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Pink Floyd picture
Pink Floyd biography
Formed in 1965 in London, UK - Disbanded in 1994 - Reunited with different formation on several ocasions

One of the biggest bands of all time

Of all the bands who come under the progressive rock banner, Pink Floyd are, arguably, the act most recognisable in the wider music community to music lovers of all genres. Yet, as revealed famously by Nick Mason in an old interview, even at the height of their fame, they could walk down any street, and passers-by would not have recognised a member of one of the most commercially successful acts in music history.

The band were formed in London in 1965, the original members being Roger (known as Syd) BARRETT on vocals and lead guitar, Nick MASON on drums, Roger WATERS on bass guitar and vocals, and Rick WRIGHT on keyboards.

The London of the late 1960's was a melting pot of live acts and varying musical genres, and the band gained a cult following amongst the underground psychedelic crowd of the time. This expanded into a more public consciousness with a residency at the famous UFO Club, with a hypnotic light show and pulsating, often indescribable, sounds. This led to television appearances, most famously an interview and live performance on BBC The Look of the Week, with a rather bemused classical performer Hans Keller in tow. Waters was famously asked just why everything had to be so loud?!

This popularity led to the band signing to EMI, who in 1967 released two hit singles, See Emily Play, which attracted controversy regarding its cross-dressing themes, and Arnold Layne. They charted in the UK at 20 and 6 respectively.

The debut album which followed, Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, is universally recognised as being hugely influential in rock music, beyond the narrow confines of psychedelia. It peaked at number 6 in the UK album charts in 1967, and the band continued to play not only their residency, but also increasing numbers of national gigs and festivals.

The strain, however, was beginning to tell on Barrett, and a fragile mental state, exacerbated by LSD, led to him becoming almost semi-detached from the band and wider reality. The situation became such that the band, at the end of 1967, drafted in David GILMOUR ...
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The Dark Side of the MoonThe Dark Side of the Moon
Legacy 2016
$39.99 (used)
Legacy 2018
$23.59 (used)
Pink Floyd: The Wall (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)Pink Floyd: The Wall (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
Multiple Formats · AC-3 · Dolby
Sony Legacy 2005
$12.89 (used)
Wish You Were HereWish You Were Here
Pink Floyd Records 2016
$13.96 (used)
Pink Floyd Records 2016
$12.36 (used)
Pulse (Live)Pulse (Live)
Legacy 2018
$69.16 (used)
The WallThe Wall
Capitol Records 2011
$9.99 (used)
The Final CutThe Final Cut
Legacy 2017
$15.99 (used)
The WallThe Wall
Legacy 2016
$22.00 (used)
Pink Floyd - PulsePink Floyd - Pulse
Multiple Formats
Legacy 2006
$4.52 (used)
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PINK FLOYD discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

PINK FLOYD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.88 | 1837 ratings
The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
3.66 | 1603 ratings
A Saucerful Of Secrets
3.15 | 1219 ratings
3.48 | 1557 ratings
3.88 | 2033 ratings
Atom Heart Mother
4.30 | 2868 ratings
3.37 | 1415 ratings
Obscured By Clouds
4.60 | 3977 ratings
Dark Side Of The Moon
4.62 | 3778 ratings
Wish You Were Here
4.52 | 3386 ratings
4.08 | 2716 ratings
The Wall
3.18 | 1668 ratings
The Final Cut
3.05 | 1570 ratings
A Momentary Lapse Of Reason
3.74 | 1854 ratings
The Division Bell
3.35 | 691 ratings
The Endless River

PINK FLOYD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 522 ratings
Delicate Sound Of Thunder
3.93 | 711 ratings
2.83 | 156 ratings
Live 66-67
4.09 | 464 ratings
Is There Anybody Out There?

PINK FLOYD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.76 | 479 ratings
Live At Pompeii
4.09 | 526 ratings
The Wall (The Movie)
3.64 | 170 ratings
In Concert - Delicate Sound Of Thunder
3.05 | 53 ratings
La Carrera Panamericana
4.43 | 512 ratings
3.08 | 89 ratings
London - Live 66-67
4.58 | 613 ratings
Live At Pompeii (The Director's Cut)
4.07 | 174 ratings
Classic Albums: The Dark Side Of The Moon
2.92 | 53 ratings
Inside Pink Floyd
3.30 | 65 ratings
The Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett Story
2.41 | 32 ratings
Inside Pink Floyd Volume 2 - A Critical Review 1975 - 1996
2.27 | 17 ratings
The Ultimate Review
2.00 | 20 ratings
The World's Greatest Albums - Atom Heart Mother
2.48 | 20 ratings
Rock Milestones Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here
1.97 | 20 ratings
Reflections And Echoes
2.73 | 21 ratings
Rock Milestones Pink Floyd's The Piper At The Gates of Dawn
1.36 | 22 ratings
Rock Milestones: Ummagumma
2.09 | 14 ratings
Music Box Biographical Collection
2.30 | 18 ratings
The Dark Side - Interviews
2.17 | 15 ratings
Total Rock Review
2.46 | 18 ratings
Meddle: A Classic Album Under Review
3.11 | 18 ratings
2.00 | 14 ratings
The Early Pink Floyd - A Review And Critique
2.14 | 13 ratings
Comfortably Numb
3.00 | 19 ratings
A Technicolor Dream
3.57 | 27 ratings
Live Anthology
1.85 | 18 ratings
The Great Gig In The Sky: The Album By Album Guide
3.96 | 81 ratings
The Story of Wish You Were Here

PINK FLOYD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.13 | 37 ratings
The Best Of The Pink Floyd
3.57 | 352 ratings
3.21 | 112 ratings
A Nice Pair
2.70 | 62 ratings
Masters Of Rock Vol. 1
2.20 | 197 ratings
A Collection Of Great Dance Songs
2.20 | 140 ratings
3.47 | 89 ratings
Shine On
3.70 | 102 ratings
The Early Singles
4.50 | 8 ratings
The Dark Side Of The Moon (Twentieth Anniversary Edition)
3.08 | 68 ratings
1967: The First Three Singles
3.44 | 248 ratings
Echoes - The Best Of Pink Floyd
4.04 | 82 ratings
Oh By The Way...
2.81 | 57 ratings
A Foot In The Door: The Best Of Pink Floyd
4.42 | 74 ratings
4.71 | 130 ratings
The Dark Side Of The Moon - Experience Edition
4.58 | 123 ratings
The Dark Side Of The Moon - Immersion Edition
4.70 | 141 ratings
Wish You Were Here - Experience Edition
4.43 | 110 ratings
Wish You Were Here - Immersion Edition
4.26 | 81 ratings
The Wall - Experience Edition
1.91 | 57 ratings
The Wall Singles
3.78 | 95 ratings
The Wall - Immersion Edition
4.19 | 43 ratings
The Division Bell (20th Anniversary Deluxe Box)
3.72 | 39 ratings
The Early Years 1967-1972 Creation

