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Pink Floyd — The Great Gig In The Sky
Album: Dark Side Of The Moon
Avg rating:
9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 3291









Released: 1973
Length: 4:31
Plays (last 30 days): 4
(wordless vocal improvised by Clare Torry)

(respect)
Comments (492)add comment
The first concert I ever went to was Pink Floyd in their Dark Side of The Moon tour at the Dane County Coliseum In Madison Wis. I was 14.  It was Quite an experience.
 MLavender wrote:
I used to hate the "wailing lady" on this song, and then someone told me they thought it was the best part. A light clicked for me. It is the best part. 
 
That's Merry Clayton. Superb voice
I used to hate the "wailing lady" on this song, and then someone told me they thought it was the best part. A light clicked for me. It is the best part. 
My go-to song for Covid, Ukraine, Jan 6, shootings and the twilight of American Democracy.
 Piranga wrote:

#1 vocal performance of all time.



<Merry Clayton has entered the chat>
The transition from Billie Holiday to this was both jarring and perfect. Well done
Wasn't that part originally called Orgasmic Lady, and later dropped?
 bdwhitepm wrote:

I'm still freaked out by the "If you hear this whisper you are dying.." at the end of the slower quieter section.  It's in the back ground very faint



I've heard this track maybe a thousand times over the last 50 ish years, and I've never noticed that. And just as I read your comment, there it was! All hail the FLAC stream.
However, I too am freaked out as I'm waiting for a letter from the hospital ...
I was only 11 or 12 when this came out, and though "Money" was played on the radio -- and I'd surprised my parents by blurting out, "-- Don't give me that do-goody-good BULLSHIT!" I didn't gain a full appreciation of this song or album in its entirety until I was 17, Spring of '79, smoking a big fat White Owl of a joint in my newly purchased 1970 Cutlass 'S' Coupe with my buddy Mike and a cooler full of beer, down at the turnaround of a place we called Dinosaur Valley, when we let the whole 8-track slide on by, twice, at max volume, of course, without saying a word, just spell-bound, in SONIC AWE...


The Great Gig In The Sky is the best song in the world, ever

Copy that!
In a way, the beginning of this song, sounds like something from Supertramp's Crime of the Century  
 ecojot wrote:

voice in the beginning is the security guard at the studio



sounds like Rowan Atkinson 
Using the, "If I was stranded on a desert island,"  (with solar panels and a turntable, of course) cliche, this would be one of the ten albums I would love to have with me.  
My stoner friends and I played both sides of this album EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, when it was released, usually early in the morning, when we were starting to think about heading to bed in our dorm rooms at the U of A.  
Worst grades I ever got in university, BUT the BEST music experiences I've had in my lifetime.
I saw a Pink Floyd tribute band perform in Winnipeg. They played an incredibly lengthy set, covering the majority of both The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall. The members of the band were really quite extraordinary imitators of Pink Floyd, both in their vocals and instrumentation. Their covers were so like the original recordings that the bulk of the performance hasn't stayed in my memory apart from the recollection that it was an excellent tribute to an excellent band. 

But what I do remember - as I'm sure everyone else does who was in attendance - was one of the backing vocalists taking centre stage to perform "The Great Gig in the Sky." Being no singer, I don't know how someone composes themselves to step up and tap into their own ability and soar well above an already lofty bar. At the end of the performance she received an incredible round of applause; both she and the other members of the band seemed to break out of character for a moment in the shared acknowledgement that something special had just happened. 
Feel like I should get up and flip the LP.  Vinyl at it's best.
-John
Beyond brilliance, it transcends everything!
There was a lot of music on this album that was simply beautiful, regardless of lyrics. 
awesome song .... ever .....in my heart
 GreenKittenLines wrote:


My first ever *original* CD purchase!  :)


Already had the album - purchased the CD and used it to find a right sound system - still a great album even though the hearing 'aint what it used to be!!
If you want to hear an almost perfect imitation of Pink Floyd, go and see Brit Floyd. Very impressive. 
 flipchurn wrote:

My first ever CD purchase!



