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Pink Floyd Echoes - The Best of Pink Floyd album cover
3.46 | 282 ratings | 35 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (76:50)
1. Astronomy Domine (4:10)
2. See Emily Play (2:47)
3. The Happiest Days of Our Lives (1:38)
4. Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2) (4:01)
5. Echoes (16:31)
6. Hey You (4:40)
7. Marooned (2:03)
8. The Great Gig in the Sky (4:40)
9. Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun (5:20)
10. Money (6:30)
11. Keep Talking (5:58)
12. Sheep (9:46)
13. Sorrow (8:46)

CD 2 (78:26)
14. Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-7) (17:32)
15. Time (6:48)
16. The Fletcher Memorial Home (4:07)
17. Comfortably Numb (6:54)
18. When the Tigers Broke Free (3:43)
19. One of These Days (5:15)
20. Us and Them (7:51)
21. Learning to Fly (4:51)
22. Arnold Layne (2:53)
23. Wish You Here (5:21)
24. Jugband Blues (2:46)
25. High Hopes (7:00)
26. Bike (3:25)

Total Time 155:16

Line-up / Musicians

- Nick Mason / drums, percussion
- Roger Waters / bass (except tracks 11,13,21,25)
- Richard Wright / keyboards, organ (except tracks 16,18)
- David Gilmour / guitar (except tracks 1,2,22)

- Syd Barrett / guitar (tracks 1,2,9,22,24,26), vocals (tracks 1,2,22,24,26)
- Clare Torry / vocals (track 8)
- Dick Parry / saxophone (tracks 10,11,14,20,25)
- Lee Ritenour / rhythm guitar (track 17)
- Raphael Ravenscroft / tenor saxophone (tracks 16,18)
- Michael Kamen / organ (tracks 16,18)
- Tony Levin / bass (tracks 13,21)
- Jon Carin / second keyboard (tracks 13,21)
- Carmine Appice / drums (track 21)
- Professor Stephen Hawking / digital voice (track 11)
- Clare Kenyon / backing vocals (track 11)

Releases information

CD EMI #7243 5 36111 2 5 (2001)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy PINK FLOYD Echoes - The Best of Pink Floyd Music

PINK FLOYD Echoes - The Best of Pink Floyd ratings distribution

(282 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

PINK FLOYD Echoes - The Best of Pink Floyd reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Jim Garten
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Retired Admin & Razor Guru
5 stars Although I have all the tracks on separate albums, I bought this album for the car; however, the way Gilmour has collated & segued these tracks, it almost works as an album in its own right, perfectly paced, beautifully produced & nice to finally hear 'Crazy Diamond' parts 1-7 uninterrupted
Review by frenchie
4 stars The task of wrapping up the best songs by a proggresive rock band who have been going strong for over 20 years seems like an impossible task, but once again pink floyd have pulled it off. The only downside is that there are too many of the new tracks that dont even feature the whole band lineup and the album misses out crucial songs from Ummagumma and Atom Heart Mother. Still this album contains the classics, although some songs had to be edited down because of their length they still manage to be appealing.

The good thing about this album is that it is brilliant for beginners and will make them want to get more of the bands albums, but for those who are already hardcore fans, the compilation flows wonderfully and it is brilliant to see all the classics of the last 20 years all in one package. I think this album is just as good as Relics which is a favourite by pink floyd fans and is walks all over the poor "A Collection of Great Dance Songs" and "Works". The inclusion the wall film single "When the Tigers Broke Free" is also good to see here and a real fan pleaser. Overall Echoes does the job and it is a beautiful reminder of how inspirational and unique this band were.

Review by penguindf12
2 stars This compilation is by no means bad - the only problem is that I don't really like compilations - in almost EVERY circumstance I've encountered, hearing a song in its original context is preferrable to hearing it in a compilation. There are exceptions, but these are generally when the time juxtaposition is used to artfully create a new work with new or refined meaning, instead of simply lumping the "best of" for easy fan-access.

I probably shouldn't be writing this review with such a massive byass, but I own the album and listened to it in my youth, so it's fair game for revisionist old-man syndrome.

Someone could argue that this album IS a new take that provides new context - after all, the songs segue into each other! Wow! However, this effect, while making it seem more "classic Floyd," doesn't really serve any artistic purpose. The album is still basically a compilation.

One thing: it is nice to see some of the early singles available here, as well as "When the Tigers Broke Free."

Most of the rest, however, were superior in their original context. There are frequently space-saving edits, making this a good "sampler" for young Floyd fans, but largely redundant for someone with most of the albums. In other words, buy this if you want to hear some non-"main sequence" Floyd without buying the slew of albums that entails, but consider yourself warned if you were thinking of eventually buying them anyway.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars A total waste of money. Shortened versions of the original songs. Maybe someone who has never known Floyd and as a first off introduction want to hear their stuff otherwise do not waste your money. I say boycott these kind of albums to force the band members to do something other than regurgitating old material to line their and the record company's pockets.
Review by FloydWright
2 stars It feels utterly unnatural for me to rate a PINK FLOYD album this low, and I am very sorry to do it. Unfortunately, I cannot hide my feelings for this record-company mistake. The story behind this album is quite simply that EMI demanded this release as a way of making money, and it also satisfied a contractual obligation that PINK FLOYD had. So before you read this any further, please remember: Don't blame the band; it's not their fault. While the idea of a greatest hits compilation for PINK FLOYD is not a bad idea in principle, the execution here was severely lacking. There were just too many unforgivable fact, this album would've had a 2- or even 1.5 star rating if not for someone else, not even a band member, who saved it from that cruel fate. But we'll get to him later.

