Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd

Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd

4.6 43
by Pink Floyd

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Few bands have been more successful at burrowing into the heads of an audience than the Floyd -- be it via headphone listening sessions, laser shows, or live spectacles And even though the cerebral vision of David Gilmour and Roger Waters was off the beaten path, Pink Floyd have been a mainstay on rock radioSee more details below


Few bands have been more successful at burrowing into the heads of an audience than the Floyd -- be it via headphone listening sessions, laser shows, or live spectacles And even though the cerebral vision of David Gilmour and Roger Waters was off the beaten path, Pink Floyd have been a mainstay on rock radio for the better part of three decades. While the band's classic-rock radio staples are certainly well represented on this double-disc retrospective -- from the sinuous chug of "Money" to the creepy chorus of "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2" -- Echoes also offers plenty of great uneasy listening for those seeking sounds from off the playlist. Delving deep into Floyd's Syd Barrett era, this compilation offers up the swirling acid-pop of "See Emily Play" and "Arnold Layne" as well as the screaming guitar digressions of "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun." Some of the earlier Gilmour/Waters-led efforts get short shrift, aside from Ummagumma's "Astronomy Domine," but the set leans on the mid-'70s releases, culling heavily from the troika of Wish You Were Here, Dark Side of the Moon, and Animals. Most of the material contained on the second disc is relatively familiar, but the inclusion of "When the Tigers Broke Free," which was lost in the shuffle when The Final Cut was transferred from vinyl to CD, should tickle the ears of any digitally minded Floyd-head.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
Being the quintessential album rock band, Pink Floyd hasn't had much luck with "best-of" and "greatest-hits" compilations, like A Collection of Great Dance Songs and the bizarro follow-up, Works. Since both of those were released in the early '80s (and time travel being unavailable even to Pink Floyd), they obviously left out any tracks from the post-Roger Waters era albums. While countless hours in dorm rooms have been spent laboring over whether or not the post-Waters recordings should even be considered the "real Floyd", the later albums nonetheless stand as a further progression in the band's evolution and warrant recognition. The 2001 release Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd does just that, sequencing the tracks non-chronologically in an effort to place more emphasis on the individual songs as opposed to the era they're from. Unfortunately, the effect is rather jarring when the songs transition from the clinical mid-'90s sound of "High Hopes" directly into the psychedelic groove of the much earlier "Bike." Interestingly, as is the case with most of their albums (but a rarity in "hits" compilations), most of the tracks fade into one another; the hum of "Keep Talking" segueing into the bleating of "Sheep," making for an intriguing listen from one song to the next. There are many highlights on this collection: the inclusion of the Floyd holy grail "When the Tigers Broke Free," a sweeping Waters military dirge that has only appeared in the film The Wall, and the fascinating "Shine on You Crazy Diamond, Pts. 1-7," which has never before been released without the break in the middle (but conspicuously missing parts eight and nine). The confusing inclusion of "The Fletcher Memorial Home" (possibly just to cover something from The Final Cut) and three songs from the decidedly mediocre Division Bell stand out as obvious head-scratchers, making the die-hard Pink Floyd fan wonder if compiler James Guthrie was really clear on what this album should represent. Guthrie's job was unfortunately doomed from the start; since Pink Floyd's strength has always been in the band's rich, sprawling albums, listening to selections cut and chopped from here and there makes it almost like watching three-minute segments from Citizen Kane, Gone With the Wind, and Apocalypse Now, knowing full well that they hold together much better as whole works. Still, Echoes is nearly the best possible assembly of the band's individual songs one could hope for, and collectors and completists should be overjoyed. That being said, anyone just getting into this group's fascinating sound would be much better off starting with Dark Side of the Moon, then working forward, then backward from there: the time honored system of hungrily consuming the Pink Floyd catalog that has stood for generations.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Parlophone (Wea)

Related Subjects


Disc 1

  1. Astronomy Domine
  2. See Emily Play
  3. The Happiest Days of Our Lives
  4. Another Brick in the Wall Part 2
  5. Echoes
  6. Hey You
  7. Marooned (Excerpt)
  8. The Great Gig in the Sky
  9. Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
  10. Money
  11. Keep Talking
  12. Sheep
  13. Sorrow

Disc 2

  1. Shine on You Crazy Diamond
  2. Time
  3. The Fletcher Memorial Home
  4. Comfortably Numb
  5. When the Tigers Broke Free
  6. One of These Days
  7. Us and Them
  8. Learning to Fly
  9. Arnold Layne
  10. Wish You Were Here
  11. Jugband Blues
  12. High Hopes
  13. Bike

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Pink Floyd   Primary Artist
Syd Barrett   Vocals
Roger Waters   Bass,Vocals
Michael Kamen   Piano,Conductor
Lesley Duncan   Background Vocals
Nick Mason   Drums,Vocals
Doris Troy   Background Vocals
Richard Wright   Keyboards,Vocals
Phyllis Saint James   Background Vocals
Sam Brown   Background Vocals
Jon Carin   Keyboards
Noel Davis   Choir Director
Venetta Fields   Background Vocals
Steve Forman   Percussion
David Gilmour   Guitar,Vocals,Fretless Bass Guitar
Islington Green School   Vocals
Carol Kenyon   Background Vocals
Darlene Koldenhoven   Background Vocals
Tony Levin   Bass
Durga McBroom   Background Vocals
Dick Parry   Saxophone
Guy Pratt   Bass
Jackie Sheridan   Background Vocals
Barry St. John   Background Vocals
Liza Strike   Background Vocals
Clare Torry   Vocals
Carmen Twillie   Background Vocals
Carlena Williams   Background Vocals
Donnie Garrard   Background Vocals
Rebecca Leigh-White   Background Vocals
Stephen Hawking   Voices

Technical Credits

Syd Barrett   Composer
Roger Waters   Composer,Producer
Michael Kamen   Producer,Orchestration,Orchestral Arrangements
Nick Mason   Composer
Richard Wright   Composer
Joe Boyd   Producer
Jon Carin   Composer
Bob Ezrin   Composer,Producer,Orchestration
Pink Floyd   Producer
David Gilmour   Composer,Producer
James Guthrie   Producer,Mastering
Anthony More   Composer
Doug Sax   Mastering
Edward Shearmur   Orchestral Arrangements
Norman Smith   Producer
Gary Wallis   Percussion Programming
Polly Samson   Composer

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