Pink Floyd - The Three Most Essential Albums by Johnny Moon
In no way am I saying that the following three albums are the only Pink Floyd albums you should own and depending upon your tastes they may very well not be your favorite three Pink Floyd albums but I do think they are the most essential albums by the band that everyone should give at least one good listen to.
#1 The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
This may just be the most perfect album ever recorded. I'm not sure there's a better example of an album that's intended to be listened to from start to finish every second of the album is essential and that's why it's a relatively easy choice for the most essential Pink Floyd album.
As with anything this critically acclaimed and this commercially popular (15 million copies sold in the US alone) there has been a backlash against it but I've never heard or read a coherent argument against the greatness of this album. Some critically acclaimed popular things really are as good as everyone says they are, and this is one of those things.
#2 The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)
Pink Floyd's first album was driven by their original band leader Syd Barrett and it has a significantly different sound to it than their more well known later work. Some who are only familiar with Pink Floyd's later work may have a hard time wrapping their head around this first Pink Floyd album but I think it deserves to be listened to as a great work of musical art as well as for it's influence on the later Pink Floyd's experimental approach to music.
The story of Syd Barrett is too long to go into here, but I find it fascinating and I do recommend looking him up to get a better understanding of Pink Floyd's music. His solo music is also very interesting.
#3 Wish You Were Here (1975)
Includes the title track (among Pink Floyd's most well known songs) along with "Welcome to the Machine," "Have a Cigar," and the huge (mostly instrumental) epic "Shine on you Crazy Diamond" which is cut into two parts (one beginning the album and the other ending it.) This one ranks up close behind Dark Side of the Moon in the "perfect album" rankings. Many of the lyrics were inspired by the band's original songwriter/guitarist/singer Syd Barrett.
"Flaming" by Pink Floyd. A great early Pink Floyd song written and sung by Syd Barrett.
"Bike" by Pink Floyd. Perhaps Barrett's ultimate contribution to world of absolutely bonkers pop music.