especially with the albums like ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ and ‘The Wall.’ However, Waters decided to part ways in 1985 due to unsolved conflicts regarding creative differences and focused on his solo career.

The singer, who had already released his debut album ‘The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking’ before leaving the band, continued as a solo artist with the next record ‘Radio K.A.O.S.’ following his departure. It received mixed reviews, and Waters was dissatisfied with the record. In 1992, the third one, ‘Amused to Death,’ also received mixed consideration from critics and reached number 8 on the UK Albums chart. Although he continued to receive the support of those who loved his solo music, there was also a question of whether the singer’s departure from the band hurt his commercial success.

Roger Waters’ Solo Album Wasn’t A Commercial Success


It was challenging for Roger Waters to depart from Pink Floyd as they created multiple successful works together for a long time. However, he decided to keep producing his songs without someone telling him what to do when the disputes increased within the band. He focused on his solo career to create freely, but the audience wondered if he had the success he wanted, primarily commercially.

Waters revealed in a 1999 interview with USA Today that he was hurt commercially following his departure from Pink Floyd. He stated that although he was delighted with ‘Amused to Death,’ it did not reach a large scale of approval and become successful. According to the singer, if Pink Floyd’s name was written on it, the album would be as successful as ‘The Wall’ and ‘The Dark Side of the Moon.’ He mentioned that it was the ‘price’ of parting ways with the band; however, he did not regret leaving as he still had a chance to reach people with his records.

Roger Waters said the following when asked if leaving the band hurt him commercially:

“Yeah. I’m incredibly proud of ‘Amused to Death,’ which wasn’t enormously successful and didn’t get wide acceptance. If it had Pink Floyd’s name on it, it would be sitting alongside ‘The Wall’ and ‘Dark Side of the Moon.’ That’s part of the price I paid for leaving the band. But I’ve been very lucky. A lot of people die before anybody takes their work seriously.”

The vocalist released his first solo studio album 25 years after the previous one, entitled ‘Is This the Life We Really Want?’ in 2017 with the singles like ‘Smells the Roses’ and ‘Deja Vu.’ The album became number 3 in the UK and 11 on the US charts. It also received an average score from critics and generally favorable reviews.