Clare Torry wins settlement against Pink Floyd
Written by Matt   
Thursday, 14 April 2005

On July 8th last year we reported on a rather strange news story - that vocalist Clare Torry was taking Pink Floyd and its record company EMI, to court, suing them for damages and lost earnings.

Torry provided the improvised vocal on The Great Gig In The Sky, and was paid the standard fee of £30 for her work on January 23rd 1973. However, some thirty-one years later she claimed that she composed the song, and asked the High Court for monies she believed were due to her, a half-share of copyright ownership and a 50 per cent share, possibly worth millions, of past and future income.

Torry said they (the band and EMI) had breached her copyright and asked for damages and for "all illicit copies of the song to be destroyed". This could have resulted in the album being withdrawn from sale temporarily.

This week, the High Court judged on the side of Ms Torry, and have awarded her a half-share on copyright ownership of the song. The amount of the out-of-court settlement has not been disclosed, prompting much speculation as to the amount.

The argument which won over the High Court was the claim that Ms Torry used a special "wailing technique" which effectively helped to compose the track during its fruition in the studio. The album has, since release, been a high seller, and one of the most well-known releases of all time.

Torry has also previously been on very good terms with the band, including an appearance at both nights of Roger Waters' 1987 Wembley shows as part of his encore.