First--THOU SHALT NOT MUTILATE A FLOYD SONG. And I do mean "mutilate"--there is hardly any other word for the horror of editing inflicted upon "Echoes" and "Marooned" most particularly, although "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" suffered as well. I would absolutely hate to introduce a new PINK FLOYD fan to "Marooned" this way--and have them think this utterly gorgeous track is just a minute of filler! If you have to cut it down THAT much, DON'T put it on there. It's that simple. As for "Echoes", editing that is like editing Beethoven's 9th Symphony. You just DON'T do that.

Secondly--the track list has some severe problems in my opinion...songs that should have been on there were ignored, and songs that should have been dropped in favor of others WERE there. Where was "Summer '68"? Where was "The Gunner's Dream" or "The Final Cut" or "Two Suns in the Sunset", all of which SHOULD have had the spot held by "The Fletcher Memorial Home"? And what was "Sheep" doing there, anyhow? In my experience, the majority of FLOYD fans, myself included, consider "Dogs" to be the true greatest accomplishment on Animals. I'm sure if I sat down and drew up a list, there would've been several other changes I would've made to the track listing.

The only reason I have kept this album (besides my being a FLOYD completist) has nothing to do with PINK FLOYD...but rather with the album art master known as Storm Thorgerson. What he did with the cover art and the booklet is nothing short of stunning. Scrutinizing the pages is really quite entertaining and fascinating, and if you are at all a fan of Mr. Thorgerson's work, you'll want to get a look at this.

Unfortunately, though, I can't say this is a very good release at all. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I can't deny it.

Review by richardh
4 stars I've noticed a lot of bad reviews of this album which appear to be mostly from Floyd fans who would rather we listened to all their albums completely. BUT what if Floyd are not in your top ..say ten ..favourite bands but you still want some PF in your collection? This seems pretty decent to me.Some attempt has been made to tie together different eras of the band together ,not an easy thing to do.Both CD's feel like you are being taken on a journey.All the classic and well known Floyd songs are on on here.From the majestic 'High Hopes' to the sublime 'Wish You Were Here' there is precious little to moan about.A great album to get if you are a 'part time' Pink Floyd fan like me!
Review by Cluster One
3 stars An excellent overview of PINK FLOYD music, "Echoes - The Best of Pink Floyd" (originally supposed to be called "Some of the Parts"), this is the preferred way to introduce someone new to the phenomenon that is FLOYD. It is what you buy your nephew for his 13th birthday. It has a broad expanse of songs that spans each FLOYDIAN era and everyone will find at least something on here that they enjoy.

For the purist or longtime FLOYD fan though, "Echoes" is a difficult thing to ever really get into. We have become so used to hearing the tunes in their traditional arrangement and order that we tend to get weirded out when we hear 'Sheep' followed instead by 'Sorrow' and not 'Pigs on the Wing Pt 2". Also the segueways between songs (always a FLOYD trademark) take a while to get used to. But these things won't bother newer fans.

Every band needs a 'Greatest Hits' and this definitely fits the bill quite nicely. All the 'hits' are here. There is even a bonus track ('When the Tigers Broke Free' - a WATERS "The Wall" / "The Final Cut" type of song) not found anywhere else that will make this album a necessary buy for the completist/collector.

The accompanying artwork and liner notes designed by Storm Thorgerson are, as always, classic. For longtime fans you can play 'spot the item - identify its album association' as there are veritably dozens of little artistic references to be found.

A few negative aspects to the collection is the edit of 'Echoes' (the song) down to a more managable time, and the inclusion of 'Sheep' (once again just like on "A Collection of Great Dance Songs") to represent the "Animals" LP instead of 'Dogs' or 'Pigs'.

Clocking in at over 2 hours and 35 minutes, it is the most FLOYD 'bang for your buck' you can get. Recommended to new fans primarily.

Review by Zac M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This was perhaps my first prog experinece. I remember picking this CD compilation up at the store and sampling the tracks and boy did I love them. There was something different about this music, something I had not found in music on the radio, on television, etc.... Sure, I had known people who claimed Dark Side of the Moon to be the best album ever made, but even they were most likely not prog fans. As far as compilations go, this one is great.

The first disc starts out with two earlier tracks in the Floyd discography. "See Emily Play" is, in my opinion, the best pop single Pink Floyd ever produced. I never get tired of listening to it. "The Happiest Days of Our Lives" serves as an intro into perhaps the most famous (and over-played) song in their discography, "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2." It is obvious that these tracks would be placed on a "best of" compilation. Song number five, "Echoes," is perhaps the first truly Progressive song on the album, and is one of the best in all of Pink Floyd's discography. The main problem here is that around five minutes of the song is shortened.

