The Division Bell

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The Division Bell by Pink Floyd

“Cluster One”

“What Do You Want From Me”

“Poles Apart”

“Marooned”

“A Great Day For Freedom”

“Wearing The Inside Out”

“Take It Back”

“Coming Back To Life”

“Keep Talking”

“Lost For Words”

“High Hopes”

A Momentary Lapse Of Reason

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A Momentary Lapse Of Reason by Pink Floyd

“Signs Of Life”

“Learning To Fly”

“The Dogs Of War”

“One Slip”

“On The Turning Away”

“Yet Another Movie (Round And Around)”

“A New Machine (Part 1)”

“Terminal Frost”

“A New Machine (Part 2)”

“Sorrow”

The Final Cut

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The Final Cut by Pink Floyd

“The Post War Dream”

“Your Possible Pasts”

“One Of The Few”

“When The Tigers Broke Free”

“The Hero’s Return”

“The Gunner’s Dream”

“Paranoid Eyes”

“Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert”

“The Fletcher Memorial Home”

“Southampton Dock”

“The Final Cut”

“Not Now John”

“Two Suns In The Sunset”

The Wall

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The Wall by Pink Floyd

“In The Flesh?”

“The Thin Ice”

“Another Brick In The Wall, Part 1”

“The Happiest Days Of Our Lives”

“Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2”

“Mother”

“Goodbye Blue Sky”

“Empty Spaces”

“Young Lust”

“One Of My Turns”

“Don’t Leave Me Now”

“Another Brick In The Wall (Part III)”

“Goodbye Cruel World”

“Hey You”

“Is There Anybody Out There?”

“Nobody Home”

“Vera”

“Bring The Boys Back Home”

“Comfortably Numb”

“The Show Must Go On”

“In The Flesh”

“Run Like Hell”

“Waiting For The Worms”

“Stop”

“The Trial”

“Outside The Wall”

Animals

Originally released in 1977, Animals is probably the most incisive and cohesive of Floyd’s career, mainly due to the fact that the band had been performing most of the material live since late 1974.

Nicknamed by Roger Waters “Floyd’s punk album” in an interview, there is a definite hard-edged aggression to the overall sound of Animals that was mostly absent from the band’s earlier albums. It is a natural progression from Wish You Were Here’s ethereal space-rock atmosphere towards the “in-your-face” social commentary of The Wall.

The lyrics are harsh and cynical, as is the artwork (painted by drummer Nick Mason), and yet the album is compelling and almost painfully beautiful.

Unified under the theme of Animals are five tracks, the first and last being twin pieces deployed as an introduction and postscript, and the other three portraying a bleak picture of society while unleashing the band’s finest ensemble playing on a studio album.

As opposed to The Wall, which is basically a Roger Waters solo album performed by Pink Floyd (as was The Final Cut), this is the last proper creative interaction between these four musicians, and to my ears, the most effective. This was my first Pink Floyd album and is still my favorite.

Pink Floyd — Animals: Track-by-track review

1. “Pigs On The Wing 1”
A simple introductory tune, which lyrically sets the stage for the bleak theme of alienation that permeates the entire album. It is refreshing to hear Roger Waters singing a lead vocal in such an innocent-sounding style, accompanied by a solitary acoustic guitar. The style and chord sequence are a sort of precursor to “Mother” on the subsequent The Wall album.

2. “Dogs”
An acoustic guitar, underpinned with Hammond organ sweeps, introduces the last great Pink Floyd epic (this intro is a possible influence on the Supergrass song “Moving”). Dave Gilmour’s anguished singing is in contrast to the soft, space-rock vocals typical of Floyd’s earlier work.

Waters’ lyrics tell the tale of a street hoodlum becoming a big-time gangster (the ‘Dog’ within the ‘animals’ concept, very much like the old paintings portraying gangsters as poker-playing mutts), interspersed with a Gilmour wah-wah guitar solo of ferocious intensity.

Then the whole thing eases off into a synth passage, which leads into a Gilmour guitar theme: double-tracked guitars in harmony, lamenting a life wasted. This in turn leads into an acoustic guitar passage, incorporating real dog barks in the background. The band pick up the chord sequence as an accompaniment to another Gilmour solo, the most desperate and anguished yet, introducing the next set of vocals which depict the onset of fearsome isolation, despair and suicidal depression for the aging crime-lord.

