Louder than Words

Original LP Cover.

Studio album by Pink Floyd
Released 11 November 2016
Recorded Abbey Road Studios, Britannia Row Studios, and Astoria, 12 November 2014 - 09 September 2016
The Billiard Room, 21 March-31 March 2016 (Roger Waters sessions)
Genre Progressive rock, experimental rock
Length 49:59
Label ParlophoneColumbia
Producer Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd chronology
Soldier Boy
Louder than Words
1. "Louder than Words" (Gilmour, Samson, Wright)
Release: 04 November 2016
2. "It's What We Do" (Gilmour, Wright)
Release: 14 December 2016

Louder Than Words is the twenty-first and final studio album by the British progressive rock band Pink Floyd. It was released by Parlophone and Columbia Records on 11 November 2016.

Louder than Words consists of experimental and progressive rock, space-influented ambient, especially in Allons-y. It was also notable for the return of bassist and architect of Pink Floyd in the '70's, Roger Waters.

It became the most pre-ordered album of all time on Amazon UK, and debuted at number one in several countries. The vinyl edition was the fastest-selling UK vinyl release since 1997. The album was released with the Pink Floyd's boxset, The Early Years 1965-72.

A week before the album's release, the Pink Floyd released the album's title track, Louder than Words, as a promotional single. At the end of 2015, the Pink Floyd confirmed the rumours of an album in their social networks, the band's final album, called "Louder than Words".


As work on this album started, and like with Learning to Fly, Louder than Words wasn't to have a central theme, but some members of the band, as Gilmour and Wright have said that the album is a possible tribute to the history of the band, although the sound is somewhat similar to his last album. Originally, Gilmour's wife, Polly Samson, wrote lyrics to the title track, making this a mostly instrumental album.

However, when Nick Mason intervened, he suggested calling in Roger Waters, who had by this time been cool with David Gilmour and the rest of the band, particularly Mason. For the first time since their "break-up" in the '80's, Waters met with Gilmour and the rest in his Astoria studio in early 2015. By then, work had been mostly completed on the album, at least musically. Waters suggested that he listened to what they'd done, and he suggested that while the music was there, there could be a chance to insert a loose narrative, and that's when Wright brought back the theme of history and Waters then said, it could be about the band's evolving attitudes, and suggested writing the lyrics for those songs, while also suggesting the structure of the album. Gilmour was hesitant on the last part, but he agreed that Waters could weave together a narrative. So he wrote the lyrics for three of the tracks, and re-wrote Polly Samson' original lyric set for Louder than Words, though he kept the title for Gilmour's sake.

Waters lastly suggested, that if they couldn't change the structure (something he admited as a "frustration" of not leading the band anymore), they could at least compress the pieces, and abandon the whole Four Sides plan of Gilmour's. Mason and, surprisingly, Wright argued for it, and eventually Gilmour relented, seeing the merit in the suggestion.

Ultimately, Roger Waters contributed bass lines, which were overdubbed onto Rick Wills' work (much to Wills' chagrin, though he still played the live parts), however, he mostly recorded his parts in his home studio and sent it to the album's producers for overdubbing. According to Gilmour, Waters only wanted to be present in the final song's recording. A 30 second bass pedal groove in the fadeout of the album was improvised by Waters on the spot.

After recording of Louder than Words, Gilmour suggested that they put in another track, where Waters gets to sing. Waters then suggested they get to record a song he'd only played live, called "Each Small Candle". The band played the song, almost verbatim, with Gilmour only extending the guitar bits slightly, but not changing the composition.

Syd Barrett, at the same time of Pink Floyd's Louder than Words, was producing his last album too, released as Freedom. Syd gave some unused material of the sessions, receiving a writing credit on "Allons-y". Waters then had the idea of using some of Syd Barrett's opening riff from Arnold Layne to end Louder than Words, to signify the band's history going full circle. He can also be heard muttering "where we go out" just before the track ends.

For the band, it was the best experience working since their early days. While Waters was initially hesitant and recorded his parts isolated from the rest of the band, he came to enjoy the experience, and even the opportunity to realize a song of his as a Pink Floyd song, but mostly, the chance to work with Dave Gilmour, who in turn was gratified that the days of the dictatorial Roger Waters were seemingly "behind him." He also applaued Nick Mason for his suggestion, and Rick Wright admitted he loved working with Waters, as if "all the tension and hatred and disparity from the Wall years had washed away in the drain, somehow."

Track listing

No. Title Music Lead vocals Length
1. "Allons-y" Gilmour, Samson, Wright, Waters, Mason, Barrett Gilmour, Wright 19:40
2. "It's What We Do" Gilmour, Wright Instrumental 6:17
3. "Following the Way" Gilmour Gilmour 3:16
4. "Playing" Wright, Waters Gilmour, Wright 4:48
5. "A Memory of the Castle" Wright Wright 2:56
6. "Where Someone Talks" Gilmour, Waters Gilmour 6:25
7. "Each Small Candle" Waters Waters 9:58
8. "Louder than Words" Gilmour, Wright, Waters Gilmour,



Total Length: 49:59


  • David Gilmour - lead vocals, guitars, EBow guitar, bass guitar
  • Richard Wright - lead vocals, Hammond organ, piano, keyboards, Albert Hall Organ, EMS VCS 3
  • Nick Mason - backing vocals, drums, percussion
  • Roger Waters - backing vocals, bass guitar
  • Syd Barrett - guitar parts in Allons-y, guitar in "Louder than Words"