Richard William Wright (28 July 1943 – 15 September 2008) was an English pianist, keyboardist and songwriter, best known for his career with Pink Floyd. Wright's richly textured keyboard layers were a vital ingredient and a distinctive characteristic of Pink Floyd's sound. Wright frequently sang background and occasionally lead vocals on stage and in the studio with Pink Floyd (most notably onthe songs "Time", "Echoes", "Wearing the Inside Out", "Astronomy Domine" and "Matilda Mother").
Though not as prolific a songwriter as his bandmates Roger Waters and David Gilmour, he wrote significant parts of the music for classic albums such as Meddle, The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, as well as for Pink Floyd's final studio album The Division Bell.
Wright taught himselfto play guitar at age 12, as well as play trumpet and piano, and took private lessons in musical theory and composition at the Eric Gilder School of Music. Uncertain about his future, he enrolled at Regent Street Polytechnic in 1962. There he met fellow band members Roger Waters and Nick Mason, was a founding member of The Pink Floyd Sound (as they were then called) in 1965, and alsoparticipated in its previous incarnations, Sigma 6 and The (Screaming) Abdabs. Although Mason and Waters were competent students, Wright found architecture of little interest and after only a year of study moved to the London College of Music.
In the early days of Pink Floyd, Wright was a prominent musical force in the group (although not as much as Syd Barrett, the band’s chief songwriter andfront man at the time) and he wrote and sang several songs of his own during 1967–1968. While not credited as a singer on The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, he sang lead on Barrett-penned songs like "Astronomy Domine" and "Matilda Mother", as well as notable harmonies on "The Scarecrow" and "Chapter 24". Examples of his early compositions include "Remember a Day", "See-Saw", "Paint Box" and "It WouldBe So Nice". As the sound and the goals of the band evolved, Wright became less interested in songwriting and focused primarily on contributing his distinctive style to extended instrumental compositions such as "Cirrus Minor", "Interstellar Overdrive", "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun", "Careful with That Axe, Eugene", "One of These Days", "Dogs" and to musical themes for film scores(More, Zabriskie Point and Obscured by Clouds). He also made essential contributions to Pink Floyd's long, epic compositions such as "Atom Heart Mother", "Echoes" (on which he harmonized with Gilmour for the lead vocals) and "Shine On You Crazy Diamond". His most commercially popular compositions are "The Great Gig in the Sky" and "Us and Them" from 1973's The Dark Side of the Moon. He alsocontributed significantly to other mid-period Floyd classics like "Breathe" and "Time", singing lead vocals on alternate verses of the latter with David Gilmour.
Wright recorded his first solo project, Wet Dream, and released it in September 1978 with minimal commercial success. Battling both personal problems and an increasingly rocky relationship with Roger Waters, he was forced to resign from PinkFloyd during The Wall sessions by Waters, who threatened to pull the plug on the album's tapes if Wright did not leave the band. However, he was retained as a salaried session musician during the subsequent live concerts to promote that album in 1980 and 1981. Ironically, Wright became the only member of Pink Floyd to profit from those hugely spectacular shows, since the net financial loss had tobe borne by the three remaining "full-time" members. He was the only member of the band not to attend the 1982 premiere of the film version of The Wall. In 1983, Pink Floyd released the only album on which Wright does not appear with The Final Cut.
During 1984, Wright formed a new musical duo with Dave Harris (from the band Fashion) called Zee. They signed a record deal with EMI Records and...
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