Mon. Jul 4th, 2022

English rock band yanks post-1987 songs and leader’s solo catalog from Russia and Belarus amid Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine

Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour announced that all of his solo music, as well as all of the progressive rock band’s pre-1987 catalog, will be pulled from streaming services in Russia and Belarus on Friday over the conflict in Ukraine.

“To stand with the world in strongly condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the works of Pink Floyd, from 1987 onwards, and all of David Gilmour’s solo recordings are being removed from all digital music providers in Russia and Belarus from today,” said a statement posted on the band’s Twitter account.

The US and most of its allies have denounced the Russian offensive, enacting widespread economic sanctions against Russia. Many international organizations and private businesses followed suit, banning Russian athletes, canceling cultural events and ceasing cooperation.

In addition to Western governments banning trade and contacts with Russia, a number of corporations have stopped doing business in the country as well, while major US-based social media networks moved to censor Russian media and demonetize all Russian users.

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Pink Floyd’s announcement echoes the move by veteran US musicians in January to pull their music from the platform Spotify, in solidarity with Neil Young’s ultimatum demanding the removal of podcaster Joe Rogan over coronavirus “misinformation.” 

Pink Floyd was founded in 1964, and Gilmour joined it three years later. He has been the band’s leader since the departure of Roger Waters in 1985, but does not own the rights to music recorded before that. 

Friday’s boycott therefore applies to the last three of the band’s albums, ‘Momentary Lapse of Reason’ (1987) and ‘The Division Bell’ (1994), as well as the 2014 compilation ‘The Endless River’. Meanwhile, the band’s earlier albums such as ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ and ‘The Wall’, will remain available.

Gilmour is a vocal UK Labour Party supporter and has donated to charities campaigning for animal rights, environmentalism, human rights, and ending homelessness and poverty. This is not his first statement about the conflict in Ukraine. On March 1 he tweeted that his daughter-in-law was Ukrainian and urged Russian soldiers to “Stop this before it is all destroyed,” adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin “must go.”

Moscow attacked its neighbor in late February, following a seven-year standoff over Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols had been designed to regularize the status of those regions within the Ukrainian state.

Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.