PINK FLOYD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.81 | 78 ratings
Arnold Layne
3.43 | 89 ratings
See Emily Play
2.91 | 55 ratings
Apples And Oranges
2.61 | 62 ratings
Tonite Let's All Make Love In London
3.61 | 28 ratings
3.35 | 42 ratings
It Would Be So Nice
3.68 | 41 ratings
Point Me at the Sky
2.87 | 39 ratings
The Nile Song
3.83 | 73 ratings
One Of These Days
4.33 | 12 ratings
Free Four
4.33 | 9 ratings
Free Four / Absolutely Curtains
3.78 | 83 ratings
3.60 | 75 ratings
3.63 | 68 ratings
Have a Cigar
3.83 | 72 ratings
Comfortably Numb
3.60 | 75 ratings
Another Brick In The Wall
3.44 | 61 ratings
Run Like Hell
3.26 | 54 ratings
When the Tigers Broke Free
1.91 | 50 ratings
Not Now John/The Hero's Return (Part 2)
2.52 | 62 ratings
Learning To Fly (promo single)
3.07 | 52 ratings
On the Turning Away
2.98 | 35 ratings
One Slip
2.95 | 19 ratings
A Momentary Lapse Of Reason Official Tour CD
2.90 | 23 ratings
Shine On - Selections From The Box
3.21 | 70 ratings
High Hopes/ Keep Talking (single)
3.38 | 59 ratings
Take It Back
3.63 | 8 ratings
Interview Disc
3.96 | 45 ratings
Louder Than Words
2.65 | 15 ratings
Pink Floyd 1965 - Their First Recordings


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Atom Heart Mother by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.88 | 2033 ratings

Atom Heart Mother
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Luqueasaur

3 stars Not the g-spot yet: 6/10

Don't get me wrong, ATOM HEART MOTHER is far from a bad album. But as far as I'm concerned about PINK FLOYD, expecting psychedelia and outwordly synth-driven grooviness, it's too tasteless. The psychedelic parts are weak and particularly immature as the band was musically directionless. As many before me pointed out, that statement is true; they really hadn't much of a clue on how to proceed with their career when they recorded and released ATOM HEART MOTHER. While Atom Heart Mother stands as a memorable orchestral piece with influences of rock music, the other tracks not only have absolutely NOTHING to do with it but are also shadowed by its grandiosity. In terms of size, as it's a twenty-minutes-long song, and in terms of quality, as their songwriting is lackluster, in counterpart to the maturity of the mammoth symphony. Summer '68 is mildly exceptional, as it retains somewhat the quality of the title track. In the end, that was a fair experiment to PINK FLOYD, as it would help them to choose their musical path. But that's ATOM HEART MOTHER's legacy: an album of transitory characteristics that I honestly believe only fans will really dig it. Don't get me wrong, I don't think it is objectively bad, it's just that it's not good enough to be actively recommendable to non-lovers of PF. So forgive me, my beautiful twenty-fours-minutes-long suite, but I can't be really any more merciful than this.

 It Would Be So Nice by PINK FLOYD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1968
3.35 | 42 ratings

It Would Be So Nice
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Luqueasaur

4 stars Lighthearted & lushly melancholic and psychedelic: 8/10

I found Julia Dream randomly on YouTube and gave it a listen. Upon learning it was a single - not being featured on any album, how sad - I decided to give a look to the "entirety" of this excerpt from early PINK FLOYD. Assuming this has only seven minutes, I'll spare the needless contextual details.

It Would Be So Nice is a lighthearted track distinctively sounding like THE BEATLES' plainness, with at best some mildly psychedelic twist to it. The chorus does feature some subversion on the simplicity of the entire song, though. It's enjoyable, but not much memorable at all.

Julia Dream, however, is pretty different, featuring a lush, distorted Mellotron background - IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING with an, even more, psychedelic touch - and reverbed & delayed calm vocals. The small midsection features some random experimental effects as the saddened acoustics and Mellotron play alongside, and the outro, some brutally disorienting screeching effects. It's a sweet, mellow, but heart-wrenching song. Like watching a young child passing away peacefully - for as much we're glad they have no pain, we're grieving over their death. I found it a spectacular demonstration of psychedelia at its state-of-art form.

The first track is rather uninteresting, whereas the second is highly recommendable. "It Would Be So Nice" lowered the overall score... should "Julia Dream" be released as single, perhaps I would have given it five stars. Well, it's a matter of taste, really - I loved it. But I think PINK FLOYD fans - and psychedelic rock fans in general - will highly enjoy it as well.

 The Early Years 1967-1972 Creation by PINK FLOYD album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2016
3.72 | 39 ratings

The Early Years 1967-1972 Creation
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by AZF

5 stars Although I made myself a plan to save up from my job to buy each disc, having my job finish with no choice but to use my savings to survive instead! I really wish this double CD had been released a few weeks earlier than the box set. As it would have charted in the album charts instead of being counted with the lower sales of the box. This is a better compilation than either Echoes and even Relics. (Yes, even better than the Australian edition of Relics!) Although nothing from the EP from 1965, Syd is better served by the chronological order if the first disc. I don't like the different lyrics for "Matilda Mother" but the jam the band go into at the end is a never before revealed insight into how the Pink Floyd sounded live. Although In The Beechwoods does sound dated and tied to its decade, it plays into an alternate "What if?..." for "A Saucerful Of Secrets" album tracklisting. It's also kinder to Rick Wright through Paintbox. The BBC sessions show a fearless but transitional band marching towards the more developed later 70's sound. The Zabriskie Point material are less dated, but still sound perfect for soundtracks. Embryo live was on a bootleg, "Pink Is The Pig" I used to have, so it's good to hear. The most played track for me is the version of "Atom Heart Mother" in a four piece arrangement that was sadly dropped from their live sets when it would have stood alongside Shine On You Crazy Diamond and Dark Side Of The Moon. The final three tracks are great picks from one of my favourite albums, "Obscured By Clouds". Although I wish "Mudmen" had been included.

If this was released instead of the box, it would have sold a lot better than it did. It isn't a Fans Only purchase. It's an exhilarating story of how a band began, changed and developed into the killing machine Pink Floyd became. As a compilation it's their most honest. No altered tracklisting to disguise highs and lows of the band. Cre/ation is an essential a purchase to the curious and new fans as it is buying Dark Side Of The Moon.


 Dark Side Of The Moon by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.60 | 3977 ratings

Dark Side Of The Moon
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by hi_t_moonweed

5 stars With a squillion and one reviews here, anyone who hasn't heard this album will by now have a pretty good idea of Dark Side of the Moon. Every now and then I will pull out a random album and listen to it in its entirety. Oddly enough DSOTM was my last random. My take on the album is that is like a classic car. There are battle scars from years of use and it is a little frayed around the edges. You immediately forget all that when you see it still has the classic lines and oh such a sweet ride. This is an album that if you do appreciate good music (of any genre) it would not be a waste of time to at least give it one complete listen. Personally this is a favourite album of mine and can easily be considered an essential acquisition, as such I have no problem with giving it 4.5 stars which I will upgrade to 5 as it is almost a masterpiece.
 The Endless River by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.35 | 691 ratings

The Endless River
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by The Grand Vizier

4 stars A Pink Floyd album in 2014? After the historic one night reunion at Live 8 and the demise of Richard Wright it seemed to be highly unlikely. Shall we mention, however, that quite a few albums by Pink Floyd, including those of great fame, came to existence or had been critically re-shaped under unforeseen circumstances. Their first multi-part epic, the murky 'A Saucerful Of Secrets' was born in the creative struggle to fill the gap after the sudden collapse of Syd Barrett; Ron Geesin's involvement brought about symphonic arrangements on ATOM HEART MOTHER; an experiment with various household objects provoked them to split THE DARK SIDE's... follower into two (WYWH and ANIMALS); a spat on a fan triggered the construction of THE WALL, while Margaret Thatcher could have rightfully claimed her royalties for THE FINAL CUT. MORE and OBSCURED BY CLOUDS, two generous commissions from Barbet Schroeder, can also be added to this list.

