Pink Floyd began as a rhythm and blues band in Great Britain in the mid 1960s. Their rise to stardom started in 1966 with a shift from rhythm and blues to improvised experimental music. Their first album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, was released in August of 1967. In the beginning of 1968 their main songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist, Syd Barrett, was replaced by David Gilmour. Their second album, A Saucerful of Secrets, was released in June of 1968. In 1970 Pink Floyd released another album, Atom Heart Mother, which featured the title song on an entire side of the album, complete with orchestra and choir. 1971 brought about the release and reviews of the Pink Floyd album Meddle. The song Echoes is on the Meddle album and it captured the band at its improvisational peak. In 1972 Pink Floyd began touring their new piece, Dark Side of the Moon, and they also released another soundtrack album, Obscured by Clouds.
In 1973 the Dark Side of the Moon album was released. It is a concept album about the stresses of life and today it is regarded as perhaps the defining recorded legacy of the 1970s. It is the second highest selling rock record in history, only behind Michael Jackson's Thriller. In early 1974 the band disappeared from the public view because they got very famous after the release of Dark Side of the Moon and it brought turmoil to the band as the band members were starting to question their reasons for being in the band. One year after their last performance in Britain, Pink Floyd returned to the concert stage in Britain with three new songs. Although the shows sold out immediately and were well received by the public, the press was less enthusiastic about the performances.