Roger Waters Biography

George Roger Waters, 9 September 1943, Great Bookham, Surrey, England. Waters career as co-founder of Pink Floyd enabled him to be part of one of the most successful rock bands of all time. His astonishing peaks during a career of 17 years were Dark Side Of The Moon (1973) and The Wall (1979). Waters’ lyrics have attempted to exorcise the personal anguish caused by the death of his father during World War II (a topic covered in first-person detail on the track ‘When The Tigers Broke Free’), while also addressing the pressures of rock stardom and the resulting alienation of the artist from his audience. The introspective nature of these lyrics often led to accusations of indulgence, which in part led to the break-up of the Pink Floyd in 1983.

Waters’ first official solo album (he had previously recorded a soundtrack album in 1970 with avant garde composer Ron Geesin) was the crudely packaged The Pros & Cons Of Hitch Hiking, which marked a departure from the bitter lyrics he had recently produced with the Pink Floyd. Eric Clapton guested on the album. Waters wrote and performed the soundtrack to the Raymond Briggs animated anti-nuclear war film, When The Wind Blows in 1986, prior to the release of Radio K.A.O.S. . This average collection featured the excellent single ‘The Tide Is Turning’.

In July 1990, as part of a project in aid of the Leonard Cheshire Memorial Fund For Disaster Relief, Waters masterminded a massive performance of The Wall by the remains of the Berlin Wall. This ambitious event was televised around the world and featured a host of star guests including performances by Van Morrison, Cyndi Lauper, Sinéad O’Connor and Joni Mitchell, plus actors Albert Finney and Tim Curry. Refusing to stray from his familiar themes, Waters dedicated 1992’s Amused To Death to the memory of a late World War II soldier. During this time Waters was in bitter litigation with other members of his former band as he unsuccessfully tried to stop them using the Pink Floyd name. Time, if nothing else, had still to find a way of healing the rift between Waters and the remaining members of the Pink Floyd. Although no new recordings were in sight Waters did tour the USA during the summer of 1999. Several of the performances were later compiled on In The Flesh.

After a long recording silence, in late 2004 Waters released the Internet only tracks ‘To Kill The Child’ and ‘Leaving Beirut’, both inspired by the American invasion of Iraq the previous year. He also announced that his ambitious opera about the French Revolution, Ça Ira, was nearing completion (excerpts from the opera had been premiered in October 2002 and May 2004). In July 2005, the classic Pink Floyd line-up of Waters, Gilmour, Wright and Mason performed together for the first time in more than 20 years at the London Live 8 concert.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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