The source of THE ENDLESS RIVER was unearthed by Phil Manzanera. Some years ago David Gilmour handed him over all those recordings of 1993 jams. Gilmour's initial intention was, perhaps, selecting several of these tracks as potential bonus material for coming re-issue of THE DIVISION BELL or future compilations. He, instead, received back a medley consistent enough to form an album. We do not know how much of that original construction made its way into the final product but it is obvious that the team of producers had really cared of its integrity. Neither of the remaining band members needed a sellout to do well and we can be sure they put this album out only because they sincerely believed they had achieved their goal.

It happened, nonetheless, that as soon as critics set about explaining all RIVER's oddities, they deployed their usual cliches and, as a result, produced several stereotypes that should be addressed. First is the claim that the album was composed of outtakes from THE DIVISION BELL. This wording goes down smoothly and, unfortunately, induces the idea that THE ENDLESS RIVER was based on the second-rate material, set aside by the band once upon a time - if only we can ignore the fact that almost all themes for both albums (66:32-long TDB and 53:02-long TER) were selected from the same 20-hour collection of jams recorded by Pink Floyd during their sessions in 1993. In order to designate THE ENDLESS RIVER tunes as "outtakes" we need to make sure they were firstly "taken in", unless one could seriously think that THE DIVISION BELL was supposed to be a 20-hour long opus but somehow 19 hours were excluded and the album shrank to its conventional size against all expectations. "Leftovers" is a better term but essentially in 1993 the band created a 'fund' of tunes and ideas to compose a double album: one disc was conceived as a collection of songs, the other should have become a set of purely instrumental numbers. For the first disc the trio selected tunes most suitable to develop them into songs and proceeded with work. At some point they realised they cannot have the second disk completed in time for the set date of release. Therefore they decided to postpone working on the second disk until after the tour but had never returned to the studio together before the demise of Richard Wright. One can argue rightfully that TER cannot be taken for the missing Disk 2 of TDB, for the band would have had a different attitude to work had Rick Wright been present in the studio. What one cannot deny is that TER was based on the collection of sketches written to make their way on a new disk, not on a mound of rejected nonsense. Otherwise we would also have to agree that 2/3 of ANIMALS are WISH YOU WERE HERE outtakes.

The second stereotype about THE ENDLESS RIVER is a view that the album is nothing else but a selection of seventeen instrumental patches and one song, connected by special effects. Such a claim cannot be prohibited or disapproved; it doesn't mean there is nothing more to say about the content and the structure of the album. In the end, one is free to affirm that THE WALL is just a pile of disconnected songs, half of them poorly developed.

Gilmour in his interview to the Rolling Stone (9 October 2014) states: "THE ENDLESS RIVER is a continuous flow of music that builds gradually over four separate pieces over the 55-odd minutes". These four pieces, strangely, have no other names than 'Side One', 'Two', 'Three' and 'Four', while the bits that constitute them all possess proper titles. I can clearly see the reason behind this arrangement and am going to discuss it later. This situation, nonetheless, provokes critics to engage in describing and valuing tracks with names rather than speculating about concepts and overall ideas. When I try to imagine, for instance, an ATOM HEART MOTHER review that has to deal with nameless

Side One

1. Father's Shout

2. Breast Milky

3. Mother Fore

Side Two

4. Funky Dung

5. Mind Your Throats Please

6. Remergence

Side Three

7. If

8. Summer '68

9. Fat Old Sun

Side Four

10. Rise And Shine

11. Sunny Side Up

12. Morning Glory

I can perceive the famous epic could be easily "overlooked" or "fragmented" beyond repair in reviewer's mind should we designate the compositions on the album this way.

It doesn't help us much when in the same interview Gilmour explains: "The only concept is the concept of me, Rick and Nick and I, playing together in a way that we had done way way in the past but had forgotten that we did, and was instantly familiar..." Most of the readers and critics, it seems, have understood this as "no concept as such". At the same time one can hardly deny that the album and each of its four 'Sides' are well structured. This means the band and the producers had come up with certain ideas and arranged all these bits and pieces into medleys accordingly. I believe that one should indeed pay attention to what David Gilmour says about the concept - he is known for choosing his words with caution.

Let us give it a try. If the album shows the Trio at work, then its bits and pieces reveal HOW they used to work ("it's what we do"). To achieve this, THE ENDLESS RIVER has to delve into the past of Pink Floyd. This collection of themes is, first of all, a recollection of the mood in the studio, creative efforts and the feel of togetherness that the Trio enjoyed in 1993. But this idea, in turn, sends us back to the entire history of Pink Floyd, those relations, emotions and exchanges that brought all their songs and albums to existence. THE ENDLESS RIVER is essentially a retrospective album unveiling to its listeners how Pink Floyd music was born.

In accordance with this idea each of the 'Sides' presents the band in a different "creative mode" (and mood). One can even see this album as Pink Floyd's 'Four Seasons'. Transparent Spring, flaming Summer, contemplative Autumn, harsh and abrasive Winter with its days once again growing longer: "this time together, rain or shine or stormy weather" is, perhaps, the line that has encapsulated the essence of the album. Four elements, Water, Fire, Air and Earth can also reflect the mood of each 'Side'.

'Side One' ('Spring' or 'Water' Side) bears strong resemblance to 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond'. Nonetheless, "Syd's theme" (the famous four notes) is not here. The intro ('Things Left Unsaid') is more similar to 'Speak To Me', and also to 'Cluster One' than to Part 1 of 'Shine On...', while the outro ('Ebb and Flow') sounds close to the last 30 seconds of the '... Crazy Diamond' suite, developed into an almost two-minutes long meditation. The slowly unfurling main theme ('It's What We Do') makes one instantly recall the flow of those poignant bluesy instrumental sections in the beginning of 'Sine On You Crazy Diamond' and especially its final Part 9. This link is meaningful: Gilmour allegedly called Part 9, composed solely by Richard Wright, a "parting musical eulogy for Syd" (

It seems, 'Side One' (where Gilmour and Wright share writing credits) without words proclaims THE ENDLESS RIVER a tribute to the late keyboard player. In a similar way the Requiem mass, conceived by Mozart and finished by Franz Xaver Sussmayr became, in the end, a requiem for Mozart himself. On its own 'Side One' also laments the "telepathic connection" between the bandmates that shines most vividly in the 1975 epic and, according to Gilmour, is gone forever with the demise of Richard Wright. Might this kind of inspiration be the most important thing "left unsaid"?

As a eulogy for the departed friend (and for the moments of magic that would not come back but will stay forever in memory) 'Side One', in fact, creates a vision of 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' suite without quoting it directly. In terms of structure it looks similar to the aforementioned epic, had it been streamlined - with sung parts and some instrumental variations omitted.

The mood of 'Side Two' ('Summer' or 'Fire' Side) is very different. As soon as 'Sum' takes off in earnest one can feel that 'Side One' was an extended prelude to the album, and here the action begins. With the first vibrations it takes us beyond the "classical" legacy to "pre-Dark Side..." days; powerful and complex drumming would make you instantly recall Nick Mason's flashing sticks at Pompeii amphitheatre. The drums push the assault, fiery keys fill the air with anger, and guitars' escalation goes on and on; finally, the attack crumbles into thousands of pieces. Inside a thundery cloud the battle continues until exhaustion. Synth pulsation resumes anxiously but soon it calms down. In the end, placid and confident piano cords arrive, supported by now subdued rhythm section. Together they set the stage for organised and matured musicianship in which every voice has a say. They make statements and raise disagreements but eventually manage to harmonise and unite. The struggle is over, time for peace has come.

