Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pink Floyd's Five Most Essential Albums

By Jackson Weinheimer

Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (1967)

This was Pink Floyd's first album and it sounds quite different than the Floyd that most people know from the 1970s. There's a big reason for that: Syd Barrett. He was the band's original leader/singer/songwriter/guitarist and his unique creative genius was the driving force of the band at this time. I love this album. I'm not one of those Syd fanatics who says it's better than anything else they did (I think their '70s work is brilliant too) but I do think it's a truly remarkable album that will always have a place among my favorites.

Meddle (1971)

I'm a huge fan of "Fearless." And of course there's the 23 minute epic that is "Echoes."

Dark Side Of The Moon (1973)

It took a while for Floyd to really find their new voice after David Gilmour replaced Syd Barrett in 1968. While I love Meddle, I think it's with this album that they really reached the peak of the Gilmour era. I won't go into too many details of this album. After all, it's one of the best selling albums of all time so you've probably heard it before. In my view it's pretty much a perfect album.

Wish You Were Here (1975)

I don't think this one is quite as "listener friendly" as Dark Side of the Moon but that doesn't mean it's necessarily not as good of an album. It's just a bit more of an investment. Of course it does include the title track which may very well be their most commercial song (not counting "Learning to Fly").

Animals (1977)

I consider this to be more of a "grower" than the other four I've listed here. But once it grows, it sticks. It's another brilliant album. The band could really do no wrong at this time.

The Pink Floyd CD Box Set includes all of these albums and many more (including The Wall, of course). The box set is titled Oh, By The Way after a lyric in "Have A Cigar" (on 1975's Wish You Were Here).

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1 comment:

  1. David Gilmour is one of the greatest guitar players of all time, and Wish You Were Here is the single greatest acoustic song ever produced!