Pink Floyd's fascinating journey through music began 60 years ago

The story of Pink Floyd is a fantastic journey through the evolution of one of the most iconic and influential rock bands in music history. 

Sep 3, 2023 - 15:08
Pink Floyd's fascinating journey through music began 60 years ago
The original Pink Floyd: Mason, Wright, Waters and Barrett.

Pink Floyd was formed in London in 1965 by Syd Barrett (vocals, guitar), Roger Waters (bass, vocals), Richard Wright (keyboards) and Nick Mason (drums), but the story of this legendary band began in 1963, when they created a group called Sigma 6, first, and then Tea Set, with the same lineup plus guitarist Bob Klose.

Pink Floyd's name was inspired by two blues musicians, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. They initially played in the London underground music scene, blending rock, blues, and psychedelic influences.

In 1967, the band released their debut album, "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn," which showcased Syd Barrett's songwriting and eccentric style. However, Barrett's mental health issues and substance abuse led to his departure from the band in 1968. David Gilmour was brought in as his replacement.

Under the leadership of Roger Waters, Pink Floyd entered a new creative phase marked by experimental soundscapes, philosophical themes, and elaborate live performances. Albums like "A Saucerful of Secrets" (1968) and "Ummagumma" (1969) showcased their evolving sound.

Pink Floyd's real breakthrough came with the release of "The Dark Side of the Moon" in 1973. This album became one of the best-selling records of all time and brought them international fame. It featured a cohesive concept, exploring themes of life, death, and the human experience. After that, the band continued their conceptual approach with albums like "Wish You Were Here" (1975), which paid tribute to Syd Barrett, and "Animals" (1977), inspired by George Orwell's "Animal Farm."

In 1979, Pink Floyd released "The Wall," a rock opera written by Roger Waters that delved into themes of isolation, alienation, and personal struggles. The album was later adapted into a visually stunning movie. Tensions within the band grew during the making of "The Wall," and Roger Waters left Pink Floyd in 1985, two years after publishing "The Final Cut", leading to legal battles over the rights to the band's name and music.

After Waters' departure, the remaining members of Pink Floyd (David Gilmour, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright) continued as a trio. They released albums like "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" (1987) and "The Division Bell" (1994).

In 2005, the original members reunited for a performance at Live 8, a charity event. Sadly, Richard Wright passed away in 2008.

Pink Floyd's legacy continued through various retrospectives, re-releases, and solo projects from the band members. Their impact on music, art, and culture remains profound, and their music continues to captivate new generations.


A unique discography

Pink Floyd's discography is extensive and includes several successful and influential albums. Here's a list of their studio albums along with some of their most successful and iconic works:

  1. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)

    • Notable Tracks: "Astronomy Domine," "Lucifer Sam," "Interstellar Overdrive"
  2. A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)

    • Notable Tracks: "Let There Be More Light," "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun," "Jugband Blues"
  3. More (1969)

    • Soundtrack album for the film "More"
    • Notable Tracks: "Cirrus Minor," "Green Is the Colour," "Cymbaline"
  4. Ummagumma (1969)

    • A double album with live and studio recordings
    • Notable Tracks: "Astronomy Domine" (live), "Careful with That Axe, Eugene" (live), "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict"
  5. Atom Heart Mother (1970)

    • Notable Tracks: "Atom Heart Mother Suite," "If," "Fat Old Sun"
  6. Meddle (1971)

    • Notable Tracks: "Echoes," "One of These Days," "Fearless"
  7. Obscured by Clouds (1972)

    • Soundtrack album for the film "La Vallée"
    • Notable Tracks: "Childhood's End," "Free Four," "Wots... Uh the Deal"
  8. The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

    • One of the best-selling albums of all time
    • Notable Tracks: "Money," "Us and Them," "Time," "Brain Damage," "Eclipse"
  9. Wish You Were Here (1975)

    • A tribute to Syd Barrett
    • Notable Tracks: "Shine On You Crazy Diamond," "Wish You Were Here," "Have a Cigar"
  10. Animals (1977)

    • Inspired by George Orwell's "Animal Farm"
    • Notable Tracks: "Dogs," "Pigs (Three Different Ones)," "Sheep"
  11. The Wall (1979)

    • A rock opera written by Roger Waters
    • Notable Tracks: "Another Brick in the Wall," "Comfortably Numb," "Hey You," "Run Like Hell"
  12. The Final Cut (1983)

    • Notable Tracks: "The Gunner's Dream," "The Final Cut," "Not Now John"
  13. A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987)

    • Pink Floyd's first album after Roger Waters' departure
    • Notable Tracks: "Learning to Fly," "On the Turning Away," "Sorrow"
  14. The Division Bell (1994)

    • Notable Tracks: "High Hopes," "Keep Talking," "Take It Back"
  15. The Endless River (2014)

    • Compiled from unreleased material from the 1990s
    • Notable Tracks: "Louder than Words," "Allons-y (1)," "Talkin' Hawkin'"

Pink Floyd's most successful and iconic and best-selling albums include "The Dark Side of the Moon" (over 45 million copies), "Wish You Were Here" (over 24 million copies) and "The Wall" (over 30 million copies). These albums not only achieved critical acclaim but also had a significant impact on music culture and are often considered some of the greatest albums in rock history.

Valérie Tellier EA Global Coordinator