This best of had to also include "Hey You," another song from The Wall, seeing as it is/was another major radio hit. The compilers also managed to edit "Marooned," a great instrumental track from The Division Bell that was nominated for a grammy (best instrumental performance if I rememeber correctly. "The Great Gig in the Sky" is a really good track off Dark Side that features Rick's piano and Clare Torry's wordless vocals; man does she have a great voice (on a side note, you can also hear her on roger Water's underrated solo album, Radio K.A.O.S.). "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" is another early psychedelic recording of the group. The next song, "Money," is still a Floyd classic today and another radio hit with the instantly recognizeable Waters bass line. Out of the last three tracks on the first disc, "Sheep" is obviously the best (although not the best track off of Animals). I have never understood why "Sorrow" was included here. It's very drawn out and boring at times. There was much better on A Momentary Lapse of Reason.

Disc Two starts off with "Shine on You Crazy Diamond," again edited. This by far one of the best Floyd compositiosn ever. When I first heard the whole thing, I remember thinking "I wan t to listen to more music like that." "The Fletcher Memorial Home" is the only track included from The Final Cut. Although I like it, the title track or "Not Now John" would have made a better choice here. "Comfortably Numb" is another Floyd staple and fan favorite. This track has really worn on me, and I don't really like listening to it that much anymore. "When the Tigers Broke Free" is a bonus track recorded around the same time as The Wall. The next song, "One of These Days," is the only song to feature Nick Mason on vocals. "Us and Them" is my favorite track from Dark Side; I never get sick of listening to it! I really like the rest of the album. The standouts here are "Learning to Fly" and "Arnold Layne," another early psych pop treat.

I would recommend this compilation to any prog newbie. I can testify that this album made me want to listen to more and more prog. Although there are some editing problems here, the compilation is still pretty good. Another minor problem is that some albums are not represented at all (those albums being the weirder in all of the Floyd discography). Anyway, this a great intro to a great band, or a person who just wants one Pink Floyd cd. Four stars, excellent addition to any collection!

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After some compillations such as "Relics", "The Early Singles" or "A Collection of Great Dance Songs", this is the first "The best of", with an overview of all Floydīs eras, i mean, here you can find some Barrttīs songs, the most of them are from the 70īs, and some of them are from the 1987 - 1994 period when Waters left the band and Gilmour took the leadership.

This is a double CD album, so you will find several great songs of them, each CD has 13 tracks, with a strange order because for example you will listen to "Us and Them", followed by "Learning to Fly" followed by "Arnold Lane", and followed by "Wish Yo Were here", i mean, that songs are totally different between each other, itīs in some way "funny" to find them like this, because at least i didnt expect to listen that beautiful song WYWH, and then Jugband Blues, thatīs weird, but at the same point is nice.

This compillation has severla great moments, because you are identified with the songs here, maybe some which you consder as the ebst songs are not here, but the most are, and thatīs great, you can fall in a deep trip with all these songs, i say that is good musically because i find great songs like "Hey You", "Sheep", "Astronomy Domine", "Shine On", "Hiigh Hopes" etc, of course i miss "Dogs" and "Time" among others, but in general is nice.

The bad things are for example that short and edited "Marooned" i love that song, great guitar work and beautiful sound scape, which for some reason was reduced here, another bad thing is another reduced version, now with "Echoes", and thats horrible because that song is one of the best ever made, and only complete we can appreciate it, these are a couple of things that i dont like of it.

The art work is nice, remind me of Ummagumma and other Strom Thorgerson works. After all this is not the best compillation, but is great for people who doesnīt know Pink Floyd very well, and for fans who can enjoy all of their stuff. For that reasons, im going to give it 3 stars, because is good but non - essential.

Review by Australian
3 stars "Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd" is by the far most attractive and well assembled Pink Floyd best of complication. The cover art/packaging is has a very Pink Floyd feel to it and there are references to some of their songs on the cover. Now, being very honest this was the first Pink Floyd album I ever heard as I was introduced to many amazing Pink Floyd works. On purchasing Pink Floyd studio albums, I now realise that many of the songs have been shorted considerably, the most grievous loss is that of "Echoes" and "High Hopes." It is hard to get the original feel to some of the songs when they are shorted. Echoes includes a few songs from later Pink Floyd like 'The Division Bell.' "Echoes" has music samples of Pink Floyd from all their phases including the short Barrett era. Echoes is a good place to start when exploring such a band with such a large music base. Good, but non-essential
Review by Chris H
2 stars Wow. When I bought this album I expected to hear all of the Pink Floyd songs I know and love, but from the start I was disappointed with some timeless songs that don't appear here (The Nile Song, Careful With That Axe Eugene, Run Like Hell, Dogs) and I was shocked by some songs that were included (Sheep over Pigs, Bike over Interstellar Overdrive). And, on top of those mess-ups, when I first listened to this, I noticed some things were missing! Shortening "Echoes" and "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" are a travesty of justice, especially when the keyboard solo on "Crazy Diamond" is omitted. Also,all of the guitar work on Marooned that we all know and love is taken out, leaving only the 2-minute intro to work with.

