Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour recounts the “difficult” and “painful” beginnings of the studio sessions for the band’s 1975 album ‘Wish You Were Here’ in a new interview promoting the upcoming expanded two-disc and box set reissues of that classic record.

When asked if the band felt confident at the start of the recording sessions for ‘Wish You Were Here,’ given the incredible success of its predecessor, ‘The Dark Side of the Moon,’ Gilmour responds with a hearty laugh, “No, very much not like that! We were clueless for a long time, faffing about blindly trying to find a way forward.”

Gilmour goes on to say that despite recording in what he termed “a sh—-y little hole,” things got better: “That started quite painfully. It was difficult and we didn’t know what we were doing. But by the time we added songs like ‘Have a Cigar,’ we were firing on all cylinders.”

He also reveals details of an argument that came up between himself and bassist Roger Waters during the creation of the album. Apparently, in addition to ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond,’ which became the album’s centerpiece, the band had worked up early versions of ‘Dogs’ and ‘Sheep,’ which would eventually end up on their next album, 1977′s ‘Animals.’

As Gilmour remembers, “Roger wanted to drop the one that became ‘Dogs’ and the one that was called ‘Sheep.’ We had some arguing about that for a while. He was right, I was wrong, that’s not the first time that happened.”

He also explains how the famous album art for ‘Wish You Were Here’ came to be created by Storm Thorgerson. “(He) came in, as he would on every album, and would talk to us about what the album was about and what we were trying to get to. The theme of the album was absence, so you have a person swimming with an absence of water, a suit with an absence of a person.”

Finally, Gilmour indulges the interviewer by playing the album’s opening guitar parts for a while, and goes on to discuss the various sound effects used to make the album connect even better with listeners. It’s a great interview, sorry if we didn’t get it up in time for your lunch break!

Watch David Gilmour Discuss the Creation of Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’

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