|My Pink Floyd Albums List WORST to BEST|
Pink Floyd are one of the most critically acclaimed Progressive Rock bands of the 1970's. Featuring a combination of Psychedelic and Ambient instrumentation along with breathtaking storytelling, Pink Floyd shaped the Progressive Rock scene long after their disbandment beginning numerous sub-genre's within the Psychedelic and Progressive scenes. Here, I will outline my personal list of their albums from Worst to Best.
By far their worst outing is Ummagumma. Co-produced by Norman Smith and Pink Floyd themselves, Ummagumma was ambitious for its time, but faulty in its execution. None of the tracks really got off the ground and its combination of Live and Studio material did not mesh well together, further reminding us why those two things should remain separate. On the bright side, "The Grand Vizier's Garden Party" was pretty good.
The Division Bell
The Division Bell wasn't terrible, but it certainly wasn't a stellar outing for a group that had fallen off the wagon during the time of this record's release. Co-produced by David Gilmour and Bob Ezrin, The Division Bell attempted to recapture the imaginative excess of their Pre-DOTM days. This idea, on paper, sounded great. The only problem was in its execution, which fell short of expectations.
The Final Cut
This is what happens when Roger Waters gets completely drunk with power. Co-produced by Waters, James Guthrie, and Michael Kamen; The Final Cut attempted to really delve into war and government during the Thatcher Era of British politics. The result was a complete mess of lyrical madness and overcompensated ambition, creating an album most would prefer to forget.
Obscured by Clouds
Obscured by Clouds has the unfortunate luck of being caught between the critically acclaimed Meddle and the cultural landmine of Dark Side of the Moon. That alone puts this record in a bad position. The album wasn't bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it definitely lacked direction. Many of the tracks were consistent but bland and the instrumentation was very sub-par compared to earlier and later releases.
The Endless River
The Endless River was going to be criticized no matter what it did, the hype was too much for it to handle. Produced by a range of producers including Martin Glover, Phil Manzanera, and Andy Jackson; The Endless River did an excellent job of improving on the original Division Bell formula. It featured an improvement in instrumentation as well as being a good tribute to their Pre-DOTM days. The problem facing this record was in it's complete lack of vocals. I get that a lot of people would be mad if Floyd went out and grabbed someone else to do vocals for their product, but I wouldn't personally. I have severe trouble imagining a good Pink Floyd record without vocals, and I think hiring a new vocalist to add something to the instrumentals would've benefited the album greatly.
Atom Heart Mother
One of the most underrated albums in their esteemed discography. Atom Heart Mother improved on the original formula that defined the Ummagumma era music. It was erratic, unrefined, and generally anti-Progressive Rock and that is what made it so good. Not to mention that the "Atom heart Mother Suite" is one of the hidden gem epics of Pink Floyd in their history.
A Saucerful of Secrets
The last album to include any involvement from former founder Syd Barrett. A Saucerful of Secrets was Pink Floyd trying to replicate the majesty of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. To be fair, they didn't fail at doing so, but it definitely was lacking in some areas. It was a great album that began the Post-Barrett era of Pink Floyd, and that is recognition in itself.
A damning social commentary and brilliant tribute to George Orwell's "Animal Farm", Animals continued to be the evolution in Pink Floyd's sound during the later half of the 1970's. It was beautifully crafted, and expertly written, creating a much darker record compared to most Floydian albums. Nevertheless, Animals was a masterpiece of madness.
An album whose reputation has grown as time went by. More was a soundtrack album to a French Independent movie. Despite being made during a downtime for Pink Floyd, More was one of the most refined albums in their entire discography. It featured breathtaking instrumentation and good lyrics written by Roger Waters. Hopefully, in time, More will finally get the acclaim it rightfully deserves.
One of the darkest Rock Operas of its time, The Wall has become a touchstone of the Waters Era of Pink Floyd and is looked at fondly by fans. It had its downs of course, but they all were overshadowed by The Wall's enormous ambition. It was angry, spiteful, and generally rude, and that is what Roger wanted to convey from the start. The Wall is one of the best Pink Floyd albums when it comes to their darker set of material and that is a good thing.
Pre-Dark Side of the Moon is a tough era to recommend for newcomers to Pink Floyd. A lot of their albums tended to jump between good and bad a lot. I will say though, Meddle stands above all of them as one of the finest Progressive Rock records of the 1970's. "Echoes" remains one of my favorite Epics in all of Pink Floyd's career as musicians and the cohesive nature of its composition is like super glue connecting two stars together. It was magnificent.
A Momentary Lapse of Reason
One of the most underrated masterpieces of Pink Floyd ever created. Largely hated by most of Pink Floyd's fanbase, I personally find this album to be one of the Progressive band's greatest outings. The return of David Gilmour to the creative outlet of Floyd showed that Gilmour was still capable of creating excellent material. It's lyrics were astute, its production clean and precise, and its power unmatched. A Momentary lapse of Reason was the last great Pink Floyd album, and one I always enjoy listening to.
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
A Psychedelic masterpiece that still fails to be properly imitated, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn was the shot heard around the world for Psychedelic Rock. Beautiful instrumentation was matched with Syd Barrett's distinctive accent as vocalist. The result was a record unlike anything Floyd would make since as its material mostly bases itself around old folklore, something Barrett was exceptionally fond of. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is one of the most important records of all time and a reminder of what a truly great talent Syd Barrett was.
The Dark Side of the Moon
A cultural milestone. The Dark Side of the Moon was a Progressive masterpiece spearheaded by the reformed Pink Floyd under Roger Waters' leadership. Featuring a plethora of amazing singles from "Money" to "Brain Damage" but remaining cohesive enough to mesh well together as an album. The Dark Side of the Moon changed the face of Psychedelic and Progressive Rock, and defined a decade of music that had mostly been dominated by Led Zeppelin-like Hard Rock.
Wish You Were Here
The Magnum Opus of Pink Floyd. Wish You Were Here featured the closest Progressive Rock ever got to literal Perfection. Featuring my favorite tracks in "Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Pts. 1-5)" and "Welcome to the Machine", Wish You Were Here was a fine tribute to the band's long lost member Syd Barrett and one of the greatest musical albums ever produced by a group of musicians since Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Wake of the Flood. Wish You Were Here is the pinnacle of Pink Floyd and Progressive Rock.