Roger Waters’ fingerprints were all over the band’s smash recordings, and his influence was deeply ingrained in the group’s reputation and image. Gilmour’s goal was to replace Waters’ lead vocals on the two tracks from “The Dark Side of the Moon” that he performed lead vocals on and bring the songs into the band’s new era. It wasn’t as simple as it seemed, however, and the frontman would later admit to his concerns.
The two songs that Roger had previously provided the vocals for were “Eclipse” and “Brain Damage.” David Gilmour discussed his thoughts regarding the aforementioned songs in a 1995 interview with Guitar World magazine. When asked when the band last played “Dark Side” in its entirety, guitarist David Gilmour said that it was in 1975. Even though Gilmour and his bandmates would perform all the other songs from the album, owing to Waters’ departure, “Eclipse” and “Brain Damage” were omitted from the set list.
To make a record with fresh live takes and performances, the band just made the decision to play the whole album live. Gilmour clarified that they did not have the chance to create such an archive during Waters’ tenure with the group. Therefore, it was the fundamental justification for Pink Floyd’s decision to play the whole album twenty years later.
David Gilmour stated:
”We hadn’t played it since 1975. We were kind of sorry we never recorded it live or filmed it. It was a great show back then. So we did discuss it with Roger [Waters], as we were getting more and more grumpy with each other. We said we should put together ‘Dark Side’ just so we had it on film for posterity.”
The frontman continued:
”As I said, on our last tour, we were already playing most of the album, so we just had to pick up the instrumental package, ‘Any Colour You Like,’ then ‘Brain Damage’ and ‘Eclipse.’ They are the two songs in which Roger sang the lead part on the original record, which is one of the reasons we avoided them before.”
When questioned about singing “Eclipse” and “Brain Damage,” the artist said the experience was “nerve-wracking” since he had to replace Roger Waters, but it ended out being fantastic. Gilmour said that the Detroit crowd was excited and moved during Pink Floyd’s debut performance of these two songs.
Gilmour voiced his sentiments:
”It was a little nerve-wracking doing Roger’s vocal parts the first time. But it went down well. Detroit was a real high, emotional moment.”
Although it was unsettling for David Gilmour to play Roger Waters’ sections for the first time, he overcame his fears and put on a fantastic performance for his audience. It is indisputable that the guitarist is a cult figure who cannot be divorced from the band’s reputation, despite Waters’ controversial utterances and several legal measures initiated by his legal team against Pink Floyd.