Top Best Songs of Pink Floyd - Music Facts
Here is the list of the best songs of Pink Floyd - one of the most beloved bands in the world.
1. “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”
This is a bit of a cheat, as “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” is actually divided into two tracks (and many more parts) on either end of Wish You Were Here. The lengthy double-track goes through so many phases, and each of them are distinct but still inextricably linked. The almost entirely instrumental song gives way on occasion to wonderfully melodic and poignant lyrics. The band members reportedly slaved over the track’s production in their attempts to make a tribute to former band leader Syd Barrett, and every second was worth it to create such a masterpiece as this.
Tellingly, “Echoes” became the namesake for Pink Floyd’s most expansive best-of collection. The band’s second-best 15-minute-plus epic ends their album Meddle with 23 minutes of prog-rock perfection. An otherworldly piano key gives way to dreamy singing by Gilmour, followed by churning guitars and an unsettling interlude of monstrously whining guitar noises before the elements are united in the final five minutes. The song’s distinct sound remains unmatched, though it’s easy to see its influence on modern bands in the prog- and post-rock genres.
3. “Comfortably Numb”
The Wall is a wonderful concept album that at its best when Roger Waters, now in almost full control of the band, allowed Dave Gilmour to insert his own musical sensibilities into the proceedings. “Comfortably Numb” is a stellar collaboration between the two, as they trade off between verse and chorus to advance the album’s narrative while touching upon ideas of lost innocence and emotional numbing. The music is uniformly great, but it’s the guitar solos that really soar, often justifiably ranked as one of the best solos in rock history.
To my mind, “Time” is the centerpiece of The Dark Side of the Moon, an all-too-relatable track about the years passing by unnoticed. Astoundingly, the music sounds like the lyrical subject, beginning with an assault of alarm clocks transitioning into a heartbeat-like percussion sound before transitioning into the wailing main portion of the song, interrupted only by Richard Wright’s almost-mournful bridges. It’s a masterpiece of a song, where every element of the band fits together in amazing, electric harmony.
The album Animals has three major centerpieces, and it was astoundingly difficult to decide between “Dogs” and “Sheep” for this spot, but ultimately I went with the former. It’s a furious 17-minute tribute to soulless businessmen that’s scathing at times and oddly sympathetic at others. The guitar-centric track features both whining electric solos and dramatic acoustic strumming, all leading up to a few spectacular closing minutes that never fail to send shivers up my spine.
6. “Wish You Were Here”
Years of countless, inane coffee-shop covers of “Wish You Were Here” can’t spoil the original track’s serene beauty. Like the album of the same name, the track is a fond remembrance of Syd Barrett, who was then living in self-imposed exile while his mind continued to deteriorate. The lyrics, achingly sung by Dave Gilmour, incorporate both feelings of alienation and a longing for past connection. The music, which widens from an acoustic guitar to incorporate pianos, tape effects and background singing, is similarly gorgeous.
7. "Us and Them"
If Dark Side was the result of "Echoes", then "Us and Them" is the direct descendant. The melodies are amazing, and the instrumentation is perfectly soothing. The lyrics are meaningful, and the vocals are soft and firm. The empathy within the entire composition is exactly what Waters was using the Dark Side album to relate. It's not the best song on the album, but it is the most far-reaching track, for sure.
8. "Pigs on the Wing (Parts 1 & 2)"
Again, we're going to quote ourselves from last spring on this one—"We're cheating a bit here, as this is a pre-Internet/rare version of the two Animals pieces put together with a nicely bridged guitar solo in between. The lyrics are haunting, the solo is not David Gilmour's effort but Snowy White's work, and the overall effect is awesome." We have dipped deep into the 1977 LP here, but we couldn't help ourselves.
“Sheep” is the final segment of the dense, monolithic Animals and the third component of Waters’ bleak Orwellian concept, where he callously divides up the human race into dogs, pigs and sheep. Naturally, the “sheep” caste of humans represents those who are driven by comfort and security and are often afraid to think for themselves and question authority. In the context of the song, propelled by a signature dark bass line and featuring eerie keyboard work from Richard Wright, the sheep are manipulated by the pigs (the upper crust) to turn on the dogs (the competitive, ruthless achievers of society); they eventually overwhelm and defeat them in sheer numbers. The central message is quite clear: For the pigs, it’s all just a big game.
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