'Side Two' represents the band young, adventurous and determined to shape their experiments into a statement that no-one would ignore. All bandmates seem to be around ("Certainly, Syd! Shall we, Roger?"), all ideas find their way into music, and this is how differences are settled. Here we see the early Pink Floyd at their best (or rather the Floydsters recalling and rekindling the flame of old days). One can notice how prominent Nick Mason's drums are on the first two ("advance" and "fighting") tracks of the medley - his only co-writing credits since forty years ago. Together with Roger Waters, Nick Mason happened to be a chief architect of the first Pink Floyd epic, the 12-minute 'A Saucerful Of Secrets'. The structure of 'Side Two' clearly follows the order of "movements" of the suite written in 1968. Again, it's far from being just a replica: 'Sum', unlike 'Something Else' has a melody. Its escalation resembles 'One Of These Days', 'Sheep' and 'Empty Spaces', while drumming would bring you memories of Eugene's axe and Mother's atom heart. The drum loop of 'Skins' is as tight as in 'The Grand Vizier's Garden Party'. The transitional 'Unsung' sounds more unsettled than mournful, and, in a similar way, 'Anisina', despite its name (meaning "In Memory Of..."), is not a requiem but an anthem. The latter is often seen derivative to 'Us And Them' but it seems to me that it bears a lot of resemblance to the earlier 'Fearless' as well. That song from MEDDLE, clear and cryptic at the same time, is all about overcoming fear and reluctance, rising above doubts and finding courage to speak out loud. With its "quarrel" and "reconciliation", performed by oboe, sax and guitars, 'Anisina', in my opinion, manifests the arrival of the "classical" sound of Pink Floyd after the phase of experimenting. 'Side Two', therefore, reflects main creative trends of Pink Floyd's "sturm und drung" years (up to MEDDLE and THE DARK SIDE...). It also shows how this mood re-emerged in 1993.

The mood changes once again with the beginning of the 'Side Three' ('Autumn' or 'Air' Side). This suite doesn't resemble a particular piece of Pink Floyd music from the past, and at the same time its composition is more peculiar than on any of the other three 'Sides'. It consists of seven themes: three meditations and three more traditional, rhythm-based "instrumental songs" take turns paving the way for the final. A quiet, contemplative intro and a sleepy, rainy jam ('On Noodle Street') are only a mini-prelude to the main five-part entity that starts with a cold and foggy synth meditation; the later explodes with a pulsating rocking theme. Interrupted by stately harmonies of pipe organ, the rocking theme resurrects and delivers us into a power field ruled by a grim simple riff that instantly starts growing, unleashing full force of Pink Floyd sound until a listener is turned into a grain buried in the endless granaries of the Universe...

Admittedly, many critics question the integrity of the medley due to constant change of tempo and mood. Some of them are particularly annoyed by the decision to insert a bit of Wright's pipe organ improvisations into 'Allons-y', turning what they call "a solid instrumental" into a set of allegedly inconsequential fragments. Such alterations, nonetheless, are fairly typical for prog- and art-rock. We can find few examples in classical music as well: the First movement of Vicaldi's 'Summer' is probably the most vivid instance. That piece undergoes four radical shifts in tune, tempo and volume in less than 3.5 minutes (the length of just two parts of 'Alons-y' stitched together). Vivaldi's piece for a band of strings and a keyboard perfectly reflects perpetual change of weather on a stormy summer day. Pink Floyd's 'Side Three' can similarly represent various transformations of atmosphere in the studio, both subtle and sharp. Those shifts set and reset the stage for exchange of ideas, discoveries and revelations. If we take 'The Lost Art Of Conversation' and 'On Noodle Street' for a mini-prelude, where the band looks so comfortable playing together in their studio on a rainy day but yet having no direction, the following five-part piece appears to be a very neatly organised medley, in which 'Night Light' plays the role of an intro, 'Alons-y' functions as a verse in a song, "Autumn '68" is an interlude and "Talkin' Hawkin" emerges as Finale Grande. Its somber growing force and almost frightening depth engulfs an unsuspecting listener in the end of his journey. Based on one primitive proto-riff, the theme serves as a culmination of the whole album.

The 'Side Three' seems to be very diverse in relation to retrospective allusions. 'On Noodle Street' brings about the mood of 'Crying Song' and of the quiet start of 'Sheep', 'Allons-y' with its pulsation and roaring guitars can be distantly related to 'Interstellar Overdrive', 'One Of These Days', some instrumentals from OBSCURED BY CLOUDS and the mentioned 'Sheep' but even more so to 'Run Like Hell', as well as 'One Sleep' and 'Terminal Frost'. Synth/organ meditations (courtesy to Richard Wright) refer to virtually every album he contributed to, starting with the coda for 'A Saucerful...' (and 'Cirrus Minor') and reaching full blossom on 'Shine On...' (with re-emergence on THE DIVISION BELL). Speaking about the final track, critics cannot stop comparing it to 'Keep Talking'. I would argue that musically its true relations are the crescendo of 'Empty Spaces', the acoustic guitar/synth sequence from 'High Hopes' and, through those two tunes, 'Welcome To The Machine' and Part 6 of 'Shine On...'.

Therefore 'Side Three' represents Pink Floyd building their epics (i. e. 'Atom Heart Mother' or 'Echoes') and developing concepts while working together. This attitude brought about THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, helped to finalise their classical albums and to create THE DIVISION BELL.

'Side Four' ('Winter' or 'Earth' Side) is dedicated to Floyd's most radical creative mode - despair. Nick Mason mentioned in his book that rather often Pink Floyd albums were conceived in "quiet desperation", even before THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON (which actually happened to be a happy exception from the rule). No surprise, desperation turned into a recurring theme of their songs. It emerged, probably, with 'Jugband Blues' (1968) by Barrett, and matured with 'Cymbaline' (1969) making the latter a bridge to the band's later albums. With the invention of murkier synth sound on 'Welcome To The Machine' (1975), and relations within the band slowly deteriorating, Pink Floyd entered their 'dark' decade (1977-87), culminating in THE WALL, a journey into radical alienation and embittered isolation. Does not the ambience of 'Calling' closely resemble the aura of 'Is There Anybody Out There' (although its sound has a lot in common with 'Signs Of Life')? One can also recognise metallic screech of clockworks from Syd Barrett's "room of musical tunes" in the background. 'Eyes To Pearls' reminds distantly of 'Goodbye Cruel World', linking it to 'Welcome To The Machine'. With 'Surfacing' we arrive to THE DIVISION BELL pastures ('Poles Apart', although one can distinguish the echo of 'Pillow of Winds' in those acoustic guitar cords). 'Louder Than Words' is the focal point in which the band re-captures the vibe of togetherness and one last time binds the three currents (2014, 1993 and the past) in a single flow. The tone of the song is understated: the last goodbye is not a time for a drama. Its quiet intro, nonetheless, is one of the most beautiful moments on the whole album where Gilmour-Wright telepathic bond shines upon a listener one last time. Its fleeting glimpse disappears in the soundscape that bookends the album.

