The Song by Pink Floyd Roger Waters Could Not Sing, So He Employed A Vocalist

Perhaps Pink Floyd’s internal power dynamics have never been equal, but the band has always managed to produce collaborative and well-balanced works through the contributions of each member. The band’s innovative qualities helped them create the distinctive Pink Floyd sound, which critics and music fans of all tastes have greatly admired. Despite the fact that every member of the band fulfilled their obligations, the lead vocal duties were shared. Syd Barrett and Roger Waters shared vocal duties in the early years of the band. After Barrett’s departure, Waters was joined by David Gilmour in singing the unique Pink Floyd songs. Nonetheless, it would not be incorrect to say that the band has never had a lead singer in the traditional sense, as each member has contributed vocals at various times. Roger Waters had difficulty performing one song, so a guest vocalist joined the band to perform the lead vocals.

Which Pink Floyd song was difficult for Roger Waters to sing? In addition to his talent as a bassist, Roger Waters has always stood out for his natural singing ability. Despite limitations such as maintaining pitch, his vocal range has enabled him to perform in a variety of styles. His singing technique is interesting and largely self-taught, giving his voice a cool quality. Even the most talented artists will likely experience difficulties with their voice at some point in their careers. Roger Waters also encountered a similar issue during the recording of Pink Floyd’s ninth studio album, ‘Wish You Were Here,’ which resulted in an unfamiliar sound. Waters realized while recording the third track of the album, ‘Have a Cigar,’ that he was unable to sing as he desired because he had exerted himself too much while recording ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond.’ David Gilmour also declined to sing it, so they were forced to hire a guest vocalist.

Thus, English singer Roy Harper joined the band during the track’s recording sessions and provided the lead vocals without the assistance of any other Pink Floyd member. Harper explained in a 2020 interview with COS, when asked how he ended up singing the song, that they were working in the same studio and he heard them struggling with the vocals. The singer then offered to sing lead vocals. Roy Harper’s statements regarding his participation in Pink Floyd’s ‘Have a Cigar’:  “It’s been quite some time since I last heard the song. I should have listened to it again last night in order to refresh my memory. My album was being recorded in Studio 2 at Abbey Road. They had been in Studio 3 This song was giving them trouble, and I was in and out of the studio. All of us were friends. It was obvious they could not sing this song because both of their voices were ruined.

They discussed abandoning it, throwing it away, or returning another day. But they were hesitant to admit that they would have to abandon it. And I said it from the back of the room, and it came directly from my mind to my mouth; I don’t operate any other way… I said, ‘I’ll do it, for a price.’ And Roger asked, “How much is it?” And I replied, “A lifetime season ticket to the Lords.” Thus, along with ‘The Great Gig in the Sky’ and ‘Hey Hey Rise Up,’ ‘Have a Cigar’ was one of the three Pink Floyd songs in which a guest vocalist performed the lead.  You can hear the song down below.

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