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PINK FLOYD

Psychedelic/Space Rock • United Kingdom


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Pink Floyd biography
PINK FLOYD can be considered as one of the leading bands in progressive rock from the seventies, together with YES and GENESIS. Their first line-up consisted of guitarist Syd BARRETT, bassist-singer Roger WATERS (who left the band in 1983), drummer Nick MASON and keyboardist Rick WRIGHT. Their early material was mostly written and sung by BARRETT, at that time the central figure of the group. The first album "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" of 1967 contains come catchy pop songs, together with more experimental and longer instrumental pieces. They even reached the Top-20 in England with the song "Arnold LAYNE". In the beginning of 1968, guitarist David GILMOUR joined the band to replace BARRETT in live performances. But BARRETT had to leave the group because of mental instability. In 1970 the band recorded some songs for the cult movie Zabriskie Point including an alternative version of 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene'.

PINK FLOYD became even more successful, whilst playing psychedelic progressive rock with a touch of classical music. 1971 saw the release of "Meddle" (a clever mix of short mellow jazzy tunes and lengthy experimentaltracks) and the soundtrack for the film "La Vallée" ("Obscured By Clouds") was released in 1972. But their most successful album was definitely "Dark Side Of The Moon" (1973), cosmic rock produced by an excellent sound engineer Alan PARSONS. This album is a milestone in progressive rock, great songwriting with lots of special effects and including saxophone and great female vocals. The successor "Wish You Were Here" included the well-known epic song "Shine On You Crazy Diamond". "Animals" is a dark and underrated gem, featuring scathing lyrical accounts on humanity.

End 70's, Roger WATERS influenced both musical and lyrical the albums of the band. In 1979, they released "The Wall", a double album rock opera. After the release of "The Final Cut" in 1983 the band split up for a while. PINK FLOYD released a few albums afterwards without Roger WATERS, but they never reached their previous status. "Echoes", The Best of Pink Floyd, was released in 2001. To celebrate this 30th anniversary a new version of "Dark Side Of The Moon" has been released. This release is a must have for all music lovers young and old. Highly Recommended!

(Claude Bpl)

See also: Zabriskie Point - Original Soundtrack

Pink Floyd official website

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The Dark Side Of The MoonThe Dark Side Of The Moon
Remastered
Capitol Records 2011
Audio CD$8.55
$7.29 (used)
The WallThe Wall
Remastered
Capitol Records 2011
Audio CD$13.15
$15.95 (used)
Wish You Were HereWish You Were Here
Capitol Records 2011
Audio CD$5.98
$4.96 (used)
AnimalsAnimals
Parlophone 2011
Audio CD$7.82
$5.88 (used)
The Division Bell 20th Deluxe BoxThe Division Bell 20th Deluxe Box
Box set
Rhino Records 2014
Audio CD$109.86
$104.99 (used)
The Best of Pink Floyd - A Foot In The DoorThe Best of Pink Floyd - A Foot In The Door
Remastered
Capitol Records 2011
Audio CD$6.98
$8.00 (used)
PulsePulse
Sony 1995
Audio CD$11.34
$6.80 (used)
Momentary Lapse of ReasonMomentary Lapse of Reason
Parlophone 2011
Audio CD$7.16
$4.31 (used)
MeddleMeddle
Parlophone 2011
Audio CD$7.14
$6.81 (used)
Echoes: The Best of Pink FloydEchoes: The Best of Pink Floyd
Parlophone 2001
Audio CD$13.17
$0.81 (used)
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PINK FLOYD DARK SIDE OF THE MOON DUTCH PRESSING 12" VINYL RECORD ALBUM 1973 US $22.02 [17 bids]
1h 54m
The Wall by Pink Floyd (CD, Oct-1994, 2 Discs, Capitol) US $5.75 [5 bids]
1h 54m
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Echoes - The Best of Pink Floyd 4 LP Set US $99.00 [1 bids]
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2h 7m
PINK FLOYD WISH YOU WERE HERE UK PRESS A4/B10 VINYL LP 1975 WITH POSTCARD US $20.39 [25 bids]
2h 8m
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2h 24m
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Pink Floyd - The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. (U.K.1967.1/1,Stereo) US $39.15 [13 bids]
2h 59m
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3h
PINK FLOYD, Obscured By Clouds ... rare CD (mini LP) US $11.40 [1 bids]
3h
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3h 2m
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3h 3m
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PINK FLOYD shows & tickets


