Pink Floyd: ranked

By Ackaraga Ackaraga
updated about 1 year ago

Pink Floyd albums ranked from cream to crud! DM with your feedback :)

  1. Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

    Their masterpiece. A perfect album from top to bottom that is a tremendous technical achievement while still being very soulful and often extremely moving. I've cried, I've air-guitared, I've blissed out. It also marks Roger Waters' lyrical highpoint, where he was exploring the usual subject matter of isolation, corruption and existentialism, with more touching results than ever. And luckily for us, on this particular platter he managed to almost entirely avoid the themes of monotone melody and skull crushing ennui that are so richly mined on later albums. No, it's a joy that manages to let the sunshine in while still being haunted. I hear the lingering ghost of Syd Barrett in every line. It's also the last (and best) time, there was a true band collaboration. 10/10

  2. Pink Floyd - The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn

    Practically unimprovable. One of the great debut albums by any artist ever, from the year that saw the greatest batch of debut albums in rock (Velvet Underground, Jimi Hendrix, Leonard Cohen, Traffic, The Grateful Dead, Procol Harum, The Doors and others). One of those rare straight-out-of-the-gate totally self assured statements that so few have managed on their debut albums. 10/10

  3. Pink Floyd - Meddle

    The uncertainty and exploration of the band's post-Syd era was building to this, the finest creation of what I like to call their "prog years". And actually, that's probably my favourite era of the band, when they were inventing Spacerock, and despite being from England, Krautrock. Anyway, this is one of their best sounding albums and within their prog-era (let's say 68-72), is unique for being almost filler free. Inevitable points off for "Seamus", but "Echoes" more than makes up for it by actually being 11 out of 10. In toto, 9.5/10

  4. Pink Floyd - Animals

    Essentially a Roger Waters solo album which benefits from some audio rays of light courtesy of David Gilmour, but is still a hefty slog. Unlike Dark Side, however, this time the mirk and darkness actually work in its favour and it turns out this is one of their most rewarding albums. And despite Dave's brave attempts at some old-school cascades of drop-dead gorgeous chimes of guitar, this is just about the biggest bummer of an LP since side-2 of Lou Reed's Berlin. The perfect classic rock album for punk ground zero. 9.2/10

  5. Pink Floyd - A Saucerful Of Secrets

    Considering these boys just lost their main songwriter, sex symbol and visionary leader, A Saucerful Of Secrets is an unexpected triumph. Pretty much as good as their debut, it also sees the band in transition from London psychedelic godheads to Spacerock pioneers. Crucially, the title cut and Roger's "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun" point the way forward and became blueprints for the sound of several German bands in the 70s. Dear old Syd wins the day when asking the question "I wonder who could be writing this song?" leaving this listener spellbound for eternity. 9/10

  6. Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon

    This tired old bugger has had an unparalleled ability to cross generations, continents and demographics and just reach people. Yes, it's equal parts dry and muddy but still gets the job done spiffingly. As uplifting and thought provoking as rock music should be, while still being pretty ignorable which might explain its appeal to the mass consumer market of people who generally don't actually want to listen to music. Y'know, those people who buy Sade and Ed Sheeran records. 8.8/10

  7. Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother

    Basically, this lovely album is a kind of condensed Ummagumma pt. 2, with individual band cuts on one side and an epic suite with everyone playing together merrily on the other. Everybody comes through with some lovely stuff, with the trio of cuts that open side 2 being highpoints of the Floyd catalogue. Rick Wright in particular shines with his fantastic "Summer '68", a top fave cut for me. And yeah, it's probably the best album cover in the world. 8.5./10

  8. Pink Floyd - Obscured By Clouds

    I treasure the two Floyd soundtrack albums, though I must concede they are vaguely lesser items in the main catalogue. Obscured by Clouds is still a classic album with chestnuts around every corner, and of course "Wot's...Uh The Deal" might be the loveliest, most perfectly yearning slice of Gilmour gold of all. 8.3/10

  9. Pink Floyd - Ummagumma

    People who don't love this album simply don't get it and probably don't deserve to. They ought to just pack their things and leave. Despite only having 2 proper songs on the studio disc, it's a delight from beginning to end, resplendent with musique concrète and acid rock highs. Yeah, Nick and Rick's contributions are slight (while still being fun!), Dave and Roger more than bring it on home with the wonderful "Narrow Way" and "Granchester Meadows". You can't top those, matey. "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict" is divisive but I say it's pure gold. Get with it! Oh yeah, the live stuff is killer too, with the definitive "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" being just about the greatest Spacerock track ever. This album basically invented German rock in the 70s. 8.2/10

