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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OPINION: Questions arise over new Pink Floyd albumThe DePauw, September 15th
Recently, British rock band Pink Floyd announced the upcoming release of a new album, "The Endless River," this coming October. This comes as big news to fans, as Pink Floyd hasn't released an album in the past 20 years. The album will mostly ...Read more
SuBo sings Pink Floyd and John Lennon's Imagine in new album (aptly called ...Metro, September 15th
Susan Boyle admits she is taking a risk but hopes to win new legions of fans by covering hits by Pink Floyd and John Lennon. The Britain's Got Talent star has stamped her mark on Floyd's Wish You Were Here and reimagined John Lennon's Imagine for her ...Read more
Pink Floyd co-founder says new 'Wall' an anti-war protest filmReuters UK, September 7th
TORONTO (Reuters) - Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters says a new movie about his monumental, three-year remounting of the band's famous "The Wall" album should be seen as a protest against the growing spread of armed conflict, rather than just a ...Read more
Adele, Pink Floyd and Prince herald the season of the comebackThe Guardian, September 7th
Pink Floyd, presumed lost in action following the death of Richard Wright in 2008, will re-emerge with their cosmic grandeur; Adele – saviour of the music industry with her last album – will excite both the record-buying public and the executives, if...Read more
The Building on Pink Floyd's 'Animals' Album Cover, Battersea Power Plant ...Newsweek, September 3rd
Battersea Power Station, the iconic building on the River Thames featured on Pink Floyd's 1977 Animals album cover, will be reconstructed later this year and transformed into luxury villas with a roof garden. Malaysian developers are selling retail and...Read more
8 Band Names Inspired By Other Artist's Names: The Beatles, Pink Floyd, And ...Music Times, August 31st
In the mid-'70s, a clueless record executive met with the members of Pink Floyd and famously asked, "Which one's Pink?" Of course, none of them were Pink Floyd; the name was created by founding guitarist Syd Barrett as a tribute to two obscure American ...Read more
Photos Of Pink Floyd's 'The Endless River' Vinyl Master SurfaceUltimate Classic Rock, August 31st
If you're one of those people who responds to new album news with the phrase, “I'll believe it when I see it,” now you can believe it. Some pictures of Pink Floyd's new album, 'The Endless River' have surfaced. Well, sort of. Over at Neptune Pink Floyd...Read more
Pink Floyd's Roger Waters: Why moral perversity of US position in Gaza is stunningSalon, August 25th
The carnage in Gaza continues after the latest collapse of cease-fire talks and over four weeks of asymmetrical bombardment by Israel. With the death of more than 2,000 Palestinians, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands more, the complicity of...Read more