|06-13-2006, 06:46 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Manchester, NJ
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One of the bands that first introduced me to rock was Pink Floyd. They had a sound that somehow appealed to me as I went through the teenage years - their lyrics were somehow telling me that I wasn't the only one in pain, or who felt society was against me.
As my musical interests developed, Pink Floyd together with a few other progressive rock bands, defined my musical tastes. As they changed and adapted to the times, so did I.
My opinion on the band follows, it is taken from my own personal blog, but has been changed to fit on this forum! Here are my thoughts on their albums:
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)
The album introduce the audience to the surreal, drawing many poetical lyrics from folklore. Perhaps a little aged now, it is still classed as a good debut album. While the early sound of Pink Floyd would not be carried through, it did set them on the road to the recognizable sounds of today.
A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)
An experimental album that obviously influenced Floyd’s future, but really didn’t deliver on this promise. The psychedelic element remained, although Floyd’s ability to experiment with different forms of electronic music and sound started to show through. Perhaps the biggest thing to come from this album was “A Saucerful of Secrets” – although not a classic by any means, this would be a hint of what would come, as the track was 12 minutes long.
Music from the Film More (1969)
Pink Floyd produced a soundtrack for the film More. Again this was a very uneven album, more tailored to the movie than to true Pink Floyd principle. With many ‘folk’ songs, and acoustic songs this album was a let down for fans who had seen the early development of Pink Floyd.
It is really amazing that Pink Floyd held together during the early years. This mix of live recordings and studio clippets, was like a solo project fest. This epitomized the struggle for the band to find itself; the album is very disjointed.
Atom Heart Mother (1970)
Although the early years of Pink Floyd weren’t hugely successful, it must be noted that they were going through an experimental period, bringing together many different and often opposite styles of music. This album bought in collaboration with orchestral music. We start to hear the Pink Floyd that we know of today as sound effects starting appearing in this album. This album is strangely poor by Floyd’s own high expectations.
Meddle was perhaps the first album that introduced the true Pink Floyd. Abandoning psychedelic music, the sound was more approachable and consistent. With a 23-minute track, Echoes, we began to see the direction Floyd were heading. Perhaps the first truly progressive rock album produced by the band.
Obscured by clouds (1972)
Another soundtrack album, but this time one that was true to the sound that Pink Floyd were developing. Although not their best album, it began to get Floyd more airplay in the US. It also introduced us to a more personal, retrospective band that pushed much of their own feelings and memories into their song writing.
The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
This album is massively played, and massively heard around the world with classic songs like “Money” and ‘Time” providing examples of how a rock song should be made and played, and yet with some very profound and deep lyrics throughout the album. This was perhaps the first and best example of a concept album, produced a sound that defines who Pink Floyd are, and would influence many bands for years to come. For me this album seemed to deeply touch me, be it with their deep base lines, or their profound lyrics, that at times were perhaps strange and weird, but once you listened to them several times, seemed to make sense in this strange world of ours.
Wish You Were Here (1975)
Continuing on their ability to write whole albums around a centralized theme, this album had several meanings, one building on the absence of loved ones, but also commenting deeply on the music industry and its ability to treat bands as commodities to used simply to produce revenues. This seemed to be a far more personal album than they had produced before, appealing to your heart, while also making you think. It almost seemed to talk of internal strife in a way in which we all can identify. Musically, I describe this album as lyrical – meaning that the songs seemed to flow almost sensually, combining with the words perfectly. The mastery of soft guitar was amazing, as the songs almost played themselves.
Pink Floyd seemed to take a step back musically in this album, toying with a more basic and raw sound. With Punk Rock emerging as a force in the late 70s, many saw this as an attempt to fit in with the new style of Rock that was becoming popular. Again Floyd used a central theme (Animals) as a metaphor to complain about society. Using raw guitar and synths, this album lost some of the ‘culture’ felt in previous albums.
The Wall (1979)
This was my introduction to Pink Floyd, and was one of the most profound influences of my early life as it seemed to parallel my own teenage confusion and loneliness. The classic “Another Brick in the Wall (part 2)” became an anthem for me and my class mates as we struggled to deal with conformity in the classroom.
The music seemed very mystical, and the lyrics strange and almost ‘out of this world’, seemingly disconnected from society – this theme underlies the music, which in itself is classic rock, but seems deep routed in a pervasive, almost sinister rhythm that draws you into the music. A very profound album. After buying this album, I went back and bought all the previous albums. While some were amazing, I always refer back to this as being the album that persuaded me to listen to Pink Floyd.
The Final Cut (1983)
Perhaps one of the most personal and dark albums that Pink Floyd produced, this album was aimed at the political leaders of the time that led Britain into the Falklands war. Drawing parallels to WWII, and dedicated to Roger Waters’s father who was lost in that war, it draws deeply on conflicting emotions, becoming a very dark deep and angry album.
A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987)
Without Waters, the band lost some of its direction. Personally, the music after 1985 wasn’t as inspiring or dark as previously and I felt that they weren’t quite the same band. Legal issues seemed to dog the band, making the music seem watered down and rushed.
The Division Bell (1994)
Another very successful album for Floyd, but yet again this seemed to be a watered don Floyd. The influence of Waters was sadly lacking and while this seemed a more rounded album, it still seemed flat and false. For me this was a sad ending to a great band, and for me the sound of Pink Floyd died in 1985.
While Pink Floyd have performed together several times, and all the members of the band have had several excellent solo albums, and exciting tours, the magic of Pink Floyd has gone – whether they will ever join together again and reproduce the sound that made them fans all over the world remains to be seen, but their music lives on via the classic albums that endure and even by today’s standards are excellent. The 70s was the golden era of British rock. Floyd, together with Led Zepplin, The Who and The Rolling Stones, ensured that British rock would have a place in history.
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