Thursday 23 June 2022, Pink Floyd are to release two physical versions of their first newly recorded music in over 25 years, ‘Hey Hey Rise Up’.

The single, which was initially released digitally in April in support of the people of Ukraine and was #1 in 27 countries, will be available on 7″ and CD single. Both formats will also feature a newly reworked version of ‘A Great Day For Freedom taken from the band’s 1994 album, The Division Bell. The single will be available on 15 July (excluding Japan – released on 3 August – and USA, Canada, Australia and Mexico – released on 21 October). 

The lead track sees David Gilmour and Nick Mason joined by long time Pink Floyd bass player Guy Pratt and Nitin Sawhney on keyboards and features vocals by Andriy Khlyvnyuk of Ukrainian band Boombox.

When the track was first recorded at the end of March, Andriy, who left his band’s US tour to return home and fight for his country, was in a hospital bed in Kyiv recovering from a shrapnel injury. Proceeds for the physical release and the ongoing digital proceeds will go to Ukraine humanitarian relief.

For this limited edition release, David Gilmour revisited The Division Bell track ‘A Great Day For Freedom’, he has reworked the song using the original tapes which feature Nick Mason on drums and Richard Wright on keyboards, along with backing vocals from Sam Brown, Claudia Fontaine and Durga McBroom. The track was composed by Gilmour with lyrics by himself and Polly Samson. Speaking about the song in 1994, Gilmour said, “There was a wonderful moment of optimism when the Berlin wall came down – the release of Eastern Europe from the non-democratic side of the socialist system. But what they have now doesn’t seem to be much better. Again, I’m fairly pessimistic about it all. I sort of wish and live in hope, but I tend to think that history moves at a much slower pace than we think it does. I feel that real change takes a long, long time.”

Talking about the inspiration for ‘Hey Hey Rise Up’ Gilmour commented, “Any war, but particularly a war that is started by a world superpower against an independent democratic nation, has got to raise enormous anger and frustration in one. As I said before, I have a small connection there; my daughter-in-law is from Ukraine. And the band Boombox are Ukrainian people that I already knew, not well, but from some time ago. It’s an enormously difficult, frustrating, and anger-making thing that one human being could have the power to go into another independent democratic nation and set about killing the population. It’s just obscene to an extent that is just beyond my belief.

The artwork for the track ‘The Sunflower Look’ features a painting of the national flower of Ukraine with a twist by the Cuban artist Yosan Leon. The cover is a direct reference to the woman who was seen around the world giving sunflower seeds to Russian soldiers and telling them to carry them in their pockets, so that when they die sunflowers will grow.

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ANDRIY KHLYVNYUK

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