Nick Mason Talks About How Pink Floyd’s New Album Evolved From ‘The Big Spliff’
Initial speculation surrounding Pink Floyd's 'The Endless River' suggested that it was based on a mix of early-'90s ambient tracks called 'The Big Spliff,' constructed by the band's longtime engineer Andy Jackson. Instead, as as Nick Mason tells Rock Cellar, Pink Floyd's final album went through a number of additional updates on its way to your ears.
He said that Jackson's work had been considered at one point as a possible second disc to be paired with 1994's 'The Division Bell,' which grew out of the same sessions. A looming world tour, however, kept Pink Floyd from following through. So, the leftover music sat in a vault until very recently, when David Gilmour returned to the tapes.
Eventually, Jackson was joined by co-producers Phil Manzanera and Youth as 'The Endless River' began to pick up steam. Along the way, Mason said additional music was added, along with lyrics on the closing track 'Louder Than Words,' and by the end, 'The Big Spliff' was rendered all but unrecognizable.
"I think that at this point, there’s not a big connection anymore," Mason said in the interview. "[The producers] took a huge bunch of stuff and meted out what should be kept. To me, 'The Big Spliff' was an early pass at this recording. Whatever is there now, the initial distillation was done from all those takes that were lurking around.”
Ultimately, Mason and Gilmour agree that this is the last new music that will emerge from Pink Floyd, since it represents their final interactions with Richard Wright.
“I think we’d be scraping the barrel, and we don’t want to do that," Mason explained. "I think that we’ve done the best with what we have and we should be happy about that. I think that to try to make something out of nothing would be a very dangerous procedure. Unless something else turns up that’s unexpected, this is probably a graceful way of bowing out of new material of any sort."
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