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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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Dark Side Of The MoonDark Side Of The Moon
Parlophone 2011
Vinyl$20.70
$27.98 (used)
Wish You Were HereWish You Were Here
Capitol Records 2011
Audio CD$7.92
$6.80 (used)
The Endless River (CD+Blu-ray Casebook Edition)The Endless River (CD+Blu-ray Casebook Edition)
Box set
Columbia 2014
Audio CD$24.55
$15.99 (used)
THE WALLTHE WALL
Parlophone 2011
Audio CD$13.06
$10.55 (used)
AnimalsAnimals
Parlophone 2011
Audio CD$7.97
$8.95 (used)
The WallThe Wall
Remastered
Capitol Records 2011
Audio CD$11.96
$9.95 (used)
The Divison BellThe Divison Bell
Parlophone 2011
Audio CD$7.97
$7.96 (used)
MeddleMeddle
Parlophone 2011
Audio CD$7.63
$8.10 (used)
Momentary Lapse Of ReasonMomentary Lapse Of Reason
Parlophone 2011
Audio CD$7.78
$7.00 (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$6.92
$5.92 (used)
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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)

3.89 | 1561 ratings
The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
1967
3.66 | 1345 ratings
A Saucerful Of Secrets
1968
3.15 | 1009 ratings
More
1969
3.48 | 1309 ratings
Ummagumma
1969
3.86 | 1715 ratings
Atom Heart Mother
1970
4.31 | 2405 ratings
Meddle
1971
3.37 | 1182 ratings
Obscured By Clouds
1972
4.59 | 3374 ratings
Dark Side Of The Moon
1973
4.62 | 3200 ratings
Wish You Were Here
1975
4.52 | 2850 ratings
Animals
1977
4.05 | 2315 ratings
The Wall
1979
3.17 | 1416 ratings
The Final Cut
1983
3.05 | 1314 ratings
A Momentary Lapse Of Reason
1987
3.72 | 1566 ratings
The Division Bell
1994
3.44 | 426 ratings
The Endless River
2014

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

3.28 | 433 ratings
Delicate Sound Of Thunder
1988
3.94 | 606 ratings
P-U-L-S-E
1995
2.86 | 122 ratings
Live 66-67
1999
4.07 | 396 ratings
Is There Anybody Out There?
2000

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

4.76 | 402 ratings
Live At Pompeii
1981
4.08 | 450 ratings
The Wall (The Movie)
1982
3.60 | 146 ratings
In Concert - Delicate Sound Of Thunder
1989
3.07 | 40 ratings
La Carrera Panamericana
1992
4.41 | 447 ratings
P-U-L-S-E
1995
3.07 | 73 ratings
London - Live 66-67
1999
4.57 | 547 ratings
Live At Pompeii (The Director's Cut)
2003
4.06 | 151 ratings
Classic Albums: The Dark Side Of The Moon
2003
2.91 | 42 ratings
Inside Pink Floyd
2003
3.29 | 59 ratings
The Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett Story
2003
2.38 | 24 ratings
Inside Pink Floyd Volume 2 - A Critical Review 1975 - 1996
2005
2.19 | 12 ratings
The Ultimate Review
2005
1.84 | 16 ratings
The World's Greatest Albums - Atom Heart Mother
2005
2.45 | 14 ratings
Rock Milestones Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here
2005
1.83 | 15 ratings
Reflections And Echoes
2006
2.77 | 16 ratings
Rock Milestones Pink Floyd's The Piper At The Gates of Dawn
2006
1.33 | 17 ratings
Rock Milestones: Ummagumma
2006
2.10 | 10 ratings
Music Box Biographical Collection
2006
2.35 | 14 ratings
The Dark Side - Interviews
2006
2.20 | 11 ratings
Total Rock Review
2006
2.43 | 14 ratings
Meddle: A Classic Album Under Review
2007
3.14 | 14 ratings
Retrospectives
2007
1.95 | 11 ratings
The Early Pink Floyd - A Review And Critique
2008
2.11 | 10 ratings
Comfortably Numb
2008
3.00 | 13 ratings
A Technicolor Dream
2008
3.64 | 23 ratings
Live Anthology
2008
1.81 | 15 ratings
The Great Gig In The Sky: The Album By Album Guide
2008
3.98 | 65 ratings
The Story of Wish You Were Here
2012

