At the end of the month, prog rock legends Pink Floyd are due to release a stripped back remix of their 1987 album, A Momentary Lapse of Reason. The first Floyd offering without Roger Waters, Momentary Lapse was characterised by a reverb heavy production that many feel has dated the record to the era. According to David Gilmour (via Louder), the approach with the remix was to make something that felt more like a timeless Pink Floyd offering:
“Some years after we had recorded the album, we came to the conclusion that we should update it to make it more timeless, featuring more of the traditional instruments that we liked and that we were more used to playing. This was something we thought it would benefit from. We also looked for and found some previously unused keyboard parts of Rick’s which helped us to come up with a new vibe, a new feeling for the album."
Admittedly, I don’t know many people that consider Momentary Lapse their number one Pink Floyd record, and it remains to be seen whether this remix will change their perspective on that. What I do know, though, is that nailing down the absolute number one offering in the extensive PF back catalogue is no mean feat for two reasons.
Firstly, listening to Pink Floyd’s discography is almost like listening to a range of different bands. The early Syd Barrett albums are slices of late ‘60s psychedelia, in which the former frontman’s unique voice dominates. The post Barrett records of the late 1960s and early 1970s are full of progressive flights of fancy, while the band’s most famous run of mid-late 1970s offerings blend that vibe with a mission for mass-communication and an arena rock sensibility.
And all of those eras have standout albums. Barrett’s first, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, remains much cherished to this day. Atom Heart Mother and Meddle, with their bold, side-filling progressive suites, are rightly regarded as prog rock landmarks. And I don’t need to extol the virtues of Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and the Wall to you. The countless column inches already devoted to those landmark albums in the annuls of rock journalism tells you everything you need to know.
To be honest with you, I couldn’t commit to a favourite Pink Floyd album. Heck, I have so much affection for a number of their albums that producing a top five is proving tricky.
And with that, I want to know what you guys think. Let me know in the comments what you think the contender for best Pink Floyd album is. More than that, let me know why. However personal, however empirical, I want to know your thoughts and feelings on the best Pink Floyd records, what they mean to you, and why you love them so much.