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PINK FLOYD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PINK FLOYD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.90 | 1404 ratings
The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
1967
3.63 | 1191 ratings
A Saucerful Of Secrets
1968
3.15 | 876 ratings
More
1969
3.47 | 1153 ratings
Ummagumma
1969
3.85 | 1525 ratings
Atom Heart Mother
1970
4.30 | 2112 ratings
Meddle
1971
3.36 | 1042 ratings
Obscured By Clouds
1972
4.59 | 3005 ratings
Dark Side Of The Moon
1973
4.62 | 2851 ratings
Wish You Were Here
1975
4.52 | 2521 ratings
Animals
1977
4.05 | 2070 ratings
The Wall
1979
3.17 | 1252 ratings
The Final Cut
1983
3.04 | 1161 ratings
A Momentary Lapse Of Reason
1987
3.72 | 1373 ratings
The Division Bell
1994

PINK FLOYD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.25 | 368 ratings
Delicate Sound Of Thunder
1988
3.93 | 529 ratings
P-U-L-S-E
1995
2.81 | 101 ratings
Live 66-67
1999
4.05 | 346 ratings
Is There Anybody Out There?
2000

PINK FLOYD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.74 | 350 ratings
Live At Pompeii
1981
4.05 | 399 ratings
The Wall (The Movie)
1982
3.62 | 130 ratings
In Concert - Delicate Sound Of Thunder
1989
3.09 | 38 ratings
La Carrera Panamericana
1992
4.41 | 413 ratings
P-U-L-S-E
1995
3.03 | 64 ratings
London - Live 66-67
1999
4.56 | 504 ratings
Live At Pompeii (The Director's Cut)
2003
4.04 | 139 ratings
Classic Albums: The Dark Side Of The Moon
2003
2.89 | 38 ratings
Inside Pink Floyd
2003
3.27 | 52 ratings
The Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett Story
2003
2.34 | 21 ratings
Inside Pink Floyd Volume 2 - A Critical Review 1975 - 1996
2005
2.05 | 10 ratings
The Ultimate Review
2005
1.83 | 15 ratings
The World's Greatest Albums - Atom Heart Mother
2005
2.55 | 16 ratings
Rock Milestones Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here
2005
1.87 | 14 ratings
Reflections And Echoes
2006
2.76 | 14 ratings
Rock Milestones Pink Floyd's The Piper At The Gates of Dawn
2006
1.20 | 13 ratings
Rock Milestones: Ummagumma
2006
2.10 | 10 ratings
Music Box Biographical Collection
2006
2.24 | 12 ratings
The Dark Side - Interviews
2006
2.20 | 11 ratings
Total Rock Review
2006
2.40 | 12 ratings
Meddle: A Classic Album Under Review
2007
3.14 | 14 ratings
Retrospectives
2007
2.00 | 10 ratings
The Early Pink Floyd - A Review And Critique
2008
2.11 | 10 ratings
Comfortably Numb
2008
3.00 | 12 ratings
A Technicolor Dream
2008
3.66 | 22 ratings
Live Anthology
2008
1.83 | 14 ratings
The Great Gig In The Sky: The Album By Album Guide
2008
3.96 | 56 ratings
The Story of Wish You Were Here
2012

PINK FLOYD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.04 | 29 ratings
The Best Of The Pink Floyd
1970
3.53 | 272 ratings
Relics
1971
3.08 | 77 ratings
A Nice Pair
1973
2.67 | 52 ratings
Masters Of Rock Vol. 1
1974
2.10 | 150 ratings
A Collection Of Great Dance Songs
1981
2.14 | 107 ratings
Works
1983
3.43 | 68 ratings
Shine On
1992
3.57 | 76 ratings
The Early Singles
1992
3.03 | 51 ratings
1967: The First Three Singles
1997
3.39 | 193 ratings
Echoes - The Best Of Pink Floyd
2001
4.08 | 69 ratings
Oh By The Way...
2007
2.83 | 41 ratings
A Foot In The Door: The Best Of Pink Floyd
2011
4.60 | 43 ratings
Discovery
2011
4.76 | 87 ratings
The Dark Side Of The Moon - Experience Edition
2011
4.50 | 73 ratings
The Dark Side Of The Moon - Immersion Edition
2011
4.67 | 88 ratings
Wish You Were Here - Experience Edition
2011
4.28 | 59 ratings
Wish You Were Here - Immersion Edition
2011
4.23 | 39 ratings
The Wall - Experience Edition
2011
1.64 | 40 ratings
The Wall Singles
2011
3.69 | 56 ratings
The Wall - Immersion Edition
2012

