Since high school I’ve been a huge fan of Pink Floyd. I remember very well the day I got the original pulse 2 CD with the LED which ran on a single AA cell. The booklet inside the CD reads “The LED is set at the average human pulse speed so it can be used as an anti stress device – just check your own pulse against it” and the line I like the most-” Most particularly the LED pulses… it is a live phenomenon… like the music”. Indeed their music flows. From the lyrics straight down to the music. PULSE is undoubtedly one of the best live recordings putting it in par with the Simon and Garfunkel show at Central Park in NYC during the 70’s. Among the more recent concerts,not many are worthy of being compared to PULSE. They enthralled their audience with a musical and visual treat. Heavy use of lasers was employed. Watch the video for ‘take it back‘ on youtube. You’ll get a feel of what I’m saying and then you can decide for yourself. Also another must watch is ‘On the Run‘ from the dark side of the moon album. If you’ve seen something better in a live concert please let me know. Which brings to mind a very interesting fact that most people don’t know about Pink Floyd.They’ve won just one grammy in their entire career as musicians and that too in 1995 for the song Marooned. They got the best rock instrumental award. Pretty strange isn’t it?
People talk about comfortably numb to be the greatest floyd song ever,and I’d agree with them thats its among the best of their best. The guitar lead at the end(particularly in the pulse version) is out of this world. Anyone with a half decent brain would appreciate that,and someone high on any stimulant would be cursing David Gilmour for not going beyond the 13th minute :) The funny(beauty maybe?) part about this song is that most of it is not sung in the conventional manner. It has the lead singer just pronouncing the words in a psychic manner.
The dark side of the moon album has to arguably be their highest selling album till date. It stayed on the billboard charts for a record 741 consecutive weeks(that boils down to 14 years). It also holds the record for the longest stay on the billboard charts- just 1500 weeks(29 years). Will there be a band that can break that record? Or impress two generations and leave a lasting impression on them at the same time? Time only will tell. My favourite tracks from the dark side of the moon would be breathe and time. Breathe has this heavy heavy sound to it. Sometimes when I listen to it,I wonder if there is some sync between the way I breathe and the manner in which the chords shift from E minor(A base) to A7.
This is how the lyrics go.
Breathe, breathe in the air
Don’t be afraid to care
Leave but don’t leave me
Look around and chose your own ground
For long you live and high you fly
And smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be
Run, run rabbit run
Dig that hole, forget the sun,
And when at last the work is done
Don’t sit down, it’s time to dig another one
For long you live and high you fly
But only if you ride the tide
And balanced on the biggest wave
You race toward an early grave.
Talking about the rabit reminds of fairytales(Alice in Wonderland one of my favs). Roger Waters claims that if you switch on the classic 1939 verision of Wizard of Oz and switch on the dark side of the moon tape it would feel like the two of them are synchronised to perfection. Here’s a brief 5 minute clip.
Another classic from the dark side of the moon is Time which gives me the jitters every time I pay attention to the lyrics. Its just poetry in motion.
Probably the only heavily jazz influenced floyd song is money,which is also part of the same album. It has some really cool saxophone solos and the chords are way too jazzy to classify the song as rock. I’ve seen most bands make a mockery when they try to cover that song.
The great gig in the sky instrumental still makes the hair on my arm stand with the slick drumming and keyboard solos. Special mention should be made to the lady who features in that song.
Lets shift our focus to The Wall and Wish you were here.
The Wall:Wikipedia calls it a rock opera. I’d like to call it a message in a bottle. Every song in that album has heavy reference to the cold war. And also to the world war which is where Roger(the bassist and lyricist) lost his father. When the tigers broke free is a song high on emotion and its Roger Waters speaking about how his father went missing from home one day during the war.
The song features floyd’s most popular song-Brick in the wall. I love the pulse version thanks to the super cool solo at the end of the song. A MUST hear for all.
The wall also features ‘mother’. A slow ballad track which is so rare to find with floyd(before the break up).
Another classic from the album is run like hell.Terrifying lyrics and great guitaring.
My favourite album(before the break up) is Wish you were Here. It has the signature wish you were here song,and also features shine on you crazy diamond(all parts). Shine on you crazy diamond was written in praise of Syd Barret-the genius and former lead singer who lost his mind and rests in a mental asylum now.
I’ll stop right here. Will get into details about floyd’s break up and post break up music trend. Interesting read it should be. For now,if you’re already a floyd fan-listen to goodbye blue sky. If you feel you’re turning into one,listen to Have a cigar and if you still loathe them try Young Lust.
Happy happy floyd listening :)