Considered as one of the most successful acts of rock music, Pink Floyd are known for their psychedelic rock music and progressive rock music. Their lyrics are usually philosophical and apart from sonic experimentation, they perform elaborate live shows. This famous group has gained name and fame amidst all odds and has sold over 200 million albums over the world and 74.5 million albums in U.S alone. Pink Floyd derived its name from the two Blues singers, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. The original members of the band were Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Bob Klose, Rick Wright and Nick Mason.
Pink Floyd started off as a different psychedelic band when they started to play in the mid 60s under the leadership of Syd Barrett. He was the source of energy for the group and wrote a major part of the lyrics and sang most of the songs. Primarily, the Pink Floyd concentrated on rock and R&B material that were a common selection of the mid-60s British bands. With time, they began to experiment with different styles and incorporated unusual and eerie sounds produced by loud amplification, electronic screeches and even sliding ball bearings on the guitar strings.
In 1967, the group got a recording contract with EMI in early 1967 and had a smashing debut single, “Arnold Layne”. Their debut album “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn”, also released in 1967 proved to be one of the greatest psychedelic rock albums and made it to the British Top Ten. Towards the end of that year, Barrett started to show alarming levels of mental instability, mainly due to drug abuse and would go berserk during performances. This was one reason why the band never made an album like their debut one, since it was made by the initiation of Barrett. Eventually, he had to be removed from the stage performances.
Rise to Fame
The following year, a guitarist named Dave Gilmour who was a friend of the band was roped in as a fifth member. It was decided that Gilmour would help the band to continue doling out live performances while Barrett would write lyrics and contribute. But that didn’t turn out that way and with the loss of their main songwriter, lead guitarist and lead vocalist, the members decided to discard the band. However, Pink Floyd regrouped eventually and became even more successful. Gilmour was an excellent guitarist and Barrett still managed to dole out interesting solos before doing the vanishing act. Roger Waters emerged as the dominant member and took the group forward, gaining recognition in America as well.
They came up with successful albums one after the other like A Saucerful of Secrets, Dark Side of the Moon (which catapulted them to success in US), Wish You Were Here, Animals, Meddle, Ummagumma, The Wall, A Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell. Their popular tracks include “Comfortably Numb”, “Another Brick in the Wall”, “Lucifer Sam”, “Breathe”, “Time”, etc. The band got their first and only Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for the track “Marooned”. Due to rifts between the members, the band eventually broke up and stopped releasing albums and performing live. They have been known for their lavish live shows with extraordinary light settings and get the crowds jiving to their tunes. Though the members don’t talk of a reunion now, they don’t rule out the possibility of performing for a noble cause.
Pink Floyd Albums Timeline
- 1967: The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
- 1968: A Saucerful of Secrets
- 1969: Ummagumma (also live)
- 1970: Atom Heart Mother
- 1971: Meddle
- 1972: Obscured by Clouds
- 1973: The Dark Side of the Moon
- 1975: Wish You Were Here
- 1977: Animals
- 1979: The Wall
- 1983: The Final Cut
- 1987: A Momentary Lapse of Reason
- 1994: The Division Bell