Watch the Rare Reunions of Pink Floyd: Concerts from 2005, 2010 & 2011

How many reunions will it take before we’ve final­ly seen the end of Pink Floyd? I’m not com­plain­ing, mind you, but mar­veling at how durable an out­fit the band has been for their fifty-year, on again, off again his­to­ry. Yet aside from the occa­sion­al char­i­ty show, they’ve most­ly been off, hav­ing sup­pos­ed­ly called it quits after 1994’s Divi­sion Bell. As the A.V. Club reminds us, “Pink Floyd has not real­ly exist­ed since Pulp Fic­tion was in the­aters.” Now, after twen­ty years of dor­man­cy, they’re back with a new album, The End­less Riv­er—David Gilmour and Nick Mason’s rework­ing of Divi­sion Bell sessions—due out Novem­ber 10th (see a track­list and hear teasers here). “It’s a shame,” Gilmour tells Rolling Stone, “but this [album] is the end.”

Yeah, we’ve heard that before. This time, it’ll prob­a­bly stick. Key­boardist Richard Wright died in 2008 (the new album is a trib­ute to him), Gilmour and Roger Waters have had a most­ly icy rela­tion­ship, and drum­mer Nick Mason has chan­neled his pas­sion, and for­tune, into clas­sic cars. But it does seem like­ly that they’ll take the stage again, at least for a one-off per­for­mance, as they have a hand­ful of times through­out the years.

Today in trib­ute to their longevi­ty, or their refusal to fade away, we bring you a few of those reunion shows, begin­ning at the top with their Live 8 reunion con­cert in London’s Hyde Park in 2005, a ben­e­fit orga­nized by their old friend Bob Geld­of to coin­cide with the G8 sum­mit. This con­cert is the last time all four mem­bers would play on stage togeth­er, joined by a host of guest musi­cians, and they sound amaz­ing. Gilmour ruled out any fur­ther shows after this, but then two years lat­er, he joined Waters onstage at an event for the Hop­ing Foun­da­tion to ben­e­fit Pales­tin­ian chil­dren. See them play for an inti­mate crowd of just 200 in the video above.

While Roger Waters offi­cial­ly left the band in 1985 on acri­mo­nious terms, he has con­tin­ued to tour both his solo mate­r­i­al and his Floyd music, per­form­ing a solo ver­sion of the The Wall Live to huge audi­ences in North Amer­i­ca and Europe since 2010. At one of those shows, in 2011 at London’s O2 Are­na, Gilmour joined him onstage—atop the wall—for “Com­fort­ably Numb” (above), then returned with a man­dolin, and Nick Mason with a tam­bourine, for “Out­side the Wall” (below).

It seems cyn­i­cal to call the remain­ing mem­bers’ occa­sion­al appear­ances togeth­er oppor­tunis­tic since they gen­er­al­ly only occur at char­i­ty events. But giv­en how long it’s been since they’ve released any­thing new, we might well ask, as the title of their 2011 remas­ter project has it, “Why Pink Floyd?” Why new music, and why now? Since their spaced-out psy­che­del­ic debut, they’ve made increas­ing­ly thought­ful, fine­ly-craft­ed albums for very patient lis­ten­ers, veer­ing into rock opera, stretch­ing out into space opera, becom­ing more and more cin­e­mat­ic in scope. It’s those long, com­plex arrange­ments (like Wish You Were Here and 1977’s Ani­mals), tied togeth­er by Gilmour’s soar­ing gui­tar lines and Wright’s moody key­boards, that hold up best, I think, at least for devot­ed fans, and that’s exact­ly what we can expect from The End­less Riv­er. See Gilmour and Mason dis­cuss the new album, and hear some stun­ning audio sam­ples, at the band’s web­site.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Hear Lost Record­ing of Pink Floyd Play­ing with Jazz Vio­lin­ist Stéphane Grap­pel­li on “Wish You Were Here”

Pink Floyd Plays With Their Brand New Singer & Gui­tarist David Gilmour on French TV (1968)

Watch Doc­u­men­taries on the Mak­ing of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness.

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