WCSX Classic Cuts
Pink Floyd: “Us and Them”
The Hook: It took three years to reach The Dark Side of the Moon.
Album: The Dark Side of the Moon
Writers: Richard Wright and Roger Waters
Stats: “Us and Them” was released as the second single from The Dark Side of the Moon in the U.S. and “bubbled under” the Billboard Hot 100 at number-101 for three weeks in March 1974, according to Wikipedia.
The Background: The song began as a piano instrumental titled “The Violent Sequence,” written by Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright, for Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1969 movie Zabrieski Point. It was indeed written for a violent sequence, a student demonstration that turns into a riot. According to guitarist David Gilmour, the band thought it was fantastic for the scene, but Antonioni didn’t and it wasn’t used. Three years later, while working on The Dark Side of the Moon, Roger Waters added lyrics and it became “Us and Them.”
Pink Floyd singer-guitarist David Gilmour tells the story behind “Us and Them.” OC:…and them. :28
“‘Us and Them’ was originally a piece that Rick [Wright] wrote and we recorded for Antonioni for a movie, Zabrieski Point. This particular sequence in the film we wanted to put ‘Us and Them,’ — which was just then a piano piece, basically – there’s lots of slow motion beating up with nightsticks going on and we thought that music worked fantastically. Antonioni disgreed and didn’t use it. So it sat around in the vaults another three years and Roger [Waters] wrote some words for it and it became ‘Us and Them.’”