  10. Pink Floyd - The Early Singles

    Pretty much perfect little package of all the 9 non-LP single cuts by the band from their glorious early period. These splendid nuggets from 1967 and 1968 basically make up a lost LP, easily as good as any of their other proper albums, and way better than the infuriatingly incomplete Relics. 8/10

  11. Pink Floyd - Soundtrack From The Film "More"

    What I said about Obscured By Clouds goes here, but this one doesn't have that same sonic appeal. In fact, More is the only classic-era Floyd album that falls short sonically, despite having it's fair share of classic tunes. You can't complain about "The Nile Song", "Cirrus Minor", "Green Is The Colour", "Cymbaline" or "The Crying Song", all on side one, I believe. Minor gems all. 7.5/10

    Note: A complete Zabriskie Point sessions disc would probably fall around here too.

  12. Pink Floyd - Live At Pompeii

    Pink Floyd live albums. When we cared, there weren't enough of them, and much later after the band had essentially ceased to exist, there were too many. See: Pulse, Delicate Sound Of Thunder, Is There Anybody Out There?, all of which I have ignored out of total apathy. The stupendous Pompeii gets an 7.2/10

  13. The Pink Floyd* - The Best Of The Pink Floyd

    OK, this rather peculiar Dutch compilation is actually superior to Relics for the inclusion of "Candy And A Currant Bun", "Apples And Oranges" and "It Would Be So Nice", tracks cruelly omitted from the latter. So, huzzah for that. 7/10

  14. Pink Floyd - Relics

    In addition to the lovely Early Singles compilation CD (in at #10), I'm including the 1971 collection Relics on this list. There's nothing actively wrong with this LP, but it could have been so much more: a complete collection of non-album 45s, outtakes and rare cuts. In a perfect world, the track listing would have been something like:

    Arnold Layne
    Candy And A Currant Bun
    See Emily Play
    The Scarecrow
    Apples And Oranges
    Paint Box
    Vegetable Man
    Scream Thy Last Scream
    It Would Be So Nice
    Julia Dream
    Point Me At The Sky
    Careful With That Axe, Eugene
    Biding My Time
    Embryo
    Crumbling Land

    Or something along those lines. Yeah, that's right. Vegetable Man. Booyakasha!

    As is it: 6/10. What it could have been: 10/10

  15. Pink Floyd - The Wall

    A solo Roger Waters album that is as paranoid and claustrophobic as it is tedious and stultifying. I've tried over the years to enjoy this thing but have never succeeded, though it does contain some music I can admire, coldly at a distance. 5/10

  16. Pink Floyd - The Endless River

    I can't in good conscience rank this one higher than The Wall, though frankly, it's far more enjoyable. Apparently, this album consists of outtakes from latter day three-man Floyd sessions, and it actually succeeds in it's non-pretension and lightness, where their other post-Waters albums were weighed down. Not quite Floyd, but still a guilty pleasure. 5/10

  17. Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

    Another solo album (this time, Dave), that bears many superficial hallmarks of a Floyd album without actually being one. The darkness/depth attempted here and there come off as shallow wannabe Watersisms, with only the sunnier shots of pure Daveness sounding true. I actually prefer Gilmour's solo albums to this pale imitation. 4/10

  18. Pink Floyd - The Final Cut

    Unranked. The few times I heard this, it was pretty much unbearable for me, but I'm willing to give it another shot sometime. Watch this space, as I don't feel it's quite fair for me to rank it just yet.

  19. Pink Floyd - A Momentary Lapse Of Reason

    Unranked. Only heard in passing, but the production was repellent to my sensitive sensibilities, and that was not enough for me to pass judgement. Maybe another time.

  20. Pink Floyd - The Early Years 1965-1972

    Bonus: not sure where to rank this behemoth. Yes, I was faintly annoyed that I had to pay for both DVDs and Blu-Ray discs, but aside from that, this is probably the best archive reissue by any band ever. Opening the vault flood gates and let it all out! No complaints, ever. 10/10