Top Ten Pink Floyd Songs

Top Ten Pink Floyd Songs


Pink Floyd were an English rock band that achieved international success with their progressive and psychedelic music. Distinguished by their use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, and elaborate live shows, they are one of the most commercially successful and musically influential groups in the history of popular music. Founded in 1965, the band originally consisted of university students Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Richard Wright and Syd Barrett. They first gained popularity performing in London’s underground music scene during the late 1960’s, and under Barrett’s creative leadership they released two charting singles and a successful debut album. David Gilmour joined as a fifth member in December 1967, and Barrett left the band in April 1968 due to his deteriorating mental health. After Barrett’s departure, Waters became their primary songwriter and lyricist. With Waters, Mason, Wright and Gilmour, Pink Floyd achieved critical and commercial success with the concept albums The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977) and The Wall (1979). Wright left Pink Floyd in 1979, followed by Waters in 1985. Gilmour and Mason continued as Pink Floyd and Wright subsequently joined them as a paid musician. They continued to record and tour through 1994; two more albums followed, A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994). Inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005, they have sold more than 250 million albums worldwide, including 74.5 million certified units in the US.

  1. Wish You Were Here

    This short, acoustic, poignant song by Roger Waters and David Gilmour lends its name to the album, which also features “Shine On”, “Welcome to the Machine”, and “Have a Cigar”. This performance is from Live 8, which was a moving time for Floydians everywhere. After 20 years of animosity, Roger Waters and his former bandmates finally shared a stage together.
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  2. Shine on You Crazy Diamond

    Shine on You Crazy Diamond is the Pink Floyd’s tribute to their fallen leader, Syd Barrett. The nine-part, 26-minute song is perhaps the greatest collaboration of Gilmour, Waters, and Wright. This performance is from the Pink Floyd DVD Pulse.
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  3. Dogs

    Animals, while not as well known as Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall, is every bit as good as its brothers. This album introduced the pig, who’d be present at every subsequent PF tour. This version is from Roger Waters’ live DVD In the Flesh Live.
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  4. Echoes

    Another of Pink Floyd’s “epics”, “Echoes” pushed the space-rock tendencies of Pink Floyd to their max. The “whale” sound effects would later be recycled into “Is There Anybody Out There?” from The Wall. This performance is from David Gilmour’s live DVD Remember That Night.
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  5. Jugband Blues

    During the recording of Saucerful of Secrets, Syd Barrett became more and more disconnected from his bandmates and the world in general. Every theory on Syd’s mental breakout has been posited, from LSD to drugs and epilepsy. This song is seen by many as a self-assessment by Barrett. Barrett was dropped from the band soon after, replaced with his friend David Gilmour.
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  6. We Don’t Need No Education

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  7. Fat Old Sun

    “Fat Old Sun” remains one of David Gilmour’s best songwriting efforts. This performance is from the DVD David Gilmour in Concert.
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  8. Atom Heart Mother

    Atom Heart Mother is a very eclectic album featuring a very avant-garde symphony/rock suite, three songs by Roger Waters, Richard Wright, and David Gilmour respectively, and “Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast”. The title track is the second-longest song the Floyd have ever recorded, clocking in at 23 minutes and 44 seconds. This performance is from the Bath Festival in June 1970.
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  9. Us and Them

    Richard Wright’s mesmerizing keyboard work and Roger Waters’ though-provoking lyrics both shape this great song from the Floyd’s greatest hit, Dark Side of the Moon. The melody was originally born from the Pink Floyd recording sessions for the film Zabriskie Point, but the film’s director rejected it. This performance is from Roger Waters’ Live Earth performance.
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  10. The Gnome

    Syd Barrett’s music, both with Pink Floyd and as a solo artist, is characterized by entrancing and often surreal lyrics. “The Gnome” from Pink Floyd’s debut album Piper at the Gates of Dawn is no different. “The Gnome” is a Tolkinsian tale about a little man who enjoys drinking wine and sleeping. This is the album version with random footage of the late Syd Barrett.
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  11. On the Turning Away

    In 1985, Roger Waters left Pink Floyd and declared the band dead. Two years later, David Gilmour and Nick Mason released A Momentary Lapse of Reason and proved him wrong. Although the album is arguably worse than anything else in the Floyd catalog, the songs “Learning to Fly”, “On the Turning Away”, and “Sorrow” stand as some of the best of the post-Waters Floyd. This performance is from the Pink Floyd concert film Delicate Sound of Thunder.
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  12. Coming Back to Life

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  13. Links: Top Ten Bands, Top 100 Musical Artists, Top 100 Songs, Top 100 Rock Songs, Top Ten Pink Floyd Posters, Top Ten Rock Posters,

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