Electrifying guitars, resounding bass, driving keyboards and rhythmic drums. Pink Floyd’s compilation album “The Echoes” just doesn’t stop.
“The Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd” truly proves their versatility. Of course, this is to be expected from a band that released their first single in 1967, Arnold Layne, and has released numerous albums since then.
Pink Floyd has released seven prior compilation albums. The release of this particular one has been delayed since 1999. The two and half hour, double CD compilation was finally released early this year.
Over the years, Pink Floyd has redefined rock from the stereotypical yelling and noise to a valid, not-necessarily demonic genre of music.
“Echoes” covers a variety of topics in their lyrics. Pink Floyd didn’t just string words together to sound nice or please the public. They touched on social issues.
The classic “Another Brick in the Wall” is famous, but may not be recognized by name alone.
“We don’t need no education/ We don’t need no thought control/ No dark sarcasm in the classroom/ Teachers leave them kids alone …/ All in all, you’re just another brick in the wall.
The depth of their lyrics seer into the very heart of listeners. It surpasses the usual “I was broke and now I’m not. Look where I am, I’ll still shoot a cop.”
Instead of wasting good beats and time, the song “Time” relays a message every college student should hear.
“And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking/ And racing around to come up behind you again/ The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older/ Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.”
Though the song is a little abstract, but it is very real.
“Echoes” is inclusive of the song When the Tigers Broke Free. Tigers was released as a single in 1982, but never appeared on a CD.
Tigers was written by Roger Waters who has played bass and sang on various other tracks.
The final verse of “Tigers” describes a pivotal moment in Waters’ life, the death of his father during the World War II.
“It was dark all around/ There was frost in the ground/ When the tigers broke free/ And no one survived from the Royal Fusiliers Company C/ They were all left behind/ Most of them dead/ The rest of them dying/ And that’s how the High Command took my Daddy from me”.
Although their lyrics are enough to ponder on for a lifetime, Pink Floyd is more than the contents of their liner notes.
The individual talent of each musician is mind-blowing.
In the seven-part song “Shine you Crazy diamond,” don’t hold your breath waiting for the vocals to begin. Unless you do that for 10 minutes. Less than five minutes of the 17 1/2 minute song consists of vocals. How many artists can keep their audience for almost 18 minutes on one track?
The other six parts of “Crazy Diamond” consist of solos and such from David Gilmour (guitar), Nick Maron (drums), Waters (bass), Richard Wright (keyboards) and guest artist Dick Parry (saxophone).
What more could you ask for in a band – diversity in lyrics and style of music? They are vocalists who actually sing and don’t just scream. But most importantly, it is music that has crossed the time barrier.
A band whose music and meaning is just as stellar as it was when they first came out 24 years ago.