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The best songs and albums of Pink Floyd (Pink Floyd): history and meaning

About the greatest band of all time - Pink Floyd. The history of creation and the meaning of Pink Floyd's greatest hits.

The history and meaning of the best songs and albums of Pink Floyd - all about the work of the group

Pink Floyd is an English rock band formed in London in 1965. Acclaimed as a psychedelic rock band, Pink Floyd gained notoriety for their deep lyrics and elaborate live performances. Almost immediately they became the leading group of such a genre as progressive rock. Pink Floyd are one of the most commercially successful and influential musical groups in the history of popular music.

The best songs and albums of Pink Floyd (Pink Floyd): history and meaning
Pink Floyd

Major hits, songs and albums of Pink Floyd…

Album "The Dark Side of the Moon" (1973) – Pink Floyd

"Dark Side of the Moon" by Pink Floyd is one of those albums that not only changed the face of the music industry, but became synonymous with finesse in musical writing by bringing together art, progressive sound and abstract lyrics. Two singles from the album - "Money" and "Time" will forever be the epitome of two of rock's greatest masterpieces, loved by fans and critics the world over.

TIME - Pink Floyd (1973)

Album "The Dark Side of the Moon"

This song is about how time flies by at a frantic pace, and many people don't realize it until it's too late. Roger Waters came up with this idea when he realized that he no longer expected anything from life, he was at the very center of it. He just turned 28 years old (at the time of recording).

The album explores different stages of life from song to song. The composition Time touches on the theme of death.

US AND THEM – Pink Floyd (1973)

Album "The Dark Side of the Moon"

This is a classic anti-war song during the Vietnam War and the anti-war youth movement in the English speaking world. This largely informal movement received a major boost at Woodstock in 1969. In the background was the space age and its associated threat of nuclear oblivion. The song “Us and Them” simply and brilliantly summed up the human tragedy: if “WE” were “us” (that is, ourselves), then there would be no conflict. But greed destroys it ("with, without, and after all it's what the fighting's all about" - "with someone / something, without someone / something, after all, this is the essence of the fight") , and "ordinary people" are manipulated by the rich and powerful ("the general was sitting, and the lines on his map moved from side to side"). As a result, ordinary people bear the burden of war. Perhaps the most important thought that was embedded in the song is the argument that those who control conflicts are cowards.

However, the song is not only about the war, but also about ourselves. This division (us and them) is what ultimately leads us to conflict and madness.

"Us and them"...
Refers to opposing forces, nameless and faceless.

"After all, we're just ordinary people"...
Heroes, ordinary people who do extraordinary things.

"You and I"
Now it goes to the personal individual level, Roger takes us deeper into this issue.

"Only God knows that this is not what we would like to do."

No one in their right mind decided to go to war, except for power travelers. But someone has to, and that's why ordinary people like Roger's dad go to protect their homes, family, and lifestyle. Thus, you are doing what needs to be done. Unfortunately, some do not return. So, we get to the heart of the matter, who is to blame for this.

“Forward, he cried from the rear, and the front rank was dying ... And the general sat down, and the lines on the map moved from the side ...”
Personal history of the musician. Short version: "He cried from the rear" - we are talking about the general who gave the order for Roger's father to die, came home, but Waters's father did not.

The title of the song "echo" reflects the human connection. Just as the breaking waves of the ocean affect the deepest coral caves, people are interconnected. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Rogers explained that the lyrics were an attempt to describe "the potential that people have for recognizing each other's humanity and responding to it with sympathy rather than antipathy."

MONEY – Pink Floyd (1973)

Album "The Dark Side of the Moon"

This song is about the vices that bring money. Ironically, the composition brought the group a lot of money, as the album sold over 34 million copies.

The line “Money, as they say, is the root of all evil today” is a paraphrase from the New Testament (1 Timothy 6 verse 10): “Because the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.”

Along with "Us And Them", it is one of only two songs on the album to feature the saxophone: Pink Floyd's co-star Dick Parry. The band constantly experimented with new sounds in these sessions.

It is difficult to measure the album's legacy, as its uniqueness and conceptualism has influenced many aspects of contemporary music and inspired countless artists. Indeed, the album is an absolute "key point" in the history of rock music.

Album "Wish You Were Here" (1975) – Pink Floyd

One of the main creative difficulties the band had to face after Dark of the Moon was whether to follow their success with the new concept album, Rogers Waters' preferred approach, or instead create the less limited collection of songs that David Gilmour preferred. This difference probably stemmed from the fact that Waters was so lyrical, while Gilmour thought Dark Side of the Moon was too lyrically focused at the expense of the musical side.

The concept around which Roger Waters wanted to build his ninth studio album was the concept of absence. Hence the name of the album: "I wish you were here" - precisely because there was no one there. On the one hand, the album and this particular song was most certainly about Pink Floyd founder and guitarist Syd Barrett, who was famously lost to the band due to his acid use.

