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YMMV / Pink Floyd

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  • Anvilicious: The Final Cut (written entirely by Waters) was released to protest England's involvement in The Falklands War. Meanwhile, Animals makes it pretty clear that Waters doesn't exactly think very highly of capitalism or Moral Guardians, and Wish You Were Here is unlikely to leave anyone in much doubt as to his opinions on music industry executives. Then again, for many people, anything Roger Waters has ever written is Anvilicious.
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  • Archive Panic: Their official discography isn't exactly small, but the amount of bootlegs available is just staggering. There's even an official Fan Nickname for them: ROIO's, or Recordings of Indeterminate (or Illegitimate) Origin.
  • Awesome Music: Now has its own page.
  • Broken Base:
    • Over The Final Cut and the post-Waters albums. In the former case there was a famous example where the editors of a Pink Floyd fan publication voted it their best album in the same issue as the fans voted it their worst. Then there's the matter with Syd Barrett's time with the band; some circles consider this period the only worthwhile moment in Floyd's history, while fans of the classic period consider it, as well as the band's pre-Dark Side work as a whole, an oddity at best.
    • Some other examples include the studio disc of Ummagumma (except the more straightforward "Grantchester Meadows", which tends to be universally loved), A Saucerful of Secrets, and Atom Heart Mother. The band themselves viewed the latter as a failed experiment, but it's quite loved by some fans.
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    • Dear God The Endless River has become this. Most people tend to praise it for being Rick Wright's swan song by the band, but others very much hate it for coming off as incredibly weak, especially when most of the record is instrumentals. The lack of Roger Waters doesn't help matter too.
    • In terms of their pre-Endless River back-catalog re-releases, do you go for the Oh, By the Way boxset or the Discovery ones? Supporters of Oh, By the Way cite its almost 1:1 recreations of the original LP packaging, right down to the CD labels replicating the original vinyl record labels, and decry the Discovery reissues not only for deviating significantly from the original packaging despite also coming in mini LP sleeves, but also for the fact that each CD uses color-coded variations of the same "sideways triangles" pattern, which makes them come off as more generic rather than a celebration of the band's history. Those in favor of Discovery, meanwhile, cite the fact that the albums were all remastered at once for the set rather than reusing various legacy remasters from the 1990's (save for The Division Bell, which is unaltered from the original 1994 CD sound-wise in the Oh, By the Way boxset), with these remasters being purported to contain better sound quality than the 90's ones (in actuality, the recordings just have their volume raised and are slightly compressed, though to a light enough degree to avoid clipping, thereby averting an all-too-common trap with audio remastering). Additionally, Discovery fans point out how it's much easier to find legitimate copies of that particular set than of Oh, By the Way, with the latter frequently being counterfeited on secondhand sites like eBay and Amazon.
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  • Creator Worship: Started to become prominent after The Dark Side of the Moon, and came to a head while touring for Animals, when Roger Waters spat on a fan's face as he was trying to climb the barrier between the band and the audience, and reportedly made said fan's night! This incident, as well as Roger's realization that he was becoming a cold, destructive person, led to the creation of the very dark album The Wall.
  • Critical Backlash: They triggered a big one at the height of their career. NME was the biggest culprit, with a notoriously scathing concert review from the mid-1970's. For the most popular band performing a major Dead Horse Genre, it seems inevitable that critics would run them through a wood chipper and would be not pleased that the '80s began with a Progressive Rock band at #1.
  • Critical Dissonance: Despite being regularly trashed by some critics (you can find a good review for every Pink Floyd album if you look, and critics mostly ate up their early material; the pastings they would receive in The '70s were more of the It's Popular, Now It Sucks! kind), their albums sold truckloads. The band was eventually Vindicated by History in terms of critical acclaim and are retroactively now one of the most critically adored bands of the seventies and one of the few progressive rock bands critics will admit to liking. Rolling Stone for instance, named Wish You Were Here the worst album of 1975, but 30-odd years later, included it in the Top 100 of their Greatest Albums of All Time list. Robert Christgau, himself no fan of progressive rock, actually gave Wish You Were Here an A-.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The albums made after Roger Waters asserted control of the band, particularly Animals, The Wall and The Final Cut, have been criticized for their relentlessly downbeat tone. The Final Cut is one of the most divisive in the band's catalog, and also one of its lowest-selling post-Dark Side of the Moon releases.
  • Dork Age:
    • The band members themselves see the period between Syd Barrett leaving and the release of Meddle as this. Diehard fans, however, tend to disagree, though the studio disc of Ummagumma tends to split hairs.
