Skip to main content

London Orion Orchestra: Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here Symphonic

The Floyd get the finished-symphony treatment.

Pink Floyd have form when it comes to orchestras. In 1995 there was Us And Them: Symphonic Pink Floyd, an instrumental album of Dark Side Of The Moon and The Wall material arranged by Killing Joke’s Jaz Coleman, produced by Youth and performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. And of course the Floyd’s majestic melancholia is ripe for symphonic overload.

Here, on the 40th anniversary (give or take a year) of the Floyd’s other 70s opus, Alice Cooper (his presence justified by the fact that he and the Floyd shared a producer in Bob Ezrin), prog kindred spirit Rick Wakeman and The London Orion Orchestra head down to Abbey Road, where Wish You Were Here was recorded, and give it plenty of pomp and bombast.

Cooper’s approximation of David Gilmour’s snarky vocal on Welcome To The Machine veers perilously close to (National) lampoon territory; the presence on the album of guitarist Dave Fowler from tribute band the Australian Pink Floyd further blurs the boundary between homage and pastiche. Still, one to surprise guests with at dinner parties.

Paul Lester is the editor of Record Collector. He began freelancing for Melody Maker in the late 80s, and was later made Features Editor. He was a member of the team that launched Uncut Magazine, where he became Deputy Editor. In 2006 he went freelance again and has written for The Guardian, The Times, the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, Classic Rock, Q and the Jewish Chronicle. He has also written books on Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Bjork, The Verve, Gang Of Four, Wire, Lady Gaga, Robbie Williams, the Spice Girls, and Pink.