But Roger Waters meant something more general about humanity, and also about the group that was such an important part of his life. He was referring to people - really anyone - who were physically "there" in the body, but not emotionally present. People whose mind and heart were somewhere else. Waters felt that, to some extent, the members of Pink Floyd were not fully and truly introduced to each other. He felt the same way about his relationship with his wife, which was deteriorating. Emotional unavailability was the name of the game.

SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND – Pink Floyd (1975)

Album «WISH YOU WERE HERE»

On September 12, 1975, Pink Floyd released their ninth album Wish You Were Here. Their previous record "Dark Side Of The Moon" sold millions of copies, and the cover is still the most striking example of the use of graphics and symbolism in the history of music.

Pink Floyd has reached the pinnacle of creativity, but the problems that have surrounded the group over the past few years have only found their way into the music at this point (in this song).

The first side of the album is mostly dedicated to the huge 13-minute epic Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I - V): this track was especially important for the band.

The song is about Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd's original frontman and main composer, who left the band in 1968 after his mental, physical health and reliability deteriorated due to heavy drug use. Roger Waters stated that the base 4 notes of David Gilmour's part summed up "the indefinable and inevitable longing for Sid's disappearance".

Syd Barrett (Pina Floyd) in 1970. Photo: Michael Ochs Archives
Syd Barrett (Pina Floyd) in 1970. Photo: Michael Ochs Archives

The lyrics to "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" are essentially about Barrett's exit from this world: "Remember when you were young? / You shone like the sun.

However, Waters later clarified, "Shine On isn't really about Sid - he's just a symbol for all the lonely and difficult people who have to go to the extreme extremes of life because that's the only way they can deal with their loneliness."

WISH YOU WERE HERE – Pink Floyd (1975)

Album «WISH YOU WERE HERE»

"How I wish, how I wish you were here

We're just two lost souls

Swimming in the aquarium

Year after year…"

The song opens with the sound of a radio broadcast from the previous track (Have A Cigar)… The sounds of Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony are heard, and then we are transported to David Gilmour playing a very delicate and soft opening solo on a 12-string acoustic guitar.

"It's all supposed to sound like the first track is being sucked into the radio as one person sits in a room playing guitar along with the radio," Gilmour explained.

Roger Waters, who wrote the lyrics, claimed they were more personal: they weren't just about Syd Barrett or Pink Floyd...

“I played a few chords and wrote the song very, very quickly, as far as I can remember. Probably in an hour. It was one of those happy moments when the stream of consciousness worked, and the words came by themselves.

Album "The Wall" (1979) – Pink Floyd

The Wall is perhaps one of the most intriguing and creative albums in the history of music. Recorded in 1979 and made into a film in 1982, The Wall tells the story of a man named Pink Floyd who lost his father in World War II as a child. Raised by an "overprotective" mother, Pink leads a dreary life, finally turning to drugs. As a result of the drugs and his dark memories, Pink is reduced to a void of madness. This monumental album is based on the lives of the two members of Pink Floyd. Pink's childhood is very similar to that of Roger Waters, the main writer of The Wall. Waters, who lost his father in World War II, drew on many emotions of abandonment and loneliness for this album. Pink's adult life is largely based on the life of original vocalist Syd Barrett. After suffering a mental breakdown due to mind-altering drugs, Barrett was soon replaced by David Gilmour. Combining these life stories, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright create a mystical and disturbing adventure deep within the human psyche.

The best songs and albums of Pink Floyd (Pink Floyd): history and meaning
Cover of The Wall

HEY YOU – Pink Floyd (1979)

Album «THE WALL»

This is one of the most mysterious songs on The Wall. It seems that the song is about a call for humanity, for simple human interaction between people. The phrase "Hey, you" implies referring to someone (for example, "Hey, you there"). After these words in each line comes an addition - a new scenario in which a person is either in a desperate or in a lost position. Most of these scenarios are quite general, but some are specific, such as:

Hey, you who pay tribute to the wall,
Beating bottles in silence...
The line gives the impression of a rebellious teenager.
Hey, you, on the way walking into the night,
And ready to help...
Gives the impression of someone who is very timid and indecisive.

Following these scenarios in each verse is a question requiring human interaction, and as the song goes on, these questions become more desperate in each verse: "Do you understand me?"; "Will you give me your hand?"; "Will you help me?"…

As with "Comforbly Numb", David Gilmour and Roger Waters share vocals on this track.

COMFORTABLY NUMB – Pink Floyd (1979)

Album «THE WALL»

Most of the songs on The Wall were written solely by Waters, but the music for "Comfortably Numb" was composed by David Gilmour. He made an instrumental demo during the recording of his first solo album, wishing to find some use for it later. And so Gilmour released his demos at the "The Wall" session. There were no lyrics in the original demo. The melody that Gilmour sang (without lyrics) on the recording formed the basis of the final version of the choir, almost unchanged. Only the key has changed: from E minor to B minor (as in the final version). Of course, there were more changes, but they were not so significant ...

Written by Roger Waters. Although many people think that the song is about the drug problem, Waters claims that this is not the case. In fact, the song tells about the fever experienced by Waters in childhood, and the feelings that stuck in his memory. As an adult, he sometimes experienced this feeling, over and over again, entering a state of delirium: a sense of detachment from reality.

