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Pink Floyd: Ranked

I'm going to some shitty bar tonight to see a Pink Floyd cover band (tacky, I know). So in honour, here is a list of their albums from best to worst. I have not included compilations or live albums. Only original studio releases here. There is to be no arguing about this list. It is definitive and correct. After all, I am the highest ranking authority on Pink Floyd so my opinions are to be seen as fact.
1Pink Floyd
Wish You Were Here


Here it is: my favourite album of all time. Wish You Were Here is truly Pink Floyd's masterpiece. Coming right before the album that would come to destroy them (The Wall), this album lets the emotion of all four members bleed through into the music. Three of Pink Floyd's best songs (Welcome to the Machine, Have a Cigar, and Wish You Were Here) surrounded by the best song yet to be recorded. Shine On You Crazy Diamond is a brilliant piece of music from part one to part nine. It contains a beatiful and gradual buildup and some of their best lyrics. This album must be the sound of heaven.
2Pink Floyd
Animals


This album is a very, very close second. As far as I'm concerned, no concept album to date has come close to touching the originality and brilliance of this one. Based loosely on George Orwell's (excellent) book, Animal Farm, the lyrics of this album give a cross-section of humanity as seen by Roger Waters. He seperates all humans in a capitalistic society into three categories: Dogs, Pigs, and Sheep. I could write pages on the lyrics of this album but I don't think I could explain it better than it has been already, so I won't. I will say that this is arguably the best lyrical album of all time (at least it is in my eyes). David Gilmour's guitar leads reach incredible new hights here. The sounds that he made with his guitar (with no double-tracking or digital fiddling) are stunning. Water's bass playing is consistent and brooding throughout the album. Not to mention the beautiful keyboards by Wright and the stellar drumming of Mason. This album is unbelievable. I'll never understand those of you that say this album is overrated.
3Pink Floyd
Dark Side of the Moon


Like pretty much everyone, this was my first Pink Floyd album. What I like about DSOTM is that it flows from end to end as one complete piece of music. From the second that Gilmour downstrokes that Em9 chord at the beggining of Breath, I know that I won't be able to turn this album off until I reach the end. Perhaps more than any other Floyd album, the music fits the lyrical concept perfectly. This is a complete musical experience containing highs, lows, and in-betweens.
4Pink Floyd
Meddle


One word: Echoes. The other five tracks on this album could be Simple Plan covers of Soulja Boy and I would still rank this as a classic album (well, probably not but you get the idea: Echoes is awesome). That track, taking up an entire half-side of a record, is the epitome of the word epic. To me, it's like a less metal version of Meshuggah's EP I (also incredible). As for the rest of the album: One of These Days is a great instrumental with Gilmour and Waters playing bass. It's creepy and unsettling and just what the doctor ordered to compliment Echoes (or does Echoes compliment One of These Days?). Either way, One of These Days is great. The remaining four tracks are great but forgettable when compared to the other two.
5Pink Floyd
The Wall


Where to begin... As a Pink Floyd enthusiast, I'm torn when it comes to this album. On one hand, Roger Waters ran away with this album esentially turning it into a solo project and treating his band mates as session musicians. It's a cocky musical experiment and full of Water's narcissism. One the other hand...cockiness never turned out so well. Listening to The Wall is almost like watching a movie (even if you aren't watching the movie). It contains some of Pink Floyd's best songs (Mother, In The Flesh, Hey You etc.) and Gilmour's best solo. On Comfortably Numb, David Gilmour truly takes me somewhere else. I'm not one to cry while listening to music; only a handful of songs have that power over me, but this solo gets me every time. I love The Wall. Yes, like other double albums it's got a heaping helping of so-called "filler" songs, but what fantastic filler songs they are. They help to shape the concept of the album almost as much as the big, non-filler songs. If not for the fact that this album destroyed the band, it would probably rank #3 or 4. But, as it is, I call this the 5th best Pink Floyd album.
6Pink Floyd
The Piper at The Gates of Dawn