    • A more unanimous consensus among fans is that, like with many 60's and 70's acts, the 80's were not a good time for Pink Floyd. While the decade opened promisingly for them with a fan-favorite series of residency shows for The Wall, the band followed that up with A Collection of Great Dance Songs, a bizarre attempt at a beginner's guide that was poorly received by fans and near-disowned by the band themselves. Two years later came their studio follow-up to The Wall, The Final Cut, which became the group's most divisive record in their entire back-catalog thanks to its simpler sound, relentlessly bleak lyrics, and misplaced politics (namely protesting a war that was popularly supported in the UK at the time and completely irrelevant in the US), and ended up being so thoroughly engulfed by its Troubled Production that it led Waters to quit, then sue his bandmates when they chose to continue Pink Floyd without him. The lawsuit put Pink Floyd on hold for four years, and when the dust finally settled, the album that came out of it was A Momentary Lapse of Reason, which was less of a Pink Floyd album and more David Gilmour plus a bunch of session musicians thanks to extenuating circumstances keeping Nick Mason and the returning Richard Wright from doing much. Waters lambasted the album (not that he had anything kind to say about Gilmour at the time to being with), and like The Final Cut it became hugely divisive among fans. While both records would see their reputations improve with time, they are still seen as representative of how much of a dumpster fire the 80's were for Pink Floyd; they wouldn't truly get back on their feet as artists until the 1990's and its sole Floyd album, The Division Bell, and even then they split up shortly afterwards, only sporadically reconvening for reunion performances and the posthumous album The Endless River (itself also fairly divisive).
  • Ending Fatigue: Usually inverted, as the songs take forever to start ("Time", "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", "Us and Them"), but played straight sometimes ("Atom Heart Mother"). "Echoes" and "Atom Heart Mother" take the cake, though: They take forever to start and end. (The band members themselves were critical of the latter in later years for its lack of focus.) "A Saucerful of Secrets" gets a special mention for not really having what can be called a "start" or an "end".
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Upon Wright's death, David Gilmour remarked that when Wright played with him on his tour supporting Gilmour's solo album On an Island, Wright got the biggest standing ovation when he introduced the band members.
    • Syd Barrett. He's only a part of the first two albums out of the fourteen total (he hardly contributed to the second one), yet he's one of the most fondly known members amongst fans and even the rest of the band. Especially in contrast with Nick Mason, who appeared on all of the albums yet is not as widely acknowledged as Syd or the others.
  • Epic Riff: Quite a few.
    • "Interstellar Overdrive" for the Syd Barrett era.
    • "Echoes", to the point that (at least according to Waters) Andrew Lloyd Webber ripped it off for The Phantom of the Opera.
    • "Wish You Were Here", a must-know for acoustic guitar players everywhere.
    • "Money" (a bass riff, at that)
    • The outro to "Sheep".
    • "In the Flesh" and "Run Like Hell" off The Wall.
  • Face of the Band: First Syd, later Roger and David. Subverted in that the band strove not to have a "face". This was much easier before the Internet made fans aware of what the band members actually looked like.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception:
  • First Installment Wins: At least according to Barrett fans.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • Pink Floyd fans generally also like Kate Bush, due to David Gilmour's discovering her and his guest appearances on her albums.
    • Pink Floyd fans tend to like other progressive rock bands like Yes, Rush, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Genesis and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. They also tend to like non-prog contemporaries like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Queen, David Bowie, and The Grateful Dead. In Bowie's case, this is aided by him having been a noted fan of Pink Floyd, considering their early material an influence on his own work, covering "See Emily Play" on his 1973 Cover Album Pin-Ups, and performing Syd and Roger's vocal parts on "Arnold Layne" and "Comfortably Numb" (respectively) during the UK shows on David Gilmour's 2006 On an Island Tour.
    • Due to Gilmour's collaboration and personal friendship with Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera, Pink Floyd and Roxy Music fans also tend to get along pretty well.
  • Funny Moments: Now has its own page.
  • Gateway Series: Pink Floyd has become where many younger generations of listeners, many of whom were not even born when The Wall (let alone The Dark Side of the Moon) was made, have discovered Progressive Rock.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd is a British band that's popular everywhere. Pre-Dark Side, they were already pretty popular in France. The band was more successful in the U.S. than their prog rock peers because David Gilmour's bluesy guitar style appealed more to American rock sensibilities than other bands which had sounds rooted in classical music.
