Album by album: Pink Floyd – Through the kaleidoscope of psychedelia (1967-1972)

With over fifty years of existence, Pink Floyd is one of the most relevant bands of all time, and can be classified in the elite group of bands that changed the world of music forever. Some bands immediately establish their specific sound or style by which they become recognizable, this was also the case with Pink Floyd, whose very name promises an atmospheric cosmic sound that echoes through time and space. They paired that sound with the exploration of various topics, from the human mind and ego, memories, heart, looking back on madness, alienation, narcissism, and later on society and social problems on conceptual albums of the seventies.

As for concept albums, “The Dark Side of the Moon” stands out as one of the most important albums of all time, which still attracts new fans and thus proves its longevity. With this album, the band turned the crazy psychedelia of the previous years (the period when they were led by Syd Barrett) into something slower, more coherent and shaped, brilliant material, with Rogerom Watersom. Waters, the bassist who took over as the leader of the band through the seventies, is behind the album from Pink Floyd’s golden period “Wish You Were Here“ i „The Wall“.

After his departure from the band due to disagreements, the guitarist David Gilmour takes the main position on the albums “A Momentary Lapse of Reason“ i „The Division Bell“. Keyboardist Rick Wright and a drummer Nick Mason have also added their own contribution to the band’s magical sound, which is recognizable as uniquely theirs and later domesticated through various genres. From metalheads who adore fierce riffs to hipsters who make atmospheric music, Pink Floyd lies as an inexhaustible inspiration and nectar of creativity for bands that were and bands to come.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)

Pink Floyd The Piper at the Gates of DawnThe name of this album comes from a chapter of Syd Barrett’s favorite children’s book “The Wind in the Willows” and the lyrical images from the lyrics from the album “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” are full of color, imagination and recognizable British moodiness, like a view through a kaleidoscope under the influence of LSD. Upbeat and more melodic pop songs are balanced with more experimental ones, where the band express their craziness through instrumentals, using the theme of space travel as a metaphor for hallucinogenic experiences.

Astronomy Domine” is more of a pop variant on this theme, while “Interstellar Overdrive” a song that they put the label of one of the originators of the sound that will later be known as space rock. Although Barrett’s themes are playful and humorous, the songs don’t always sound that way. With the addition of Rick Wright’s organ, and various strange sounds and effects, they create some confusion and chaos that hides behind that superficial colorfulness. “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” successfully captures both sides of the psychedelic experience. The pleasure of an expanded mind and perception, but also the danger of insanity and mental instability that lies beneath. It is this duality that makes this album important to understanding Barrett’s mental breakdown, but also places it in the position of one of the best psychedelic albums of all time.

A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)

Pink Floyd A Saucerful of SecretsPink Floyd’s second album is apparently a transitional album where the band decided to drop Syd Barrett from the line-up. Barrett appears on three of the album’s seven songs, on which he was replaced by newcomer David Gilmour, who was given the role of singer and guitarist. Both Gilmour and Barrett worked on the song “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun“, which is also the only song that features all 5 members of Pink Floyd.

Roger Waters took over as leader and songwriter, but kept the same theme from the previous album – space and childish fantasies. Waters entered for the first time into the war theme (which would later come to the fore on the albums “The Wall” and “The Final Cut”) on the song “Corporal Clegg“. Considering the situation and the chaos that was going on in the band during the recording of this album, with the unstable Barrett not showing up for the sessions and with Gilmour as a newcomer who immediately fit in perfectly, this album has great significance for what is to come in the coming years .

More (1969)

More Pink FloydOriginally commissioned as the soundtrack to the hipster French film of the same name, “More” successfully reached the Top Ten chart in Britain as a stand-alone album. The distinctive atmospheric Pink Floyd sound was ideal for the film, but as a whole, for the record, the mix of songs was too varied – from folk ballads to hard electronic instrumentals to relaxing background music. Although the songs do not fit into a coherent whole, they are still enjoyable.

Songs “Cymbaline“, „Green Is the Colour“ i „The Nile Song” are better compositions, which developed into better versions with time and live performances. The album came about when the band made an offer that they were free to do music for the soundtrack, and German screenwriter Barbet Schroder immediately seized the opportunity, resulting in the album “More”. The plot of the film revolves around the harmfulness of drugs, so Pink Floyd was a more than ideal candidate to compose music for the film, considering the story with Syd Barrett.

Ummagumma (1969)

Pink Floyd UmmagummaBefore the arrival of the album “The Dark Side of the Moon”, the album “Ummagumma” was considered one of the most popular albums from Pink Floyd’s catalog. The album consists of two records, one of which is a live set of four songs, all of which are singles from previous albums. This double album encapsulated the spirit of the late sixties, before the culture lost its mesmerizing charm and desire to explore limitless musical possibilities.

The first LP is a live album on which Pink Floyd is at its peak. Although it contains only four songs, each radiates with its own energy. Live versions of the songs “Set The Controls…“, “Careful With That Ax Eugene” and “A Saucerful Of Secrets” are significantly better than the studio ones. The second LP, the studio one, contains a lot of experimentation. Waters’ two songs stand out – “Grandchestor Meadows“ i „Several Species“ , which Waters once said were pretentious. Compared to the later live albums “Delicate Sound” and “Pulse”, this album is unpredictable and experimental as it carries the magic of its time.

Atom Heart Mother (1970)

Pink Floyd Atom Heart MotherAfter a double album without a particular focal point, comes the album “Atom Heart Mother“, which brings concept, but not simplicity. This album is considered one of those to get a taste for, as the first track is a 23-minute long orchestral composition that takes you on an aimless journey, but successfully holds your attention until Waters finally sings on the next track “If“.

Keyboardist Rick Wright comes to the fore on the song “Summer 68“, while Gilmour introduces himself with the song “Fat Old Sun“. The album ends as it began, with another long instrumental, “Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast” which lasts 12 minutes and only towards the end the rhythm accelerates. The album has its interesting moments, but this imbalance gives a lot of room for enjoyment, and the fact that the songs last so long shows that the band was focused on the big picture instead of the details.

Meddle (1971)

Meddle Pink FloydWhile the Atom Heart Mother album was written for those with a “sophisticated” taste for experimentation, Pink Floyd decided to reduce its desire for orchestral compositions and the big picture, and focus on the details on the album “Meddle“.

The album begins with “One of These Days“, which determines the sound texture the album will exude. “Saint Tropez” is the only one that deviates from the whole, but the album still remains one of the best mood trips and perhaps one of the best in Floyd’s music catalog between the departure of Barrett from the band and the album “The Dark Side of the Moon”. Despite the fact that the song “Echoes” lasts 23 minutes, tirelessly holds the attention until the very end and, unlike “Atom Heart Mother”, is not an endless journey.

Obscured by Clouds (1972)

Pink Floyd Obscured by CloudsAnother collaboration between Pink Floyd and screenwriter Barbet Schroeder resulted in the album “Obscured by Clouds“. Composed as a soundtrack for the film La Vallée, the album is a combination of folk and blues moments with their striking “space”.

It could be said that in the early seventies Pink Floyd’s music was more atmospheric, ideal for a film, but it also had texture. Songs “Burning Bridges“ i „Wot’s…uh the Deal” remind a lot of things from the previous two albums “Atom Heart Mother” and “Meddle”, while “The Gold It’s in The?“, „Childhood’s End“ i „Free Four” significantly improve the album’s average and suggest what Pink Floyd would later develop into.


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