Breathe (Pink Floyd song)
|Song by Pink Floyd from the album The Dark Side of the Moon|
|Published||World Copyrights Ltd|
|Released||1 March 1973|
|Recorded||June 1972 – January 1973|
|Genre||Progressive rock, psychedelic rock|
|Writer(s)||David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Richard Wright|
Authorship and composition
The authorship and composition of this song is credited to David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Roger Waters for the music, and Waters for the lyrics. Dark Side, admitted the latter, "is a little adolescent and naïve in its preoccupations, but I'm not belittling it. It's like a rather wonderful, naïve painting. 'Breathe in the air / Don't be afraid to care' – that's the opening couplet. Well, yeah, I can cop that, but it's kind of simplistic stuff."
The song is slow-paced and rich in texture, and features Gilmour playing the lush electric guitar with a Uni-Vibe and lap steel guitar with a volume pedal and several overdubs. On the original album, it is a separate track from "Speak to Me", the sound collage that opens the first side. Since this track segues into "Breathe" via a sustained backwards piano chord, the two are conjoined on most CD versions of the album. A one-minute reprise features at the end of the song "Time", without the slide guitar and using Farfisa organ and Wurlitzer electric piano in place of Hammond organ and Rhodes piano.
Along with the other Pink Floyd tracks, "Time" and "The Great Gig in the Sky", "Breathe" is seen as Gilmour "carving out a more distinctive style" with the introduction of blues-based chords and solos. "Breathe" has also been seen to "embrace ecology".
Alternative and live versions
- The Pulse CD and DVD features a live version of the song with a run time of 2:33.
- The song was played at the Live 8 concert and features on the DVD. For that performance, "Breathe" and "Breathe (Reprise)" were combined to form one song. Although Pink Floyd themselves had never done this before, the London Philharmonic Orchestra had previously covered the song in this manner on their 1995 album Us and Them: Symphonic Pink Floyd.
- The solo Roger Waters DVD and CD, In the Flesh – Live, features a version of the song sung by Doyle Bramhall and Jon Carin.
- Waters originally recorded a song called "Breathe" for Music from The Body, a soundtrack album which he recorded with Ron Geesin. Although the two are largely different in lyrics, chords and subject matter, this version can be seen as an early version of the song. Although the song is still available through a CD release of this soundtrack album, it often appears on Pink Floyd bootlegs, most notably on A Tree Full of Secrets.
- Live versions with Richard Wright appear on the Gilmour solo Remember That Night DVD and Live in Gdańsk CD. The Live in Gdańsk version is titled "Breathe (In the Air)" rather than just "Breathe".
- David Gilmour – septuple-tracked electric guitars, double-tracked pedal steel guitar, lead and backing vocals
- Roger Waters – bass
- Richard Wright – Hammond organ, Fender Rhodes electric piano
- Nick Mason – drums
- An orchestrated version, arranged by Jaz Coleman, appears on the 1995 London Philharmonic Orchestra album Us and Them: Symphonic Pink Floyd.
- Sea of Green covered "Breathe" and "Breathe (Reprise)" on their album Time to Fly in 2001.
- "Breathe" is covered on 2002 Pink Floyd tribute album An All Star Lineup Performing the Songs of Pink Floyd featuring McAuley Schenker Group vocalist Robin McAuley and Steely Dan/Doobie Brothers guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter.
- Flaming Lips included a version of "Breathe" in their act at the Glastonbury Festival in 2003 and performed a live version for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in 2010. Flaming Lips also covered the song with Stardeath and White Dwarfs on the band's 2009 album The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs with Henry Rollins and Peaches Doing The Dark Side of the Moon.
- A version of "Breathe" by The Shins is included on the 2007 compilation album The Saturday Sessions: The Dermot O'Leary Show.
- Capital Cities covered the song and incorporated a sample of Tupac Shakur's rap from Scarface's "Smile," which features a similar lyric to the Pink Floyd song.
- Mabbett, Andy (1995). The Complete Guide to the Music of Pink Floyd. London: Omnibus. ISBN 9780711943018.
- Gwyther, Matthew (7 March 1993). "The dark side of success". Observer magazine: 34.
- Chapman, Richard (2003). Guitar: Music, History, Players (1st pbk. ed.). New York: DK Pub. ISBN 9780789497000.
- Ruhlmann, William. "Speak to Me/Breathe". Allmusic.com. Rovi. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- Gulla, Bob (2008). Guitar Gods: The 25 Players Who Made Rock History. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. p. 93. ISBN 9780313358067.
- Schinder, Scott; Schwartz, Andy (2008). Icons of rock : an encyclopedia of the legends who changed music forever. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. p. 447. ISBN 9780313338472.
- Guthrie, James. "James Guthrie: Audio: Building A Compilation Album". Pink Floyd. Archived from the original on 2 June 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- London Philharmonic Orchestra (10 October 1995). "Us and Them: Symphonic Pink Floyd by London Philharmonic Orchestra; Alibris UK". Alibris.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-06-02.
- Heyes, Paul (8 July 2003). "Saturday Review - Glastonbury Festival 2003". eFestivals.com. Retrieved 2010-06-02.
- Breihan, Tom (19 April 2010). "Video: The Flaming Lips Do Pink Floyd's "Breathe" on "Jimmy Fallon"". Pitchfork.com. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2010-06-02.
- O'Brien, Jon (9 July 2007). "The Saturday Sessions: The Dermot O'Leary Show'". Allmusic.com. Rovi. Retrieved 2010-06-02.
- Tilles, Jay (May 7, 2013). "Capital Cities Explains How They United Pink Floyd & Tupac For 'Breathe'". radio.com. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
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