  • Growing the Beard: After five psychedelic and experimental albums, Meddle is where they really developed the sound they would become famous for.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The Final Cut by Pink Floyd is both disturbingly prophetic and harrowing to listen to. Granted, the album was protesting the 1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands by the UK, but the track "Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert" features someone (Roger Waters) screaming, "Hey! Get your filthy hands off my desert!", followed shortly by the sound of an airplane (or possibly artillery shells or missiles: It's really quite nondescript) flying over and an explosion. Yikes.
    • The Scarecrow from the band's first album seems to accidentally foreshadow Syd's dementia.
      His head did no thinking, his arms didn't move...
    • "The Great Gig in the Sky", which Richard Wright composed, after his death, especially given that it's one of the rare compositions credited to him. Somewhat similarly, "Dogs" contains the lyrics "Just another sad old man / all alone and dying of cancer" which become much harsher when you realize Richard Wright died of cancer and that he suffered from depression.
    • Nick Mason joking that "we lust after money to some extent" in Live in Pompeii becomes harsher in light of the difficulties Pink Floyd had in dealing with their success after The Dark Side of the Moon. The joke itself also becomes a bit more serious since in a previous interview section, David Gilmour states that he had a "breadline or less" existence before joining Pink Floyd. (Gilmour is actually understating it: He unsuccessfully busked around Spain and France before joining Pink Floyd and actually required treatment for malnutrition.)
    • "If" from Atom Heart Mother has lyrics inspired by the namesake Rudyard Kipling poem, and some people have likened them to be about Syd. On the other hand, they can reflect upon Roger Waters' future with the band, and they aren't pretty:
      If I were alone, I would cry
      And if I were with you, I’d be home and dry
      Will you still let me join in with the game?
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Waters spitting in a fan's face on the final show of the tour for Animals, which included the lyric "Who was trained not to spit in the fan?" (from "Dogs"). Though if it is funny or not, is up to you. When that concert was bootlegged, the bootleg was predictably named Who Was Trained Not To Spit On The Fan?.
    • "High Hopes" opens with this little gem:
      Beyond the horizon in the place we lived when we were young,
      In a world of magnets and miracles...
    • During the odd 1967 interview with Hans Keller, Keller asks "Do you feel any hostility towards the audience?" in which Roger Waters answers with an emphatic "No! Not at all!". Fast forward to Montreal in 1977, however.... Of course, the audiences they had in 1967 as an underground British psychedelic band were considerably smaller, more intimate, and manageable than the ones they'd play to by the late 1970's as a successful "arena rock" band. Roger had a lot more reason to feel hostile as they played to bigger, rowdier crowds than in their earlier years.
    • The line "Witness the man who raves at the wall" in "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun".
    • If you remember that Live in Pompeii was released just a year before The Dark Side of the Moon, Nick Mason's interview section becomes absolutely hilarious. Mason reflects that Pink Floyd "mark a sort of era" and are "in danger of becoming a relic of the past", stating that for some people they represent "the underground in London, the free concert in Hyde Park and so on" of The '60s and that they've had difficulties overcoming that perception. He also comments that "we have some pretty good arguments from time to time" and "we do have infighting... but without actually exploding", jokes that "we lust after money to some extent", and suggests that the "whole thing breaks down" when one person decides that they can do something better by themselves or are no longer interested.
    • One of their songs from their first album is called "Lucifer Sam". In Supernatural, the one true vessel of Lucifer is Sam Winchester.
    • One of the band's early names was The Meggadeaths. Years later, there actually was a band called Megadeth.
  • Ho Yay: Roger Waters & Syd Barrett, according to some fans.
  • I Am Not Shazam: "Oh, by the way, which one's Pink?", as mentioned in the 1975 song, "Have a Cigar".
  • Jerkass Woobie: Roger Waters from around the development The Wall onward.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Generally the case in the rare instances where people go out of their way to see the films More or La Valée, the films for which More and Obscured by Clouds respectively were composed as soundtrack albums. Often the case with Zabriskie Point, too, to the point that its soundtrack album is generally promoted for containing Pink Floyd songs, even though they were certainly not the only band whose work was used on the soundtrack, though they did make the biggest contribution, including new material specifically written and recorded for it.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Shine on, you crazy diamond."
    • Many of their album covers, especially The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here.
    • Comparing many of the controversial things that Donald Trump said to lyrics from "In the Flesh".
    • "Ha ha, charade you are!"
    • "Album X syncs perfectly with Movie X."
    • "Seamus (That's the dog)." Explanation 
    • "Animals is so underrated tbh." Explanation 
    • "Dragged down by the stone." Explanation 
    • YEESHKUL! Explanation 
    • Nick Mason's hatred of pie crusts.
