7. Clare Torry was initially shocked the band liked her “Great Gig in the Sky” vocals. The original version of “The Great Gig In the Sky” that the band worked out live was essentially an organ solo featuring tape loops of Bible passages and religious speeches. For the album version, the lead was switched to piano, but the band couldn’t find any samples they liked. They decided to try a singer.
Parsons found Clare Torry, a 22-year-old session vocalist. Unbeknownst to many who would later dry-hump to her voice, Torry was extremely white and extremely British. The band was largely at a loss on what instructions to give, so Torry imagined herself as an instrument and tried to interpret the song’s theme of mortality.
After two full takes, the band dismissed her. She assumed they hated it and forgot about the session. While they played it cool, though, Pink Floyd was delighted with Torry’s singing. She didn’t realize they’d used her voice until she saw the album in a store and found her name in the credits.