10 Best Pink Floyd Album Every Music Lover Should Own

Pink Floyd’s music has existed for over 50 years, their epic albums have inspired generations of music lovers. Surely you’ve heard their music through albums, movies, on the radio, or places around town. Pink Floyd started playing psychedelic rock back in the 1960s and kept making mind-blowing tunes all the way until the 1990s.

Their albums tell stories about society, emotions, or take you on musical adventures to outer space! We asked fans everywhere to vote for the 10 best Pink Floyd albums that all music lovers should own. Please choose the song from the album that you like the most and listen to it and chill

The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

Even after 50 long years, Pink Floyd’s 1973 epic The Dark Side of the Moon remains one of the most critically-acclaimed and influential albums for music lovers of all ages. Its popularity never fades – it has spent over 14 years on music charts and sells millions more copies each time it’s reissued.

What makes The Dark Side of the Moon so special is how it mixes huge, mind-blowing sound with raw human emotion. The opening clocks and alarms sound totally realistic, pulling you right into the musical journey. Songs like “Time” and “Money” tackle big topics like death and greed with blunt, down-to-earth lyrics anyone can relate to.

Especially epic are the dramatic closing songs “The Great Gig In The Sky” and “Eclipse.” Clare Torry’s unbelievable vocal improv refuses to accept oblivion, while the final heartbeat slowly fades out.

Even though Pink Floyd’s music defies darkness and doom, The Dark Side of the Moon captures both the highs and lows of the human experience. It’s an album to get totally lost in, whether you put on headphones and close your eyes or crank up the volume to show off your stereo. No matter how many times you’ve heard it or how old you are, The Dark Side of the Moon will blow your mind in magical new ways every time.

Wish You Were Here (1975)

Pink Floyd’s 1975 album “Wish You Were Here” is considered one of their best. It came right after their mega popular “Dark Side of the Moon” record. This time, Pink Floyd had something they really wanted to say – how greedy music company executives sometimes take advantage of artists.

The songs tell a story about losing your innocence and losing touch with people you care about. The music industry can change people and make them disconnect from what’s important. Songs like “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” are tributes to Pink Floyd’s former band member Syd Barrett. After becoming famous at a young age, Syd struggled with mental health issues.

Both the music and lyrics on “Wish You Were Here” are spectacular and guitar playing as awesome. The songs are ambitious with cool structures and powerful, powerful vocals. And Roger Waters’ lyrics perfectly capture the themes using creative metaphors that spark emotions. When he sings about being “two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl”, you really feel the honest meaning about industry exploitation.

For its flawless production, social commentary that gives you chills, and its ability to deeply move you, “Wish You Were Here” absolutely earns its place among the greatest 1970s rock albums.

The Wall (1979)

In 1979, Pink Floyd released their 11th album called The Wall. It tells the dramatic story of a rockstar named Pink struggling with isolation and madness. The Wall became one of the band’s biggest hits.

The idea for The Wall came from bassist Roger Waters. He wrote this rock opera based loosely on his own life. Some songs also related to former band member Syd Barrett’s mental health issues. The main character Pink builds an emotional “wall” around himself due to trauma from his childhood, his career, and relationships. Behind his wall, he can’t connect to anyone.

With producer Bob Ezrin’s help, Pink Floyd turned it into a rich musical and storytelling experience. While guitarist David Gilmour contributed great songs like “Comfortably Numb,” Waters wrote the majority of the lyrics and concepts. The album follows Pink’s story chronologically as he isolates himself more and more.

Beyond just a normal album, The Wall feels like a Broadway show with different “acts.” Iconic songs like “Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2” and “Comfortably Numb” help move Pink’s complex story along. It comments on many mature themes like bullying, war, drug abuse, cheating, and mental illness.

The Wall was turned into a film, opera, and Roger Waters stage show. It remains influential today. The album topped charts when it was released and is still considered one of rock music’s greatest achievements. With its immersive world and emotional songs, middle schoolers can look to The Wall as a shining example of the creative heights possible with concept albums.

Animals (1977)

While Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here tackled big ideas, Animals took a harsh look at society’s ugliness. Inspired by the book Animal Farm, the album divides people into animal types based on selfish behaviors.

First up are the cutthroat “Dogs” – executives who step on anyone to succeed. Next it shreds greedy “Pigs” in power, from CEOs to politicians. Finally, “Sheep” criticizes those who blindly obey authority without thinking.

With biting lyrics and killer guitar licks, Pink Floyd held nothing back. Roger Waters’ gravelly voice spewed disgust at systems rewarding selfishness over kindness. For such mega-stars, Animals was a daring risk.
But Animals has earned respect over time for its raw look at injustice. It channels anger at shady leaders into powerful rock and roll.

So while Animals might not be easy to listen to, it rocks hard with a vital message. For older kids feeling fed up with greed in society, Animals screams the truth – and that rebelious spirit echoes to this day.

Meddle (1971)

The members of Pink Floyd were a bit lost after losing their original frontman Syd Barrett. But since the album Meddle was released, they have found their own musical path.

The 23-minute epic song “Echoes” was a break the mold, every second of it is AMAZING! The song explodes from a single piano note, warped with a Leslie speaker for a trippy, undulating effect. This single note becomes the foundation, the seed around which the rest of the song blossoms. “Echoes” shows Pink Floyd’s talent for making far-out psychedelic rock journeys that take you on a trip through different moods and textures.

