One of These Days (instrumental)

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"One of These Days"
Italian vinyl single
Single by Pink Floyd
from the album Meddle
Released29 November 1971 (1971-11-29)[1]
RecordedJanuary–August 1971
StudioAIR, Abbey Road, & Morgan; London
Producer(s)Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd singles chronology
"The Nile Song"
"One of These Days"
"Free Four"

"One of These Days" is the opening track from Pink Floyd's 1971 album Meddle.[2][3] The composition is instrumental except for the spoken line from drummer Nick Mason, "One of these days, I'm going to cut you into little pieces." It features double-tracked bass guitars played by David Gilmour and Roger Waters,[3] with each bass hard panned into one channel of stereo, but one bass sound is quite muted and dull. According to Gilmour, this is because that particular instrument had old strings on it, and the roadie they had sent to get new strings for it wandered off to see his girlfriend instead.[4]


Fender 'Duo 1000' double-neck steel guitar (1962), purchased in Seattle in October 1970 by David Gilmour, and used on 'One of These Days'; displayed at the Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains exhibition

The predominant element of the piece is that of a bass guitar played through a delay (Binson Echorec) unit, set to produce repeats in quarter-note triplets. The result of this setting is: if the player plays simple quarter notes, the added echoes will produce a pattern of quarter note – eighth note, quarter note – eighth note. Pink Floyd would again use this technique on the bass line for "Sheep".

The piece is in B minor, occasionally alternating with an A major chord.

The distinctive keyboard accents on this track are composed of three components: A Hammond organ forms the 'fade in', followed by a "Stab" composed of a second Hammond organ with percussion stop, overdubbed with an acoustic piano fed through a Leslie speaker, as was also used on "Echoes". For live versions, the 'fade in' part was played on a Farfisa organ.[citation needed]

The threatening lyric, a rare vocal contribution by Nick Mason,[3] was recorded through a ring modulator and slowed down to create an eerie effect. It was aimed at Sir Jimmy Young, the then BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2 DJ who the band supposedly disliked because of his tendency to babble. During early 1970s concerts, they sometimes played a sound collage of clips from Young's radio show that was edited to sound completely nonsensical, thus figuratively "cutting him into little pieces".[5] The bootleg compilation A Treeful of Secrets contains a demo version of "One of These Days" in which the Jimmy Young collage loops in the background during the performance. However, the authenticity of this demo has not been confirmed.[6][failed verification]

Possibly the most interesting thing about "One of These Days" is that it actually stars myself as vocalist, for the first time on any of our records that actually got to the public. It's a rather startling performance involving the use of a high voice and slowed down tape.

According to John Peel, Waters has described "One of These Days" as a "poignant appraisal of the contemporary social situation".[8][better source needed] Gilmour has stated that he considers it the most collaborative piece ever produced by the group.[citation needed]

A film, French Windows, was made by Ian Emes,[3][9] set to the piece and featuring people and gibbons dancing against various backgrounds. After being seen on television by the band, it was back-projected by Pink Floyd during live performances[3] and Emes was commissioned to make further films for the band. It has since been released as an "extra" on the band's Pulse DVD.[3]

The tune also quotes Delia Derbyshire's realisation of Ron Grainer's Doctor Who theme music from the British science fiction television series Doctor Who.[10] This quotation is most clear in live performances, particularly in concerts on the Momentary Lapse of Reason and Division Bell tours.[citation needed]

Live performances[edit]

The song was a concert staple on the band's 1971–1973 and 1987–1994 tours.[3] The Live at Pompeii version was retitled as "One of These Days I'm Going to Cut You into Little Pieces", the full spoken threat.[3]

It was resurrected for the group's 1987–1989 A Momentary Lapse of Reason & Another Lapse tours and 1994's The Division Bell Tour, performed by David Gilmour on lap steel guitar, Tim Renwick on rhythm guitar, Guy Pratt on bass, Richard Wright and Jon Carin on keyboards, with Nick Mason and Gary Wallis on drums and percussion.[3] It was included on the Delicate Sound of Thunder video (1989), CD, LP, and cassette (1988) and Pulse album (1995) (cassette & LP only) & video & DVD (1995/2006 respectively).[3] It is absent from the iTunes version of the Pulse album. A live version was also included on the B-side of the "High Hopes/Keep Talking" double A-side single (1994).[3]

On 25 June 2016, David Gilmour and his solo band performed the song during their set at the Plac Wolności in Wrocław, Poland, the first time Gilmour had played it live in more than 20 years and the first time he’d ever made it part of a solo set list. Gilmour also performed the song during his concerts at the Amphitheatre of Pompeii on 7 and 8 July 2016. This performance was released as part of his Live at Pompeii live album. These concerts made One of These Days the only song played at Pink Floyd's 1971 performance and Gilmour's 2016 performance. Roger Waters plays the song in the first set of songs on his 2017 Us + Them Tour. The song also forms part of Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets show closing the main set. The performance again features Guy Pratt on bass. The song was played by Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets in 2018.

A live version was released in 2016 on The Early Years 1965–1972, Volume 5: 1971: Reverber/ation, a live recording from a BBC radio session on 30 September 1971.[11][12]


In a review for the Meddle album, Jean-Charles Costa of Rolling Stone described "One of These Days" as sticking to the usual Pink Floyd formula, but "each segment of the tune is so well done, and the whole thing coheres so perfectly that it comes across as a positive, high-energy opening."[13]


1989 promo video[edit]

A promo video was used to promote Delicate Sound of Thunder and got brief airing on MTV in 1989. It showed the band performing the track on stage at Nassau Coliseum and shots of the inflatable pig that flew over the audience during the song in the show. The end of the clip blacks out instead of segueing into "Time" as on the Delicate Sound of Thunder video.


  1. ^ Glenn Povey (2007). Echoes: The Complete History of Pink Floyd. Mind Head Publishing. p. 344. ISBN 978-0-9554624-0-5.
  2. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2004). The Great Rock Discography (7th ed.). Edinburgh: Canongate Books. p. 1177. ISBN 1-84195-551-5.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Mabbett, Andy (2010). Pink Floyd — The Music and the Mystery. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-1-84938-370-7.
  4. ^ A. DiPerna (February 1993). "Interview with David Gilmour". Guitar World. Archived from the original on 15 January 2011.
  5. ^ 'One of These Days' section Echoes FAQ, Ver. 4.0, The Pink Floyd Fan Club.
  6. ^ A Tree Full of Secrets CD#3 Track Listing Archived 2014-10-23 at the Wayback Machine, The Pink Floyd RoIO Trading Pages.
  7. ^ Kendall, Charlie (1984). "Shades of Pink – The Definitive Pink Floyd Profile". The Source Radio Show. Archived from the original on 2012-09-11. Retrieved 2011-07-26.
  8. ^ Meddler, The Pink Floyd RoIO Database.
  9. ^ This Could Happen To You: Ikon in the 1970s, exhibition programme, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, England, July 2010.
  10. ^ "Pink Floyd's 'One Of These Days' sample of Delia Derbyshire and BBC Radiophonic Workshop's 'Doctor Who'".[dubious ][unreliable source?]
  11. ^ "The Early Years 1965-1972 - Pink Floyd". AllMusic. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  12. ^ "Full Track Listing" (PDF). Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  13. ^ Costa, Jean-Charles (6 January 1972). "Meddle". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  14. ^ a b Nick Mason, Inside Out, first edition p. 155

External links[edit]