My first ever *original* CD purchase!  :)
uh oh

tread lightly

the masterpiece

I was 15 years old when I stumbled on this album on a flee market. I knew the "new" Pink Floyd (already owned Division Bell) but not this album.
I happened to be camping with some friends at the time. In the night I put on my headphones and started to listen from the beginning to the very end. I was mesmerized, blown away, in another world. I think this album became part of my being, or at least an expression of it. 
I also was reading Dune at the time. Funny to see that the trailer for this movie has Eclipse as it soundtrack :-)

For me this is my no. 1 album ever. Brain Damage and Eclipse are the favorites but The Great Gig comes very close, out of this world. 
My groggy morning has just been immeasurably improved.
 sadhugeorge wrote:

Clare was a neighbor they went and got when they needed someone to just sing that part. She won a Grammy for it. I believe the only Best Female Vocalist for a song with no words.




And completely improvised!!!
Second side of Dark Side of the Moon; definitely one of my all time favourites! This gets a 10 from me. Thanks RP!
Listened to Dub side of the Moon this weekend.  It's a nice take on the classic.  Then I put this on right after for a compare and contrast.
Genuflecting Clare every time.
 MassivRuss wrote:

And not one cent in royalties. Just a one-time singing fee.
 
I think she sued in the 90s and got some royalties that were long over due
I'm still freaked out by the "If you hear this whisper you are dying.." at the end of the slower quieter section.  It's in the back ground very faint
 sadhugeorge wrote:
Clare was a neighbor they went and got when they needed someone to just sing that part. She won a Grammy for it. I believe the only Best Female Vocalist for a song with no words.
 
And not one cent in royalties. Just a one-time singing fee.
Clare was a neighbor they went and got when they needed someone to just sing that part. She won a Grammy for it. I believe the only Best Female Vocalist for a song with no words.
voice in the beginning is the security guard at the studio
Wish there were video of this recording session. How incredible it must have been to see this.
Finally....salute to RP...this is one of my favourite song and magical voice of Clare Torry.
Clare Torry and her beautiful, artful voice turned 73 November 2020. She performed for and with numerous artists during her career. It is said that for "The Great Gig in the Sky," album engineer Allen Parson encouraged her to "pretend that she herself was an instrument."
  
Nothing against Toni Tenille, but it was actually Clare Torry singing.

Clare Torry, vocals: Great Gig in the Sky in 2020 | Pink floyd images, Pink  floyd poster, Pink floyd art
 Triquel67 wrote:

Wait. Tony Tennille, as in... 'the Captain and Tennille'? Are you serious? The soul projecting deep from the diaphragm no holds barred power vocals are from.... the lady that sang 'Muskrat Love'? And I've been hearing this PF song since 1978, and JUST NOW find this out in 2020?

I'm going to go lie down now. The lack of sleep at work is screwing with my sense of reality and something about 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon is nagging in the back of my mind. 
 
The female singer's name is Clare Torry.
Love the Alan Parsons engineering on this album...
 TRC wrote:
I gave it a 10 because I LOVED the screaming.Thanks Tony Tenelle.
 
Wait. Tony Tennille, as in... 'the Captain and Tennille'? Are you serious? The soul projecting deep from the diaphragm no holds barred power vocals are from.... the lady that sang 'Muskrat Love'? And I've been hearing this PF song since 1978, and JUST NOW find this out in 2020?

I'm going to go lie down now. The lack of sleep at work is screwing with my sense of reality and something about 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon is nagging in the back of my mind. 
If you haven't seen the documentary on the making of this album that's currently playing on Amazon Prime, do it. You won't be sorry.
I gave it a 10 because I LOVED the screaming.Thanks Tony Tenelle.
I loved this when DSOTM came out, and had just seen them in concert at Kent State University. This song, as well as the others on the album, have aged well.

