[Shines On? Is an alternate history in which Syd Barrett, early leader of Pink Floyd, did not "go crazy" and get kicked out of band in 1968. Pink Floyd fans especially will find it ironic to say the least. Expected pages are at the very least Syd Barrett (Shines On?), Pink Floyd (Shines On?), and Joker's Wild (Shines On?). Feel free to edit or add on to a history of alternate success(?)]

Pink Floyd was a British Progressive Rock band active primarily from 1966 until 1976. The band produced eight studio albums, the last of which was released in 1997.

Early Years

The early lineup of the band featured Syd Barrett on guitar, Richard Wright on keyboards, Roger Waters on bass guitar and Nick Mason on drums. The band established itself as the "house band" of the London underground in 1966-67. In 1967, Pink Floyd released the singles "Arnold Layne," "See Emily Play" (which reached #6 in the UK singles charts) and their first album, Piper At The Gates of Dawn. Following a successful tour with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd released their second album, I'm Most Obliged To You in 1968, their first LP to chart (reaching #4 in the UK and #56 in the US). It was accompanied with the singles "She's A Millionaire" (#2 On The UK singles charts) and "It Would Be So Good" (co-written by Barrett and Wright). In 1969 Pink Floyd released the more pop oriented album, Take A Ride. It was accompanied with the single "Where Are You Now?," which briefly touched #1 on the UK singles chart and provided Pink Floyd with their first top 10 single in the United States, reaching #9. The song drew comparisons to the Beatles' "Yesterday" and "Eleanor Rigby."

During the subsequent tour for Take A Ride, Barrett announced he would pursue a solo career once his contractual obligations were fulfilled with Pink Floyd.

Barrett contributed little other than guitar work to Pink Floyd's 1971 album, If, which was composed primarily by Wright and Waters and only featured vocals by Barrett on two tracks. The album was their least successful since their debut. Though two singles were released to coincide with the album, neither charted.

Barrett’s Departure And The 1970s

Following a year on the road with various lead guitarists, Pink Floyd assembled material for their first album after Barrett’s departure in 1973, entitled The Massed Gadgets of Hercules. It featured two songs, each of which filled up one side of the LP. The composition had been composed from jams that the band played during concerts the previous year. The album was a commercial failure.

The album featured three different lead guitarists, each of whom left the sessions at one point or another: Jeff Beck, Bob Klose (briefly a member of Pink Floyd in 1965) and Snowy White. The remaining guitar parts were played by Waters and Wright. "The Massed Gadgets of Hercules (Part I)" was credited to Waters, Wright, Mason and Beck, while "The Massed Gadgets of Hercules (Part II)" was credited only to the regular band members.

In 1974 Pink Floyd invited Barrett to return to collaborate on a more mainstream album they were recording for their next release. Barrett refused to meet with Pink Floyd. The subsequent album, Burning Bridges, released in November 1974, was greeted with little enthusiasm or chart success. One track, “Ambassadors Of Morning,” was released as a single, but failed to chart. Throughout most of the sessions for the album the band employed studio guitarist Snowy White, although three other guitarists (counting the album’s producer) were credited in the album notes in addition to Roger Waters, who was credited for playing “bass and guitars.” Despite its short-comings, the album was noted by critics for its creative use of tape loops, early synthesizers and voice samples. As opposed to The Massed Gadgets of Hercules, none of the tracks on the album ran over six minutes.

Burning Bridges (1974)

# Track Name Writer(s) Lead Vocals
1 Breathe Waters Wright
2 Burning Bridges Waters/Wright Waters/Wright
3 Ambassadors of Morning Waters/Wright/Mason Wright
4 Home Again Waters Wright
5 Free Four Waters Waters
6 Mudmen Wright Instrumental
7 Violent Sequence Wright Wright
8 Mason's Solo Section Mason Instrumental
9 The Lunatic Song Waters Waters/Wright

After a brief tour, during which the "Massed Gadgets of Hercules" was dropped entirely, the band returned to the studio.

Pink Floyd felt they had no viable material at hand to record, so throughout the bulk of 1975 the band worked on an avant-garde album they named Household Objects. Rather than using conventional instruments, most sounds on the album were produced from rubber bands, wine glasses, and other ordinary items. This album proved to be an improbable success and reached #29 in the UK albums charts (#64 in the US). No single was released alongside the album. Over time, “Household Objects” gained a reputation as being the best and most unique album in the post-Barrett era and one of the most unique albums of all time.

Around the time of the recording of Household Objects, the band members began drifting apart, with all members taking frequent breaks away from the studio. After Household Objects met success, the band came under renewed pressure to produce a commercial album from the record company, who offered an extension on the band's contract.

Household Objects (1975)

# Track Name Writer(s) Lead Vocals
1 Speak to Me Mason/Waters Instrumental
2 Wine Glasses Mason/Wright Instrumental
3 House Waters Waters
4 Late Night Jam Wright Wright
5 Travel Sequence Waters/Wright/Mason Instrumental
6 Wish You Were Here Waters/White/Wright Waters/Wright
7 Good Night Abbey Waters/White/Wright Wright

In 1975-1976, Pink Floyd’s attempted to record a rock album, but the sessions were beset with infighting between Waters and Wright. Waters had drawn up plans for a "harder edged album" with “more direct” lyrics. Wright objected to Water’s material and asked for more time to come up with his own. Waters finished the album himself with Nick Mason on drums and Snowy White on lead guitar. Wright visited the studio twice to overdub keyboard parts on two tracks, before quitting the band in the week after the album's release. Under the title Raving And Clawing, the album quickly fell out of the charts. After a few turbulent live shows with a session keyboardist, the band fulfilled its contract and duly dissolved itself.

Raving and Clawing (1976)

# Track Name Writer(s) Lead Vocals
1 Welcome to the Machine Waters Waters
2 Have a Cigar Mason/Waters Waters
3 You've Got To Be Crazy Waters/White Waters/White
4 Raving and Clawing Waters Waters/White
5 Charade You Are Waters Waters
6 Pigs On The Wing Waters Waters

Despite animosity between Wright and Waters, they reunited after a chance meeting for a three-song set-list with Syd Barrett at a charity concert in London in 1979. This would mark Barrett’s last appearance with Pink Floyd until 2007.


Nick Mason appeared in a few live shows with Roger Waters during the latter's 1981 tour of his album After The War. Mason and Waters continued to be friends throughout the 1980s and sometimes collaborated. In 1995 Mason encouraged Wright to record a solo album and offered to produce it. Wright had been keyboardist of the New Wave band Zee from 1978-1986 but had not participated in any musical venture for a decade. When Mason received the demos for Wright’s album, he asked if Waters could write lyrics for it. Within a few months Waters became fully involved in the making of the album, which was eventually slated for release as a Pink Floyd album in 1997. Titled Broken China, the album was awarded a Grammy for best instrumental. Snowy White, who played guitar throughout the album, received his first writing credit with Pink Floyd on two of the album’s tracks.

Broken China was not accompanied by a tour and the band was placed on hiatus again. In 2007, Pink Floyd joined Syd Barrett for the anniversary of the band's debut album. In 2008, Richard Wright passed away.

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