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

2.06 | 32 ratings
The Best Of The Pink Floyd
1970
3.55 | 300 ratings
Relics
1971
3.10 | 89 ratings
A Nice Pair
1973
2.68 | 55 ratings
Masters Of Rock Vol. 1
1974
2.12 | 162 ratings
A Collection Of Great Dance Songs
1981
2.16 | 120 ratings
Works
1983
3.43 | 74 ratings
Shine On
1992
3.67 | 86 ratings
The Early Singles
1992
3.03 | 54 ratings
1967: The First Three Singles
1997
3.40 | 210 ratings
Echoes - The Best Of Pink Floyd
2001
4.03 | 68 ratings
Oh By The Way...
2007
2.77 | 44 ratings
A Foot In The Door: The Best Of Pink Floyd
2011
4.49 | 55 ratings
Discovery
2011
4.74 | 104 ratings
The Dark Side Of The Moon - Experience Edition
2011
4.56 | 92 ratings
The Dark Side Of The Moon - Immersion Edition
2011
4.71 | 106 ratings
Wish You Were Here - Experience Edition
2011
4.37 | 80 ratings
Wish You Were Here - Immersion Edition
2011
4.21 | 52 ratings
The Wall - Experience Edition
2011
1.80 | 50 ratings
The Wall Singles
2011
3.81 | 75 ratings
The Wall - Immersion Edition
2012
4.11 | 19 ratings
The Division Bell (20th Anniversary Deluxe Box)
2014

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

3.75 | 63 ratings
Arnold Layne
1967
3.38 | 73 ratings
See Emily Play
1967
2.84 | 46 ratings
Apples And Oranges
1967
2.58 | 55 ratings
Tonite Let's All Make Love In London
1967
3.57 | 23 ratings
Flaming
1967
3.25 | 31 ratings
It Would Be So Nice
1968
3.62 | 36 ratings
Point Me at the Sky
1968
2.81 | 35 ratings
The Nile Song
1969
3.77 | 65 ratings
One Of These Days
1971
4.40 | 6 ratings
Free Four
1972
4.00 | 4 ratings
Free Four / Absolutely Curtains
1972
3.72 | 72 ratings
Money
1973
3.51 | 66 ratings
Time
1973
3.61 | 62 ratings
Have a Cigar
1975
3.77 | 66 ratings
Comfortably Numb
1979
3.51 | 67 ratings
Another Brick In The Wall
1979
3.38 | 57 ratings
Run Like Hell
1980
3.21 | 50 ratings
When the Tigers Broke Free
1982
1.87 | 47 ratings
Not Now John/The Hero's Return (Part 2)
1983
2.46 | 56 ratings
Learning To Fly (promo single)
1987
3.01 | 46 ratings
On the Turning Away
1987
2.94 | 31 ratings
One Slip
1988
2.94 | 18 ratings
A Momentary Lapse Of Reason Official Tour CD
1988
2.90 | 23 ratings
Shine On - Selections From The Box
1992
3.15 | 64 ratings
High Hopes/ Keep Talking (single)
1994
3.35 | 50 ratings
Take It Back
1994
3.43 | 7 ratings
Interview Disc
1995
4.00 | 34 ratings
Louder Than Words
2014

PINK FLOYD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ummagumma by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.48 | 1309 ratings

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Ummagumma
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by SteveG

4 stars "I agree that it's art. But can one dance to it?"

No, one does not dance to Ummagumma. That's not what the album was created for. Ummagumma's importance is generally overlooked by the prog community, especially as a major catalyst for the development of the kruatrock genre, and the album's influence on German artists like Tangerine Dream, for starters.

Recorded after the more rock friendly offering of the OST album More, Ummagumma was a brave and expensive concept with both live and studio albums combined, I believe, for the first time on a record. And a double record at that.

The first album is the live counterpart with selections from Saucerful Of Secrets and Piper At The Gates of Dawn redone with the Gilmoured version of Pink Floyd, as well as expanding the songs in the case of Careful With that Axe, Eugene and Saucerful's title track. These live recordings find the band more confident and accomplished, to state the differences between the studio originals and live versions simply. Even Astronomy Domine without Syd Barrett's vocals or guitar playing is not missed. Except for the ultra sentimentalists. A good starting point for this ultra ambitious undertaking which finds the second studio album divided equally amongst the four group members as what is essentially solo offerings.

First up is Rick Wright's four part keyboard opus Sisyphus which works quite well as separate movements that evolves and dissolves into dissonant sounds that seem be tape manipulated and altered piano chords with tympani that collides with Wrights' stately piano and later, his eerie mellotron, which evokes the feeling of building up, pushing up, giving up and collapse. Just like Sisyphus' futile attempts to push the giant stone up the hill in the Greek legend. This is the first song to demonstrate the group's preoccupation with recording tricks that will culminate in the Nick Mason's closing piece entitled The Grand Vizier's Garden Party.