Quality never goes outa style.
9 -> 10 on this fine afternoon.  This is absolutely beautiful.
Es war eine so schöne Zeit... 1973- 74. nichts will ich missen aus der Zeit!
Oh yes!
good
AaaaaAaaaaaAaaaaaa!!!
 (Banned) wrote:
I love Pink Floyd!  But I hate Roger Waters.  
 

Hate!?

No one today just "dislikes" something or other, no...nowadays its everywhere pure and simple HATRED!

I could puke when I read comments like these...

 
Roger Waters continues to shine in meaningful splendour!
I love Pink Floyd!  But I hate Roger Waters.  
 boxofrain wrote:
Thanks for playing Time and The Great Gig in The Sky in order as they should be played and thus heard.....

 
they were always played together on the radio
back in the day
the French call an orgasm "the little death" 
I always think of that when I hear this
 thewiseking wrote:
Cease this incessant warbling!

 
Incessant warbling, WiseKing said, and also to the Merry Clayton, who did similar for Gimme Shelter. 
Then WiseKing was demoted to SomewhatSmartDuke. 
... and now step thru the door, into Oz.
Time to flip the record over!
For another 10!! 
Damn...
{#Hearteyes}

superplusgood
Cease this incessant warbling!
 boxofrain wrote:
Thanks for playing Time and The Great Gig in The Sky in order as they should be played and thus heard.....

Yes! Can't do that often enough. Only down side is it's so late/early that I can't turn it up to 11, lest the neighbours complain.


lol

westslope wrote:

The tricky part is after you raise your hind leg is setting it down again without stepping in it.

 


 ScottFromWyoming wrote:
I just came here to double-check that my rating was low enough. I guess so but will reevaluate on a semiannual basis.



 
The tricky part is after you raise your hind leg is setting it down again without stepping in it.
I just came here to double-check that my rating was low enough. I guess so but will reevaluate on a semiannual basis.


Thanks for playing Time and The Great Gig in The Sky in order as they should be played and thus heard.....
 Moonflower31 wrote:
That song would be NOTHING without her whales, her pipes, her soul....
 
 Boy_Wonder wrote:
Must admit I've never heard the version with whales... sounds a bit New Age for me, think I'll still to the original which seems just fine.
 
{#Lol}
"Moby Dick seeks thee not. It is thou, thou, that madly seekest him!"
 GeorgeMWoods wrote:
What's wrong with that woman?

 
Here's the deal, George:

springof63 wrote:

"The Great Gig In The Sky is the best song in the world, ever. End of. Contained within it is every human emotion any of us have, or ever will, feel.No need for words. No language. No translation. Pure emotion.

Its got it all. You may not like it, but it is entire, complete.To say faultless, however would be to contradict its human quality. After all none of us are.

I've often thought that the English language is seriously lacking in expression for feelings and emotions.We simply do not have the words.We have to say "it's like this" or "it's like that" to try to convey these things, rather than directly say what it is.The Great Gig In The Sky goes straight round the problem and in doing so transcends language and nationhood.No need for description of the emotion being conveyed. Turn it up, Close your eyes, You can feel that."

———-

Clare Torry (and Richard Wright) was sublime, profound, authentic, transcendent on this. It was one of those things that couldn't be done again exactly, or faked or manufactured - a one-off and she did it in the first or second take if I recall correctly, and on short notice with little or no rehearsal which makes it even more astounding.

It was a channeling of a fleeting, ethereal spiritual muse that by stroke of luck got captured on tape. We are all very fortunate for that.
What's wrong with that woman?
 planet_lizard wrote:

Four 10s in a row. Come on Bill make it 5!

Portishead — Glory Box

Henry Mancini & His Orchestra - The Pink Panther Theme

Pink Floyd — Time

Pink Floyd — The Great Gig In The Sky



 
And 4 "P"s in a row - nice alliteration theme Bill

Four 10s in a row. Come on Bill make it 5!

