Post By: GeorgeR
Pink Floyd albums are not only valuable time capsules that hold an important place in rock history, they are also monuments to state-of-the-art recording methods that only Floyd could accomplish.┬á Pink Floyd recorded 14 studio albums and 3 live albums. They are all timeless classics, but here is a list of the top 10 Pink Floyd albums of all time.
This classic 1967 album seems to become more popular with each release. When it was first released, the American version had "See Emily Play" on it but the British version did not. It reached to number 6 on the British music charts and peaked at position 131 on the Billboard Magazine charts. Producer Norman Smith was an old-school producer who thought he was getting a new version of the Beatles. He soon came to realize that he had a whole different kind of animal on his hands. Floyd pushed the envelope of what should be on a studio album by grabbing anything in the studio that would make noise and putting it up to a microphone. They would slow the tape down, speed it up and do all kinds of tricks that the Beatles never tried. In the end the final product is one of the groundbreaking albums in rock history. It has sold approximately 3 million copies worldwide.
In a way this 1994 album is a somber one for Floyd fans as it represents the last studio effort the band ever released. It was the second release without any input from Roger Waters, and it was a true group effort between the remaining members of the Floyd. Gilmour, Mason and Wright wrote the majority of the album together and it shows in the results. There is nothing groundbreaking production-wise here, this is just good Pink Floyd music and a solid way for a legendary band to finish their history. The album peaked at number 1 on both the British and Billboard Magazine music charts. To date it has sold approximately 10 million copies worldwide.
The most awkward and uncomfortable Pink Floyd album ever made. Syd Barrett has lingering guitar parts in the songs "A Saucerful of Secrets" and "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" that are left side-by-side with Gilmour's parts. Syd's final song "Jugband Blues" is a creepy goodbye that was actually written in early 1967 when Syd was still coherent. It is Floyd fumbling around for a sound they would not find for a few more albums, and it is one of the most obvious transition albums any band has ever released. The album only appeared on the British music charts but it peaked at number 9. To date it has sold approximately 3 million copies worldwide.
Atom Heart Mother is the unknown Floyd album that every fan should own. Roger Waters described the title track "Atom Heart Mother Suite" as a " soundtrack to a movie that doesn't exist." Of course Roger and the rest of the band also refer to the album as less than desirable, but it stands as a great Floyd record. It is the album where Floyd started to explore the limits of their music and the possibilities of studio production. The title track contains a full brass band, a choir chanting gibberish and some of the strongest grooves on any Floyd record. Other songs such as "If" and "Fat Old Sun" would become Floyd classics. The album was released in 1970 and peaked at number 1 on the British charts and number 55 on the Billboard Magazine charts. To date is has sold approximately 4 million copies worldwide.
Named after a British slang word for sex, this 1969 release was vitally important to the establishment of the Pink Floyd sound as we came to know it. Each member was allowed to write their own songs. This album shows the beginnings of Roger's lyrical prowess and David's musical genius. Nick Mason and Rick Wright's contributions are interesting but forgettable. The live disc establishes such songs as "Astronomy Domine" as Floyd concert staples for decades to come. The album peaked at number 5 on the British charts and number 74 on the Billboard Magazine charts. To date it has sold approximately 5 million copies worldwide.
Roger's angst was in full force with this 1977 release as he spat at the music industry, the media and literally spat at a fan during the tour for this record. Each song on Animals is an epic classic that shows how Floyd uses music to set a mood. The album peaked at number 2 in England and at number 3 on the Billboard Magazine charts. It has sold approximately 15 million copies worldwide.
Long regarded by Floyd fans and Floyd themselves as the greatest musical achievement the band had ever created. This 1975 dedication to Syd Barrett is a heart-felt homage to a great songwriter lost to drugs and success. The title track and all of the parts to "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" are still played by Roger Waters and David Gilmour at live concerts. In case you missed it, "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" has SYD right in the title. The album peaked at number 1 on the British and Billboard Magazine charts. It has sold approximately 20 million copies worldwide to date.
The album when Pink Floyd started to become Pink Floyd. Meddle contains such classics as "One of These Days," "Fearless," and the defining piece "Echoes." Released in 1971, this album showed a Pink Floyd that had finally found their writing muse and all of the pieces had fallen into place. Roger was writing the lyrics and the entire band was contributing to the music. David Gilmour's guitar work starts to encircle the music and give it form, and Rick Wright created bright tapestries with his keyboards. The album peaked at number 3 in Britian and number 70 on the Billboard Magazine charts. To date it has sold approximately 7 million copies worldwide.
2.) The Wall
There is no more divisive album among Pink Floyd fans than The Wall. Long-time fans consider The Wall a Roger Waters solo album with nothing to offer to the Pink Floyd legacy, while classic rock radio fans often vote the album as one of the best of all time. The Wall is a production masterpiece with a complicated but understandable story line. Visual images created by Roger's lyrics and Gerald Scarfe's animation make this an unforgettable album. The depressing story line and music can make the listener feel drained when it is over, but it must be listened to in its entirety.┬á The album peaked at number 3 on the British charts but reached number 1 on the Billboard Charts. To date The Wall ranks as one of the highest selling double albums of all time with approximately 25 million copies sold worldwide.
The production perfection achieved with Dark Side of the Moon still stands up in the age of digital recordings. The care put into the creation of the album by the band and by engineer Alan Parsons make this one of the greatest albums of all time. The music reaches out and touches a vast audience by asking the questions that separate people from each other, and begs to know why we must feel alienated. The vocal work is in perfect harmony with the music. The sound effects are world famous from the ticking clocks that open the song "Time" to Roger's tape loop of sounds that open up "Money." This album is still used by stereo sales people to show the capabilities of a stereo system, and it is one of the few albums ever made that sounds better on vinyl than it does on CD. It peaked at number 2 on the British charts but it sat atop the Billboard Charts at number 1. It stayed on the Billboard Charts for 14 years. To date it has sold in excess of 37 million copies worldwide.
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