2 stars, just for the fact that there is no possible way to make a terrible collection of Pink Floyd songs. I would have liked to see more of the earlier psychedelic era songs that people seem to forget existed. Also, their soundtrack work (More, Obscured By Clouds, Zabriskie Point) is completely un-represnted, as well as the studio work from Ummagumma and the whole Atom Heart Mother album. Very poor arrangement as well.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars The ultimate (?) Floyd compilation. Actually, it is by far the best one (IMO) if I except the one I have compiled for my own of course (but only fits on six CD's).

The making of this album was not particularly agreeable to the individual members of Pink Floyd, but the knowledge that all contractual obligations would be fulfilled with EMI if they proceeded, they reluctantly agreed to it.

Daid will say : "Our engineer chap, James Guthrie does all the actual putting-together. He talks to Roger and he talks to me and he tells me what Roger has said, and he tells Roger what I have said, and that's how we communicate. That's been going on for quite a long time. It got to the point where it was getting difficult to sort out."

"If Roger and I had been able to reach an agreement then that would have been fine. But Roger was being his usual self and being difficult about certain things, mentioning tracks that really didn't seem to me representative. Of course, all our views are bound to be subjective, but I had views on what I thought were popular and iconic tracks and should have been included."

And finally : "I sent a letter with a list of every track on every album, and my reasons for what I thought should be on the record, and I sent copies of this letter to Rick Wright and Nick Mason. We then set ourselves to voting because time was running out. We are four shareholders and directors of a company that is Pink Floyd."

Roger tells us : "I resisted being involved at all for a long time, its very frustrating being involved in something you have no power in, and I have no power in that. The decisions about what goes on a best of Pink Floyd record are nothing to do with me, cause the power resides in a company called Pink Floyd Music Limited and there are a number of shares and a number of votes, like there are four votes and I only get one, well if I only get one, there must be three others, so I have no power, so, you know, I have nothing really, I don't have any seriously negative feelings about that".

Still some numbers definitely do not deserve to be on a "Best Of" from the Floyd. These are : "The Happiest Days Of Our Lives" (although it serves as a launcher for "ABITW - Part II), "When The Tigers Broke Free" (from the movie "The Wall"), "Jugband Blues" and "Bike". This for a total of less than twelve minutes.

Still, about "Jugband Blues" Nick says : "That was a good example of something that was discussed at some length. But the feeling was it was such a powerful farewell from Syd. The lyrics there stop being abstract and become as sad and down and wistful as anything Roger wrote, very personal again. In a way, what one wanted to do was to put across a bit of the range of Syd's writing. 'Jugband' is a wonderfully tragic piece. It is very poignant, that is the word I am looking for."

Except these ones, the tracklist here is rather spectacular. Of course we have little from their early works (but "Relics" did the job already).

Since both "Ummagumma" studio album and "AHM" were not the band preferred ones (and they have my full support, I share their views 200%).

We are brought straight into "Meddle" with the best tracks : "OOTD" and a very nice editing job with "Echoes" (still peaking at almost seventeen minutes). It is one of my two all time fave from the Floyd. The "spacey" part has been cut slightly as well as a section of the finale; but it was the price to pay to get such a track on a compilation effort (if you compare to a few Tull ones in which we have a three minutes rendition for "Thick" or "ATT" this is not bad at all).

The best numbers from "DSOTM" are all there. From "WYWH", my only complain would be that "Welcome to the Machine" would have fit perfectly if we could have got rid of those useless 11'40".

My second all time fave form the band underwent a small surgery as well : SOYCD Part 1 - 7 : again a very good compromise. It allows almost eighteen minutes of this FABULOUS number to sit here. Who will complain ?

"Animals" being reduced to "Sheep" only ("Dogs" is such a great track !). I guess that from "The Final Cut" onwards, the band try to get a concensus and therefore very little of these works will be available here.

Honestly, only eleven poor minutes out of more than hundred fifty-five is not really bad. Is it ? Ok, songs could have been ordered differently. Ending this compilation with "Bike" is quite ridiculous but we'll have to live with it.

Since it might be the last Floyd album ever (although I'm sure they will release something special for their forty years anniversary). Maybe a quad live CD boxset ? Who knows ?