Portishead — Glory Box

Henry Mancini & His Orchestra - The Pink Panther Theme

Pink Floyd — Time

Pink Floyd — The Great Gig In The Sky


 torino390 wrote:
Saw the Australian Pink Floyd earlier this year, and when this track approached, I cringed a little bit. Not easy to pull off. But huge credit to the three girls, they smashed it. Note perfect. And I'm really critical of tribute bands. If you get the chance to go see these guys, I thoroughly recommend it. 

 
My sentiments exactly... they totally nailed it on this song and they're well worth seeing.
Saw the Australian Pink Floyd earlier this year, and when this track approached, I cringed a little bit. Not easy to pull off. But huge credit to the three girls, they smashed it. Note perfect. And I'm really critical of tribute bands. If you get the chance to go see these guys, I thoroughly recommend it. 
 Kaw wrote:

I gave it a low rating for the screaming... {#Fight} Sorry,

 
"Screaming"?  {#Eh}
That would be side 2 of Meddle.  

Boy_Wonder wrote:


Must admit I've never heard the version with whales... sounds a bit New Age for me, think I'll still to the original which seems just fine

 


 Kaw wrote:

I gave it a low rating for the screaming... {#Fight} Sorry,

 
I still do not like the bells in the beginning of Time, but this is the scream of a child who was born to uncertain world, the scream of painful human life. Gives me goosebumps.
 Piranga wrote:
#1 vocal performance of all time.

 
I gave it a low rating for the screaming... {#Fight} Sorry,
Shouldn't everyone get to rate one song an eleven? One song, lifetime total.

How could it not be this one.
#1 vocal performance of all time.
 Andy_B wrote:

Funny, I thought the same when I just heard it again.  I can't think of anything better to exit my funeral with,...those attending and me.

 
Almost every song on this album gives me the chills and goosebumps. Go figure.
Once in awhile it would be really awesome to hear DSotM cover-to-cover on RP. Bill, Rebecca, can you make that happen?

And yeah, this song (Time and on) are just amazing.

Best. Rock Album. Ever. Period!
 jsd52756 wrote:
On a standard grade system this song is amazing.  On a seriously good system this song will get into your soul and flow through your veins.
I told my wife and daughter to play it at my funeral.  And crank the piss outa it.

 
Funny, I thought the same when I just heard it again.  I can't think of anything better to exit my funeral with,...those attending and me.
How many whales does she have?  They must be expensive to feed.  {#Bounce}

Love the song so much I gave it an 11!  Or would if I could.

Boy_Wonder wrote:


Must admit I've never heard the version with whales... sounds a bit New Age for me, think I'll still to the original which seems just fine

 


 Moonflower31 wrote:
That song would be NOTHING without her whales, her pipes, her soul....

 

Must admit I've never heard the version with whales... sounds a bit New Age for me, think I'll still to the original which seems just fine
On a standard grade system this song is amazing.  On a seriously good system this song will get into your soul and flow through your veins.
I told my wife and daughter to play it at my funeral.  And crank the piss outa it.
 springof63 wrote:
The Great Gig In The Sky is the best song in the world, ever. End of.
Contained within it is every human emotion any of us have, or ever will, feel.
No need for words. No language. No translation. Pure emotion.

Its got it all. You may not like it, but it is entire, complete.
To say faultless, however would be to contradict its human quality. After all none of us are.

I've often thought that the English language is seriously lacking in expression for feelings and emotions.
We simply do not have the words.
We have to say "it's like this" or "it's like that" to try to convey these things, rather than directly say what it is.
The Great Gig In The Sky goes straight round the problem and in doing so transcends language and nationhood.
No need for description of the emotion being conveyed. Turn it up, Close your eyes, You can feel that.

 
Exactly.
 BazH wrote:
Great but I don't want to hear it on here, why are you playing all well know stuff together, Waterboys, Hotel California, now this, Im going back to spotify.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     {#Nyah}.PLEASE LOL DON'T LET THE DOOR  HIT YOU IN THE ASS ON THE WAY OUT ENJOY SPOTIFY  CLOWN 


 Moonflower31 wrote:
That song would be NOTHING without her whales, her pipes, her soul....

