When Pink Floyd fans talk about their favorite band, invariably the discussion descends into a recitation of the group's chronology. There's the original Syd Barrett version of the quartet in the 1960s; the early David Gilmour years (1968-1972); the commercial successes of the 1970s beginning with "Dark Side of the Moon" (1973) and ending with "The Wall" (1979); and the lawsuit decade of the 1980s, when estranged bassist Roger Waters unsuccessfully tried to prevent his former bandmates from touring or releasing records as Pink Floyd.
From the vantage point of the 21st century, the Syd Barrett era is easily most infamous. By all accounts, the late Barrett (he passed away in 2006) was a brilliant but troubled artist, consuming brain-melting quantities of psychedelic drugs that inspired him to artistic heights in the beginning but quickly took their toll. Collectors look for the Columbia (EMI) 45 rpm mono recordings of “Arnold Layne,” the Floyd’s first single, which began to climb the charts in 1967 until its transvestite content caught the ear of radio programmers, who removed it from their station’s playlists.
The band’s first LP, “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn,” 1967, was also the last Pink Floyd album produced with Barrett as the band’s leader. It was recorded at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios in London at the same time as “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by the Beatles. Collectors prefer mono LPs over the stereo remasters, and look for copies on the Tower label, which were distributed in the United States. Memorable tracks from the album include the chant-like “Astronomy Dominé” and an instrumental called “Intersteller Overdrive,” which was a major part of live Pink Floyd shows for years.
“A Saucerful of Secrets” came next in 1968 and is notable for the presence in the studio of both Barrett and Gilmour. But the album is perhaps best known for a Waters track called “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun,” as well as its psychedelic album cover by Hipgnosis, which created numerous Pink Floyd covers, as well as ones for Led Zeppelin and prog-rockers Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
After releasing the brilliant “Meddle” in 1971 (all 23 minutes and 27 seconds of side two are devoted to a song called “Echoes”) and a soundtrack for a Barbet Schroeder film in 1972 (the movie was called “La Vallée” but the album was called “Obscured By Clouds”), Pink Floyd produced its first certifiable classic in 1973, “Dark Side of the Moon.” The album included stickers and posters, so collectors today pay a small premium for copies with those bits of ephemera intact.
Subsequent Pink Floyd albums sold in such numbers that their supply has always been plentiful, making them relatively easy, and inexpensive, to collect. Exceptions to this general rule include Japanese issues of “Dark Side” and “The Wall,” as well as picture discs of “Rare Beauties” and “Wish You Were Here.”
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10 Years Ago: Pink Floyd Put Aside Their Differences (Mostly) for Live 8Ultimate Classic Rock, July 2nd
Roger Waters' relationship with David Gilmour was so distant in the period before Pink Floyd's celebrated reunion at Live 8 that Waters had to ask organizer Bob Geldof for his former bandmate's phone number. While Geldof had been persistent in trying...Read more
Cover Alert | The Barr Brothers Tackle Pink Floyd ClassicJamBase, June 30th
The Barr Brothers are gearing up for a big weekend at High Sierra, where not only will Andrew Barr and Brad Barr play a set with their current band but will also perform as part of The Slip, Surprise Me Mr. Davis and the return of Slipping Daylights...Read more
Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett Documentary 'Have You Got It?' Releasing This SummerMusic Times, June 26th
While Roger Waters insists placing his focus on work away from Pink Floyd, the band recently debuted their 15th studio album, The Endless River. Floyd's David Gilmour hasn't stopped to rest between the band's LP and his own solo album, Rattle That Lock...Read more
Prepare for 'The Wall' with The Best Pink Floyd Concert Videos; 'Pompeii ...Music Times, June 25th
Good news for Pink Floyd fans, as it was announced that Roger Waters' The Wall will be broadcast in more than 300 U.S. movie theaters this fall. "The Wall" has been rightly hailed as one of the greatest touring shows in the history of rock music and...Read more
Pink Floyd, Kate Bush, Public Service Broadcasting all nominated for ...The Independent, June 25th
Although Bush emerged in the post-punk years, she was mentored by David Gilmour, the Pink Floyd guitarist and her music, often involving multiple sections complex instrumental passages, has regularly leaned on tropes associated with progressive rock...Read more
Pink Floyd tribute show postponed to Aug. 22Press & Sun-Bulletin, June 23rd
Pink Floyd fans will just have to wait to get their fill of the band's music from The Machine. With rain, lightning and high winds in the forecast Saturday night, the tribute band's show has been postponed to Saturday, Aug. 22. All tickets for Saturday...Read more
Pink Floyd's David Gilmour announces new solo album 'Rattle That Lock'NME.com, June 8th
during their gig at London's Earls Court Arena in December, where he played lap steel guitar on the London's band's own song 'Rinse Me Down', as well as an acoustic version of Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here' from the 1975 album of the same name...Read more
40 Years Ago: Syd Barrett Visits Pink Floyd During 'Wish You Were Here' SessionsUltimate Classic Rock, June 5th
Syd Barrett's tortured spirit was already hovering over Pink Floyd's ninth studio album, Wish You Were Here – even before he unexpectedly crashed the studio sessions on June 5, 1975. Both the emotive title track and shimmering, psychedelic epic “Shine...Read more