Hey there, I'm a guy who got into music because of the band Pink Floyd
. I guess every single member of this site understands that the band is pretty big, even if alot of people don't listen to them, and some have never even heard of them. So, I'm dedicating this journal to everyone who wants to get to know Pink Floyd and maybe end up being a fan. The guide will cover many different areas of their music, including which era will appeal most to which kind of person.What makes Pink Floyd different from other big bands of their time?
At first when I joined this site I was pleasantly surprised to see Pink Floyd so high up the artist charts, out of all pre-80's bands, only The Beatles
were higher up the charts. Bands like Led Zeppelin
, The Who
, The Rolling Stones
have also survived very well throughout the years, but there is one very notable difference between these bands and Pink Floyd. All the bands I mentioned have a very distinctive and notable sound in their music. While this is partly true about Pink Floyds music as well, they changed their sound alot
from album to album. It could be psychedelic, poppy and funny, serious and intellectual, epic and jammy, or bleak and heavy. This is because the band was constantly evolving.A brief take on history.Syd Barrett
(Dead '06) was first the frontman of the band, when they recorded Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
. The album can be described as trippy and psychedelic with a 60's pop approach. After a while the band felt Syd Barrett was unable to handle Pink Floyd, so they kicked him out and recruited guitarist David Gilmour
. Syd Barrett went on to record some solo albums. Their next album, A Saucerful of Secrets
, is somewhat inconsistent, but showcases many different sides of the band an its current members. By the beginning of the 70's, another three albums had followed (More
, Double LP Live/Studio Ummagumma
and the orchestral and experimental Atom Heart Mother
). However, I think the band found its post-syd sound with the album Meddle
, and the band seems to feel the same way. Obscured by Clouds
was also recorded, all though the album is seen as one of Pink Floyds least significant albums.
Until the year of 1973 Pink Floyd had recorded seven studio albums, all of which are very different from eachother. And by the time which they released the concept album Dark Side of the Moon
(which is considered one of the biggest albums in rock history) Pink Floyd's mainstream status was official. However, tension was growing between Roger Waters
and the rest of the band, which would change Pink Floyds future sound significantly. By 1975 the band recorded another hit, Wish You Were Here
, which is not really a concept album, but still focuses majorly on two subjects. On some tracks, the band attacks the music industry. On the rest of the tracks, the band salutes former member Syd Barrett. Wish You Were Here is considered a classic and rightly so, seeing as it did not
try to use the formula of Dark Side of the Moon again.
Ten years has passed since the bands debut, Piper at the Gates of Dawn. progressive rock
is quickly fading, and punk
is quickly growing. Pink Floyd managed to stay somewhat popular through these years as well, because their tenth album Animals
was heavily influenced by it's time. Roger Waters had an idea for a concept, about different kinds of people resembling different kinds of animals. The album was a direct attack against society, with some of Gilmours greatest guitar work, Waters greatest vocal work, and lengthy tracks which certainly could appeal to both fans of Prog and Punk, without the band giving up their core sound the album rocks in a way which Pink Floyd had never done before. Unfortunately, the album was not very well received, with magazine Rolling Stone deeming it as tedious and bleak. Also, Roger Waters had begun taking over the band, and the next album would be dictated entirely by him. The Wall
is the bands most infamous work, both loved and hated by fans. Ultimately a Waters conceptual double album about a character (which is supposed to resemble himself) who is building a wall in his mind, and each of the bricks represents some sort of problem. A very depressing and bleak album indeed, keyboardist Richard Wright
was even fired during the recording, only to be hired as a session musician. when touring the band would actually bring a giant wall with them. By 1983, Roger Waters did his last work with the band before leaving. The Final Cut
is seen as one of the lowest point of Pink Floyds career, all though many of the people who like The Wall like The Final Cut even more. The Final Cut is alot like The Wall, but even more emotional, bleak and depressing, pretty much even more Roger Waters.
When Roger Waters left the band, David Gilmour took the form of a leader and led the band through two more albums. A Momentary Lapse of Reason
, which has a very 80s vibe to it, and The Division Bell
has some of David Gilmours favorite guitar work on it. Still, these albums aren't valued very highly by fans or non-fans, despite great sales.Which album to begin with?
This is probably the most important part of the guide, as I have inteded non-fans to read the guide, it makes sense that I should recommended them which album is the best to begin with. But, this is also very difficult, because as I have previously mentioned, the albums are all so very different, and none of them could describe every side of Pink Floyd. So, here follows a brief description of each album and whom it could appeal to.
