Pink Floyd

The Great Gig in the Sky

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The centerpiece track of Dark Side of the Moon and one of the most chilling pieces of music Pink Floyd ever produced, "The Great Gig in the Sky" is at its base a simple piano-based instrumental written by keyboardist Rick Wright. A somber piece with a funereal feel, its working title during the album's gestation was "the religious sequence" and early live versions incorporated tapes of sermons, but it wasn't until very late in the album's six-month recording sessions, as the album was finally being finished, that Roger Waters suggested a vocal part to enliven it. Claire Torry, an EMI staff songwriter and session vocalist suggested by engineer Alan Parsons, was brought in for a single Sunday session and improvised a melody line of wordless vocals that simultaneously evoke sexual ecstasy and the wailing of a banshee. The addition of a David Gilmour slide guitar part echoing Torry's vocals is a more subtle but equally effective final touch.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Dark Side of the Moon 1973 Capitol 4:44