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Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd

4.1 out of 5 stars 530 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 6, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Fasten those headphones for Arnold Layne; See Emily Play; Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun; One of These Days; Echoes; Time; Money; Us and Them; Shine On You Crazy Diamond; Wish You Were Here; Sheep; Comfortably Numb , and more. On imported vinyl!


Echoes is a double-CD collection of some of Pink Floyd's best songs. It's also a fascinating document of the band's history. They began life as Syd Barrett's phantasmagoric plaything before clasping the wings of Icarus and ascending toward the sun on an epic space-rock odyssey, eventually turning left once they reached the dark side of the moon and burning up on reentry, crash-landing on every earthlings' home hi-fi. And it's all here--30 years of the Floyd's awesome back catalog trimmed down to two handsome CDs. It's worth remembering that, despite a fondness for pyrotechnics, Pink Floyd were never a prog-rock band. Sure, some of their songs are a bit long, and they never released singles (at least not for 11 years), but the same could be said for Led Zeppelin. Clinically devoid of the faux-classical overtures and vainglorious musicianship of that era, Pink Floyd were a pole apart; Meddle's epic maritime tone poem "Echoes" remains the Floyd's apogee. But here, on this collection, "the albatross" which "hangs motionless upon the air" has had its wings clipped--seven full minutes are missing, but you'd never be able to tell. The sonar bleeps, the screeching seagulls, the howling winds are all retained, and whoever wielded the editorial axe, Eugene, did so carefully.

Interestingly, the album's nonchronological track listing works--the summery, childhood enchantment of "See Emily Play" is right next to the school discipline of "Happiest Days of Our Lives"--and at least this way no one will switch off when material from A Momentary Lapse of Reason comes around. Despite the curious omission of "Atom Heart Mother," this really is the very best of the Floyd--from the throbbing "One of These Days" to the pop operatic "Great Gig in the Sky" to the genius silvery fluidity of Dave Gilmour's guitar work. This is timeless, as many members of Sigur Rós, Radiohead, and the Beta Band will attest. --Kevin Maidment

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Astronomy Domine
  2. See Emily Play
  3. The Happiest Day of Our Lives
  4. Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)
  5. Echoes
  6. Hey You
  7. Marooned
  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
  14. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Part 1-7)
  15. Time

Disc: 2

  1. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-7)
  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. Jug Band Blues
  12. High Hopes
  13. Bike

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 6, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Parlophone
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • ASIN: B00005QDW5
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (530 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,059 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gavin Wilson on November 6, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Floyd have issued earlier compilation albums, but not on a double CD. A single LP was never going to do adequate justice to the band, even though they attempted it with the COLLECTION OF GREAT DANCE SONGS. But no collection could sincerely claim to be the best of the Floyd without including, say, all 23 minutes of 'Echoes', and that blows half an LP right away.
This album contains almost all of 'Echoes', together with almost all of almost every other Floyd that one would expect to hear on a 'Best of' collection. I say almost all, because the tracks have been judiciously segued into each other, in most cases just before the fade-out on the original. To some, it may seem sacrilege to interleave DARK SIDE tracks such as 'The Great Gig in the Sky', 'Money', 'Time' and 'Us and Them' with other Floyd classics, but believe me, it works. The only classic which I'm disappointed not to see here is the opening track from OBSCURED BY CLOUDS.
There can be few Floyds fans who don't have the classic sequence of four albums from the 70s -- MEDDLE, DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, WISH YOU WERE HERE and ANIMALS. But there may be many who, like me, have never bought a Pink Floyd album on which Syd Barrett played. The early stuff -- for instance, 'See Emily Play', 'Arnold Layne' and the glorious 'Bike' -- has been ingeniously blended into the meld, despite the production standards of the period appearing primaeval compared to Alan Parsons' engineering work on DARK SIDE.
It's a wonderful, wonderful collection. I re-purchased my Floyd albums on CD too early -- i.e. before they were re-mastered. The tracks chosen here are from the re-mastered CDs, and it's frankly a relief that I cannot tell the difference in sound quality between these remastered versions and my acoustic memory of my CDs.
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Format: Audio CD
Not even a double CD can come close to getting the complete "best" of Pink Floyd, and for a band whose music translates so well as complete albums (Dark Side, Animals, The Wall), some purists will bristle at this collection of singles. Also, while fans will be pleased to see so many albums represented, the selection of songs is sometimes curious. But beyond that, ECHOES is a welcome collection of 26 tunes with a real unique arrangement that hops around from 1967 to 1994 almost at random... and yet really well. Check out, for example, the psychedelic (yet relatively innocent) chords of See Emily Play as they fade into the trademark helicopter sounds of Happiest Days... or the back-to-back instrumentals of Marooned (obscure even for a Division Bell inclusion, but neat) right into the classic Great Gig... ECHOES has a great ability to showcase the three periods of Pink Floyd: pre-Dark Side, the "fab four" of Dark Side, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall, and then the two excellent Roger-less albums, Momentary Lapse and Division Bell. Even the normally-ignored The Final Cut gets a nod with Fletcher Memorial (why that song, and not the more digestible The Gunner's Dream or Not Now John?). The inclusion of When the Tigers Broke Free, alone, (from the movie The Wall), makes Echoes an absolute MUST have for fans, even if the set does force feed us Barrett/pre-Dark Side era songs apparently at random like Jugband Blues (why two songs from Saucerful of Secrets??) and Bike (available on the extra CD in the 1992 Sine On boxed set). Still, it is such a treat to pop Echoes in and just hear what comes next as the songs jump from the 60s to the 90s to the 70s to the 80s.Read more ›
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By A Customer on November 7, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I'll admit I was a little hesitant about this so-called "Best of" compilation...given the fact that nearly all of Pink Floyd's albums rely on the interweaving of songs to create an album long song-piece. To take these songs out of context (and out of time) for a compilation seems like an exceedingly bad idea, one created in the back rooms of a record studio looking to further cash-in on one of the best selling bands in history.
However, this album does come together on several different levels, and is about as perfect as a two-disc anthology of Pink Floyd could possibly be. It isn't really a "Greatest Hits" since numerous radio standards have been left off, including Breathe, Brain Damage/Eclipse, Welcome to the Machine, Have a Cigar, Mother, Young Lust, Run Like Hell, and On the Turning Away. And it isn't necessarily a "Best of" either, with the inclusion of the instrumental Marooned and The Fletcher Memorial Home and the seldom heard When the Tigers Broke Free instead of numerous other choices.
A more appropriate album title would have been The Pink Floyd Story, because what Echoes really attempts to do is document the various and distinct periods of the band, from early Syd Barret material, through the band's 1970s creative peaks, and then when the band was essentially a solo vehicle for Waters and then Gilmour. But the underlying theme through all the music is Barrett, and the inclusion of five tracks off of Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Saucerful of Secrets is much more than giving his tunes equal time as a tribute, it shows how much his legacy affected and was ultimately responsible for the greatness Pink Floyd achieved. And so it is extremely appropriate that as Disc 2 winds down, we are returned to one of Pink Floyd's ealiest tunes, Arnold Lane.
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