I, unlike Mr. Paul Cook pictured up there, do not hate Pink Floyd. As a matter of fact, I quite dig ‘em, always have. They don’t fit neatly into a particular genre, although many peg them as ‘space rock’, and just what the hell does that mean? They were more ‘punk’ than you might think as well. They didn’t sing about sunshine and flowers, they sung about madness, war, corruption, drug abuse and non-conformity. Sounds pretty punk rock to me.
They’ve influenced some pretty amazing bands. I mean, we wouldn’t have The Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev, My Morning Jacket, Grandaddy, The Orb and any other bands that are described as producing “atmospheric” “symphonic” and/or “psychedelic” music today. Even John Lydon’s PIL has echoes (sorry, couldn’t resist!) of mid period Pink Floyd.
Of course after Waters left the band soldiered on but ended up sounding like a bad cover version of their former self. They left behind some pretty amazing music in their wake, though, and the best of the best is listed below.
#7. The Final Cut (1983): The last Floyd album, but really the 2nd Roger Waters solo album. All about losing his dad in the war, this is a quiet, reflective album and considered by many, myself included, as a sequel of sorts to the wall. Similar lyrical themes abound, but it is no retread or collection of outtakes. This remains their most overlooked and undervalued album.
#5. Wish You Were Here (1975): Welcome to the machine, everyone. Following the Dark Side was going to be an exercise in futility, and Wish You Were Here was kind of panned upon its release, but has grown in stature over the years. Is it a concept album about their dear, mentally departed acid fried friend Syd? I’d like to think so. Shine On You Crazy Diamond still stuns.
#4. Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (1967): This is Syd’s album. Waters was still very much in the background at this point and the album sounds unlike anything else they did in their career. Psychedelic and childlike, eerie and weird. Great album.
#1. Animals (1977): Yup. Animals. Great cover, long pieces, and the Floyd’s darkest album ever. Wright’s keyboard washes make this album, though. Slaughtering sheep, maniacal dogs and, of course, pigs on the wing.