Indeed, it's electronic recording effects that dominate the heart of the studio album in much the same way that Sgt. Pepper's dominated the mindset of the Beatles. The effects came first and the music suffered. Not intentionally. But studio recording tape manipulation at this time required labor intensive effort on the part of both the musicians as well as the recording engineers.

Water's attempt to simulate chasing a fly at the end of his understated and under developed pastoral outing titled Grantchester Meadows demonstrates this missappropriation of studio time that necessitated the hours required to record, overdub and rerecord numerous vocals (by trial and error) and then have those recorded pieces played back on tape loops at wildly different speeds or completely backwards, and then deftly synced together in order to the create the mind blowing Dadaesque absurdist instrumental piece titled Several Species Of Small Fury Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict (which immediately follows Grantchester Meadows) . This piece features the first of Water's spoken personas and you can almost hear the "Stand Still, Laddie!" character trying to breakthrough his faux Gaelic ranting that concludes the piece. The folky Grantchester Meadows seems underdeveloped because of it's stark and simple acoustic guitar strumming that sounds like Waters trying his best to conjure some body from two double tracked acoustic guitars, but failing miserably. A lead guitar solo by Gilmour, either acoustic or electric, would have greatly complemented and completed this sleepy lackluster song. But Gilmour is sadly AWOL.

Was David too busy with his own repeated guitar overdubs and experimentation with backwards and forwards recorded guitar sounds for his own song? And, even possibly, of playing a lead passage in reverse order and reversing the playback of the tape only to find another completely different set of sounds than those that were originally envisioned? A common experience with studio experimentalists in that era. And again, very time consuming for a band that made its living from heavy touring.

Gilmour's three part song The Narrow Way starts out with a more sophisticated acoustic guitar introduction, supported by dissonant tape manipulated electric guitar tones, that's more reminiscent of Led Zeppelin's acoustic outings from that time, but never develops into a truly memerable song. The second part features heavy guitar riffing that never develops into a climatic lead guitar frenzy that this kind of song calls for. That would come later in Pink Floyd's recording career. And Gilmour's meandering lyrics will not hold the listeners attention.

Two strikes for the band so far until Nick Mason saves the day with the most avant-garde piece ever recorded in the Pink Floyd canon, the Grand Vizier's Garden Party. Bracketed by mournful flute, this Stockhausen-like percussion based collage piece is the absolute apex of combining recorded music with studio effects that, to my opinion, has never been bettered since.

The final tally on the studio disc: two hits and two misses. But at least the Floyd were brave enough to try and that's what really matters with Ummagumma. The type of risk taking by a popular group that one would never see attempted again in the age of modern pop music.

Despite Waters' and Gilmour's songs coming up short, both Sysyphus and the Grand Vizier show just how talented and creative Wright and Mason were at this juncture of Pink Floyd's development, and why they are regarded, quite correctly by those in the know, as Floyd's secret weapons immediately after the departure of Syd Barrett.

The true magic of an album that contains music like this is that it's so subjective that another listener might reject my favorites and replace them with songs that did not impress me. Or one listener might appreciate all the songs on the studio disc, while another might dismiss all of them.

So, is Ummagumma a collection of fine dance songs? No would be my opinion. But for those with two left feet, or think with the right hemisphere of their brains, this album will do quite nicely. 4 stars.

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 More by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.15 | 1009 ratings

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More
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by SteveG

4 stars Sometimes less is more, goes the saying.

After the zeitgeist of the nineties unplugged crazed died off, music listeners started to pay attention to more basic or stripped down offerings from their heroes. And nothing fits that description better than Floyd's third LP and first OST of the 1969 movie titled More.

Putting their psychedelic space rock on hold, the Floyd, now with David Gilmour fully integrated and Syd Barrett and his lyrical influences completely jettisoned, we have the new mark II version of Pink Floyd that has produced an album that is mysteriously enchanting as it lacks almost all of the pretentious that we have come to expect and appreciate from this band. And that's why More is a minor gem. Good without the gimmicks.

The lead off track Cirrus Minor is a slice of dark melancholia that only the Floyd seemed able to get away with in 1969, and shows off Pink Floyd's most secret weapon of that era, Rick Wright's farfisa organ and understated piano. Following immediately is the sonic assault of The Nile Song, which to this day remains one of Floyd's heaviest workouts, and, like most of the songs on this album, does not sound dated by production tricks of the era.

Only the 7 minute long atmospheric keyboard altered and recording tape vary speeded sound of the song Quicksilver reminds you that you are still in the domain of the Floyd, while the gentle ballads of Green Is The Color and Cymbaline draw one temporary to other views. Gilmour's sweet vocals on these two magnificent songs could not have been more dissimilar than those just heard on the hard rocking Nile Song, along with close sound alike cousin, the rocking Ibiza Bar, which quickly follows. Perhaps there is something more going on here that meets the eye, or ear, if you like. Pun not intended.

