Scissor Sisters Hated Pink Floyd After Singing ‘Comfortably Numb’
“Comfortably Numb” remains one of Pink Floyd’s most songs. However, they aren’t the only band who performed it. Here’s a look at why a member of a band who covered “Comfortably Numb” came to hate Pink Floyd.
Why Scissor Sisters created a disco version of Pink Floyd’s ‘Comfortably Numb’
Scissor Sisters are a pop band that takes a lot of influence from the music of the 1970s. For example, they included a cover of “Comfortably Numb” on their self-titled album. During an interview with NPR, Scissor Sister’s Jake Shears said the cover was the result of the band messing around in the studio. It’s very different from the original song and draws more from disco music than the progressive rock experimentation for which Pink Floyd are most known.
Scissor Sister’s cover of “Comfortably Numb” is fairly well-known. The Official Charts Company says it reached No. 10 in the United Kingdom. On the other hand, The Official Charts Company reports the original version of the song did not chart in the United Kingdom at all. During the aforementioned interview with NPR, Shears said he was worried the band would only be known for that cover, which is what drove them to complete a full album.
How Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour disappointed the Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears
According to NME, Shears had a rocky relationship with Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour after releasing the cover. “Pink Floyd helped us make it,” he said. “We met them at Live8, and they were nice about it.” He added “David Gilmour told my manager that he wanted me to sing ‘Comfortably Numb’ with him at Radio City Music Hall for two shows.”
Shears was overjoyed to have the opportunity. “So of course I’m emotionally fragile and weeping – a mess. I was so over the moon because I can sing the hell out of that song – I’ve been singing it for the latter half of my life.”
However, Shears didn’t get to perform with Pink Floyd. “So I was practicing it and doing my vocal exercises to it, but the day before the gig they decided not to have any guests. They canned me. Bastards! It was one of the worst things you can do to anybody. I kind of hate him for it.”
Shears added this decision impacted his mother. “It was like taking candy away from a kid. My mom was getting on a plane to come and see me.”
How Pink Floyd influenced Scissor Sisters beyond their cover of ‘Comfortably Numb’
Despite Shears’ misgivings about Pink Floyd, Pink Floyd continued to influence Scissor Sisters. During an interview with Chicago Pride, Shears revealed the cover of his band’s albums were designed to look like Pink Floyd album covers. Specifically, he wanted the cover to look like the Pink Floyd album covers designed by Hipgnosis. Shears had some negative things to say about Gilmour, however, his band wouldn’t be the same without Pink Floyd.