A little-known performer whose voice is behind "The Great Gig in the Sky"

Perhaps this is the track that made the album work and resonate with listeners for decades after its release - so much so that its place in eternity is almost certain...

Who Sings in Pink Floyd's "The Great Gig in the Sky": All About the Song and Claire Torrey

All true fans Pink Floyd are more than familiar with the song "The Great Gig in the Sky" from their classic 1973 album "The Dark Side of the Moon," whose iconic prism-shaped cover is well known to people who don't even know the band (though how is that even possible?). The legendary record is filled with great numbers, and "Great Show in the Sky" is no exception. Perhaps this is the track that made the album work and resonate with listeners for decades after its release - so much so that its place in eternity is almost certain.

As it was with many great songs, "The Great Gig in the Sky" it took a little time and experimentation before it became the track so beloved today. If some sources are to be believed, the tune began as an organ instrumental piece with biblical verses on top. At some point in the creative process, however, the decision was made to turn it into a piano rock song with female vocals, a choice that was quite groundbreaking for Floyd.

Pink Floyd
Cover of the legendary Pink Floyd album

So, today. "The Great Gig in the Sky" is familiar to millions of music lovers around the world! Many people are delighted with this composition. But... only a few know about Claire Torreyto the woman whose voice is behind this great classic...

The recording process, or the merger of Pink Floyd and Claire Torrey in the studio

Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd

When the decision was made to decorate the number "The Great Gig in the Sky" with female vocals, almost everyone was excited and excited... But the question of where to find a singer who could do this task (after all, we are talking about kings of psychedelic rock with a particularly subtle vision) was still relevant. Fortunately, the album's sound engineer Alan Parsons happened to know one such performer who could do what the band wanted. And that savior turned out to be Claire Torreywho, at the time, was a little-known but extremely talented session vocalist.

Claire Torrey
Claire Torrey

Torrey was invited to record a track, and the band members advised her to think about dark things.such as death, while she improvised her vocals. In just two and a half takes (Torrey stopped in the middle of the third take because she felt she had already given everything she had), she created a powerful vocal that became the defining song.

Remarkably, Torrey was kept in the dark about the project and didn't even know her voice was on the album until she bought the record in a store and noticed her name in the credits. Many years later, reporters asked her Interviewin which she talked about recording the song in the studio with the band. According to her, her first attempt to sing over the track was a failure because she was saying the actual words, while she was told to sing longer notes. She recalls:

"Then I thought, 'Maybe I should just pretend to be an instrument. As a result, it worked, and Alan Parsons got a beautiful sound in my voice: echoing, but not too pronounced. I closed my eyes during the recording, and it was just all-encompassing... We got a beautiful vocal sound, and that's the kind of result that's always inspiring."

Claire's later life and career

Claire Torrey
Claire Torrey

Unfortunately, the brilliant vocals for one of rock's most legendary tunes weren't enough to propel Claire Torrey's career very far. The singer subsequently appeared on only a handful of recordings in the 1970s, including songs for Olivia Newton-John and Serge Gainsbourg. She even teamed up with the man who recommended her to Pink Floyd, Alan Parsons, for a track of his "Don't Hold Back" project! But it didn't bear much fruit. Torrey had more success in the 1980s, when her voice was heard on Tangerine Dream's "Yellowstone Park" and Culture Club's "The War Song," and she reunited with Pink Floyd's Roger Waters for his solo album "Radio K.A.O.S.".

Torrey in many ways remained in the shadows. This went on until friends convinced her to sue Pink Floyd and their record company EMI in 2004. The target of the lawsuit was songwriting credits and lost wages for "The Great Gig in the Sky," which was eventually settled out of court, but included her as a co-writer on future releases of "Dark Side of the Moon." Her new appearance in the spotlight was followed by the release of a compilation of her previous solo work titled "Heaven in the Sky" in 2006, so listeners could appreciate her great talent even when she wasn't singing on "The Great Show in the Sky."

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