Wish You Were Here is the ninth studio album by the English progressive rock group Pink Floyd, released in September 1975. Inspired by material the group composed while performing across Europe, Wish You Were Here was recorded in numerous sessions at London's Abbey Road Studios. Some of the songs critique the music business, others express alienation, and "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" is a tribute to Syd Barrett, whose mental breakdown had forced him to leave the group seven years earlier. It was lead writer Roger Waters' idea to split "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" into two parts and use it to bookend the album around three new compositions, introducing a new concept as the group had done with their previous album, The Dark Side of the Moon.
As with The Dark Side of the Moon, the band used studio effects and synthesizers, and brought in guest singers to supply vocals on some tracks of the album. These singers were Roy Harper, who provided the lead vocals on "Have a Cigar", and The Blackberries, who added backing vocals to "Shine On You Crazy Diamond". The album became an instant commercial success and record company EMI was unable to print enough copies to satisfy demand. Although it initially received mixed reviews, the album has since been acclaimed by critics and appears on Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Band members Richard Wright and David Gilmour have each cited Wish You Were Here as their favourite Pink Floyd album, and the album is widely regarded as the group's magnum opus.
Pink Floyd were an English rock band who achieved worldwide success with their psychedelic and progressive rock music. Their work is marked by the use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows. Pink Floyd are one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful rock music groups of all time. It is estimated that they have sold over 200 million albums worldwide, including 74.5 million certified units in the United States.
The band originally consisted of university students Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Richard Wright and Syd Barrett. Founded in 1965, they first became popular playing in London's underground music scene in the late 1960s. Under Barrett's leadership they released two charting singles, "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play", and a successful début album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967). Guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour joined Pink Floyd several months prior to Barrett's departure from the group due to deteriorating mental health in 1968. Following the loss of their principal songwriter, Pink Floyd bassist and vocalist Roger Waters became the band's lyricist and conceptual leader, with Gilmour assuming lead guitar and sharing lead vocals. With this lineup Pink Floyd achieved worldwide critical and commercial success with The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall.
Wright left the group in 1979, and Waters in 1985, but Gilmour and Mason (joined by Wright) continued to record and tour. Waters resorted to legal means to try to keep them from performing as Pink Floyd, but the dispute was resolved with an out-of-court settlement which allowed Gilmour and Mason to continue, and which also released Waters from his contractual obligations to the band. Two further albums, A Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell followed. Despite almost two decades of acrimony, the band reunited in 2005 to perform at the charity concert Live 8.
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