This put an end to my Floyd album reviews (still have some work with VHS/DVD releases). I would like to sincerely congratulate each member of this wonderful band. So many beautiful moments (and a few others...). Thank you very, very much David, Roger, Rick, Syd and Nick. I'll still be travelling with you for the next forty years (if life allows). Four stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars In hindsight i'm not quite sure why I purchased this double disc set of PINK FLOYD songs.There is nothing new here although it's not a bad overview of their career. Certainly the cover art and pictures inside are extremely well done.The lyrics are all there as well. The fact that there are three songs that have had parts of them taken out is really annoying. Lets face it, this is a good place to start for those not knowing PINK FLOYD's music or for those who may have only a few of their records. As someone else mentioned maybe it's not a bad idea to have this in the car to listen to once and a while. As for me ? I gave my copy to my daughter I know she'll get more use out of it then I will.
Review by 1800iareyay
3 stars I'm not a big fan of greatest hit albums when in comes to prog bands. After all, most of their best songs are far too long to be presented in a commercialized compilation designed to appeal to the mainstream. They are useful to attract new fans, but who hasn't heard of Pink Floyd? Such is the case with this album. First off, it's called Echoes, but you don't even get the full version of Echoes. Also, you get half of Shine On You Crazy Diamond. Blasphemy!

To be honest, I was surprised at how nice some of the inclusions were. "Arnold Layne" and "Bike" might not have been my first choices, so props to whoever submitted those. It's the best compilation Floyd has ever put out, but there is no way to condense such an illustrious career into two discs. Atom Heart Mother, and the FULL versions of Shine on and Echoes are necessary. Also, Animals doesn't get represented at all, which is atrocious. This is the chief flaw of compilations; they sacrifice the best material for space.

If you're new to Floyd, then I'd suggest getting this, but quickly moving on to their real albums. Get Dark Side, Wish You Were Here, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, and Animals. It's one of the better hits albums for prog bands, but it's still decent at best.

Grade: C-

Review by thehallway
5 stars A perfect blend of Floyd's finest songs, segued together to make more interesting listening.

This is the best compilation of a band I have ever come across. It's not simply a bunch of hit singles thrown onto a couple of discs with little chronological or thematic cohesion. It's an album in it's own right, with career-spanning tracks of varying mood, length and significance, mixed up for maximum enjoyment and cleverly blended together to form a song cycle. The material is also very well chosen, apart from the already pointed-out lack of material from 'Ummagumma' and 'AHM' (although in the case of the former, I'm glad such "music" was omitted). All the songs you would expect are there ('Money', 'Another Brick', 'Wish You Were Here' etc) as well as some greatly underated material which perfectly represents lesser known albums, 'Set the Controls...', 'One fo These Days' and 'Sheep' being good examples. Also, the longer tracks are edited in such a way that none of the fine music is lost, yet the flow isn't spoilt by huge songs. 'Echoes' becomes 16 minutes, yet you'd struggle to notice where trims were made, and 'Shine On...' combines the best moments from each end of it's suite.

I grew up on my dad's copy of this album, and now own the entire Pink Floyd discography; purpose well-served or what!

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An excellent entry point to one of the most awesome prog bands on the planet.

"Echoes - The Best of Pink Floyd" is the best compilation of the psychedelic pioneers of prog. The reason is due to the fact that this one spans their entire career and really contains all of the quintessential Pink Floyd songs. Sure, there are going to be a few omissions that Floydians will fight about as to why their favourite was not included, but one cannot argue with this amazing collection of songs, many of which have become legendary in the rock world. A collection like these songs is perfect for taking with you on holidays or cranking in the car; we can't all take our box sets with us, though "Discovery" is here! So this is a handy little collection I would refer to as the compact Pink Floyd, wrapping up their 20 years career in 155 minutes. Not an easy task but this is as good as I have heard for a 2 CD compilation.

It begins with the absolutely brilliant 'Astronomy Domine'. "Neptune Titan stars can frighten you, blinding signs flap flicker flicker flicker blam pow pow!" 'Astronomy Domine' sends chills down my spine as soon as that lead break locks in. It is Barrett's finest moment, and the film clip demonstrates what a different beast Pink Floyd were all those years ago. The lyrics are absolutely perfect and are engrained in psychedelia as much as the swirling lights in the UFO Club. Syd's Astronomical Atlas helped with the lyrics. The cover version by Voi Vod is worth seeking out too for a heavier feel.

'See Emily Play' follows and then we teleport to the new Pink Floyd with the essential "The Wall" album, namely 'The Happiest Days Of Our Lives' and 'Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)', which has graced radio airwaves for decades. The consistent rhythm of Dm clanging on the clean guitar, almost reggae, was the framework for some enigmatic lyrics "We don't need no education, we don't need no full control" It was rebellious and comforting at the same time. I like the ominous vocals, the children choir rebelliously shouting the mantra. The lead guitar solo is incredible; David Gilmour's guitar that is soaring, harmonious and virtuoso work. These days as a teacher I cringe when I hear "No dark sarcasm in the classroom, teachers leave us kids alone", as that's what I do now!

