PINK FLOYD – ” The 1970’s Albums “

Posted: November 20, 2016 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , ,

Pink Floyd at Oakland Coliseum 5/9-10/77 by Randy Tuten & William Bostedt

The 1970’s saw a run of albums released by Pink Floyd  containing songs whose invention, ambition and creativity continues to dazzle and resonate with a global audience by even today standards. The passage of time has done little to diminish the quality of these songs’ and their capacity to astonish, move and enthral.

As one of rock music’s most successful acts, Pink Floyd have sold more than 200 million albums worldwide. “Dark Side of the Moon” is third on the list of most albums ever sold, with more than 45 million copies; The Wall sold another 30 million to date—both hit Number 1 on the charts. In all, Pink Floyd have released 14 studio albums, three live albums, three box sets, 26 singles, and 10 music videos. Pink Floyd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005, and awarded a Grammy in 1995.

Atom Heart Mother Suite (1970) Atom Heart Mother 
Though collaborations between rock bands and orchestras were nothing even in 1970, Floyd’s willfully experimental and typically idiosyncratic approach put them in a field of their own. The title track for their fifth studio album finds Ron Geesin’s bold score for brass, strings and chorus enhancing the surreal and often dream-like quality that so characteristic of this side-long extravaganza.

Echoes (1971) Meddle
With their desire in developing long-form writing well established by 1971, Echoes showcases their refined, consummate grasp of textural detail. From the very first ‘sonar’ ping through to the exultant, radiant climax, via strange alien hinterlands, the piece ripples steadily outwards; a sustained masterclass in controlled tension and triumphant release.

One Of These Days (1971) Meddle
What might otherwise be a nondescript riff is collectively transformed into an elemental howl of rage on this opening track from Meddle. Transposing music concrete techniques onto an unstoppable head-shaking force, torrents of echo-enhanced bass, snarling guitar, propulsive beats and slashing keyboards coalesce into one of most formidable moments in the Pink Floyd canon.

Time (1973) Dark Side Of The Moon
As impressive a piece of musical engineering as the inner workings of the massed clocks which open it. This Dark Side Of The Moon staple sees Gilmour’s impassioned guitar effortlessly falling in slow motion slo-mo into a plangent bed of backing vocals, though it’s Rick Wright’s diffident and unvarnished vocal – ‘hanging on in quiet desperation’ – which deftly steals the show.

Money (1973) Dark Side Of The Moon
Floyd’s affection for experimentation pays off as it seamlessly merges found-sound tape loops with quirky time signatures to fashion this unlikely hit. Dick Parry’s shrill, klaxon-like tenor sax adds another surprising dimension to their palette, but it’s Waters‘ barbed lyric and Gilmour’s exquisitely structured soloing that really hits the jackpot.

Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 1 – 5 (1975) Wish You Were Here
Pink Floyd frequently prove dramatic music needn’t be all about fiery grandstanding, and never more so on this emotive two-part epic that bookends Wish You Were Here. Unfolding at a glacial pace, Waters’ meditative lamentation of Syd Barrett’s tragic arc from brilliance to illness smoulders with a fierce, heartfelt intensity. The emotional weight of the tolling four-note motif ushers in one of Gilmour’s more thoughtful excursions.

Wish You Were Here (1975) Wish You Were Here
Pink Floyd’s intimate vulnerability remains startling, even at the height of their fame. On the title track of 1975’s Wish You Were, melancholic recognition that something and someone has been irrevocably lost is tempered by the acceptance that time has moved on. Neatly avoiding any showiness, sentimentality or self-pity, this is undoubtedly Pink Floyd at their most poignant.

Sheep (1977) Animals
Emerging from the cosseted glow of Wright’s electric piano, Pink Floyd go for the jugular with their most caustic cut from Animals. Underpinned by Waters‘ glowering bass, Gilmour’s strafing chords graze and bite through Mason’s driving pulse. As the pensive atmosphere bleeds out into the grotesque, distorted psalm, it’s genuinely chilling.

Comfortably Numb (1979) The Wall
Though Waters’ sombre account of an individual’s slide into personal dislocation and isolation is grim and unflinching, Gilmour’s anthemic solo magically transcends the bleak subject matter. Taking on a life of its own in concert, its sonorous tones rally the spirits, articulating the human need to connect with one another.

Waiting For The Worms (1979) The Wall
The unhinged fascistic whine of Roger Waters’ histrionic demagogue brings 1979’s The Wall hurtling towards its chaotic climax. More unsettling however, are the emollient tones voiced by Gilmour – reasonable on the surface, but beneath their respectable veneer just as vile. Juxtaposing sunny harmonies against darker, grinding riffs, Floyd’s brutal, uncompromising psychodrama remains ominously disconcerting.

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