Rick Wright’s keyboards re-introduce the opening chord sequence in long sweeps, accompanied by the barks heard earlier, this time fed through a vocoder, lending them the aura of robotic slave-hounds ready to do their master’s bidding.

Followed by a synth solo (one of Wright’s finest), this passage feels a little overlong, and just when you think enough is enough, the acoustic guitar restates the opening theme, Waters takes over the vocals with a vengeance, and another frantic solo from Gilmour builds the pace to a climax.

A breakdown and a reprise of the double-tracked guitar theme precede the coda, a repetitive build-up of phrases all culminating in the main character’s suicide, a flourish from the guitar and a crunching close-down.

This is Pink Floyd gone hardcore, and doing it brilliantly.

3. “Pigs (Three Different Ones)”
An echoing pig-grunt opens this track and an organ ostinato underlines a bass mini-solo (a feature to be echoed in “Hey You”‘ on The Wall with acoustic guitar replacing the organ), leading into the Floyd-funk laden verse.

Lyrically, the first pig is a traditional British industrialist, making his fortune at the expense of his employees’ hard labor. A piano and cowbell(!) join in during the second half of the verses (I don’t recall a cowbell being used anywhere else in Floyd’s body of work). A funky interlude leads into the second verse.

The second pig is considered by many to be Margaret Thatcher, although this song was recorded well before her rise to power. While the lyrics are a bit obscure, they still depict a nasty type of person all the same. Another funky interlude leads to a breakdown, and then a chord sequence accompanied by real pig grunts, followed by a guitar solo being played through a voice-box echoing the pig-grunts.

Another pause and the opening theme is restated with another bass solo (this restatement device also being deployed in “Hey You”) leading into the 3rd verse; the third pig is Mary Whitehouse, a prudish middle-aged Englishwoman bent on censoring the British media of any mention of sex, drugs, and if need be, rock ‘n’ roll.

The verse ends and Gilmour lets rip with another astounding solo, and the song fades out of the urban pigsty into the countryside, where chirping birds and bleating sheep introduce the next track:

4. “Sheep”
A tingling, stereo-chorused Fender Rhodes piano (almost Donald Fagen-like) improvises over a subtle yet ominous bass line, building up tension through a series of chord changes. Reverse-echo drum fills bring in the onslaught of the first verse which describes the sheep: average law-abiding people, trapped between the pigs’ greed and the dogs’ violence and mostly unaware of both.

The ensemble playing on this track alone is worth the price of the album. After the second verse ends, the (by-now expected) breakdown re-introduces a classic Waters bass motif: a single note, played in octave intervals (as featured in “Arnold Layne” a full ten years earlier). A series of Hammond sweeps leads into an ascending chord sequence, topped with a “Welcome To The Machine”—like synth, and then another verse ending sans vocals leads into yet another breakdown.

The intro sequence is restated by the bass, without the Fender Rhodes improvisation, creating a very tense mood. A bastardized version of the Lord’s Prayer (“The Lord is my shepherd…”) is recited through a vocoder, the twisted lyrics describing the sheep’s plans for an uprising.

The last verse brings the revolution full on, leading into the awesome fanfare of the coda: The bass insists on his octaves, the drums charge through in a rocking shuffle embroidered with Mason’s trademark tom fills, and the guitars and keyboards ring out in a series of major chords trumpeting the sheep’s revolt.

This is one of the finest endings for an album-closing track ever recorded. The sense of elation fades out with the instruments, leaving the birds and sheep alone in their pastoral landscape.

5. “Pigs On The Wing 2”
A reprise of part one, bringing closure with slightly more hopeful lyrics. The fact that it is musically identical to part one except for the lyrics shows great cunning in the structuring of the album, and is, again a forerunner of the appearance of a small section of the last song on The Wall right at the beginning of the album.

Animals by Pink Floyd

“Pigs On The Wing 1”

“Dogs”

“Pigs (Three Different Ones)”

“Sheep”

“Pigs On The Wing 2”

Wish You Were Here

I learnt this LP by heart (and soul) lying on my bedroom floor, with the headphones plugged into the puny box of fuseboards which just about passed for a record player when I was fourteen.