    • Roger Waters looking like a horse.
    • "Pink Floyd of course." Explanation 
    • Roger firing the keyboard player.
    • "The oysters are good, aren't they?" Explanation 
  • Mis-blamed: Waters is often citied as having fired Wright following a dispute over the production of The Wall and seen as one of many examples of Waters' Sanity Slippage. But if one looks at the whole picture, you will see that Wright's recent divorce had severely affected him emotionally and his output with the band was suffering due to it. So when he asked Waters to not accept the deal to tighten the deadline for the album, his subsequent firing was could be seen as an act of Mercy Kill by Waters, rather than something done out of selfish pride.
  • Narm Charm: Roger's scream-singing.
  • Never Live It Down:
  • Newbie Boom: The success of The Dark Side of the Moon brought a huge influx of new fans. As the band moved from theaters to arenas, the behavior of audiences changed drastically. Roger Waters' frustration with one unruly fan in 1977 culminated in Waters spitting on him. His shock at his own behavior inspired him to write The Wall. The band also picked up a lot of new fans in the late '80s and the '90s with the releases of A Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell, but they were generally well-behaved, with very few of the problems that "Touch Heads" became known for. They continued to pick up Millennial fans in the '00s and the '10s.
  • Nightmare Retardant: The song "Cymbaline" from Soundtrack From the Film "More". Though it is an undeniably somber song, it's actually supposed to describe a nightmare, and "Nightmare" was its working title. Live performances contained a soundscape of "scary" sounds such as footsteps and creaking doors intended to frighten the audience. During one performance a fan sarcastically screamed "I'M SCARED!" during this segment.
  • So Bad, It's Good: "A Spanish Piece".
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Many of their songs can qualify as this for some listeners.
  • Sophomore Slump: A Saucerful of Secrets is typically held in much lower regard than The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, partially due to the departure of Syd Barrett. The album does have fans, and Nick Mason has even claimed it's his favorite Floyd album.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • A lot of fans dislike Adrian Maben's addition of stock NASA CGI footage to his 2003 director's cut of Live at Pompeii.
    • Quite a number of fans detest the changes made to the band's albums' packaging in the 2011 Discovery reissues, especially when compared to the near-perfect recreations of the original vinyl packaging presented in the Oh, By the Way boxset from four years prior. The newer CD art in the Discovery reissues is also a point of contention, as they're all just palette swaps of the same triangle "D" pattern, making them feel more generic as opposed to Oh, By the Way's surprisingly well-done recreations of the original LPs' A-side labels. The more recent Pink Floyd Records re-releases seem to get off more lightly, despite also having their share of differences.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • The whole band while making Wish You Were Here. Not only were they trying to follow up a massive hit album, Roger and Nick were both going through divorces. Eventually Waters decided the only way the album was going to get done was to make it about the pressures and sense of alienation the band were experiencing then and there, even though it meant throwing out about half the material they had at that point (most of the discarded material was later reworked as the songs "Dogs" and "Sheep", from Animals).
    • Arguably, the albums Gilmour made as bandleader, compared with the Waters-written masterpieces. Also, when Waters took over from Syd Barrett, especially since it took about 3 years for Waters to properly emerge as bandleader.
  • True Art Is Angsty: Most of the band's work under Roger Waters's tenure, actually.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: The studio part of Ummagumma, with the exception of "Grantchester Meadows".
  • Vindicated by History:
    • Like a lot of classic rock bands, including Led Zeppelin, critics HATED them in The '70s but proclaim the band as geniuses today. Rolling Stone famously lambasted Wish You Were Here, declaring it "actually nothing more than the skillful manipulation of elements so simple — the basic three chords everyone else uses — that any collection of bar hacks could grind out a note-for-note reproduction without difficulty", and complaining that "they give such a matter-of-fact reading of the goddamn thing that they might as well be singing about Roger Waters's brother-in-law getting a parking ticket". 30 years later, it was included on their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
    • The post-Waters albums, A Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell got a lot of mixed reviews from fans and critics alike and Roger Waters absolutely panned both albums when they came out. However today, both fans and critics now regard The Division Bell as one the Floyd's best and A Momentary Lapse of Reason has gained a lot of fans as well.
    • Roger Waters' solo albums and tours were slow sellers, but Waters became an in-demand live act around the Turn of the Millennium.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Pretty much all of their live shows, extending back to the band's early days.
  • The Woobie: Syd Barrett. Also Rick Wright during The Wall album era.


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