You are on page 1of 6

Cooney 1 Katie Cooney Miss Olding ENG 200 3 March 2014 Pink Floyd Meets Glam Glam Rock,

otherwise known as glitter rock is a style of rock and pop music that developed in the UK in the early 70s. This style of music was performed by artists who wore elaborate costumes, makeup and rocked crazy hairstyles. The glam rock era greatly centered its music on three common themes of lyrics, such as sex, identity and drug exploration. There were many artists of the time that explored and wrote about these topics such as the Beatles, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Marc Bolan, and many more. For one group of artists in particular, glam rock was not just a genre of music, it was a way of life that would give their music a whole new perspective and meaning. For Pink Floyd, staring off as a glam rock group was not exactly what they had in mind. The band first consisted of Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Roger Waters and Richard Wright. The band first gained its popularity by playing in Londons underground music scene during the late 60s, which resulted in two charting singles and a successful debuting album. Pink Floyd was considered one of the UKs first psychedelic music groups when they first started their career in Londons underground music scene. Their work was often at first characterized as space rock or just as developing loud psychedelic sound, and performing long compositions that touched heavily on hard

Cooney 2 rock, blues, country folk, and electronic music. By the late 1960s the press had begun to label their music as progressive rock (lastfm.com). As glam rock became increasingly popular, Pink Floyd seemed to fit more and more into the category of exaggerated style and hard core drug and sexual vulgarity. It was even said that in one performance by Pink Floyd they used stretched out condoms as decoration to impress their audience. Glam arose along with postmodernism, and like that term, the number of strategies and styles employed by glam artists is staggering and leads to the perception that the style is rootless and lacks any authentic qualities(TTGM 1). As Pink Floyd performed, they used very exaggerated styles and ways in which they could receive their audiences attention, which was a major characteristic of the glam era. Throughout the years that Pink Floyd was popular, they released many chart topping singles and albums. Of these albums included The Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, Wish You Were Here, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, The Final Cut, and many more. These albums were filled with songs that reflected upon styles of the glam rock movement and touched on topics of sexual and drug exploration along with identity among the band members. One song in particular that was written by Pink Floyd is Time. In this song Pink Floyd is singing about self identity and his exploration of the time and how fast it is going in life. Pink Floyd talks about a home town, where they call home and one day they think there is time to kill and that they have it, then the next it is gone and they realize how fast life is moving along. I think that this song deals with the

Cooney 3 common theme of identity because it is about yourself and how you experience your life at the pace that it is going. Another popular song by Pink Floyd is Comfortably Numb. This song deals with topics of glam rock that touch mostly on self-identity as well as drugs. Pink Floyd expresses lyrics such as being comfortably numb and to me this expresses a sense of drug exploration and seeking out ones self in not having a certain type of feeling. There are many ways to interpret the song Comfortably Numb and I think it is important to understand that it touches upon exploration of oneself and identity as well as the exploration of drugs at the time and brining someone into the state of becoming Comfortably Numb. Pink Floyd was overall a very influential band of the glam rock period and showed many characteristics of a glam rock band. Throughout their music they touched upon topics of drug exploration, self identity and sex. They portrayed themselves through dress and through their image, especially while performing for their audience on stage. Pink Floyd was greatly related to glam rock in more ways than just their appearance. Their songs had depth that spoke about drugs and sexual exploration along with finding their own selves and identities. Their music and acoustics reflected also how their songs were interpreted by their audiences by ways in which Pink Floyd would focus their attention greatly on their instruments, and did not extensively play to their audience. To get a better understanding of Pink Floyd and their musical journey and explorations it is important to analyze their music and the meaning behind the lyrics

Cooney 4 and songs that Pink Floyd expresses. As previously stated, the song Time expresses Pink Floyds vision on how time is precious and how we are only given so much time in life. Pink Floyd expresses how time can slip by very easily and that many people do not realize how little time they have until it is gone. To me, this song exemplifies exploration of self and how it is important to understand how much time you have in life and to never take anything to granted because you never know how much time exactly you will have. Roger Waters, who wrote the song time, describes how he wrote it when he one day realized that he was no longer preparing for anything in life and that time was slowly slipping by him. He began to explore his life in different ways, and this exemplifies a major part of the glam rock movement and characteristic of what glam rock entails. The other song that I have listened to and interpreted by Pink Floyd is the song Comfortably Numb. Comfortably Numb starts off with a moody bass, Spartan drum beat, and wavering guitars (Auslander 19). To me, this song reflects on exploration of self in that the writer is unaware how he is feeling and how he has developed into this so called state of becoming comfortably numb. I also think that this song reflects upon drugs in a sense that in one line it is quoted just a little pin prick which to me symbolizes the exploration of drugs. Overall, T. Rex was a very influential band on the glam rock movement and during the era. They produced many unforgettable songs and entertained many. They exemplified glam rock and brought it to a whole new level in which they obtained a wide variety of audiences. Pink Floyd explored many themes of glam

Cooney 5 rock throughout their music styles and lyrical choices. To me, Pink Floyd is a glam rock band that will never be forgotten and will continue to spread its influence on many.

Cooney 6 Bibliography
Auslander, Philip. Performing glam rock: gender and theatricality in popular music. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press, 2006. Print.

"Pink Floyd Page." Pink Floyd Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Mar. 2014. <http://pinkfloyd.htmlplanet.com/default.h