Daily Playlist: Pink Floyd


Daily Playlist: Pink Floyd

By Parker Otto

With all of the techno heavy pop hits on the radio today, sometimes there’s a need for something more slow and meaningful. Enter Pink Floyd, one of the greatest rock bands of all time, who pioneered progressive rock in the 1970s with their instrumental heavy tracks and their albums which, if listened to in a dark room, could take the listener places they didn’t even know existed. For those who want to get into Pink Floyd, here are a few tracks which showcase their musical bravado:

  1. “Time” – Like many tracks from the 1973 album “The Dark Side of The Moon, “Time” tackles a philosophical subject of humanity. That of the passage of time and how, when someone is young, they think it will last forever but “every year keeps getting shorter.” The opening is experimental with the sounds of clocks going off followed by a long instrumental section. But when the bassist Roger Waters’ lyrics and guitarist David Gilmour’s solos shine through, the track’s message speaks to those who hear it.

  2. “Learning to Fly” – After chief songwriter and bassist Roger Waters left the band in 1983, there was much doubt as to whether Pink Floyd would continue. But continue it did under the leadership of guitarist David Gilmour and, with drummer Nick Mason and Rick Wright on keyboards, the band pieced together the album “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” on Gilmour’s houseboat turned recording studio with “Learning to Fly” as their lead single. The song is just magnificent with powerful music and lyrics that stay with the listener. It’s absolute poetry.

  3. “Arnold Layne” – Released in 1967, “Arnold Layne” was written by Pink Floyd’s original guitarist and lyricist Syd Barrett and is part of Pink Floyd’s psychedelic rock phase. The song first showcased the Floyd’s ability to create songs that could be popular but still stand out from all of the other rock songs being released at the time.

  4. “Shine on You Crazy Diamond Parts I-V and Parts VI-IX” – This nine part epic was split in two to bookend the other tracks on the 1975 album “Wish You Were Here.” The entire album was a tribute piece to Syd Barrett, who left the band due to his erratic behavior as a result of drug use. “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” is the pinnacle of that tribute and has a runtime of 26 minutes. The song is an epic with all four members of Pink Floyd working to their full potential to honor their friend and colleague. With a haunting four note theme and poignant lyrics, this is one of Pink Floyd’s best.

  5. “The Great Gig in The Sky” – A piece about death, this track features two prominent forces working together. Rick Wright on a grand piano and the vocals of guest singer Clare Torry. Together the two create a musical piece with hardly any lyrics but with the raw emotion of classic rock and classical music blending together.

  6. “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” – Pink Floyd’s 1977 album “Animals” is often overlooked except for the main track “Dogs.” However, “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” is superior due to its faster pace and drum work by Nick Mason. The depiction of those on top of society as pigs, along with the rest of the album, reminds one of the allegorical novel “Animal Farm” by George Orwell.”

  7. “Comfortably Numb” – The rock opera “The Wall” gave the world many popular tracks including “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2,” “Hey You” and “Run Like Hell.” However, “Comfortably Numb’s” epic guitar solos and lyrics about alienation not only add to the theme of the album but create one of the greatest rock songs ever created.