Meddle set Pink Floyd on the path toward the masterful concept albums they became famous for in the 1970s. It balances their chaotic early freakout jams with hints of the polished prog rock they will soon perfect. Songs like “Fearless” have deep meaning but still rock hard enough for kids to enjoy. And bluesy fun like “Seamus” calls back to their early days with Syd Barrett on classics like The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

So while Meddle looks both forward and backward for Pink Floyd, it gave music fans the first real glimpse of the sound that would make Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here so popular. More importantly, it helped the band reconnect with that weird Pink Floyd magic they lost for a while after Barrett left.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)

In 1967, Pink Floyd emerged with their mind-altering first LP, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Though not initially recognized, Piper grew renowned as a psychedelic classic, placing high on all-time lists like Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums.

Led by mad genius Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd bottled the colorful chaos of 1960s London on Piper. Barrett’s childlike lyrics and cosmic guitar voyages complement Richard Wright’s otherworldly keyboards as the band freely experiments with sound and structure. From the space-rock opener “Astronomy Domine” to the oddball closer “Bike,” each track overflows with innovation.

But Piper showcases far more than studio trickery. Epic jams like “Interstellar Overdrive” demonstrate Pink Floyd’s early improvisational flair. The whimsical “The Gnome” and melancholic “Flaming” reveal Barrett’s versatility as a songwriter. And tracks like “Matilda Mother” exude both lysergic abandon and tuneful pop appeal.

Of course, this line-up splintered just a year later when drugs pushed Barrett past his breaking point. Yet the band’s later incarnation would further develop Piper’s prog rock blueprint across concept classics like The Dark Side of the Moon. Still, nothing fully captures Pink Floyd’s psychedelic sparks like their supernova debut fifty-plus years ago. Echoing through the ages, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn stands as a joyfully weird wellspring for infinite inspiration.

A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)

1968’s A Saucerful of Secrets was a tough album for Pink Floyd to make. Their first LP Piper at the Gates of Dawn was a psychedelic masterpiece led by guitar wizard Syd Barrett. But Barrett’s use of LSD changed him, making it impossible for him to continue with the band.

Replacing a genius like Syd was hard. But David Gilmour joined to cover guitar while the rest of Floyd kept searching for their sound. A Saucerful feels uneven at times, with some pretty boring songs. But when they nail it, whoa momma!

“Let There Be More Light” shows the cosmic rocket ride to come. Syd’s last tune “Jugband Blues” is super odd, but you feel his sadness. Other gems like “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” point to the spacey future.

So while A Saucerful feels like a science project gone wrong at points, it gave Pink Floyd direction. They now knew their mission was to blast off into “space rock” infinity – which they perfected a few years later on all-time great LPs like Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here. But they had to go through the darkness of losing Syd first.

Obscured by Clouds (1972)

Obscured by Clouds often gets overlooked compared to Pink Floyd’s mega-hit albums like The Dark Side of the Moon. But true fans know it’s a hidden gem!

Released in 1972 between Meddle and Dark Side, Obscured by Clouds was written as a soundtrack for a French movie. The band cranked it out fast in between tour dates. As a result, some songs sound kinda like B-sides or songs that didn’t make it onto other albums.

But there’s still a lot of cool stuff here for young Floyd fans to discover. Trippy keyboard textures on “Mudmen” sound like a blueprint for Dark Side. Pretty acoustic ballads like “Wots…Uh the Deal” show the band’s gentle side. Gilmour’s slippery slide guitar on “The Gold It’s in the…” brings sweet psychedelic funk.

Sure, a couple songs miss the mark. But for the most part, Obscured by Clouds captures Pink Floyd laying down lush soundscapes and spacey vibes. For fans not yet ready for the full-on prog rock assault of albums like Animals or The Wall, it’s a melodic place to start. Dive in and explore a Floyd classic that deserves more love!

The Division Bell (1994)

The Division Bell is one of the later and more popular albums by the famous rock band Pink Floyd. It came out in 1994 when some of the band members were getting older. One cool thing is it has a song called “High Hopes” that was sung by keyboard player Rick Wright – the first time he sang lead since their 1973 Dark Side of the Moon record!

The Division Bell has lyrics about how hard it can be for people to communicate. The words were co-written by guitarist David Gilmour’s wife. The album cover has two huge metal heads to show the idea of being disconnected from others.

To make the album, Pink Floyd used their own recording studio in England and even worked on David’s houseboat! When it came out, The Division Bell went right to number one on both the UK and USA charts. It also later sold over 3 million copies in America. This shows it became one of Pink Floyd’s biggest records which fans still love today.

Atom Heart Mother (1970)

Pink Floyd’s album Atom Heart Mother total rules! When it came out in 1970, it was their first album to hit #1 in the UK. This is super weird and experimental music, it’s completely different from the pop songs you hear on the radio.

The title song Atom Heart Mother is over 20 minutes long! It was co-written by a musician named Ron Geesin, who added classical and orchestral parts to the band’s psychedelic rock sound. Some cool things about the album cover are that it was the first one not to have the band’s name on it, and also the first to be made in “quadraphonic” surround sound.

Later on, the two main songwriters – Roger Waters and David Gilmour – said some negative things about Atom Heart Mother. They felt it was a bit “scraping the barrel” and not their best work. However, the record was very popular at the time and showed Pink Floyd trying creative new things with longer songs and orchestration. It helped point them toward their future mega-hits like Dark Side of the Moon. Even if the band members criticized it, Atom Heart Mother was a pioneering Pink Floyd album that their fans still appreciate.

Over 50 years of boundary-pushing music has made Pink Floyd one of history’s most essential rock bands. Their albums inspire endless rediscovery. These 10 masterpieces showcase Pink Floyd’s brilliance across eras, emotions, and concepts. For the curious music lover ready to dive deep, this collection represents the shining best of Pink Floyd’s stellar catalog.