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Roger Waters

Roger Waters was Pink Floyd's grand conceptualist, the driving force behind such albums as Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and The Wall. In the wake of Syd Barrett's departure, Waters emerged as a formidable songwriter, but it's this stretch of '70s albums -- each one nearly symphonic in its reach -- that established him as a distinctive, idiosyncratic voice within rock and, following his departure from Floyd in 1985, he continued to create new works in this vein (notably, 1992's Amused to Death) and capitalized on the enduring popularity of his old band by staging live revivals of Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall in their entireties.

Waters didn't start playing music until he was on the cusp of his 20th birthday. His childhood was haunted by the departure of his father Eric, a schoolteacher who abandoned his status as a conscientious objector to World War II to join the British Army. Eric Waters died in combat when Roger was five months old, and his mother Mary moved him and his brother to Cambridge. There, Waters met his future bandmates Syd Barrett and David Gilmour, but it wasn't until he was studying architecture at Regent Street Polytechnic that the first incarnation of Pink Floyd came into view. Waters and his fellow students Nick Mason and Rick Wright played with vocalist Keith Noble and bassist Clive Metcalfe in a group called Sigma 6, and once they departed, Roger brought in Barrett. This was in the fall of 1963 and by 1965, the group had gelled into the Pink Floyd Sound, dropping the "Sound" in 1966. By that time, Barrett was the unquestioned leader, the singer/songwriter responsible for the band's earliest singles and 1967's debut Piper at the Gates of Dawn, but that album also bore Waters' first original tune, "Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk."

Due to mental illness, Barrett left Pink Floyd in 1968 and was replaced by David Gilmour. Over the next few years, the Floyd's audience steadily grew. Often, the band collaborated on compositions, but Waters was the member with the largest number of solo songs. He also stepped away from the band to collaborate with Ron Geesin for the 1970 soundtrack to The Body, but 1971's Meddle and 1972's Obscured by Clouds found Floyd dividing the work equally.

Waters asserted a heavy degree of creative control for 1973's Dark Side of the Moon, penning all the lyrics, creating the concept, and receiving music writing credits on all but three of the songs. Dark Side turned out to be the pivotal album in Pink Floyd's career, an instant hit that turned into an enduring blockbuster. Two years later, the band delivered Wish You Were Here -- a concept loosely based on the departed Barrett -- and the dystopian Animals followed in 1977. During the supporting tour for Animals, Waters felt himself retreating from his audience, and he used this as an inspiration for writing the semi-autobiographical rock opera The Wall. Roger took The Wall and what became his 1984 solo debut The Pros & Cons of Hitch Hiking to the band and they chose to record The Wall.

The recording of The Wall was difficult -- Wright left the band and became a contract player -- but the 1979 double album was a smash, leading to a 1982 feature film produced by Alan Parker. By this point, Waters was the band's leader and he shepherded them through The Final Cut, a 1983 album that was billed as "A requiem for the post-war dream by Roger Waters, performed by Pink Floyd." This subtitle suggested the ill will within the band and, soon, Waters left. First came Pros & Cons in 1984 -- the album featured Eric Clapton on lead guitar -- and Waters officially left the band in 1985, filing a lawsuit to dissolve it the following year. His claim was rejected and Gilmour, Mason, and Wright continued as Pink Floyd, while Waters continued his solo career. Waters contributed songs to the 1986 animated adaptation of When the Wind Blows, and in 1987 he released the ambitious concept album Radio K.A.O.S., supporting the album with a world tour. Once the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989, Waters decided to revive The Wall theatrical production -- Floyd only performed a handful of shows in 1980, due to its expense -- as an all-star tribute concert in Berlin in July 1990. Two years later he released his first album for Columbia: Amused to Death, an anti-war concept album featuring Jeff Beck on guitar. Although there was no tour to support the album, it performed well, gaining Silver certification in the U.K.

Waters began touring again in 1999, launching the In the Flesh Live international tour. Along with reviving his live performing career, he attempted to launch a Broadway adaptation of The Wall and released two anti-war songs on the internet in 2004: "To Kill the Child" and "Leaving Beirut." A reunion with Pink Floyd followed in 2005, with the group appearing at the Live 8 Benefit at Hyde Park. Greeted by rave reviews, the band nevertheless didn't capitalize on it, choosing to stay separated. Waters released his opera Ca Ira in 2005 and then in 2006, he spent two years touring The Dark Side of the Moon. The success of this tour led to Waters launching a touring rendition of The Wall and its success eclipsed Dark Side; in 2013, it held the record for being the highest-grossing solo tour. Two years later, Waters decided to document this successful production of The Wall through a new theatrical documentary called Roger Waters' The Wall, which was accompanied by the release of a soundtrack of the same name in November 2015. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: Is This The Life We Really Want? (Explicit)

1. When We Were Young

2. Déjà Vu

3. The Last Refugee

4. Picture That

5. Broken Bones

6. Is This The Life We Really Want?

7. Bird In A Gale

8. The Most Beautiful Girl

9. Smell The Roses

10. Wait For Her

11. Oceans Apart

12. Part Of Me Died


Track List: Smell The Roses (Single)