And that's part of the secret charm that More holds over a listener that will give it half a chance against better known and more experimental albums like Ummagumma. Sometimes less is really more. Pun intended. 4 stars for this unheralded jewel.

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 The Final Cut by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.17 | 1416 ratings

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The Final Cut
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by aglasshouse

2 stars Roger Waters' seemingly fetishistic lust for rapidly producing concept albums mostly started after the booming success for The Wall. People would run hither and thither, exclaiming the prowess Waters handled such a delicate concept with such ease, and indeed Waters got the message. Like any musician bent on making a profit, he naturally thought if he could make more of the same his popularity would rise even farther. When '83 rolled around and an album was released by the tangled soon-to-be-broken Pink Floyd, what had grown was not Waters' social affluence, but more was his already over-inflated ego.

The Final Cut was indeed the final cut onto the frayed strings that held Waters in the band, and a few years later he departed. The real question however is, is his last hurrah of sorts indeed remarkable? No, not really.

The album is very similar to The Wall; spoken word is prominent and used frivolously, Waters uses his signature strained and distressed vocal style, as well as heavy amounts of piano and acoustic guitar. Unlike The Wall however, Waters is obviously trying to do the exact same thing as it on The Final Cut. While people's general consensus on The Wall was very positive, The Final Cut is a lackluster, bumbling attempt at a prequel of sorts. The songs are indeed very poetic in nature, but more follow the creed of being "art for the sake of art". Gilmour and Mason (Wright was brutally shoved out by Waters) weren't in the least bit excited to play for Waters on basically his solo album. What came from that attitude was an over-abundance of aforementioned acoustic songs with just Waters and a guitar, and songs that didn't have it rambled on halfheartedly. An album that showcases only one invested member is something that has a 75 percent chance of failure in the hit or miss scenario, and The Final Cut really missed. There was one semi-memorable track, 'Not Now John', but I only catch myself listening to it every once in a while.

All in all The Final Cut is a heavy-handed attempt at a part three to The Wall, squashing all life out of the already beaten band. Although some uses of choral and orchestral styles can be interesting, the overall effect is a foolhardy stain on the bands almost perfect history.

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 The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.89 | 1561 ratings

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The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by SteveG

3 stars A tale of two Floyds.

It's pretty easy to say that most American Pink Floyd fans never really warmed up to Syd Barrett and that's for reasons that are not so easy to distinguish. Some point to the overt 'Englishness' of Syd's lyrical stance. Other's point to Barrett's material that is only marginally psychedelic such as the bulk of the recorded output on Piper At The Gates of Dawn.

My own belief is that the Piper material was just too removed from the accessible, but still over the top, head trip that was the Dark Side Of The Moon album, the gateway album for Americans into the world of Pink Floyd.

But let's backtrack a bit. When Piper was first released in the US, EMI's, American subsidy Capitol Records issued Piper with the inclusion of Floyd's second UK hit See Emily Play in place of album opener Astronomy Domine. It seems the west coast folks who were gearing for the Beach Boys to take over the rock world were at a loss with this strange album opener that sang of 'lime and limped green...ice waters surrounding underground', had even less of a clue to the actual music. This was not the Beach Boys. This wasn't the Beatles, who they knew would sell whatever they recorded. This Astronomy Domine song was just, well...strange.

It would be nice to think that the American counter culture of 1967 was immune to similar feelings of unease, but it was not. Piper was a curiosity in the short age of American psychedelia. Fortunately, the US editions of Piper that were issued following the success of DSotM restored Astronomy Domine to its proper tracking order and this track, along with the instrumental Interstellar Overdrive, and the DSotM clockwork collage cloning album closer Bike, is what DSotM fans glommed onto. This material was familiar in it's space rock grandeur, made more mysterious by it's descriptive lyrics, that was relatable to DSotM fans. Floyd as the veteran psychedelic space rockers won this round.

However, round two that centered on Syd's whimsical lyrical songs such as Matilda Mother, the Gnome and Scarecrow, were merely entertaining, at best, while dadaesque workouts like POW R TOC H simply fell short. Years after the acid revolution, the actual sounds made by the human mouth were simply not as fascinating as those conjured up by synthesizers and VCS3 sequencers. The age to enjoy Piper as a whole had simply past.

So, where does this put Piper At The Gates of Dawn in the 21st century? Exactly where it was in the last century. A curio of an earlier lysergic age that some quickly dismiss or that a few embrace as a fleeting display of genius. Only the listener of this album knows for sure and is therefore the ultimate judge. 3 stars.