'Echoes' follows in a 16:31 expurgated form. I am okay with this as no Pink Floyd compilation should go without this track from "Meddle" and at least most of it is here. I don't mind the edits either as they do not detract from the power of the song. If I want to hear it all I can swith on "Meddle" so no need to nitpick. It would be awful if it had not been here. 'Echoes' has become a legendary track that has been returned to by Gilmour as a solo artist and the band themselves in recent times. It stands the test of time as a prime example of space rock at its best. On "Meddle" it is 23 minutes of headphone bliss. It begins with the infamous ping that may be akin to a sub sonic sonar sound underwater. The lonely sound alienates the listener immediately and then an ambient keyboard swells in, Wright is superb on this track. The band were not only experimenting with sound, they tore the heart out of the music machine that was churning out manufactured bubblegum pop in the 70s. They showed that it was possible to create provocative music outside the box that was still listenable. The beautiful melancholia is enhanced by heartfelt vocals from Gilmour and Waters, and the lyrics are profoundly stimulating. 'Overhead the albatross, Hangs motionless upon the air, And deep beneath the rolling waves, In labyrinths of coral caves, An echo of a distant time, Comes willowing across the sand, And everything is green and submarine. And no one called us to the land, And no one knows the where's or why's. Something stirs and something tries, Starts to climb toward the light.'

"We return to "The Wall" with the classic 'Hey You'. 'Marooned' follows as a brief segent of "Division Bell" and then straight into the indispensable death anthem. 'The Great Gig in the Sky' is an astral journey to the realm of death. Clare Torrys' wailing is like the moans of childbirth or in this case rebirth as we cross over to the plain of non existence into the next life, which feels like heaven mid way through the track as Torry evokes softer nuances, with angelic tones that sends shivers up the spine. Her howls and moans expressed in full voice signify the ecstasy of freedom and the agony of death. In concert three ladies took up the task of the three segments to showcase their incredible talented voices, but on the album Torry masterfully improvises the life and death pangs in such an emotive style, it is astounding.

'Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun' is one of the more ambient spacey tracks and then immediately back to "Dark Side of the Moon" with the brilliant bassline of 'Money'. It begins with the ka-ching of cold hard cash, the root of all evil. The time sig is in 7/8, very disconcerting, complex and Gilmour's jangly guitar splashes complement the bass perfectly. The lyrics speak of money as the corruptible force that causes the filthy rich to blow millions on cars, leer jets, football teams and diamonds. The lyrics are ironic with a dark, satirical nature, but the effects of money and its misuse have never been more eloquently stated. The lyrics were read out by the school Master to tease the little boy on "The Wall" movie. Of course these lyrics and the song provided millions for the band. The money corrupted Pink Floyd too, their beliefs and values, the very thing the song was protesting. The saxophone solo is utterly mesmirising and the way the song changes time signature is inspirational.

'Keep Talking' is one of the best tracks from "Division Bell" and I always love hearing Stephen Hawkings vocals on this. 'Sheep' is the only "Animals" track so unfortunately 'Dogs' gets the flick. I always felt that "Animals" was one of the darkest Pink Floyd adventures primarily due to 'Sheep'. There is a section in this track that disturbs me everytime and it is the part where a very doomy synth is heard and a voice over narration. It is almost subliminal but if you listen closely you can hear a parody of The Lord's Prayer with a nasty twist; "With bright knives He releaseth my soul. He maketh me to hang on hooks in high places. He converteth me to lamb cutlets, For lo, He hath great power, and great hunger..." The sheep are the passive followers, docile and innocent, the common man, headed for the slaughterhouse to be chopped into little pieces (reminiscent of 'One of These Days'), exploited by the dogs and pigs. The exploitation continues until the sheep rebel and rise up against the oppressors only to be exploited again, a vicious cycle. In a sense Pink Floyd themselves. The sheep in the novel gain a consciousness when they see the corruption of the rich corporations, and they rebel, as Pink Floyd rebelled against the trash music of the late 70s by producing music like this. Of course the irony is the communists could never do such a thing or they would be slaughtered too, and Pink Floyd are well aware of these ironies, even making fun of themselves, after the incredible success of "DSOTM" and "WYWH". They had to face these corporations who wanted a piece of them too. The band had already touched on this theme on "WYWH" especially, 'Have A Cigar', which is criminally missing from this compilation. It would have been a better choice than 'Sorrow' but still CD 1 is certainly an incredible Pink Floyd collection.

CD 2 begins with the amazing genius of Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-7) that clocks 17:32. The tranquility conveyed on this "Wish You Were Here" track is astounding and so aptly performed live with exquisite visual imagery. The track opens with a patient, ambience created by sounds of a peaceful stream, a rowing boat, and the distinct keyboard talents of Wright. The music takes us downstream as we enter Syd Barret's jaded conscious thoughts, echoed by the band members themselves. The track is an ode to the twisted genius of Syd and moves through several sections as a multi movement suite orchestrated to perfection. The echoing guitar represents a four octave motif that Floydians have grown to adore. Its pure beauty is complimented when Gilmour chimes in "Remember when you were young..." The fragmentation of the beat midway through alludes to the fragmented status of the group since Barret's departure. Indeed this is a beatific paean to the troubled artist who recently travelled to "the great gig in the sky".

'Time' follows and it is a welcome addition. It is one of my favourite tracks with an excellent melody and amazing instrumental work. The clock chimes signify the alarm call where madness waits at the door, but time is wasted and we have achieved nothing.