1. Smell The Roses


Track List: Roger Waters The Wall

Disc 1

1. In The Flesh? (Live)

2. The Thin Ice (Live)

3. Another Brick In The Wall, Pt. 1 (Live)

4. The Happiest Days Of Our Lives (Live)

5. Another Brick In The Wall, Pt. 2 (Live)

6. The Ballad Of Jean Charles De Menezes (Live)

7. Mother (Live)

8. Goodbye Blue Sky (Live)

9. Empty Spaces (Live)

10. What Shall We Do Now? (Live)

11. Young Lust (Live)

12. One Of My Turns (Live)

13. Don't Leave Me Now (Live)

14. Another Brick In The Wall, Pt. 3 (Live)

15. Last Few Bricks (Live)

16. Goodbye Cruel World (Live)

Disc 2

1. Hey You (Live)

2. Is There Anybody Out There? (Live)

3. Nobody Home (Live)

4. Vera (Live)

5. Bring The Boys Back Home (Live)

6. Comfortably Numb (Live)

7. The Show Must Go On (Live)

8. In The Flesh (Live)

9. Run Like Hell (Live)

10. Waiting For The Worms (Live)

11. Stop (Live)

12. The Trial (Live)

13. Outside The Wall (Live)


Track List: Confluencia

7. Goodbye Blue Sky


Track List: Ca Ira


Track List: To Kill The Child / Leaving Beirut

1. To Kill The Child

2. Leaving Beirut


Track List: Flickering Flame: The Solo Years, Volume 1

1. Knockin On Heavens Door

2. Too Much Rope

5. Three Wishes

6. 5.06 Am (Every Strangers Eyes)

7. Who Needs Information

8. Each Small Candle

10. Towers Of Faith

11. Radio Waves


Track List: In The Flesh: Live

Disc 1

1. In The Flesh (Live)

2. The Happiest Days Of Our Lives (Live)

3. Another Brick In The Wall, Pt. 2 (Live)

4. Mother (Live)

5. Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert (Live)

6. Southhampton Dock (Live)

7. Pigs On The Wing, Pt. 1 (Live)

8. Dogs (Live)

9. Welcome To The Machine (Live)

10. Wish You Were Here (Live)

11. Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Pts. 1-8 (Live)

12. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun (Live)

Disc 2

1. Breathe (In The Air) (Live)

2. Time (Live)

3. Money (Live)

4. The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking Part 11 (AKA 5:06 AM - Every Stranger's Eyes) (Live)

5. Perfect Sense (Parts 1 And 2) (Live)

6. The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range (Live)

7. It's A Miracle (Live)

8. Amused To Death (Live)

9. Brain Damage (Live)

10. Eclipse (Live)

11. Comfortably Numb (Live)

12. Each Small Candle (Live)


Track List: Amused To Death

1. The Ballad Of Bill Hubbard

2. What God Wants, Part I

3. Perfect Sense, Part I (Original Version)

4. Perfect Sense, Part II

5. The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range

6. Late Home Tonight, Part I

7. Late Home Tonight, Part II

8. Too Much Rope

9. What God Wants, Part II

10. What God Wants, Part III

11. Watching TV

12. Three Wishes

13. It's A Miracle

14. Amused To Death


Track List: Radio K.A.O.S.

1. Radio Waves

2. Who Needs Information

3. Me Or Him

4. The Powers That Be

5. Sunset Strip

6. Home

7. Four Minutes

8. The Tide Is Turning


Track List: The Pros And Cons Of Hitchhiking

1. 4.30 AM (Apparently They Were Travelling Abroad)

2. 4.33 AM (Running Shoes)

3. 4.37 AM (Arabs With Knives And West German Skies)

5. 4:41 AM (Sexual Revolution)

6. 4.47 AM (The Remains Of Our Love)

7. 4.50 AM (Go Fishing)

9. 4.58 AM (Dunroamin, Duncarin, Dunlivin)

11. 5:06 AM (Every Strangers Eyes)

12. 5.11 AM (The Moment Of Clarity)