He once explained:

I remember that I had the flu or something like that, an infection with a temperature of 41. My arms were swollen: they looked like balloons. They looked too big and intimidating. Then I had something like delirium ...

ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL PT. 2 – Pink Floyd (1979)

Album «THE WALL»

Waters described his views on formal education in this song. These views were formed during his studies at the Cambridgeshire Boys' Grammar School. He hated his teachers and felt that they were more interested in keeping the children quiet than teaching them. The "Wall" represents the emotional barrier that Waters has built around himself due to his lack of connection to reality. The bricks in the wall are life events that prompted him to build that proverbial wall around him, and his high school teacher is another brick in the wall.

Waters said in December 2009 that the song was meant to be satirical. He explained:

“You will not find anyone in the world with a higher level of education than me. But the education I received at the boys' gymnasium in the 1950s was very controlled. It demanded change and rebellion. Teachers were weak, and therefore turned into easy targets for bullying. This song is meant to rebel against the itinerant government, against the people who have power over you and who are wrong. Then it was a kind of anthem of absolute wrong. And he demanded that you rise up against injustice."

Album "Meddle" (1971) – Pink Floyd

The album that many believe launched Pink Floyd's glory years was Meddle. It was obvious that at this moment the group's creativity acquires a certain kind of synergy and will soon reach the climax of inspiration. The band began to combine musical ideas more effectively than ever before. Around this time, Pink Floyd's innovative experimentalism began to merge with a greater sense of musicianship and melodic richness that would lead to Dark Side of the Moon the following year.

ECHOES – Pink Floyd (1971)

Album "Meddle"

The composition "Echoes", as Roger Waters stated in an interview, was an attempt to describe "the potential that people have to recognize each other's humanity and the ability to respond to it with empathy, rather than with antipathy."

Verse #1
The first verse "Echo" seems to speak of the beauty of nature. Lead vocalists Richard Wright and David Gilmour use several examples; Albatross birds, coral caves in the depths of the ocean and sun-drenched sandy beaches to highlight the beauty of nature. There is a calmness in these lyrics and the vocals of the artists. In the beginning of all this, everything was "green and underwater". And then people come!

Chorus #1
In these lyrics, the singers emphasize the endless life cycle of people on earth. They are probably ridiculing the theory that humans evolved from single-celled organisms changing from living beings in the sea to living on Earth when they say, "And no one showed us the land." Do they support creationism?

People seem completely bewildered given the fact that life's big questions like "what is the purpose of humans in this universe?" or “what is the ultimate truth?” or “Is there a God?” still unanswered and probably never will be. But in difficult times, we always look to the sky for guidance and strength. Could this just be a coincidence, or years and years of practice is built into our genes?

Verse #2
Pink Floyd attempts to appreciate human relationships in these Echoes lyrics. "Love" is a concept that is difficult to understand and experience. Two strangers meeting eyes is all it takes to make or break a person. Volcanic eruptions of emotion, from a light touch, a glance or a kiss, is the human nature we are destined to experience.
Pink Floyd explains that we are all equal no matter what. There may be different races, languages, skin colors, boundaries, abilities and flaws, but we are united by a common group called "humans". Through the other person you will be able to see yourself. It's called empathy. The world would be better than heaven if everyone felt sympathy for each other.

Chorus #2
The texts in "Echo" perfectly sum up the end of mankind. No one can lead humanity to a better place, all leaders are crooks. No one can help another, help them stand up, and no one can speak for the deaf. These lines can also indicate the destructive nature of human evolution - to destroy and harm each other and the planet.

The last line "flying around the sun" may be a reference to the infamous fall of Icarus, who disobeyed his father and tried to fly too close to the Sun, resulting in his wings being made of wax to melt and Icarus falling on him. death. This may be a hint that human evolution and development, equated with flying high, is just the other side of creating our own destruction and death.

The instrumental that appears next can be divided into 4 parts according to Genius:

  • 4:56 - 7:02 - false ending
  • 7:02 - 11:20 - optimistic improvisation
  • 11:20 - 14:35 - experimental sound effects
  • 14:35 - 19:11 - rebirth (Nothing, part 14)

Verse #3
The third verse of "Echoes" paints a beautiful picture of the morning sunrise when people wake up with a desire to be better. Sunlight greets man in the world, on a new day, like a million ambassadors. People are doomed to fall every day, but there are ways to rise for anyone who seeks them. You just need to have an open mind and free will.

Chorus #3
The last refrain of the song describes how humans are connected to a higher power. Often these lines are interpreted as the concept of love. Somehow, these lyrics talk about human connections. There is another being, be it a human or a deity, that will bring us the best. Be open-minded (“scatter the windows wide”), experience life and live and let live are the enduring messages from this masterpiece.

Undoubtedly, "Echoes" is one of the best songs and musical compositions of Pink Floyd's entire career. This song is a hallmark of their career as it paved the way for one of the band's most notable albums, The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), which takes us deep into human nature.

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