Thirty years on, it remains one of the, if not the finest phones albums to have ever existed. In subjecting yourself to Wish You Were Here, you willingly abandon any connection with your bedroom floor, your sofa, or wherever you wish to experience it. Neither your annoying little brother nor your mum calling you for tea even exist anymore, nor does being 14 or 45 years old. It’s a thousand percent fusion of you and the music, the sounds, the feelings. Its three-quarters of an hour are a hundred thousand lifetimes.

It was amongst the first components of my transition to CD, having not long before laughingly dismissed the format as a hi-tech fad. (Still miss the familiar crackles of my dearly departed vinyl copy, which was duly recorded onto cassette for my Uni days. Come to think of it, maybe my annoying little brother still has the LP!) Thirty years of listening; each word and note, each sound effect and channel-switch etched into your being; yet there’s still something new every time.

The year 1975 was a weird time for the Floyd. The Dark Side of the Moon (‘73) had made them into monsters. They were one of the biggest-earning rock bands in the world, and a household name. The underground days of space-rock were well behind them, and they certainly weren’t playing with Emily anymore.

Always pioneers in performance, they had certainly not failed their audiences in presenting Dark Side’s enormity and depth on stage, further consolidating their reputation. Just as they should have been “riding the gravy train”, they found themselves feeling hopelessly drained and completely lacking in any kind of direction or motivation. Just how the hell do you attempt to follow up Dark Side of the Moon?!!

The original plan was to record three tracks that they’d been developing live the previous year. Of these, only “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” actually made it onto the album, though split into two parts. (No matter how great the band’s command of recording technologies, not even they could increase the playing time of a single side of vinyl!) The other two compositions eventually evolved into “Dogs” and “Sheep” on the subsequent Animals LP.

The changes were Roger Waters’ vision and decision (all of the album’s lyrics are credited to him). While Rick Wright and Nick Mason were largely in agreement, David Gilmour was less enthusiastic about the amendments, though he has since cited “Wish You Were Here” as his favourite work by the band. In many ways, this was the beginning of the rift between Gilmour and Waters which would slowly, painfully, yet inevitably lead to their “final cut”: Waters’ departure a decade later.

Recording sessions at Abbey Road stretched out through the first seven months of 1975, with two U.S. tours in between (premiering some of the new material). “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” was dedicated to the rise and fall of former Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett, and “Wish You Were Here” was written to extend the tribute. The other two tracks composed for the revised project were open attacks on “the Biz”: “Welcome to the Machine” and “Have a Cigar”.

The whole opus has an underlying sense of loss, of lack, of longing: there are bursts of anger, sighs of remorse; bitter resignation and flashes of enlightenment: a record which serves as a record of the group’s state(s) of being at the time. And yet, because these feelings are so timeless and universal, it also manages to touch the essence of the human condition. Wish You Were Here gets you every time.

Pink Floyd — Wish You Were Here: Track-by-track review

1. “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)”
The vast, majestic desolation of the bleak opening sequence is overwhelming. I’m not a synthesiser man — couldn’t tell a minimoog from a mellotron — but the soundscape painted here is so utterly immense it defies classification. You could be soaring over the Himalaya, the Gobi, or the Arctic; diving the depths of the Pacific; preparing your spaceship to land god-knows-where. Only one thing is certain: you are very, very alone. Listen to those fizzling sounds over the ethereal introductory wash. Are they fading memories, or crumbling dreams?

The original sleeve concept of the Wish You Were Here album was to wrap the LP in plain black paper, concealing the burning businessman cover, further underlining the theme of ‘absence’ which pervades the album. Clearly, the Music Machine rejected this blatant absence of product information outright, and so the mechanical handshake logo was added as a sticker. The background segments and the other Hipgnosis images included represent the four elements, emphasising the universal sense of “perfect isolation” which the electronic textures weave.

Over two minutes into the journey and Gilmour’s first guitar notes thread a new motif into the tapestry. He isn’t playing with his fingers, but with his soul. The solo has nothing at all — yet absolutely everything- to do with the synthesised backscreen. The fragile beauty of his guitar at times gently weeps, at times primally screams his sense of solitude.

The third part of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” seems to begin with the four repeated echoing guitar notes which the ring the change, unfurling the drums and the bass and later organ onto the track. Its full enormity floods in: the horizons rolled back to reveal the true extent of the void, an imposing infinity of emptiness; a silence so excruciatingly loud that it deafens.