'The Fletcher Memorial Home' is the obligatory Water's composed 'Final Cut' track and it is okay. It is sandwiched between two excellent tracks. Next is 'Comfortably Numb'. It was always Gilmour who provided the most glorious tracks including the best track on "The Wall". The low key verses are portentous and foreboding and then that uplifting chorus with vocal techniques that would be emulated by many prog artists especially Mostly Autumn's Josh, "There is no pain you are receding, a distant ship smoke on the horizon... when I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse out of the corner of my eye, I turned to look and it was gone, I cannot put my finger on it now... " masterful, perfect, unforgettable. The lead guitar solo at the end of this is legendary and I have heard many live versions which are even better with an extended screaming solo section, while a massive chandelier UFO light contraption opens above the audience sending out cascading rays of light upon them. A magic moment.

Next is a curio for a compilation 'When The Tigers Broke Free' which is a nice addition heard usually on the movie version of "The Wall". 'One Of These Days' is next and I always adore this instrumental. 'Us And Them' is next and I could have done without this to be honest as it really is best heard on the "Dark Side of the Moon" in context. The pace slows considerably on as it is a song about belonging in a world that treats you as an outcast unless you can fit into the mould that society creates. The track relies heavily on clean guitar and mellotron and seems to float along like a stream of sound. The song's lyrics speak of those who are on the street because they cannot cope with the world, and those who are able to cope and therefore off the streets and safe in the cookie cutter mould of social integration. The song has political connotations seen in the live footage played in concert with images of famous presidents such as Thatcher and Bush.

'Learning to Fly' is an awesome "Momentary Lapse of Reason" song that I always liked and it is great to hear it among all of these other classics. 'Arnold Layne' is an oddity here with more Barrett era psych prog and of course it was a different band.

'Wish You Were Here' brings us back to the more recent sound. This single has one of the most played, most recognized acoustic intros ever. The lyrics are as beautiful as the arrangement. Waters calls to the positive side of his dark nature. There are 2 sides to human nature he states, and we need to choose. 'Jugband Blues' follows which is once again a fish out of water that I have little time for. It is short and the album ends brilliantly with the absolutely hypnotising 'High Hopes'. The best song on "Division Bell" is an atmospheric haunting masterpiece. It begins with a startling bell tolling effect and very emotive performance by Gilmour. The majestic closing section is an incredible performance by the band. The film clip promo was brilliant and seen in the live shows on the circular screens.

Oh, there's one more to cap it all off, a strange choice bringing us back to the embryonic Pink Floyd, 'Bike'."You're the kind of girl that fits in with my world, I'll give you anything everything if you want things." 'Bike' is one of the better tracks on the debut and most Floydians know this well. It is well outside what Floyd would do in later years. You gotta love the whimsical lyrics that rhyme brilliantly about things special to Syd; the bike, gingerbread men, a cloak and a pet mouse, and a girl who he wants to fit into his rag tag world. I remember at half time at the Australian Pink Floyd Experience show speaking to some fans in the foyer about the concert, and we jokingly wanted the tribute band to play 'Bike'. It is simply a silly song with the most catchy little melody. It will sink into your brain but you will want it to get out.

So that is the compilation of Pink Floyd that was churning out of CD stores in 2001. It is what it is and to be honest if you own every album this has very little to draw you in. but it is well packaged, and the compilation is fascinating when heard in one listen. It takes you effectively through the massive back catalogue with only a few unforgiveable omissions but that is bound to happen. With the upcoming 14 album box set "Discovery" and the Experience Editions of "Dark Side" and "The Wall" this compilation may not live up to standard of the full Pink Floyd album experience, but it is an excellent starting point. For those people who live in caves and have not heard of the band, a compilation like this could be the entry point. There is too much of Pink Floyd's excellent material here to rate this lower than 4 stars so that is my rating.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Review #21 This compilation album is a good acquisition if you're NOT a huge fan of Pink Floyd and you only want to listen to their songs once in a while with no interest in the original studio albums. Most of the songs were mutilated so they could fit into the two CD's and the results were awful ... (read more)

Report this review (#2476219) | Posted by Uruk_hai | Sunday, November 15, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars And yet another greatest hits package from a band that can't really put out "hits". From 2001, ECHOES contains 155 minutes of Pink Floyd music. None of it in any kind of order. "Astronomy Domine" is the first number followed by "See Emily Play" but "Bike" is at the end. Many of the longer classics h ... (read more)

Report this review (#733664) | Posted by mohaveman | Friday, April 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars It plays as I type. Now I'm not a PF newbie; this is a borrowed copy to help satsfy a curiosity about how good / bad this set is compiled. I would say this is intended for the general listener, some one new who may not know where else to go or what albums to get. Sort of like for Zeppelin newb ... (read more)

Report this review (#556627) | Posted by uduwudu | Tuesday, October 25, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars "Echoes- The Best Of Pink Floyd" was one of the albums that introduced me to this band, shortly after listening to "Dark Side of the Moon." I was more than pleased with the list of songs that was chosen, since they cover just about all of Pink Floyd's career. With the exception of "Ummagumma," ... (read more)