The structure of the whole 'Side Four' follows the pattern of the second part of 'Echoes' (from "Whales' Screams" onwards) - out of the depth of despair - towards the light - to the horizon where the endless river opens into the sky. With three of four 'Sides' having their lookalikes in the previous albums it is difficult to dismiss these suites as mere collections of random tunes. As their vintage prototypes they tell us stories. These stories are not the same, on the other hand: the themes are different. As I am trying to demonstrate (and as per David Gilmour himself) they are all about the way (or ways) Pink Floyd created and played music. 'Side Three' is no exception. Although it does not resemble any singular composition in PF catalogue, it can be treated as a sketch for an album that does not contain 'epics' but is still essential Pink Floyd (such as THE DARK SIDE...). Shall we presume that every 'Side' of the album outlines a particular formula which the band used to find and develop their ideas?

I tend to approach the album as an interactive museum with the band in the studio showing us various attitudes and different patterns they can turn their wizardry into. Thus there is a reason why all these tracks are designed to sound familiar; we can also notice that they bear more substance than just copycat junk: each significant track makes references to SEVERAL previous compositions, tying the legacy of the band with new surprising bonds. Isn't it intriguing to find a link between the epics on the LIVE AT POMPEII and pieces from ANIMALS and THE WALL, or to trace connection between 'Interstellar Overdrive' and 'Terminal Frost' via 'When You're In', 'Sheep', and 'Run Like Hell'? I have already mentioned these allusions previously, speaking about individual tracks. Strikingly, different reviewers tend to find the same TER tracks to be certain "shameless rewrites" of totally different Floyd's compositions. All in all, I do not want to impose my judgement about the merits of this music on anyone. There cannot be a single true opinion whether the band has succeeded or failed. On the other hand, I would not call aimless an album setting on an errand to prove that even building up their monumental concepts Floydsters have never forgotten their own adventurous beginnings.

Treating TER as an interactive museum of Pink Floyd sound helps to explain one peculiarity of its anatomy: while there are no pauses between tracks, they do not segue into each other as normal parts of a suite would do. On the contrary, each ends with a clear "full stop". That is another reason why so many listeners refuse to see the forest through the trees and accuse the album of being somewhat patchy. It is, indeed, patchy, like a designer shirt that consists of many pieces with stitches as vivid as they can be, being still a piece of close, not a pile of cloths. After all, it is well-known that all those "epics" of the past were composed of bits and pieces seamed together, and THE ENDLESS RIVER simply lays this fact bare. In the end, the whole purpose of the interactive museum is to demonstrate some secrets of Pink Floyd's works. This also explains why the tracks bear proper names, as if they have stuck in the process of writing and arranging, while the medleys are lacking them.

There is another reason for "patchiness" of TER. In 2014 the band wanted to stick to the original material from 1993 sessions preserving the work of Richard Wright (in the case of two exceptions, they at least used the recordings from the same "fund"). They had no desire of adding on new tracks or radically re-writing those in existence. This is why, I believe, Poly Samson, the lyricist on TDB and TER, called the album Richard Wright's swan song (although for me that title has firmly stuck to David Gilmour's LIVE IN GDANSK). Once again, I would like to compare TER to infamous Requiem. Although Sussmayr had to write some parts in order to have the Mass completed, he made a decision to bookend the Requiem with Mozart's own music from the opening movement. This is why virtually everyone knows it as an authentic work by Mozart. Careful attitude to original recordings allows us to value TER as a true Pink Floyd album.

Retaining the original size of the tracks and highlighting their borders does not damage the integrity of the four 'Sides' that so obviously vary in character. Igor Kuryan, a Pink Floyd researcher from Kazakhstan, suggested to name each 'Side' after its opening track. Playing the "funky dung" trick the other way around, I wonder what kind of wording critics would have deployed in order to decipher and judge THE ENDLESS RIVER album consisting of just four tracks:

1. Side 1. 'Things Left Unsaid' 12:38

2. Side 2. 'Sum' 11:48

3. Side 3. 'The Lost Art Of Conversation' 13:39

4. Side 4. 'Calling' (including 'Louder Than Words') 14:50?

No chance of picking on 'Noodle Street' or of lamenting "butchered" Allons-y but there is something to consider. 'Things Left Unsaid' hints on the "unspoken understanding"; 'Sum' reflects integrity and determination of the band; 'The Lost Art Of Conversation' speaks about mutual attention and exchange of ideas; 'Calling', in turn, is a cry for help to break isolation.

The names of other tracks of any significant length also guide us along the course of the album. 'That's What We Do' and 'Skins' speak for themselves; 'Anisina' ("In Memory Of...") is Gilmour's tribute to Wright and the band's glorious years. 'On Noodle Street' presents the band jamming together with no point so far, while 'Allons-y' ("Let's Go") sets the target - "... we're here for a ride...". In "Talkin' Hawckin" the voice of a man destined to endure the most exceptional kind of human presence breaks through to tell a listener and the whole world how crucial it is for us to rely on our bond by speech. 'Eyes To Pearls' is a kind of enigma, whether it can be related to a "pearl-eyed" gaze, the "pearly-eye" butterfly or even to a Chinese proverb "passing off fish eyes for pearls" (each can be a matter of an elaborate "floydean" speculation) but 'Surfacing' is a clear transition between the somber opening parts of the 'Side Four' and its calm and spectacular finale. There are four little tracks with more "abstract" titles (and clearly auxiliary functions): 'Ebb And Flow' is an outro; 'Night Light' works as a true intro (or re-intro); 'Unsung' is a bridge, and "Autumn '68" is an interlude. These names can be interpreted within the canon but my review has already grown too long. Let me just make a point that tracks lasting longer than anything on The Beatles' REVOLVER occupy approximately some three fifth of THE ENDLESS RIVER. And in the end, the meaning is to be found not in tracks but in the medleys.

Taking this into account, let us also keep in mind that none of Pink Floyd concepts can be reduced to a single idea. THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, WISH YOU WERE HERE, ANIMALS, THE WALL and later albums all revolve around some point where general observations come in touch with very personal experience, whether they contemplate about recording industry, one's state of mind or power and aggression. THE ENDLESS RIVER, as much as it invokes the feeling of the band playing together, brings about the theme of interaction, communication, conversation. It comes up with some of the track names ('Things Left Unsaid', 'Unsung', 'The Lost Art Of Conversation', 'Calling' and 'Louder Than Words') and binds together the rest of them referring either to the past of the band or to the aura in the studio. All of the sparse vocal bits also speak about communication.

There is no surprise that the album reaches its summit at the end of 'Side Three' - after trying on all those various modes and moods of writing and playing music together. The lines, narrated by Steven Hawking are not just background noise; these words really concern both the human Universe and the microcosm within the band. Everything that our wizards of sound had achieved, was brought about by communication of ideas: take it away, and there is no Pink Floyd. But on the other hand, speech can be utterly divisive; it can estrange a human being from others and even from things we keep close to our heart. Isn't the infamous Wall just an obsessive narrative in the head of Mr. Floyd? 'Side Four' is a reminder: if we want to get out, we should trust unspoken understanding and endorse certain things that go unsaid.