The eight lines of vocal take up just 2 1/2 mins of the total thirteen and a half.

Remember when you were young?
[a chuckle]
You shone like the sun!

Waters sings an emotional tribute to their former frontman and friend, Syd Barrett, backed by Wright and Gilmour, with female harmonies. Syd had left the band, by mutual consent, after the release of their first album. Never blessed with the soundest of mental health, copious consumption of assorted recreational pharmaceuticals had left “the madcap” completely incapable of functioning as part of the group.

You reached for the secret too soon
You cried for the moon
Shine on you crazy diamond!

Having withdrawn from the music world — and the world in general — after a pair of solo albums at the turn of the decade, Syd hadn’t been seen by anyone in the rest of the band for over five years. His unannounced arrival at the studios during the recording of “Shine On”, not to mention his ravaged physical appearance, had Waters in tears, the other three unsure what to say.

Come on you raver
You seer of visions
Come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner
And SHINE!

The saxophone of guest artist Dick Parry carries us through to end of the track, by turns mournful and jubilant, a perfect accompaniment to the band’s overlapping, intertwining and constantly shifting nuances. The percussion and bass mark an understated stop, the sax disintegrates into some jazz-style scale improvisations, guitar and keyboards softly fade away. An ominous mechanical pulse begins to throb…

2. “Welcome To The Machine”
The booming of the factory presses rises relentlessly. Brash electric buzzers, clanking gear-shifts and hissing discharges of sulpuric steam echo from these dark, Satanic mills. Metalicised acoustic guitar chords are shadowed by the synths to introduce Gilmour’s asphyxiated vocal:

Welcome my son
Welcome to the machine

The “Machine” is the music industry. Production, Packaging, Publicity and Profit: all taken care of. Look no further than the faceless Magritte-esque executive in the photograph enclosed. The indignant irony of Roger Waters’ lyric anticipates the flavour of his subsequent writing, though here he manages to stay just this side of the maudlinness of The Final Cut, or certain bricks from The Wall.

The throbbing bassline and Nick Mason’s timpani subtly resist being moulded completely by the plant machinery, although at times they are almost swamped, indistinguishable. The insistent strumming of the twelve-string and Wright’s surging synthesisers keep the conveyor belt running.

The monotony of the mechanical monster and the bitter anguish of the vocal carry the product interminably through the process. A new, more insistent machine is switched in, a steel door slams out the fading traces of music, the final scant remnants of humanity. We are trapped in a madly accelarating elevator which, perversely, drops us into a party. Plenty of self-congratulory laughter — maybe a record launch.

“Welcome To The Machine” was the end of the original LP’s side one.

Whether or not Dark Side of the Moon was made to accompany The Wizard of Oz, this song is the soundtrack for scenes from Chaplin’s Modern Times, or Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.

3. “Have A Cigar”
The lurching riff cuts right in at the end of the previous track’s cocktail party sounds on CD; on the original LP it opened the second side. The spluttering distortion of the fat bass and indignant guitar suggest yet another machine struggling to crank into life. Rick and Nick come in to get it running at least a little more smoothly.

We’re whisked into the inner sanctum, the private office of the big boss himself. The smooth-talking mogul handing out the Havanas is given life (or at least voice) by guest singer Roy Harper.

Harper was recording in the next studio, and offered to help out when Waters was rendered aphonic by a cold. Amazing character, Roy Harper: he’s been singer-songwriting since the mid 60s, usually labelled — rather limitingly — as ‘Folk’. He’s made an album with Jimmy Page* and jammed onstage with him and Plant dozens of times. He’s duetted with Kate Bush** and has played the Glastonbury Mainstage and the Royal Albert Hall, and yet he has always successfully managed to evade the bigtime, to stay clear of the cogs of The Machine. He’s still a cult troubadour, a “One Man Rock ‘n’ Roll Band” in the smoky student bars of Britain. The smokier the better for Royboy!

He does a great job with the vocal here, catching the twisted insinuations of the creep in the suit to a tee. If his ‘walk on part’ was unplanned, it still works very nicely having a non-Floyd singer to distance themselves further from the sycophantic schemer. So many words, so little understanding:

The band is just fantastic
That is really what I think
Oh, by the way, which one’s ‘Pink’?

