For years the only PF CD I had was Dark Side. Recently I’ve aquired WYWH, Animals, and The Wall. And to me, this is the band in their golden era. It’s what’s so very Floyd about Floyd. I was really reluctant to buy anything more recent, because without Waters, it’s just not the same, right?
I reluctantly got Momentary Lapse and Division Bell, and I must say that I totally love them. The writing, playing, and singing are the best I’ve ever heard from these guys. I have new favorites.
But now I want to fill in the gaps, and maybe explore their earlier stuff. And I want to do this without getting into anthologies. I hate anthologies.
Where should I go from here?
Tell me about The Final Cut. Any good? What would you compare it to?
And what about Obscured by Clouds? Do they use their “trademark” sound that they explored with Echos?
And what’s their earlier stuff like? I heard Ummagumma when I was a kid, and I really didn’t care for it.
Personally I’m not a fan of The Final Cut. It is more Watery than The Wall and The Wall is almost too watery for me.
Meddle and Obscured By Clouds are both relatively mainstream sounding (despite Echoes going for over 20 minutes and featuring various unusual oceanic noises.) So I think you should get those next.
After that I’d go for Atom Heart Mother, More, and then the other two, with that other chap in the band, Syd someone.
Also, if you like A Momentary Lapse of Reason you might like David Gilmour’s solo stuff, David Gilmour (the best IMO), About Face (a bit dated sounding in places), and On an Island (a little sedate for me.)
It’s like The Wall but without as much inserted sounds and breakthrough guitar soloes. But it still has them, too.
ETA: but TFC just doesn’t have that special something The Wall does. I think it’s the overly preachy lyrics and passable Roger Waters singing that does it.
No, they don’t, compared to the rest of their Meddle-Final Cut period. A couple tracks do have a bit of it, but it’s a more “fun” album they put together really quickly. That said, musically it is my second favorite after The Wall because it still has some pretty good guitar in it (third favorite for sheer musicality would probably be a tie between WYWH and TFC.)
The Final Cut was very much Waters’ album. It’s been called his first solo album. It’s a concept album with the songs being about the death of Waters’ father in WWII and a condemnation of Thatcher-era politics.
No doubt Dark Side is not only their best album, but one of the best albums ever, period. But Animals has some of their strongest material from that period. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t include Dogs in the Pulse concert.
DSotM is very good, but I think the difference is that there is a certain edge to Animals that is not found on any of the other albums. I think that some of the lyrics apply to the band and the fact that Floyd was near the end is heard in the album as well. And it sounds to me like everyone is playing their asses off. Well, except Waters. His playing, as usual, is only passing and is not, and never was, exceptional. Everyone else is SMOKING!
Judging by the OP I doubt if he(?) would like Syd era Floyd (let alone solo Syd stuff), but I could be wrong.
I don’t really like the post Waters stuff (what I’ve heard of it) feels a bit phoney to me, but I don’t like much from The Wall either (not enough Rick) I hear there are a couple of good guitar solos on the Final Cut but I never got as far as bothering to listen. I’m not a fan or Waters’ “real” solo stuff and what I’ve heard of TFC sounds like a Waters solo album to me.
Obscured By Clouds has some good stuff on it, some of it not very Floyd-ey (The Nile Song, Free Four).
More I could live without, the live half of Ummagumma is excellent, the rest er… not so much.
Nitpick: The Nile Song is on More. (And it’s not very Floyd-y. But the rest of More is, even if sometimes the Floyd it’s like is more Ummagumma than Piper or Echoes.)
Oddly enough I think Free Four is above average in its Floydian-ness for Obscured by Clouds. Let’s not count Mudmen which I skip over anyway. Stay is more lite rock (I get it confused with Badfinger’s Day After Day all the time) than classic Floyd (though I like it.) The middle songs on the first side are just straight-up classic rock (with good guitar). The only ones that are more Floydian than Free Four are the intro instrumental and Childhood’s End. I think Free Four has a lot in common with their ironic and cynical straight-up rock from The Wall.
Which isn’t to say its very Floydian, but I’m surprised you singled it out as a particularly unfloydian selection from that album given its cynicism and jauntiness combination, that’s right up Roger’s alley.
I’ve heard some Syd stuff a long time ago, and wasn’t impressed. But I was easily influenced, and the friend that played it for me set up my expectation for it sucking. Perhaps newer ears would give me a different take.
I think if I listened to the old stuff with an ear towards comparing it to the middle years, I’d certainly be disappointed. Much like if wanted Meet the Beatles to be just more of Abbey Road. Ain’t going to happen.
So how does early Floyd compare to, say, The Yardbirds, or Cream?
Dark Side of the Moon was Watered down Pink Floyd. I can see why it was popular – it was made more easily accessible – but it’s nowhere near their best. It’s Pink Floyd Made Simple – OK, but not their best.
I love Atom Heart Mother; the title song is a real rock epic, and “Summer '68” is probably their best short song overall (Floyd’s best songs are all 8 minutes or more)
Ummagumma is also filled with some great stuff: “Astronomy Domine,” “Careful with that Axe, Eugene,” “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” and the delightfully strange “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Togeter in a Cave and Grooving on a Pict.”
Meddle has the brilliant “One of these Days” and “Echoes.”
Wish You Were Here is worth it primarily for “Shine on You Crazy Diamond,” though “Welcome to the Machine” and “Have a Cigar.”
There’s some very good stuff in The Wall: “Mother,” “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2,” “Run Like Hell,” and “Comfortably Numb,” but it goes on too long.
And The Division Bell is a nice step back to what made the Pink Floyd really great before Dark Side.
:smack: Actually I was even more wrong than that since I know it from Relics (More was really hard to find*)and I don’t think there’s anything remotely that heavy on Obscured that I could have confused it with.
Pink Floyd == jaunty? Not often (after Syd that is) Free Four starts out sounding like skiffle, but sure, the subject matter is familiar.
I love The Final Cut. I’ve even got my 14 yo son listening to it but make no mistake about it, it is not a PF album. Waters does all of the singing. You can hear some very distinctive Gilmore riffs throughout. I have read that Mason and Wright walked out of the studio and were replaced by session artists. It is very preachy and even somewhat racist although I suspect that the racism is for dramatic effect and not because of any of Waters’ beliefs. The only thing it compares to is The Wall. I’ve also read that some of the songs on it were supposed to be included on The Wall but they ran out of room.