PINK FLOYD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.73 | 58 ratings
Arnold Layne
1967
3.36 | 66 ratings
See Emily Play
1967
2.84 | 42 ratings
Apples And Oranges
1967
2.58 | 53 ratings
Tonite Let's All Make Love In London
1967
3.73 | 22 ratings
Flaming
1967
3.25 | 31 ratings
It Would Be So Nice
1968
3.40 | 34 ratings
Point Me at the Sky
1968
2.82 | 33 ratings
The Nile Song
1969
3.76 | 61 ratings
One Of These Days
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
Free Four
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
Free Four / Absolutely Curtains
1972
3.71 | 68 ratings
Money
1973
3.45 | 60 ratings
Time
1973
3.57 | 56 ratings
Have a Cigar
1975
3.73 | 62 ratings
Comfortably Numb
1979
3.47 | 63 ratings
Another Brick In The Wall
1979
3.37 | 54 ratings
Run Like Hell
1980
3.23 | 47 ratings
When the Tigers Broke Free
1982
1.94 | 45 ratings
Not Now John/The Hero's Return (Part 2)
1983
2.40 | 49 ratings
Learning To Fly (promo single)
1987
2.90 | 43 ratings
On the Turning Away
1987
2.61 | 29 ratings
One Slip
1988
3.18 | 17 ratings
A Momentary Lapse Of Reason Official Tour CD
1988
2.89 | 22 ratings
Shine On - Selections From The Box
1992
3.10 | 58 ratings
High Hopes/ Keep Talking (single)
1994
3.25 | 49 ratings
Take It Back (single)
1994
3.43 | 7 ratings
Interview Disc
1995

PINK FLOYD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Classic Albums: The Dark Side Of The Moon by PINK FLOYD album cover DVD/Video, 2003
4.04 | 139 ratings

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Classic Albums: The Dark Side Of The Moon
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is a very good documentary about the making of PINK FLOYD`s "The Dark Side of the Moon" album. This is another official video like the one the band did for their "Wish You Were Here" album. It has interviews done with David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Richard Wright, Roger Waters, Storm Thorgerson, Alan Parsons and others. It shows an almost track by track (the two exceptions are "Speak to Me" and "Any Colour You Like") description and explanation of how the songs were conceived, and sometimes Waters (the lyricist and the main creator of the concept of the album) gives some explanations about the meaning of the lyrics. It is also a good video because despite the split with Waters in 1985, each member of the band has very good memories about the making of the album, saying that the band was really working as a band and as a team while recording the album, and there are even some good commentaries about each other member`s talents (Gilmour says that the main force behind the album was Waters; Waters praises Wright`s keyboard parts and compositions particularly in "The Great Gig in the Sky" and "Us and Them"; Waters praises the combination of Gilmour and Wright`s vocals; Mason says that the band worked then very well together...). Recording engineer Alan Parsons (why the band did not carry on working with him after this album? This is one of their best recorded albums, in my opinion) is also praised for his work in the album, and he also explains some technical things about the recording of the album. Storm Thorgerson explains how he designed the album`s cover. Waters says that the band still worked very well for this album because they still had the same goals ("to become rich and famous"). As a whole, the interviews are very entertaining, showing personal harmony between the four musicians despite their old legal disputes which derived from the split of Waters in 1985. And this documentary really shows why this album is still very respected since being released in 1973. It still is very relevant despite the passing of time.

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 A Momentary Lapse Of Reason by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.04 | 1161 ratings

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A Momentary Lapse Of Reason
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by aglasshouse

4 stars To start off my new profile, I might as well review one of my favorite prog albums of all time.

When Roger Waters left PINK FLOYD after the dreadful sales of "The Final Cut", Mason and Gilmour were left on their own to produce the next album. During the writing of his 3rd solo album, Gilmour made the decision to actually make it under the PINK FLOYD name. Mason was back on the album, and Wright was brought in as a session musician (for the first time after Waters decided to fire the bloke). Other musicians, such as Carmin Appice, John Carin, and Bob Erzin (who was later known for helping with the production of the album itself) were all on the roster as additional musicians along with some other cool people.

A huge debate over this album is the fact that a "non original member" took over from Waters after he explosively quit the band. Many people say that Mason should have taken over the band, seeing as he was on the wagon from the first album. I think being on the second studio album till present is a spectacular feat, and I would assume that would make you an original member. However, some people disagree with this, and that's okay. It's all about perspective.

