Pink Floyd has fallen out the repertoire as the years go by. I rarely listen to their music, but when a friend mentioned I haven’t discussed them on the blog yet, I decided to put together an entry for the great band.
My experience with Pink Floyd occurred during my teenage years. I first heard “Money” as a sophomore in high school, probably hanging around with two short-lived friends, Jim Warner and Dan Baker. I bought the “Dark Side of the Moon” LP shortly afterward, and then added the “Meddle” and “Wish You Were Here” LPs to my knowledge base. I began to lose interest by the time I got to college, and took no interest in “Animals” or “The Wall”. Based on commentary by band members, it sounds like the group was becoming more a backing band for bassist Roger Waters and less a group collaboration after the great “Wish You Were Here” album, the tribute to original band leader Syd Barrett, who succumbed to mental illness shortly after their initial success in 1967.
At least in the United States, Pink Floyd was an album band, defined by their full length releases. In the beginning, they were a very experimental, “acid” rock band, and developed a polished style that yielded three great albums in their prime. I recommend four albums:
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
Dark Side of the Moon
Wish You Were Here
My personal favorite is Wish You Were Here, which came at an important juncture in my life, a year spent between high school and college, where I hung out with older friends and developed some bad habits that would haunt me in the following years. Dark Side of the Moon is probably the strongest album, amazing in its consistency. Meddle has more variety than the other two blockbusters, and Piper at the Gates is considered a psychedelic classic, though I consider it a bit weaker than the others.
Here are two performances worth watching. The first is “Astronomy Domine” by the original Pink Floyd lineup around 1967. Please note this is very wild and psychedelic, and will not be for everyone:
There are a couple other worthy versions floating around YouTube, especially a black and white performance called [Live 68], which is played very loud and angry.
The entire Dark Side and Wish You Were Here albums are included in the collection. A few songs from Piper and everything from Meddle, except Echoes, which is a notable song I would include if it wasn’t 23 minutes long. To finish up Pink Floyd, I recently added the popular “Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2”, plus “Comfortably Numb” from The Wall:
Dark Side Of The Moon Album
Money, Pink Floyd ✭✭✭✭
Speak To Me/Breathe, Pink Floyd ✭✭✭
Time, Pink Floyd ✭✭✭
The Great Gig In The Sky, Pink Floyd ✭✭✭
Us And Them, Pink Floyd ✭✭✭
Any Colour You Like, Pink Floyd ✭✭✭
Brain Damage, Pink Floyd ✭✭✭
Eclipse, Pink Floyd ✭✭✭
On The Run, Pink Floyd ✭✭
Wish You Were Here Album
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V), Pink Floyd ✭✭✭✭
Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd ✭✭✭✭
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts VI-IX), Pink Floyd ✭✭✭✭
Have A Cigar, Pink Floyd ✭✭✭
Welcome To The Machine, Pink Floyd ✭✭✭
Fearless, Pink Floyd ✭✭✭
Seamus, Pink Floyd ✭✭✭
San Tropez, Pink Floyd ✭✭
One Of These Days, Pink Floyd ✭✭
A Pillow Of Winds, Pink Floyd ✭
Astronomy Domine, Pink Floyd ✭✭✭
See Emily Play, Pink Floyd ✭✭✭
Comfortably Numb, Pink Floyd ✭✭✭
Lucifer Sam, Pink Floyd ✭✭
Arnold Layne, Pink Floyd ✭
Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2, Pink Floyd ✭
I may add “Interstellar Overdrive” at some point. “Money” deserves four stars on merit. It is unquestionably a brilliant piece of music, with unique “cash register” percussion and unusual 7/4 time signature. It probably desrves five stars, but is not a personal favorite.
To close, here are band members David Gilmour and Richard Wright performing “Comfortably Numb” with friends: