Shine On You Crazy Diamond

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Shine On You Crazy Diamond is a 1975 nine-part song by the British band Pink Floyd . The music was written by Richard Wright , Roger Waters and David Gilmour , the lyrics are by Roger Waters.


While improvising, Gilmour found the sequence of notes that later became the intro of the song, and experimented with various effects. The band later described this moment as the starting signal for the composition of the album Wish You Were Here . The recordings were made from January to July 1975 at Abbey Road Studios in London . The song should take up one side of the record at the beginning of the recording . Eventually it was split as a suite into two parts, which form the beginning (parts 1–5, length: 13:30) and the end (parts 6–9, length: 12:22) of the album. Parts 1–5 are in 6/8 time, which is rather rare for rock music .

When the piece was mixed at Abbey Road Studios, former band member Syd Barrett , whose fate Waters had inspired the lyrics of the song , turned up unannounced . The band hadn't seen him in seven years and he looked so confused that he was not recognized at first. One was shocked at how much he had changed with his drug use .

The recording of the song (Part 1) caused some problems anyway. The band judged the first recording to be a failure, so a new recording was made after a few days. When this recording was halfway done, it was noticed that two tracks had been erroneously provided with an echo, which thus became worthless; the work had to start all over again.


Shine On You Crazy Diamond is a tribute to former band member Syd Barrett. Barrett, the actual founder of Pink Floyd, had to leave the band in 1968 due to mental disorders. Texts like “Remember when you were young? / You shone like the sun? / You shine like the sun)” followed by lines like “Now there's a look in your eyes / Like black holes in the Sky (Now there's a look in your eyes / Like black holes in the sky) ”treat the mental breakdown of the once so happy and creative young man. With this, the song fits into a number of works that deal with this topic more or less directly, so with a looser reference the entire album The Dark Side of the Moon and with a more specific reference the album The Wall .


Other versions

The version on the compilation A Collection of Great Dance Songs was cut together. Parts III, V, VI, VIII and IX have been removed and Parts IV and VII have been connected by the guitar solo from Part IV.

The version on the compilation Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd has also been changed accordingly. The guitar solo from Part III has been removed, Part VI has been shortened and Parts VIII and IX have been completely removed. Parts V and VI were connected by the same wind noise that was used at the end of Wish You Were Here on the album.

The piece was often played as an opening at concerts, including on the live albums Delicate Sound of Thunder and PULSE . Either only the first half or a combination of parts from both halves was listed.

David Gilmour played a completely acoustic version in 2002 with only acoustic guitar and saxophone.


  1. Interview from 1984 ( link no longer available )
  2. Syd Barrett (top right) with Pink Floyd in 1968 shortly before the separation
  3. Syd Barrett in the Abbey Road studio during the 1975 studio sessions
  4. a song concerning Barrett's plight

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