As for the musicianship used after Waters left, it's astounding. Sure, cheesy saxophone can increasingly repetitive as the album goes on, but I think Gilmour's fantastic guitar work makes up for that. The heavy guitar solos in such songs as 'On The Turning Away', 'One Slip', and 'Learning to Fly' make me forget all about the sax. As for good moments with the good old brass is in my favorite song, 'Dogs of War', featuring an amazing saxophone solo. True, the sound is slightly out-dated, and hasn't aged very well. With songs like 'Terminal Frost', where the chords might have fit better back in the 70s.

Another song I would like to tackle is 'A New Machine' Parts 1&2. Whilst alot people see this as blatant filler to make up for creative lax, I think of it as a great experimental track. I always loved that psychedelic, rippling sound in the music that gave it a tone of dreary and dark (except for the nice, strong vocals). Part 2 is less enjoyable, due to it's incredibly short duration compared to part 1. I would have rathered they do something like they did with 'Pigs on the Wing', and make it a whole song when combined together, not some small tidbit of what it could really be.

As for the cons, I don't really have much. As I stated before, the aging of this album is sort of stale and disappointing compared to other albums. My least favorite track has to be 'Signs of Life'. The droning and boring quality reminds me too much of the most likely inspired- from track 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond', which I dislike as well (I hope I don't get hated on for that). It is definitely a weak opener.

Overall, I feel that many people jump on the bandwagon for hating this album instead of listening to it with an open mind, which I encourage you to do with full certainty. You might find yourself liking it.

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 Animals by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.52 | 2521 ratings

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Animals
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by progpig66 (arnold)

5 stars How started my love for progressive rock? On a rainy day in 1977 I bought Animals by Pink Floyd. It changed my life. How I loved this story of Dog, Sheep and of course PIGS! I I was deeply impressed by the inventiveness of the music and the brilliance of the lyrics. Four fantastic musicians telling us the truth about humanity. Listened the album over and over again, devoured the lyrics, went to the record shop and spent my pocket money on many more Pink Floyd LP's.

This is my all time number one progressive rock album and it aroused my love for progressive rock for always!

progpig66

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 The Story of Wish You Were Here by PINK FLOYD album cover DVD/Video, 2012
3.96 | 56 ratings

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The Story of Wish You Were Here
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A good documentary video (an official one, it seems) done with interviews with David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Richard Wright, Roger Waters, recording engineer Brian Humphries, album cover designer Storm Thorgerson, cartoonist Gerald Scarfe, musician Roy Harper, and other people related with the history of the band and particularly with the making of the "Wish You Were Here" album. It relates the story that I also have read in two books written about the band (one by Miles, and the other by William Ruhlmann) about how hard was for the band to record a new album after the great success of their "The Dark Side of the Moon" album from 1973. They really had hard times trying to top that album or at least to produce an album with the same quality as "The Dark Side...". And while I still think that "The Dark Side..." is a better album, their "Wish You Were Here" album is still a good album . By the time the band was planning to record a new album in 1974 they had some problems to reach an agreement about how to do it. So, with the help of a few musical ideas and with Waters mostly acting like the "main director" the band developed ideas for a new album, which became the "Wish You Were Here" album from 1975. In this video, they said that there were two main themes for the album: one theme was former member of the band Syd Barrett, and the other theme was their growing dislike of the music business and record companies. So, they recorded a tribute song for Barrett, called "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", dividing this musical piece in several different sections which were divided in two main parts (one which started the album and another which closed the album), and putting some other songs between these two main sections of "Shine On...". The songs related to their growing dislike of the music business ("Welcome to the Machine" and "Have a Cigar") were put in the record between those two manin sections of "Shine On...", also including another song, the title song, which was in part also dedicated to Syd but as they said, "it also relates to many other things". They also relate the story about how Syd appeared in the studio (in the video there is a photo about this moment) while they were mixing "Shine On..." and how they could not at first recognize him but when finally they did it it was a shock to them to see Syd when they were working on a song about him.

Well...you have to watch the video to learn about other related stories about this album and about some technical information about how it was recorded. I have to say that it is a good video documentary, but some of the information has been written before in some books about the band and also told in some interviews with some of the members of the band.

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 Not Now John/The Hero's Return (Part 2) by PINK FLOYD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1983
1.94 | 45 ratings

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Not Now John/The Hero's Return (Part 2)
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Two songs from the album "The Final Cut", but with some differences in comparison to the album versions, to be released in this single.