It was the first appearance of the personification of Pink around whom The Wall would be constructed, the character later played by Bob Geldof in the film version. It wasn’t, however, the first time the band had been asked the question!

The insistent duelling chacka-wacka of guitar and bass reiterate the double-talking insincerity of the lyric, while the shifting drum fills and seductive synth waves stay with the silver-tongued smarm. It’s been awfully nice talking to you, chaps… the party’s suddenly over… off you go now, back to work.

Whoooooosssssssssh!!! The whole band is sucked back into the pipeline and forced to finish the playout through a crackling radio speaker.

* Whatever Happened to Jugula? (1984)
** “Breathing” (Kate Bush single from Never Forever), “You” on Roy Harper The Unknown Soldier (both 1980)

4. “Wish You Were Here”
Bored with the last song, someone rolls the tuning dial on their tinny old tranny: whitenoise static, politics, a play, a snatch of classical music. It’s still not fully tuned-in as the subdued twelve-string intro begins. The cough.

How many apprentice guitarist friends have I known, trying to capture the dreamlike fragility of these chords? Listening to the song I can be with all of them again, be they lost for good or just lost touch with. When I e-mailed someone to say I’d undertaken this review, she replied to say she’d played the album the previous night! Waters may have been missing Syd Barrett when he wrote the lyric, but ‘wish you were here’ can be projected to anybody who anyone would like to be with.

Another more distinct guitar line is layered over the faraway strumming; more earnest, yet equally detached, then both ring out to open the vocal. The quaint conditional structure of the title is a throwaway from countless picture postcards but in this case it’s definitely not preceded by ‘having a lovely time.’ It’s a postcard from the edge.

David Gilmour’s delicate delivery underpins the sense of loneliness to perfection, backed by the mournful sighs of his lap steel guitar. Hope you think you’ve made the right choices, ‘cos I’m not sure I have.

Mason’s drums roll lazily in and the whole song bursts into bloom for the second verse. Who chose better, you or me? Sentimental touches of tinkling piano. The guitar solo is duetted by a synthesised vocal ad-lib. Voice-like guitars and guitar-like voices: nothing’s really clear, especially the decisions we’ve all had to make.

The final verse unfolds with a new, emphatic realisation. Right here, right now there is only one thing that’s really certain:

How I wish you were here!!!

Backed by Rick Wright and Nick Mason, Waters and Gilmour duetted “Wish You Were Here” at the Live 8 Benefit in 2005, after more than twenty years of virtually constant bitching (public and private), mudslinging and legal wrangling. Both played acoustic: Gilmour enraptured, radiant; Waters almost too choked to sing. “Two lost souls, swimming in a fish bowl.” Look no further than that event to truly understand the transcendental healing qualities of this song.

There’s a long playout, returning to the reflective feel of the intro, but considerably more ‘up’. More of that playful doo-diddy synth-singing, remembering the good times.

Isn’t that the point? In simply wishing someone were here, you can always have them with you whenever you need them. It’s okay to laugh, it’s okay to cry. Cherish those memories.

But don’t smile too soon, there’s a cold wind getting up.

5. “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts VI-IX)”
From the icy gale which obliterates the previous track grows an ominous bass pulse. The full nine-part suite was usually perfomed live either in its entirety, or with “Have a Cigar” passing it from the cool sax to the steel breeze. On the 2001 Echoes compilation, the alpha and omega of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” (parts I-VII, at least) were mixed into a majestic 17 1/2 min near-whole. Funny, that… I remember clumsily trying to accomplish it on cassette about thirty years earlier!

On the album, the sixth movement begins to pick up momentum: a second hypnotic bassline and electronic drone. Gilmour cranks the starting handle, but the motor won’t kick in: it takes Mason’s assistance to jumpstart it. With the engines idling on the rhythm section, a stately synth and sedate slide calmly carry out the cockpit check, revving guitar clanking impatiently. Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten you safety belts, we are ready for launch!

The track takes off on the swooping and soaring of Gilmour’s pedal-steel solo, but the flight plan is executed by the incredible fusion of sounds and feelings provided by all the members of the band. It’s like riding some monstrous theme park attraction: white knuckles, clenched teeth, churning guts, spinning head, wondering just why you got on in the first place.

Then just when you think you can’t take it anymore, a strident electric guitar reintroduces the “Shine On” melody refrain from Part One.

