10 The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn was Pink Floyd’s debut album, and the only one ever made under the leadership of founding member, Syd Barrett.
Produced by Norman Smith and released in 1967, the album was positively received by both the press and the general public.
It is now commonly hailed as a psychedelic masterpiece.
9 Atom Heart Mother
Atom Heart Mother was Pink Floyd’s fifth studio album, and the first to reach #1 on the UK charts.
Recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London, the album was released in 1970 and was a commercial success.
Despite that, band members have expressed negativity toward the album in more recent years.
Atom Heart Mother was also the first Pink Floyd album not to feature the band’s name or any text on the cover.
Released as Pink Floyd’s 4th studio album in 1969, Ummagumma features both a live disc and a disc that features solo compositions by each band member.
Like Atom Heart Mother, the album was a commercial success upon its release but has been the subject of some negativity by band members in recent years.
The name for the album reportedly came from a slang term for “sex”, which Pink Floyd friend and roadie Ian “Emo” Moore claims to have made up himself.
7 A Momentary Lapse of Reason
A Momentary Lapse of Reason was the first Pink Floyd album following Roger Waters’ departure from the band.
Released in 1987, it was recorded primarily on David Gilmour’s houseboat recording studio, Astoria, as well as at a number of other studios.
The album went straight to #3 on the UK and US albums chart, right behind Michael Jackson’s Bad and Whitesnake‘s self-titled album.
6 The Division Bell
Although The Division Bell received mixed reviews upon its release in 1994, it went straight to #1 on both the UK and US album charts. By 1999, it had been certified Triple Platinum in the US.
Most of the album was written by David Gilmour and Richard Wright, with Gilmour’s wife Polly Sampson co-writing many of the lyrics.
Like many of the band’s albums, the cover was designed by long-time collaborator Storm Thorgerson.
In 2014, a 20th Anniversary Division Bell Box Set was released.
Meddle, released in October 1971, was Pink Floyd’s sixth studio album.
The title was meant as a play on words: a medal, and to meddle (interfere). The cover, designed by Storm Thorgerson, depicts a close-up shot of an ear under water, collecting waves of sound, represented by ripples in the water.
Meddle was generally well received by critics but was not immediately a commercial success in the US. Eventually, as Pink Floyd’s popularity increased, it did go on to be certified 2x Platinum.
Released in 1977, Animals was a departure from Pink Floyd’s previous musical style.
The album reached #2 in the UK and #3 in the US. It has since been certified four times Platinum by the RIAA.
The concept for the cover was conceived by Roger Waters and created by Storm Thorgerson. The musical concept is loosely based on George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
3 The Wall
Two years after the release of Animals in 1977, came The Wall in 1979.
It would be the last studio album released with the lineup of David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Nick Mason, prior to Wright leaving the band.
Roger Waters came up with the concept for the album after the band’s 1977 In The Flesh tour, during which Waters became extremely frustrated with audiences and had to imagine a wall between the stage and the fans.
The album cover for The Wall was the first since The Piper at the Gates of Dawn not to be created by Storm Thorgerson’s Hipgnosis design group.
2 Wish You Were Here
Released in 1975, Wish You Were Here explores the themes of absence as well as former bandleader Syd Barrett’s mental decline. The premise of the album was based on a tribute song the band wrote for Barrett, “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”.
Wish You Were Here was an instant commercial success and Richard Wright and David Gilmour have each said that it was their favorite Floyd album.
In 2011, CDJ’s Paul Rappaport sat down with David Gilmour on his houseboat recording studio, Astoria, to talk about Wish You Were Here. Watch the intimate interview now.
1 The Dark Side of the Moon
It’s not surprising that The Dark Side of the Moon comes in at #1 on our Top Ten List of Pink Floyd albums; it is continually ranked as one of the greatest albums of all time.
The musical themes on The Dark Side of the Moon include conflict, greed, the passage of time, and mental illness.
The cover, designed by Hipgnosis, is arguably one of the most widely-recognized album covers of any genre.
Upon its release, the album stayed in the charts for 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988 and has sold an estimated 50 Million copies. The Dark Side of the Moon is not only Pink Floyd’s most commercially successful album, it is also one of the best selling albums of all time.
In 2011, CDJ’s Paul Rappaport sat down with David Gilmour on his houseboat recording studio, Astoria, to talk about The Dark Side of the Moon. Check it out here.