Some critics have called THE ENDLESS RIVER an experimental album, and I would agree. If a circle of four long medleys constructed of 20 years old jams and sketches instead of conventional songs is not an experiment than what is? The settings this time are neither Syd Barrett's "room of musical tunes", nor the alchemist lab of UMMAGUMMA, not the furnace where bits of the 'Amasing Puddung' and 'The Return of the Son of Nothing' were melted into epics, not even the Large Personality Collider of the "classic" years. In 2014 Pink Floyd deploys a detector capable of catching a trace of ghostly particles sent by a remote star now long extinguished. And just as particles are ambassadors of the space-time they have been travelling through, bits of our speech unfurl the horizon of mutuality and understanding where words and phrases make sense. "Wandering and dreaming the words have different meaning". Yes, they did. Early in their journey Pink Floyd became aware of the peculiar space-time of human interaction. In their music the band tried to echolocate its vastness, to re-create its vibes, to be at home with infinity. Music written by Pink Floyd tends to reveal unspoken as a scene where events take place and words come together to be meaningful.

This is how I read the message of the album. Instrumental music, of course, is supposed to have many different ways to understand it. I only would like to highlight that my approach is based on both David Gilmour's own words and on all sung and spoken lines on THE ENDLESS RIVER, as well as on track titles, on structure of the medleys and on mood of the themes. This approach also allows to assign a rightful place for the band's fifteenth studio album in their 50 years long journey. Roger Waters once said that he tended to consider THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, THE WALL and AMUSED TO DEATH to be his most important creative involvements, his "great trilogy". Can we similarly perceive THE ENDLESS RIVER as the final act of Pink Floyd's "lesser trilogy", which also includes WISH YOU WERE HERE and THE DIVISION BELL and showcases the message from Gilmour and Wright in the most definitive and intimate way? "Wish You Were Here is essentially the closest rock music ever came to producing a meticulously structured and engineered, yet also totally heartfelt requiem mass", states George Starostin. John Mcferrin in his review on THE DIVISION BELL, insists that "... just as WYWH was largely an open letter to Syd Barrett, much of the album [TDB] largely functions as an open letter to none other than Roger Waters (the band has denied it, but given that I thought of this early on while listening and later found out this is the consensus among a lot of fans, I suspect there's something to it)." THE ENDLESS RIVER is a tribute which appears to be both a requiem in memory of Richard Wright and a letter to listeners unfinished by him and brought to completion by his band mates.

All this does not mean the album is totally flawless. My main complaint is about 'Anisina'. It was obviously supposed to be a stately anthem crowning 'Side Two' but its mid-tempo pace makes it sound a bit on the ordinary side. I still can enjoy the interplay of the instruments resembling so closely tensions in the band at work ("we bitch and we fight, diss each other on sight") but if only it could have been a little slower... Some other themes are too short for me, for example 'Sum' suffers from an abrupt finish just after the keyboard solo when our ear begs for repeating the main motif. The same can be said about the celestial intro to 'Louder Than Words', hinting on the first and final piano passages of 'Echoes'. However, there is nothing truly offensive in the whole album and I love it for what it is: it helps to establish that the sound of Pink Floyd was not a random anomaly encapsulated in 1970-s; it is pretty much alive, ready to invoke a conversation and refuses to be put on an appropriate shelve in H. M. History's archives. In the end, according to Plato, knowledge is recollection of something we had already experienced.

Therefore, when it comes to the rating, I do not have any reason to value this album less than OBSCURED BY CLOUDS. I actually think, these two experimental cycles have a lot in common. Thus let it be 3.5 out of 5 to begin with, but let us not forget that Pink Floyd's albums tend to grow on a listener who does not mind to go with the flow.

 Atom Heart Mother by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.88 | 2033 ratings

Atom Heart Mother
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by mike1259

5 stars After reading many of the reviews posted here I feel compelled to add my own. I am no huge Floyd fan yet I've always felt the band created this difficult masterpiece for me alone, although expressionism such as this is open to wide interpretation. For example, upon receiving the Nobel prize for 'The Old Man and the Sea' Hemingway was asked about the many metaphors it contained and what they could have represented. His answer was words to the effect that it all depended upon what the reader brought to the sitting! With that we understand reviews are only opinions and are neither right nor wrong. That being said I must say a lot of our fellow enthusiasts disqualify themselves by publishing negative reviews on albums that they just don't understand. They don't 'get it' so it must be a turd. Atom Heart Mother is a fine example of this. As far as accessablilty, the 'AHM' suite can indeed become very difficult. I personally feel the theme is the seeming cruelty of nature and as we delve deeper into the piece one concedes that since humans themselves are 'natural' their cruelty is natural as well. The music translates this so very well. The heavy, lumbering 'Father's Shout', the nurturing 'Breast Milky' and alluring 'Mother Fore' all challenge the listener to their limits and then comes 'Funky Dung', a kick-in- the-head effort to associate food with fecal matter. That deserves some meditation. Pink Floyd is well known for their so-called 'FreakOut' sections and 'Mind Your Throats Please' should be recognized as their most formidable. Never has humanity been served up such beautiful dissonance. I will maintain at this point that most of this album side was a freak of nature, yes, only by accident could a music group convey something so difficult. I digress - the band themselves didn't 'get it'. Thank You God
 Ummagumma by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.48 | 1557 ratings

Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Many popular bands of the ages seem to have an album that divides the fans. For some it is the zenith of their experimental creativity, yet for some the most unlistenable pompous codswallop that could be unleashed onto unsuspecting ears. But more often than not, the truth lies somewhere in between. For the 60s psychedelic rock masters PINK FLOYD, their 1969 double album UMMAGUMMA (purported to be one of the roadie's made up slang for "sex") is that such album which equally titillates and tortures alike but one thing is for damn sure: there exists no other album in all of music history that even comes close to capturing the unique soundscapes that David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Roger Waters and Richard Wright conjured up during the turbulent times after Syd Barrett left the crew and took with him his dominant psychedelic influences. While the band fully intended to simply release a live album that was to include the extra tracks "Interstellar Overdrive" and "The Embryo," it was thanks to Richard Wright whose desire to make new music that ultimately resulted in the idea of each member composing solo material and using it as the second half of the album. And since the band was actively seeking a new way to construct an album, with UMMAGUMMA they found their perfect solution.

Equally divided up onto two LPs or two CDs, the first side contains contains the live material which despite some earlier copies claiming it was all recorded in June 1969, it actually took place on 27 April 1969 at Mothers Club in Birmingham, England as well as on 2 May at the Manchester College of Commerce. Side one starts things off with the exemplar "Astronomy Domine" which not only presents to the world that the FLOYD can pull off the Syd Barrett material with David Gilmour on board but also how they were evolving into more progressive territories by almost doubling the time length from the original on "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" album with an extra verse and lengthy instrumental music in between. Likewise "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun" was significantly extended to add progressive noodling and extravagant creative liberties whereas the title track to "Saucerful Of Secrets" remained fairly true to the original although i've always found it a little lackluster to the studio version. The true treat came from the B-side track of the non-album single "Point Me At The Sky." "Careful With That Axe Eugene" is nothing more than an organ-based jam session that is accompanied by Roger Waters screaming like he's in the shower scene in the Psycho movie but it offers a glimpse into their seductive hypnotic grooviness that made PINK FLOYD such a popular live act in those most psychedelic years of the 60s.

