This iconic British classic rock group didn’t just record 14 studio albums and 3 live albums,they created art sculptured around bassist and vocalist Roger Waters and guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, the band has sold over 230 million albums worldwide. Like the Beatles before them, Pink Floyd’s best albums are famous for their use of the state-of-the-art recording techniques of their day. Part of Pink Floyd’s legacy is having classic rock radio fans often vote their albums among the best of all time. While it’s tough to single-out just what the best-of-the-best Pink Floyd albums are, here are the all-time classics that best express Pink Floyd’s legacy that you’ll want in your classic rock collection.
Dark Side of the Moon.Dark Side of the Moon rose to number 2 on the British charts and made it to number 1 on the Billboard Charts. In fact, the album remained on the Billboard Charts for 14 years! At last count, this particular “Best of” Pink Floyd album sold over 37 million copies worldwide. Even with today’s digital recording, Dark Side of the Moon stands up as one of the coolest production achievements and one of the greatest albums of all time. Engineered by Alan Parsons, this album created some great vocal harmony and is best known for those ticking clock sounds that open the song "Time" and the tape-loop effects on "Money." This album was made for listening with headphones.
The Wall.This 1979 classic “concept album”with a rather downer storyline peaked on the British charts at number 3 and number 1 on the Billboard Charts. The Wall also ranks right up there among the top selling double albums ever, selling over 25 million copies worldwide. Pink Floyd fans differ over whether this is one of the best of all time or just a Roger Waters ego trip. Either way, like all concept album masterpieces this is meant to be heard in its entirety to get the whole, mind-twisting effect and unforgettable visual images created by Roger's lyrics. Forget the depressing storyline The Wall is one of Pink Floyd’s best albums and be sure to check out the 1982 live/animated film.
Animals. This 1977 release was a poke at what the band considered sleazy music industry and rock critic industry practices. In fact, urban legend has it that Roger Waters actually spat at fans while on tour for this classic album. Whether true or not, Animals is considered one of Pink Floyd’s epic, if not moody albums. When it was released it shot to number 2 on the British music charts and peaked at number 3 on the Billboard charts, eventually selling over 15 million copies worldwide.
Wish You Were Here. The musical contents of this 1975 Floyd album has long been touted by Roger Waters and the band as the greatest accomplishment they ever produced. The title track to Wish You Were Here and the song "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" were an open dedication to former band member Syd Barrett, who surrendered the hard way to drugs. In fact, SYD is found in the title of "Shine on You Crazy Diamond." Whether or not this homage to the songwriter was the reason, Wish You Were Here topped both the British and Billboard Magazine charts and has sold over 20 million copies worldwide.