Nobody knows where you are
How near or how far

Nobody had clapped eyes on Syd Barrett in more than half a decade. And no one recognised him to begin with when he ambled into the studio during sessions for the song written to him. He’d piled on weight and shaved his head (and the rest of his facial hair) and he clearly wasn’t on the same planet as anyone else.

The band were distraught, but none more than Roger Waters, who was only too aware of the delicate state of his own mental and emotional health.

Pile on many more layers
And I’ll be joining you there

The final six minutes or so, Parts VIII and IX, are in contemplative mode. Moments of poignant introspection, waves of overwhelming self-realisation. You can ponder what you like. The latter history of Pink Floyd, for example. The gloomy grandeur of The Wall, ‘Pink’ Geldof hacking at his eyebrows with a razor in the movie, the lasers and lightshows, the bitter acrimony of the breakup and its aftermath.

Only the combined talents of the band could really be the real thing: the way they interweave in this passage is a sublime example. The Live 8 reconciliation. Shine on!

Thudding drums announce a solemn synthesiser solo. Don’t forget Syd: the burnt out supernova of a former Floyd. He died in 2006, having sought no further contact with his former bandmates and little with the world outside his head. A childlike spirit, shattered by reality. “Winner, loser, miner for truth and delusion.” Shine on!

Crashing piano and that soul-tingling steel guitar again. Think some more about anyone and everyone you’re wishing were here. We’re all crazy diamonds. Float away on the fade-out (if you listen very carefully you can hear Emily playing again). Meditate your past, your present, your future, your universal uniqueness. And SHINE!!!

Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd

“Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)”

“Welcome To The Machine”

“Have A Cigar”

“Wish You Were Here”

“Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts VI-IX)”

The Dark Side Of The Moon

So, Dark Side of the Moon…

The statistics speak for themselves: it’s one of the biggest albums of all time. If you haven’t heard at least some of it you must have been living in a cave for the last 35 years.

It’s the album that put Pink Floyd into the mega-star arena. The coming together of a new direction. Even though hints of the album’s style could be heard on previous albums, this was a quantum leap into a new area.

As you read this, you may know and love the album as much as I do. Or you may have not knowingly listened to it and wonder what all the fuss is about. But I guarantee you have heard some of it. It has appeared on so many TV programs and movies over the years, in commercials, and is a staple of rock radio.

Even though Roger Waters, who wrote all the lyrics, claims that some of them seem a bit “6th form” now, I think they still stand up to scrutiny.

Pink Floyd — The Dark Side Of The Moon: Track-by-track review

1. “Speak To Me/Breathe”
The album opens with a heartbeat, some manic laughing and a few sampled quotes from members of the Pink Floyd camp talking about death. Then a crashing chord and the song starts proper. It’s about the simple things in life and how time passes quickly the older you get.

It’s a gentle opener to the album, with breathy harmony vocals (no pun intended) reminiscent of a few previous songs from earlier albums such as Meddle, not too challenging or jarring. Some Dave Gilmour slide guitar over a gentle groove.

2. “On The Run”
This was 1973 remember. No Pro Tools or samplers, just very basic sequencers and synthesisers. But the band managed to put together a sequenced track with sampled sounds the old fashioned way. It starts to invoke the first hints of paranoia or darkness in the album. “On The Run” takes full advantage of the stereo soundstage and lets you know why this album is still a standard for testing high-end hi-fis.

The track ends with an explosive crash, which was represented live by a model Spitfire flying in over the crowd and crashing into the stage.

3. “Time”
Wake up!

A cacophony of clocks ticking and chiming descends into a “tick tock” drumbeat overlaid with Roto toms and a simple bass riff, before the track really gets going into a full-on rock song complete with Dave Gilmour’s first guitar solo of the album — real dirty fuzzed-up and overdriven one.

Again, the theme is time ticking away before you know it. The song quietens down towards the end and then you realise you’re back in a reprise of track 1, “Breathe”.

4. “The Great Gig In The Sky”
Piano, more slide guitar and more sampled voices. Then Clare Torry, a session singer drafted in for the day lets rip. No words, just… well, I can’t say what exactly. Screaming or scatting just doesn’t do it justice. Passion, that’s the best word I can come up with.

