Any Colour You Like

Any Colour You Like

Infobox Single
Name = Any Colour You Like

Artist = Pink Floyd
from Album = The Dark Side of the Moon
A-side = Money
Released = June 23 1973
Format =
Recorded = June 1972 - January 1973 at Abbey Road Studios in London, England
Genre = Progressive rock
Length = 3:25
Label = Harvest, EMI (UK)
Harvest, Capitol (US)
Writer = Gilmour
Producer = Pink Floyd
Last single = "Free Four"
This single = "Money"
Next single = "Us and Them"/"Time"
Misc = "The Dark Side of the Moon"Tracks

  1. "Speak to Me" (1:08)
  2. "Breathe" (2:48)
  3. "On the Run" (3:31)
  4. "Time" / "Breathe (Reprise)" (7:04)
  5. "The Great Gig in the Sky" (4:47)
  6. "Money" (6:23)
  7. "Us and Them" (7:51)
  8. "Any Colour You Like" (3:25)
  9. "Brain Damage" (3:50)
  10. "Eclipse" (2:06)
  11. "Any Colour You Like" is the eighth track (or seventh, depending on the release date of the album) [The track number depends upon the edition of the album; earlier releases merge the two tracks "Speak to Me" and "Breathe", for instance.] from English progressive rock band Pink Floyd's 1973 album, "The Dark Side of the Moon". It is instrumental and was written by David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason.


    The piece itself features no lyrics, and consists of a synthesized tune which segues into a guitar solo (some scat vocals are added later on, these were more prominent in live versions but are still audible in the studio cut). It is approximately 3 minutes, 25 seconds in length. The song used advanced effects for the time both in the keyboard and the guitar. The VCS 3 synthesizer was fed through a long tape loop to create the rising and falling keyboard solo. David Gilmour used two guitars with the UniVibe guitar effect to create the harmonizing guitar solo for the rest of the song. "Any Colour You Like" is also known (and is even listed on the "Dark Side" guitar tablature bookCite web|url=|title=Echoes FAQ #1|accessdate=2006-12-23|year=1995|author=Schuetz, David and Denault, Matt|work=FAQ|format=htm] ) as "Breathe (Second Reprise)" because the song shares the same beat (albeit somewhat funkier and uptempo) as the album's song "Breathe."It has also nearly the same chord sequence just transposed a whole step lower from E minor to D minor.

    While the song is instrumental, it has been speculated that the song ties to The Dark Side of the Moon concept by concerning the lack of choice one has in the human society, while being alluded to thinking that he does. It is also speculated that the song is about the fear of making choices. The origin of the title is unclear. One possible origin of the title comes from an answer frequently given by a studio technician to questions put to him: "You can have it any colour you like", which was a reference to Henry Ford's apocryphal description of the Model T: "You can have it any color you like, as long as it's black."

    Roger Waters may have settled this question, in an interview with musicologist and author Phil Rose, for Rose's collection of analytical essays, "Which One's Pink?":

    "In Cambridge where I lived, people would come from London in a van - a truck - open the back and stand on the tailboard of the truck, and the truck's full of stuff that they're trying to sell. And they have a very quick and slick patter, and they're selling things like crockery, china, sets of knives and forks. All kinds of different things, and they sell it very cheap with a patter. They tell you what it is, and they say 'It's ten plates, lady, and it's this, that, and the other, and eight cups and saucers, and for the lot I'm asking NOT ten pounds, NOT five pounds, NOT three pounds . . . fifty bob to you!', and they get rid of this stuff like this. If they had sets of china, and they were all the same colour, they would say, 'You can 'ave 'em, ten bob to you, love. Any colour you like, they're all blue.' And that was just part of that patter. So, metaphorically, 'Any Colour You Like' is interesting, in that sense, because it denotes offering a choice where there is none. And it's also interesting that in the phrase, 'Any colour you like, they're all blue', I don't know why, but in my mind it's always 'they're all blue', which, if you think about it, relates very much to the light and dark, sun and moon, good and evil. You make your choice but it's always blue." ["Which One's Pink? An Analysis of the Concept Albums of Roger Waters & Pink Floyd" by Philip Anthony Rose. Collector's Guide Publishing, Inc. Ontario, Canada. ISBN: 1-896522-47-5]

    Live versions

    On earlier Pink Floyd bootlegged versions of the song, there was no keyboard solo, and the song served as a long jam piece called "Scat Section" or "Scat". Gilmour frequently sang along with his guitar solo and the band's female backing singers would sometimes come up on stage and sing as well.

    In 1975, it was often extended, sometimes up to nearly fifteen minutes. Gilmour and the backing singers often sung along with it.

    In 1994, it was considerably modified, to be more keyboard-heavy, though not extended, as in all earlier performances.

    In 2006, 2007 and 2008, Roger Waters performed it on his The Dark Side of the Moon Live tour.

    = Personnel =
    *David Gilmour - Guitar, scat vocals
    *Richard Wright - Organ and Synthesizer
    *Roger Waters - Bass
    *Nick Mason - Drums and Percussion


    *David Gilmour - Guitar, scat vocals
    *Richard Wright - Hammond Organ
    *Jon Carin - Synthesizer
    *Tim Renwick - Rhythm Guitar
    *Guy Pratt - Bass
    *Nick Mason - Drums
    *Gary Wallis - Percussion
    *Sam Brown - Backing vocals
    *Claudia Fontaine - Backing vocals
    *Durga McBroom - Backing vocals


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