The "clean" version of "Not Now John" replaces the use of that "terrible" four letters word which stars with "F" in the phrase "F*** all that " with a more "simple" "Stuff all that" phrase to allow the song to be played without censorship in the radio. I don`t know if this song was played in the radio even with that change, but I can`t remember if it was played in the radio stations in my city. "The Final Cut" album is maybe the only album which was released under the PINK FLOYD`s name which is one of the most forgotten albums by some fans, being really more a solo album from Roger Waters than anything else, But in this song, the heaviest from that album, at least one could listen to David Gilmour sharing lead vocals with Roger Waters, and to some very good guitars by Gilmour plus some very good drums by Nick Mason. The rest of the album songs were sung by Waters alone and despite having some good playing from Gilmour and Mason still sounded more like songs from a Roger Waters`solo album. So, maybe the main reasons to release this song in the "A" side of this single was to give the impression that the band still was a "real" band and that it was the srongest song from that album. Maybe the female backing singers who only appeared in this song from that album were no credited in the back cover of that album to avoid their "shame" of being listened repeating that "terrible word which stars with F" several times during this song. But in this single version they sing along with Gilmour and Waters "Stuff all that" instead. Obviously all the vocals in this single version were edited a bit, or maybe all were re-recorded to change that part of the lyrics to "Stuff all that", and maybe I`m wrong but I also could listen to some mixing differences in comparison to the album`s version.

"The Hero`s Return (Parts 1 and 2)" in this single has an additional final verse which extends the lenght of the song for one more minute. This song is also a good song but again it sounds more like a song from a Roger Waters`s solo album. In this extended version the song sounds very well too.

For collectors and fans only.

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 See Emily Play by PINK FLOYD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1967
3.36 | 66 ratings

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See Emily Play
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars A representative single album.

It is not a secret that I love Pink Floyd, that since I knew the progressive rock genre, I adopted them as my favourite band, and I've loved them ever since I discovered them. But my experience with the Barrett era came at least one year after I first listened to The Wall or Darkside, so it was a new concept to me, a psychedelic, crazier and more acid sound, which I will not lie, is not my favourite Pink Floyd phase, though I also like it a lot.

"See Emily Play" is a wonderful composition that remains in everyone's mind, this is like a hymn, like a precious piece of art for the devoted fans, and thought some might say its quality is way lower than songs such as "Echoes" or "Dogs", this piece has its own charm. A 3-minute psychedelic track with excellent keyboards working as background, while Syd's voice appears like a punch following the fast drums rhythm and the excellent interaction between guitar and bass. What a great song they did.

And to complete a pair, "Scarecrow" was included in this single album. This is a 2-minute song which is nice but not the best. Totally Barrett-esque of course, it is like a fairy tale with acid inside, so go figure.

This single is truly appreciated by fans and critics, so if for some strange reason you find a copy of it, do not hesitate and buy it.

I like it, mostly for Emily... but you know me, I rate singles or albums with less than 20 minutes length with 1 or 2 stars. This time I'll go for the latter.

Enjoy it!

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 More by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.15 | 876 ratings

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More
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The soundtrack to the film MORE is a strange little album in the discography of PINK FLOYD. After Syd Barrett was asked to leave during the process of recording 'A Saucerful Of Secrets' the band was left in an awkward position of losing one of its key members of their psychedelic phase in the early years. They opted to carry on without him but had a bit of a transitional process along the way before they would get to the new era that blossomed in the 70s. This soundtrack is one of those quirky outings on their way to super-stardom. This album has always been a mystery as to why I like it so much. When you take any single track on here and isolate it the impression is lessened than when the album is played in full. There are plenty of psychedelic references to the previous album's title track, some simple rockers, blues and even a short Spanish guitar piece. For me the magic lies in the flow from one track to another and the mood the whole thing strings together as it progresses.

I have never seen the movie but there are two songs that can be heard in the film that were not included on the album: "Seabirds" and "Hollywood.' For this reason alone I might have to take the plunge and check this flick out no matter how bad it is. I've seen some pretty horrific films in my days and haven't been scarred for life by any (well.... Bride Of Chucky might be the exception). One of the strangest things about this album is that you will hear the FLOYD rock out like they never had and never would again on tracks like 'Nile Song.' Overall I find myself enjoying this every time I drop in and press play. I guess I like the avant feel to the whole thing and the transitional uncertainties that come out in it. However despite liking this album I don't listen to it often. I really should listen to it MORE.

