Wish You Were Here 1975

Read more: settings and setups

A large part of Wish You Were Here was written and developed during the 1974-75 leg of the Dark Side of the Moon tour. Released in September 1975, Pink Floyd never toured the album until the 1977 Animals tour, when it was performed in its entirety.

David Gilmour would use much of the same gear he’d been using on both Dark side of the Moon and the following 1973-75 tour. However, compared to Dark Side, Wish You Were Here is a more blues and folk oriented album, much driven by David’s more mellow tones and extensive use of acoustic guitars.

Some of David’s guitar parts, including the iconic opening solo on Shine On You Crazy Diamond, would be recorded straight into the mixing console, using only input compression to drive the signal and no amp. This is a technique David would repeat on songs like Another Brick in the Wall (part 2) and Coming Back to Life.

See the Dark Side of the Moon guide for 1973-75 and the Animals guide for 1977 live performances.

Effects recording sessions

Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face (BC108)
Colorsound Power Boost
MXR Phase 90
Binson Echorec II

It is not documented whether David used his 1973-75 pedalboard for the sessions or simply stand alone units.

It’s uncertain how David created his overdrive sounds for the album. It’s most likely that he used a Colorsound Power Boost, which he did on the 1973-75 tour, but it could also be an overdriven amp or a bit of both depending on what tones he needed.

David Gilmour pictured playing the Black Strat in Abbey Road studio during the Wish You Were Here sessions. The black custom pickguard replaced the white in June 1975, which dates this image to around July for the last overdubs for the album. Hard to spot behind the sound walls are two Hiwatt DR103 heads (behind Gilmour) and what appears to be Leslie rotating speaker cabinets. It could also be WEM speaker cabinets.
David Gilmour and technician Phil Taylor pictured in Abbey Road Studio 1 during the Wish You Were Here Sessions. David is standing in front of a Fender Dual Showman, with the Binson Echorec on top (left) and a Hiwatt DR103 on top of a WEM speaker cabinet (right). Far right is a Leslie 147 rotating speaker cabinet.

Guitars and amps recording sessions

Fender Stratocaster The Black Strat
– 1969 black alder body with a white pickguard, 1963 rosewood neck and Fender 1971 pickups
Fender 1000 twin neck pedal steel
– Shine on You Crazy Diamond 6-9 and Wish You Were Here recording sessions
Martin D-35 acoustic guitar
Martin D12-28 acoustic 12-string guitar

Hiwatt DR103 All Purpose 100W heads
– with Mullard 4xEL34 power tubes and 4xECC83 pre-amp tubes
WEM Super Starfinder 200 cabinets
– with 4×12 Fane Crescendo speakers
Fender Dual Showman 100W head
Fender Dual Showman speaker cabinet
– with 2×15 JBL speakers
Leslie 147 rotating speaker cabinet

Acknowledgements and credits
Wish You Were Here (album 1975), “British Winter Tour 1974 (live recording UK November 1974), Echoes in the Gardens (live recording Boston USA June 1975), Guitarist Magazine (January 1995), Guitarist Magazine (Relics 1995), Guitar World Magazine (2006), In the Flesh by Povey/Russell, The Black Strat A History of David Gilmour’s black Fender Stratocaster by Phil Taylor. Thanks to Grace Hudecek for help with research.