Ranking Pink Floyd songs

A detailed description and rating of all Pink Floyd songs:

All 165 Pink Floyd Songs, Ranked From Worst to Best

Pink Floyd may be the only rock band that can credibly be compared to both the Beatles and Spinal Tap.

The upshot: Pink Floyd has sold more albums worldwide than the Beatles. Floyd recorded over a longer period, of course, but both groups have released about the same number of albums, and had about the same span of decades to sell their work to new generations — and in new configurations.

And yet … the band’s famous works were recorded over an extremely short period, in a recording career that has now stretched nearly to five decades. Much of the rest of it was filled by wildly veering musical approaches, big misfires, aesthetic excesses, pratfalls, and wide-ranging acts of buffoonery you wouldn’t find surprising in a This Is Spinal Tap outtake reel.

Anyway, this month marks the 50th anniversary of the band’s first album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Few Pink Floyd fans can read those words, taken from a chapter heading of The Wind in the Willows by the band’s fey original leader, Syd Barrett, without a twinge of sadness. If you’re not familiar with Barrett’s tragic tale, read on.

The list that follows ranks all of the band’s officially released studio work, from the worst song to the best.

Interesting opinion and facts with some good links.

From their first album 50 years ago:

Favourite Pink Floyd song?

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37 Comments

  1. Pete Kane

     /  August 4, 2017

    Pete. respectfully suggest this stays on the ;current; page for a few days. too greater task for a night, esp. this close to an election.

    • It’ll slip down a bit but I’ll key it last post of the previous or current day as long as interest remains.

    • Anonymous Coward

       /  August 4, 2017

      Even if given days I bet the conversation will swirl around 10 songs out of a possible 165.
      My position being that Pink Floyd are largely shit, with a good bit or two.

      • MaureenW

         /  August 4, 2017

        They speak highly of you. What did you sing again?

      • MaureenW

         /  August 4, 2017

        What do you even do? Criticise?

        • Anonymous Coward

           /  August 4, 2017

          I’ve done heaps, a lot of is is online, but I’m not giving you links to protect my anonymity here . As much as I’d like to see you guys watch me, you’re never going to be my audience.

          • Gezza

             /  August 4, 2017

            Aw bugger

            ☹️

          • Gezza

             /  August 4, 2017

            What was that music program you were telling me about a while back, AC?
            I meant to check it out. I’m going thru a phase where heaps of songs are suddenly coming out & I’d like try it out.

            • Gezza

               /  August 5, 2017

              Never mind. Found it. Logic Pro. I’ll check it out. 👍🏼

  2. High Flying Duck

     /  August 4, 2017

    Favourite Floyd song? That’s like picking a favourite child. It can’t be done. There’s definitely a few stinkers in the catalogue but the list of greats is long and illustrious and best listened to live and loud.

  3. Corky

     /  August 4, 2017

    Money- what else? Unusual 7/4 time with a real cash register used. Not a great fan. I was more interested in the hatred this band had for each other.

  4. Gezza

     /  August 4, 2017

    I’ll take a punt this is Lurch’s favourite. And if it isn’t it probably should be?

  5. MaureenW

     /  August 4, 2017

    Breathe is one of my favourites without thing too much about it

  6. patupaiarehe

     /  August 4, 2017

    This is my favourite, with ‘Hey you’, being a very close second 🙂

  7. Gezza

     /  August 4, 2017
  8. PDB

     /  August 4, 2017

    No contest – and the list has it right – ‘Wish You Were Here’ is one of the greatest songs ever recorded, an ode to Syd Barrett and an awesome sing-along with great lyrics.

  9. Brown

     /  August 4, 2017

    So many tunes to like. Great lead guitar lifts them as well but it was a golden age with much talent on show. I like Greg Lake’s guitar playing as well, Toad The Wet Sprocket, Mason Williams. So much to pick bits from and maybe that’s why I’m not a rabid fan of any one band – I like bits from many.

  10. Gezza

     /  August 4, 2017

    I can’t really pick a favourite. I like so many of theirs & i just love Gilmour’s lead & rhythm guitar playing. I never even noticed until he said it on a rockumentary that all he does play blues riffs & string them all together.

  11. In addition to Wish you were here…. I really like this……

    • Gezza

       /  August 4, 2017

      That whole Pulse Tour was unreal, dave. Total class.

  12. I like this from Dark Side, in part because it was spontaneous in an otherwise highly engineered album.

    I still haven’t worked out the lyrics.

    • And here’s Clare Torry talking about the part she played.

      Probably a performance of a lifetime.

    • swordfish

       /  August 7, 2017

      Stunner. The whole album represented a massive leap forward, amidst all that dreary Hippy dross of the early 70s. Older brother brought it home in 1978 (He in 7th Form / Me in 3rd Form). My 14 year old self took this track to represent a (in my mind) particularly good-looking young woman climaxing – which I guess is partly why I liked it so much – but the title also, conversely, suggested a theme of death. Has a strong emotional punch and you can’t help feeling that it’s actually imbued with much broader universal themes. Probably my fave.

      Assumed for many years that she was a black American singer.

      Total scandal that – as late as 2004 – Torry’s only remittance had been her standard flat studio rate of £30 in 1973 and she ultimately had to sue Pink Floyd and EMI for songwriting royalties. Maybe that’s why band members were so undemonstrative after she’d finished the vocals … didn’t want her asking for royalties. I notice they’ve also been quite mean-spirited in giving her due credit in subsequent media interviews over the years. A little too much credit given to Rick Wright and nowhere near enough to Torry.

      • swordfish

         /  August 7, 2017

        Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun = by far their best from the early period. Bought Ummagumma Album when I was 15 (year after I first heard Dark Side) … generally disappointed with it (in fact, it I thought it was largely crap) …. yet, in stark contrast to the rest, ‘Set the Controls (…)’ seemed extraordinary. The percussion (timpani mallets) and that beautiful Middle Eastern feel.

  13. J Bloggs

     /  August 5, 2017

    I know its the stereotyped answer to the question, but this is my #1:

    • Gezza

       /  August 5, 2017

      Nobody – but nobody – makes a stratocaster sing, hum, hammer, scream, yell, & cry with the sheer raw emotion that Dave Gilmour wrings out of one. That guitar was made for the man.

  14. High Flying Duck

     /  August 5, 2017

    The Delicate Sound of Thunder tour was the best concert I’ve attended – and I saw a few back in the day. Pink Floyd have standout tracks, but it is the album experience that makes them what they are. Listening to One of These Days at that concert…and even now live on a good system is something to behold:

  15. Gezza

     /  August 5, 2017

    Pink Floyd have been great forever. I remember as a teenager loving “Arnold Lane” & this one:

  16. Interesting how “Bike” was ranked behind “Astronomy Domine”