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Performances Song History Lyrics

Brain Damage

Music/Lyrics: Waters

Vocals: Trey (lead), Mike, Page (backing)

Original Artist: Pink Floyd

Original Album: Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

Debut: 1998-11-02

Historian: Mark Toscano

The psych-folk acid rock of Dark Side’s penultimate track contains some of Pink Floyd’s most memorable lyrics, not the least of which is the context of the album’s title. This song is a bit of whimsy – albeit a serious bit of whimsy – that is almost never played on radio stations without its album-closing counterpart, “Eclipse.” A great duo they are, inseparable almost to the degree of that of two other well-known album closers, “The Horse” and “Silent in the Morning.”

Phish covered this track in turn as part of the 11/2/98 second set in Utah, and their rendition built the necessary amount of lackadaisical tension that reached its climax and release in “Eclipse.” The original Floyd version may boast some of the band’s most legendary lyrics, but Phish imbued some more of the song’s lyrics with even greater significance in light of the surprise DSOTM performance: “And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes...”

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