The second side contains the highly experimental, somewhat controversial and what i deem woefully underappreciated solo offerings where each of the band members took a stab at creating the most unapologetic experimental solo material they could muster up. While Wright, Gilmour and Mason opted for lengthy grandiose suites that were composed of various parts, Roger Waters conjured up two distinctly opposing styles of songwriting in only two tracks. Richard Wright, the impetus for the solo side of the album naturally began with his epic sounding "Sysyphus" which consists of four parts and displays a bombastic approach with a thundering timpani and Chopin inspired piano sequences that allow him to show off his best Keith Emerson inspired chops that slowly cede into the avant-garde world of John Cage that climaxes in pure cacophony. On Part 3 he reveals that he is the mastermind for the freakiest aspects of early Floyd such as the similarly sounding cacophonous roar heard on tracks like "Saucerful Of Secrets." Waters took the opposite approach and delivers a subdued acoustic guitar ballad with vocals that recounts a dreamy meadow scene in the English countryside complete with bird chirping in the background. Also a glimpse into Waters' contributions to the more "regular" sounding aspects of PF's songwriting. Following the serene visions of kingfishers is the avant-garde " "Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict," which consists only of animal noises, microphone taps, vocals and tape manipulations. This is by far the most bizarre track ever to grace a PF album and remains one of the most avant- garde pieces of music of all time IMHO.

Gilmour jumps back into a more "normal" sounding FLOYD sound that is fairly ubiquitous on later albums with calm acoustic guitars on his three part "Narrow Way" suite that showcase the segments that reveal his future vital contributions that made albums like "Wish You Were Here" so very, very catchy and emotional. However, this was his license to experiment as well and all hell breaks loose as it transmogrifies into lysergic heaven before landing back on earth and providing a blueprint for the future "Dark Side Of The Moon" material. Nick Mason ends it all with his percussion vs ambient three part "The Grand Vizier's Garden Party" which perfectly exemplifies the world of Sultan's and Viziers of Ottomon Empire days of which is the subject matter. While mostly based on his instantly recognizable drumming style, the trippiness level is turned up to 11 as a calm flute ushers in pleasant melodies only to be replaced by a drum roll and timpani series of sounds that not only give a psychedelic feel but also one of epic days of past. Mason reveals how his unique rhythmic percussive drive has also been vital for the overall FLOYDian sound. After the appropriate percussive drive is established Mason gets all freaky and creates an ambient ethereal passage and then gets all weird with sound dynamics that include a staggeringly original variation of percussive techniques.

When all is said and done, PINK FLOYD were making a statement to the world that they were still alive and kicking despite their main creative member losing his marbles and being forced out of the band. UMMAGUMMA was an early indicator of where PF were heading in the sense that the album serves much like the refraction of light through a pyramid as later seen on the "Dark Side Of The Moon" album cover. Meaning that the members demonstrate on UMMAGUMMA the true magic of the sum of their parts as heard on the live side of the album where it's impossible to distinguish which specific member contributes which specific aspect of the music that creates the larger picture but also the solo studio side of the album clearly indicates which colors of the spectrum emanate from each retrospective band member and allows the listener to pinpoint their retrospective roles in the larger PINK FLOYD discography making this the musical sleuth's essential listening experience.

All time favorite album this may not be for anyone but i can't think of a more interesting and utterly unhinged flow of creative juices that needed to erupt in order for the band to carry on and coalesce into their second personification of space rock. While this is clearly a sort of transitional point between these different phases of the band's history, i find UMMAGUMMA to be the perfect totally whacked out album to soak in when i'm in the mood for something that runs the gamut of tastefully performed classics to the outrageously experimental craziness. Perhaps not an album that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside but rather one that digs deep into the souls of the musicians thus allowing the listener to get a glimpse of creative musical minds and how their idiosyncrasies contribute to the making of one of the greatest bands to ever have emerged into the world of rock music. For me this is not only one of the greatest historical artifacts that perfectly demonstrates where the world found itself during the awkward odometer change of the 60s to the 70s, but also is an album that i personally still find exciting after countless listens many decades after its initial impact on the world. One star for each member of the band.

 Ummagumma by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.48 | 1557 ratings

Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nš 113

"Ummagumma" is an album of Pink Floyd which was released in 1969. It's a double album divided into two different types of musical works. The disc 1 is a live album of their studio musical catalogue at the time, while disc 2 is a studio album that contains several musical compositions, all composed by each member of the group as solo artists.

"Ummagumma" has sixteen tracks. The disc 1 is the live album and has four tracks. They were recorded live at Mothers Club in Birmingham, and in the following week at Manchester College of Commerce. The first track "Astronomy Domine" is a live version of a song originally released on their debut studio album "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn". The second track "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" is a live version of a song never released on any of their studio albums. It's an instrumental piece of music that was originally released as the B side of their single "Point Me At The Sky". It was also released on their compilation album, "Relics". The third track "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun" is a live version of a song originally released on their second studio album "A Saucerful Of Secrets". The fourth track "A Saucerful Of Secrets" is a live version of the title track of their studio album "A Saucerful Of Secrets", too.

In relation to this live album, all the live versions on it are great. "Astronomy Domine" and "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun" always were two of my favourite songs of the psychedelic musical phase of the group and the only thing I can say is that they are even better than their original studio versions. I must say that I never was a great fan of "Careful With That Axe, Eugene". However, I also must say that this live version is superb and because of that I became a fan of this version of the song. "A Saucerful Of Secrets" is without any doubt my less favourite track of this side of the album, because it has too much improvisation for my taste. However, it's also a great track that doesn't harm the great musical quality of this side of the album. Overall, all these live versions are stranger, wilder, longer, sometimes considerably so, sometimes slower, faster, or louder, at times hypnotically pretty and otherworldly, other times frighteningly creepy and intense, and still otherworldly. In short, the live disc shows the early Pink Floyd at their best.

The disc 2 is the studio album and has twelve tracks. Still, it was divided into four parts, where each part corresponds to each band member. The first part "Sysyphus" is from Richard Wright and is divided into four parts which correspond to four tracks. The second part is from Roger Waters and has two tracks, "Grantchester Meadows" and "Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Growing With A Pict". The third part "The Narrow Way" is from David Gilmour and is divided into three parts which correspond to three tracks. The fourth part "The Grand Vizier's Garden Party" is from Nick Mason and is divided into three parts which correspond to three tracks.

In relation with this studio album, I must say that in general it's a little bit disappointing for me, because of its low overall quality. "Sysyphus" is my favourite part of this studio album. This is an avant-garde piece of music very strange and with a rather sinister atmosphere that sounds like something out of a horror movie. It's, in my opinion, a very good piece of music with some great musical parts. "Grantchester Meadows" is the only solo piece of music on the acoustic guitar with lyrics on the album. In my opinion, it's a typical acoustic song by Roger Waters, very simple and soft, but also very vulgar and extensive. Definitely, this isn't one of his best compositions. "Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Growing With A Pict" represents a complete waste of time. It's a song almost inaudible and I sincerely can't see anything positive on it. This is probably the worst composition ever made by Waters. "The Narrow Way" is, in my humble opinion, an unbalanced piece of music with some low and high points. It's basically an exploration of several guitar styles and is fortunately largely pleasant listening. "The Grand Vizier's Garden Party" is, in my opinion and surprisingly, the second best piece of music on the album. It's a track with an interesting musical structure, very pleasant to listen to, and is for me, the underrated piece of music of this rather strange studio album.