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 Atom Heart Mother by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.85 | 1525 ratings

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Atom Heart Mother
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by PanOfPans

4 stars Atom Heart Mother is the 5th studio album of the progressive rock band, Pink Floyd. Written about a woman being fitted with a nuclear-powered pacemaker, Pink Floyd did not gain real relevance until this album hit the charts around the world. Shifting out of their Psychedelic/Space Rock era of musical expertise, Waters and Gilmour took their band to new heights with this album. Is it a perfect comeback by one of the most highly regarded prog-rock bands of all time? No, but it certainly does have it's jaw dropping wows. ---------------------------------------------------- 1. Atom Heart Mother (Suite) ------------------ The longest Pink Floyd to date, this 24 minute suite got the band on to new experimental heights. It is hard to juxtapose this with the other tracks on the album, due to it's musical nature to be much different then a normal track or an epic like "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast". Starting with the signature fading-in hum that starts many of Pink Floyd's great hits, the listener is greeted with fanfare, which is unusual for a Pink Floyd song. Gilmour, Waters, Mason, and Wright however come in to save the day with their extraordinary work of instrumentals. The suite stretches on, and starts hitting very psychedelic and odd bumps, which really throws off the suite's rhythm. Some better parts are fitted into the suite, however are slightly spoiled by the less appealing aspects of their predecessors. Admittedly, the suite was a masterpiece and a fine work of art until "Echoes" on Meddle came to claim the spot as one of the greatest rock suites of all time, and "Atom Heart Mother" was left to linger in it's over-looming shadow. ----------------------------- 2. If ------------------------- The first and unavoidable first primarily Waters-written track on the album, "If" takes the mic after the preceding suite has faded into silence. The song starts out relatively slow, and gives you the feeling that the song will turn to something great. It doesn't. The song retains the same chord progression and doesn't change musically until it picks up slightly with the lamely soft drum work of Mason. The lyrical work retains it's major heading all throughout the track, usually starting with Waters saying along the lines of: "If I were a ____, I'd ______". Then, after four and a half minutes of looping music, the song ends with no visible sign of stopping or musical climax to warn you of the song's sudden drop into silence. If I were the writer of this song, I'd really need to step up my game. ---------------------- 3. Summer '68 ------------------------ One of the only 16 Pink Floyd songs to have Wright singing, one of the 6 Pink Floyd songs to have Wright be the only singer, and one of the 8 songs to be written solely by Wright himself. Opening with a soothing piano piece coupled with Wright himself singing, the song gets you in the mood of a slow song. This is broken very soon by a barrage of guitar and drums coupling with the keyboard (which has become much more bouncy and jazzy) and the Abbey Road Session Pops Orchestra coming in with the brass. Wright's voice is very beautiful, and it gives me sadness that he didn't sing in many other songs after this one by himself. This is definitely one of the greater tracks on Atom Heart Mother. ----------------------- 4. Fat Old Sun ------------------------------ The only solely Gilmour written and sung song on the album, "Fat Old Sun" brings a god damn smile to my face every time I hear it. Starting with Gilmour's extraordinary guitar work, coupled with Mason's superb percussion mastery, this song rises to the stop on my list of best songs from the album. The song start's with the sound of distant ringing bells that thrusts you into the extraordinary work of Gilmour and his fellow band members. While the sweet song takes it's time, you are suddenly put into the astonishing rock solo that closes the song. As the rocking guitar solo ends, the opening bells come back to finish the job and close the doors on this masterpiece. This is DEFINITELY my favourite song from the album. ------------------------------- 5. Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast ---------------------------------- Meant to be an ode to the past founder of the band, Syd Barret, this take the place as my least favourite of the tracks of the album. The title and composition was supposed to be a reference to the Floyd's mainly psychedelic influenced music from when they first started their first studio album. The song is obviously supposed to maintain their old school psychedelic feeling, and I think they did a pretty good job. The thing is, their trippy origins weren't favorable in my opinion either. So, by making this song, they successfully made the song just as good as their origins, so not very good at all. The song is obviously trying way to hard at being super-psychedelic with it's goofy over-the-top sound effects, and which therefore makes the song very unappealing in my opinion. The song can have some very moving pieces during it, however, which makes it at least standable. When I'm trying to enjoy a nice acoustic guitar piece, however, I would rather not having the noises of a man shoveling food down his throat with unbelievable gusto, and then just choking on it and taking me away from the atmosphere of the track. My least favorite on the album, but it does hold it's strong suits and it's special place in my heart.

