"Great Gig in the Sky" by Richard Wright and Clare Torry

Piano AR guidance for “The Great Gig in the Sky”

“I started off … ‘Baby, baby’ … sort of skat, sort of singing. … And they said, no, we don’t want any words. And that really stumped me. … I have to pretend to be an instrument.” —Clare Torry

Abbey Road Studios engineer Alan Parsons claimed to have heard EMI staff songwriter and session singer Clare Torry do a version of “Light My Fire” by The Doors on a cover album. Clare Torry disagreed insisting, “I don’t sound anything like Jim Morrison! I never sang ‘Light My Fire.’” What is known is that Parsons brought Torry in to sing on “The Great Gig in the Sky” during the recording sessions for “Dark Side of the Moon.”

Torry’s improvisational wordless vocals thoroughly impressed the band, but their understated response left her with the impression that her performance wouldn’t be used. She found out when she read the credit at the local record store and purchased a copy of Pink Floyd’s new album.

She described the singing performance as “Exhausting, I think it was.”

“I was interested to later learn that when the Floyd went touring, The Blackberries (Venetta Fields, Sherlie Matthews, Clydie King) did a third each. That’s the ideal way to do it.”

Years later, Clare Torry was given co-songwriting credit for the song.