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Love your work. Hope to meet you hear or there.
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Moldable world
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Mr. Waters, thank you for making my 46 years,"up to this point", ?!. Let me put it this way," your music helped me through hell only to come out to a beatifull,
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I luv u
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Roger waters in philadelphia . Got my tickets. August 8th. Cannot freak'n wait��
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�� can you please follow me so I can get you
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I love you aaaaaa������
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vidinhaflavi o . f v
pink floyd lives!!!!
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It's simply not as good without David Gilmour.
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the final cut
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How is it that albums I thought I would never forget, turn up missing ? Not just for me but everyone, when was the last time you had a banter about the Pros and Cons of hitchhiking ? Roger Waters is the master of think. Think about it.
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Can't remember the album name.had to do with the Falkland Islands, I can remember the cassette jacket illustration , the title leaves me with no clue. Loved the content; made my co-workers bat s**t crazy, that and listening to Bach. John that is. I think 1969 is calling again, See Ya
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Very Talented man that help revolutioniz e d the music industry, I saw him twice live , A genius!!
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I heard a man say once Pink Floyd music is all drug music. I feel so so sad that that man cannot hear and feel the beautiful stories and emotion this group of talented musicians have given us Pink Floyd is the Very best Band ever. Always will be. Phyillis 54 years old Single Mother of 5. Nana now teaching 2 yr old granddaughte r who singing. She says Pink Floyd Nana
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I refuse to believe the comments that Roger Waters hates Jews. After all, Jews are so adorably lovable. Can't be true.
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Comments run the gamut here. I think there's a built-in bias to hate Momentary and Division Bell. I worked for 16 weeks with a guy (18) who had NEVER listened to ANY.
I exposed him to all of Floyd from Meddle thru Division. His favorite was Momentary, which I find interesting, but not my favorite (Animals for me). What I do think it shows is that we filter things through the sentimentali t y of our times. We like what we liked when we were young. Gilmour's first solo: best of all PF solo imho
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Spent 12 hrs in freezing cold to get tix for division bell, in philly, back in the day. Kept in mind concert was in the summer, and it would be nice out. Best concert ever! I could have died after, and been a happy man.
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Undoubtedly one of the best DVD's I have ever purchased. This concert is fantastic and is filmed perfectly. Also has Doyle Brimhall III on lead guitar. Brimhall is one of the few people Stevie Ray Vaugann used to have come over to house to jam (in case you're wondering if he's any good). Plays a rt-handed guitar left-handed which means...He's playing it upside down in regards to the orientation of the strings. Also has Snowy White on guitar who is an old PF pal. This DVD is a MUST SEE !.
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The best - 76 today and listened to P.F. for 45 years. Was lucky enough to see R.W. at the Hollywood Bowl in 2012 - fantastic. This music will survive the crunch in the black hole where we all will end up one day.
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Sad to read thru some of the posts left. We have to realize that regardless of sid, Roger or David performing any the songs.Floyd is a band of its own unique kind. We should be grateful to have such brilliant musicians who are key components of all the pieces of what we love about the band. And to be able to be part of one of the most amazing bands that has been a staple in my life is awesome. I personally can't wait to take my son to see Waters in stl for the US and THEM Tour. Some of the bes
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Can't wait to share the experience of Roger waters live with my son. Grew up as Floyd's popularity grew, and always one of my favorite artists and bands. So many of the songs have a personal connection with me. Wish you were here is always a favorite as is dark side of the moon and division bell. A true iconic songwriter and band.
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Grew up on Pink Floyd ~
One of my late father's most favorite bands EVER.
I loved their music growing up, my daughter's grew up listening to them... My grandbabies will be exposed to this great music as well!!!!
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The master of story telling.
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LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Pink Floyd. One of the band's I never got to see live. Maybe ill see Roger Water's next year. He will be here Aug. 2nd 2017
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This version of Us and Them is close enough to the Pink Floyd version to remind you of how great the original version was and how great a band Pink Floyd was.
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Their music is going to be my memorial service, my send off to where ever.
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David Guilmore & Roger Waters the tops allways !
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One of my favorite bands of all time . God Bless..Sempe r fi
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I saw Snowy White, with the original Seven Dwarves on bongos! Awesome!
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David gilmore but both great
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the band isn't s**t without Mr. Waters that f**king nut!!!
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Must agree that this guy is a legend. Just sad that his politics on Israel is so compulsive and obsessive. I visited Israel and you cannot imagine how much Pink Floyd are held in such reverence there.
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Without a doubt a living legend. Thank you Mr. Waters for all you have given us.
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David Gilmour guitar technique in singing changed everything
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All due respect to Roger Waters but I vote David Gilmour
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This guy is amazing, thank you for the music,
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Thank you Roger.
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I was born to late in life.....i am very glad that people that even had the concept of a bandeven equal to Pink Floyd exist....Tha n k you for the music that changed more than a generation. There are None greater.
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I love Pink Floyd, especially the ones that I listen to everyday.
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Any color.
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Actually Roger did write Dark side but it was Alan Parsons who engineered it and is credited with making it the hit it turned out to be
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Roger wrote dark side which tuned the band we know today as Pink Floyd
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O. M. G. The. Best. Band. Ever. !
Was. Lucky. Enough. To. Grow. Up. Hearing it !
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Reading through the comments: Since Roger left the band, it was not Gilmore, but his woman who wrote the songs. Davy just took credit for them. He is a great axe man and his vocals are beautiful and haunting, but his acidic personality and backstabbing collusion with Wright and Mason. I was there since 1968. Glad I was there for the 2005 Live 8 and before that in 1990 in Germany at the Wall. The negative comment about Roger and the Jews certainly the writer has no real concept reality.
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Dark Side of the Moon Rocks... :)
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Dark Side of the Moon is the only music to be played at my memorial.
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