The Two Roger Waters Songs David Gilmour Found ‘Nerve-Wracking’ To Sing

When asked which factors might have contributed to Pink Floyd‘s establishment as a legendary act, a fan may list various elements, from the band’s unique and creative lyrics to the fact that they fronted the early psychedelic scene. Another critical factor, one may argue, is that each member had distinctive talent and innovative spirit that contributed to the band’s sound. By building different layers into their songs, Pink Floyd was, by all means, a united project.

Of course, the band is infamous for their internal disputes regarding its creative direction. However, these different dynamics played a significant role in the creation of their cult records, such as 1973’s ‘The Dark Side of the Moon.’ The album was produced during one of the band’s tense periods. Yet, the fractured dynamics, especially between Roger Waters and David Gilmour, resulted in the creation of a major commercial success.

Since the band members struggled to find common ground regarding what they wanted to do in Pink Floyd, Roger Waters ultimately decided to leave the band and pursue a solo career in 1985. Pink Floyd, however, carried on with producing new projects. Yet, with Waters’ departure, the songs he used to sing lead for were now left to David Gilmour. Thus, the vocalist had his worries about performing Waters’ signature tracks.

Which Roger Waters Tracks Was David Gilmour Anxious To Perform?

The songs on ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ were among the audiences’ favorites, and many fans expected the band to perform these beloved tracks during live performances. The post-Roger Waters era didn’t start with an easy transition and was likened to the period following Syd Barrett’s departure. The band’s fans once again feared that the remaining members would fail to preserve and continue Pink Floyd’s legacy.

Roger Waters had his prints all over the band’s hit records, and his influence was carved deep into the band’s image and reputation. As ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ featured two songs that Waters sang lead vocals, Gilmour’s mission was to take over his former bandmate’s vocals and introduce these songs into the band’s new era. However, it wasn’t as easy as it sounded, and the frontman would later disclose his worries.

The two songs Roger previously performed the vocals for were ‘Eclipse‘ and ‘Brain Damage.’ In an interview with Guitar World magazine in 1995, David Gilmour opened up about his feelings for the said tracks. As Gilmour was asked about the last time the band performed the entirety of ‘Dark Side,’ the musician answered by saying it was the year 1975. Even though Gilmour and his bandmates would play all the other songs from the album; ‘Eclipse’ and ‘Brain Damage’ were left out of the set-list due to Waters’ departure.

However, the band recently decided to perform the entire album to create a record featuring new live takes and performances. During Waters’ run with the band, Gilmour explained, they didn’t have the opportunity to make such an archive. So, that was the main reason why Pink Floyd was now performing all the tracks within the album twenty years later.

David Gilmour stated:

”We hadn’t played it since 1975. We were kind of sorry we never recorded it live or filmed it. It was a great show back then. So we did discuss it with Roger [Waters], as we were getting more and more grumpy with each other. We said we should put together ‘Dark Side’ just so we had it on film for posterity.”

The frontman continued:

”As I said, on our last tour, we were already playing most of the album, so we just had to pick up the instrumental package, ‘Any Colour You Like,’ then ‘Brain Damage’ and ‘Eclipse.’ They are the two songs in which Roger sang the lead part on the original record, which is one of the reasons we avoided them before.”

The musician was then asked how he felt about singing ‘Eclipse and ‘Brain Damage.’ Gilmour expressed that the experience was ‘nerve-wracking‘ as he had to take Roger Waters’ place, but it turned out to be great. As Pink Floyd’s first show with these two tracks was in Detroit at the time, Gilmour explained that the audience was enthusiastic and emotional.

Gilmour expressed his feelings:

”It was a little nerve-wracking doing Roger’s vocal parts the first time. But it went down well. Detroit was a real high, emotional moment.”

Although it was uncomfortable for David Gilmour to perform Roger Waters’ parts for the first time, the singer overcame his worries and entertained his crowd with a great show. Even with Waters’ controversial remarks and various legal actions taken by his legal team against Pink Floyd, it’s undeniable that the musician is a cult figure that cannot be separated from the band’s image.