Conclusion: Everything about this album is weird, from its cover, another Hipgnosis classic, to its title, apparently a British slang for sex, its structure and finally its actual contents. "Ummagumma" is comprised of an excellent live disc that represents Pink Floyd's "space rock" peak, followed by a second studio disc that ranges from very good to truly awful. In relation to the live album, we can say that all the four live versions are superior to their studio originals, made longer, louder, harder, all with a real edge of playing. In relation to the studio album, it isn't a musical collective effort of the band and I must confess that I never was a great fan of those types of albums. I must confess that it was very hard for me to rate "Ummagumma". I completely agree with Easy Livin when he says that we are in presence of a good album and a not so good one. This album probably proves that Pink Floyd members are better as a band than as solo artists. It represents really the band's artiest, most experimental, avant-garde, and flat-out album ever made by them.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Wish You Were Here by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.62 | 3778 ratings

Wish You Were Here
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by BitterJalapeno

5 stars I owe my love of Progressive music to my Father and Uncle, the latter of which had an impressive collection of vinyl from the 60s & 70s. I may have a slight bias towards Wish You Were Here as it's the first prog album I ever heard (as a 16 year old in 2005, the album cover with the combusting man was too intriguing to pass by). Despite not particularly liking it at first and the fact my favourite Pink Floyd album has changed over the years - DOSTM, Animals, Meddle & Atom Heart Mother - I always come back to Wish You Were Here.

Shine on you Crazy Diamond (1-5) begins with eerie sounds from the late Wright, soon to be joined by Gilmour's smooth, delicious guitar which is played with such effortlessness that it can bring a tear to the eye. The intro is ended by a starkly different atmosphere with a beautifully simple yet massive sounding four note ostinato-like theme played by Gilmour which after a few renditions is joined by Nick Mason's captivating rolling toms and cymbals and a nice accompaniment from Wright. Gilmour leads the way once more with another incredibly effortless sounding solo. Additional outstanding sounds are produced from Dick Parry's Tenor and Baritone Saxophones.

Welcome to the Machine has a very creepy, almost anxious atmosphere about it. Gilmour's vocals add an angry, exasperated and even pained touch to the song, with the ascending steps on acoustic guitars bringing mounting tension which reaches a peak with Wright's incredible synth solo (Minimoog I believe).

Have a Cigar is less progressive than the Welcome to the Machine but I still hold in in high regard. It is easily the rockiest song on the album with a grinding rhythmic quality. The lyrics are incredible and the guitar solo is one of my favourites for sheer groove.

Wish You Were Here starts beautifully with acoustic chords and lead parts from Gilmour but the rest of the song I do not enjoy too much with the exception of the "do do do" vocals in unison with the guitar solo. I hate the production overall as it is very dry. The guitars and vocals both sound overly scratchy and in need a good lubrication if that makes sense.

Shine on you Crazy Diamond (6-9) is without a doubt my favourite track on the album and one of my favourite Floyd songs. I have yet to meet someone who agrees with me on this but I feel it surpasses parts 1-5 in terms of sonic delights. I urge anyone in the Glasgow vicinity to put this song on in the car on the M8 heading for the Kingston Bridge Northbound at night and revel in the beauty of this entrancing journey through sound as you gaze over the Glaswegian nighttime skyline. The vocalized section is barely different from parts 1-5 but the intro is amazingly captivating and the final 6 minutes is one of the most perfect musical compositions I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. The funeral march in the final minutes is reminiscent of instrumental sections of Disney's adaptation of The Jungle Book and despite the minor tone set throughout, it comes to end on a hopeful major - a beautiful example of tierce de picardie

Overall, an absolute stonker of a prog recording but could do with better production on track 4.

 The Wall by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.08 | 2716 ratings

The Wall
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Walkscore

5 stars Even More Relevant Today in the era of Trumps Wall

Pink Floyd are the masters of the concept album, and The Wall is the ultimate concept album. While some fans of PA may be more (or only) interested in the musical side of progressive rock (and I include myself in this when it comes to a lot of albums/musicians), and that is fine, I don't think anyone can deny the importance of this album when it comes to the concept, which is largely Roger Water's brainchild. While the music on The Wall is not quite as strong as that on Dark Side or Wish (some tunes, like 'Bring the Boys Back Home" have little musicality, but they are thankfully very short, and they still add to the story), the Wall still contains some of Floyd's best songs (Comfortably Numb, Mother, etc), and some of Gilmour's best guitar solos, and it all comes together exceptionally well. Most importantly, Water's lyrics here, in my mind, are the best ever written for any rock album, ever. Back a long time ago when this PA site first started, I wrote a few reviews, including for this one (not sure if those reviews exist any more - the site looked very different back then). I called this album the rock equivalent to Tolstoy's War and Peace or Dostoyevsky's Brother's Karamazov in literature, or Ingmar Bergman's Seventh Seal in film. That is, and iconic, original, and masterful work of art that will stand the test of time for many centuries. (A hundred years from now, university programs offering courses in musicology, or even history, may assign whole units to the study of this one album - I think it is that important). I would argue this album and the message the Waters puts forward here has become increasingly important over time. Indeed, life is beginning to (once again, unfortunately) imitate art, in Trumps call to build a Wall along the border with Mexico! Water's concept is about how the horrors of war and a failed post-war dream (for building a peaceful society that is prosperous for all) fuels both resentment and emotional isolation. The internal emotional Wall that the working- and middle- class create for themselves to protect themselves emotionally then gets articulated externally first in destructive, uncaring or selfish behaviour, and then later through the support for intolerant racist populists who want to kick out the foreigners and "make their country Great Again". It is an album that spends a lot of time making these linkages, with the lead character becoming ever-more hateful (one of the cliimaxes from the live shows - both the original and Water's recent performances - is Run Like Hell). This builds up to the finale ('The Trial') where the main character (Pink, which is not only a proxy for Waters himself, but for all of us) tells the world to stop so that he can search his conscience/ face himself for his conflicted feelings. The judge (partly representing social norms, and partly representing that part of our brain that is self-critical of any inability to meet such social norms) declares Pink (us) guilty for having feelings and questioning the mainstream ethos, and sentences him "to be exposed before your peers" (as a real person whose is/has always been internally afraid and unsure, like all of us are, for having real feelings), and orders the wall to be torn down so that everyone can see the real person behind it. Waters is here saying that the only real way forward for building a peaceful world is understanding and accepting our inherent humanity. We have to tear down the Wall of indifference, intolerance, uncaring. The final piece - 'Outside the Wall' - speaks of the solution going forward - the "bleeding hearts and artists" making their stand, helping others find peace and understanding through their hard work, their art, their writing, their political organizing. This is a message that resonates very strongly, and to this day remains unmatched by any other album that I know of (if you know of one, please fill me in!). I give this album my highest ever rating, a 9.9 out of 10 on my 10-point scale (it loses 0.1 as the music is not totally perfect, although I can think of no better match for the lyrics).

But I think this album goes beyond ratings. I think it is absolutely essential to continue hearing this message today. The world seems to be becoming increasingly beset by intolerance and unwillingness to try and understand others, an inability to see ourselves and our humanity in others, to accept even in ourselves our shared existential fears, and like Water's predicted, it is being driven by the failed dreams of everyday people who are becoming disillusioned (and, I would add, ever-deeper in debt). It is leading to the support for intolerant leaders and authoritarian populists who scapegoat the weakest, and who in turn are irresponsibly bringing the world closer to mistrust, conflict, and hatred, just like in the album, and potentially even to war and violence. We need to resist. We need to build understanding, not walls.

Tear Down the Wall !

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Lazland (w/ Quinino help) for the last updates

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