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Nightmare Fuel / Pink Floyd

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Pink Floyd's propensity for social commentary, progress and experimentation can get rather unnerving at times.

The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall have their own pages.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
  • "The Gnome", otherwise among the most lighthearted and silly of all their songs, has an eerie, somewhat Mood Whiplash-inducing bridge: The way an overly reverbed Syd Barrett whispers the completely benign lyrics "Look at the sky / look at the river / isn't it good?" makes them sound oddly ominous.
  • “Pow R. Toc H.”, mostly for Barrett and Waters’ bizarre vocal percussion.
  • "Bike" starts off as a charming little nursery rhyme about a bike and mouse called Gerald (though even at the start, the voices from the left and right channels aren't quite in sync, and there's an awkward break between verses), but then, near the end, after the last bit about "the room full of musical tunes... let's go into the other room and make them work..." the music breaks down and all kinds of clock sounds and weird noises erupt. If this wasn't peculiar enough, what sounds like a goose honking suddenly starts up (though it's probably intended to be a bike horn). First from the distance, growing louder and louder, as if a gigantic bird is charging at the listener.

A Saucerful of Secrets
  • The title track off of A Saucerful of Secrets up to the "Celestial Voices" movement.
  • "Corporal Clegg" ends with an aggressive, off-key kazoo riff, which is slowly drowned out by a cacophony of voices and distorted sound effects.
  • Barrett's last song to be on a Floyd album, "Jugband Blues" is a skin-crawling combination of Sanity Slippage Song, Tear Jerker, and bitter Et Tu, Brute? to the rest of the band. One of the eeriest things about it is the way it uses Non Sequitur as an organising principle. The opening lines seem to be a sarcastic Take That!: "It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here / And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear that I'm not here." Then the song trips along in its part-cheerful, part-melancholy way for a while, one section lurching into another, until the band is drowned out by a parping brass band in a completely unrelated key, which in turn is replaced by just Barrett, strumming a guitar, sounding chillingly lonely, with the song cutting off abruptly on his very last word:
    And what exactly is a dream?
    And what exactly is a joke?

  • "Careful with That Axe, Eugene".
  • The live disc of Ummagumma, which contains the aforementioned "Careful with That Axe, Eugene" and "A Saucerful of Secrets", as well as unnerving versions of "Astronomy Domine" and "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun".
    • "Come In Number 51, Your Time is Up", the Zabriskie Point version of "Eugene", is even harsher and scarier.

Atom Heart Mother
  • From "Atom Heart Mother Suite":
    • The ominous tribal chanting at around 14 minutes in.
    • Nick Mason's distorted voice saying "Here is a loud announcement!" along with the Hell Is That Noise that follows. Not to mention that cacaphony that goes on for two minutes before all of that happens...
  • The faucet dripping at the very end of "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" can be unsettling, with one YouTube commenter theorizing that something terrible has happened. Given that this song chronologically comes before "One of These Days", well...

Obscured by Clouds
  • The last minute of "Absolutely Curtains", which is a creepy distorted tribal chant.

Wish You Were Here
  • Nestled within the music video of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” is series of unsettling images. Not quite halfway into the video, we gaze at the faceless man appearing transparent as cloud pass behind him until two dark hollows appear where his eyes should be. The holes aren’t shaped like eyes either and then a mouth appears. It also has an irregular nonhuman shape. Then the mouth and the eyes widen into a scream before the figure dims into shadow entirely. Even scarier images are ahead.
    • Next a transparent cube flies up in front of the faceless man. He loses his current transparent form and reappears in inside the cube as a gaunt, blood-tinged emanciated man with dark holes for eyes and a mouth. He is replaced by a tarantula that bounces around the inside of the cube for a few seconds before the man reappears cowering in a corner. The tarantula replaces him again only for the spider to split apart and reveal the man’s screaming face with eight flailing arms protruding from it. The arms cover the face and morphs into a red round piece of fish bait on a hook. A dog appears in the distance, vanishes into a cloud then snatches the bait before getting eaten by a larger dog whose head becomes more hideous as well as human. Then it leans back and vomits, sending out hundreds of smaller people falling through a hatch into a maze where fires pop up here and there.
  • While "Welcome to the Machine" is a pretty dark song to begin with, the music video is just as disturbing as the animated scenes from The Wall.
    • Imagery seen in the video includes silver monoliths cracking and oozing blood, a mechanical dragon slowly lumbering towards the screen, skeletal rats leaping across corpse laden steel beams, and a man being viciously decapitated and the head slowly decaying into a skull (What's worse is that in the version aired on VH1, the decapitation is synced to a sound effect in the song that sounds like metallic screeching).
  • When revisiting the album in 2016, George Starostin, having warmed up to it a great deal since his previous review, offered his take on "Welcome to the Machine" and "Have a Cigar":
    "...I like to picture "Welcome to the Machine" as a long, creepy, but breathtaking elevator journey to the top of The Factory, with the souls of miriads (sic) of unfortunate victims trapped on the countless stories; and then, at the very top of it all, you are greeted by the Uberboss, a somewhat ignorant ("by the way, which one's Pink?"), but totally efficient Lucifer model in its own right. (Maybe they should have brought in Alice Cooper to sing the song instead. Or Meatloaf.)"
  • Some of the lyrics from "Shine On You Crazy Diamond": "Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun . . . Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky", or "Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light."


  • "Dogs", the 17-minute epic that comprises virtually the entire first half of Animals, is thoroughly chilling in every conceivable sense of the word. From the twisted, psychedelic keyboard to the raw, brittle acoustic guitar, the prevailing mood of the entire song is utterly dour. The lyrics are a stark portrayal of the aggressive, egomaniacal businessmen who exploit the people around them to get ahead. One line in particular stands out, describing their eventual fate:
    Just another sad old man,
    All alone, and dying of cancer.
  • "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" opens with a pig snort and a creepy keyboard solo.
    • The middle break of the song features a pig endlessly squealing. But it doesn't even sound like squealing, sounds more like screaming in pain.
  • "Sheep" may also qualify as this. Halfway into the song, there is very eerie Hammond organ, followed by a bizarre parody of Psalm 23:
    The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
    He makes me down to lie
    Through pastures green he leadeth me the silent waters by
    With bright knives he releaseth my soul
    He maketh me to hang on hooks in high places
    He converteth me to lamb cutlets
    For lo, he hath great power and great hunger
    When cometh the day we lowly ones
    Through quiet reflection and great dedication
    Master the art of karate
    Lo, we shall rise up
    And then we'll make the bugger's eyes water.
    • The original version of "Sheep", "Raving and Drooling", is even more disturbing, lacking the later version's allegories about workers and farm animals, instead sounding like a Spiritual Successor to "One of These Days".