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 Relics by PINK FLOYD album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1971
3.55 | 300 ratings

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Relics
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by SteveG

5 stars Five stars for a review of a compilation album? Surely you jest?

No, I'm quite serious. It's not often that one gets a history lesson as pleasurable as listening to an album like Relics, for starters. It is also a skeleton key, if one knows how use it, to see why Pink Floyd started out as a singles band and could not maintain their stature as a British Top of the Pops hit band.

For those unfamiliar, Relics, released in 1971, contains Floyd's two certified UK chart hits, Arnold Layne and See Emily Play. Both songs contained enough pop sensibility to scale the British charts in the era of psychedelia, while also ensuring a social critique or character study in Arnold Layne and See Emily Play, respectively. This was something that songwriter Syd Barrett would never duplicate in his career and that other members of Pink Floyd either failed to grasp or ignored until Roger Waters started spilling his guts on the Dark Side Of The Moon album that was released in 1973.

When Barrett became mentally defunct, keyboard player Rick Wright stepped into the breach and penned the truly wonderful Remember A Day and the fantastic pop tinged psych wonder Paintbox. Both of these songs delivered on what The Zombies were trying to produce on their Odyssey and Oracle album from the same year but only hinted at. Wright's vocals are sublime as are his understated but heavily treated keyboards, with the rest of the band taking up the slack and virtually carrying this material in Syds' mental absence. However, Remember A Day and Paintbox did not sound like Syd's pop ditties and did not have the lyrical connection that a song like Arnold Layne had with the public. We're all guilty, at times, of doing something that hurts no one and either having regretied it or having been punished for it. So we're all Arnold Layne. We are not all part of Rick Wright's psychedelic daydreams, however, so the British public didn't respond to Remember A Day or Paintbox. Next up in the songwriters box is Mr. Water's wonderfully moody Cirrus Minor and angry Nile Song, with the newly acquired Dave Gilmour showing off his wares to good effect with both excellent voice and guitar playing. Again, two stellar songs, while not intended as singles but certainly had the quality to be released as such, still went unnoticed from the OST from the 1969 movie titled More.

Where next? Another crack at a group instrumental, naturally, with the studio version of Careful With That Axe, Eugene that, while not being as good as the live version found on Ummagumma, is every bit the equal of Interstellar Overdrive which was also included on Relics, having been taken from the seminal Piper At The Gates of Dawn album from 1967. Relics also includes the previously unreleased blues and New Orleans' like brass band concoction, from 1971, titled Biding My Time, which is quite good and displays Water's ever growing lazy vocal style to great effect.

The Floyd still have melodic muscle and inventiveness and decided to go forward from there with their next album, the ambitious Atom Heart Mother. So everything sounds like it will go to plan until we come to the closing track on Relics, the clever endearing Bike, also from Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, that top's off Syd Barrett's great lyrical and vocal work with an astounding sound collage of clocks, bells and chimes which quickly reminds us, after the fading panning kazoo sounds, that the Floyd are in for a steep uphill climb from here until they reach The Dark Side of The Moon.

As I stated, these songs are not only sublime in themselves, they also have been meticulously tracked by the Floyd so as to flow seamlessly from one to another. They are also a most pleasurable history lesson.

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 The Endless River by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.44 | 426 ratings

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The Endless River
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Wicket
Prog Reviewer

4 stars It was a given, this album. After all, the Water-less Floyd has never returned to prominence since his departure. but perhaps the emotional passing of Richard Wright, and his immobilization in one final album will bring it all together, to finally rediscover that lost "Floydian" sound.

I'll admit, there are quite a few "Marooned" references here, but I don't consider that to be a bad thing. Hell, "Marooned" was one of the few tracks that were even listenable off "The Division Bell".

(Before I truly go knee-deep, I felt it interesting to point out the desire by Gilmore to NOT make this album "for the iTunes, downloading-individual-tracks generation', hence the continuation from one song to the other, which I've always maintained is the way to get people to buy full albums and not just single songs. If you cut up a pizza in so many tiny slices, you might as well just buy the whole damn thing rather than each tiny individual piece, you'll still be hungry afterwards!)

Side 1 gives me hope. The classic ambiance is there on "Things Left Unsaid" and Gilmore's classic, gut-wrenching guitar solos return on "It's What We Do". Fitting title name, really, because that IS what Pink Floyd do. Or, did, anyway. It sounds familiar, and yet still fresh, and touch, since this album is a tribute to Wright, whose gentle touch is still noticeable here and there throughout the album. Gilmore even said it himself that "this is for the generation that wants to put its headphones on". Which is what Floyd always has been. The jams, the soundscapes, the distinct guitar solos. At the close of "Ebb And Flow", I've come to that conclusion already.