 
Check out the Immersion version of this, without Clare and with some overdubbed voices from the Apollo mission. The song's not nothing, but it's so significantly different it's a whole different (lesser) experience.

What drugs are you on?   They must have twisted your mind into something like a pretzel made from LSD.

But at least you admit it is a classic.
 


tutakea wrote:
may be a classic... but in the first degree it´s overblown, pretentious and kitschy beyond belief.
prog at it´s worst!

 


Ultimate ace music 10 out of 10 'nuff said
The Great Gig In The Sky is the best song in the world, ever. End of.
Contained within it is every human emotion any of us have, or ever will, feel.
No need for words. No language. No translation. Pure emotion.

Its got it all. You may not like it, but it is entire, complete.
To say faultless, however would be to contradict its human quality. After all none of us are.

I've often thought that the English language is seriously lacking in expression for feelings and emotions.
We simply do not have the words.
We have to say "it's like this" or "it's like that" to try to convey these things, rather than directly say what it is.
The Great Gig In The Sky goes straight round the problem and in doing so transcends language and nationhood.
No need for description of the emotion being conveyed. Turn it up, Close your eyes, You can feel that.
Can't ya?

And its my choice for my 'funeral song', for those very reasons.
Thats my tu'pence worth anyway.
Cheers.

PS
Glad Clare Torry finally got the credit and the cash she deserved.
Justice postponed. But justice nevertheless.
Shame 'they' had to make her beg for it.

 tutakea wrote:
may be a classic... but in the first degree it´s overblown, pretentious and kitschy beyond belief.
prog at it´s worst!

 
It"s strange for me to read this. For me this piece is something totally exceptional. Even 40 years after, I have never heard again somebody singing on a such creative way.
 Moonflower31 wrote:
That song would be NOTHING without her whales, her pipes, her soul....
 
I agree — Clare Torry powers up this song with wailing emotion, and she was the perfect choice to really empower this song that laments the existential absurdity of our brief time here...  love this...
 aspicer wrote:
Always grateful that Bill plays this after Time - as it should always be! {#Music}

 
Indeed!
Wow. still blows me away after almost 40 years...
 tutakea wrote:
may be a classic... but in the first degree it´s overblown, pretentious and kitschy beyond belief.
prog at it´s worst!
 
Wrong.
may be a classic... but in the first degree it´s overblown, pretentious and kitschy beyond belief.
prog at it´s worst!
 aspicer wrote:
Always grateful that Bill plays this after Time - as it should always be! {#Music}

 
It is only proper. :)
What is consider to be a real treat is this song on a highend 5.1 system listening to dvd audio converted to flac 24bit 96 kHz  6ch it makes the hairs on you arms stand up it's total amazing high quality sound because of this I listen to Pink Floyd every day.
Always grateful that Bill plays this after Time - as it should always be! {#Music}
{#Bananapiano}{#Bananapiano}{#Bananapiano} G O D L I K E as a minimum
 oldfart48 wrote:
{#Sunny}           jhorton wrote:
Clarie Torey. Two takes. No lyrics, just told her to sing. She got the Sunday rate of about $ 65.




 
THANK THE GREAT SPRIT SHE WON HER SUIT AGAINST THE LABEL AND GOT CREDIT ( WRITING) AS WELL AS PAID, THE ENDING VOCAL SHE IMPROVISED MADE THE TUNE, FANTASTIC VOICE,  PHRASING  , & SOUL , NONE BETTER.. MAGIC ON MAGIC

 
No need to shout.
{#Sunny}           jhorton wrote:
Clarie Torey. Two takes. No lyrics, just told her to sing. She got the Sunday rate of about $ 65.




