The Endless River is based on material originally recorded in 1993 and 1994 during the sessions for The Division Bell, which took place at the Britannia Row Studios and aboard the Astoria, where Pink Floyd's A Momentary Lapse of Reason and David Gilmour's On an Island were also partly recorded. The material, described by drummer Nick Mason as ambient music, was originally conceived as an album, tentatively entitled The Big Spliff. The band seriously considered releasing it at one stage, but it was originally shelved. After the death of keyboardist Richard Wright, both David Gilmour and Nick Mason went back into the studio to expand upon The Big Spliff, inviting musicians and producers into the studio to work with them on a new Pink Floyd album. The Endless River was originally intended to be an instrumental album in vein of The Big Spliff's origins as an ambient piece. Backing vocalists, however, such as Durga McBroom were invited into the studio in December 2013, and Gilmour had taken lead vocals on at least one track of the album, which has lyrics written by Polly Samson.
The Endless River has as its starting point the music that came from the 1993 'Division Bell' sessions. We listened to over 20 hours of the three of us playing together and selected the music we wanted to work on for the new album. Over the last year we've added new parts, re-recorded others and generally harnessed studio technology to make a 21st century Pink Floyd album. With Rick gone, and with him the chance of ever doing it again, it feels right that these revisited and reworked tracks should be made available as part of our repertoire
Dan Wootton of UK tabloid newspaper The Sun and McBroom have both stated that Roger Waterswill not be involved in the project. Longtime session musician Guy Pratt, who has worked with both Pink Floyd and David Gilmour since 1987 and is also married to Wright's daughter Gala, recorded bass guitar for the album. Wootton also mentions Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera as co-producer of the album. Manzanera has co-writing credits on the 1987 album A Momentary Lapse of Reason and co-produced On an Island in 2006. According to Wootton there will be no tour for the album.
In the November issue of Uncut magazine, Gilmour and Mason clarified that only a small part from The Big Spliff (compiled by Andy Jackson) appeared on the finished record, and none at all were taken from Soundscape, the bonus track in cassette edition of their live album Pulse. The finished LP is based on four different pieces taking each side of the record, with parts of Richard Wright rehearsal in 1969 mixed in, in addition to new overdubbing of drum and guitar parts. They also revealed the name of one song "Louder Than Words" (with lyrics by Polly Samson), and the new release date of 10 November 2014.
I think this record is a good way of recognizing a lot of what he does and how his playing was at the heart of the Pink Floyd sound. Listening back to the sessions, it really brought home to me what a special player he was
Full details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Endless_River