This is that classic Pink Floyd sound we (or at least I) have been waiting for. Redemption, finally, in the form of "The Endless River".

Ok, so maybe Side 1 might have been called "Marooned, Pt. 2", but Side 2 sounds like a "Animals" B-side. Mason goes to down pushing the groove forward on "Sum" and channels his inner Ringo on "Skins", a fitting title since the track is pretty much a drum solo, before it fades out into another electronic filled soundscape, while "Unsung" sounds like an orchestral sample ripped straight from the Halo soundtrack and "Anisina" kinda sounds like an homage to Lennon (with a Billy Joel sax solo). A bit more unusual, this side, but the good news is that the sound is unquestionably Floyd, and frankly, that's all that matters.

If that wasn't enough, Side 3 starts off dramatically, with another soundscape in the form of "The Lost Art Of Conversation (another dig at Waters? Maybe?), before a quite Mason groove creeps in "On Noodle Street". So if I'm going to play the reference game, if Side 1 echoed Maroon off "The Division Bell" and Side 2 echos "Animals, Side 3 is almost certainly going to echo "Another Brick In The Wall" off "The Wall, and while the acoustic solo on "Night Light" might prove me wrong, "Allons-y" proves the point. That subtle but intoxicating pluck from Gilmore's guitar is enough to sell me right away. It's a nostalgic power trip, basically, but after all Floyd, Gilmore and Mason have put up with, a nostalgic power trip is EXACTLY what they needed to get out of this funk.

Of course Side 3 isn't over. "Autumn '68" (perhaps in a reference to "Summer '68" off Atom Heart Mother?) is a haunting organ spot by Wright (recorded in '69, incidentally), especially all the more haunting knowing that he's gone, but soon "Allons-y" returns to brighten the mood again and push on towards "Talkin' Hawkin', filled with oohs, aahs, and more Gilmore tasty solos, along with a Hawkins sample of a commercial that was also used on "Keep Talking" off "The Division Bell".

So now we hit the home stretch with Side 4, and I've already come to the conclusion that this is as fitting a send off as any to the career of a fantastic band. Another typical ambiance to kick off in "Calling", before a Gilmore guitar spot in "Eyes To Pearls" leads into another ambient jam in "Surfacing" before Gilmore makes his first and last vocal appearance on the album in "Louder Than Words", a perfect way to describe the album, really, since it's mainly been an instrumental up until this closer.

So, now we (meaning I) almost certainly come to the end of Pink Floyd for good. An album too together to be a Gilmore solo album. An album too hollow to be a Pink Floyd album. It's tricky, but overall, it's a fantastic swan song to a fantastic band. All I could hope for was just a nostalgic look to the past and perhaps a return to the traditional "signature sound", and of course, it's not perfect, but it's better than I could've imagined, so I guess this will do.

By far not the best Floyd album ever, but still for Floyd fans who pined for that sound, you won't be turned away here. Perhaps it leans on too heavily of an ambient side, but then again, ambiance is part of the Floyd sound.

A fantastic tribute to a fantastic keyboardist, and as good of a swan song as there ever is or was. It still seems so short. Farewell, Floyd.

(Still wish you were here)

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 The Division Bell by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.72 | 1566 ratings

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The Division Bell
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Wicket
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I give Gilmore a pass for the flop that was "Momentary Lapse Of Reason". After all, the album title explains what the album actually was. I mean, it's not like anyone made stellar prog albums in the 80's.

Before "The Endless River" though, this album, "The Division Bell" was supposed to be the final encore for the once proud Floyd, with Gilmore and Mason NOT reunited with Roger Waters BUT reunited with faithful keyboardist Richard Wright.

The idea behind this record, oddly enough, has to do with a re-occurring theme of communication, something that was a bit of a problem between Gilmore and Waters (hmm). Either way, I always felt like Gilmore needed to return this band back to glory, that "signature sound" that was lost so long ago, and perhaps ol Ricky Wright could do it.

"Cluster One" starts off beautifully, with Wright's playing doing all the heavy lifting and Gilmore adding guitar spots where needed, and "What Do You Want From Me" just screams "Have A Cigar". So far, so good. It doesn't sound incredible contrite or strained, but rather relaxed, the way a true Pink Floyd disc should sound. At least there's an attempt to get back to basics.

Sadly, there is still a tug of control in Gilmore's wake to seem more like a solo album, none more so than "Poles Apart". I honestly couldn't care for it at all. That song is a sound of the 90's, in my opinion, where individual stardom was more important than taking a bunch of other guys with you to the top. Thankfully, though, Gilmore redeems himself with a tasty guitar solo spot on "Marooned".

