Named after Bluesmen Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, Pink Floyd was founded by Syd Barrett. But by the late '60s Barrett's drug addled behavior resulted in his being replaced by David Gilmour.
In '73 "Dark Side Of The Moon," a concept album dealing with madness, was released. Music by druggies for druggies - to be listened to while high, or rather, when expanding one's consciousness. Perfect marketing concept. The only improvement would have been a packet of junk food with each album to ward off the munchies. Pink Floyd also produced "Animals" and "The Wall," with the latter featuring "Another Brick In The Wall." They were easily the most prolific, influential and successful Progressive/Art-Rock group.
For good or ill, Pink Floyd's existence and point of view traced back to "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." The Beatles forever expanded Rock's horizons. It inspired hundreds, if not thousands, of musicians to stretch beyond, way beyond, Rock's existing structure. Was this a good thing? Well, it sure hit the '70s stoner market right between its blurry eyes.
Along the way, Gilmour and Waters had a falling out. Solo projects were more important than any reunion. And that brought an awkward end to one of the '70's most popular and influential groups.
But interest in "Dark Side Of The Moon" has hardly waned in the decades since its release. With sales at over 30 million and counting, it was hardly surprising that '05 saw the arrival of a book and DVD, The Making Of The Pink Floyd Masterpiece "Dark Side Of The Moon." Both traced the group's evolution leading to the creation of their classic.
Pink Floyd's legacy got a significant boost in '07 with the 16-CD collection, "Oh, By The Way," an import-only release. It contained 14 studio albums packaged in miniature reproductions of the original vinyl sleeves and was limited to an initial run of 10,000 copies.
On a more affordable note, "Dark Side Of The Moon" moved 226,000 copies in '09 with no promotion. That's more than most contemporary bands sell with massive label marketing behind them.
Pink Floyd's three surviving members (Barrett passed away in '06 and Wright in '08) performed together in '11 for the first time since '05's Live 8 concert (and for only the second time in 30 years). Gilmour and Mason joined Waters during the latter's show at London's O2 arena.
Another remastered series landed in '11. All 14 studio albums, along with live performances, demos and b-sides were available individually or in "The Discovery Collection" box set.
Gilmour and Mason were the driving forces behind "The Endless River," Pink Floyd's first album in 20 years. "The '14 release, which was called a tribute to Wright, consisted "mainly of ambient and instrumental music" recorded by Gilmour, Mason and Wright during the sessions for "The Division Bell."
"What's this about a new Pink Floyd album?," former Dream Theater drummer and a self-proclaimed Floyd fanatic Mike Portnoy wrote on Facebook. "Last I checked, Waters is no longer in the band and Wright and Barrett are dead. It's disrespectful to Roger and everything he built for all those years. In my opinion, the Pink Floyd heyday was "Atom Heart Mother" through "The Wall," and those were mainly driven by Roger - conceptually, musically, everything."
Despite Portnoy's reservations, "The Endless River" sold 139,000 copies in its opening week to become Floyd's first U.K. #1 album in 19 years. They last topped the survey in '95, with the live double album, "Pulse. The set was also the 6th U.K. chart topper of the band's career.
1967 The Piper At The Gates of Dawn
1968 A Saucerful Of Secrets
1969 Soundtrack From The Film More
1970 Atom Heart Mother
1972 Obscured By Clouds
1973 The Dark Side Of The Moon
1975 Wish You Were Here
1979 The Wall
1983 The Final Cut
1987 A Momentary Lapse of Reason
1994 The Division Bell
2014 The Endless River
"Dark Side Of The Moon" stayed on the Billboard charts longer than any album in history, and not without reason. The album is a touchstone for the whole Art-Rock concept. "Money" is a great song (with a stinging guitar solo) but "Us and Them" is as dreamy as they come. "Time" is another outstanding track along with "Breathe" and "Speak To Me." "Brain Damage," "Any Color You Like," "Eclipse" and "The Great Gig In The Sky" round out Pink Floyd's masterpiece. Alan Parsons, who later started the Alan Parsons Project, engineered. Think he picked up a few pointers?
Given all the attention "Dark Side Of The Moon has earned it's easy to forget there's more to the Pink Floyd catalog. The albums "Animals" and "Wish You Were Here" are also among Floyd's finest. Some ex-hippies now working in the corporate world have expressed deep affection for "Umagumma." So, consider the source. "Works" covers the crucial moments.