This was Syd Barrett's lone complete effort with the band that he created. It's a challenge to listen to if you're in the wrong mindset, but it's rewarding. Being their first album, it lays the groundwork for Pink Floyd's fascination with the subject of isolation but musically and lyrically. Piper is probably my favourite psychadelic (or "acid-rock") album of all time. It's weird and quirky, certainly not Pink Floyd in the traditional sense, but it is essential listening for anyone who wants to know the whole story behind the greatest band of all time.
7Pink Floyd
Ummagumma


This was the first classic rock era album that I ever listened to. It was shocking and brutal to me but upon further listens, I came to understand the rich tapestry of Ummagumma. My words cannot begin to describe this album. Check it out for yourself it you haven't already. And if you have and didn't like it, listen again...it takes a while to sink in.
8Pink Floyd
A Saucerful of Secrets


By my rankings, this is Pink Floyd's first non-classic album. This is still a great album, but it has some holes. The lyrics are...decent...with some all band members contributing, including Syd Barrett who had already begun to be replaced by David Gilmour. Containg great songs such as Let There Be More Light and Set The Controls For The Heart of The Sun, this is still a highly listenable album but much less complete than the previous seven I mentioned.
9Pink Floyd
The Division Bell


This album, their last official release, is also their best post The Wall era album. Gilmour's lyrics have noticably improved from A Momentary Lapse of Reason on this record. Also, the band seems to feel more comfortable on their own having finally stepped out of Water's long shadow. This album contains some great songs (High Hopes, Marooned, Cluster One) but also some misses (What Do You Want From Me, Take it Back).
10Pink Floyd
Atom Heart Mother


Cleary, this is not my favourite Floyd album, but I wouldn't have it any other way. This is the sound of Pink Floyd trying to find their distinctive Barrett-less sound. It's similar to Meddle in that one half of the album conatins a 20+ minute epic (Atom Heart Mother Suite) while the other half contains several weaker efforts. Side one, the epic 24 minute Atom Heart Mother Suite is good, but relies too much on the full orchestra to work as a Pink Floyd classic. This track is easily eclipsed by Shine On and Echoes as Pink Floyd's best long tracks. As for the other four songs, If and Fat Old Sun are good, but Summer '68 is missable and Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast (a 13 minute song about breakfast) is too pretentious for me too enjoy unless I'm baked to shit.
11Pink Floyd
A Momentary Lapse of Reason


There was a time when I loved this album. But then I turned 15 and realized that this was David Gilmour wanting to sound exactly like the old Pink Floyd even though Waters had left. Learning To Fly, On the Turning Away, and Sorrow are all excellent tracks, but A New Machine (both parts) and The Dogs of War are just so bad that they prevent this album from going anywhere other than the discount section. Still a good album, but it has some really unlistenable sections.
12Pink Floyd
Obscured by Clouds


I've never really gotten into this album much so I guess it could rise through the ranks upon subsequent listens but that seems doubtful. I don't know enough about this album to talk about it so read the review I guess.
13Pink Floyd
Soundtrack to the Film More


This is a good album containg some great Pink Floyd tracks, but it's the soundtrack for a movie so Pink Floyd's creativity was not allowed to flourish in full. I still listen to this from time to time, but I hardly consider it to be Pink Floyd (even though it technically is).
14Pink Floyd
The Final Cut


I hesitate to even call this a Pink Floyd album. Immediately following The Wall, Roger Waters started work on this piece of shit because he figured he had more to say about the subject matter of The Wall. The title for this album refers to this being the final cut of material from the previous album. Basically, it's a collection of tracks that didn't make The Wall which almost entirely focus on Water's father being killed in the war. So...filler that was cut from the already filler-heavy double album, The Wall (so you know it's gotta be good!). By this point in the drama that was Pink Floyd's career , Gilmour and Mason were used as sessions musicians and Wright had been fired. This is a Roger Waters solo effort in every way except that Pink Floyd's name is on the cover. This album is pretentious bullshit at it's very peak and the only Floyd album that I would consider to be bad.
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