If you’re not a Pink Floyd fan yet (why on earth not?!) then we’re willing to bet it will take just a couple of tracks to convert you. And if you’re already a Pink Floyd fan (good for you!) then we don’t really need to preach to the converted. However, as a massive Pink Floyd fan myself, it seemed only fair I impart some of my wisdom (cough) and personal experience on this list. So, here are the five best albums by Pink Floyd – and a potentially controversial addition, too.
1. Dark Side of the Moon
Oh, come on! How could I NOT start with Dark Side of the Moon? Not only is it the best Pink Floyd album ever made, but it’s also easily one of the best albums ever made. Even the cover has gone down in history, being featured on everything from wall art to keyrings. With classics such as Money and Time, this album deserves every bit of recognition it gets. Released in 1973, this was the eighth album by the rock legends and one of their best sellers. It goes into themes such as greed, mental illness, money and time (obviously). If you need any kind of help getting into Pink Floyd, this is where you start.
2. The Wall
Once you have soaked up all nine tracks on Dark Side of the Moon, it’s time to move onto The Wall. While it received a pretty mixed response from critics when it was first released, it has gone on to become a cult classic. Especially once the film, featuring Bob Geldof, was released. The entire album tells the story of Pink, who is thought to be modeled on Roger Waters and Syd Barrett (the original Floyd frontman). It starts with Pink losing his father in WWII, moves onto his school life – cue Another Brick in the Wall – and even the overprotectiveness of his mother. The album continues through the breakdown of Pink’s marriage and shutting himself off from society. Seriously, I could go on about this album all day, but I’ll let you enjoy it for yourself. Watch The Wall movie, too!
3. Wish You Were Here
This album holds a very special place in my heart, so it only makes sense that I included it on the list. The title track, Wish You Were Here, is one of the most beautiful pieces of music. EVER. “We’re just two lost souls, swimming in a fishbowl, year after year.” If it doesn’t make you bawl like a baby, then you have no heart. Released in 1975, after the success of Dark Side of the Moon, this album was recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studio. A couple of the songs criticize the music business as a whole, whereas others pay homage to Syd Barrett who had suffered a mental breakdown and left the band in 1969.
4. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
So, I can’t really talk about the best albums by Pink Floyd without mentioning their debut release. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn was released on August 5, 1967 – a date that will always be one of the most important in the musical calendar! Although it didn’t have as much success as, say, Dark Side of the Moon, the band did re-release it in 1973 along with their second album and called the bundle A Nice Pair. Introducing their fans to their earlier work was a stroke of genius and ensured that this album was hailed one of the best ever psychedelic rock albums.
5. Radio K.A.O.S.
Okay, so I’m going to throw a bit of a spanner in the works here (so sue me). While Radio Kaos technically isn’t Pink Floyd the band, it is Roger Waters, and so I’ve totally got poetic license to include it. This is one of my favorite albums of all time, and I’d highly recommend you somehow find it, buy it, and listen to it on repeat forever. Released in 1987, Radio K.A.O.S. is a conceptual album, like much of the Pink Floyd stuff. It tells the story of Billy, a young man who is both mentally and physically disabled. Billy communicates with radio DJ Jim, from Radio K.A.O.S. and the album is pretty much their entire on-air conversation. I don’t want to give too much away because it’s an incredible story. Just listen, carefully!
Phew! Okay, that’s my rundown of the best albums by Pink Floyd (and Roger Waters, sorry-not sorry). Do you agree with my choices?