In the days of vinyl, this track always left me drained until I could work up the energy to turn the album over for side 2…

5. “Money”
Ok, you’ve heard this one before. The sampled sound of cash being dropped into a cash register, that instantly recognisable bass line and a drum beat that you just can’t quite follow first time round. Then the lyrics. Still relevant today, singing about getting loads of money quicker than you can handle. “Think I’ll buy me a football team” or “Think I need a Lear Jet”.

Another guest appearance, this time from Dick Parry with a sax solo.

Not as much of a rocker as “Time”, at least at first, but then the guitar solo kicks in. Initially cleaner than the one on “Time” it gets down and dirty later on. This is one of the few parts of the album that lent itself to some improvisation when played live before returning to the original groove to fade out, with more sampled voices linking to the next track…

6. “Us And Them”
Opening slow and atmospheric over Hammond organ and guitar, and with another appearance by Dick Parry’s sax, the words speak of paranoia, frustration and madness. Again, sampled voices feature and there’s a short sax solo. If any of the lyrics on the album are a bit “6th form”, as Roger Waters claimed, then they’re probably on this track.

It’s a slow burner building up, then easing off before building up again and then moving into “Any Colour You Like” with no discernible break.

7. “Any Colour You Like”
The previous track segues seamlessly into this instrumental. It’s a gentle groove with some synthesizer doodling before Dave Gilmour breaks out a choppy solo

8. “Brain Damage”
Lunatics, asylums and lobotomies. Then more paranoia.

This is the song that sets up the album’s big finish, which is “Eclipse”. The lyrics are almost spoken over a strummed acoustic guitar, before the drums kick in with massed backing vocals and manic laughter and yet more sampled quotes.

There may be hints of the acrimony that would soon come to Pink Floyd, or of the band’s history with Syd Barrett in lines such as “when the band you’re in starts playing different tunes.” Or maybe it’s just another reference to insanity.

The heavy drum roll at the end leads into “Eclipse”.

9. “Eclipse”
Heavy Hammond organ over the guitar from the previous track with one of Rogers Waters’ trademark “lists” of lyrics providing the only real ray of hope in the fear and paranoia when he sings “Everything under the sun is in tune”… except that “the sun is eclipsed by the moon.”

The song builds and builds with more backing vocals and instruments until a crescendo is reached and the sounds fade out to leave the album-opening heartbeat again, and a last sampled voice.

Live, this song would finish the set, as they often performed the album in its entirety, with fireworks and a spectacular lightshow and probably the best mirror-ball effect I’ve ever seen.

The Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd

“Speak To Me/Breathe”

“On The Run”

“Time”

“The Great Gig In The Sky”

“Money”

“Us And Them”

“Any Colour You Like”

“Brain Damage”

“Eclipse”

Obscured By Clouds

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Obscured By Clouds by Pink Floyd

“Obscured By Clouds”

“When You’re In”

“Burning Bridges”

“The Gold It’s In The…”

“Wots…Uh The Deal”

“Mudmen”

“Childhood’s End”

“Free Four”

“Stay”

“Absolutely Curtains”

Meddle

NOTE: We’re looking for a knowledgeable Pink Floyd nerd! A review for Meddle hasn’t been published — yet. We need someone who can write a full track-by-track review of this album (at least a couple paragraphs per song); if you know the music, you can submit a review. You’ll be compensated when visitors make purchases through vendor links on their pages — for as long as your review remains on the site. Get more details in the FAQ.

Meddle by Pink Floyd

“One Of These Days”

“A Pillow Of Winds”

“Fearless”

“San Tropez”

“Seamus”

“Echoes”

Atom Heart Mother

NOTE: We’re looking for a knowledgeable Pink Floyd nerd! A review for Atom Heart Mother hasn’t been published — yet. We need someone who can write a full track-by-track review of this album (at least a couple paragraphs per song); if you know the music, you can submit a review. You’ll be compensated when visitors make purchases through vendor links on their pages — for as long as your review remains on the site. Get more details in the FAQ.

Atom Heart Mother by Pink Floyd

“Atom Heart Mother Suite: Father’s Shout/Breast Milky/Mother Fore/Funky Dung/Mind Your Throats Please/Remergence”

“If”

“Summer ’68”

“Fat Old Sun”

“Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast: Rise And Shine/Sunny Side Up/Morning Glory”