The best Pink Floyd instrumental is an endless debate of opinion and preference. But one song seems to take the surreal nature of the band’s psychedelic music and slowly transforms it to their more progressive rock sound in later years. The song is called “Echoes” and this instrumental jam lasts a bit longer than 23 minutes.
Definition. In these eternal arguments over the best Pink Floyd instrumental, there is also bickering about the definition of the word ‘instrumental’. Some take it literally and bark angrily if they hear a deranged Englishmen utter a groan or a word on a composition. Others let some lyrics slide if the focus is mostly instrumental. “Echoes” features some lyrics but the lengthy passage of sound that fills the composition effectively ends this debate on semantics.
Evolution. The instrumental themes in "Echoes" follow the original themes that made the band popular, but you can also hear the shift in direction as the song progresses. Fans familiar with Pink Floyd’s “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” drippy sound can languish in the bizarre and surreal aspects of this jam. The alien sound of tweaked whale songs and the incessant chirping of metallic birds on an alien shore wash over the listener as the strange pinging sound from miles away grows in intensity. As the song meanders through these odd moments, the rhythm slowly grows and carries the instrumental full circle until it explodes back into the vocals bringing you back to Earth.
Argue. Music boards are clogged with people offering their two cents and raving at each other. Fans are split between the Syd Barrett days and the later years featuring David Gilmour in the more prominent role. To pick one song and claim it is the eternal best is a hopeless cause as Pink Floyd’s musical catalog is too big and varied. But, it sure is fun. You know a band is amazing when you can listen to them sober and still have bizarre visions.