Welcome to this post by psychedelic wizard. After reviewing Pink Floyd’s The Wall the other day, and giving it much thought, I have decided to talk a bit about their hidden gems in the music they produced.
Everyone associates Pink Floyd with their most popular album Dark Side of the Moon. But they have a wide range of albums covering a lot of musical ground. So, what are their most popular albums? The 3 most popular are Dark Side of the moon, The Wall and Wish You Were Here…
What are the underrated albums from the band? Excluding ‘The Division Bell’ and ‘A Momentary Lapse of Reason’ which was David Gilmour alone using the name Pink Floyd. We have hidden gems that are Animals, The Final Cut, Atom Heart Mother and Obscured by Clouds. Although Meddle is a good album featuring epic, Echoes, it was the worst selling album by the band, surprisingly.
Starting with Animals, the epic from 1977, filled with raw, aggressive tones and a back story similar to Animal Farm. We get a harsh and real look at society, the dogs and the sheep and the pigs. It is by far one of their best. If people ever ask me what my favourite Pink Floyd album is, I would usually say Animals.
Then, we have The Final Cut, released in 1983 the title track is a real beast of a song. The album is good, focusing on the Falklands war, and the associated drama in life. Roger Waters had a blast making this album, after he created The Wall. The album features sounds and music originally meant for the Wall, but turned into an album on its own. Also gave us the song Fletcher Memorial Home and Two Suns in the Sunset, both magical music gifts.
Atom Heart Mother is the start of a decade of soaring fame and musical creation from Pink Floyd. Released in 1970, marks the beginning of the unique sounds we would come to expect from the band, along with those more delicate tones. The use of brass and orchestra and sound effects make this a psychedelic album through and through. The title track at 24 minutes long was an nightmare to play live and the band never played it live after 1972, which is a shame. Alans Psychedelic Breakfast is a real joy to experience with its use of acoustic guitars. Its another favourite of mine.
Finally Obscured by Clouds, released in 1972, a year before Dark Side of the Moon. What does that mean? It proceeded the most well known album in the world. And, it is a good album. Not only did it follow Atom Heart Mother, but it seemed to take a new direction completely with the strong use of digital sounds and effects, a sort of sonic experience. All of the songs are short and it is a rock album with little singing. Recorded in France over 2 sessions and used in French film La Vallee.
What it shows is that the band was more than the mainstream albums, more complicated than member simply leaving. You see, when the five members originally in the band made The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, that was the group that formed Pink Floyd. After Syd left, and it became 4, things started going down hill. From Atom Heart Mother of 1970, they rose and rose until Richard Wright left in 1979. Until The Final Cut of 1983, at which point Roger Waters left in 1985, essentially leaving Gilmour and Nick Mason alone.
Although Gilmour went on to make Division Bell and Momentary Lapse of Reason, we know as fans that Pink Floyd died, along with the gunners dream in the Final Cut. That was the last album by Pink Floyd as a group. Later would come The Endless River, another attempt to get more money from David Gilmour, scraping unused material from the Division Bell. It is hard to see and to admit, but if you look you find an uncomfortable truth about David Gilmour, a man who tore the band apart, who was in it for his own greedy means, and who didn’t have much to say for himself after Waters left, who in my eyes, was the driving force behind the band. The two had their disputes, and creative differences, but Waters had the decency to walk away. It would be interesting to read his biography on the band. Don’t take what I say on it but looking at the music that came after The Final Cut from Gilmour, it seems to be giving that impression.