Report this review (#220347) | Posted by Calculate900 | Monday, June 8, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd. A 2-disk collection of 26 definitive songs from all of Pink Floyd's multiple eras. I give this album 3 stars because while it does have many of the magical songs that I love, I don't care much for its structure, and certainly, as a fan who already has all their albu ... (read more)

Report this review (#196956) | Posted by HammerOfPink | Friday, January 2, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Well... It may seem quite strange, but this double CD containing the best of 27 years of Pink Floyd has been my first encounter with progressive music, exactly 4 years ago. Now I have almost all of their discography, and I became aware that some songs have been edited, but imagine a 14-years-old ... (read more)

Report this review (#170794) | Posted by Jack A Lynn | Monday, May 12, 2008 | Review Permanlink

1 stars This release was definetly made for the money. The song line up doesn't really flow and there are some songs that shouldn't even be considered "the best". And, what was the best was trimmed down to a skim taking away from the full Pink Floyd experience. I honestly wouldn't recommend this to a ... (read more)

Report this review (#135611) | Posted by dethics | Friday, August 31, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Personally, I much prefer listning to albums in whole. Especially with a band like Pink Floyd, with songs that fade into one another on the original albums, it's hard to scatter them around two discs while still reliving the greatness they have on the regular album. On 'Dark Side of the Moon', 'W ... (read more)

Report this review (#93403) | Posted by Shakespeare | Wednesday, October 4, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars It's not a bad compilation, But I don't understand why they cut parts of Echoes and Shine On. I also think that Eclipse should figure on that compilation if it is a ''best of''. It's the kind of compilation that are better with a chronological order, too bad it don't figure on that one. I give ... (read more)

Report this review (#83913) | Posted by proglil49 | Sunday, July 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I'll be honest. I had to check out the "ultimate" Pink Floyd compilation, and I was impressed, but not hardly enough. Echoes isn't just any greatest hits collection, but yet another trip through the years of the band. The problem is (see Billy Joel's Greatest Hits Volume I/Volume II) in the ... (read more)

Report this review (#80625) | Posted by CVoss | Wednesday, June 7, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars this is the 4th and arguably the best PF compliation I have listened too. It's so nice to hear samples from the band's 30+ year history. Since it's presented non-chronalogically, some of the jumps betwwent ime periods are a little awkward (High Hopes - Bike and Learning to Fly - Arnold Layne). ... (read more)

Report this review (#77859) | Posted by echoes2112 | Thursday, May 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars If you cannot be bothered tobuy all of Pink Floyd albums, this is the the CD for you! Though it may not include some of their less known classics ike 'Fat Old Sun', 'Interstellar Overdrive', 'Brain Damage/Eclipse' or 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene', this is has all of the Floyd's most popular ... (read more)

Report this review (#69715) | Posted by | Friday, February 17, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a very good collection, and reworked into all the songs connecting together. See Emily Play, a rare single, is added as well, very good song. While some songs I would have edited out to add in different ones of personal preference, and while I would NOT have shortened the lenghts of th ... (read more)

Report this review (#49900) | Posted by Howard the Duck | Monday, October 3, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I Can class Pink Floyd as my favourite band of all time. But even i find some problems with this album. No On the Turning Away. I can't understand this because it was along with Lerning 2 fly and one step the high points of AMLOR. Also I agree with other ppl who have said about Marooned. It sh ... (read more)

Report this review (#9375) | Posted by | Saturday, January 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

1 stars I shall now list whats wrong with this album like a list... 1. NO material from Atom Heart Mother(if this was the ONLY album they had included, I would still go nuts, because it's floyds finest work), More, Obscured By Clouds, AND Ummagumma!!!! I consider those first 3 to be their finest wor ... (read more)

Report this review (#9373) | Posted by | Monday, January 3, 2005 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Steer clear! If this is your first Pink Floyd album, you've made a mistake. Almost no "Best Of" collection can really capture the point that the Prog artist is trying to get accross. Your introduction to Pink should begin with Dark Side or The Wall; these are the only appropriate gateways into ... (read more)

Report this review (#9371) | Posted by | Tuesday, November 23, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is a class A anthology, that recalls exactly the excellent moments of the Floyd.Only Atom heart mother is absent.For the begginners that is starting to know Pink Floyd this record is exactly the starting point. ... (read more)

Report this review (#9365) | Posted by | Wednesday, February 25, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the first Pink Floyd album i bought, it inspired me to buy ALL their other albums. Great to get you into The Floyd if you your not familiar with their music, because of this compilation they are now my favorite band!!!! It covers there entire career from the 60's with the amazing Syd Barret ... (read more)

Report this review (#9364) | Posted by | Monday, February 16, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars this is the greatest cd/album ever released by floyd. it has a great selection of there greatest hits over there time span. the only disapointment was to see the Welcome to the Machine is not on the album. ... (read more)

Report this review (#9355) | Posted by | Friday, October 31, 2003 | Review Permanlink

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