10. Atom Heart Mother (1970)
Though collaborations between rock bands and orchestras were nothing even in 1970, Floyd’s willfully experimental and typically idiosyncratic approach put them in a field of their own. The title track for their fifth studio album finds Ron Geesin’s bold score for brass, strings and chorus enhancing the surreal and often dream-like quality that so characteristic of this side-long extravaganza.
9. Waiting For The Worms (1979)
The unhinged fascistic whine of Roger Waters’ histrionic demagogue brings 1979’s The Wall hurtling towards its chaotic climax. More unsettling however, are the emollient tones voiced by Gilmour – reasonable on the surface, but beneath their respectable veneer just as vile. Juxtaposing sunny harmonies against darker, grinding riffs, Floyd’s brutal, uncompromising psychodrama remains ominously disconcerting.
8. Time (1973)
As impressive a piece of musical engineering as the inner workings of the massed clocks which open it. This Dark Side Of The Moonstaple sees Gilmour’s impassioned guitar effortlessly falling in slow motion slo-mo into a plangent bed of backing vocals, though it’s Rick Wright’s diffident and unvarnished vocal – ‘hanging on in quiet desperation’ – which deftly steals the show.
7. One Of These Days (1971)
What might otherwise be a nondescript riff is collectively transformed into an elemental howl of rage on this opening track from Meddle. Transposing music concrete techniques onto an unstoppable head-shaking force, torrents of echo-enhanced bass, snarling guitar, propulsive beats and slashing keyboards coalesce into one of most formidable moments in the Floyd canon.