And then from there it just disappears. Nothing after "Marooned" sounded like Pink Floyd, but rather a Gilmore solo album. I had high hopes, man.

Was it surprising? Not really. The 90's might have signaled the rebirth of progressive rock, but "prog" was still as dead in the 90's as it was in the 80's. The result of this album? A few tasty morsels, proof that Gilmore could still bring back the classic Floyd, but ultimately, overcome with pressure just to make it all about himself.

Luckily though, there'd be one last chance for redemption.

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 The Final Cut by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.17 | 1416 ratings

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The Final Cut
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Wicket
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Now we get to the good stuff. And by good stuff, I'm of course referring to controversy.

As a spinoff that age old cliche, there are two types of people in this world. Those who like Gilmore, and those who like Waters.

As my previous Floyd reviews will mention time and time again, the classic Floyd carried with them a signature sound, a style unmatched by any other band before or since, and after "The Wall", that sound was lost forever with the schism between Gilmore and Waters. So, perhaps, it's best to approach this particular album as the supposed "third disc" of "The Wall". Except it wasn't, because Waters decide to change direction. Which explains a bit of the discomfort between the two.

Gone are the days of jams and guitar solos, and more of the 'image-provoking', as Waters took this album in the direction of an in memoriam for his father, who died in Italy during the second World War. As such, there is a solemness to this entire album, and very few instrumental highlights (something Waters didn't seem to care much for, then or since judging his solo work).

So perhaps looking at this album through a story-telling aspect, a concept album, much like "The Wall". To me, it all makes sense. As the Falklands War was raging in Argentina, tempers flared, much like the Vietnam War to America, and especially when it comes to the subject of war, I have no problem with Waters changing the direction to confront this subject matter. Perhaps it would have been better as a Waters solo album (which I might have argued could've been his best).

The problem with this is album, really, is that Waters, for the first time tries to sound sincere, but his voice just wasn't meant for that. Gilmore's, yes. Waters', not at all, so some of the tracks like "The Gunners Dream" where emotional climaxes are supposed to be met, just don't have the kind of tear-jerking fervor you'd expect from a war movie or some emotional heartbreak scene.

Make no arguments, this is a truly depressing album, discussing a truly depressing, but very important matter. It's not something I'll listen to ever again, probably, but its significance is deeply profound. Perhaps it was the moving images of "The Wall" that tipped Waters to stray away from this traditional Floydian sound of "Dark Side", "Wish You Were Here" and "Animals". But "The Final Cut" was the first glimpse at Waters' solo work, and one could almost imagine what "The Wall" would sound like if it was a Waters solo album. It probably wouldn't be the epic rock opera we see it today.

More importantly, though, this album to me feels like Waters' farewell to Pink Floyd as a sound, never before to be heard from again. I'm not going to say he corrupted it at all, it was just time for him to go his own way and find his own sound, a sound I personally don't think he's found yet, after all these years.

Or perhaps it was the dying sound of the 70's prog that swallowed every band's identity, shedding tradition, sound and storytelling for solo bursts, striking out solo, hitting the top, emerging on top of a mound of carcasses battered and bruised, but victorious. Perhaps it was any number of different outside effects that contributed to the demise of Pink Floyd and the "golden age" of prog. Maybe it was just never meant to be, like the separation of The Beatles. Maybe it wasn't fair of Waters to just take the wheel and go wherever he liked.

But maybe it also wasn't fair of Gilmore to criticize his desire to get this emotional weight of his back, so to speak. But just knowing it was a miserable time for the band trying to put this album out, the strain, the anger and the sorrow is clearly evident throughout. Perhaps that its greatest success, this album, the outpouring of emotion, both literal and metaphorical.

It may not be a great album from a prog standpoint, but it's a very important album, to understand its conception and realization. Now the only thing left to do is wonder if "Pink Floyd", meaning David Gilmore and Nick Mason, can reconcile their demons and bring a return to that classic sound, one last time...

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 Animals by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.52 | 2850 ratings

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Animals
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Wicket
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Of all Floyd albums I have, this one is probably the biggest reach in terms of ambition and scale, but also sound. And yet it's also my favorite Floyd album of all time.

If you think that makes no sense, well, yes, you're right. It makes zero sense. Let's see if I can try to make it make sense.

By know you probably know that "Animals" is loosely based off the novel Animal Farm by "everyone's favorite communist" George Orwell, so the lyrical subject matter is based off similar themes presented in the book.