 
THANK THE GREAT SPRIT SHE WON HER SUIT AGAINST THE LABEL AND GOT CREDIT ( WRITING) AS WELL AS PAID, THE ENDING VOCAL SHE IMPROVISED MADE THE TUNE, FANTASTIC VOICE,  PHRASING  , & SOUL , NONE BETTER.. MAGIC ON MAGIC
Posted: Jun 11, 2013 - 15:01 < Reply > vaos wrote: I'll be brave and admit that I hate this album. In fact, I hate all of Pink Floyd. Go ahead, throw bricks / prisms / eggs at me. I can't say I hate his album, but at a certain point in my adolescence, and forever after, I decided the wailing woman at the end of the song was absurd. I have not been able to enjoy it since.

Id throw something, but would it make a dent?......love the wailing woman absurd comment....wonder if 'money' was the only song off this you didnt think absurd?
Clarie Torey. Two takes. No lyrics, just told her to sing. She got the Sunday rate of about $ 65.



Do NOT sing the end part like Jerry Lewis, ever.
 
Btw, Berlin 04.09 for The Wall show..and 3 years ago in Washington DC..extatic!!
Bill, I'm trying to work here....love it....keep on!
You know, when I hate something... I keep it to myself.... 
That song would be NOTHING without her whales, her pipes, her soul....
 Lazarus wrote:
big stud Romeo Tuma wrote: 

I be the holy ghost of big stud Romeo Tuma...

in this song, the agony of existential existence is translated in the wail, with no need of words...  the message is universal...  profound poem without a single word...  time flies when we're having fun...  love it...
 

 
Romeo / Former Member / Lazarus, REALLY?  Glad she got paid, but REALLY?
big stud Romeo Tuma wrote: 

I be the holy ghost of big stud Romeo Tuma...

in this song, the agony of existential existence is translated in the wail, with no need of words...  the message is universal...  profound poem without a single word...  time flies when we're having fun...  love it...

 
Clare Torry was paid sixty quid for a couple of hours of work on the female vocals on this. Started off a little shaky with "Oh babies" and "Ooh Yeahs", and then got into the part.

Sixty quid for one of the most defining improvisational vocal pieces in the history of rock? Yeah...that's a pretty good deal for PF.

She sued a few years ago for more, and they settled pretty quickly, from what I understand. I'm sure it was a nice paycheck for a seminal piece of music, albeit a bit late.
 vaos wrote:
I'll be brave and admit that I hate this album. In fact, I hate all of Pink Floyd.

Go ahead, throw bricks / prisms / eggs at me.

 
I can't say I hate his album, but at a certain point in my adolescence, and forever after, I decided the wailing woman at the end of the song was absurd. I have not been able to enjoy it since.

This song is brilliant.


 vaos wrote:
I'll be brave and admit that I hate this album. In fact, I hate all of Pink Floyd.

Go ahead, throw bricks / prisms / eggs at me.

 
Well, gee wiz.
When this music pours into my ears, it is as though many thousands of hyper-stimulated "conscious" brain cells send out tendrils of contact to many thousands of "unconscious" neurons, waking them up to join in the sublime joy! It is expansive and beautiful.
I am sorry it isn't like that for you. I hope there is some music out there that lifts you up beyond yourself, as this does for me. {#Good-vibes}
I'm glad you wrote this.  I have always liked British bands, alternative bands, intelligent bands - Pink Floyd is all of these and more, but for some reason, I could just never embrace them the way I did Bowie, or the Stones in the mid to late '60's, or Led Zep.  I still listen to them today out of respect, but they just never spoke to me personally, don't know why... 

  vaos wrote:
I'll be brave and admit that I hate this album. In fact, I hate all of Pink Floyd.

Go ahead, throw bricks / prisms / eggs at me.

 


 pcicatar wrote:
There's nothing more soulful than screaming because you can't otherwise reach the note...  {#Stupid}
 
That's cold...
 vaos wrote:
I'll be brave and admit that I hate this album. In fact, I hate all of Pink Floyd.

Go ahead, throw bricks / prisms / eggs at me.

 
All we can really do is feel sorry for you.
There's nothing more soulful than screaming because you can't otherwise reach the note...  {#Stupid}
"I am not frightened of dying!"

Thanks Bill!