top of page

Top 100 Hard Rock Groups

#12 Pink Floyd

By James West,

Dedicated to my Brother In Law Bill Baldwin

In the event that all hell breaks loose on this earth there are two types of people you want on each side of you. On one side you want a guy who can blow shit up, and on the other side you want a guy who can blow people’s minds…


There’s plenty of folks who can blow shit up.  It’s in our nature to do so.  If it ain’t broke, let’s break it, right?  But

the guy who can blow people’s minds is a little harder to come by.  That’s the guy who knows shit.  All sorts of shit.  Shit that you couldn’t think of wanting to know, but this guy knows it.  And in the event of all hell breaking loose, this guy is the guy who knows how to turn off the all hells breaking loose switch.  And 9 times out of 10 this guy will also be the Pink Floyd guy in your life.

My Pink Floyd guy is Bill, my brother in law, and also my brother in arms in case all hell breaks loose on this earth.  Bill is your typical Pink Floyd guy.  He has an IQ over 200 and is not afraid of telling you things that have absolutely no relevance to the subject to which you are discussing, but after 30 minutes of persistent rambling suddenly everything all becomes perfectly crystal clear.  Just like any Pink Floyd song you’ve ever heard!

"Sometimes it’s not the destination that brings you joy but the journey that brings you there."  - The Rocker

My journey with Pink Floyd has been joyous and even spiritual at times.  When I’m down I put on Floyd, when I’m self-reflecting I put on Floyd; and when the world simply doesn’t make any sense to me at all I put on Floyd.   I go to Floyd because they aren’t afraid to tell me how life really is… “One Of These Days…I’m Going To Cut You Into Little Pieces”… “Mother Do You Think They’ll Drop The Bomb?”… “We Don’t Need No Education!”… “And All That Is Now, And All That Is Gone, And All That’s To Come, And Everything Under The Sun Is In Tune, But The Sun Is Eclipsed By The Moon”.   Suddenly everything all becomes perfectly crystal clear, and I can continue on in this journey called LIFE.

A Bunch Of Barnyard Animals!

The first time I heard Pink Floyd was through my sister Tammy.  Her boyfriend at the time, Tommy, had an 8-track of Animals that he would play incessantly in his old Toyota truck every time they would have to take me somewhere.

Honestly, I thought Animals sucked and anyone who would listen to a bunch of barnyard animals was retarded as well.  The music was too soft and it didn’t have the distortion I craved at the time.  The guitarist could play a cool solo though, so I would suffer through it until I could get back home to play my Kiss records.

It wasn’t really until the age of compact discs and I was more open to slower and intellectual rock bands that I gave Pink Floyd another chance.  Everyone always bragged about Floyd’s “Sonic Landscapes” that they painted with their sound, so I went out on a limb and bought a CD of Dark Side Of The Moon and gave them another shot; but, this time with headphones on.   Oh My God! What the hell was this?  I couldn’t believe what I had been missing all my life!  My mind had been blown to smithereens from that moment onward!  Was it a momentary lapse of reason? Lol Maybe it was the quality of the recording, maybe it was that I had finally matured enough to really grasp what the Floyd was all about.  And the best part of it all-  I didn’t even have to be stoned to be able to grasp their brilliance!

By the way, Which One's Pink?

The Piper had opened the gates of the dawning of my new-found love of Pink Floyd.  I couldn’t get enough Floyd- After Dark Side, I got Wish You Were Here and loved it even more!  I then dove head first into The Wall, and yes… even Animals spoke to me and I finally understood it!  But the earlier stuff- not so much.  With the exception of One Of These Days and Fearless, I can do

without everything before the Meddle album.  The story of Syd Barrett’s life is pretty amazing, but the music of his era still flies way over my head; someone definitely set the controls of that shit for the heart of the sun if you know what I mean!

How great is Pink Floyd?  Well, besides Dark Side Of The Moon being on the top album charts for over 15 straight years from 1973 to 1988?  Name a rock group that sounded like Pink Floyd prior to Pink Floyd.  Now name one that sounds like them now.  Both answers are ZERO.  Pink Floyd were true

originals in every sense of the word, and while you may have groups borrow a bit of the vibe like Queensryche, there never was and never will there be another Floyd.

We're all just Bricks In The Wall!

The key to Pink Floyd’s music is that in one minute you could go from hearing the most complex delivery of arrangements by multiple instruments and effects to then hearing the most simplistic but beautifully brilliant guitar or keyboard melody.  My favorite songs off of The Wall are not Another Brick In The Wall or Run Like Hell, but rather Goodbye Blue Sky and Is There Anybody Out There, and of course, there’s Comfortably Numb.

To me, the heart of Pink Floyd may have been Syd Barrett, but the soul definitely belongs to David Gilmour.  His soothing vocal delivery, along with his transcending guitar playing, is what made Pink Floyd connect with me and so many fans.   Nothing against Roger Waters.  He had great concepts and lyrics, but David made you FEEL those ideas. It’s just sad that David and Roger couldn’t continue on

together.  There is still so much more magic left to create.  Nick Mason and Richard Wright cannot be overlooked in their contributions to Floyd either.  Both were vital to the overall vibe and instrumentation, especially on extended jams like Shine On You Crazy Diamond and Sheep.

The artwork on Pink Floyd albums by Hipgnosis add to the mystic and originality of the legendary group.  While I like the dude on fire on Wish You Were Here, the ever-present prism on Dark Side Of The Moon is my favorite.  If you are any kind of Floyd Fan like I am, you would also have the cool ass (literally) poster of the naked ladies by the pool with Floyd albums painted on them.  A Rock Room must-have!

A Flock Of Floyd Fans Forever!

One of the best cover-band experiences I’ve ever witnessed was watching “Which One’s Pink” in concert with the genius brother-in-law Bill, his remarkable wife Sherrine, and of course, my beloved Rocker Chic!  The band played magnificently, and of course I had to hold my breathe when THE SOLO was played on Comfortably Numb to make sure the guy did it

justice.  He rocked it out of the park and when I looked over at my brother in arms Bill he had that Nick Mason kind of smile that seemed to say, You just got your mind blown James, now let’s go and blow some shit up!  All Hell’s breakin’ loose!!!  To my brother Bill- Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Shine On!

bottom of page