Of course I could care less about lyrical themes, I'm a musician, I need the music, and luckily for me, there's plenty of music. But while "Wish You Were Here" chugged along at a steady speed, there wasn't a whole lot of activity, save for the intermittent guitar solo and electronic ambiance. "Animals" is a bit different though. The pace is still quite leisurely, but there seems to be quite a lot more going on without dismissing their signature jams. "Pigs" is an excellent example. The addition of voicebox "wah-wahs" as I call them add a cool effect to the traditional Floydian jam, but the verses and choruses by Waters add additional elements that don't seem out of place, but they also don't sound like they're just offspring of the main jam and the body of the song like "Shine On You Crazy Diamond".

It is a rather different album than previous discs. "Dark Side" took the tunes and squished the length of the jams and soundscapes into individual tracks, or between verses and choruses. "Wish You Were Here" opened them up and expanded them into the actual songs, keeping catchy choruses to a minimum and leaving the main jams as the body of the song. "Animals" though, has a trend of interspersing these jams between different verses of different textures, especially on "Dogs", where there isn't really a chorus per se, but a number of verses that connect through slow jams and synth-swathed soundscapes, all the while dogs are howling int he background as their masters whistle to them. The jams are there, but they just seem a bit more... sophisticated here.

Same thing with "Sheep". Wright's absolutely hypnotic intro is full of bluesy, jazzy goodness that you'd expect another 10 minute jam, and so you relax in your recliner and get ready for the long haul. Except less than 2 minutes in Waters comes belting out of nowhere and shakes yo up, as if he doesn't want you to sleep. But that's a good thing though, because apart from the reprise of "Pigs On The Wing", this is the true closer, and it's a beauty. This is the first Floyd track in a while that really seems to pick up steam, a song that wants to push forward. I also hear an odd similarity to "One Of These Days" in here as well, or is it just me?

Either way, Animals is my champion of the Floyd discography. It's just a fun listen, it's loaded with jams, it's great to rock out to. Now, it's not as catchy as "Wish You Were Here", but I definitely considered this to be their apex of their careers. With "Dark Side", "Wish You Were Here" and now "Animals", the fun could only last so long, and after "The Wall", the party was well and truly over, but it left behind some tunes no one will ever forget.

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 Wish You Were Here by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.62 | 3200 ratings

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Wish You Were Here
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Wicket
Prog Reviewer

5 stars When you can recognize every single song off a certain album without even looking at the cd, or a computer or not even mentioning the band Pink Floyd, you know that certain album is something special.

This album doesn't move. It just plods along at its own pace, and doesn't care if you get it or don't. As in, it's an album that's signature Floyd. Of course, I can't ignore "Shine On", it's filled with ambient soundscapes, awesome solos and laid back jams that I could just listen to on repeat forever. The composition is fantastic, the sound quality is perfect. It's just a euphoric bliss of ooey, gooey, Floyd-y bliss.

I never really took to "Welcome To The Machine". This windy backdrop that sets the tone for the whole song creates a fantastic effect, and it's a fantastic composition, each little piece working the way it should. I just never found myself being a fan of it to listen to. I don't know why, but there's nothing about it that keeps me coming back. I respect it immensely, I just don't rock out to it.

"Have A Cigar" is quite the opposite. It's another jam, filled with grooves and guitar solos that really do have a psychedelic quality to them, and while "Wish You Were Here" isn't like "Have A Cigar" at all, it's still laid-back and a very pleasant song to listen to, a relaxing acoustic driven track to just let your problems fall to the wayside.

To me, Wish You Were Here is one of the most complete albums is the sense that it has an identity that's evident in each and every track on the album, but also has a sound unique from any other album in the band's repertoire. Sure, "Shine On" shares many qualities to that of "Echoes", but if I asked you to remember one or the other of the top of your head, "Shine On" would probably come through first. Perhaps for no particular reason, it just may be that it's written in such a way that was actually catchy and memorable, without you even knowing it.

Perhaps that's why "Welcome To The Machine" also works on this album. To me, it initially looks like a misfit on this small setlist, but when you listen to it, there's just an innate reaction to sing along with "Welcome, my son". There's an odd catchiness to the choruses and verses that seemed to solidify its dominance on classic rock radio stations. Apart from part 2 of "Shine On", I've heard all these songs on the radio.

That to me is the majesty of this disc. It's an album that continues to strike a chord and sing-along mentality to listeners, even while maintaining a signature Floydian sound and even still, trying to push the boundries of musical technique and sound into the world of music ("Welcome To The Machine", the radio samples on "Wish You Were Here"). That to me covers all the bases of a truly great album. It seems to have something for everyone.

That is, unless you don't like Pink Floyd. Then that's your problem, son, you're just missing out.

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