Pink Floyd's 'The Endless River' to Feature Stephen Hawking - Rolling Stone
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Pink Floyd’s ‘The Endless River’ to Feature Stephen Hawking

The band reunites with their “Keep Talkin'” collaborator for ‘Endless River’ track “Talkin’ Hawkin'”

Pink Floyd and Stephen HawkingPink Floyd and Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking gives a lecture during the Starmus Festival on the Spanish Canary island of Tenerife on September 23th, 2014.

Desiree Martin/AFP/Getty

On November 10th, Pink Floyd will unveil The Endless River, their first album in two decades. Although the new LP is a mostly instrumental affair, this long-awaited Floyd album will feature one familiar “voice”: physicist Stephen Hawking’s artificial voice appears on The Endless River track “Talkin’ Hawkin’.” Pink Floyd previously recruited the scientist, who communicates using a speech-generating device, to serve as narrator on their The Division Bell single “Keep Talkin’,” but “Talkin’ Hawkin'” will not be a sequel to the 1994 track.

Following the death of Pink Floyd keyboardist Rick Wright in 2008, Gilmour revisited what he, Wright and drummer Nick Mason had recorded together in 1994. “We listened to over 20 hours of the three of us playing together and selected the music we wanted to work on for the new album,” Gilmour said in a statement. “Over the last year we’ve added new parts, re-recorded others and generally harnessed studio technology to make a 21st century Pink Floyd album. With Rick gone, and with him the chance of ever doing it again, it feels right that these revisited and reworked tracks should be made available as part of our repertoire.”

In The Endless River credits, we see the impact the Wright had on the LP: 12 of the 18 songs reportedly list Wright as either primary or co- songwriter; by comparison, Wright was only credited on five Division Bell tracks. Other contributors include 1994 Floyd musicians like bassist Guy Pratt, keyboardist Jon Carin and singer Durga McBroom. The electronic string quartet Escala also appears on the track “Louder Than Words.” However, Roger Waters wants to remind you that he is definitely not on this album.

While Pink Floyd’s first studio LP in 20 years is billed as a “four-sided instrumental album,” it’s been reported that one track titled “Louder Than Words” features lyrics by Gilmour’s wife and Division Bell co-writer Polly Samson. However, longtime Pink Floyd lyricist Anthony Moore, who penned the Momentary Lapse of Reason hits “Learning to Fly” and “On the Turning Away,” is listed as a co-writer for the Endless River cut “Calling,” which along with the Hawking revelation suggests there might be more vocals than previously advertised.

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