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Pink Floyd Confirm New Album: 10 Facts You Need to Know About ‘The Endless River’

MJ Kim, Getty Images

Pink Floyd has confirmed the release of its 15th studio album, ‘The Endless River,’ this coming October. The project, which finds David Gilmour and Nick Mason completing work on sessions with the late Rick Wright, will be co-produced by Phil Manzanera, Youth and Andy Jackson. Here are 10 things you need to know about what might just be the biggest and most surprising classic rock release of the year:


'Endless River' grew out of unreleased recordings from 20 years ago


Dubbed 'The Big Spliff,' these ambient, lyricless recordings were originally constructed by the core group of Gilmour, Mason and Wright during the same period that Pink Floyd was at work on their last album, 'The Division Bell,' in 1993-94. They have remained unheard ever since, until Gilmour and Mason returned to them late last year.


The album will include some of Rick Wright's final recordings


The initial leak on this surprise project, courtesy of Gilmour's wife Polly Samson, framed 'The Endless River' as Wright's "swansong" -- putting into perspective, once more, what the keyboardist meant to Pink Floyd. His 2008 death led many to believe that 1994's 'Division Bell' would be the group's final recording.


Secret sessions were, at first, mistaken for a Gilmour solo album


Durga McBroom-Hudson, a long-time backup singer with Pink Floyd, posted a photo to Instagram last year from sessions being led by Gilmour -- and at the time, the assumption was that the guitarist was at work on a follow up to his 2006 solo album 'On an Island.' Instead, McBroom-Hudson has since confirmed that they were adding vocals to the original 'Big Spliff' recordings.


This album's title harkens back to an earlier Pink Floyd moment


'The Endless River' echoes the penultimate lyric on 'High Hopes,' the last song on 'The Division Bell.' That song was written by Gilmour, with additional lyrical help by Samson -- who is also collaborating on the new album.


Though instrumental in its infancy, the project will have vocals


McBroom-Hudson and Jackson seperately confirm that sessions for 'The Endless River' have continued for about a year -- with Jackson now characterizing the finished project as "extrapolation of the 'Big Spliff.' It has also grown past its initial all-instrumental focus. McBroom-Hudson says Gilmour has “done a lead [vocal] on at least one of them.” Samson says she's also written lyrics.


Gilmour's 'Endless River' co-producers have deep Floyd connections


Manzanera co-wrote 'One Slip' for Pink Floyd's 'Momentary Lapse of Reason' album in 1987, co-produced Gilmour's 'On an Island' project and has toured with the guitarist several times. Youth, meanwhile, is part of the Orb, an ambient-house band that Gilmour worked with on 2010's 'Metallic Spheres.' Jackson has been a recording engineer for Pink Floyd on every album since 1979's 'The Wall.'


It's unclear whether there will be a tour behind 'The Endless River'


McBoom-Hudson, who has toured with Gilmour and with Pink Floyd off and on since the 1980s, didn't rule out the idea of a dates in support of 'The Endless River,' telling fans simply to 'stay tuned.' Pink Floyd last hit the concert trail in 1994, when these previously unfinished recordings were still new.


Pink Floyd already previewed some of these ambient sounds


Back then, Pink Floyd presented a complex, 22-minute soundscape before each show, perhaps giving fans a preview of what's to come on 'The Endless River.' Attached below, it closely resembles the profile of recordings made during the 'Big Spliff' sessions.


20 years is a long time between between albums, but not the longest


Pink Floyd's two decades between 'The Division Bell' and 'The Endless River,' though certainly the lengthiest expanse in their history, has been dwarfed by other classic rockers. There were, for instance, 24 years between the Who's 'It's Hard' and 'Endless Wire.' Then, there's the Eagles. They waited 28 between 'The Long Run' and 'Long Road Out of Eden.'


Roger Waters is not returning to Pink Floyd


No, really. Stop asking!


Next: Exploring David Gilmour's Ambient Work With the Orb

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