Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pink Floyd: Us And Them

Today’s bubbling under hit comes from one of the greatest albums of all time: Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.” “Us and Them” was not only the second single from the release, it was the longest cut on the album and the oldest song to be used in the recording.

“Us and Them” had its beginnings as a Richard Wright instrumental that was slated for release on the soundtrack for “Zabriskie Point” in 1969. The original demo featured Wright on Piano and Roger Waters on bass. Originally titled “The Violent Sequence,” the song was rejected by the film producer as it was unlike their heavier material. Roger Waters would later write the lyrics with David Gilmour singing with Wright singing harmonies.

The saxophone solos are by session musician Dick Parry who lent his talents to other Pink Floyd songs such as “Money” and “Shine on You Crazy Diamond.” Parry traveled with the band on the 1973, 1977, and 1994 world tours. The talking in the middle of the song is the band’s roadie – Roger the Hat.

I found my original copy of the single edit on this last week, but have no way at the present to convert the vinyl to digital – so I am indebted to the versions I can find on YouTube. The single never made it to the Hot 100 by peaking at #102. The flipside was “Time.”

I got my copy of this album as a high school graduation present back in 1973. It was the best gift I received. Since “Us and Them” runs from the previous cut “Money” and segues into “Any Colour You Like,” it is difficult to get a clean version of this song that doesn’t sound like it is chopped.

Excellent Live Version

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