Piper at the Gates of Dawn: The album is without doubt Floyds least serious, least intellectual, and most fun release. Many fans will only listen to this album and Syd Barretts solo albums. Fans of The Beatles would probably love this one.
A Saucerful of Secrets: I believe that this album is the best at covering the early sound of Pink Floyd, as it has tracks written by most of the members. A Syd Barrett track, two Richard Wright tracks, three Roger Waters tracks and a longer more ambitious piece which is rather noisy at times, probably a pretty important track for the development of Noise, as well as Progressive Rock. For getting into the bands early work, this is what I recommend the most.
More: While the album is not without it's charm, it is at times very boring. Two of the tracks are heavy metal, the rest is very dreamy and droning. Not particularly recommended as a start.
Ummagumma: The live side is brilliant and shows that Pink Floyd knew what they were doing live. The studio side is rather experimental and certainly not recommended as a start.
Atom Heart Mother: With an epic semi-orchestral 23 minute long titletrack, three shorter tracks (each written by one of the core members), and a concept piece about a man eating breakfast, the album is definitely experimental as hell. But also very successful at that. The album is experimental while still being very interesting. If you can handle long tracks, I would recommend this to start with, because the three shorter tracks all define the person who wrote them and their parts in the band very very well.
Meddle: Like the previous album, this one also has an epic (23 minutes) but this epic has achieved masterpiece status. Most people think very highly of the song Echoes
. If you can handle long tracks, as well as liking psychedelic music, this is very recommended. Also holds other classics, like One of These Days and Fearless. If you like Meddle, you will probably love Richard Wrights solo albums.
Obscured By Clouds: Not particularly recommended to start with. The album is very straightforward, well, at least for a Floyd album. The general opinion is that it does not hold as high quality as, say, Dark Side of the Moon. Not so recommend to start with.
Dark Side of the Moon: In one way, this is the album that I recommend the most to start with. Amazing production and great flow between the songs makes this a great album. But put on a single track from the album and crank up the volume, and you might not think it's too great. Therefore, I think that if you are used to listening to whole albums, Dark Side of the Moon is a very good place to start. But if you expect to just listen to a single song every now and then, you should start elsewhere, as none of the songs on Dark Side of the Moon really are singles material (well, that is arguable).
Wish You Were Here: A very lengthy opener and closer. Listen to all of Shine On You Crazy Diamond and listen well, there is no doubt that anyone who likes music would like these two tracks, despite their lengths. The other three tracks are also great, a ballad, a rocker, and a mishmash of both. Many thinks this is the best album, but if you feel bored after a couple of minutes of Shine On You Crazy Diamond, then you should try one of the bands first two albums instead.
Animals: Holds great appeal to many different kinds of music lovers. Metalheads, Punk Rockers, and Progrockers alike. This is my personal favorite Floyd album, if you like good lyrics you wont find any better than those on Animals! Still, the tracks are VERY lengthy, even if they are all also very eventful, so beware.
The Wall & The Final Cut: These are not particularly recommended to start with, as they both bore some people to tears. Also, both these albums are NOT singles albums. You can't just take a random song out of these albums and listen to them. You have to listen to the whole album to appreciate it. If you have the time, and you know you can concentrate through the whole album, then The Wall is recommended to start with, even nicer if you have the MOVIE (yes, the albums actually has a movie). The Final Cut though, just nah. I think It's better than The Wall, and you should check it out if you like The Wall, but don't start with it. Not a good idea. Also, if you like these albums, check out Roger Waters solo stuff.
A Momentary Lapse of Reason: You like 80s rock/pop music? You will like this then. The album beats the crap out of most 80s rock/pop music I have ever heard. and the band still manages to sound alot like themselves. However, I don't think this is one of the bands better releases, in fact, I think it's one of their worst. But still probably the easiest to appreciate if you like the style.
The Division Bell: Nah. Don't start here. Just don't. If you do anyway, and you like it, be sure to check out David Gilmours solo albums.
Have you read everything without deciding on which album to start with? Well my friend, you are in luck. The band released a Compilation Album a couple of years ago, and the track picks are actually not so bad. If you do start with this album, which is entitled Echoes - The Best of Floyd, then remember that Pink Floyd were never a singles band. Their biggest albums were all conceptual, and were intended to be listeded to as whole pieces. The compilation album does however provide you with tracks from all the different eras, so if you get it, check out the albums of your favorite tracks of the album.
If this guide was not helpful enough for you, please tell me what I could do to make it better. Also, if you want to, you can ask me personally about what I think you should check out first by letting me have a look at what bands you like. Thanks for reading my guide!