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 Ummagumma by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.47 | 1153 ratings

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Ummagumma
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

4 stars A classic album that few - if anyone - listens to anymore. Both Pink Floyd and music in general have come a long way since 1969. Back then it was considered as groundbreaking effort that, in turn, paved the way to and inspired countless psychedelic releases. 45 years later, such works are still coming thick and fast. On the side of understandable nostalgia, "Ummagumma" still commands due respect - even if it doesn't get much play these days.

Rating this work represents quite a challenge because the two discs are very different. Disc 1 is a pure psychedelic trip. With headphones on, one could go on astral travel into outer space. It would deserve a rating of 4, or 5, even by today's standards.

Disc 2 however is an overly indulgent recording that was typical of that era. The excesses of that time today wouldn't be tolerated, let alone lead to a record contract. The individual members largely just fooling around, perhaps exploring the (then) new stereo effects. It may have been somewhat amusing then, but in musical terms it only contains fragments of engaging bits. It is seen as "Collectors/Fans only" to a rating of 2.

So, which way do I lean? Do I knock the whole work over disk 2? No, I won't, I'll just give that one a miss. But disc 1 remains a worthy addition, deserving due attention, so I can't rate it as "good, but non-essential". And this one wins the contest to a weak 4.

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 Ummagumma by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.47 | 1153 ratings

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Ummagumma
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Wicket
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Ever wonder what John Cage and "Ummagumma" have in common? Well, the answer explains the extremely rare path Pink Floyd undertook to develop their unique sound. (And read the whole review before you jump to conclusions.)

All bands, no matter what they play or how famous they are, usually tend to follow the path of the tried and true sound, with a few tweaks along the way, or the path of most resistance, taking a complete 180 halfway through their careers, a la Beatles.

And then there's a little band from England called Pink Floyd.

They started where the Beatles left off, in psychedelica land: kinda catchy, but fairly forgettable. Then again, this was the late 60's: taking acid everyday was considered healthy for the human body. But Pink Floyd decided to undertake something fairly radical, especially at this point in time:

They changed their sound with each forthcoming album.

Sure, elements of trippiness remain. "Saucerful Of Secrets" began with "Let There Be Light", which fused the fading drug-tinged rock n roll vocals with prototypical guitar solos that would later become a staple in the Floyd repetoire. It seemed irrelevant then, as it's still long forgotten even in the mind of the true progressive fanbase. No coincidence that the most famed off the album is "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun", a prototypical space-out jam, something Pink Floyd mastered during their hayday.

And yet, no seems to remember the title track, the longest one, filled with spacey sounds, organ jumbles and slow, soothing chords at the end. Hmm, I wonder why? Ignoring the "More" soundtrack (fairly forgettable), "Saucerful Of Secrets" was comprised of the psych rock of Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, and the acid-tripping experimentation of this album, "Ummagumma". Ignoring the first four tracks, live versions of older songs, this is, by far, the most complicated and difficult Floyd album to breach, mainly because of the many similarities with 20th-century classical music.

Those of you who know your classical music will know that tonality (pieces with key signatures) died in 1909 when Arnold Schoenberg published his Drei Klavierstücke in 1909, marking the first time a piece was published that contained no key signatures and truly abandoned harmony and tonality. Ever since then, composers expanded his twelve-tone theory technique and fiddled with creation compositions in various means, using microtones, unusual instruments, adding electronic sounds, finally coming to a head when John Cage published his now infamous "4'33" in 1953, in which a composer sits at a piano for 4 mintues and 33 seconds, doing absolutely nothing.

But what does that have to do with this album, you ask? Everything.

The album truly begins with "Sysyphus", which begins with ominous timpani and low drones, heralding doom and despair. Probably. At least, Part 1 does. You'd think it would be the start of a grand prog epic, but actually, Part 2 is, essentially, a piano solo. Think of "Sysyphus" as a classical composition. Part 1 is the theme of dread, whereas Part 2 begins with lush, beautiful piano harmonies, effortlessly flowing through key signatures and slight hints of chromaticism all around. Halfway through Part 2, Richard Wright's piano playing deters from the traditional happy, melodic sounds and immediately descends into atonality, "stressful music", exactly the kind of stuff that Schoenburg had essentially conceived back in 1909, thus ending in a flurry of tone clusters which was probably just Wright punching his piano over and over again. I mean, that's what it sounds like. I've tried that.

