I forget the details but I seem to remember the idea with TKOL was that instead of crafting songs like usual they all just noodled around building up loops and things and put it out without stressing too much, the idea being that they could probably put out more material that way. Followed by one of their longs hiatuses yet.
I recently got into The Final Cut as well! Back in the day I very much bought into the idea that it's tuneless shit, but I actually find it quite musical now. The title track may have Gilmour's best solo.
I've been properly listening to all the post-Piper, pre-Dark Side stuff, which I never really did before (except Meddle).
The old narrative is that they were a democratic band, and gradually Roger took over. That's definitely fairly true, but I've made some odd discoveries on that front.
One is that the most noticeable non-Roger presence on the early stuff is actually Wright, not Gilmour. Gilmour barely gets any writing credits on the early stuff, and when he does it's mainly just as a guitarist. Wright was actually a way more confident songwriter.
Second odd discovery is that they were playing Dogs and Sheep as early as 1974, before even Wish You Were Here! I thought that was firstly because that means if you saw them in 1974, chances are you'd hear not just Dark Side but large chunks of their next two albums.
It's also weird because Animals is always talked about as the point where Roger took over, but can that really be true when 2/3rds of the album were written years before?
Another slightly embarassing discovery is that I quite enjoy the Division Bell. It's the same easy listening boomer rock it always was, but sadly I find some charm in ageing Dave trying to keep the dream alive by noodling away against relaxing pop tunes.