There’s heavy, as in metal, and heavy… man! And it would be true to say that both could be applied to the progressive institution that is Pink Floyd. But for the purposes of this list, we’re looking at the rock. For a band known primarily for their soundscapes, atmospherics and heavy concepts, they have also made some strikingly heavy rock music. Here’s our top 10…
10.INTERSTELLAR OVERDRIVE (1967)
This is one of two long-from pieces from the band’s debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, (the other being the more commonly known Astronomy Domine), which apparently originated when then-band leader Syd Barrett heard manager Peter Jenner trying to hum the tune of a song whose name he couldn’t remember (allegedly Love’s version of My Little Red Book). Described variously as one of “the very first psychedelic instrumental improvisations by a rock band” and “an abstract piece”, when the band move from the Frank Zappa/AMM inspired free-form section back to the main pounding riff, the effect is quite startling. Not bad for a song Roger Waters once told Barrett reminded him of the theme to TV’s Steptoe & Son.
9.THE NILE SONG (1969)
From the soundtrack to Barbet Schroeder’s hallucinogenic medication fest More, which was the main full-length Pink Floyd collection not to have any association from organizer part Syd Barrett. Composed by Waters and sung by David Gilmour, The Nile Song is one of the heaviest tunes Pink Floyd ever recorded, right around a proto-form of Not Now John which highlights later in this rundown. It was discharged as single in France, Japan and New Zealand, and was secured by Floyd fans Voivod on their 1993 collection The Outer Limits