Part 3 continues along the evolutionary line of classical music. Without insider knowledge, it sounds essentially like the inner pluckings of a piano, highlighted by sporadic cymbal mutes and snare drum crushes... and screaming babies. I think. But again, the similarities of this album and the progression of classical music in the 20th century are astonishing. The birth of the percussion ensemble in the 1930's was the result of the melodies created, but with whatever sounds could be produced by hitting instruments and other things.

Part 4 sounds almost exactly like a Morton Feldman composition. Feldman took music to new heights when he composed atonal music with normal instruments, but then expanded the lengths of the pieces so vast, it would make a Yes album feel puny by comparison. With no percussion or noticeable rhythm, the entire piece floated on in ghostly fashion, much like Part 4. Even when the organ enters, there's nothing for the listener to grab onto, no noticeable theme, no catchy melody, until the main theme from Part 1 slowly hovers back into view with roughly a minute left to go. It's a marvelous composition when taken as a whole. Not really something you'd hear on Q104.3's classic rock station, though.

"Grantchester Meadows", then, comes as a surprise. It's not particularly catchy, but it's traditional Pink Floyd prog folk. Perhaps an experimentation of traditional British folk tunes? Possibly, composers like Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughn Williams were masters at taking British folk songs and incorporating their elements into more modern compositions composed with modern means.

Still not convinced by the relations with contemporary classical music? The next track drives the nail in the coffin. "Several Species" is essentially 5 minutes of noise, or, if you're John Cage, music. It was this extreme philosophy that forced people to rethink music. If coughing or sneazing could be considered music, something had to change, but it was this experimentation that defined the 20th century in terms of classical music, and it was this experimentation that also defined Pink Floyd. Unlike contemporary composers like Karlheinz Stockhausen or Milton Babbit or Brian Ferneyhough, they realized they had no gone too far the other way in terms of the musical spectrum, so they decided, "let's try to meet in the middle!"

"The Narrow Way" begins with a nice little acoustic passage highlighted with synth sounds and wooshes, followed by Part 2 which sounds a bit omminous a la "Sysyphus Part 1", which fades out into drones and whistles before vocals enter in Part 3, and we finally hear a bit of that gaping, cavernous echo which defines Pink Floyd's best known materials so well. Here, then, for the first time in the Floyd's career, do we finally find a meeting of both extremes, which would meld into one of the greatest sounds by one of the greatest rock bands ever made.

Except we're not quite done, there's still the "Grand Vizier's Garden Party" to attend to. It begins with a lovely flute melody, highlighted by the crack of the snare drum and a fanfare-esque roll. Now, it sounds like a modern symphonic prog epic! Except...it doesn't. In reality, it turns out to be a collage of percussion oriented sounds, much like a contemporary percussion ensemble, which then evolves into a sort of (no offense) a half-assed drum solo highlighting an electronic soundboard. And then the exit reprises the happy flute melody. So, again, more experimentation.

But therein lies the crux of this album. This is 1969. Pink Floyd haven't discovered their sound yet. So, like most people, they set off to find it, so they recorded what they made, put it on a record and sold it, predictably, to minimal results. But while many elements comprised in this album are mimicked and noticeable in future albums, they weren't created to this extreme. This is the closest any rock or prog fan will get to what classical compositions by the likes of Cage, Stockhausen, Xenakis or Babbit would sound like.

So, finally, to explain the lone star that accompanies this review. This is one of, if not, the most experimental prog-related albums by far ever made. You're certainly not going to hear it on the radio, and most tunes you probably won't like, mainly because it just sounds foreign to you, like 20th-century classical music does to almost anyone that doesn't play it (unlike myself). My father, a huge Pink Floyd fan, despises this album immensely, so surely even some collectors of Pink Floyd material will either hardly hear it or admit they just don't like the music from it.

Yet, what this album lacks in catchy listenable tunes, it does make up for in the genius the Pink Floyd's compositional and songwriting skills. This is a landmark album in the progression of Pink Floyd's sound. Much like Cage's 4'33 sparked the Minimalist sound movement with Terry Riley and Steve Reich, the quartet realized they had reached to such an extreme to find their own unique sound, that they had gone TOO far, and realized there must be harmony and equilibrium between catchy, accessible music, and continuous storytelling through unique sounds, auras, progressions, instruments and technology.

Happy music died in 1909. But what Pink Floyd discovered in 1969, they reprimanded 4 years later. Something classical composers today in 2014 still have not done. This is a landmark album. No doubt about it.

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